Do the Faithful acknowledge that Easter recognizes Jesus Christ is the cosmic God of the universe? Genesis 1:1, the first reading,  begins with the beginning, something current astronomers place about 16 billion years ago. Sixteen billion years is beyond my imagination, but is out there in the hard reality of science.

 

When the readings from Genesis 1:2 write of a mighty wind sweeping over the primordial waters, the wind is a reference to the Holy Spirit.[1] While the Lectionary confines the specific view to the earth, the broader implied view includes all cosmic reality. The Greek Septuagint distinguished between corporeal and incorporeal reality. Before that, the Hebrew only knew corporeal reality. Plato influences the Septuagint distinction.[2] The Genesis explanation of creation does extend to the whole universe, corporeal and incorporeal, material and spiritual.

 

The author of Genesis 1:3, bringing order out of chaos, is not bothered by having God create light on the very first day before God creates the sun and moon on the fourth day, Genesis 1:16. God is God, even of order itself. The recognized almighty power of God is why the Biblical account of creation lasted, on the one hand, through the millennia. Humans, on the other hand, can and do defy Divine order.

 

Human violence (Genesis 6:11-13) threatens the primordial order established by God in Genesis 1:2 and 7:11. Noah survives and God promises never again to cut off life from the earth.[3] Jesus Christ, the new Adam, resurrects from the dead to reinvigorate whatever life may be dead because of sin.

 

In both Genesis 1 and Psalm 104, the first of several Psalms the Lectionary uses, God tames primordial forces by incorporating them into an ordered universe.[4] The New Kent County, Virginia, Poor Clare nuns, examining the stellar beauty from their Mount Saint Francis hill have a wonderful sense of what being God means to Jesus Christ. With the Faithful, the nuns in prayer proclaim Psalm 104 as a royal psalm, not bashful about proclaiming that the LORD is Lord of the universe,[5] meaning that so is Jesus Christ. Psalm 104:6 goes on to proclaim that God used the ocean as a garment with which to cover the earth.[6]

 

In the ancient Near East, the primal human, here Adam and Eve, were the link between the deity and humanity. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ fulfills that role. Israelite texts for the first humans serve as cultural markers for creation, location (Garden of Paradise), wisdom, and conflict. Conflict brought on the discombobulation that tore up the original ordering of nature.[7]

 

Jesus Christ restores that order both in himself and through the Faithful. I, for one, find it hard to realize that my sins upset a Divine order. That difficulty interferes with my acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the cosmic God of the universe, not simply within the privacy of my own soul, but also within the public sphere of human rights.

 

Jesus Christ identifies himself with that LORD of the universe as he rises from the dead, just as he said he would.[8] Compared to creating everything in the first place, rising from the dead is not that much of an accomplishment, but is suitable for Faith. Jesus Christ furnishes an Exodus from the slavery of sin to the well-being of the embrace of God the Father.

 

Psalm 118:16, The right hand of the Lord has struck with power is a reference to the Exodus.[9] Jesus Christ is the new Exodus from mundane into spiritually exalted living. Psalm 118 was traditionally sung at the Pascal meal.[10]

 

When the Responsorial antiphon asks God to send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth, the Christian meaning helps answer the original question, do the Faithful acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the cosmic God of the universe? Psalm 104 helps recognize that dominion. Romans moves the contemplation from subjective acknowledgement to objective ecclesiology.

 

Atheistic existentialists deny that it is possible for one person to do anything for all others. People must act on their own behalf. Romans 6:11 recognizes the need for the Faithful to act on their own behalf with the word must, “you too must think of yourselves as … living for God in Christ Jesus.” The Faithful do well to acknowledge Jesus Christ as God of the universe.

 

The women discovering Jesus alive are part of the up-side-down world Matthew presents as the ultimate hardcore Christian reality.[11] The men do not and would not have found out about the Resurrected Christ, except through the women, some of whom had been with him from the beginning in Galilee. These women would have had a continuing role in the early Church, a role beyond simply taking the message to the men, who then spread it.[12]

 

Unlike Luke, Matthew presents a tradition extended beyond Jerusalem proper.[13] Matthew is interested in extending the Kingdom of God beyond Jerusalem to the Gentiles. Love extends the Kingdom.

 

Loving Jesus, the women are the first humans to realize he is risen from the dead. These women of Matthew sense the awesomeness of the Christ and fall down in worship; the Lectionary has did him homage, bringing to mind an inappropriate medieval transaction between lords. The translation is examined more carefully below.

 


 

Matthew 28:9

Lectionary (1998):                        did him homage.

The Vulgate (circa 410):               et adoraverunt eum.

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         and adored him.

King James (1611):                      and worshipped him.

Jerusalem (1966):                        clasped his feet.

New American (1970):                  did him homage.

New Jerusalem (1985):                did him homage.

 

Monotheism is the problem with worship, something from which Matthew does not shy. This is one of three places in Matthew where Jesus is presented as an object of worship (Matthew 14:33, 28:9, 17). Matthew 4:10 makes the tension with monotheism explicit by citing Deut 6:13, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.”[14] Things like how many persons there are in a triune God did not seem to interest or bother the women.

 

The women forgot Jesus as their friend, but were overcome by his power. Jesus told them not to worry. Matthew 28:1 has Jesus arisen as the first day of the week was dawning, which the Lectionary uses to draw attention to how Jesus renewed the face of the earth with a new meaning for the creative act of God.[15]

 

The picture of the angel plopping down on the stone, after moving it away from the tomb (Matthew 28:2) seems like an editorial addition to the original Matthew. Scholars note a difference in vocabulary and syntax for this verse. The transition from the women going out to the tomb and, then, finding the tomb empty, unexpectedly jars the reader of Matthew.[16]

 

One reward for recognizing Jesus Christ as God of the cosmic universe is lack of worry. The readings from Genesis relate God to ordering the cosmos itself. Psalm 104 translates that ordering in human terms as a royal psalm, recognizing the LORD as king of the universe. The Gospel humanizes God even more attracting him to the women who recognize that the proper response to their God-friend is worship. The Lectionary is enabling the Faithful to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the cosmic God of the universe.

 

================================================================

 

Scriptural references to the Lectionary follow. Since the main purpose of these Notes is annotating the scriptural references in the index at www.western-civilization.com , references pertinent, but not fitting the flow imposed above, are included below. I do not assume that the reader is following the readings cited either in the Lectionary or in the Bible. Like the footnotes, the citations are for reference purposes for anyone interested. The large, bold letters facilitate locating exactly what the Lectionary presents for these Notes.

 

Genesis 1:1—2:2

That part of verse 9 in the Lectionary that reads the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared does not appear in the Vulgate. Perhaps the Lectionary is concerned about parallel construction, a matter of English grammar, so that things happen in parallel, from day to day.

 

Genesis 1:9

Lectionary (1998):                        the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared.

The Vulgate (circa 410):              

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):        

King James (1611):                     

Jerusalem (1966):                       

New American (1970):                  the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared.

New Jerusalem (1985):               

 

Genesis 1:18

Lectionary (1998):                        govern

The Vulgate (circa 410):               praeessent

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         rule

King James (1611):                      rule

Jerusalem (1966):                        govern

New American (1970):                  govern

New Jerusalem (1985):                govern

 

Praeessent carries on implication at the philosophical level of being, at an ontological level that I do not find in either govern or rule.

 


 

Genesis 1:20

Lectionary (1998):                        And so it happened:

The Vulgate (circa 410):              

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):        

King James (1611):                     

Jerusalem (1966):                        And so it was.

New American (1970):                  And so it happened:

New Jerusalem (1985):                And so it was.

 

I suspect the English editors are looking for some sort of parallel construction, not found in the original.

 

Genesis 2:1

Lectionary (1998):                        array

The Vulgate (circa 410):               exercitus

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         furniture

King James (1611):                      the host of them

Jerusalem (1966):                        array

New American (1970):                  array

New Jerusalem (1985):                array

 

Exercitus and array seemed a strange combination. I think the meaning is that God finished putting the furniture in the sky.

 

Psalm 104:1-2, 5-6, 10, 12, 13-14, 24, 35 (30) (pages 18-319)

 

The Lectionary uses this Psalm in the following places:

 

Readings      Page in         Verses used                                           Antiphon

                     Lectionary                                                                             Sunday

 

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

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

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

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

 

E:\Microsoft Office\Word\Letters\OLMC\Bible Study1 2004\Bible Study040111_Baptism of the Lord_21C.doc treats part of Psalm 104.

 

I have a difficult time relating what is in the Lectionary for Psalm 104:1-2 and 12 with what is in the Vulgate. Since the translation of the psalms is discombobulated and since I do not know either Hebrew or Aramaic, I am not pursuing the matter.

 

Psalm 104:35 is special because this is the only place the Lectionary uses the verse and because of evidence that the Septuagint translation into Greek did not hesitate to move the various alleluias from psalm to psalm.[17]

 

Genesis 22:1-18

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Psalm 16:5

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Exodus 14:15—15:1

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Exodus 15:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 17-18 (1b)

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Isaiah 54:5-14

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13 (2A)

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Isaiah 55:1-11

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6 (3)

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Baruch 3:9-12, 32—4:4

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11 (John 6:68c)

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Ezekiel 36:16-17a, 18-28

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Psalm 42:3, 5; 43:3, 4 (42:2)

Omitted from these Personal Notes.

 

Romans 6:3-11 (page 340)

Romans 6:3-9 is examined at E:\Microsoft Office\Word\Letters\OLMC\Bible Study2 2003\Bible Study031102_November 2 All Souls_668.doc

 

Other than above, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly articles remain to be examined.

 

Psalm 118:1-2. 16-17, 22-23

Psalm 118 is also treated at

 E:\Microsoft Office\Word\Letters\OLMC\Bible Study2 2003\Bible Study030420Easter.doc

and

E:\Microsoft Office\Word\Letters\OLMC\Bible Study1 2004\Bible Study040411_Easter_42ABC.doc.

 

The Lectionary uses this Psalm as follows.

 

Readings      Page in                                                            Responsorial Antiphon

                     Lectionary     Verses used                                                     Sunday

                    

41ABC             341                  1-2,                     16-17,  22-23                 (alleluia)               Today

42ABC             346               1-2,                     16-17,  22-23                     (24 or alleluia)                  Easter

     43A            350-351              2-4,        13-15,            22-24                     (1 or alleluia)            Easter 2

     44B             356-357              2-4,        13-15,            22-24               (1 or alleluia)            Easter 2

     45C             362-363              2-4,        13-15,            22-24               (1 or alleluia)            Easter 2

     50B          394-395        1,         8-9,               21-23,       26, 28, 29 (22)              Easter 4

         

Matthew 28:1-10 (Am not translating the Greek this time)

Matthew 28:1-8 agrees with Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12, and John 2:1-13.[18]

 

Matthew 28:1, the other Mary, is Mary, the mother of James.[19]

 

 

For more on sources see the Appendix file.



[1] Richard J. Sklba, “Until the Spirit from on High Is Poured out on Us” (Isa 32:15): Reflections on the Role of the Spirit in the Exile," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 1 (January 1984) 12.

 

[2] Stanley B. Marrow, “KosmoV in John," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002) 94.

 

[3] Bernard F. Batto, “The Covenant of Peace: A Neglected Ancient Near Eastern Motif," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 2 (April 1987) 196.

 

[4] 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 ) 8.

 

[5] J. J. M. Roberts, “The Enthronement of Yhwh and David: The Abiding Theological Significance of the Kingship Language of the Psalms," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 4 (October 2002) 681-682.

 

[6] 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.

 

[7] Frank H. Gorman, Jr., review of Dexter E. Callender, Jr., Adam in Myth and History: Ancient Israelite perspectives on the Primal Human, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No 2 (April 2001) .309-310.

 

[8] Jack Dean Kingsbury, “The Developing Conflict between Jesus and the Jewish Leaders in Matthew’s Gospel: a Literary-Critical Study," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 1 (January 1987) 71, 73.

 

[9] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, page 202.

 

[10] Lloyd M. Barré, “Halelu yah: A Broken Inclusion, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 2 (April 1983) 195, 196, 197.

 

[11] Bruce J. Malina, “Christ and Time: Swiss or Mediterranean?" the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 1 (January 1989) 16.

 

[12] Richard Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids, Michigan/ Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002) 278-279.

 

[13] Richard J. Dillon, “Previewing Luke’s Project from His Prologue (Luke 1:1-4), the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 2 (April 1981) 222.

 

[14] Douglas R. A. Hare, How Jewish Is the Gospel of Matthew?, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 2 (April 2000) 274.

 

[15] John M. Perry, "The Three Days in the Synoptic Passion Predictions,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 4 (October 1986) 646, 652.

 

[16] To my embarrassment, I am unable to document this, though I did discover it during my preparation. Sometimes documentation is lost or misplaced. I probably found the reference reading over one of the articles already cited, without making an appropriate note. Raymond E. Brown, S.S., The Anchor Bible Reference Library: An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: Doubleday, 1997) 202-206 works around the issue, without addressing it directly.

 

 

[17] Lloyd M. Barré, “`Halelu yah’: A Broken Inclusion,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 2 (April 1983) 195-200.

[18] Robert H. Stein, “The Matthew-Luke Agreements Against Mark: Insight from John," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 3 (July 1992) 489.

 

[19] Richard Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels (Grand Rapids, Michigan/ Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002) 187, 235, 300, fn. 125.