Today the prophet Amos calls for justice to roll down like waters. Paul urges us to encourage one another with the promised coming of the Lord. Jesus tells the parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids. Surrounded by the faithful of every time and place, we celebrate Christ’s coming in our midst in the word of life and the feast of victory—the marriage feast of the lamb.
Readings and Psalms
- Amos 5:18-24
Let justice roll down like watersYou are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry. (Ps. 70:5)The promise of the resurrectionThe story of the wise and foolish bridesmaid
First Reading: Amos 5:18-24In the days of Amos people thought that the day of the Lord would be a time of great victory, but Amos announced that it would be a day of darkness, not light. He said liturgy is no substitute for obedience. The Lord demands justice and righteousness in the community.18Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord!
Why do you want the day of the Lord?
It is darkness, not light;
19as if someone fled from a lion,
and was met by a bear;
or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall,
and was bitten by a snake.
20Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light,
and gloom with no brightness in it?
21I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings,
I will not accept them;
and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals
I will not look upon.
23Take away from me the noise of your songs;
I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
24But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Psalm: Psalm 70You are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, do not tarry. (Ps. 70:5)1Be pleased, O God, to de- | liver me;
O Lord, make | haste to help me.
2Let those who seek my life be put to shame | and confounded;
let those who take pleasure in my misfortune draw back and | be disgraced.
3Let those who say to me “Aha!” and gloat | over me
turn back because | of their shame.
4Let all who seek you rejoice and be | glad in you;
let those who love your salvation say forever, “Great | is the Lord!”
5But as for me, I am poor and needy; come to me quick- | ly, O God.
You are my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, | do not tarry.
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18Some of the Thessalonians are worried that dead Christians will be excluded from the resurrection to eternal life when Christ comes again. Paul reassures them with the word of hope that all Christians, living or dead, will be raised into everlasting life with Christ.13We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.
Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13Jesus tells a parable about his own second coming, emphasizing the need for readiness at all times.[Jesus said to the disciples:] 1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”