Friday, January 28, 2011

Episcopalian Daily Readings For Friday, 28 January

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Daily Readings:

Saints/Martyrs/Heroes/Feasts/Fasts to be observed/commemmorated/celebrated:



St. Thomas Aquinas, by Fre BartolomdoIn the thirteenth century, when Thomas Aquinas lived, the works of Aristotle, largely forgotten in Western Europe, began to be available again, partly from Eastern European sources and partly from Moslem Arab sources in Africa and Spain. These works offered a new and exciting way of looking at the world. Many enthusiastic students of Aristotle adopted him quite frankly as as an alternative to Christianity. The response of many Christians was to denounce Aristotle as an enemy of the Christian Faith. A third approach was that of those who tried to hold both Christian and Aristotelian views side by side with no attempt to reconcile the two. Aquinas had a fourth approach. While remaining a Christian, he immersed himself in the ideas of Aristotle, and then undertook to explain Christian ideas and beliefs in language that would make sense to disciples of Aristotle. At the time, this seemed like a very dangerous and radical idea, and Aquinas spent much of his life living on the edge of ecclesiastical approval. His success can be measured by the prevalence today of the notion that of course all Christian scholars in the Middle Ages were followers of Aristotle.

Title page from "In Quatuor Libros Aristotelis", by Thomas Aquinas (printed 1575)Aristotle is no longer the latest intellectual fashion, but Aquinas's insistence that the Christian scholar must be prepared to meet other scholars on their own ground, to become familiar with their viewpoints, to argue from their premises, has been a permanent and valuable contribution to Christian thought.

Some Christian scholars today are undertaking, with varying degrees of success, to explore the relations between Christianity and various contemporary studies or world-outlooks that have been used as weapons by opponents of Christianity. Examples that come to mind include the following:

William G Pollard, Anglican priest, nuclear physicist at the Oak Ridge Laboratory (government-connected), Executive Director of the Oak Ridge Institute for Nuclear Studies (not government-connected), and author of Chance and Providence and Physicist and Christian (both out of print but may be available used).

John Polkinghorne, FRS, Anglican priest, head of Queen's College, Cambridge, nuclear physicist, and author of Science and Creation, Science and Providence, and various other works, including most recently The Faith of a Physicist, now (Jan 1997) on display at your local bookstore. (For non-scientists, I will point out that "FRS" denotes a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the elite of British scientists.)

G B Sanders, author of Christianity after Freud. (For a brief summary of his thesis, consult the Christia Web page.

Various writers on "liberation theology" who have undertaken to show that Marxism, properly interpreted, does not imply the falsity of Christianity.

by James Kiefer


Psalm 119:97-104

97 Oh, how I love your law!

It is my meditation all day long.

98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies,

for it is always with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,

for your decrees are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the aged,

for I keep your precepts.

101 I hold back my feet from every evil way,

in order to keep your word.

102 I do not turn away from your ordinances,

for you have taught me.

103 How sweet are your words to my taste,

sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through your precepts I get understanding;

therefore I hate every false way

Wisdom 7: 7 - 14

(New Revised Standard Version)

Wis 7:7 (NRSV) {Solomon's Respect for Wisdom} Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me;

I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.

8 I preferred her to scepters and thrones,

and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.

9 Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem,

because all gold is but a little sand in her sight,

and silver will be accounted as clay before her.

10 I loved her more than health and beauty,

and I chose to have her rather than light,

because her radiance never ceases.

11 All good things came to me along with her,

and in her hands uncounted wealth.

12 I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them;

but I did not know that she was their mother.

13 I learned without guile and I impart without grudging;

I do not hide her wealth,

14 for it is an unfailing treasure for mortals;

those who get it obtain friendship with God,

commended for the gifts that come from instruction.

Web Author: Charles Wohlers

The Lectionary Page

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for* you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ 25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Matthew 13:47-52

47 ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and caught fish of every kind; 48when it was full, they drew it ashore, sat down, and put the good into baskets but threw out the bad. 49So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50and throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Treasures New and Old51 ‘Have you understood all this?’ They answered, ‘Yes.’ 52And he said to them, ‘Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.’

Preface of the Trinity

PRAYER (traditional wording)

Almighty God, who hast enriched thy Church with the singular learning and holiness of thy servant Thomas Aquinas: Enlighten us more and more, we pray thee, by the disciplined thinking and teaching of Christian scholars, and deepen our devotion by the example of saintly lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

PRAYER (contemporary wording)

Almighty God, you have enriched your Church with the singular learning and holiness of your servant Thomas Aquinas: Enlighten us more and more, we pray, by the disciplined thinking and teaching of Christian scholars, and deepen our devotion by the example of saintly lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Lessons revised at GC 2009

Return to Lectionary Home Page

Webmaster: Charles Wohlers

Last updated: 12 Dec. 2009

Scriptural Readings:

Morning Office:

Psalm 40

Thanksgiving for Deliverance and Prayer for HelpTo the leader. Of David. A Psalm.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;

he inclined to me and heard my cry.

2 He drew me up from the desolate pit,*

out of the miry bog,

and set my feet upon a rock,

making my steps secure.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,

a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear,

and put their trust in the Lord.

4 Happy are those who make

the Lord their trust,

who do not turn to the proud,

to those who go astray after false gods.

5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God,

your wondrous deeds and your thoughts towards us;

none can compare with you.

Were I to proclaim and tell of them,

they would be more than can be counted.

6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,

but you have given me an open ear.*

Burnt-offering and sin-offering

you have not required.

7 Then I said, ‘Here I am;

in the scroll of the book it is written of me.*

8 I delight to do your will, O my God;

your law is within my heart.’

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance

in the great congregation;

see, I have not restrained my lips,

as you know, O Lord.

10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,

I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness

from the great congregation.

11 Do not, O Lord, withhold

your mercy from me;

let your steadfast love and your faithfulness

keep me safe for ever.

12 For evils have encompassed me

without number;

my iniquities have overtaken me,

until I cannot see;

they are more than the hairs of my head,

and my heart fails me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;

O Lord, make haste to help me.

14 Let all those be put to shame and confusion

who seek to snatch away my life;

let those be turned back and brought to dishonour

who desire my hurt.

15 Let those be appalled because of their shame

who say to me, ‘Aha, Aha!’

16 But may all who seek you

rejoice and be glad in you;

may those who love your salvation

say continually, ‘Great is the Lord!’

17 As for me, I am poor and needy,

but the Lord takes thought for me.

You are my help and my deliverer;

do not delay, O my God.

Psalm 54

Prayer for VindicationTo the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, ‘David is in hiding among us.’

1 Save me, O God, by your name,

and vindicate me by your might.

2 Hear my prayer, O God;

give ear to the words of my mouth.

3 For the insolent have risen against me,

the ruthless seek my life;

they do not set God before them.


4 But surely, God is my helper;

the Lord is the upholder of* my life.

5 He will repay my enemies for their evil.

In your faithfulness, put an end to them.

6 With a freewill-offering I will sacrifice to you;

I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.

7 For he has delivered me from every trouble,

and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

Isaiah 50:1-11

50Thus says the Lord:

Where is your mother’s bill of divorce

with which I put her away?

Or which of my creditors is it

to whom I have sold you?

No, because of your sins you were sold,

and for your transgressions your mother was put away.

2 Why was no one there when I came?

Why did no one answer when I called?

Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?

Or have I no power to deliver?

By my rebuke I dry up the sea,

I make the rivers a desert;

their fish stink for lack of water,

and die of thirst.*

3 I clothe the heavens with blackness,

and make sackcloth their covering.

The Servant’s Humiliation and Vindication

4 The Lord God has given me

the tongue of a teacher,*

that I may know how to sustain

the weary with a word.

Morning by morning he wakens—

wakens my ear

to listen as those who are taught.

5 The Lord God has opened my ear,

and I was not rebellious,

I did not turn backwards.

6 I gave my back to those who struck me,

and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;

I did not hide my face

from insult and spitting.

7 The Lord God helps me;

therefore I have not been disgraced;

therefore I have set my face like flint,

and I know that I shall not be put to shame;

8 he who vindicates me is near.

Who will contend with me?

Let us stand up together.

Who are my adversaries?

Let them confront me.

9 It is the Lord God who helps me;

who will declare me guilty?

All of them will wear out like a garment;

the moth will eat them up.

10 Who among you fears the Lord

and obeys the voice of his servant,

who walks in darkness

and has no light,

yet trusts in the name of the Lord

and relies upon his God?

11 But all of you are kindlers of fire,

lighters of firebrands.*

Walk in the flame of your fire,

and among the brands that you have kindled!

This is what you shall have from my hand:

you shall lie down in torment.

Evening Office:
Psalm 51

Prayer for Cleansing and PardonTo the leader. A Psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,

according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I know my transgressions,

and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned,

and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you are justified in your sentence

and blameless when you pass judgement.

5 Indeed, I was born guilty,

a sinner when my mother conceived me.

6 You desire truth in the inward being;*

therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins,

and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

and put a new and right* spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from your presence,

and do not take your holy spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and sustain in me a willing* spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners will return to you.

14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,

O God of my salvation,

and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

15 O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 For you have no delight in sacrifice;

if I were to give a burnt-offering, you would not be pleased.

17 The sacrifice acceptable to God* is a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;

rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,

19 then you will delight in right sacrifices,

in burnt-offerings and whole burnt-offerings;

then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Galatians 3:15-22

The Promise to Abraham15 Brothers and sisters,* I give an example from daily life: once a person’s will* has been ratified, no one adds to it or annuls it. 16Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring;* it does not say, ‘And to offsprings’,* as of many; but it says, ‘And to your offspring’,* that is, to one person, who is Christ. 17My point is this: the law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

The Purpose of the Law19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring* would come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a mediator. 20Now a mediator involves more than one party; but God is one.

21 Is the law then opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could make alive, then righteousness would indeed come through the law. 22But the scripture has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was promised through faith in Jesus Christ* might be given to those who believe.

Mark 6:47-56

47 When evening came, the boat was out on the lake, and he was alone on the land. 48When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the lake. He intended to pass them by. 49But when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ 51Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

Healing the Sick in Gennesaret53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Eucharistic Office:
Hebrews 10:32-39

32 But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. 35Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. 36For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37For yet

‘in a very little while,

the one who is coming will come and will not delay;

38 but my righteous one will live by faith.

My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.’

39But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.

Psalm 37:1-7, 24-25, 41-42

Mark 4:26-34

The Parable of the Growing Seed26 He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’

The Parable of the Mustard Seed30 He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.’

The Use of Parables33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.


FRIDAY, January 28 (Thomas Aquinas)

Mark 6:47-56. They all saw him and were terrified. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

These men were terrified because they were in a storm at sea. Jesus would allay their fear—this time—by delivering them from that peril. If God always, unfailingly, delivered us from things that frighten us, we too would find it easy to live without fear and with-out reproach. But to some or all of these men in the boat Jesus would have to say, later on, that they must be hauled off to prison and to death for his name’s sake. That would be a terrifying ordeal from which he would not deliver them as he did in the present trial. But concerning those coming trials he spoke as he spoke now: Do not be afraid! I am with you always!

Christ does not promise that he will always deliver us from pain, trouble, or death. Sometimes God in his goodness can spare us such suffering, sometimes evidently not. What Christ promises is that if we put our hand in his and walk with him, he will always cast out our fear. On that we can count. Faith delivers us not from disaster but from the only ultimate disaster—despair. (1970)

PRAY for the Diocese of Lusaka (Central Africa)

Ps 40, 54 * 51; Isaiah 50:1-11; Galatians 3:15-22

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