October 22 Devotional (2021)

October 22, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: 

  • Jeremiah 26:12-24
  • Jeremiah 29:24-32
  • Hebrews 7:11-22

Invitatory

The earth is the Lord’s for he made it: Come let us adore him.

Opening Prayer

Protect us this day,

     O Lord, holy Father,

     almighty and eternal God,

and in your compassion and mercy,

     help and guide us.

Enlighten our hearts and 

     keep our thoughts, 

     words and 

     works pleasing in your sight, 

that we may do your will 

     and walk in your path of righteousness 

     our whole life long. Amen. 

-Antiphonary of Bangor, 7th Century [1]

Hymn: “Shall We Gather at the River”


Morning Prayer For Right Living 

Grant to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as be rightful; that we, who cannot do anything that is good without thee, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN. 

—Leonine Sacramentary, 5th Century [2]

Short Verse

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

1 Peter 4:12-14

Morning Reading: Jeremiah 26:12-24

Jeremiah threatened with death

12 Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people: “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard. 13 Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster he has pronounced against you. 14 As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right. 15 Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.”

16 Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man should not be sentenced to death! He has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.”

17 Some of the elders of the land stepped forward and said to the entire assembly of people, 18 “Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. He told all the people of Judah, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“ ‘Zion will be plowed like a field,

Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble,

the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.’ 

19 “Did Hezekiah king of Judah or anyone else in Judah put him to death? Did not Hezekiah fear the Lord and seek his favor? And did not the Lord relent, so that he did not bring the disaster he pronounced against them? We are about to bring a terrible disaster on ourselves!”

20 (Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was another man who prophesied in the name of the Lord; he prophesied the same things against this city and this land as Jeremiah did. 21 When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and officials heard his words, the king was determined to put him to death. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt. 22 King Jehoiakim, however, sent Elnathan son of Akbor to Egypt, along with some other men. 23 They brought Uriah out of Egypt and took him to King Jehoiakim, who had him struck down with a sword and his body thrown into the burial place of the common people.)

24 Furthermore, Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, and so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.

Morning Lesson: “…but they did not spare themselves.”

“The wise old men remembered the words of the prophet Micah (Mic 3:12), which were similar to the words Jeremiah spoke. When Micah called the people to repent, they turned from their wickedness. Although these people did not kill Jeremiah, they missed the main point—that the application of the story was for them. They spared Jeremiah, but they did not spare themselves by repenting of their sins. As you recall a great story of the Bible, ask how it can be applied to your life.” [3]

“Uriah is an otherwise unknown prophet who was executed for faithfully proclaiming God’s words. This shows us that God has had other prophets whose words are not included in the Bible.” [4]


Midday Prayer

Almighty God, we beseech You to hear our prayers for all who sin against You, or neglect to serve You, all who forget You, all who leave You out of their lives. O Lord, have mercy upon them; bestow upon us all true repentance and an earnest longing for Yourself. Vouchsafe, we beseech You, O Lord, to strengthen and confirm all Your faithful people, and to lift up the light of Your face upon them, giving them continually heavenly desires; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN. 

—An Ancient Collect, 5th Century [5]

Midday Intercession

[6]

Short Verse

For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.

Matthew 24:24
The False Prophet Directs the Worship of the Beast, France, 1290s

Midday Reading: Jeremiah 29:24-32

A false prophet exposed by Jeremiah

24 Tell Shemaiah the Nehelamite, 25 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You sent letters in your own name to all the people in Jerusalem, to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, and to all the other priests. You said to Zephaniah, 26 ‘The Lord has appointed you priest in place of Jehoiada to be in charge of the house of the Lord; you should put any maniac who acts like a prophet into the stocks and neck-irons. 27 So why have you not reprimanded Jeremiah from Anathoth, who poses as a prophet among you? 28 He has sent this message to us in Babylon: It will be a long time. Therefore build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.’”

29 Zephaniah the priest, however, read the letter to Jeremiah the prophet. 30 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 31 “Send this message to all the exiles: ‘This is what the Lord says about Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, even though I did not send him, and has persuaded you to trust in lies, 32 this is what the Lord says: I will surely punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants. He will have no one left among this people, nor will he see the good things I will do for my people, declares the Lord, because he has preached rebellion against me.’ ”

Midday Lesson: The reaction of Shemaiah

“These verses describe the reaction of Shemaiah, a false prophet exiled in 597 B.C. who had protested about Jeremiah’s letter. To discredit Jeremiah, Shemaiah accused him of false prophecy. Although Jeremiah’s message was true and his words were from God, the people hated him because he told them to make the most of the exile. Jeremiah’s truth from God offered temporary correction and long-range benefit, while the false teachers’ lies offered only temporary comfort and long-range punishment.” [7]


An Evening Thanksgiving 

Accept, we beseech You, our evening thanksgiving, O You Fountain of all good, who have led us in safety through the length of the day; Who daily blesses us with so many temporal mercies, and have given us the hope of resurrection to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN. 

—An Ancient Collect, 5th Century [8]

Short Verse

The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind,

“You are a priest forever

According to the order of Melchizedek.”

Psalm 110:4

Eventide Reading: Hebrews 7:11-22

Jesus is like Melchizedek

11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him,

“You are a priest forever,

after the order of Melchizedek.”

18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:

“The Lord has sworn

and will not change his mind,

‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

Eventide Lesson: Christ, our High Priest

“A change in priesthood is accompanied by a change in the laws of worship. The symbolic animal sacrifices to God of the Old Covenant were replaced by the one redeeming Sacrifice of Christ.” [9]

“While the priesthood in the Old Testament governed the offering of sacrifices to God and proclamation of the Mosaic Law, it was not a vehicle for salvation but rather a preparation for it. The Sacrifice offered by the one priesthood of Jesus Christ dispenses the grace of God and reconciles God and his people. This is accomplished through the Sacraments, particularly in the Eucharist.” [10]

“Christ is the one Eternal High Priest, our sole Mediator before God the Father and the human race. His priesthood is eternal, so his one Sacrifice suffices for all time, and through him we always have access to the Father and the salvation he won for us.” [11]

Commentary from the Early Church
St. Ephrem the Syrian
Hebrews 7, Verses 18-19 

“Because of their earthly voluptuousness and desire for pleasure, which the former priests showed, and because of their infirmity, through which they made their people infirm before their cupidities, they did not bring any of them to that perfection, thanks to which we got rid of all our material goods. In fact, “the introduction” of the gospel made for the hope which surpassed what was previously preached to us, was also made for the introduction of this precept: through our own freedom from material possessions “we approach God,” whereas through the voluptuousness and pleasures of the law we were rejected and removed from God.”

(Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews) [12]

Theodore of Mopsuestia
Hebrews 7, Verses 20-22 

“[T]hose who became priests without oaths became so because of their need to cease being priests at some time, but Christ entered the priesthood with oaths, since he intended to remain based on his rank. He shows his rank is far greater than those under the law, since he intended also to furnish a greater high priest to those coming to him.”

(Fragments on the Epistle to the Hebrews 7.20–22) [13]

Oecumenius
Hebrews 7, Verses 20-22  

“[Christ] intercedes as “we have him as an advocate with the Father” [1Jn 2:1]. [The writer] says that from his incarnation itself he advocates for us and exhorts the Father to have mercy on us.”

(Fragments on the Epistle to the Hebrews 7.25) [14]


Compline Prayer

“Bless all who worship You, from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same. Of Your goodness, give us; with Your love, inspire us; by Your spirit guide us; by Your power, protect us; in Your mercy, receive us now and always. AMEN. 

—An Ancient Collect, 5th Century [15]


Citations:

[1] Stratman, P. (2001). Morning Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 13). Crossway.

[2] Potts, J. M. (2020). Fifth Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 63). prayer. 

[3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Jeremiah. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6064). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[4] Ibid. 4

[5] Potts, J. M. (2020). Fifth Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 62). prayer. 

[6] Forward Movement. (2013). Intercessions. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 578). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[7] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Jeremiah. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6099). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[8] Potts, J. M. (2020). Fifth Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 62). prayer. 

[9] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Hebrews. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3706). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[10] Ibid. 9

[11] Ibid. 9, P. 3707

[12] Ephrem the Syrian. (2019). Hebrews. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 3463). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[13] Theodore of Mopsuestia. (2019). Hebrews. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 3463). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[14] Oecumenius. (2019). Hebrews. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 3463). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[15] Potts, J. M. (2020). Fifth Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 62). prayer. 

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