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Feast of Chief Seattle (June 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  Chief Seattle

Image in the Public Domain

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SEATTLE (CIRCA 1786-JUNE 7, 1866)

First Nations Chief, War Leader, and Diplomat

Also known as Si’al and Si’ahl

Chief Seattle comes to my Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days via the calendar of saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  In Frederick E. Hoxie’s Encyclopedia of North American Indians (1996) Jay Miller’s profile of Seattle describes him as

Duwamish, Suquamish, and Lushootseed war leader and diplomat.

The chief is a welcome addition to my project of hagiographies.

Chief Seattle commanded respect from tribesman and White settlers alike.  His birthplace was the location now known as Blake Island, in Elliott Bay, near the site of the city of Seattle.  Our saint, born circa 1786, came from tribal nobility.  His father was Shweabe, of the Suquamish, from the west side of Puget Sound.  Seattle’s mother was Sholitza, of he Duwamish, from the other side of Puget Sound.  Our saint became a chief in the early twenties.  With his first wife, Ladaila, Seattle had a daughter, Kikioblu (Angeline).  After Ladaila died the chief married Owiyal, with whom he had two sons and three daughters.

Seattle was a respected chief, war leader, and orator.  By the late 1700s the unfortunate combination of guns and epidemics had led to a series of tribal wars in the area of the Puget Sound.  The subsequent addition of White settlers made the troubles of indigenous people greater.  Over the years Chief Seattle led a number of successful raids.  He was, not, however, a warmonger.  Our saint understood matters of self-defense.

Chief Seattle became a Christian in 1838.  That year a Roman Catholic priest baptized him and gave him the baptismal name Noah.  The reason for this choice was Seattle’s enjoyment of the parallels between the flood stories of the Suquamish people and the Book of Genesis.

Chief Seattle gave up violence in 1847, when one of his sons died in a raid on another Indian village.  Our saint then turned to diplomacy full-time.  In the Treaty of Port Elliott (1855) tribes in the Puget Sound area exchanged 54,000 acres for hunting rights, fishing rights, education, health care, payments, and reservations.  Violations of the treaty by some White settlers led to the Indian War (1855-1858).  In 1856 Chief Seattle learned of a planned attack on the settlement of Seattle, named after him against his wishes.  He helped the White settlers by sharing the information with them.  He was done waging war.

In 1855 Chief Seattle wrote a profound letter to U.S. President Franklin Pierce, one of the least of the American leaders, in terms of quality:

THE GREAT CHIEF in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. The Great Chief also sends us words of friendship and good will. This is kind of him, since we know he has little need of our friendship in return. But we will consider your offer, for we know if we do not so the white man may come with guns and take our land. What Chief Seattle says you can count on as truly as our white brothers can count on the return of the seasons. My words are like the stars – they do not set.

How can you buy or sell the sky – the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. Yet we do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle of the water. How can you buy them from us? We will decide in our time. Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, and every humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father’s graves and his children’s birthright is forgotten. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the redman. But perhaps it is because the redman is a savage and does not understand.

There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. No place to listen to the leaves of spring or the rustle of insect wings. But perhaps because I am a savage and do not understand – the clatter only seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if a man cannot hear the lovely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind itself cleansed by a mid-day rain, or scented by a pinõn pine: The air is precious to the redman. For all things share the same breath – the beasts, the trees, and the man. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench.

If I decide to accept, I will make one condition. The white man must treat the beasts of this land as his brothers. I am a savage and I do not understand any other way. I have seen thousands of rotting buffaloes on the prairie left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive. What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beast also happens to the man.

All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth.

Our children have seen their fathers humbled in defeat. Our warriors have felt shame. And after defeat they turn their days in idleness and contaminate their bodies with sweet food and strong drink. It matters little where we pass the rest of our days – they are not many. A few more hours, a few more winters, and none of the children of the great tribes that once lived on this earth, or that roamed in small bands in the woods will remain to mourn the graves of the people once as powerful and hopeful as yours.

One thing we know that the white man may one day discover. Our God is the same God. You may think that you own him as you wish to own our land, but you cannot. He is the Body of man, and his compassion is equal for the redman and the white. This earth is precious to him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. The whites, too, shall pass – perhaps sooner than other tribes. Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste. When the buffalo are all slaughtered, the wild horses all tamed, the secret corners of the forest heavy with the scent of many men, and the view of the ripe hills blotted by the talking wires, where is the thicket? Gone. Where is the eagle? Gone. And what is it to say goodbye to the swift and the hunt? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

We might understand if we knew what it was the white man dreams, what hopes he describes to his children on long winter nights, what visions he burns into their minds, so they will wish for tomorrow. But we are savages. The white man’s dreams are hidden from us. And because they are hidden, we will go our own way. If we agree, it will be to secure your reservation you have promised.

There perhaps we may live out our brief days as we wish. When the last redman has vanished from the earth, and the memory is only the shadow of a cloud passing over the prairie, these shores and forests will still hold the spirits of my people, for they love this earth as the newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. If we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your memory the way the land is as you take it. And with all your strength, with all your might, and with all your heart – preserve it for your children, and love it as God loves us all. One thing we know – our God is the same. This earth is precious to him. Even the white man cannot escape the common destiny.

Chief Seattle, who frequently visited the settlement named after him and was at love and charity with his neighbors, died at the Port Madison Reservation on June 7, 1866.  He was about 80 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 18, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE CONFESSION OF SAINT PETER THE APOSTLE

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Chief Seattle, to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of Venerable Matthew Talbot (June 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  Venerable Matthew Talbot

Image in the Public Domain

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VENERABLE MATTHEW TALBOT (MAY 2, 1856-JUNE 7, 1925)

Recovering Alcoholic in Dublin, Ireland

The saints of God include Apostles, bishops, priests, nuns, monks, martyrs, poets, jewelers, merchants, painters, sculptors, and scholars, among many other types of people.  The saints of God also include construction workers and recovering alcoholics.

Venerable Matthew Talbot overcame alcoholism and a difficult youth to become a constructive member of society, if not a prominent member thereof.  He, born in Dublin, Ireland, on May 2, 1856, was the second of twelve children, nine of whom reached adulthood, grew up frequenting pubs in the Irish capital with his brothers and abusive father.  Our saint, an alcoholic at the age of 12 years, spent the next 16 years wasting his life as an  unrepentant drunkard while working either at the docks or at construction sites.  Then, at the age of 28 years, he had a conversion experience.  The construction worker in Dublin went to a priest at Holy Cross College and wowed not to drink for three months.  During that frequently difficult period of initial sobriety Talbot kept his promise.  He also attended Mass daily at 5:00 a.m. before reporting to his work site at 6:00 a.m.  Our saint made a series of three-months vows of sobriety and kept all of them.  For 41 years he remained sober, crediting divine grace and the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

For a while Talbot lived austerely, in the style of certain Irish saints.  He fasted. Sometimes our saint slept on a stone slab with a rock for a pillow.  At other times he slept on a wooden plank with block of wood for a pillow instead.  Talbot, aware of many of his sins, paid debts he owed he friends, acquaintances, and coworkers who had, on their credit, bought him drinks.  He also made restitution to people voluntarily.  Once, prior to his conversion, Talbot had stolen an elderly man’s fiddle.  Our saint, penitent, spent much time and effort attempting unsuccessfully to locate that man, for the purpose of making restitution.

The reformed Talbot, who tried in vain to convince his brothers to leave their hard drinking in the past, lived simply and gave to charities.  He lived with his mother until she died.  Afterward he rented a room.  Our saint had three pieces of furniture:  a bed, a table, and a chair.  He also attended Mass daily the first thing in the morning.  Talbot, whose expenses were small, gave most of his salary to charities (such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society) or directly to neighbors, acquaintances, and friends in need.

Talbot spent his final years ailing and receiving aid.  In 1923 doctors diagnosed him with tachycardia, or a dangerously rapid heartbeat.  He could no longer do construction work.  The money from the Irish National Health Insurance program proved inadequate for even his simple lifestyle.  However, friends and the St. Vincent de Paul Society kept him afloat financially.

On Trinity Sunday, June 7, 1925, Talbot died while walking to church; he collapsed on a sidewalk.  He was 69 years old.  The funeral was a sparsely attended ceremony.  Two sisters and their families, a few coworkers, and some fellow members of the Sodality of the Immaculate Conception were present.  However, the Roman Catholic Church granted Talbot the recognition he was due in 1975; Pope Paul VI declared him a Venerable.

Today the legacy of Venerable Matthew Talbot lives via services for addicts.  Across the English-speaking world, as a simple Google search proves, Matt Talbot Houses, Hostels, Recovery Centers, et cetera, help men and women with drug and alcohol addiction.

The story of Venerable Matthew Talbot demonstrates that God can transform the negative into not only the positive but the life-changing.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 17, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTONY OF EGYPT, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND FATHER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM

THE FEAST OF SAINT BERARD AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS IN MOROCCO

THE FEAST OF EDMUND HAMILTON SEARS, U.S. UNITARIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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O blessed Jesus, you ministered to all who came to you.

Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom.

Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy;

remove the fears that attack them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery;

and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love;

for your mercy’s sake.  Amen.

–Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Book of Common Worship (1993), page 738

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Ezekiel 37:1-14

Psalm 130

Romans 7:14-25

Matthew 11:28-30

I have selected these readings.

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Feast of Frederick Lucian Hosmer (June 7)   1 comment

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Above:  Library, Harvard Divinity School, Between 1900 and 1906

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a08542

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FREDERICK LUCIAN HOSMER (OCTOBER 16, 1840-JUNE 7, 1929)

U.S. Unitarian Hymn Writer

Frederick Lucian Hosmer was the leading hymn writer of the last twenty-five years of the 1800s.

Hosmer, born in Framingham, Massachusetts, in 1840, earned his B.A. and B.D. degrees at Harvard.  He, ordained in 1869, served the following congregations:

  1. First Congregational Church, Northborough, Massachusetts (1869-1872);
  2. Second Congregational Church, Quincy, Illinois (1872-1877);
  3. First Unitarian Church, Cleveland, Ohio (1878-1892);
  4. Church of the Unity, St. Louis, Missouri (1892-1899); and
  5. First Unitarian Church, Berkeley, California (1900-1904).

Our saint composed many hymn texts.  Fifty-six of them found a home in The Thought of God in Hymns and Poems (1885).  He co-edited Unity Hymns and Carols (1880-1911), wrote The Way of Life (1877), and authored Prayers and Responsive Services for Sunday Schools.  Hosmer was therefore very qualified when he lectured on hymnody at Harvard Divinity School in 1908 and at the Pacific Unitarian School for the Ministry in 1912.

Hosmer, an advocate of the Social Gospel, wrote the following hymn in 1891:

“Thy kingdom come,” on bended knee

The passing ages pray;

And faithful souls have yearned to see

On earth that Kingdom’s day.

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But the slow watches of the night

Not less to God belong,

And for the everlasting right

The silent stars are strong.

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And lo! already on the hills

The flags of dawn appear;

Gird up your loins, ye prophet souls,

Proclaim the day is near:

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The day in whose clear-shining light

All wrong shall stand and revealed;

When justice shall be clothed with might,

And every hurt be healed.

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When knowledge, hand in hand with peace,

Shall walk on earth abroad;

The day of perfect righteousness,

The promised day of God.

An 1882 hymn reads:

We cannot think of them as dead

Who walk with us no more

Along the path of life we tread;

They have but gone before.

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The Father’s house is mansioned fair

Beyond our vision dim;

All souls are His, and here or there

Are living unto Him.

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And still their silent ministries

Within our hearts have place,

As when on earth they walked with us

And met us face to face.

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Ours are they by an ownership

Nor time nor death can free;

For God hath given to love to keep

Its own eternally.

And a 1908 hymn reads:

Forward through the ages, in unbroken line,

move the faithful spirits at the call divine;

gifts in differing measure, hearts of one accord,

manifold the service, one the sure reward.

Refrain:

Forward through the ages, in unbroken line,

move the faithful spirits at the call divine.

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Wider grows the kingdom, reign of love and light;

for it we must labor, till our faith is sight.

Prophets have proclaimed it, martyrs justified,

poets sung its glory, heroes for it died.

Refrain

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Not alone we conquer, not alone we fall;

in each loss or triumph lose or triumph all.

Bound by God’s purpose in one living whole,

move we on together to the shining goal.

Refrain

Hosmer died at Berkeley, California, in 1929.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 7, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FRANCOIS FENELON, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF CAMBRAI

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALDRIC OF LE MANS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF JULIUS WELLHAUSEN, BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF SAINT LUCIAN OF ANTIOCH, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Frederick Lucian Hosmer and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

Feast of St. Anthony Mary Gianelli (June 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  Italy in 1815

SAINT ANTHONY MARY GIANELLI (1789-1846)

Founder of the Missioners of Saint Alphonsus Liguori and the Sisters of Mary dell’Orto

St. Anthony Mary Gianelli, born near Genoa, on the Italian peninsula, studied for the priesthood at Genoa.  Ordained in 1812, he became a famed confessor, preacher, and pastor.  The saint founded two orders–the Missioners of Saint Alphonsus Liguori and the Sisters of Mary dell’Orto–devoted to caring for the sick.  His final position was Bishop of Bobbio, a post he held from 1838 to 1846.  The Roman Catholic Church canonized him in 1951.

Members of religious orders have performed many vital tasks over the centuries.  These have usually involved educating people and tending to their physical and spiritual needs, which overlap.  Other religious devote their lives to missionary work or intercessory prayer.  The areas of specialization permit people to focus on and to excel at meeting specific ministerial needs.  So I thank God for these people; may their numbers increase.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 8, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BENEDICT II, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF DAME JULIAN OF NORWICH, SPIRITUAL WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT MAGDALENA OF CANOSSA, FOUNDER OF THE DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY AND THE SONS OF CHARITY

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER OF TARENTAISE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP

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O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich:

Deliver us from an inordinate love of this world, that we,

inspired by the devotion of your servant Saint Anthony Mary Gianelli,

may serve you with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Song of Songs 8:6-7

Psalm 34

Philippians 3:7-15

Luke 12:33-37 or 9:57-62

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 722

Feast of the First Book of Common Prayer, 1549 (May-June)   Leave a comment

Above:  Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury

THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER (1549)

Effective on the Day of Pentecost, June 9, 1549, During the Reign of King Edward VI

The Episcopal Church specifies that one observes this feast properly on a weekday after the Day of Pentecost.

The 1549 Book of Common Prayer, which, along with many of its successors, is available at http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/, was mainly the product of Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and poet extraordinaire.  He translated texts from various sources, ranging from Greek liturgies to German Lutheran rites to the Roman Catholic missal and the Liturgy of the Hours.  Along the way Cranmer quoted the Bible extensively.  Thus it is a common Anglican and Episcopal joke to say that the Bible quotes the Prayer Book.

My first encounter with the Book of Common Prayer was indirect, so indirect in fact that I was not aware of it.  I grew up United Methodist in the era of the 1966 Methodist Hymnal, which is far superior to the 1989 United Methodist Hymnal.  The ritual in the 1966 Hymnal was that of its 1935 and 1905 predecessors, that is, based on the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.   So, when I saw the 1979 Prayer Book and read Holy Eucharist Rite I, I recognized it immediately, down to the Prayer of Humble Access.

Now I an Episcopalian.  As someone told me early this year, I left the church that John Wesley made and joined the church that made John Wesley.  The rhythms of the 1979 Prayer Book have sunk into my synapses and my soul.  I also use A New Zealand Prayer Book (1989), of  The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, which breaks out from parts of tradition creatively and beautifully while standing within the Prayer Book tradition.

I have become a person of the Prayer Book, thankfully.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 24, 2011 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BARTHOLOMEW, APOSTLE AND MARTYR

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Almighty and everliving God, whose servant Thomas Cranmer, with others, restored the language of the people in the prayers of your Church:  Make us always thankful for this heritage; and help us to pray in the Spirit and with the understanding, that we may worthily magnify your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Kings 8:54-61

Psalm 33:1-5, 20-21

Acts 2:38-42

John 4:21-24

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010)

Proper 5, Year B   Leave a comment

Above:  Saint Paul Writing His Epistles (1500s Painting)

Persistence

The Sunday Closest to June 8

Second Sunday After Pentecost

JUNE 7, 2015

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FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #1

1 Samuel 8:4-11 (12-15), 16-20 (11:14-15) (New Revised Standard Version):

All the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him,

You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.

But the thing displeased Samuel when they said,

Give us a king to govern us.

Samuel prayed to the LORD, and the LORD said to Samuel,

Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only– you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.

So Samuel reported all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. He said,

These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; [and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers.] He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the LORD will not answer you in that day.

But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said,

No! but we are determined to have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.

[Samuel said to the people,

Come, let us go to Gilgal and there renew the kingship.

So all the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before the LORD in Gilgal. There they sacrificed offerings of well-being before the LORD, and there Saul and all the Israelites rejoiced greatly.]

Psalm 138 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart;

before the gods I will sing your praise.

I will bow down toward your holy temple

and praise your Name,

because of your love and faithfulness;

3 For you have glorified your Name

and your word above all things.

4 When I called, you answered me;

you increased my strength within me.

All the kings of the earth will praise you, O LORD,

when they have heard the words of your mouth.

They will sing of the ways of the LORD,

that great is the glory of the LORD.

7 Though the LORD be high, he cares for the lowly;

he perceives the haughty from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you keep me safe;

you stretch forth your hand against the fury of my enemies;

your right hand shall save me.

9 The LORD will make good his purpose for me;

O LORD, your love endures for ever;

do not abandon the works of your hands.

FIRST READING AND PSALM:  OPTION #2

Genesis 3:8-15 (New Revised Standard Version):

The man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him,

Where are you?

He said,

I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

He said,

Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?

The man said,

The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.

Then the LORD God said to the woman,

What is this that you have done?

The woman said,

The serpent tricked me, and I ate.

The LORD God said to the serpent,

Because you have done this,

cursed are you among all animals

and among all wild creatures;

upon your belly you shall go,

and dust you shall eat

all the days of your life.

I will put enmity between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers;

he will strike your head,

and you will strike his heel.

Psalm 130 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  Out of the depths have I called to you, O LORD;

LORD, hear my voice;

let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.

2  If you , LORD, were to note what is done amiss,

O Lord, who could stand?

3  For there is forgiveness with you;

therefore you shall be feared.

4  I wait for the LORD; my soul waits for him;

in his word is my hope.

5  My soul waits for the LORD,

more than watchmen in the morning,

more than watchmen in the morning.

6  O Israel, wait for the LORD,

for with the LORD there is mercy;

7  With him there is plenteous redemption,

and he shall redeem Israel from all their sins.

SECOND READING

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 (New Revised Standard Version):

Just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture–

I believed, and so I spoke

– we also believe, and so we speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

GOSPEL READING

Mark 3:20-35 (New Revised Standard Version):

The crowd came together again, so that Jesus and his disciples could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying,

He has gone out of his mind.

And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said,

He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.

And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables,

How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin

– for they had said,

He has an unclean spirit.

Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him,

Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.

And he replied,

Who are my mother and my brothers?

And looking at those who sat around him, he said,

Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.

The Collect:

O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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Some Related Costs:

Proper 5, Year A:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/20/proper-5-year-a/

Proper 5, Year B:

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/proper-5-year-b/

1 Samuel 8:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/week-of-1-epiphany-friday-year-2/

Genesis 3:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/19/week-of-5-epiphany-friday-year-1/

Mark 3:

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/week-of-3-epiphany-monday-year-1/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/week-of-3-epiphany-tuesday-year-1/

O Blessed Mother:

https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/o-blessed-mother/

http://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/o-blessed-mother/

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/o-blessed-mother/

http://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/o-blessed-mother/

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Losing heart can be easy.  You, O reader, might know the feeling–I do–the recurring impression that beating one’s head against a wall, although painful and self-injurious, would at least yield observable results, which is more than one can say honestly about one’s current, recent, and long-standing efforts.  Yes, there are valid times to change tactics and therefore to cut one’s losses, and persistence which lasts too long can constitute beating a dead horse.  Yet sometimes one needs to persist longer before seeing positive results.  The problem, of course, is how to know the difference.

Paul faced much opposition to his Christian work and even argued with congregations.  Jesus dealt daily with dense Apostles.  Today I, as a Christian, stand on their shoulders, for the Apostles (minus Judas Iscariot) spread the word far and wide after our Lord’s death and Paul took the message to the Gentiles, of whom I am one.  And, of course, the Pauline tradition accounts for 14 of the 27 books of the New Testament.  Their persistence paid off.

Think about how patient and persistent Gd must be with you.  (I ponder how patient and persistent God has been and is with me.)  One of the themes in the Bible is focusing more on who one can be rather than who one is.  Simon Peter, an impetuous hothead, became a leader of the early Church.  Paul, once an oppressor of “the Way,” became perhaps its greatest missionary.  David went from tending his father’s flock of sheep to ruling a great kingdom.  Mary, an obscure young woman, became the Mother of God, the woman who had the greatest influence on how Jesus turned out.

May we discern God’s call to us and support each other in our divine vocations.  May we be patient with one another, persist through trials (without beating dead horses), and recognize each other’s potential then nourish it.  May we do all this for the common good and the glory of God.

KRT

Published in a nearly identical form at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS BY KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on August 3, 2011

Posted August 3, 2011 by neatnik2009 in June 7, Revised Common Lectionary Year B

Tagged with

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1 (Justin Martyr, Christian Apologist and Martyr)

  • Pamphilus of Caesarea, Bible Scholar and Translator; and His Companions, Martyrs
  • Samuel Stennett, English Seventh-Day Baptist Minister and Hymn Writer; and John Howard, English Humanitarian
  • Simeon of Syracuse, Roman Catholic Monk

2 (Blandina and Her Companions, the Martyrs of Lyons, 177)

  • Anders Christensen Arrebo, “The Father of Danish Poetry”
  • Margaret Elizabeth Sangster, Hymn Writer, Novelist, and Devotional Writer
  • Stephen of Sweden, Roman Catholic Missionary, Bishop, and Martyr

3 (John XXIII, Bishop of Rome)

  • Christian Gottfried Geisler and Johann Chrstian Geisler, Silesian Moravian Organists and Composers; and Johannes Herbst, German-American Organist, Composer, and Bishop
  • Frances Ridley Havergal, English Hymn Writer and Composer
  • Will Campbell, Agent of Reconciliation

4 (Christoph Homburg, German Lutheran Hymn Writer)

  • Francis Caracciolo, Cofounder of the Minor Clerks Regular
  • Ole T. (Sanden) Arneson, U.S. Norwegian Lutheran Hymn Translator
  • Stanislaw Kostka Starowieyski, Roman Catholic Martyr

5 (Dorotheus of Tyre, Bishop of Tyre, and Martyr)

6 (Franklin Clark Fry, President of The United Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church in America)

  • Claude of Besançon, Roman Catholic Priest, Monk, Abbot, and Bishop
  • Henry James Buckoll, Author and Translator of Hymns
  • William Kethe, Presbyterian Hymn Writer

7 (Matthew Talbot, Recovering Alcoholic in Dublin, Ireland)

  • Anthony Mary Gianelli, Founder of the Missionaries of Saint Alphonsus Liguori and the Sisters of Mary dell’Orto
  • Frederick Lucian Hosmer, U.S. Unitarian Hymn Writer
  • Seattle, First Nations Chief, War Leader, and Diplomat

8 (Clara Luper, Witness for Civil Rights)

  • Gerard Manley Hopkins, English Roman Catholic Poet and Jesuit Priest
  • Henry Downton, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Roland Allen, Anglican Priest, Missionary, and Mission Strategist

9 (Columba of Iona, Roman Catholic Missionary and Abbot)

  • Giovanni Maria Boccardo, Founder of the Poor Sisters of Saint Cajetan/Gaetano; and his brother, Luigi Boccardo, Apostle of Merciful Love
  • Jose de Anchieta, Apostle of Brazil and Father of Brazilian National Literature
  • Thomas Joseph Potter, Roman Catholic Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer

10 (James of Nisibis; Bishop; and Ephrem of Edessa, “The Harp of the Holy Spirit”)

  • Getulius, Amantius, Caeraelis, and Primitivus, Martyrs at Tivoli, 120; and Symphorosa of Tivoli, Martyr
  • Landericus of Paris, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Thor Martin Johnson, U.S. Moravian Conductor and Music Director

11 (BARNABAS THE APOSTLE, COWORKER OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE)

12 (Edwin Paxton Hood, English Congregationalist Minister, Philanthropist, and Hymn Writer)

  • Christian David Jaeschke, German Moravian Organist and Composer; and his grandson, Henri Marc Hermann Voldemar Voullaire, Moravian Composer and Minister
  • Enmegahbowh, Episcopal Priest and Missionary to the Ojibwa Nation
  • Joseph Dacre Carlyle, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

13 (Milton Smith Littlefield, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian and Congregationalist Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor)

  • Sigismund von Birken, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • William Cullen Bryant, U.S. Poet, Journalist, and Hymn Writer

14 (Charles Augustus Briggs, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Episcopal Priest, Biblical Scholar, and Alleged Heretic; and his daughter, Emilie Grace Briggs, Biblical Scholar and “Heretic’s Daughter”)

  • Methodius I of Constantinople, Defender of Icons and Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople; and Joseph the Hymnographer, Defender of Icons and the “Sweet-Voiced Nightingale of the Church”
  • William Hiram Foulkes, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

15 (John Ellerton, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer and Translator)

  • Carl Heinrich von Bogatsky, Hungarian-German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Dorothy Frances Blomfield Gurney, English Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Landelinus of Vaux, Roman Catholic Abbot; Aubert of Cambrai, Roman Catholic Bishop; Ursmar of Lobbes, Roman Catholic Abbot and Missionary Bishop; and Domitian, Hadelin, and Dodo of Lobbes, Roman Catholic Monks

16 (George Berkeley, Irish Anglican Bishop and Philosopher; and Joseph Butler, Anglican Bishop and Theologian)

  • John Francis Regis, Roman Catholic Priest
  • Norman Macleod, Scottish Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer; and his cousin, John Macleod, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • Rufus Jones, U.S. Quaker Theologian and Cofounder of the American Friends Service Committee

17 (Edith Boyle MacAlister, English Novelist and Hymn Writer)

  • Emily de Vialar, Founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Apparition
  • Jane Cross Bell Simpson, Scottish Presbyterian Poet and Hymn Writer
  • Teresa and Mafalda of Portugal, Princesses, Queens, and Nuns; and Sanchia of Portugal, Princess and Nun

18 (Adolphus Nelson, Swedish-American Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Johann Franck, Heinrich Held, and Simon Dach, German Lutheran Hymn Writers
  • Richard Massie, Hymn Translator
  • William Bingham Tappan, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer

19 (James Arthur MacKinnon, Canadian Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr in the Dominican Republic)

  • Alfred Ramsey, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • Charitie Lees Smith Bancroft de Chenez, Hymn Writer
  • William Pierson Merrill, U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Social Reformer, and Hymn Writer

20 (Joseph Augustus Seiss, U.S. Lutheran Minister, Liturgist, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator)

  • Charles Coffin, Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Hans Adolf Brorson, Danish Lutheran Bishop, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Johann Friedrich Hertzog, German Lutheran Hymn Writer

21 (Aloysius Gonzaga, Jesuit)

  • Bernard Adam Grube, German-American Minister, Missionary, Composer, and Musician
  • Carl Bernhard Garve, German Moravian Minister, Liturgist, and Hymn Writer
  • John Jones and John Rigby, Roman Catholic Martyrs

22 (Alban, First British Martyr)

  • Desiderius Erasmus, Dutch Roman Catholic Priest, Biblical and Classical Scholar, and Controversialist; John Fisher, English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Bishop of Rochester, Cardinal, and Martyr; and Thomas More, English Roman Catholic Classical Scholar, Jurist, Theologian, Controversialist, and Martyr
  • Gerhard Gieschen, U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • Paulinus of Nola, Roman Catholic Bishop of Nola

23 (John Johns, English Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Heinrich Gottlob Gutter, German-American Instrument Maker, Repairman, and Merchant
  • Nicetas of Remesiana, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Wilhelm Heinrich Wauer, German Moravian Composer and Musician

24 (NATIVITY OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST)

25 (William of Vercelli, Roman Catholic Hermit; and John of Matera, Roman Catholic Abbot)

  • Domingo Henares de Zafira Cubero, Roman Catholic Bishop of Phunhay, Vietnam, and Martyr; Phanxicô Đo Van Chieu, Vietnamese Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr; and Clemente Ignacio Delgado Cebrián, Roman Catholic Bishop and Martyr in Vietnam

26 (Isabel Florence Hapgood, U.S. Journalist, Translator, and Ecumenist)

  • Andrea Giacinto Longhin, Roman Catholic Bishop of Treviso
  • Philip Doddridge, English Congregationalist Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Virgil Michel, U.S. Roman Catholic Monk, Academic, and Pioneer of Liturgical Renewal

27 (Cornelius Hill, Oneida Chief and Episcopal Priest)

  • Hugh Thomson Kerr, Sr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Liturgist; and his son, Hugh Thomson Kerr, Jr., U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Scholar, and Theologian
  • James Moffatt, Scottish Presbyterian Minister, Scholar, and Bible Translator
  • John the Georgian, Abbot; and Euthymius of Athos and George of the Black Mountain, Abbots and Translators

28 (John Gerard, English Jesuit Priest; and Mary Ward, Foundress of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

  • Plutarch, Marcella, Potanominaena, and Basilides of Alexandria, Martyrs
  • Teresa Maria Masters, Foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of the Holy Face
  • William and John Mundy, English Composers and Musicians

29 (PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS)

30 (Johann Olaf Wallin, Archbishop of Uppsala and Hymn Writer)

  • Gennaro Maria Sarnelli, Italian Roman Catholic Priest and Missionary to the Vulnerable and Exploited People of Naples
  • Heinrich Lonas, German Moravian Organist, Composer, and Liturgist
  • Philip Powel, English Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr

Floating

  • First Book of Common Prayer, 1549

 

Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.