27 December 2009

A Lectionary Choice: Holy Family Sunday

Today in the Lectionary of the Ordinary Form of the Mass for Holy Family Sunday, the Second Reading has three alternatives, and the last of those alternatives is rarely employed; however, I think it is an exceptionally good choice in Year C of the Lectionary for the USA.

Now in the USA this text would be read from the New American Bible, and in Canada I believe it is the NRSV that is authorised. I have personal long lists of everything I find wrong with both of those translations, so where shall I turn for a translation on my blog? ... That's right, it is Back-to-the-Future with the Douay-Rheims translation of Bishop Challoner (of blessed memory) of the First Letter of John 3:1-2, 21-24:
1 Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called, and should be the sons of God. Therefore the world knoweth not us, because it knew not Him. 2 Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when He shall appear, we shall be like to Him: because we shall see Him as He is.

Dearly beloved, if our heart do not reprehend us, we have confidence towards God: 22 And whatsoever we shall ask, we shall receive of Him: because we keep His commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment, that we should believe in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ: and love one another, as He hath given commandment unto us. 24 And he that keepeth His commandments, abideth in Him, and He in him. And in this we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.
Today at Our Lady of Walsingham in Houston, Texas, my beloved and esteemed father was the lector for this reading. How I wish I had been well enough to drive there to hear him read God's Word. Once you have heard him read the Scriptures ... his is the voice you would want to hear in your head as you read the sacred page. I know that people think this alternative exists simply to avoid the other two possibilities, but to the contrary I find it a marvellous reading in Year C in the Catholic Church in the USA, and I hope many have had the opportunity to hear this portion of Scripture read aloud and that its message is written on all of our hearts. God bless us everyone!
+Laus Deo.
*The picture above of the Holy Family comes from Jim Shore's colourful collection of creches, ornaments, and angels.