Sunday, 19 May 2013

Pentecost Gospel

Today is an interesting day, for those who have been following my analysis of the treatment of the Gospels in the New Lectioanry.

On the one hand, the Gospel for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, which would have been read on this day at every Sunday Mass, every year, closes with a pair of verses which is not read on any Sunday under the new arrangements.

It is St John, 14: 30 - 31: "I shall not talk to you any longer, because the prince of this world is on his way. He has no power over me, but the world must be brought to know that I love the Father, and that I am doing exactly what the Father told me."

Quite why that is no longer an important text is unclear to me, but clearly Bugnini and his team made that decision.  Oddly, they don't seem keen on verses that describe Our Lord's relationship with His Father, nor those that mention the Devil.

The second reason today is interesting in this context is because it also features a Gospel reading with a passage cut out from the middle of it.  The Gospel we heard was St John, 14:15-16, 23-26. So verses 17 - 22 were cut.  

It is true that 17 - 21 are read on the sixth Sunday after Easter in Year A, so they have not disappeared altogether, except verse 22 itself. But it still strikes me as odd: the reading was not particularly long today. So why were these verses deemed inappropriate?  Here they are in the Knox translation, with verse 22 (the one that is never read, even on 6th Sunday after Easter (Year A)) in bold:

 It is the truth-giving Spirit, for whom the world can find no room, because it cannot see him, cannot recognize him. But you are to recognize him; he will be continually at your side, nay, he will be in you.  I will not leave you friendless; I am coming to you.  It is only a little while now, before the world is to see me no more; but you can see me, because I live on, and you too will have life.  When that day comes, you will learn for yourselves that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. The man who loves me is the man who keeps the commandments he has from me; and he who loves me will win my Father’s love, and I too will love him, and will reveal myself to him.  Here Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, Lord, how comes it that thou wilt only reveal thyself to us, and not to the world?

Any idea why these weren't appropriate for today?

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