Second Day of Lent   17 comments

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February 23, 2023

Collect and lections from the Episcopal Lesser Feasts and Fasts Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints


Lent should be a holy time.  It is a season with designated readings for each day, according to the Lesser Feasts and Fasts.  So I share the assigned readings and collect for each day with anyone who finds my weblog.  (I created the post for Ash Wednesday in 2009.)  May the shalom of the one God be with you all, and may you take away from this Lent that which God intends for you take away from it.

Pax vobiscum,

Kenneth Randolph Taylor


Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (New Jerusalem Bible):

[Moses said,]

Look, today I am offering you life and prosperity, death and disaster.  If you obey the commandments of Yahweh your God, which I am laying down for you today, if you love Yahweh your God, and follow his ways, if you keep his commandments, his laws, and his customs, you will live and grow numerous, and Yahweh your God will bless you in the country which you are about to enter and make your own.  Bit if your heart turns away, if you refuse to listen, if you let yourself be drawn into worshiping other gods and serving them, I tell you today, you will most certainly perish; you will not live for long in the country which you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.  Today, I call heaven and earth to witness against you; I am offering you life or death, blessing or curse.  Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live, in the love of Yahweh your God, obeying his voice, holding fast to him; for in this your life consists, and on this depends the length of time that you stay in the country which Yahweh swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that he would give them.

Psalm 1 (New Jerusalem Bible):

How blessed is anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked

and does not take a stand in the path that sinners tread,

nor a seat in the company with cynics,

but who delights in the law of Yahweh,

and murmurs his law day and night.

Such a one is like a tree planted near streams,

it bears fruit in season and its leaves never wither,

and every project succeeds.

How different the wicked, how different!

Just like chaff blown around by the wind

the wicked will not stand firm at the Judgement

nor sinners in the gathering of the upright.

For Yahweh watches over the path of the upright,

but the path of the wicked is doomed.

Luke 9:18-26 (New Jerusalem Bible):

Now it happened that he [Jesus] was praying alone, and his disciples came to him and he put this question to them,

Who do the crowds say I am?

And they answered,

Some say John the Baptist; others Elijah; others again one of the ancient prophets come back to life.

He said to them,

But you, who do you say I am?

It was Peter who spoke up.

The Christ of God,

he said.  But he [Jesus] gave them strict orders and charged them not to say this to anyone.

He said,

The Son of man is destined to suffer grievously, to be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes and to be put to death, and to be raised up on the third day.

Then, speaking to all, he said,

If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross every day and follow me.  Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, will save it.  What benefit is it to anyone to win the whole world and forfeit or lose his very self? For if anyone is ashamed of me and my words, of him the Son of man will be ashamed when he comes in his own glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

The Collect

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and further us with your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy Name, and finally, by your mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


The reading from Deuteronomy, set in the context of preparations to enter the promised land after a generation of wandering in one wilderness or another, contains both hope and caution.  “Be righteous and prosper in the land,” it says, “or do the opposite and face the consequences.”  But righteousness does not always lead to a happy end, prosperity, and other good times, as generation upon generation of martyrs can testify.  And how many people have suffered fates short of martyrdom for their lived faith?  All of this proves the falseness of Prosperity Theology.  So, when you, O reader, hear or read Prosperity Theology, do not believe it.

As for the rest, the best commentary I can find is a hymn.  I defer to the more artful words.


Words by Charles W. Everest

“Take up your cross,” the Savior said,
“If you would my disciple be;
Forsake the past, and come this day,
And humbly follow after me.”

Take up your cross; let not its weight
Pervade your soul with vain alarm;
His strength shall bear your spirit up,
Sustain your heart, and nerve your arm.

Take up your cross, nor heed the shame,
Nor let your foolish heart rebel;
For you the Lord endured the cross
To save your soul from death and hell.

Take up your cross and follow Christ,
Nor think till death to lay it down;
For only those who bear the cross
May hope to wear a golden crown.

Revised on June 12, 2011

Posted October 27, 2010 by neatnik2009 in 2023, Episcopal Church Lectionary, February 23

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17 responses to “Second Day of Lent

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