Who were those guys, anyway? The Lectionary framers might well have had the 1970 version of SCGS* in mind when they gave us this weekend’s readings. From the Pentateuch:
So, when a young man quickly told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp,” Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses’ aide, said, “Moses, my lord, stop them.”
But Moses answered him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets! Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!”
Why do I say SCGS? When I was sharing lectio on this Sunday’s Gospel with some friends earlier this week, I was struck by the Lord’s saying:
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
Your hand. Not someone else’s. This passage, despite the suggestion of rabbinical exaggeration, is a response to John’s attempt to apply a cherished personal hermeneutic to cut off some exorcist who is apparently doing fruitful work in the name of Jesus. I could barely suppress laughter on Tuesday–he probably wasn’t sufficiently orthodox in John’s eyes. And Jesus seems to be suggesting to John that to cut off a part of his own body would be a better idea than cutting off someone from the Body.
* small church, getting smaller
Good Friday’sVeneration is important enough for serious consideration in the planning of a church:
§ 83 § The celebration of the Lord’s passion on Good Friday has its particular spatial requirements. After the proclamation of the passion and the General Intercessions, the entire assembly rise to venerate the cross or crucifix.(Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter
Feasts 68) The cross used for the veneration preferably should be of sufficient size to be held easily, be carried in procession, and be venerated. After the veneration, the cross remains in the sanctuary.
That 1988 CDWDS letter gives this note: “For veneration of the cross, let a cross be used that is of appropriate size and beauty, and let one or the other of the forms of this rite as found in the Roman Missal be followed.”
Over the years I’ve heard of and seen multiple small crosses used like stations for the distribution of the Eucharist, or one large cross passed overhead in the assembly. The Missal calls for movement of the people. Veneration represents a commitment. Movement helps reinforce that.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.