Category Archives: Scripture

The thorn bush

One day the trees went out
to anoint a king to rule over them.
They said to the olive tree, “Be our king!”

The olive tree answered them,
“Must I forgo my oil
which gives honour to gods and men,
to stand and sway above the trees?”

Then the trees said to the fig tree,
“Come now, you be our king!”

The fig tree answered them,
“Must I forgo my sweetness,
forgo my excellent fruit,
to stand and sway above the trees?”

Then the trees said to the vine,
“Come now, you be our king!”

The vine answered them,
“Must I forgo my wine
which cheers the heart of gods and men,
to stand swaying above the trees?”

Then the trees all said to the thorn bush,
“Come now, you be our king!”

And the thorn bush answered the trees,
“If in all good faith you anoint me king to reign over you,
then come and shelter in my shade.
If not, fire will come from the thorn bush
and devour the cedars of Lebanon.”

Judges 8:8-15

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments

Yahweh said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones and come up to me on the mountain, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. Be ready at dawn; at dawn come up Mount Sinai and wait for me there at the top of the mountain. No one may come up with you, no one may be seen anywhere on the mountain; the flocks and herds may not even graze in front of this mountain.”

So he cut two tablets of stone like the first and, with the two tablets of stone in his hands, Moses went up Mount Sinai in the early morning as Yahweh had ordered. And Yahweh descended in a cloud and stood with him there and pronounced the name Yahweh. Then Yahweh passed before him and called out, “Yahweh, Yahweh, God of tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in faithful love and constancy, maintaining his faithful love to thousands, forgiving fault, crime and sin, yet letting nothing go unchecked, and punishing the parent’s fault in the children and in the grandchildren to the third and fourth generation!”

Moses immediately bowed to the ground in worship, then he said, “If indeed I do enjoy your favour, please, my Lord, come with us, although they are an obstinate people; and forgive our faults and sins, and adopt us as your heritage.”

He then said, “Behold, I am now making a covenant: I shall work such wonders at the head of your whole people as have never been worked in any other country or nation, and all the people round you will see what Yahweh can do, for what I shall do through you will be awe-inspiring. Mark, then, what I command you today. I am going to drive out the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites before you.

  1. “Take care you make no pact with the inhabitants of the country which you are about to enter, or they will prove a snare in your community. You will tear down their altars, smash their cultic stones and cut down their sacred poles, for you will worship no other god, since Yahweh’s name is the Jealous One; he is a jealous God. Make no pact with the inhabitants of the country or, when they prostitute themselves to their own gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will partake of their sacrifice, and then you will choose wives for your sons from among their daughters, and their daughters, prostituting themselves to their own gods, will induce your sons to prostitute themselves to their gods.
  2. “You will not cast metal gods for yourself.
  3. “You will observe the feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you will eat unleavened bread, as I have commanded you, at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.
  4. “All that first issues from the womb belongs to me: every male, every first-born of flock or herd. But the first-born donkey you will redeem with an animal from the flock; if you do not redeem it, you must break its neck. All the first-born of your sons you will redeem, and no one will appear before me empty-handed.
  5. “For six days you will labour, but on the seventh day you will rest; you will stop work even during ploughing and harvesting.
  6. “You will observe the feast of Weeks, of the first-fruits of the wheat harvest, and the feast of Ingathering at the close of the year.
  7. “Three times a year all your menfolk will appear before Lord Yahweh, God of Israel, for I shall dispossess the nations before you and extend your frontiers, and no one will set his heart on your territory when you go away to appear before Yahweh your God three times a year.
  8. “You will not offer the blood of my sacrificial victim with leavened bread, nor is the victim offered at the feast of Passover to be left until the following day.
  9. “You will bring the best of the first-fruits of your soil to the house of Yahweh your God.
  10. “You will not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”

Yahweh then said to Moses, “Put these words in writing, for they are the terms of the covenant which I have made with you and with Israel.”

He stayed there with Yahweh for forty days and forty nights, eating and drinking nothing, and on the tablets he wrote the words of the covenant — the Ten Words.

Exodus 34: 1-28

These two tablets were carried in the ark of the covenant and placed in the holy of holies.
These the two tablets were carried in the ark of the covenant and placed in the holy of holies.


Note: Jesus does not ask us to follow these ten commandments, or any of the old law in the old testament. He asks us to love God with all our heart and mind and soul; and to love our neighbor as ourself. Everything else comes from this.

Babel undone

Now the Lord came down to see the town and the tower that the sons of man had built. “So they are all a single people with a single language!” said the Lord. “This is but the start of their undertakings! There will be nothing too hard for them to do. Come, let us go down and confuse their language on the spot so that they can no longer understand one another.” The Lord scattered them thence over the whole face of the earth, and they stopped building the town. It was named Babel therefore, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. It was from there that the Lord scattered them over the whole face of the earth.

— Genesis 11:5-9

When Pentecost day came round, they had all met in one room, when suddenly they heard what sounded like a powerful wind from heaven, the noise of which filled the entire house in which they were sitting; and something appeared the them that seemed like tongues of fire; these separated and came to rest on the head of each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.

— Acts 2:1-4

Vengeance undone

“Adah amd Zillah, hear my voice,
Lamech’s wives, listen to what I say:
I killed a man for wounding me,
a boy for striking me.
Sevenfold vengeance is taken for Cain,
but seventy-sevenfold for Lamech.”

— Lamech speaking in Genesis 4:23-24

Then Peter went up to him and said, “Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times? Jesus answered, “Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.”

— Matthew 18:21-22

The Suffering of Jesus

“More than the other evangelists, Luke presents Jesus as the pattern man, and the Christian life as, through the Spirit, the imitation of Christ.  This is particularly true of Luke’s treatment of the story of the passion.  The New Testament as a whole does not present the crucifixion in such a way as to appeal primarily to our feelings, and certainly does not exploit them.  The actual sufferings of Christ are not underlined in the way that we might expect when we remember that, as the New Testament itself shows, the Christian life was practically defined (by the Pauline epistles and 1 Peter) as a sharing in the sufferings of Christ.  It is not the actual physical (or mental) sufferings of Christ which are emphasized in the Gospels, but the shame of Israel’s rejection of her Lord.”

The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible: The Gospel According to Luke by E.J. Tinsley; p 11

Day 3: Maria of the Seas

Rena as Stella Maris

In the beginning God created heaven and earth. And the earth was void and vacant, and darkness was upon the face of the depth: and the Spirit of God moved over the waters. And God said: be light made. And light was made. And God saw the light that it was good: and he divided the light from the darkness. And he called the light, Day, and the darkness, Night: and there was evening & morning, that made one day. God also said: Be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide between waters and waters. And God made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament. And it was so done. And God called the firmament, Heaven: and there was evening & morning that made the second day. God also said: Let the waters that are under the heaven be gathered together into one place: and let the dry land appear. And it was so done. And God called the dry land, Earth, and the gathering of waters together, he called Seas.

Genesis 1:1-10; 1635 Douay

In principio creavit Deus cælum et terram. Terra autem erat inanis et vacua, et tenebræ erant super faciem abyssi: et spiritus Dei ferebatur super aquas. Dixitque Deus: Fiat lux. Et facta est lux. Et vidit Deus lucem quod esset bona: et divisit lucem a tenebris. Appellavitque lucem Diem, et tenebras Noctem: factumque est vespere et mane, dies unus. Dixit quoque Deus: Fiat firmamentum in medio aquarum: et dividat aquas ab aquis. Et fecit Deus firmamentum, divisitque aquas, quæ erant sub firmamento, ab his, quæ erant super firmamentum. Et factum est ita. Vocavitque Deus firmamentum, Cælum : et factum est vespere et mane, dies secundus. Dixit vero Deus : Congregentur aquæ, quæ sub cælo sunt, in locum unum: et appareat arida. Et factum est ita. Et vocavit Deus aridam Terram, congregationesque aquarum appellavit Maria.

Genesis 1:1-10; Clementine Vulgate

English: Sea (singular), Seas (plural)
Latin: Mar (singular), Maria (plural)

Blessed is the One Who Finds Wisdom

Olive_Tree_Tile_mural_with_B2_lightblue
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.

The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding he established the heavens;
by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
and the clouds drop down the dew.

Proverbs 3:12-20; ESV

The Sending of the Twelve

Sending of the Twelve
“He made a tour round the villages, teaching. Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs, giving them authority over the unclean spirits. And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses. They were to wear sandals but, he added, ‘Do not take a spare tunic’. And he said to them, ‘If you enter a house anywhere, stay there until you leave the district. And if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away shake off the dust from under your feet as a sign to them.’ So they set off to preach repentance; and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.”

Mark 6:7-13; JB

Conversion of St. Paul

The Road to Damascus by Brian Doc Reed.
The Road to Damascus by Brian Doc Reed.

“I was going to Damascus, armed with full powers and a commission from the chief priests, and at midday as I was on my way, I saw a light brighter than the sun come down from heaven. It shone brilliantly round me and my fellow travellers. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Hebrew, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you, kicking like this against the goad.’ Then I said: Who are you, Lord? And the Lord answered, ‘I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me. But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason: to appoint you as my servant and as witness of this vision in which you have seen me, and of others in which I shall appear to you. I shall deliver you from the people and from the pagans, to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light, from the dominion of Satan to God, and receive, through faith in me, forgiveness of their sins and a share in the inheritance of the sanctified.’”

Acts 26: 12-18; JB

Jews and Christians: Separate Ways to the Father

Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II at the Western Wall

“But now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far apart from us have been brought very close, by the blood of Christ. For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, actually destroying in his own person the hostility caused by the rules and decrees of the Law. This was to create one single ‘New Man’ in himself out of the two of them and by restoring peace through the cross, to unite them both in a single body and reconcile them with God. In his own person he killed the hostility. Later he came to bring the good news of peace, peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near at hand. Through him, both of us have in the one Spirit our way to come to the Father.”

—Ephesians 2:13-18; JB
Psalter Week 2: Friday Scripture Reading

“The people of God of the old covenant never revoked by God.”

— Pope Saint John Paul II referring to the Jewish people, November 17, 1980.