Readings for Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B
From Contemporary English Version © 1995, American Bible Society.
September 16, 2012
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Pr. 19, L 24)
FIRST READING: Isaiah 50:4-9a
4The LORD God gives me the right words
to encourage the weary.
Each morning he awakens me eager to learn his teaching;
5he made me willing to listen and not rebel or run away.
6I let them beat my back and pull out my beard.
I didn’t turn aside when they insulted me
and spit in my face.
7But the LORD God keeps me from being disgraced.
So I refuse to give up,
because I know God will never let me down.
8My protector is nearby; no one can stand here
to accuse me of wrong.
9The LORD God will help me and prove I am innocent.
My accusers will wear out like moth-eaten clothes.
PSALMODY: Psalm 116:1-9
1I love you, LORD! You answered my prayers.
2You paid attention to me,
and so I will pray to you as long as I live.
3Death attacked from all sides,
and I was captured by its painful chains.
But when I was really hurting, 4I prayed and said,
“LORD, please don’t let me die!”
5You are kind, LORD, so good and merciful.
6You protect ordinary people,
and when I was helpless, you saved me
7and treated me so kindly
that I don’t need to worry anymore.
8You, LORD, have saved my life from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.
9Now I will walk at your side in this land of the living.
SECOND READING: James 3:1-12
My friends, we should not all try to become teachers. In fact, teachers will be judged more strictly than others. 2All of us do many wrong things. But if you can control your tongue, you are mature and able to control your whole body.
3By putting a bit into the mouth of a horse, we can turn the horse in different directions. 4It takes strong winds to move a large sailing ship, but the captain uses only a small rudder to make it go in any direction. 5Our tongues are small too, and yet they brag about big things.
It takes only a spark to start a forest fire! 6The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person’s entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and sea creatures can be tamed and have been tamed. 8But our tongues get out of control. They are restless and evil, and always spreading deadly poison.
9-10My dear friends, with our tongues we speak both praises and curses. We praise our Lord and Father, and we curse people who were created to be like God, and this isn’t right. 11Can clean water and dirty water both flow from the same spring? 12Can a fig tree produce olives or a grapevine produce figs? Does fresh water come from a well full of salt water?
GOSPEL: Mark 8:27-38
27Jesus and his disciples went to the villages near the town of Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “What do people say about me?”
28The disciples answered, “Some say you are John the Baptist or maybe Elijah. Others say you are one of the prophets.”
29Then Jesus asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
“You are the Messiah!” Peter replied.
30Jesus warned the disciples not to tell anyone about him. 31Jesus began telling his disciples what would happen to him. He said, “The nation’s leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses will make the Son of Man suffer terribly. He will be rejected and killed, but three days later he will rise to life.” 32Then Jesus explained clearly what he meant.
Peter took Jesus aside and told him to stop talking like that. 33But when Jesus turned and saw the disciples, he corrected Peter. He said to him, “Satan, get away from me! You are thinking like everyone else and not like God.”
34Jesus then told the crowd and the disciples to come closer, and he said:
If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me. 35If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me and for the good news, you will save it. 36What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? 37What could you give to get back your soul?
38Don’t be ashamed of me and my message among these unfaithful and sinful people! If you are, the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.