Introducing the readings

First Reading: Genesis 45:3–11, 15

Our Hebrew Bible lesson relates a decisive moment in the story of Joseph as he reveals himself to his brothers, who then journey home to tell their father Jacob that his son is still alive. The brothers are at first overwhelmed by the discovery that the brother they had sold into slavery is now Pharaoh’s right-hand officer. Joseph tells them not to be upset: this has all been part of God’s plan to preserve Israel during the coming time of famine.

Psalm: Psalm 37:1–11, 39–40

A psalm of advice to the wise, instructing them to avoid evil and to wait patiently on the Lord in righteousness.

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:35–38, 42–50

In this passage Paul continues to discuss the question of resurrection from death. Some of the Corinthians are not sure whether they believe in resurrection, especially if it involves a physical body. There will be some form of body, Paul tells them. In this sense individuality will continue, but it will be a body of a transformed nature. As we have lived in a body like that of the earthly Adam, so we will have a body like that of the heavenly Jesus.

Gospel: Luke 6:27–38

In our gospel reading Jesus calls his followers to a way of life that reaches beyond worldly understandings of what is good. In acts of mercy and kindness, disciples are to show forth the character of their heavenly Father. This manner of love extends even to enemies. It means learning to forgive and not judging others, for the measure given will be the measure dealt in return.[1]

[1] Frederick Borsch and George Woodward, Introducing the Lessons of the Church Year, Third Edition (New York; Harrisburg, PA; Denver: Morehouse Publishing, 2009), 73.