In the first reading,
Guilt, defined as a breach of expected human behavior involving a penalty, belongs to all humans. No one acts correctly all of the time. God overcomes such human guilt through his loving embrace. These readings can be taken about guilt and that embrace.
In the readings from Exodus,
God then explains what he means, referring to himself as God and then as Elohim and YHWH. Elohim and YHWH represent two traditions that sponsored writing down the oral traditions of the Jews. The Lectionary translates both as Lord. However, it is Lord with a difference.
The Lord in verse 4
is Ehyeh, a personal name for how God
refers to himself. As a generic
impersonal name, God throughout is Elohim.
In the Bible, God does seem to fear being misunderstood, as he tries to
explain himself. Sin, however, is
defiance, not misunderstanding. God
explains that he is the God of Abraham,
Verse 6 is the only place in the First Testament referring
to the God of all three,
Before the guilt-trip, Exodus shares how the Israelites are to name YHWH. God calls himself Ehyeh in verse 14 but when the term is used the second time in the same verse, in the third person, it becomes YHWH. YHWH is the name for the Faithful. The Lectionary does not pick apart these name distinctions.
Just as the Faithful would expect a little child to feel
guilt addressing the father of the family by his first name, so might the
Faithful expect themselves to feel guilt addressing God by his name, YHWH. Neither these Notes nor the Lectionary
uses YHWH to refer to the Father. Father is the term
Psalm 103 skips over the wonderment of God to cut right to the chase, guilt before that wonderment. The psalmist proclaims that the Faithful should keep God in focus because God is rich in mercy and is anxious to forgive them their guilt.
The Lectionary from 1 Corinthians is a little more
subtle, warning in verse 10 about not grumbling. The omitted verses 7-9 are more
After asking his listeners to consider their own guilt,
Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15
In verse 2, the Deuteronomic historians conflate God with an angel of the Lord, “suggesting amnesia about older cultural understandings of divinity.” A latent guilt resides in that history.
The burning bush that is not consumed illustrates the
inexhaustible loving kindness of God toward the Faithful, a harbinger of the
inexhaustible manna in the desert, and the inexhaustible graces of the
The first reading from Exodus is about God, who for the
first time in history sends his prophet,
Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11
The Lectionary uses Psalm 103 as follows:
30C 188 1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11 (8a) Lent 3 (today)
60B 459 1-2, 11-12, 19-20 (19a) Easter 7
79A 579 1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13 (8a) Ordinary 7
81C 589 1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13 (8a) Ordinary 7
83B 599 1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13 (8a) Ordinary 8
130A 825 1-2, 3-4, 8, 9-10, 11-12 (8) Ordinary 24
The Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time,
Care for the Sick uses Psalm 103, Part
Funerals also uses Psalm 103 as a Responsorial in a Vigil for the Deceased with Reception: Liturgy of the Word on page 40 and as a Responsorial in 13 Funerals for Adults: Responsorial Psalms on page 226.
In verses 1 and 2, the psalmist distinguishes between an exterior blessing of the soul that can be translated throat and an interior blessing of being that can be translated my life. God merits both an external and an internal blessing. To bless is scripturally defined “to acknowledge someone in his position of power and in his claim to high dignity with all due formality.”
In verse 3, the psalmist proclaims, “He pardons all your
iniquities” and in verse 7, “He has made known his ways to
Verse 8 about God being rich in mercy and slow to anger runs parallel with the prophet Micah 7:18. Micah uses the psalm to address the present needs of the people, in this case dealing with guilt. Trusting in the mercy of God is the way to remove guilt.
1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12
Verses 1-5 are about the new exodus
If the Lord is saying to repent, then there must be guilt about which to repent.
This readings section of Luke 13 is part of a larger section
from —18:14, the
journey to Jerusalem. This readings
section of the narrative imputes guilt for sin eventually liberated by the
death and resurrection of
The readings from Exodus demonstrate that God knows the way
back to himself, through guilt. Exodus
reaches through the Transfiguration to God almighty. Through Faith, God will help expiate sin. The psalmist sings a gentle warning to stay
on track. 1 Corinthians is blunter about
keeping on the straight and narrow. Luke
For more on sources, besides the footnotes, see the Appendix file.
 See Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate ® Dictionary: Eleventh Edition
 Brian Britt, “Prophetic Concealment in a Biblical Type Scent,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002) 56.
 International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: Approved for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1983) 296.
 International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 40, 226.
Horst, “Segen und Segenshandlugen in der Bibel,” EnTh ½  31 as cited in Hans-Joachim Kraus, Psalms 60-150:
A Continental Commentary, translated by Hilton C.
 Sue Gillingham, “From Liturgy to Prophecy: The Use of Psalmody in Second Temple Judaism," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2002) 471-472.
Hans-Joachim Kraus, Psalms 60-150: A Continental Commentary, translated
by Hilton C.