Proper 20
week of the Sunday closest to September 21

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Lesson: Jonah 3:10--4:11
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

4 But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD, "O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live."

But the LORD replied, "Have you any right to be angry?"

Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city. Then the LORD God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. But at dawn the next day God provided a worm, which chewed the vine so that it withered. When the sun rose, God provided a scorching east wind, and the sun blazed on Jonah's head so that he grew faint. He wanted to die, and said, "It would be better for me to die than to live."

But God said to Jonah, "Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?"

"I do," he said. "I am angry enough to die."

But the LORD said, "You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"

Second Lesson: Philippians 1:21-27
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.

Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel.

Psalm: 145

  1. I will exalt you, O God my King, *
    and bless your Name for ever and ever.
  2. Every day will I bless you *
    and praise your Name for ever and ever.
  3. Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; *
    there is no end to his greatness.
  4. One generation shall praise your works to another *
    and shall declare your power.
  5. I will ponder the glorious splendor of your majesty *
    and all your marvelous works.
  6. They shall speak of the might of your wondrous acts, *
    and I will tell of your greatness.
  7. They shall publish the remembrance of your great goodness; *
    they shall sing of your righteous deeds.
  8. The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, *
    slow to anger and of great kindness.
  9. The LORD is loving to everyone *
    and his compassion is over all his works.
  10. All your works praise you, O LORD, *
    and your faithful servants bless you.
  11. They make known the glory of your kingdom *
    and speak of your power;
  12. That the peoples may know of your power *
    and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
  13. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; *
    your dominion endures throughout all ages.
  14. The LORD is faithful in all his words *
    and merciful in all his deeds.
  15. The LORD upholds all those who fall; *
    he lifts up those who are bowed down.
  16. The eyes of all wait upon you, O LORD, *
    and you give them their food in due season.
  17. You open wide your hand *
    and satisfy the needs of every living creature.
  18. The LORD is righteous in all his ways *
    and loving in all his works.
  19. The LORD is near to those who call upon him, *
    to all who call upon him faithfully.
  20. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; *
    he hears their cry and helps them.
  21. The LORD preserves all those who love him, *
    but he destroys all the wicked.
  22. My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD; *
    let all flesh bless his holy Name for ever and ever.

Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

"About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went.

"He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'

'Because no one has hired us,' they answered.

He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.' When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.' The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'

But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?'

So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

Collect & Psalm from the Book of Common Prayer
Other excerpts from the New International Bible

Sts. Vidicon & Isidore