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

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Completing the Resurrection: Acts 1 with poem by James Joyce, The Ballad of Joking Jesus

Daily Readings
Psalm 1, Genesis 1:1-2:3, Isaiah 2:1-21, Acts 1

Daily Text: Acts 1

Completing the Resurrection
Volume II of Luke’s writings begin in Acts 1 with the appearances of Jesus in to the apostles and other believers in the forty days following the resurrection. He gives them instructions about being filled with the Holy Spirit and their immediate response is related to the fulfillment of Israel’s destiny as a world power. Is this the occasion for the coming of the Kingdom of God in time, space and political reality? No, says Jesus. It is not. That piece of reality is not yours or mine to predict, at least in terms of time and space. That is completely and solely within the Father’s prerogative, under his authority. No, this is for you to receive the power to become effective witnesses to what I have preached and done while with you.

He then leaves them rather peremptorily, shrouded in cloud and mystery, attested to by angels. This cloud is not unlike that of the Mount of Transfiguration or the Tabernacle in Moses’ day, and the temple in Solomon’s time. It is not about pre-Copernican metaphysics. It is about completing the resurrection, alive, present and in a new plane of existence, that of the Father.

The Ballad of Joking Jesus
James Joyce

--I’m the queerest young fellow that you ever heard.
My mother’s a jew, my father’s a bird.
With Joseph the joiner I cannot agree,
So here’s to disciples and Calvary.

--If anyone thinks that I amn’t divine
He’ll get no free drinks when I’m making the wine
But have to drink water and wish it were plain
That I make when the wine becomes water again.

--Goodbye, now, goodbye. Write down all I said
And tell Tom, Dick and Harry I rose from the dead.
What’s bred in the bone cannot fail me to fly
And Olivet’s breezy…Goodbye, now, goodbye.


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