The Post-V2 Lectionary Spares Us from Hell

Not literally from hell, but from hearing much about it:

This is but one example in the new lectionary of how the men who promised us “more scripture” [in the post-V2 lectionary] gave us less of its message.’  I hear you.

I came across my own example of editing the scriptures to preserve “niceness” at mass.  The first reading for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time is 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13:

7Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. 9 Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.”

Phew!  David got lucky, huh?  He admits that he’s sinned, and gets  off scot-free!  What a sweet, kind God we have!

But what was edited out?  Verses 11-12 say, “11Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun'”; and verse 14:  ’14Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the LORD, the child who is born to you shall die.”‘

How rude!

What should we conclude?  Were the editors of the post-V2 lectionary promoters of modernism as the linked article suggests?  Maybe, maybe not.  But if not, they seem at least to have thought that Catholics needed to be protected from God — or from his embarrassing lack of tact anyway.  Back off, God!  We don’t need that kind of language in our mass, thank you!  You may be the Lord of Hosts who sends his avenging angel to wreak justice upon the earth, but OUR religion is one of sweetness and light, so you can check that stuff at the door, fella!

2 thoughts on “The Post-V2 Lectionary Spares Us from Hell

  1. Me again. I thought I would comment on something we might agree on. From the link:

    Scripture passages that are “truly difficult,” which present “serious literary, critical or exegetical problems” or which the faithful “may find too difficult to understand” are not employed on Sundays.

    This makes no sense to me. Why would you not want your priests to explain difficult passages? That is the effect of leaving it out of Sunday readings. We are all expected to read scripture. So we are going to read then difficult parts. So the effect is we only get the priests help in understanding the easy passages. For the hard ones we are on our own.

    I remember when I was in Ireland and they were interviewing somebody about the idea of removing the “wives submit” passages from the lectionary. He said the main motivation was because people complained. That it became too much work to explain the text. But if they don’t understand an important biblical concept such as submission then maybe we should take the time. It might even lead to something radical like catechesis.


  2. Hi Randy, thanks for the reciprocal visit!

    You write, “[T]he effect is we only get the priests help in understanding the easy passages. For the hard ones we are on our own.”

    Excellent point! Vatican II exhorts the faithful to read scripture, yet the lectionary precludes homilies on difficult passages (since homilies are to be based on the readings), so the faithful are left to puzzle them out on their own. I didn’t catch that.

    It’s truly outrageous the number of important passages that are omitted. You realize this when you go to the Traditional Latin Mass, where the “difficult” readings are broadcast loud and clear with no fudging. Sometimes it catches you off-guard because you’re used to these things being hushed up.


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