Prepare for Worship


 

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost 


August 20, 2017


First Reading

Isaiah 56:1, 6–8

(God promises to listen to the prayers of Gentiles.)

This is what the LORD says:  “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.
And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.  Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”  The Sovereign LORD declares— he who gathers the exiles of Israel:  “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Epistle

Romans 11:1–2a, 13–15, 28–32

(God’s mercy extends to all people.)

I ask then:  Did God reject his people?  By no means!  I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.  God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.
I am talking to you Gentiles.  In as much as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.  For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.  Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you.  For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

This is the Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.


Holy Gospel

Matthew 15:21–28

(A Canaanite woman begs Jesus for help and is granted her request.)


The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the fifteenth chapter.
      Glory to You, O Lord.

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!  My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
Jesus did not answer a word.  So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
The woman came and knelt before him.  “Lord, help me!” she said.
He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
“Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith!  Your request is granted.”  And her daughter was healed at that moment.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to You, O Christ.

 

Resources

How wonderful to think that God has made His glory known even to us!  Have you read through the entire Bible? Maybe this would be a great way to honor God in 2015. CLICK HERE to start a personalized reading plan to complete the entire Bible in a year. It will be worth it, you will never be the same as God works through His Sacraments and His Word. Do you keep a spiritual journal that you use daily to record what God is communicating to you through His Word? Maybe it would be a good time to start this journey of discovery and listening.

Our Prayer

Let us pray.  O Lord God, heavenly Father, by Your mercy, in the waters of Holy Baptism, You have made us each a part of Your Bride, the Church.  Grant that, as Your Church, we humbly receive Your blessings of forgiveness, life, and salvation through the gift of faith; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened…” 

Luke 2:3