These Personal Notes are written with the intention of sending them to Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli for possible redirection to someone with the time, interest, and competency for a proper evaluation.  The Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, S.T.D., S.S.L., D.D., was recently appointed head of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Review of [liturgical] Scripture Translations by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  My purpose is to improve scholarly use of the Lectionary, at least by improving documentation of verses used.

 

For example, in the readings for this Sunday, Psalm 96:8 omits “Bring gifts, and enter his courts” that appears on page 905, for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time A.  For another example from the same Psalm verse 10, “He governs the peoples with equity” capitalizes “He” on page 512, but uses the lower case on page 905. Verse 10 also omits “Etenim correxit orbem terrae, qui non commovebitur,” a reference to primeval order.[1]  For a final example, verse 1 is incomplete in the reference to John 2:1-11 on page 514. Four such anomalies on one Sunday are too many.  Those of the Faithful receiving these Notes over the past year are accustomed if not inured to such observations of do not have to care sloppy scholarship.

 

As of this Sunday, Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum[2] is cross-indexed to the Lectionary.  My suggestion to the liturgists is to correlate the Lectionary, Care, and Funeral[3] indices so that the Sunday liturgies can prepare the Faithful for their Care and Funeral rites.  Catechistically, preachers would profit knowing when the readings for the Sunday are also available for Care and Funeral.

 

Isaiah 62:1-5

 

Isaiah 62 identifies the Faithful as feminine, when God, the builder, espouses the Faithful. Chapter 62 is Third Isaiah, written after the exile, anticipating a return to former glory.  The term Zion represents a return to glory. Zion was so badly off that in this prophecy, Zion has “Forsaken One” as a nickname.[4]

 

Zion is a new creation supporting the righteous and not supporting the unrighteous.[5]  Spiritually, Zion is a newly discovered glory of the souls of the Faithful housing the tabernacle of the Lord. The term “my delight” uses the same Latin Saint Jerome used for “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” in the Lectionary readings for Baptism by John. Various translators approach Isaiah 62 as follows:

 

Lectionary

verse 1         shines forth like the dawn

verse 1         burning torch

verse 2         pronounced

verse 4         My Delight

verse 4         makes

verse 5         your Builder shall marry you

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):              

verse 1         splendor

verse 1         lampas

verse 2         nominabit

verse 4         Beneplacitum

verse 4         erit

verse 5         ita ducent te filii tui

Looking at the other translations involving a Builder, there seems to be a problem with the Nova Vulgata here.

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):        

verse 1         as brightness

verse 1         a lamp

verse 2         shall name

verse 4         My pleasure

verse 4         thy land shall be inhabited

verse 5         and thy children shall dwell in thee


 

 

King James (1611):                     

verse 1         brightness

verse 1         a lamp

verse 2         shall name

verse 4         Hephzibah

verse 4         thy land shall be married

verse 5         shall thy sons marry thee

 

Jerusalem (1966):                       

verse 1         shines out like the dawn

verse 1         burning torch

verse 2         will confer

verse 4         My Delight

verse 4         will have

verse 5         so will the one who built you wed you

 

New American (1970):                 

verse 1         shines forth like the dawn

verse 1         burning torch

verse 2         pronounced

verse 4         My Delight

verse 4         makes

verse 5         your builder shall marry you

 

New Jerusalem (1985):               

verse 1         dawns for her like a bright light

verse 1         blazing torch

verse 2         will reveal

verse 4         My Delight

verse 4         will have

verse 5         your rebuilder will wed you

According to a note, the Masoretic text has “your sons will wed you.”

 

Isaiah 62:1-5 is about the promise related to the covenant. Isaiah assures the Faithful that better times lie ahead, times best understood with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Like a poet, Isaiah searches for words that are inadequate for his emotions, emotions that Isaiah wants to translate from his soul to the souls of the Faithful, emotions with which translators struggle.

 

By Faithful, these Notes refer to those in the pews, to those exempted from anti-clericalism by the educated. This does not mean that the clergy are unable to join the Faithful in the pews, but only that the clergy seldom do.  The risk run by Christian clergy is analogous to the risk run by Jewish clergy at the time of Christ. The term Faithful points out that risk.

 

Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10 (3)

 

The Lectionary uses this Psalm in the following places:

 

Readings      Page in         Verses used

                     Lectionary

   

 14ABC           75               1-2, 2-3,                        11-12, 13 (Lk 2:11)           Christmas

  66C            512               1-2, 2-3,         7-8, 9-10 (3)                               Today

145A             905               1,        3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10 (7b)                              29th Sunday, Cycle A

 

The Psalmist portrays God as bringing order not only out of primordial chaos, but also out of the chaos of human relations.  Israel need not understand the order for the order to be present. This Psalm portrays the power of God, the Lord.  In the final analysis, the Lord does govern the people with equity.

 

Lectionary

verse 3         nations

verse 3         peoples

verse 7         nations

verse 10       

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):              

verse 3         gentes

verse 3         populis

verse 7         populorum

verse 10        Etenim correxit orbem terrae, qui non commovebitur

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         Psalm 95

verse 3         Gentiles

verse 3         people

verse 7         Gentiles

verse 10        For he hath corrected the world, which shall not be moved

 

King James (1611):                     

verse 3         heathen

verse 3         people

verse 7         people

verse 10        the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved


 

 

Jerusalem (1966):                       

verse 3         nations

verse 3         people

verse 7         peoples

verse 10        Firm has he made the world, and unshakable

 

New American (1970):                 

verse 3         nations

verse 3         peoples

verse 7         nations

verse 10        The world will surely stand fast, never to be moved

 

New Jerusalem (1985):               

verse 3         nations

verse 3         people

verse 7         nations

verse 10        The world is set firm, it cannot be moved

 

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

This reading, taken in conjunction with what has gone before, means that God in his wisdom and glory does not reveal everything to humans.   Each of the Faithful has a different niche.  Wondering about how contemplative nuns, such as Poor Clares, fit these comments, theirs must be the gift of faith, believing that God is Lord, loves his creation, and is actively involved in what is happening.

 

Lectionary

verse 8         To one

verse 8         expression

verse 9         same

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):              

verse 8         Alii

verse 8         sermo

The ministry of Paul is not limited to proclamation.[6]

verse 9         eodem

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):        

verse 8         To one

verse 8         word

verse 9         same

 

King James (1611):                     

verse 8         To one

verse 8         word

verse 9         same

 

Jerusalem (1966):                       

verse 8         One

verse 8         preaching with

verse 9         same

 

New American (1970):                 

verse 8         To one

verse 8         expression

verse 9         same

 

New Jerusalem (1985):               

verse 8         To one

verse 8         expression

verse 9         same

 

cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:14

 

No comment.

 

John 2:1-11

The symbolism of water carries the notions of the first plague against the Egyptians, water wherein the Nile was turned into blood the Egyptians could not drink.  Water from the rock in the desert was the benefit the Israelites received through this sign. [7]  Water is also a sort of sign through which the Israelites fled Egypt and the Faithful are baptized unto grace.  Water changed into wine symbolized the unsaved soul changed into a grace-filled soul.[8]

 

Mary, the Mother of God, is a Jewish mother.  Mary must have spent her life trying to keep Jesus out of trouble.  When Jesus says that his hour has not yet come, the ultimate hour to which John may be referring is the hour of the Passion.[9]  In the Greek, Jesus is asking a question to which he expects his mother to agree, “The time is not yet, is it?”  She does not agree.[10]  When Jesus refers to his mother as “woman,” the translation into American English has no satisfactory answer.  In American English, “Mom” is never “Woman.” “Woman Abbess” for “Mother Abbess” does not work either.

 

“What is this between me and you” in the Greek means what do Jesus and Mary have in common about Cana.  Mary gives the simple answer, “Do whatever he says.”  There may have been a smirk on the faces of the servants as they filled the water jugs to the very brim.

 

The conclusion of John (Jn 20:30-31) explains that the signs were meant first for the immediate disciples, but, then later for the Faithful, so that they too might believe.[11]  The Evangelists portray the family of Jesus in different ways, Matthew and Mark as estranged, Luke as united, and John along a middle way.  What seems likely is that at first there was a rift, but, by the end some reconciliation, with at least his mother and aunt there at the foot of the cross and the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to James, the “brother” of Jesus.[12]

 

Lectionary

verse 1        

verse 3         ran short

verse 4         how does your concern affect me

From the Hebrew, the Greek is not necessarily hostile.

verse 6         ceremonial washings

verse 8         take

The Greek has the notion of setting about an activity.[13]

verse 9         called

The Greek sounds like “phoned.”

verse 10        have drunk freely

The Greek is not as delicate as the English translations. The Greek is make drunk or get drunk.

verse 11        signs

verse 11        began to believe

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):              

verse 1         Et die tertio nuptiae factae sunt

Evidently, they had been drinking for three days.  Isaiah 62:3 refers in the Masoretic text of Zechariah 9:15, “The Lord of hosts will protect them, and they shall eat, and treat underfoot the slingstones; and they shall drink and be boisterous as from wine, and be full like a bowl, like the corners of the altar.”[14]

verse 3         deficiente

verse 4         mihi et tibi

verse 6         purificationem

verse 8         ferte

The Greek has the notion of a continuing action.

verse 9         vocat

verse 10        inebriati

verse 11        signorum

verse 11        crediderunt

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):        

verse 1         And on the third day

verse 3         failing

verse 4         to me and to thee

verse 6         the purifying

verse 8         carry

verse 9         calleth

verse 10        well drunk

verse 11        miracles

verse 11        believed

 

King James (1611):                     

verse 1         And the third day

verse 3         wanted

verse 4         what have I to do with thee

verse 6         the purifying

verse 8         bear

verse 9         called

verse 10        well drunk

verse 11        miracles

verse 11        believed

 

Jerusalem (1966):                        

verse 1         Three days later

verse 3         ran out

verse 4         why turn to me

verse 6         ablutions

verse 8         take

verse 9         called

verse 10        have had plenty to drink

verse 11        signs

verse 11        believed

 

New American (1970):                 

verse 1         On the third day

verse 3         ran short

verse 4         how does your concern affect me

verse 6         ceremonial washings

verse 8         take

verse 9         called

verse 10        have drunk freely

verse 11        signs

verse 11        began to believe

 

New Jerusalem (1985):               

verse 1         On the third day

verse 3         ran out

verse 4         what do you want from me

verse 6         ablutions

verse 8         take

verse 9         called

verse 10        well wined

verse 11        signs

verse 11        believed

 

Verse 11 is about the glory of Jesus as God, a glory finding its perfection on the cross.[15]

 

Lack of scholarship in the Lectionary puts the Faithful in a sort of exile from the truth.  Just as Isaiah prophesied that God, as Lord of all, would make things right so does that prophecy carry over to the Faithful searching for the truth in the midst of obfuscating waves of religious political smoke.

 

The Sunday Liturgy is the primary way to catechize the Faithful.  Such catechesis is the reason here to include relevant comments on the rosary.  Pope John Paul II refers to John 2:5 in the following section of his Apostolic Letter on the Most Holy Rosary.

 

Learning Christ from Mary

 

14.      Christ is the supreme Teacher, the revealer and the one revealed. It is not just a question of learning what he taught but of “learning him.”  In this regard could we have any better teacher than Mary?  From the divine standpoint, the Spirit is the interior teacher who leads us to the full truth of Christ (cf. Jn 14:26; 15:26; 16:13).  But among creatures, no one knows Christ better than Mary; no one can introduce us to a profound knowledge of his mystery better than his Mother.

 

The first of the “signs” worked by Jesus—the changing of water into wine at the marriage in Cana—clearly presents Mary in the guise of a teacher, as she urges the servants to do what Jesus commands (cf. Jn 2:5).  We can imagine that she would have done likewise for the disciples after Jesus’ Ascension, when she joined them in awaiting the Holy Spirit and supported them in their first mission. Contemplating the scenes of the Rosary in union with Mary is a means of learning from her to “read” Christ, to discover his secrets and to understand his message.

 

This school of Mary is all the more effective if we consider that she teaches by obtaining for us in abundance the gifts of the Holy Spirit, even as she offers us the incomparable example of her own “pilgrimage of faith.”[16]   As we contemplate each mystery of her Son’s life, she invites us to do as she did at the Annunciation: to ask humbly the questions which open us to the light, in order to end with the obedience of faith: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).

 

Asking questions is what much of these Personal Notes is about, especially this Sunday pointing out anomalies, discrepancies, and peccadilloes for the purpose of improving the next edition of the Lectionary.

 

The Pope regards Mary as running a school.  Such a regard is different. Isaiah also is trying to teach, overwhelmed by the emotion of his message.  Corinthians breaks down the emotions into more digestible parts, parts more readily understood. John seems even to refer to physical drunkenness as appropriate to celebrate Jesus coming out, revealing that he is God, destined in his love for the cross, by my sins.

 

 

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



[1] See 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) 679-680, 682.

 

[2] 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).

 

[3] 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).

 

[4] Saul M. Olyan, “`We Are utterly Cut Off’: of *** in Ezek 37:11,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003) 50.

 

[5] 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 ) 16.

[6] Hendrikus Boers, “2 Corinthians 5:4—6:2: A Fragment of Pauline Christology," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2002) 540.

[7] Douglas K. Clark, “Signs in Wisdom and John," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 2 (April 1983) 205 and 206.

 

[8] See Dennis M. Sweetland, review of Wai-Yee Ng, Water Symbolism in John: An Eschatological Interpretation in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003), 133-134.

 

[9] See Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., “Raymond Brown’s New Introduction to the Gospel of John: A Presentation—And Some Questions,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003) 9.

 

[10] 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) 151

 

[11] Loren L. Johns and Douglas B. Miller, “The Signs as Witnesses in the Fourth Gospel: Reexamining the Evidence, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 3 (July 1994) 521.

 

[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) 221.

 

[13] 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) 79.

 

[14] Adrian M. Leske, “Context and Meaning of Zechariah 9:9," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 4 (October 2000) 670.

[15] Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., “Raymond Brown’s New Introduction to the Gospel of John: A Presentation—And Some Questions,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003) 9.

[16] Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 58.