Sunday, October 10, 2021

Read the Bible with Me!

Welcome to the Pauline Family's "Year of the Bible"! We've been reading the Bible clear through this year. We've reached the New Testament, so read along with me. But first, let us pray: 


When the fullness of time had come, you sent your Word in the One who said, “Whoever sees me, sees the Father.” No revelation can surpass this, until Jesus comes again in glory. 

Open my mind today to the gift of life and truth your Word offers me through the Church. By your Holy Spirit, grant me wisdom and strength to put this Word into practice and to become, myself, a presence of Jesus for people who are looking for you.

Jesus, eternal Word and Son of the Father, live in me with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.


Today's chapters are Mark 3-5 and (because it is Sunday) Psalms 130 and 131.

Something interesting happens early on in Chapter 3 of Mark's Gospel. Jesus had been attracting attention (and disciples), but here he goes up on a mountain (always a significant place in the Bible), and "summoned those he wanted." He establishes these chosen disciples as "apostles." The way Mark puts it, it is as though Jesus is creating the institution of apostle. (In Matthew's version, we already grasped that these twelve are, so to speak, the "second coming" of the Twelve tribes of Israel.) The Twelve will "be with him" to receive special teaching, and to absorb his way of life, even to take on what St Paul would later call "the mind of Christ" through constant contact with him. And they would be completely at his disposition to "be sent" (which is what "apostle" means). 

Psalm 130, the De Profundis (so called on account of its opening words, "out of the depths") is one of the Penitential Psalms. With its themes of mercy and "waiting for the Lord," was long been part of the "Office for the Dead," a special set of prayers in the Breviary. Pope Clement XII (in 1736) granted an indulgence to the faithful who prayed Psalm 130 on their knees for the faithful departed at the sound of the evening bell. We don't have those evening bells anymore, but an indulgence is still on offer!

Psalm 131 is a wonderful follow-up to the De Profundis, almost as if the trustful prayer has been answered. Notice the peaceful abandonment expressed in this short (and very sweet) Psalm!

Start reading Mark here and the Psalms here.

As we begin the Gospel of Mark, you might want a companion volume for this short Gospel, since we will speed through it in a week.
In his "For Everyone" series, the Anglican Scripture scholar N. T. Wright has wrapped his chatty (but highly informed!!!) commentary around his own translation of the Gospel of Mark. You couldn't ask for a more approachable companion to this shortest of the four Gospels.

I am happy to recommend this volume of The Four Gospels in an edition directed to young readers and their parents. The text of all four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) in the New Revised Standard Translation is accompanied by FAQs that a middle-school reader might ask (or, to be honest,  anybody reading the Gospels for the first time). The footnotes were prepared by a team of Scripture scholars for parents and guardians, making the book ideal for family Bible reading. 

A look inside; I translated the FAQs 
(above the eagle) and footnotes for Mt 16-28!

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