Readings for Sunday 20 in Ordinary Time
A reading from the Prophet Jeremiah
(Jeremiah 38:4-10 NRSV)
Then the officials said to the king, “This man ought to be put to death, because he is discouraging the soldiers who are left in this city, and all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking the welfare of this people, but their harm.” King Zedekiah said, “Here he is; he is in your hands; for the king is powerless against you.” So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son, which was in the court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down by ropes. Now there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.
Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, a eunuch in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cistern. The king happened to be sitting at the Benjamin Gate, So Ebed-melech left the king’s house and spoke to the king, “My lord king, these men have acted wickedly in all they did to the prophet Jeremiah by throwing him into the cistern to die there of hunger, for there is no bread left in the city.” Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, “Take three men with you from here, and pull the prophet Jeremiah up from the cistern before he dies.”
(Psalm 39(40):2-4, 18)
Resp: Lord, come to my aid! I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. Resp: Lord, come to my aid! He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Resp: Lord, come to my aid! He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD. Resp: Lord, come to my aid! As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God. Resp: Lord, come to my aid!
A reading from the Epistle to the Hebrews
(Hebrews 12: 1-4 NRSV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.