Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
O God, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiff-necked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.”
But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from your burning anger and relent from this disaster against your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ”And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.
Have mercy upon me, O God, in your great goodness; * according to the multitude of your mercies wipe away my offences.
Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness * and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults, * and my sin is ever before me.
Against you only have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight, * so that you are justified in your sentence, and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in wickedness, * and in sin my mother conceived me.
But behold, you desire truth in the inward parts * and shall make me understand wisdom secretly.
You shall purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; * you shall wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
You shall make me hear of joy and gladness, * that the bones which you have broken may rejoice.
Turn your face from my sins * and blot out all my misdeeds.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, * and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence * and take not your holy Spirit from me.
O give me the comfort of your help again * and sustain me with your willing Spirit.
Then shall I teach your ways unto the wicked, * and sinners shall return unto you.
Deliver me from blood-guilt, O God, the God of my salvation, * and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, * and my mouth shall show forth your praise.
For you desire no sacrifice, or else I would give it to you; * but you delight not in burnt-offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; * a broken and contrite heart, O God, you shall not despise.
+Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be; world without end. Amen
1 Timothy 1:12-17
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Artwork: Adoration of the Golden Calf, oil on canvas by Nicolas Poussin, c. 1634.