The Exodus out of
The young Virgin Mary, possibly dancing in the daily
Temple Service of Jerusalem changes into the mature Virgin Mary dancing in the
temple of her own heart. Because Psalm
68 was one of the psalms used at daily prayer, Psalm 68:26 hints that
Lectionary (1998): …
The Vulgate (circa 410): in medio iuvenculae tympanistriae.
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): in the midst of young damsels playing on timbrels.
New American (1970): in their midst girls sound the timbrels.
New Jerusalem (1985): in the middle come girls, beating their drums (verse 25)
I wanted to check the reliability of the dancing girls both above and below.
Also, see Jeremiah 31:13
Lectionary (1998): …
The Vulgate (circa 410): Tunc laetabitur virgo in choro, iuvenes et senes simul.
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, the young men and the old men together
young men and old will be happy;
New American (1970): Then the virgins shall make merry and dance,
and young men and old as well.
New Jerusalem (1985): The young girl will then take pleasure in the dancing, and young men and old alike
For Mary, Faith overcame all anxiety. The readings continue to relate to anxiety, beginning with the wisdom of Sirach, known as Ecclesiasticus in the Vulgate. In the wisdom context that all is vanity, because everyone winds up in the grave anyway, Sirach insists that pursuing the love of God does make sense. Rather than aggression, Sirach promotes a model of gentleness and humility. Faith trumps anxiety.
Psalm 68 is one of the oldest psalms, dating from the
Hebrews also continues with a sense that Faith is a
realization of things unseen.
Hebrews is complex theology involving inheritance. At the time of Jesus, only the Hebrews
inherited based on primogeniture,
that is, the first-born inherited everything, which he might, then, share. The Greek-Roman and all other senses of
inheritance relied on testaments, that is, wills. Hebrews, both the people and
the letter, assumed intestate inheritance leaving everything to the first-born,
The theology of Hebrews assumes that the Sinaitic Covenant broke, thereby calling for the death of the sinners. Jesus, then took on and paid the penalty for sin, not simply restoring the former Covenant, but establishing a New Testament or Covenant. Hebrews is about the joy of living with Faith in anticipation of living with God.
In the Gospel,
Saint Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea (330-379) explains. “To take the lowest place at feasts, as the Lord advises, is a fitting thing to do; but again, to seize it forcibly is a thing to be condemned, as disturbing order and causing confusion.” Basil seems to catch the twinkle in the eye of Mary as she related the happening to Luke. The Faithful are expected to exercise prudence in all things, even as Faith trumps anxiety.
Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29 (as found in the Lectionary)
Sirach itself is difficult because the title is not found in the Vulgate, or elsewhere. Verses 28 and 29, as listed in the Lectionary are so numbered in the New American, but not elsewhere. The New Jerusalem Bible helps by offering a dual set of numbers, for example, so that verse 17 is also identified as verse 19, which it is in the Vulgate. The confusion means that wisdom itself is not always clear. The anxiety caused by confusion among the Sacred Scriptures is trumped by Faith that God knows what he is doing and is both faithful and loving.
Verse 17 in the Lectionary
Lectionary (1998): conduct your affairs with humility
The Vulgate (circa 410): in mansuetudine opera tua perfice (verse 19)
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): do thy works in meekness (verse 19)
New American (1970): conduct your affairs with humility
New Jerusalem (1985): be gentle in carrying out your business (17/19)
Being gentle differs from being humble and such was the differentiation I sought in the various translations, both above and below.
Lectionary (1998): Humble yourself the more
The Vulgate (circa 410): humilia te in omnibus (verse 20)
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): the more humble thyself in all things (verse 20)
New American (1970): Humble yourself the more
New Jerusalem (1985): the more humbly you should behave (18/20)
Lectionary (1998): appreciates proverbs
The Vulgate (circa 410): concupiscent sapientiam (verse 31)
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): will hear wisdom with all desire (verse 31)
New American (1970): appreciates proverbs
New Jerusalem (1985): will reflect on parables (31/29)
Since I transliterated concupiscent into concupiscence, I wanted to find the desire translation. The meaning is that the wise seek wisdom with erotic passion.
The gist of these readings can be twisted to mean that thinking is bad. Noting the above discrepancies, therefore, can also be regarded as bad. To the contrary, I think that paying attention to the details helps search out the meaning of the passages. This passage is part of the synthesis of Jewish wisdom and piety, which lasts forty-two and a half chapters.
Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11
This is the only place the Lectionary uses Psalm 68. The verse references for this psalm are also misleading, because, for one example, verse 5 omits the LORD arriving on a powerful, moving storm cloud, as further elaborated by Ezekiel. Verse 7 is also incomplete. Ezekiel portrays the four evangelists as Man, Lion, Ox, and Eagle representing intelligence, fierceness, strength, fertility, and swiftness for serving and defending the divine throne. Nothing like that is in the Lectionary for verse 7.
Lectionary (1998): defender of widows
The Vulgate (circa 410): iudex viduarum
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): judge of widows (Psalm 67)
New American (1970): defender of widows‑
New Jerusalem (1985): defender of widows (verse 5)
I wanted to see how iudex would be translated. The translation moved from judge to defender.
Psalm 68 is one of those changing from a glowing praise of the past to a prophetic promise for the future. Psalm 68 was important for the Second Temple Judaism of Mary. Psalm 68 is one of five focused on at the time for that prophetic promise. Psalm 68 was a type of victory parade, celebrating the Exodus, even if there did not seem much to celebrate under the Roman conquest. For Mary and the Faithful, Faith trumps anxiety.
Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a (as found in the Lectionary)
The Lectionary contains all of verse 24 in the Vulgate and the other Bibles I use for comparison. Why the Lectionary uses “a” in “24a” escapes me.
In verse 7,
To the contrary,
Lectionary (1998): move up to a higher position
The Vulgate (circa 410): ascende superius
Douay-Rheims (1582-1610): go up higher
New American (1970): move up to a higher position
New Jerusalem (1985): move up higher
I wanted to see the translations for ascende superius. The Lectionary, using the word position, does help clarify the meaning.
The Greek is a reminder of Proverbs 25:7 “For it is better
that you be told, `Come up closer!’ than that you be humbled before the
Jesus was moving from what the Pharisees
already knew to a new and better understanding of the Kingdom of God. Sometimes
a vice, such as envy, can cause enough anxiety to cloud the truth when
presented even by
Faith trumps anxiety: in Sirach acting gently among the tensions of business life; in Psalm 68 celebrating daily in the Temple at the forbearance of Rome; in Hebrews with a hope for things not seen; and in Luke no worrying about esteem, whether self-esteem or the esteem of others. Faith trumping anxiety removes the setting for going back into sin.
For more on sources see the Appendix file.
 Saint Joseph Edition of The New American Bible: Translated from the Original Languages with Critical Use of All the Ancient Sources: Including The Revised New Testament and the Revised Psalms Authorized by the Board of Trustees of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and Approved by the Administrative Committee/Board of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United States Catholic Conference: with many helps for Bible reading: Vatican II Constitution on Divine Revelation, How to Read the Bible, Historical Survey of the Lands of the Bible, Bible Dictionary, Liturgical Index of Sunday Readings, Doctrinal Bible Index, and over 50 Photographs and Maps of the Holy Land (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1992).726.
The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: A Manual of Preaching, Spiritual Reading and Meditation: Volume Four: From the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost to the Twenty-fourth and Last Sunday after Pentecost, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996) 142, 144, 145, 146, 152.