Lectionary Poetry – 19th Sunday After Pentecost (Year A)

Each week we carefully curate a collection of  poems that resonate with the lectionary readings for that week (Narrative Lectionary and Revised Common Lectionary).

*** Revised Common Lectionary ***

Lectionary Reading:  Matthew 21:33-46



George Herbert

Having been tenant long to a rich lord,
Not thriving, I resolvèd to be bold,
And make a suit unto him, to afford
A new small-rented lease, and cancel th’ old.

In heaven at his manor I him sought;
They told me there that he was lately gone
About some land, which he had dearly bought
Long since on earth, to take possessiòn.

I straight returned, and knowing his great birth,
Sought him accordingly in great resorts;
In cities, theaters, gardens, parks, and courts;
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth

Of thieves and murderers; there I him espied,
Who straight, Your suit is granted, said, and died.

*** This poem is in the public domain,
  and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.



All in the Listening
Mark Bozzuti-Jones

It is
What prayer is and the spiritual life is – grapes growing to be harvested is all they care about
Jesus said, listen

With the eyes and ears of the heart,
Listen to the parables and the music of salvation
Listen to the music, the quiet, the birds, the fish, the loaves, listen to everything and everyone you see;
it is all in the listening
Listen to God who owns the vineyard, the fence, the wine press, the watchtower, the tenants and the
other country
When we don’t listen, we eat the forbidden fruit, we kill our kin, we sin and sin – we forget who and
whose we are and we say, “Come, let us kill.”
When we listen
When we listen from the temple of the heart, we hear faith speaking understanding
We hear the harvest, sing with those who reap the harvest and point the way to Jesus
When we listen
we learn to follow – when we hear the cross daily
we learn to seek the beloved community – and remember we are called to be love
to be broken and spilled and not to do breaking or spilling or shaming or blaming
Easy to do when we are listening to the Way, the Truth, and the Life
When we don’t listen we become stony hearts that refuse the head corner stone
Listen, choose life, become the Lord’s doing
Fear not: Listen to God’s beloved Son and allow the church to be built on you.

The Rev. Dr. Mark Francisco Bozzuti-Jones is the Priest and Director for Core Values and Strategic Clergy for Global Initiatives at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City. Fr. Mark has a wide range of experience, including 14 years of Jesuit training and work as a missionary in Belize, Brazil, Guyana, and Mexico, that trained him well for the multicultural richness of the city, and helped prepare him for working well with groups and people of various cultural backgrounds. Mark is an award-winning author and has published numerous books, including his most recent books The Rastafari Book of Common Prayer and The Gospel of Barack Hussein Obama According to Mark.

This poem is published here with the permission of the poet.

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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com

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