AUGUST 1-2  NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

ISIAH 55:1-5; PSALM 145:8-9, 14-21; ROMANS 9:1-5; MATTHEW 14:13-21.

In today’s first reading God invites all who are hungry or thirsty to receive food and drink without cost.  Jesus feeds the hungry multitude and reveals the abundance of God.  At the eucharistic table we remember all who are hungry or poor in our world today.  As we share the bread of life, we are sent forth to give ourselves away as bread for the hungry.

AUGUST 8-9  TENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

1 KINGS 19:9-18; PSALM 85:8-13; ROMANS 10:5-15; MATTHEW 14:22-23

Elijah finds the presence of God not in earthquake, wind, or fire, but in the sound of sheer silence.  When the disciples face a great storm on the sea, they cry out with fear.  Jesus says:  “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”   Amid the storms of life, we gather to seek the calm presence of Christ that soothes our fears.  In comforting words of scripture and in the refreshing bread and cup of the eucharist, God grants us peace and sends us forth to be a sign of God’s presence to others.

AUGUST 15-16  ELEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

ISAIAH 56:1; 6-8, PSALM 67; ROMANS 11:1-2a, 29-32; MATTHEW 15:[10-20] 21-28.

In Isaiah we hear that God’s house shall be a house of prayer for all people and that God will gather the outcasts of Israel.  The Canaanite women in today’s gospel is a Gentile, an outsider, who is unflinching in her request that Jesus heal her daughter.  As Jesus commands her bold faith, how might church extend its mission to those on the margins of society?  In our gathering around word and meal we receive strength to be signs of comfort, healing, and justice for those in need.

AUGUST 22-23  TWELFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

ISAIAH 51:1-6; PSALM 138; ROMANS 12:1-8; MATTHEW 16:13-20

In Isaiah the people are advised to look to their spiritual ancestors as the rock from which they were hewn.  Jesus declares that the church will be built on the rock of Peter’s bold confession of faith.  God’s word of reconciliation and God’s mercy are keys to the church’s mission.  Paul urges us to not be conformed to this world but to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice, using our individual gifts to build up the body of Christ.  From the table we go forth to offer our spiritual worship through word and deed.

AUGUST 29-30 THIRTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

JEREMIAH 15:15-21; PSALM 26:1-8; ROMANS 12:9-21; MATTHEW 16:21-28.

The prophet Jeremiah speaks of the incurable wound of his suffering yet finds in God’s words the delight of his heart.  When Peter doesn’t grasp Jesus’ words about suffering, Jesus tells the disciples they will find their lives in losing them.  Such sacrificial love is described by Paul when he urges us to associate with the lowly and not replay evil with evil.  In worship we gather as a community that we might offer ourselves for the sake of our suffering world.