Sunday, September 23, 2012: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Book of Proverbs (31:10-31)


A capable wife who can find?

         She is far more precious than jewels.

The heart of her husband trusts in her,

         and he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good, and not harm,

         all the days of her life.

She seeks wool and flax,

         and works with willing hands.

She is like the ships of the merchant,

        she brings her food from far away.

She rises while it is still night

        and provides food for her household

        and tasks for her servant-girls.

She considers a field and buys it;

        with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.

She girds herself with strength,

        and makes her arms strong.

She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.

       Her lamp does not go out at night.

She puts her hands to the distaff,

       and her hands hold the spindle.

She opens her hand to the poor,

      and reaches out her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid for her household when it snows,

      for all her household are clothed in crimson.

She makes herself coverings;

      her clothing is fine linen and purple.

Her husband is known in the city gates,

      taking his seat among the elders of the land.

She makes linen garments and sells them;

      she supplies the merchant with sashes.

Strength and dignity are her clothing,

      and she laughs at the time to come.

She opens her mouth with wisdom,

      and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

She looks well to the ways of her household,

      and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her happy;

      her husband too, and he praises her:

“Many women have done excellently,

       but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,

       but a woman who fears the Lord

        is to be praised.

Give her a share in the fruit of her hands,

        and let her works praise her in the city gates.


> Last section of Proverbs.

> Picture of the “ideal” wife.

> Acrostic:  A-B-C_D in Hebrew

> Written about someone who is well off.

> An unrealistic person is portrayed.

> Perhaps there is a play on words about “wisdom.”



Psalm 1


1 Happy are they who have not walked

    in the counsel of the wicked, *

   nor lingered in the way of sinners,

   nor sat in the seats of the scornful!

2 Their delight is in the law of the Lord, *

    and they meditate on his law day and night.

3  They are like trees planted by streams of water,

    bearing fruit in due season,

    with leaves that do not wither; *

    everything they do shall prosper.

4 It is not so with the wicked; *

    they are like chaff which the wind blows away.

5 Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright

    when judgment comes, *

    nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.

6  For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, *

    but the way of the wicked is doomed.


> “Blessed” or “Happy” are they– same as the Beatitudes.

> The Book of Psalms is put together in five books.

> The first book ends with Psalm 41.

> The second book is Psalm 42-72 — may parallel the five books of the Torah.

> The Gospel of Matthew is also in five parts.

> Initially all of the Psalms were intended to be sung.

> They are in the form of a Chi-ism  1 2-3 4.

> Central theme:  Happiness is living the laws of the Torah (the law of the Lord).



 A Reading from the Letter of James (3:13-4:3, 7-8a)


Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace. Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts.  You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.


> Prayer is for our needs, not just our wants and pleasures.

> Look to God first before you ask for anything.

> Mishnah:  “Make your will God’s will so that he will make his will your will.”



The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to  Mark (9:30-37)


Jesus and his disciples passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”


> Last scene in Mark.

> This is the second of Jesus’ three predictions of the coming Passion.

> Jesus teaches his disciples to be open and not secretive.

> This probably took place at Peter’s house.

> “On the way” = on the way to the kingdom of God.

> Jesus poured out his life selflessly and the disciples argued who is the greatest!

> Very ironic!

> Peter, James, and John saw Jesus’ transfiguration – were the others jealous?

> The culture at this time did not idealize children.

> It was significant that Jesus cared for the child.

> The early Christians had proper burials and also rescued orphan children.