Ninth Sunday after Pentecost August 6, 2017 Proper 13, Year A

 

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Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Genesis 32:22-31)

On his way home after an absence of twenty years Jacob has an odd encounter with a stranger. They wrestle and Jacob prevails, demanding a blessing in order to release his opponent. The latter changes Jacob’s name to Israel, or “he who strives with God and prevails”. Jacob realizes he has been face to face with God and lived to tell about it.

Psalm (17:1-7, 15)

This Psalm is a cry to Yahweh for help. It comes from a faithful Israelite, one who has avoided wickedness and violence and who is therefore assured of Yahweh’s steadfast love. Even in his current circumstances he is confident that he will see the face of God.

Second Reading (Romans 9:1-5)

St. Paul yearns for his own Jewish people to come to faith in Christ and is deeply grief-stricken at their resistance to the Gospel, so much so that he would even become accursed for their sake. After all, they are the chosen people and all the blessings of the promises and covenants rightly belong to them, including the Messiah who is one of their own.

Gospel (Matthew 14:13-21)

After he learns of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus desires to be alone but a crowd of over five thousand follows him into the wilderness. He takes compassion on them, meeting their needs by healing their sick and even feeding them by miraculously multiplying five loaves and two fish. In fact, he provides so much food that twelve baskets of leftovers are collected.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • Face to face with God
  • The fragile advantages of the people of God
  • What it means to be an Israelite
  • God’s abundant provision, more than we need for ourselves
  • Receiving blessings from God/Jesus
  • God hears and answers prayer/more than meets our need

Based on the Alternative Set of Readings

First Reading (Isaiah 55:1-5)

Through Isaiah Yahweh is calling his people Israel to a great feast made freely available to all, promising that an everlasting covenant will be made because of his faithful love for David. Yahweh will so bless them that other nations will come in response.

Psalm (145:8-9, 14-21)

The Psalmist extolls Yahweh as the universal God who sustains all of creation out of his love and compassion, upholding the fallen and meeting the needs of all creatures. He hears and answers those who call upon him in truth and brings justice to the wicked. All of humanity will come to acknowledge him as God.

Second Reading (Romans 9:1-5)

St. Paul yearns for his own Jewish people to come to faith in Christ and is deeply grief-stricken at their resistance to the Gospel, so much so that he would even become accursed for their sake. After all, they are the chosen people and all the blessings of the promises and covenants rightly belong to them, including the Messiah who is one of their own.

Gospel (Matthew 14:13-21)

After he learns of the death of John the Baptist, Jesus desires to be alone but a crowd of over five thousand follows him into the wilderness. He takes compassion upon them, meeting their needs by healing their sick and even feeding them by miraculously multiplying five loaves and two fish. In fact, he provides so much food that twelve baskets of leftovers are collected.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • God provides a feast
  • The love and compassion of God
  • God hears and answers prayer/more than meets our need
  • All nations will come to Yahweh
  • The fragile advantages of the people of God
  • What it means to be an Israelite
  • God’s abundant provision, more than we need for ourselves
  • Receiving blessings from God/Jesus
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