Because the Lectionary is copyrighted and because The Catholic Biblical Association is supported through publication of The New American Bible, Personal Notes will cease exact quotations of whole verses.  Snippets for comparative purposes will continue in use.  Personal Notes will assume that the Lectionary readings will be heard at Sunday liturgies.

 

This Sunday offers a great many choices.  Choices are

Is 42:1-4, 6-7, Psalm 29:1a, 2, 3a c-4, 3b, 9b-10; Acts 10:34-38, Lk 3:15-16, 21-22

or, in Year C

Is 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 104:1b-4, 24-25, 27-30; Ti 2:11-14; 3:4-7; Lk 3:15-16, 21-22.

 

Year C choices are used below.

 

Jesus is baptized as the Son of God about to give meaning to messianism.  The meaning of the life of Jesus is that Jerusalem is not only a place but also a part of each person.  Jerusalem refers to the core of the hearts of the Faithful.  Jerusalem is a destination of unsurpassed glory of the heart where God reigns supreme and nothing else matters.

 

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11

 

Not the royal household of David, not the priests, but God himself is coming to rule Israel.  The people themselves will take the place of royalty and priests to represent the Lord.[1] The notion is comfort rather than judgment.  Righteousness is a gift of Faith, rather than an earned prerogative.

 

Richard Bauckham observes, “… in later rabbinic usage `comfort, consolation’ (***) is a comprehensive term for the messianic salvation …”[2] This sense of saving the Faithful from their sins pervades the Bible and these readings.

 

Where to go after the Exodus?  Forty years wandering in the desert, but then what?  Deutero-Isaiah spells out a destination, Jerusalem, Zion.[3] In the final analysis, Jerusalem and Zion are not only physical places but also metaphors for the hearts of the Faithful.

 

The Faithful look at the secularization of society and ache to glorify the God who creates it.  At a deeper level, the commitment of society to truth, prioritizing truth over politics, even and especially religious politics, is not only a commitment to God, but also a revelation of God.  The Faithful are finding their way.

 

verse 3           a highway

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 semitas

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         paths

 

King James (1611):                         a highway

 

Jerusalem (1966):                            a … highway

 

New American (1970):                    a highway

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  a … highway

 

Isaiah is ordering straight the paths of the Lord into the hearts of the Faithful.

 

verse 5           together

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 pariter

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         together

 

King James (1611):                         together

 

Jerusalem (1966):                           

 

New American (1970):                    together

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  together

 

Finding God is a social enterprise at least for a remnant of society.  Since only individuals make up societies, finding God is necessarily an individual enterprise as well.  Evangelization is appropriate to the Christian life.

 

verse 9           cry out … cry out

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 evangelizas … evangelizas

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         Lift up thy voice … Lift it up

 

King James (1611):                         lift up thy voice … lift it up

 

Jerusalem (1966):                            Shout … Shout

 

New American (1970):                    Cry out … cry out

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  Shout … Shout

 

Psalm 104:1b-2, 3-4, 24-25, 27-28, 29-30

 

The Lectionary uses this Psalm in the following places:

 

Readings       Page in          Verses used

                        Lectionary

 

     21C            135-136         1b-2, 3-4,                                24-25, 27-28, 29-30               (1)

The readings for today.

     41A            318                 1-2,           5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24,                                     35 (30) 

Easter Sunday

     62 ABC     475                 1-2,                                          24, 35, 27-28, 29, 30        35 (cf. 30)

Pentecost Sunday—Vigil Mass

….63A            480                 1,                                            24,                    29-30, 34        (cf. 30)

 

This is one of the royal Psalms, echoing salvation history.[4] In secular society, royalty of the people means human rights, including a right to privacy and a right to equal pay for equal work or non-discrimination.  Rights of the people are compatible with the fear of the Lord.

 

The idea that God is robed in light has special meaning for Poor Clares, who themselves are robes of light for the societies in which they live and pray.

 

verse 25         great and wide … schools … living things

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 magnum et spatiosum et latum … reptilia … animalia

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         which stretcheth wide its arms … creeping things … creatures

 

King James (1611):                         great and wide … things creeping … beasts

 

Jerusalem (1966):                            vast expanse … creatures … creatures

 

New American (1970):                    great and wide … beings … living things

A rare lack of exact agreement with the Lectionary.

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  vast expanses … creatures … creatures

 

God is Lord of all.  Exactly what God rules remains somewhat incomprehensible.

 

Verse 29a in Jerome is both not noted and unused in the Lectionary.

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 Avertente autem te faciem, turbabuntur

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         But if thou turnest away thy face, they shall be troubled

 

King James (1611):                         Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled

 

Jerusalem (1966):                            You turn your face away, they suffer

 

New American (1970):                    When you hide your face, they are lost

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  Turn away your face and they panic

 

Such lack of scholarship in the Lectionary is troublesome.

 

Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7

 

This reading stresses justification by Faith.  This reading also stresses the positive value of life in but not of the world, resulting in a life of moderation.  Through a life of moderation, therefore, it happens that some enter religion with the intention of doing good, with the unintended result of doing well, instead.  Titus stresses the meaning of intention, of direction, of an Exodus of heart from the worldly to the otherworldly.

 

cf. Luke 3:16

 

The Greek portrays John the Baptizer responding in a solemn manner.[5] This solemnity is important for these Notes, which like to portray the sayings of Jesus with a twinkle in his eye.  There was no twinkle in John’s eye on this occasion.

 

Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

 

The people in this section of Luke not only seek the messiah, but also find him.  The reason the people find the messiah is that the people are unimpressed with religious politics, other than the politics of truth determining how power is used.  Professional clerics are afraid of Jesus the Messiah because Jesus represents a need to repent and change one’s life.  Having little to nothing to lose politically, the people do not mind risking a change.  Poor Clare nuns are in a similar situation, having little to nothing to lose politically.

 

verse 16         thongs

 

The Greek portrays a strap binding something to the foot, thereby building a sandal.

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 corrigiam

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         latchet

 

King James (1611):                         latchet

 

Jerusalem (1966):                            strap

 

New American (1970):                    thongs

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  strap

 

Since modern parlance uses thongs for sandals as well as for skimpy swimwear, thongs is a distracting translation.  Sandal strap would be better.

 

Verses 17-20 are about the imprisonment and death of John the Baptizer.[6] These Notes will watch to see how the orderliness of Luke suits imprisoning John before baptizing Jesus.

 

verse 21         opened

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 apertum

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         opened

 

King James (1611):                         opened

 

Jerusalem (1966):                            opened

 

New American (1970):                    opened

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  opened

 

Checking apertum, I found no disagreement among the translations.  My reason for leaving the research is for purposes of contemplating the opening.  To omit something like this, I need feedback.  The feedback I am getting is that the Faithful value these comparative translations more than the other comments.

 

The Greek for opening the heavens is unlike the Semitic Greek common to Luke.[7] The implication is that Luke included the wording of this event of opening heaven from another reporter.  The further implication is that Luke regarded the open heaven as important enough to include in his orderly account of the life of Jesus.

 

verse 22         Holy Spirit … well pleased

The problem is that Latin lacks the article, “the,” which Greek has and uses here.  The article personifies the adjective.[8] Perhaps that the Holy Spirit as a person is a new insight, one Saint Paul never had.

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):                 Spiritus Sanctus …  complacui

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         Holy Ghost … well pleased

 

King James (1611):                         Holy Ghost … well pleased

 

Jerusalem (1966):                            Holy Spirit … my favor rests

 

New American (1970):                    Holy Spirit … well pleased

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                  Holy Spirit … fathered [sic] not favored

 

Translating well pleased as fathered makes the comparative research worthwhile.  At the baptism of Jesus, the Father owns up to his paternity, claiming Jesus into his own Godhead.  Fathered gives well pleased a new meaning, a meaning especially pertinent to the other fatherhood, the fatherhood of Saint Joseph.

 

As he begins his public ministry, Jesus is tempted by the Devil (Luke 4:1-13), but not as the Son of God, but, rather as the Messiah.  In this passage on the baptism, Luke is explaining the relationship between Jesus as Messiah and Jesus as God.  Jesus, as God, gives meaning to Messiah, the traditional way the Church has understood the relationship.  Turning the relationship around, the opinion that Jesus, realizing that he is the Messiah and, therefore, the Son of God, misinterprets Luke.[9]

 

In these readings, Jesus is baptized as the Son of God about to give meaning to messianism.  The meaning of the life of Jesus is that Jerusalem is not only a place but also a part of each member of the Faithful.  Jerusalem refers to the core of the hearts of the Faithful.  Jerusalem is a destination of unsurpassed glory of the heart where God reigns supreme and nothing else matters.

 

For more on sources, besides the footnotes, see the Appendix file for changes made this week.



[1] Adrian M. Leske, “Context and Meaning of Zechariah 9:9," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 4 (October 2000) 666; Richard J. Clifford, S.J., “The Unity of the Book of Isaiah and Its Cosmogonic Language," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 1 (January 1993 ) 1, 3.

 

[2] Richard Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids, Michigan/ Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002) 94.

 

[3] Richard J. Clifford, S.J., “The Unity of the Book of Isaiah and Its Cosmogonic Language," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 1 (January 1993 ) 4.

[4] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599 180

 

[5] Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994) 74

 

[6] Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., “Mark 6:6b-30: Mission, the Baptist, and Failure," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 4 (October 2001) 658.

 

[7] Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994) 134; also see Max Zerwick, S.J. and Mary Grosvenor, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament unabridged, 5th, revised edition (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico 1996) 184.

 

[8] Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994) 55.

 

[9] Brendan Byrne, S.J., “Jesus as Messiah in the Gospel of Luke: Discerning a Pattern of Correction,”" the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003), 86-87.