Readings for Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B
From Contemporary English Version © 1995, American Bible Society.
September 9, 2012
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Pr. 18, L 23))
FIRST READING: Isaiah 35:4-7a
4“Cheer up! Don’t be afraid.
Your God is coming to punish your enemies.
God will take revenge on them and rescue you.”
5The blind will see, and the ears of the deaf will be healed.
6Those who were lame will leap around like deer;
tongues once silent will begin to shout.
Water will rush through the desert.
7Scorching sand will turn into a lake,
and thirsty ground will flow with fountains.
PSALMODY: Psalm 146
1Shout praises to the LORD!
With all that I am, I will shout his praises.
2I will sing
and praise the LORD God for as long as I live.
3You can’t depend on anyone, not even a great leader.
4Once they die and are buried,
that will be the end of all their plans.
5The LORD God of Jacob blesses everyone
who trusts him and depends on him.
6God made heaven and earth;
he created the sea and everything else.
God always keeps his word.
7He gives justice to the poor and food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free and heals blind eyes.
He gives a helping hand to everyone who falls.
The LORD loves good people 9and looks after strangers.
He defends the rights of orphans and widows,
but destroys the wicked.
10The LORD God of Zion will rule forever!
Shout praises to the LORD!
SECOND READING: James 2:1-10 [11-13] 14-17
My friends, if you have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, you won’t treat some people better than others. 2Suppose a rich person wearing fancy clothes and a gold ring comes to one of your meetings. And suppose a poor person dressed in worn-out clothes also comes. 3You must not give the best seat to the one in fancy clothes and tell the one who is poor to stand at the side or sit on the floor. 4That is the same as saying that some people are better than others, and you would be acting like a crooked judge.
5My dear friends, pay attention. God has given a lot of faith to the poor people in this world. He has also promised them a share in his kingdom that he will give to everyone who loves him. 6You mistreat the poor. But isn’t it the rich who boss you around and drag you off to court? 7Aren’t they the ones who make fun of your Lord?
8You will do all right, if you obey the most important law in the Scriptures. It is the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves. 9But if you treat some people better than others, you have done wrong, and the Scriptures teach that you have sinned.
10If you obey every law except one, you are still guilty of breaking them all. 11The same God who told us to be faithful in marriage also told us not to murder. So even if you are faithful in marriage, but murder someone, you still have broken God’s Law.
12Speak and act like people who will be judged by the law that sets us free. 13Do this, because on the day of judgment there will be no pity for those who have not had pity on others. But even in judgment, God is merciful!
14My friends, what good is it to say you have faith, when you don’t do anything to show that you really do have faith? Can that kind of faith save you? 15If you know someone who doesn’t have any clothes or food, 16you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this, unless you do something to help? 17Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!
GOSPEL: Mark 7:24-37
24Jesus left and went to the region near the city of Tyre, where he stayed in someone’s home. He did not want people to know he was there, but they found out anyway. 25A woman whose daughter had an evil spirit in her heard where Jesus was. And right away she came and knelt down at his feet. 26The woman was Greek and had been born in the part of Syria known as Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to force the demon out of her daughter. 27But Jesus said, “The children must first be fed! It isn’t right to take away their food and feed it to dogs.”
28The woman replied, “Lord, even dogs eat the crumbs that children drop from the table.”
29Jesus answered, “That’s true! You may go now. The demon has left your daughter.” 30When the woman got back home, she found her child lying on the bed. The demon had gone.
31Jesus left the region around Tyre and went by way of Sidon toward Lake Galilee. He went through the land near the ten cities known as Decapolis. 32Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk. They begged Jesus just to touch him.
33After Jesus had taken him aside from the crowd, he stuck his fingers in the man’s ears. Then he spit and put it on the man’s tongue. 34Jesus looked up toward heaven, and with a groan he said, “Effatha!” which means “Open up!” 35At once the man could hear, and he had no more trouble talking clearly.
36Jesus told the people not to say anything about what he had done. But the more he told them, the more they talked about it. 37They were completely amazed and said, “Everything he does is good! He even heals people who cannot hear or talk.”