Jesus Christ: Prefigured, preexistent, preeminent, powerful, the presence of God (and perfect).

jcconstitution

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As Ordinary time (tempus per anum) opens up, the lectionary continues to “introduce” Christ to us. Last week he was baptized obtained many gifts for us as he was manifested by the Father.

This week is a continuation of sorts as John the Baptist elaborates on Who Jesus is. John’s words are brief but they are packed with Christological teaching. In this Gospel we learn at least five things about Jesus. He learn that he is prefigured, preexistent, preeminent, powerful and the presence of God. Let’s look at each one.

Read more from Monsignor Charles Pope

Anthony Esolen: The readings we hear at Mass may vary substantially from the inerrant, Holy Spirit inspired, written Word of God.

Here is an example. Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a landowner who left tenants in charge of his farm. Then he sent servants to collect – what? The Greek reads tous karpous, literally, the fruits, what you pluck from the tree. By that simple word “fruit,” a vast field of Scriptural imagery is brought before our eyes. Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit.  Abel sacrificed to God the first fruits of his labor. Jesus tells us that a good tree is known by its good fruit. Saint Paul says that Christ is the first fruit of the resurrection.

So what do the lectionary translators do? They build the Bauhaus. They forget the echoes. They muffle the poetry. They disdain the body. Therefore they disdain also the soul. The landowner sends his servants to gather “the produce.”

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Editor’s note: You would probably be surprised to see how often and by how much the various readings at Mass differ from the Bible itself. Worse than this are the often inane “prayers of the faithful”. Next time, listen carefully to what you are hearing, at Mass. Then later, do a bit of personal Bible research, to check it out. Also, think long and hard about some of the “strange” intentions for which we Catholics are being asked to pray.