Readings for the 16th Sunday After Pentecost
A Reading from the Book of the Prophet Jonah (3:10—4:11).
When God saw what the people of Nineveh did, how they turned from their evil way, God repented of the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did not do it. But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, “I pray thee, Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to ﬂee to Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repentest of evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take my life from me, I beseech thee, for it is better for me to die than to live.” And the Lord said, “do you do well to be angry?” Then Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. And the Lord God appointed a plant, and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm which attacked the plant, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God appointed a sultry east wind, and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah so that he was faint; and he asked that he might die, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night, and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
Psalm 145:1-8. Exaltabo te, Deus.
I will magnify thee, O God, my King; *
and I will praise thy Name for ever and ever.
2. Every day will I give thanks unto thee; *
and praise thy Name for ever and ever.
3. Great is the Lord, and marvellous worthy to be praised; *
there is no end of his greatness.
4. One generation shall praise thy works unto another, *
and declare thy power.
5. As for me, I will be talking of thy worship, *
thy glory, thy praise, and wondrous works;
6. So that men shall speak of the might of thy
marvellous acts; *
and I will also tell of thy greatness.
7. The memorial of thine abundant kindness shall be showed; *
and men shall sing of thy righteousness.
8. The Lord is gracious and merciful; *
long-suffering, and of great goodness.
A Reading from the Epistle of St. Paul to the Philippians (1:21-27).
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If it is to be life in the ﬂesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the ﬂesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand ﬁrm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. Matthew (20:1-16).
Jesus said, “For the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place; and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing; and he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the ﬁrst.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when the ﬁrst came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the householder, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you, and go; I choose to give to this last as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be ﬁrst, and the ﬁrst last.”