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    Today Is: Proper 21
Sun, 27 Sep 2020 -- The Lectionary Cycle is: A

Click for Responsorial Psalm

Collect for: Proper 21
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament
Ezekiel 18:1-4, 18:25-32

1 The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, 2 What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children's teeth are set on edge'? 3 As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel. 4 Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.

25 Yet you say, 'The way of the Lord is not fair.' Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. 28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, 'The way of the Lord is not fair.' O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair? 30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,' says the Lord GOD. 'Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,' says the Lord GOD. 'Therefore turn and live!'

Officiant: The Word of the Lord.
The People: Thanks be to God.


Psalm
Psalm 25

1 To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. 3 Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. 4 Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day. 6 Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O LORD. 8 Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way. 9 The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way. 10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies. 11 For Your name's sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. 12 Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses. 13 He himself shall dwell in prosperity, And his descendants shall inherit the earth. 14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant. 15 My eyes are ever toward the LORD, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net. 16 Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted. 17 The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses! 18 Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins. 19 Consider my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred. 20 Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You. 21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. 22 Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all their troubles!

*At the end of the Psalms this is sung or said
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.


New Testament
Philippians 2:1-4

1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Officiant: The Word of the Lord.
The People: Thanks be to God.


Gospel
Matthew 21:23-32

Introduction to the Gospel:
Deacon:The Lord be with you.
People: And also with you. Or And with your spirit
Deacon: May the Lord be on our minds, on our lips, and on our hearts as we hear His Holy Gospel. The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew.
People: Glory to You, Lord Christ.
Deacon: We are reading from Matthew's Gospel chapter 21, beginning at verse 23.

23 Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, 'By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?' 24 But Jesus answered and said to them, 'I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things: 25 The baptism of John -- where was it from? From heaven or from men?' And they reasoned among themselves, saying, 'If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' 26 But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.' 27 So they answered Jesus and said, 'We do not know.' And He said to them, 'Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. 28 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.' 29 He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went. 30 Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?' They said to Him, 'The first.' Jesus said to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.

After the Gospel reading, the deacon elevates the book and says:

Deacon: The Gospel of the Lord.
People: Praise to You, Lord Christ.

Prayers of the People

Prayers of the People for: Proper 21

Brothers and sisters, being of one Spirit and of one mind, let us come before God offering our prayers on behalf of the whole world.

That the Church will preach the full Gospel unashamedly and without apology.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That world leaders will work to bring justice and peace to all their people, especially the poor and the oppressed.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That the Church's call to repentance and the promise of mercy and forgiveness will reach and comfort all those who suffer from past involvements in abortion.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That many in every generation will accept the call of God to serve His people as Priests, Deacons and other ministry leaders.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That those who are suffering from addictions will receive God's grace and be strengthened in their work toward recovery.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That we will not only look out for our interest, but also for the interest of others.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


That those who have lost loved ones recently will be comforted by the Resurrected Jesus.
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


For our own special intentions. (Pause)
Lord in Your mercy,            Hear our prayer.


Heavenly Father, Your desire is to conform us into the image of Your Son.
Hear our prayer and give us the grace to walk humbly and obediently before You.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. AMEN