The Sunday called Sexagesima
or, the Second Sunday before Lent (focus text in bold):
Genesis 3:9-19 - "he shall bruise his head, and he shall bruise his heel"
Psalm 130 - If thou, Lord, wilt mark what is done amiss, who may abide it?
2 Corinthians 11:19-21 - Paul boasts in his infirmities like a "fool"
Luke 8:4-15 - the parable of the sower
Cover art: “The Parable of the Sower” by Gerald Steinmeyer, 2004, fresco, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina
The Sunday called Septuagesima
or, the Third Sunday before Lent (focus text in bold):
Genesis 1:1-5 - the creation of light
Psalm 29 - the Lord sits above the water-flood
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 - all the runners in a race run, but only one receives the prize
Matthew 20:1-16 - the parable of the workers in the vineyard
Cover art: “The Creation of Light” by Gustav Dore, engraving, 1897
Epiphany 5 (focus text in bold):
Hosea 6:1-6 - For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice
Psalm 50:7-15 - Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High
Colossians 3:12-17 - Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, patience
Matthew 13:24-30 - the parable of the wheat and the tares
Cover art: “The Enemy Sowing Tares” by Elihu Veder, c. 1892, oil on canvas, Brooklyn Museum, New York
Epiphany 4 (focu texts in bold):
2 Kings 6:14-23 - Elisha hoodwinks a band of Syrian raiders out to kidnap him
Psalm 102:15-22 - the nations shall fear thy Name, O Lord
Romans 13:1-7 - let every soul be subject to the governing authorities
Matthew 8:1-13 - Jesus heals a Jewish leper and a Gentile centurion's servant
Cover art: “Jesus and the Centurion” by Paolo Veronese, c. 1571, oil on canvas, Meseu del Prado, Madrid, Spain
The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, commonly called the Purification of St. Mary the Virgin, or Candlemas (focus texts in bold):
Malachi 3:1-5 - The Lord will come into his Temple
Psalm 24 - who is holy enough to enter God's Temple?
Galatians 4:1-17 - born under a woman, born under the law
Luke 2:22-40 - the baby Jesus presented in the Temple
Cover art: “Simeon’s Moment” by Ron DiCianni, 2000, oil on canvas, private collection