Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bible Readings at Catholic Mass

I've mentioned this before, but crazy people kind of took over the Catholic Church in the 1960's, and we're still suffering from the effects of that. They made some good changes, like translating the mass from Latin to English, and they made some bad changes, like changing the "Our Father" into a hand-holding kumbaya fest.

One of the good and bad changes they made was to the readings during mass. They got rid of the second Gospel at the end of mass, and replaced it with a first reading, from the Old Testament. They also introduced a repeating three-year cycle of readings, to replace the one-year cycle. The idea was that Catholics should be more like Protestants, who actually read the Bible.

...That is something you guys do, right? Because we basically skipped over the Old Testament in our masses during that time period (1570 to 1960's).

The Catholics in charge said that the new, three-year cycle would give us a wider selection of readings from the Gospels, which would give us a more accurate picture of Jesus. While it's true that there are more New Testament readings, they are also very selective readings. Not only do they skip over verses here and there, they also skip over entire stories. Here's a partial list of New Testament readings that you will never hear, if you go to Catholic mass on Sundays:
  • Question of Jesus' authority and Jesus' claims of divinity
  • Criticism of the Pharisees and other religious leaders
  • Feeding of the four thousand
  • The third prediction of the passion, and Jesus' prophecies in general
  • Jesus' words on faith on how to pray
  • The life and death of John the Baptist
  • The massacre of the innocents
  • The storming of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 11:12-24, Luke 17:20-25)
  • Various healings and exorcisms (blind man at Bethesaida, Garadine swine, the epileptic demoniac, healing of the woman on the Sabbath, healing of the man with dropsy, and others)
  • The cursing of the fig tree
  • Condemnation of this evil generation
  • Weeping over Jerusalem
  • Calling of Philip and Nathaniel
  • Jesus' appearance to Mary Magdalene, after his death
A full list can be found here, but you can see the general trend. A good amount of miracles are removed, as are the "bad" stories with violence and death. Anything that is generally negative gets skipped over. Basically, it looks like they made the decision of "what parts of the Gospel to include", by following the 1960's "feel good" trend.

Important Note: If you go to daily mass, you'll hear a lot of these omitted passages. So it's not like they never get read. It's just that 90% of Catholics won't hear them.

Personally, I think the Catholic leaders of the time period would have benefitted from hearing those Gospel passages, where Jesus criticizes the false hypocrites who abuse people in order to have a cushy life. That "brood of vipers" (Jesus' words, not mine) serve themselves and their own agendas instead of God.


Anonymous said...

I have noticed that unless you go to Daily Mass, you won't hear certain readings. It irritates me too. Like you said, the people in that time period probably would have benefited from hearing them. And I'm sure most of the people who need to hear them don't go to Daily Mass. :( By the way, I hate the hand holding during the our Father. What is the deal with that? :P

Lori P. said...

I am a protestant and we do read from the Bible together in the Sunday service, then our Pastor preaches from what we read. He tends to teach/preach thru a whole book of the Bible week by week. I like that because you see all the verses in context to the others. As Christians we are supposed to grow more like Jesus. Knowing what is in His word, the Bible guides us.

Anonymous said...

1. Yes, it does too. Remember, THE MORE THE MERRIER!
2. Maybe we've been infiltrated by communists (JK). No, maybe it's a collective thing (remember, Catholics celebrate Mass as a community). Furthermore, the word "kumbaya" means "celebration" (as in "celebration of Christ") and is said to be a corruption of the phrase "come by here" (as in "come by here and sing the words our Father gave us").