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wordsmiths

By Diogenes (articles ) | May 21, 2007

Here is the reading you probably heard at Mass yesterday:

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done.
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
“I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let him who hears say, “Come.” And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen.

Now compare that reading with the full text. The passages that were omitted above are highlighted below. Pay particular attention to vv 18-19:

12: “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done.
13: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
14: Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
15: Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood.
16: “I Jesus have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.”
17: The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let him who hears say, “Come.” And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price.
18: I warn every one who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if any one adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,
19: and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

20: He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
21: The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the saints. Amen.

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Show 20 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - May. 25, 2007 8:56 PM ET USA

    "The USCCB has no authority" I think that's something we can all agree on.

  • Posted by: - May. 22, 2007 4:24 PM ET USA

    The ones who edit or change the words were warned from Jesus, Himself, as to to will happen to them!!

  • Posted by: - May. 22, 2007 3:28 PM ET USA

    "In order to facilitate the congregation's unanimous assent to the reasonableness of scripture, the wordiness of the reading may be reduced so as to avoid offending the sensibilities of catholic scripture scholars well versed in the historical critical method, and to avoid disturbing the peace of the somnolent among congregants who may be present primarily for communion and wishing to avoid controversy."

  • Posted by: - May. 22, 2007 3:14 PM ET USA

    Gee! My Magnificat didn't even list verse 21. C'mon, Tridentine!

  • Posted by: - May. 22, 2007 3:06 PM ET USA

    This omission was found in the 1969 first edition. Thanks Pope Paul VI.

  • Posted by: - May. 22, 2007 2:13 PM ET USA

    Why does it not make me feel better to know that it wasn't the USCCB that softened the Scripture? In fact, seeing where it comes from, it makes me feel worse. (Does the fact that you heard from them mean that somebody at the USCCB reads CWN? That would be good news.)

  • Posted by: - May. 22, 2007 1:24 PM ET USA

    Mary Elizabeth Sperry of the USCCB staff has contacted CWN to say:

    I just wanted to clarify for you that neither the USCCB nor the copyright holders of the New American Bible made the decision to omit verses in the second reading for the Seventh Sunday of Easter. The cursus of readings is given in the Ordo Lectionum Missae, editio typica altera (1981), though this omission was found in the 1969 first edition as well. The USCCB has no authority to reinsert the omitted vers

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 10:25 PM ET USA

    Does anyone know how many dioceses still celebrate Ascension Thursday? I know where we are, the 3 nearest ones have all abdicated leadership and moved Thursday to Sunday.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 7:47 PM ET USA

    Serious question: who decides what to delete for the lectionary? How many of the faithful, including our priests, deacons, and bishops are really aware of the editing of God's words?

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 7:10 PM ET USA

    Good thing Ascension Thursday Sunday doesn't have an octave. Then we'd have Ascension Thursday Sunday Monday, and Ascension Thursday Sunday Tuesday, etc., or would it just be Ascension Monday, etc. Oh well, so much for Christian witness. Was it really such a tough thing to tell the boss you wanted an extra hour off, or to come in late and explain yourself, or to be adult enough to recognize you couldn't make it and NOT confess it?

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 6:53 PM ET USA

    And how does "and if anyone takes away..." not apply to the USCCB? Perhaps they've developed a new talent: excigesis.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 3:52 PM ET USA

    Yeah, we had Ascension Sunday this past week, too. It's a bow in the direction of "Sunday Christians" who can't be inconvenienced to attend Mass or frequent the sacrements Monday through Saturday. Oh, some of our bishops are so darned pastoral now they've forgotten how to preach the gospel and save souls.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 2:32 PM ET USA

    We had different readings, too, of course, because nobody expects Californians to go to Mass on Thursday. All of the "this day" references to the Ascension were pretty ludicrous. And as to the omitted parts of this reading: if the compilers hadn't deleted them, my Universalist Holy Ghost fathers surely would have. God loves you just the way you are.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 1:53 PM ET USA

    THAT is too funny....and too sad.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 12:55 PM ET USA

    We didn't get to read Revelation this past Sunday (the passage you cite, Di, is one more reason for the Church to use the unabridged Revised Standard Version, not the NRSV, for the lectionary). As with many dioceses, we celebrated Ascension Thursday on the 7th Sunday of Easter. We have our bishops (& Rome's approval) to thank for that, as they argue that people just won't show up on a Thursday for Mass. Jesus ascended on the 40th day after Easter, not the 43rd. Will they also move Good Friday?

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 12:39 PM ET USA

    Ooooh, I think v. 15's also gotta go because of our need to continue interfaith "dialogue" with Muslims - they don't like dogs or even mentioning them, you know. We do want people to be comfortable when they come to church and not have to hear "hard sayings", right? I mean, it's not like *God* or anybody is going to notice if we change the words around a bit.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 11:08 AM ET USA

    Oh I certainly agree with omitting v.15! It mentions dogs, and being sentient as they are, PETA would have none of it! V.18 mentions hearing and is conspicuously opposed to those who are hearing-impaired. Get rid of it ,too! Lastly, v.19 waxes on about the "tree of life" and I can't imagine The Sierra Clubbers wanting their darling trees associated with that old contentious "life" issue. After careful reconsideration then, strike everything but v.21 and we can all be happy!

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 10:42 AM ET USA

    Kumbaya, malord, kumbaya.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 8:55 AM ET USA

    Thank you. You made me laugh this morning. I wonder if the person(s) who decided to edit it down actually read what they were editing. Then, that makes me wonder about every reading which is presented piecemeal.

  • Posted by: - May. 21, 2007 7:51 AM ET USA

    I have been told that the "sorcerers" are "pharmakoi," those who give drugs to induce abortion. But what does it matter? Mass should make no one uncomfortable. It is all about celebrating how wonderful we are.

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