Lectionary Reading Introduction
This site provides something different: many sites and books provide a brief summary of the reading - so that people read out or have in their pew sheet an outline of what they are about to hear. They are told beforehand what to expect. Does this not limit what they hear the Spirit address them? This site provides something different - often one cannot appreciate what is being read because there is no context provided. This site provides the context, the frame of the reading about to be heard. It could be used as an introduction, printed on a pew sheet (acknowledged, of course), or adapted in other ways. This is an experimental venture and I will see how useful it appears.
This text, with its five-fold bless/blessing is set in the context of the punishments of the earlier narratives and begins to reverse them through blessing, fame, descendants, and land.
Today's gospel reading quotes the Septuagint version of Hosea. This eighth century BCE prophet uses images clear to their context: morning dew and spring rains.
Paul reworks the story of Abraham in which Abraham is seen as righteous two chapters prior to his circumcision in Genesis 17.
Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26
The gap from last week's gospel reading to this week's is read in parallel accounts in other years. People are still encouraged to read Matthew's material as a context and frame to today's text.
Tax collectors paid the Roman authorities for the right to collect tax. Tax in Capernaum is in this story the toll charged on the road from Damascus to Egypt. The hope to make a profit rarely succeeded. Jesus appears to have a home by a complex of buildings around Simon's house. He managed to muster resources to feed large groups - restoring outcasts into community.