July 24, 2011 Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
FIRST READING: 1 Kings 3:5-12
5One night while Solomon was in Gibeon, the LORD God appeared to him in a dream and said, “Solomon, ask for anything you want, and I will give it to you.”
My father David, your servant, was honest and did what you commanded. You were always loyal to him, and you gave him a son who is now king. 7LORD God, I’m your servant, and you’ve made me king in my father’s place. But I’m very young and know so little about being a leader. 8And now I must rule your chosen people, even though there are too many of them to count.
9Please make me wise and teach me the difference between right and wrong. Then I will know how to rule your people. If you don’t, there is no way I could rule this great nation of yours.
Solomon, I’m pleased that you asked for this. You could have asked to live a long time or to be rich. Or you could have asked for your enemies to be destroyed. Instead, you asked for wisdom to make right decisions. 12So I’ll make you wiser than anyone who has ever lived or ever will live.
PSALMODY: Psalm 119:129-136
129Your teachings are wonderful, and I respect them all.
130Understanding your word brings light
to the minds of ordinary people.
131I honestly want to know everything you teach.
132Think about me and be kind,
just as you are to everyone who loves your name.
13Keep your promise and don’t let me stumble
or let sin control my life.
134Protect me from abuse, so I can obey your laws.
135Smile on me, your servant, and teach me your laws.
136When anyone disobeys you, my eyes overflow with tears.
SECOND READING: Romans 8:26-39
26In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words. 27All of our thoughts are known to God. He can understand what is in the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit prays for God’s people. 28We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose, 29and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children. 30God then accepted the people he had already decided to choose, and he has shared his glory with them.
31What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us? 32God did not keep back his own Son, but he gave him for us. If God did this, won’t he freely give us everything else? 33If God says his chosen ones are acceptable to him, can anyone bring charges against them? 34Or can anyone condemn them? No indeed! Christ died and was raised to life, and now he is at God’s right side, speaking to him for us. 35Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? 36It is exactly as the Scriptures say,
“For you we face death all day long. We are like sheep on their way to be butchered.”
37In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us. 38I am sure that nothing can separate us from God’s lovenot life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, 39and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!
GOSPEL: Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
31Jesus told them another story:
The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a farmer plants a mustard seed in a field. 32Although it is the smallest of all seeds, it grows larger than any garden plant and becomes a tree. Birds even come and nest on its branches.
33Jesus also said:
The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a woman mixes a little yeast into three big batches of flour. Finally, all the dough rises.
44The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when someone finds treasure hidden in a field and buries it again. A person like that is happy and goes and sells everything in order to buy that field.
45The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a shop owner is looking for fine pearls. 46After finding a very valuable one, the owner goes and sells everything in order to buy that pearl.
47The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a net is thrown into a lake and catches all kinds of fish. 48When the net is full, it is dragged to the shore, and the fishermen sit down to separate the fish. They keep the good ones, but throw the bad ones away. 49That’s how it will be at the end of time. Angels will come and separate the evil people from the ones who have done right. 50Then those evil people will be thrown into a flaming furnace, where they will cry and grit their teeth in pain.
51Jesus asked his disciples if they understood all these things. They said, “Yes, we do.”
52So he told them, “Every student of the Scriptures who becomes a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like someone who brings out new and old treasures from the storeroom.”