2nd Sunday in Lent
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
This is from the P(riestly) version of the covenant with Abraham. The J version is Genesis Chapter 15 [hence the lack of acknowledgement that the covenant has already been established two chapters earlier]. Today’s reading skips the innovation of circumcision as a sign of the covenant. El Shaddai meant “God, the One of the Mountain” (cf. Judges 5:5). In the Priestly tradition YHWH (LORD) was revealed to Moses (Exodus 6:2-3). Changing name (verse 5) changes one’s destiny. J does not stress Sarah’s part – here, her being ninety on top of lifelong inability to bear children, underscores the supernatural quality.
Roman Catholics use Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Paul wrote this letter either from Corinth or Cenchrae, the port of Corinth in 57 or 58CE. Translations of verse 13 are regularly incorrect σπερματι is seed (singular). The promise is not to Judean Israelites (regularly mistranslated anachronistically as “jews”) but to Abraham and his seed (singular). “Wrath” refers to God defending His honour. No disobedience – no dishonour. Verse 25 does not have “to death” in the original. “Handed over” and “raised” are in the passive.
Roman Catholics use Romans 8:31b-34
“This adulterous and sinful generation” is a questioning of the parentage of the listeners who are unprepared to join Jesus’ new “kindom”. Peter is rebuked as “Satan” the tester of loyalty. Jesus realises the consequences of rising above the status of his birth.
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Don’t forget: each week I also publish a reflection on the collect/opening prayer.