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The Third Sunday after Epiphany, 24 January 2021

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  The Third Sunday after the Epiphany, 24 January 2021   Jonah 3:1-5, 10 Psalm 62:6-14 I Corinthians 7:29-31 Mark 1:14-20   The Collect   Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.           Background: Asceticism   In today’s Gospel reading, disciples called by Jesus “left everything and followed him”, and in the sermon we call Jonah, Nineveh, its leaders, and people, leave everything, proclaim a fast and believe God. Asceticism is not peculiar to just Judaism or Christianity. It is known amongst Buddhists, Jainists, Hindus, and in Islam as well. What is given up is widely varied as well, sex, certain foods, relationships, speech, even shelter itself. This ascetic attitude is especially helpful to the disciple – the Greek word that it

The Second Sunday after The Epiphany, 17 January 2021

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  The Second Sunday after Epiphany, 17 January 2021   I Samuel 3:1-10(11-20) Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17 I Corinthians 6:12-20 John 1:43-51   The Collect   Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.     Background: Vocation   The reading from I Samuel, and the Gospel reading for this day focus our attention on vocation. God calls to Samuel for a prophetic role in his time, and Jesus continues to call disciples, soon to be apostles, that will learn from him and follow him. In the Hebrew Scriptures there are many examples of God’s summons to men and women to serve as God’s agents in their world. Indeed, if we follow the covenantal theology of the prophets all of Israe