Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Daily Readings
The Wisdom of Solomon 17 + II Samuel 13:1-37 + I Chronicles 3 + John 19

Quote of the Day
So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. John 19:17, 18

Daily Text: II Samuel 13:1-37

Lectio What one word or phrase from the Daily Text leaps out at you? ‘Comment’ below.

How often this malaise creates a scene for disaster. Amnon, the Prince Consort, has such a sickness for his half-sister Tamar, before it was illegal in Israel for a man to marry his sister. His passionate derangement works itself out in deception, trickery, rape, abandonment, and ultimately his own death. Passion for a woman, regardless of consequences, was modelled by Amnon’s father, however there was a difference. His father’s lust moved to love, and though he killed for her, he did not abandon Bathsheba to her own fate. Not so with Amnon. Once he fulfilled his desires, he immediately loathed Tamar.

This gives us an insight into the royal family that is not a pretty one. Amnon and Absalom were sons who were so privileged, so spoiled that no deed was beneath them if it moved them in the direction of their desires. Consequences were not a consideration. This loathing for sister and brother reflects a family that knew no guiding hand, a family that was raised in a spirit of ambitious and callous expectation with jealousies that knew no bounds. Oh, they were loved well enough, but they knew no discipline, correction or guidance, at least that seems to be the case for the boys. Tamar was not so free, but then she did not have a careless attitude. She recognized consequences both for herself and her elder brother. “When King David heard of all these things, he became very angry, but he would not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn” [II Samuel 13:21]. Undirected love on the part of a parent is perhaps as destructive as is undirected lovesickness.

Meditatio What would you add to this commentary on the Daily Text? ‘Comment’ below.

A stanza of Egyptian love poetry*

Seven (days) to yesterday I have not seen the sister,
And a sickness has invaded me.
My body has become heavy,
Forgetful of my own self.
If the chief of physicians come to me,
My heart is not content (with) their remedies;
The lector priests, no way (out) is in them:--
My sickness will not be probed.
To say to me: “Here she is!” is what will revive me;
Her name is what will lift me up;
The going in and out of her messengers
Is what will revive my heart.
More beneficial to me is the sister than any remedies;
She is more to me than the collected writings.
My health is in her coming in from outside:
When (I) see her, then (I) am well.
If she opens her eye, my body is young (again);
If she speaks, then I am strong (again);
When I embrace her, she drives evil away from me—
But she has gone forth from me for seven days!
* Cf. Song of Songs 5:8

(Alternative poem? Include under ‘comment’ below.)

Oratio Conspire to respond with an act of kindness for someone you encounter today. Make it loving, low key and low risk. Hold a door, clean a car, give a flower, notice the unnoticed, make Christ’s love real. Write your experience below under ‘Comment.’

Contemplatio Enjoy what God is doing through you.


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