Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mariology in a nutshell


Mass: Omnis terra adoret te, Deus.

Book of Common Prayer translations:
Almighty and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle: Romans 12:6.
Brethren: Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate.

The Gospel: St. John 2:1.
At that time: The third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.
By the way, this is how I use Anglican English, my liturgical English: translations of Catholic things and rearranged in the Roman order, along with Anglo-Catholic devotional things dating from at least the 1920s (thanksgiving after Mass: Blessed, praised, hallowed, and adored be our Lord Jesus Christ on his throne of glory in heaven, in the most holy Sacrament of the Altar, and in the hearts of his faithful people), not Cranmer's compositions (though I defend the ordinariate people's right to use them; his collects aren't heretical so they make good reading and praying) and of course nowhere near his theology.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. Fr. Brannan, a scholar in Greek and Latin, said that's just as rare, to say the least, speaking to one's mother in those languages in that way as in American English. The point: Jesus, being God, is emphasizing that his mother, made "full of grace" (the angel's greeting to her towards the beginning of Luke, "the Marian gospel") by his plan (the Immaculate Conception) and fulfilling it by her obedience ("be it unto me according to thy word"), helps undo the curse on Eve (on womankind, for Eve's sin) by participating in her son's redemptive act coming to earth (back to John: "and the word was made flesh"). Significantly, this is Mary's first appearance in John's gospel. The main point: Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. Mariology is ultimately all about Jesus; she can only point to her son and tell you to do that. She is the Mother of God but Jesus saves, Mary prays.

Another point from Fr. Brannan: the laity "proclaiming the gospel" in the world doesn't mean preaching or otherwise doing what the priest does; "preaching is cheap." Living the gospel "in the world" is of course the hard part. Lay apostolate doesn't mean Mom giving out Communion but being in every sense the best mom, doctor, soldier, or dog groomer you can be.

Two sanctus bells, even at Low Mass: that's my place.

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