Lectionary Reading Introduction

This site provides something different: many sites and books provide a brief summary of the reading - so that people read out or have in their pew sheet an outline of what they are about to hear. They are told beforehand what to expect. Does this not limit what they hear the Spirit address them? This site provides something different - often one cannot appreciate what is being read because there is no context provided. This site provides the context, the frame of the reading about to be heard. It could be used as an introduction, printed on a pew sheet (acknowledged, of course), or adapted in other ways. This is an experimental venture and I will see how useful it appears.

1 Samuel 16:1-13

The two scrolls of Samuel cover the history of the Holy Land from about 1080 - 970 BC. From Samuel's birth to David's death. Today's text is the third and last part of the first scroll. It moves away from Ramah as Saul continues to loose appropriate authority. The context of the text is the Middle Eastern focus on externals in their relationships with one another.

Ephesians 5:8-14

Material found in the Dead Sea scrolls states: "love all the sons of light, each one according to his lot in God's plan, and detest all the sons of darkness, each one in accordance with his blame in God's vindication" (1QS 1:9-11). "God knows the result of his deeds for all times everlasting and has given them as a legacy to the sons of men so that they know good [and evil], so that they decide the lot of every living being in compliance with the spirit there is in him [at the time of] the visitation (1QS 4:25-26). This theme is picked up by today's author.

John 9:1-41

In this story physical and metaphorical blindness (ignorance) are intertwined. Building (making clay) and kneading are both forbidden on the Shabbat. The issue of the source of human misfortune - why do bad things happen to good people - has already had lengthy examination in the book of Job.
This Gospel reading has been present for this Sunday from at least the Milanese rite (evident in the Sacramentary of Bergamo and the Ambrosian Missal. There is an association with the Scrutiny today for RCIA and the catechumenate.
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