chronology to frame his ideas, in this case ideas associated with the
Transfiguration. Within that framework, Luke organizes his material according to logic of
ideas, rather than logic of chronology. In these readings, Luke draws Jesus into the
history of Moses and Elijah (Elias) as the fulfillment of the law.
In the Transfiguration, Jesus
exults in his own realization of who he is.
Through grace, the People of God share in the life of Jesus. Rejoicing in a sense of exaltation, therefore,
is appropriate for the People of God.
1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
These readings look to the Transfiguration, scheduled for
liturgical celebration Friday, August 6, 2004.
During the Transfiguration, Jesus
engages Elijah in conversation about
the Exodus. Since Elijah
permits Elisha to kiss my father and mother good bye, the liturgical point is that Jesus supersedes Elijah
in vocational demands.
This passage about Elijah
is patterned after what was written about Moses,
in the tradition of a new Moses. The pattern consists of both active revelation
and concealment, which is also revelation.
Concealment comes when the People of God turn their backs. The passage from Luke
below also includes elements of direct revelation that Jesus
is headed for Jerusalem
and concealment from
would-be disciples for their lack of commitment. The Transfiguration also includes concealment
because Jesus directs Peter, James,
and John to tell the vision to no one
until after the passion, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven.
Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10,
11 (cf. 5a)
The Lectionary uses this Psalm at four Sunday
Readings Page in Verses used
41B 323 5,
8, 9-10, 11 (1) Easter
46A 369-370 1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11 (11a) Easter 3
99C 675 1-2,
5, 7-8, 9-10, 11 (cf. 5a) Readings for today.
158B 966 5,
8, 1-10, 11 (1) Ordinary 33
16, 2003 also uses these readings in 158B. The Responsorial causes a problem in that the
Responsorial for Readings 158B, 41B, and these
are identical, You are my inheritance, O
Lord. The problem is that these 99C Readings identify the Responsorial with verse cf. 5a, whereas Readings 41B and 158B identify the same
Responsorial with verse 1. As stated in Readings 158B, where the Lectionary
finds verse 1 is beyond me. The only
other difference between Readings
41B and 158B is that the 41B and 99C Responsorial ends with a period and 158B
with an exclamation point.
The following section is now deleted from the Appendix.
The Sunday words are developed out of Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P. Stuhlmueller advises praying the psalms with a
word-focus. A single word is somewhat
easier than the Responsorial Antiphon that I use personally.
Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Under the law in
verse 18 is a key phrase. From Deuteronomy and Exodus translators from
the Hebrew are able to write not that the Israelites drew near to the mountain
on which the law was given, but under
said mountain. In this way, with the
mountain over their heads, about to crush them, under the law took on a compelling meaning. Paul is writing that the law of love of Jesus goes beyond the picayune details of such things
as circumcision. Paul writes of a new freedom for humanity, a
freedom seen in the Transfiguration.
The more I read Paul,
the more I see that Paul likes to lay
down the law. However, the law Paul lays down is a law of love and freedom, not a
law of compulsion and circumspection. In
the Transfiguration, Jesus, Elijah, and Moses
talk about the Exodus in the Spirit of love and transformation.
1 Samuel 3:9;
Jesus, Moses, and Elijah
had to listen to one another in order to hold a conversation. Listening to the Spirit, then, is a
prerequisite for rejoicing in the same Spirit.
The Spirit is a Spirit of Truth in somewhat of a conflict with the
spirit of human politics and political correctness.
Verse 51, Jesus’ being
taken up includes his death, resurrection, and ascension in the sense of
the original Greek. In verse 54, the
disciples asking Jesus whether Jesus wanted the disciples to call down fire from heaven is parallel to Elijah
exacting the same sort of retribution on those disrespecting him. Jesus fulfills the law in a different way,
however, by rebuking the disciples. Jesus
is too full of his own exaltation to worry about Samaritans hindering his
journey to Jerusalem.
Some manuscripts include the following in verse 55: “And he
said, `You do not know what manner of spirit you are of; for the Son of man
came not to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’”
Jesus then engages
those who wish to follow him to Jerusalem.
Implicitly referring to the Exodus, Jesus
tells the first that Jesus has nowhere
to lay his head. Jesus means that his
rest will only come after his Exodus from this life. Jesus tells the second not to worry about his
sacred duty to bury his father, instead, to proclaim the kingdom
of God. To the third, Jesus says that thinking of family before preaching
the Gospel is inappropriate.
As part of thinking about family, the Greek includes the
sense of continually looking back
over the furrows the plow makes. Put
within the context of family life, such looking back seems to include
psychological problems rooted in family life.
The Transfiguration brings with it a sense of exaltation, looking
forward, without being hung up on past family problems.
What does this passage mean for family values? Is Jesus
commenting on patriarchy? How does this
passage relate to material culture? Such
questions merit consideration, a consideration scholars have yet to engage.
In conclusion, these readings look forward to Feast of the
Transfiguration scheduled in little over a month. These readings are laying groundwork for
rejoicing in the exaltation of Jesus
in conversation about the Exodus with Moses
and Elijah. 1 Kings brings to mind the
marvels of Elijah. The Psalm is about
rejoicing itself. Galatians indirectly
brings to mind the Sinai covenant of Moses
as the Gospel of Luke connects the knowledgeable reader with Elijah and Jesus.
The ultimate exaltation and rejoicing is with the coming Transfiguration.
For more on sources and their availability, besides the
footnotes, see the Appendix file. At
this time, a change occurs in the Appendix.