Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday's Message: 4th Week of Easter

Welcome back to another edition of 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? I have used it while teaching my high school theology classes, along with the NRSV and NABRE, and have had positive results.  

I would like to also propose a question each week to reflect upon, particularly in light of the rendering found here in The Message:
How often do we give thanks to not only our earthly shepherds but also our heavenly one?

Acts 4:8-12
With that, Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, let loose: “Rulers and leaders of the people, if we have been brought to trial today for helping a sick man, put under investigation regarding this healing, I’ll be completely frank with you—we have nothing to hide. By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the One you killed on a cross, the One God raised from the dead, by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole. Jesus is ‘the stone you masons threw out, which is now the cornerstone.’ Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one.”

Psalm 118
Thank God because he’s good,
because his love never quits.
Far better to take refuge in God
than trust in people;
Far better to take refuge in God
than trust in celebrities.
Thank you for responding to me;
you’ve truly become my salvation!
The stone the masons discarded as flawed
is now the capstone!
This is God’s work.
We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!
Blessed are you who enter in God’s name—
from God’s house we bless you!
Thank God—he’s so good.
His love never quits!

1 John 3:1-2
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. But that’s also why the world doesn’t recognize us or take us seriously, because it has no idea who he is or what he’s up to.
But friends, that’s exactly who we are: children of God. And that’s only the beginning. Who knows how we’ll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we’ll see him—and in seeing him, become like him.

John 10:11-18
Jesus said:
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him.
“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.”


Laurence Foley said...

Just now catching up with postings on 'the Message'. The problem with the dynamic equivalence school of translation is that the 'hipness' of the translation tend to age rather quickly. That and the fact that this type of presentation involves more of an interpretation by the translator.

CarlHernz said...

While the paraphrasing from the works of John demonstrate Peterson's ability to offer paraphrase, his work with Acts is problematic when he speaks of Peter addressing the Sanhedrin as 'letting loose.'

Peter was like the other Judean believers of Abraham's stock who were Torah observant and respectful of the Temple arrangement and Sanhedrin. (See Acts 6:7 and 21:20.) The Greek word here, usually rendered "said" refers to respectfully laying down an argument, such as a lawyer would do before a judge. This paraphrase however gives the impression that the Jewish Christians were rebelling against their societal arrangements. The idea that Peter "let loose" the message of Jesus as Messiah upon the Sanhedrin (with all the implications that phrase has in modern society) betrays the original Greek and paints a distorted picture for the reader.

The Psalm is basically very well-painted except for the use of the term "masons" and "flawed." The word for "masons" in Hebrew is the same word in Genesis where God "builds" one of Adam's ribs into the woman, and is also used of carpenters who "build" homes out of wood. It can also refer to those in charge of the work but never do any labor.

The word "flawed" in reference to the stone misses the mark, as the Hebrew word means rejected due to the stone being "despised" by the builders. The Hebrew implies that the stone is being rejected for no good reason except that the builders don't like it. There is no suggestion in the Hebrew that the stone has any flaw and that the rejection shows a problem with the attitude of the builders instead.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tim
What was the question this week or have I missed it ?
Apologies if so.

Timothy said...


Thank you. I forgot to include it!

CarlHernz said...

Q: How often do we give thanks to not only our earthly shepherds but also our heavenly one?

About 10 years ago, minus five months, I had the first of three doctors diagnose me with Parkinson's disease. The confirmation would include the work of two other doctors over the next several months, but eventually a "mystery" illness I had that began when I was 18 would do something I knew from the start and rob me of the best and most enjoyable job I ever had: working at my diocesan office.

Though I was a geek in the IT department, it was wonderful to work around spiritual people and especially the priests and religious. I got to go to Mass practically everyday and spend my hours helping those who worked hardest in the Church to serve the rest of us with the Gospel of our Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

Though I got to work there for several years, I knew it was not to last. I knew my health problem was going to cut it short. But I held on as long as I could because I wanted to give not only to others but help our shepherds who work tirelessly on our behalf. It was my daily thank you, to them and to God.

I had just turned 41 when I retired, and I will be 49 later this year. It has been something learning how to be still in a body that refuses to be still. But I have not felt depressed or felt I could no longer help my Church or do something on behalf of those who do so much for you and for me.

Each day we have trials and tribulations, some small and some great. So each day we have the treasure of our trusting patience in the midst of these to have something to offer along with the Sacrament of the Altar that our Lord gives of Himself through our shepherds. I remind myself that where I am no longer rich in efforts, I am rich in offering my sufferings, trials, and even hopes and happiness along with this Sacrifce each and every day.

So I make sure to make a Morning Offering daily, especially for the Holy Father's intentions and needs. My life, far more humble in deeds than what it once was, is still a happy one, frustrating and challenging at times I cannot lie, but still of value and worth.

I knew my favorite job was not going to last, and I was actually relieved to get an accurate diagnosis after so many years of not knowing what was wrong with me. And I am most grateful for the time I did have. Our shepherds really love us. I got to see it everyday and firsthand. So as long as I have something to offer, even when I can't say it in person, I make sure I can at least be thankful in some prayerful way on their behalf. (And God hears it daily from this horse's mouth.)

Leighton said...


Thank you for sharing your powerful and moving testimony, and your knowledge about Scripture.

Your attitude (or mindset) seems to exemplify Paul's words from Phil. 2:5-11 (thankfully with all of us being Bible geeks I don't have to put the quote).

Sometimes it is indeed difficult to recall our lives are measured by self-giving, humble love, not by big accomplishments. Thanks for the reminder.