Reconciliation Lectionary: 1 Peter 2:20b-25

mary-the-penitent.jpgDuring Lent, the usual Sunday evening New Testament canticle for Vespers (Revelation 19 with lots of alleluias) is replaced with a lyrical passage from 1 Peter. Is it a fragment of an early Christian hymn? The musician in me might like to think so, but I also see the thread of an Old Testament passage, one of Isaiah’s Suffering Servant Songs. (Check the 53rd chapter for similiarities.)

Here is the text of what the Rite of Penance offers for liturgy and devotion:

if you are patient when you suffer for doing what is good,
this is a grace before God.
For to this you have been called,
because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps.
He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.

When he was insulted, he returned no insult;
when he suffered, he did not threaten;
instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly.
He himself bore our sins in his body upon the Cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed.
For you had gone astray like sheep,
but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Two things I see.

First, that Christ suffered for and with us. And I am sure this includes the torment of a soul in deep contrition. Though Christ did not sin, in his earthly life he associated closely with those who did. We have no reason to doubt he does not today cling close to believers who call out in need.

Second, that our sufferings and sins both have a transformative potential in Christ. We are not steeped in sin in the sense that our redemption is without meaning. Because of Christ, there is hope. Bad is changed into good. Very bad finds the light, too.

This reading might form a close pairing with two other passages for a coherent Liturgy of the Word in a communal setting. I would suggest Isaiah 53:4-6 (or a few more verses), Psalm 23, 1 Peter 2:20b-25, and Luke 15:1-7. Together they present Christ as our agent of transformation and as our shepherd and protector. Lent seems a logical time for such a liturgy. And being reminded of our heritage of belief and of relief from sin is a great way to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Rite of Penance, Scripture and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Reconciliation Lectionary: 1 Peter 2:20b-25

  1. Dick Martin says:

    1 Peter 2:24(NKJV)
    who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness. (Jesus paid for all our sins in our place.. exchanged. ) Notice: that we.
    2 Corinthians 5:21(NKJV)
    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. ( Jesus was made sin for us and we received His Righteousness. His ability to stand before the Father ; without blemish.).
    Romans 6:7-11(NKJV)
    For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus died to Sin ONCE for ALL ; Likewise consider ( use your faith here, it pleases God) yourself dead to sin. This is true Reconciliation; to believe God’s word and act on it.

  2. Dick Martin says:

    When are you going to Hear God’s word and act on it? I thought I would point out a Portion of His word. 1 Peter 2:24 from your opening comment, Received no agreement. God’s Word is true and it says that Jesus bore our sins , that we died to sin and live in Righteousness. You should consider yourself DEAD to Sin but alive to God thru Jesus’s Righteousness. I know you won’t agree with this ,even when you say we should act on it. The whole New testament does away with the need of Priests as go be tweens of Man and God. Read Instructions and follow it.

  3. Dick Martin says:

    When God states your condition in His word; you are required to believe your condition and walk it out. Life in the Spirit. Since God spirit lives in you and you are one with Him you should have no problem cooperating with His Grace-( A Free Gift).

  4. Pingback: Reconciliation Lectionary: Psalm 22:2-3, 7-9, 18-28 | Catholic Sensibility

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s