The Sunday called Quinquagesima
or, the Sunday next before Lent (focus text in bold):
Deuteronomy 6:4-14 - "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one."
Psalm 106:1-10 - "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is gracious; his love endures"
1 Corinthians 13 - Paul's rhapsodic exploration of love
Luke 18:31-43 - Jesus heals a blind man in Jericho
Cover art: “Saint Paul” by Bartolomeo Montagna, 1482, oil on panel, Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Mila
Plow the Furrows of the Heart
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