Reading The Scriptures for February 27, 2011

February 27, 2011

Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany

FIRST READING: Isaiah 49:8-16a

8This is what the LORD says: I will answer your prayers
because I have set a time when I will help
by coming to save you.
I have chosen you to take my promise of hope
to other nations.
You will rebuild the country from its ruins,
then people will come and settle there.
9You will set prisoners free from dark dungeons
to see the light of day.

On their way home, they will find plenty to eat,
even on barren hills.
10They won’t go hungry or get thirsty;
they won’t be bothered by the scorching sun
or hot desert winds.
I will be merciful while leading them along
to streams of water.
11I will level the mountains and make roads.
12Then my people will return from distant lands
in the north and the west
and from the city of Syene
13Tell the heavens and the earth to celebrate and sing;
command every mountain to join in the song.
The LORD’S people have suffered,
but he has shown mercy and given them comfort.

14The people of Zion said, “The LORD has turned away
and forgotten us.”

15The LORD answered, “Could a mother forget a child
who nurses at her breast?
Could she fail to love an infant
who came from her own body?
Even if a mother could forget, I will never forget you.
16A picture of your city is drawn on my hand.

PSALMODY: Psalm 131

1I am not conceited, LORD,
and I don’t waste my time on impossible schemes.
2But I have learned to feel safe and satisfied,
just like a young child on its mother’s lap.
3People of Israel,
you must trust the LORD now and forever.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 4:1-5

Think of us as servants of Christ who have been given the work of explaining God’s mysterious ways. 2And since our first duty is to be faithful to the one we work for, 3it doesn’t matter to me if I am judged by you or even by a court of law. In fact, I don’t judge myself. 4I don’t know of anything against me, but that doesn’t prove that I am right. The Lord is my judge. 5So don’t judge anyone until the Lord returns. He will show what is hidden in the dark and what is in everyone’s heart. Then God will be the one who praises each of us.

GOSPEL: Matthew 6:24-34

24You cannot be the slave of two masters! You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

25I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing? 26Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?
27Can worry make you live longer? 28Why worry about clothes? Look how the wild flowers grow. They don’t work hard to make their clothes. 29But I tell you that Solomon with all his wealth wasn’t as well clothed as one of them. 30God gives such beauty to everything that grows in the fields, even though it is here today and thrown into a fire tomorrow. He will surely do even more for you! Why do you have such little faith?
31Don’t worry and ask yourselves, “Will we have anything to eat? Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?” 32Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. 33But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.
34Don’t worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.

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