Since I am the "Lector" at the Saturday Four PM Mass of Anticipation, I checked out my two readings and they are great reads—the call of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19) and St Paul's hymn to love (I Corinthians 12:31—13-13). I don't think that George and Jimmy, who take the other two Saturday's get readings nearly as great.
I think of the "Lector" ministry as being very important. While in no way comparable to that of the Priest, the Lector is responsible for bringing the Word of God to the people. In the words of the Workbook for Lectors, Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word,
We proclaim scripture to experience the Christ present now in our midst and to make present the past events of salvation history. Liturgy allows us to participate in those events, to experience their power, and their ability to transform.I am supposed to be not just a reader, but someone who "proclaims" the scripture. I take it seriously. I remember a story about theologian Father Yves Conger♠ being asked just before Mass if he would like to read the scripture. His response was to say no, he had not had time to study the scriptures for the day.
Upon looking over the first reading I found that some of the words had been changed. In my mind it threw the whole thing out of balance. In the old days it read:
Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak to them all that I command thee. Be not afraid at their presence: for I will make thee not to fear their countenance.♥Not with the latest translation. Now the New American Bible reads:
But do you gird your loins; stand up and tell them all that I command you. Be not crushed on their account, as though I would leave you crushed before them;..The first part, in my humble opinion, is just not the same. It is like saying "don't forget your hat and your mittens." I much preferred the former version, where the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob sounded like he was fearsome.
Eventually this EMail exchange brought out the best (or worst) in the English written word. Having laid out my case I asked, "Am I wrong here?" The response from my Brother was "Right once again." Right in my argument or right in that I am wrong?
O readers of this blog, judge between me and my Brother.
Regards — Cliff
PS: Over at the Loose Threads blog (Fran Sansalone, Blogmistress), there is a good posting on the Sermon at her Church last Sunday.
♠ For those of you who played the game Colditz as a youth, Father Congar was a Prisoner of War there from 1940 to 1945.
♥ For those of you who believe that the AV, the King James Version, was the one Paul used to preach, here is the verse in that translation: "Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them." Pretty close.