Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday's Message: Dedication of the Lateran Church

I am continuing a new weekly series which will be posted every Sunday morning called "Sunday's Message." Here, I will reproduce the readings for Mass from The Message: Catholic/Ecumenical Edition.  I want to thank Greg Pierce at ACTA for giving me permission to do this weekly post.  While this is not an "official" Catholic edition, one of my hopes for doing this new series is to have a lively discussion on the renderings, compared to the more formal ones we are use to reading and hearing at Mass.  Is there a place for a translation like this?  Could this be a good Bible to give to a Catholic "seeker" or young adult? 

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12
Now he brought me back to the entrance to the Temple. I saw water pouring out from under the Temple porch to the east (the Temple faced east). The water poured from the south side of the Temple, south of the altar. He then took me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the gate complex on the east. The water was gushing from under the south front of the Temple.  He told me, “This water flows east, descends to the Arabah and then into the sea, the sea of stagnant waters. When it empties into those waters, the sea will become fresh. Wherever the river flows, life will flourish—great schools of fish—because the river is turning the salt sea into fresh water. Where the river flows, life abounds.  “But the river itself, on both banks, will grow fruit trees of all kinds. Their leaves won’t wither, the fruit won’t fail. Every month they’ll bear fresh fruit because the river from the Sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.”

Psalm 46
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
the tremors that shift mountains.
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
God lives here, the streets are safe,
God at your service from crack of dawn.
Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,
but Earth does anything he says.
Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
breaks all the weapons across his knee.

1 Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17
Planting and watering are menial servant jobs at minimum wages. What makes them worth doing is the God we are serving. You happen to be God’s field in which we are working. Or, to put it another way, you are God’s house. Using the gift God gave me as a good architect, I designed blueprints; Apollos is putting up the walls. Let each carpenter who comes on the job take care to build on the foundation! Remember, there is only one foundation, the one already laid: Jesus Christ. You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.

John 2:13-22
When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.  Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”  But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”  They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.


Jonny said...

Hi Tim: off subject, but did you know there is an edition of "The Imitation of Christ" translated by Ronald Knox?

I haven't seen it yet but some reviewers think it is the best translation. Have a happy Sunday! :)

Ed Rio said...

Now, I'm no Bible scholar, but there are some things that stood out like sore thumbs, even to me. One of them being: “loan sharks”. For the Mass reading, it's translated “money-changers”. According to one online dictionary, a money-changer is “a person whose business is the exchange of currency, usually of different countries, at a fixed or official rate.” Seems more than a bit of a stretch to get “loan sharks” out of that. And to me, that just conjures up images of every movie mobster cliché going. (Smoke filled room, fedora hats, etc.) Sorry, but Goodfellas and the Gospel reading don't go together. Money-changers doesn't seem like a term that would be difficult to understand.

The other one: “Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!”
Really?! Marketplace is too hard to grasp? I can see translating to make some terms a little easier for people to understand, but this ruins the historical and cultural aspects of the Bible. What next, Jesus at Starbucks with IRS agents?

And finally, “What credentials can you present to justify this?”
That one seems like a real stretch from them asking for a sign to show. And with this being from St. John's Gospel, the use of “signs” has significant meaning that gets trashed by “credentials” IMO.

The Message really dropped the ball this week.

Jay said...

I can appreciate the Cotton Patch "translation" because it didn't try to pretend it was an exact translation and openly said it was trying to paraphrase the Gospels into modern cultural equivalents. So you could accept and appreciate its striking metaphors, such as "no one puts new rubber tubes into old tires". The Message needs to do the same thing.

By the way, "loan sharks" is just completely wrong. "ATM service fees" would be a better cultural equivalent, but yes, what's wrong with money changers? Call them "foreign currency exchangers" if you want to find the modern equivalent.