Looking forward, away from sin, to a brighter future
is the theme for these Sunday readings. Isaiah
43 is where the second chapter of Second Isaiah begins. Written at the time of the Babylonian Exile,
in the mid-Sixth Century B.C., Isaiah 43 assures
Isaiah 42:10—43:8, just before these Sunday readings, is about the blind and exiled led through the desert back to their home. Isaiah 43:9—44:8, which include these Sunday readings, is about a people formed and rendering praise in Isaiah 43:16-21. In other words, along with comfort, a maturation process takes place.
Isaiah 43:18 is about God beginning something new; that it is time to forget the past. The Liturgy moves from Isaiah to the Psalm. Psalm 41 asks God to forget the past. 2 Corinthians is about that new something, namely the love and life of God in the souls of the Faithful. The Gospel of Mark offers the best scholarly insights into dealing with sin. Jesus deals with his antagonists by healing the paralytic as a sign that he, indeed, forgives sins.
The Lectionary readings from Isaiah 43 appeal to an understanding of the unconscious mind, the events of the past that torment the present. Isaiah 43:24b addresses the unconscious; You burdened me with your sins, and wearied me with your crimes. Isaiah 43:25 goes on to say, It is I, I, who wipe out, for my own sake, your offenses; your sins I remember no more. If God is not remembering the sins of the Faithful, why should the Faithful be tormented by them? They should not be. That is the comfort the LORD promises in Isaiah 43:21 that the Faithful might announce my praise.
The Responsorial Antiphon, Psalm 41:5b, looks away from sin toward a brighter future. Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you. The unused Psalm 41:10 refers to a false friend and a deceitful ally or covenant partner. In modern times, healing resulting from the trauma of a false friend and a deceitful ally is a psychiatric function. Those over seventy years of age can remember when the need for psychiatric help was a sign of weakness to be pitied, rather than a sign of sickness either to be cured or managed. For modern people regarding sin as a spiritual illness, the Psalmist looks away from sin toward a brighter, healthier future.
In 2 Corinthians,
The Greek for 2 Corinthians 1:15, as God is faithful, is “a formula for swearing As God is true …” assuring the Faithful God loves them. 2 Corinthians urges the Faithful to revel in the presence of God in their lives. In the Greek for 2 Corinthians 1:21, Paul plays upon words, first to refer to Jesus as the Christ, or the anointed one, then to refer himself as anointed in the love of God, and finally to describe the Faithful with the same anointing.
For some unexplained reason an earlier edition of the
When 2 Corinthians 1:15 and 19 refer to yes and no, 2 Corinthians refers to unforgiving judgment. 2 Corinthians 1:19 and 20 insists that God so loves the Faithful that God only approaches the Faithful with a yes in love. The Lectionary translation of 2 Corinthians 1:19, but “yes” has been in him is a difficult translation. The meaning is that the yes existed as a past action, which continues as the present state of affairs. Paul is not using the Greek aorist tense, that refers to an act totally completed in the past, but he uses the perfect, which means a present state of affairs resulting from a past action.
Moving through the Lectionary to the Gospel, Pastoral Care of the Sick uses
this Gospel according to
Mark 2 is part of a cycle of Galilean dispute incidents
The readings for this Sunday forget the sins of the
past to praise God in the present. Deutero
Isaiah encourages the exiled Jews to praise God who is not forgetting them. Psalm 41:13 asks for healing from past sins; let me stand before you forever. 2 Corinthians 1:24 assures the Faithful
that God is faithful and has given the Spirit
in our hearts as a first installment of the forgiveness of sins and the
consequent ability to love and praise God.
Mark absorbs the sins of humanity into the love of
For more on sources see the Appendix file. Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes
 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) 96.
 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: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 94, 306.
 Jack Dean Kingsbury, “Observations on the `Miracle Chapters’ of Matthew 8-9,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October 1978) 560.