The word for these readings is repent. The Faithful commit two types of sins, inadvertent and deliberate. The assumption for anyone studying these Notes is a deliberate attempt to change inadvertent sins, such as loss of temper, to deliberate sins. The idea is that the Faithful would not commit inadvertent sins, were they raised to the level of deliberate consciousnesses.


Though Raissa Maritain is not quoted concerning repentance in the Magnificat, she appropriately writes of “the false peace of the world and self-satisfaction.” While the Magnificat points out that Raissa was a convert to Catholicism and the poet wife of philosopher Jacques Maritain, the Magnificat does not point out that Raissa converted as a Russian Jewess in 1906, simultaneously with Jacques, as a French liberal Protestant.[1] When Raissa writes of “that gentleness and humility which make every deed righteous,” her righteousness has a special meaning with her Jewish background. The point is that the need for gentleness and humility is not an option.[2]


The fourth paragraph of the Raissa material on page 365 begins with a ten-line sentence. Such a cavalier attitude toward good writing, which comes before good scholarship, bothers me to the point that I have not purchased a subscription to the Magnificat. The most recent edition of the liturgical newspaper, Adoremus, advises a reader that Magnificat is as good a source as one will presently find for a missal translation.


There is a fancy name for the Jewish exegetical procedure by which texts are linked for mutual interpretation through words they have in common, gezerah shawah.[3] My search for a word, in this case repentance, seems associated with gezerah shawah


The Rosary Mystery is the Third Mystery of Light, The Coming of the Kingdom. The Apostolic Letter recommends that the Faithful see Mark 1:15. The context is:


Each of these mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus. The Baptism in the Jordan is first of all a mystery of light … Another mystery of light is the preaching by which Jesus proclaims the coming of the Kingdom of God, calls to conversion (cf. Mk 1:15) and forgives the sins of all who draw near to him in humble trust …


Jonah 3:1-5


What prophet means varies from scholar to scholar. One scholar defines prophet broadly as one to whom Yhwh speaks.[4] This definition seems to save the reader from dishonesty accepting the following Lectionary[5] directive:


            For all the books that are included among the prophets in the Neo-Vulgate, the formula is to be: [sic] “A reading from the Book of the Prophet …” even in cases of books not regarded by some as being in actual fact prophetic.”


The present scandal in the hierarchy calls for some sort of prophetic repentance.


verse 10[6]        When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,

                                    he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;

                                    he did not carry it out.


If God can repent, then, so ought the Faithful. One repentance begets another. In this case, repentance changed a prophecy.[7]

Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9


Psalm 25 is one of the alphabetical acrostic psalms. By following the alphabet, beginning each verse with the next appropriate letter, these psalms rely on reason more than emotion to sing their praise.[8] Effective repentance requires the sound use of reason.


verse 8           Good and upright is the LORD;

                        thus he shows sinners the way.


Saint Jerome[9] uses docebit, to which I bring the sense that he will teach sinners the way.


verse 9           He guides the humble to justice

                        and teaches the humble his way.


Saint Jerome uses a variety of words through this verse. For the first humble, Jerome uses mansuetos, to which I bring the sense of gentle or non-disruptive. For teaches, Jerome uses docebit, the same word he uses for shows earlier. For the second humble, Jerome uses mites, to which I bring the sense lowly in the sense of free from harshness.


Verse 10 is omitted, but this verse brings the Psalm back to the covenant. The covenant and the law are closely linked.[10] My translation of verse 10: All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth for those who keep his commandments and witness his covenant.


1 Corinthians 7:29-31


No comment.


Mark 1:15


verse 15         The kingdom of God is at hand.

                        Repent and believe in the Gospel.


Mark 1:14-20


verse 15                     “This is the time of fulfillment.

                        The kingdom of God is at hand.

                        Repent, and believe in the gospel.”


Belief links repentance with the covenant and the Gospel. Bringing the Gospel from theory to practice, Mark uses Peter, James, and John as a formula. Sometimes, as here, Andrew makes the trio a quartet. This foursome is also found at Mark 1:29 and 13:3.[11] The significance is that Mark passes over opportunities to single out or lessen the stature of Peter, Peter whose repentance is classic.


verse 20         Then he called them.

                        So they left their father Zebedee in the boat

                                    along with the hired men and followed him.


The Latin has statim, which is translated immediately. The interesting political element that I see in so much of the Gospel is anti family values. Leaving Zebedee in the boat as James and John left, even to follow Jesus, leaves open the admonition of honoring one’s father and one’s mother. As one book reviewer puts it, “James and John leave their father (1:20), which breaks their ties with their paterfamilias.”[12]


Mark identifies the mission of the Twelve with the mission of Jesus himself. Three groups place Jesus in context. Those closest are the Twelve, and then are the disciples, and finally the crowds. The Twelve are to do the very things Jesus does, such as driving out demons and healing the sick. [13]


Repent and believe in the gospel. The Twelve abandoning everything to follow Jesus illustrates both belief and the presence of the Kingdom of God. Jonah expands the covenant from the Chosen People to the rest of us. The Psalm is a prayer to learn how to repent and believe. 1 Corinthians leave the Faithful with a sense of urgency.

[1] The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism Richard P. McBrien, general editor (New York: HarperSanFrancisco: A Division of HarperCollins Publishers, 1995), page 816.


[2] Raissa Maritain, From Adventures in Grace, Julie Kernan, Tr. © 1945, Longmans, Green and Co., New York, NY in Magnificat, Vol. 4, No. 12 (January 2003), pages 365 and 431.


[3] John Paul Heil, “From Remnant to Seed of Hope for Israel: Romans 9:27-29," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 4 (October 2002) 710.


[4] Brian Britt, “Prophetic Concealment in a Biblical Type Scent,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002) 38.


[5] National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Roman Missal Restored by Decree of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican and Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Lectionary for Mass: For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America: Second Typical Edition: Volume I: Sundays, Solemnities, Feasts of the Lord and Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1998), page xlvi.


[6] All verses indented in this manner are taken from the Lectionary.


[7] Randall E. Otto, “The Prophets and Their Perspective," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 2 (April 2001), page 225.


[8] Hanan Eshel and John Strugnell, “Alphabetical Acrostics in Pre-Tannaitic Hebrew," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 3 (July 2000) 443.


[9] Saint Jerome, the Latin, and the Nova Vulgata all refer to Nova Vulgata: Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio: Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II ratione habita Iussu Pauli PP, VI Recognita Auctoritate Joannis Pauli PP, II Promulgata Editio Typica Altera (00120 Citta Del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1979, 1986, 1998) ISBN 88-2209-2163-4


[10] Vincent M. Smiles, “The Concept of `Zeal’ in Second-Temple Judaism and Paul’s Critique of It in Romans 10:2," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 2 (April 2002) 291.


[11] E. Best, “Peter in the Gospel According to Mark," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October 1978) 557.


[12] Carolyn Osiek, R.S.C.J., book review of Michael F. Trainor, The Quest for Home: The Household in Mark’s Community in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 4 (October 2002) 781.


[13] 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), page 651.