Monday, September 16, 2013

On the Feast of Pope St. Cornelius and Cyprian, a look at the lectionary

On the Feast of Pope St. Cornelius and Cyprian

Today is a fantastic day for the Church who celebrates the feasts of two of Her early Martyrs, Cornelius and Cyprian.  I’m making a point in talking about this because it’s one of the few days where both calendars (1962 and present form) celebrate the same feast. 
I did also want to mention the readings from today’s lectionary, which though for the same feast, are wildly different than one another. As you can see:
Ordinary Form: Luke 7:1-10
When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
“He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.”
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
“Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, Go, and he goes;
and to another, Come here, and he comes;
and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.
Extraordinary Form: Luke 21:9-19
When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”
10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.

Considering that it’s a feast day for Martyrs the latter lectionary makes more sense. 
This seems to be a common issue with the lectionary since 1970 where in an effort to make more of the scriptures heard we down play the feast that is celebrated that day.  I for one don’t see the need to make more of the scripture heard, especially when doing so is really just reading the same event from a different account.  We lose the connection that the liturgy and the feast have with one another, and we also don’t learn the scriptures as well because we are on a three year cycle in the OF for readings, while on the other hand the EF boasts a one year cycle really hitting on key aspects of the faith.

Just an observation (Also why are some things like anything against homosexual behavior left out of the lectionary when we are supposed to learn more in the 3 year cycle?  Especially when they gerrymander readings in the OF?  Just saying)

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