Lazarus, the leper, suffering outside the gates of a
rich man and representing the marginalized of the world, especially the
“Two-thirds Word,” personalizes these readings.
The Eighth Century B.C.
Book of Amos says it loud and clear. “Woe
to the complacent (verse 1a) … their wanton revelry shall be done away with. (verse 7).”
Gaining momentum since the late 1960s, Amos has served as a gateway to
the other prophets. Now a book serves as
a gateway through the last two centuries of scholarship on Amos,
Just as Amos offers exciting new challenges, so does
Psalm 146 offer a disappointing traditional challenge of getting the
translation right, at least consistent from Sunday to Sunday. Last year in Cycle B, the Lectionary
translated Psalm 146:7 one way, this year, in Cycle C, the translation is
different. This means the Lectionary
further burdens the poor in spirit, who are obligated to accept the Lectionary
without critical input, with confusion. Confusing
the Faithful haphazardly and cavalierly looks like that against which
Amos 6:1a, 4-7
The setting for Amos of Tekoa is fancy, in a symposium among
the elite. Perhaps Amos sang his
prophecy, especially verses 4-7, alone, as customary among poets.
Amos was not a John the Baptizer or
Jeremiah crying in the wilderness, but rather a respected man of God revealing
wisdom. Because the elite did not like
what Amos, the shepherd, had to say, they eventually drove him from the great
cult center of
Amos 6:1a is about the Southern Kingdom of Israel, Juda,
In contemporary society, Amos is no help to the Faithful suffering from anxiety. Amos redirects anxiety to anxiety about loving everyone, especially those suffering a reversal of fortunes. Incorporating Amos into the politics of concern for the poor, Amos is a cause, not a relief, from anxiety.
Psalm 146:7, 8-9, 9-10
Funeral Rites uses this psalm on page 307, one of the “Second Psalms” for Morning Prayer. The Lectionary uses Psalm 146 as follows:
Reading Page Antiphon Verses
7A 34 Isa 35:4 6-7, 8-9, 9-10 Advent 3
128B 817 1b 7, 8-9, 9-10 Ordinary 23
138C 865 1b 7, 8-9, 9-10 Today
155B 947 1b 7, 8-9, 9-10 Ordinary 32
The antiphon is
verse 1b Praise the Lord, my soul!
verse 8a The LORD gives sight to the blind;
verse 18b The LORD raises up those who were bowed down.
Dominus erigit depressos
Rather than the Lectionary bowed down, why not transliterate the Vulgate as depressed?
verse 10 The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations.
The unused verse 3 asks, “How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?”
The personal pronouns individuate the psalm. By standing for
Coming to light now, unnoticed last year, the problem with the translation of Psalm 146:7 is as follows:
Blessed is he who keeps page 865 Today
The God of Jacob keeps page 817 Ordinary 23 B
The Lord keeps page 947 Ordinary 155B
The Lord keeps (identified as verse 6, not 7) page 533 Ordinary 70A
The Lord God keeps (identified as verse 6, not 7) page 34 Advent 3A
The Nova Vulgata uses the following for verse 5, which seems to be the Latin for the above.
Beatus, cuius Deus Iacob est adiutor,
Cuius spes in Domino Deo suo,
Such a cavalier attitude in the Lectionary damages
the Magisterium upon which it relies. This
cavalier attitude seems similar to the attitude Amos rails against, when Amos 6:1a
prophecies, Woe to the complacent in Zion.
The Lectionary is already six years old, old enough for
Verse 12 specifies that for which to compete, Compete well for the faith. This means Faith that the reversal in fortunes will happen as promised. John paraphrases Psalm 146:3 as follows, “How can you believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” Seeking the glory that comes from God is one source for enhancing civil and religious rights for the marginalized and dispossessed.
Cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9
So that by his poverty you might become rich illustrates the reversal of fortunes the Faithful are to expect.
Verse 22, the bosom of
The Greek for torment in verse 23 stems from a touchstone used for proving gold, to mean an investigation by torture, to mean torment.
Verse 27, my father’s house is an example of house standing for household. There are many such examples in the Gospels.
Verse 31, Then
Inadvertently, these readings are about the right of the
Faithful who lack the scholarly tools required for translation, to a sound
translation of Sacred Scripture. Amos
rails against complacency with confusing translations, such as that of Psalm
For more on sources see the Appendix file.
 John T. Carroll, “Luke’s Portrayal of the Pharisees," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 4 (October 1988) 614, 616.
 Joyce Rilett Wood, “Speech and Action in Micah’s Prophecy,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly Vol. 62, No. 4 (October 2000), 650.
 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) 1058-1059.
 Dennis Hamm, S.J., “What the Samaritan Leper Sees: The Narrative Christology of Luke 17:11-19,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 2 (April 1994) 277.
 Stanley B. Marrow, “KosmoV in John," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002), 98.
Nova Vulgata: Bibliorum
Sacrorum Editio: Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II ratione habita
 Translation as found in Stanley B. Marrow, “KosmoV in John," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002), 98. Also, see footnote 36.