October 16, 2011 Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
FIRST READING: Exodus 33:12-23
12Moses said to the LORD, “I know that you have told me to lead these people to the land you promised them. But you have not told me who my assistant will be. You have said that you are my friend and that you are pleased with me. 13If this is true, let me know what your plans are, then I can obey and continue to please you. And don’t forget that you have chosen this nation to be your own.”
14The LORD said, “I will go with you and give you peace.”
1 5Then Moses replied, “If you aren’t going with us, please don’t make us leave this place. 16But if you do go with us, everyone will know that you are pleased with your people and with me. That way, we will be different from the rest of the people on earth.”
17So the LORD told him, “I will do what you have asked, because I am your friend and I am pleased with you.”
18Then Moses said, “I pray that you will let me see you in all of your glory.”
19The LORD answered:
All right. I am the LORD, and I show mercy and kindness to anyone I choose. I will let you see my glory and hear my holy name, 20but I won’t let you see my face, because anyone who sees my face will die. 21There is a rock not far from me. Stand beside it, 22and before I pass by in all of my shining glory, I will put you in a large crack in the rock. I will cover your eyes with my hand until I have passed by. 23Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back. You will not see my face.
1Our LORD, you are King!
You rule from your throne above the winged creatures,
as people tremble and the earth shakes.
2You are praised in Zion, and you control all nations.
3Only you are God! And your power alone,
so great and fearsome, is worthy of praise.
4You are our mighty King, a lover of fairness,
who sees that justice is done everywhere in Israel.
5Our LORD and our God, we praise you
and kneel down to worship you, the God of holiness!
6Moses and Aaron were two of your priests.
Samuel was also one of those who prayed in your name,
and you, our LORD, answered their prayers.
7You spoke to them from a thick cloud,
and they obeyed your laws.
8Our LORD and our God, you answered their prayers
and forgave their sins,
but when they did wrong, you punished them.
9We praise you, LORD God,
and we worship you at your sacred mountain.
Only you are God!
SECOND READING: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
From Paul, Silas, and Timothy.
To the church in Thessalonica, the people of God the Father and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I pray that God will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
2We thank God for you and always mention you in our prayers. Each time we pray, 3we tell God our Father about your faith and loving work and about your firm hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
4My dear friends, God loves you, and we know he has chosen you to be his people. 5When we told you the good news, it was with the power and assurance that come from the Holy Spirit, and not simply with words. You knew what kind of people we were and how we helped you. 6So, when you accepted the message, you followed our example and the example of the Lord. You suffered, but the Holy Spirit made you glad.
7You became an example for all the LORD’S followers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8And because of you, the LORD’S message has spread everywhere in those regions. Now the news of your faith in God is known all over the world, and we don’t have to say a thing about it. 9Everyone is talking about how you welcomed us and how you turned away from idols to serve the true and living God. 10They also tell how you are waiting for his Son Jesus to come from heaven. God raised him from death, and on the day of judgment Jesus will save us from God’s anger.
GOSPEL: Matthew 22:15-22
15The Pharisees got together and planned how they could trick Jesus into saying something wrong. 16They sent some of their followers and some of Herod’s followers to say to him, “Teacher, we know that you are honest. You teach the truth about what God wants people to do. And you treat everyone with the same respect, no matter who they are. 17Tell us what you think! Should we pay taxes to the Emperor or not?”
18Jesus knew their evil thoughts and said, “Why are you trying to test me? You show-offs! 19Let me see one of the coins used for paying taxes.” They brought him a silver coin, 20and he asked, “Whose picture and name are on it?”
21“The Emperor’s,” they answered.
Then Jesus told them, “Give the Emperor what belongs to him and give God what belongs to God.” 22His answer surprised them so much that they walked away.