Sixth Sunday after Pentecost Year B
First Reading: Deuteronomy 15:7-11
Moses said: If there is among you anyone in need, a member of your community in any of your towns within the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward your needy neighbor. You should rather open your hand, willingly lending enough to meet the need, whatever it may be. Be careful that you do not entertain a mean thought, thinking, "The seventh year, the year of remission, is near," and therefore view your needy neighbor with hostility and give nothing; your neighbor might cry to the LORD against you, and you would incur guilt. Give liberally and be ungrudging when you do so, for on this account the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. Since there will never cease to be some in need on the earth, I therefore command you, "Open your hand to the poor and needy neighbor in your land."
1. Why would one be tempted to be tight-fisted near the year of remission?
Psalm 112 Page 755, BCP
Happy are they who fear the Lord *
and have great delight in his commandments!
Their descendants will be mighty in the land; *
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches will be in their house, *
and their righteousness will last for ever.
Light shines in the darkness for the upright; *
the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.
It is good for them to be generous in lending *
and to manage their affairs with justice.
For they will never be shaken; *
the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.
They will not be afraid of any evil rumors; *
their heart is right;
they put their trust in the Lord.
Their heart is established and will not shrink, *
until they see their desire upon their enemies.
They have given freely to the poor, *
and their righteousness stands fast for ever;
they will hold up their head with honor.
The wicked will see it and be angry;
they will gnash their teeth and pine away; *
the desires of the wicked will perish.
1. What will be the protection of those who give generously?
Epistle Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15
We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints-- and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he should also complete this generous undertaking among you. Now as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you-- so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking. I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance. As it is written, "The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little."
1. How does Paul approach imploring others to charity?
The Gospel: Mark 5:22-24, 35b-43
One of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw Jesus, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live." He went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Some people came from the leader's house to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?" But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!" And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this and told them to give her something to eat.