Sunday, November 01, 2009

The one year that I taught confirmation candidates, I wrote up worksheets for them to use for the readings at Sunday mass. Only a couple of students ever turned in the work. I used to reissue the worksheets to the ones that didn't with the Sunday Gospel reading reference scrawled across the top of the page for them to at least look up on their own after the service. Very few did.

So when a teenager arrived late to mass this morning with paperwork and during the sermon picked up a missal to fill it out, I had an idea of his task. But he hadn't mastered missals so I handed him mine, open at the ribbon marker and pointed out the readings on the page. He took it and worked from it. Then as the children took their envelopes downstairs - we were in the choir loft - he saw his graceful exit and left.

Kenny was fiddling with one of my rosaries during the homily and, as he has many times, he asked me what the initials stand for. So I told him. Then I picked up my missal and turned to the Palm Sunday Gospel readings, but none of them reported the complete expression. I thought to myself, "Wouldn't you know, we've taken the minority report and made it the norm." So I turned to the Good Friday liturgy and found the full expression in the Fourth Gospel:
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews."
The thing you're looking for is always in the last place you look.

And the NAB footnotes John 19:19 as follows:
The inscription differs with slightly different words in each of the four gospels. John's form is fullest and gives the equivalent of the Latin INRI = Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum. Only John mentions its polyglot character (John 19:20) and Pilate's role in keeping the title unchanged (John 19:21-22).
Did I catch much of the homily? Yeah, it was about love. God loving us enough to want us to be saints and us loving God enough to want to be what he made us to be. I guess it came from the second reading. In the first reading, I pointed out to Kenny that the heavenly worship of God has these seven attributes: "Blessing and glory, wisdom and thanksgiving,
honor, power, and might."

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