At issue in these readings is the conflict between truth and politics, especially between the truth of priestly sexual abuse and hierarchical political cover-up. Adherence to truth means adherence to God, as God reveals whatever truths to individuals. Adherence to politics means adherence to worldly, created matters in the very face of the Creator. This happens when the Faithful know what God wants, for example relative to racism or sexual abuse, but choose to ignore that want of God, out of political favor to humans. While God almighty cannot want anything, there is another sense in that God does want faithfulness from the Faithful.
The relationship between
Lectionary (1998): flesh
The Vulgate (circa 410): brachium
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): arm
New American (1970): human beings
This is different from the Lectionary.
New Jerusalem (1985): human strength
Timing marks the difference between Wisdom literature that
is timeless like Psalm 1 and Prophetic literature that is futuristic. Verb tenses are relevant. More importantly,
Lectionary (1998): is
The Vulgate (circa 410): erit
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): shall be
New American (1970): is
New Jerusalem (1985): does
This translation is difficult because scholars agree that Psalm 1 belongs to Wisdom rather than Prophetic literature. Such a categorization means that the present is more amenable than the future tense. In reality, a prophetic edge is present in Psalm 1. The danger is when what is written does not conform to a preconceived notion of what ought to be written, one translates out of political convenience, if not necessity, rather than out of what is present in Sacred Scripture. Similarly, one translates life in awe of the arm of parents and God, sometimes in concert with one another in a truly holy manner.
Life is not fair. People are not treated the same either by God or by other humans. Because people are sinful, fairness is not an issue. The wonderment of God able to make all things right in the end is the issue. Everlasting life is the issue.
Lectionary (1998): hope
The Vulgate (circa 410): fiducia
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): confidence
New American (1970): hope
New Jerusalem (1985): reliance
A natural difference exists between the planted of the Lectionary and transplanted. Planted implies satisfaction with the status quo; transplanted implies a change of venue may be legitimate.
Lectionary (1998): planted
The Vulgate (circa 410): transplantatur
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): planted
New American (1970): planted
New Jerusalem (1985):
Two of the translations simply omit the phrase about transplanting. If transplantation, then grace does the transplanting of the human from one state to another. If simple planted is at work, then nature may be the only gardener. Saint Jerome liked the idea of grace at work.
As an interesting side note,
The Faithful, who bring
Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6 (40:5 a)
The Lectionary does not use Psalm 1 in any other place. The Lectionary does use Psalm 40, which has the Responsorial antiphon:
64A 504 2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10 (8 a and 90 a) Ordinary 2
65B 508 2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10 (8 a and 90 a) Ordinary 2
78C 574 (40:5 a) Today
120C 781 2, 3, 4, 18 (14 b) Ordinary 20
This Psalm begins with a word beginning with the first
letter of the Hebrew alphabet and ends with a word ending with the last letter
of the Hebrew alphabet. This Greek type of
alpha and omega represents all the
following psalms. This psalm was written
late and appears unknown to some New Testament writings and some Fathers of the
Death on the cross means that
Lectionary (1998): vanishes
The Vulgate (circa 410): peribit
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): perish
New American (1970): ruin
This, too, is different from the Lectionary.
New Jerusalem (1985): doomed
The beginning of the psalm is more interesting. The word blessed has many possible translations.
Lectionary (1998): blessed
The Vulgate (circa 410): beatus
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): blessed
New American (1970): happy
New Jerusalem (1985): how blessed is anyone
How happy that one and how envious or to be envied is that person are both close to the Hebrew. Psalm 1 is Wisdom literature about how to live in a secular world. One should follow one’s own lights in the light of the Lord, regardless of the political repercussions. The Gospel shows that, eventually, these repercussions can result in ostracism from society itself. It is always possible for one to be a “black sheep” in the family for not following secular dictates.
Scholars may seem ostracized from translating. In the final analysis, only one translation can be used in the Lectionary. The following translation is another alternative for verse 1.
Blessed is the one who
does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of scoffers.
The Psalmist is moving from the general to the specific in daily matters of getting along with one another. In the final analysis, Psalm 1 “is no longer simply a reflective hymn about God the creator, but is a prophetic promise about to be fulfilled.”
1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20
Moving from the First to the New Testament, wisdom and
prophecy change. Jesus Christ
personifies wisdom and fulfills prophecy of the Messiah. In Corinthians,
Bodily resurrection from the dead outside of Faith is not
politically useful, except that
In this reading,
Lectionary (1998): vain
The Vulgate (circa 410): stulta
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): vain
New American (1970): vain
New Jerusalem (1985): pointless
Verse 18 is parallel with Psalm 1:6.
Lectionary (1998): perished
The Vulgate (circa 410): perierunt
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): perished
New American (1970): perished
New Jerusalem (1985): utterly lost
Be glad carries the sense of skipping with happiness.
Lectionary (1998): be glad
The Vulgate (circa 410): exultate
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): rejoice
New American (1970): leap for joy
Again, different from the Lectionary.
New Jerusalem (1985): dance for joy
The difference between the rejoice in this place and Matt 5:10 is the difference between the
aorist and present tense, the difference between one act in reaction to another
and a continuing state of mind.
Not only does
These beatitudes are beatitudes of truth over politics. Those without political power are poor,
hungry, weeping, hated, excluded, insulted, and denounced. Children abused by priests make a good
example. Those with political power are
rich, filled, laughing, and spoken well of.
The hierarchy makes a good example.
With his preference for the poor,
The child in a family is not the one with real political power. Parents empower children in a way like God the Father empowering the Faithful. The knack of it for the Faithful is to accept empowerment even in the darkest days of despair on the various crosses of life.
These readings are about speaking out in the face of countervailing political pressure. Truth speaking to power in this way is bold. The Faithful need to exercise prudence in their reactions to boldness, whether their own or others. Just as importantly, the Faithful should be bold in their faith, fearing nothing, except sin.
For more on sources, besides the footnotes, see the Appendix file.
 Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599 182.
 Stanley B. Marrow, “KosmoV in John," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002), 98, footnote 36.
 Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599 180.
 Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599 181.
 Paul R. Raabe, “The Particularizing of Universal Judgment in Prophetic Discourse," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 4 (October 2002) 652.
 Sue Gillingham, “From Liturgy to Prophecy: The Use of Psalmody in Second Temple Judaism," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2002) 481.
 Jack Dean Kingsbury, “Observations on the `Miracle Chapters’ of Mathew 8-9," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October 1978) 563.
 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) 242.