Saturday, June 16, 2012

Exaudi, Domine (The Introit for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

Here's an mp3 of the introit from JoguesChant, and this is how they translate the Latin:
Hearken, O Lord, unto my voice which has called out to you; deign to be my help, forsake me not, do not despise me, O God my Saviour. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

Here's the score:

Interestingly, the Benedictines of Brazil note that the text is taken from Psalm 27, verses 7-9 and then 1 - exactly as was the Introit for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, just a few weeks ago.  This one is slightly different, though; the Benedictines call the Easter 7 Introit Exaudi, Domine... tibi dixit, and they call this one Exaudi, Domine....adiutor, because the texts differ in their middle sections - but they are very much alike.

The whole thing is mysterious, to me! I'm trying to do some quick figuring, wondering why this happened - but I've come up with nothing so far. Easter 7 is the Sunday following the Ascension, and this one is the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost - and so?   Well, maybe something will come to me.

The traditional Introit for today was Respice in me, taken from Psalm 25, verses 16, 18, and then 1-2.  Here's the mp3 for that one, from ReneGoupil, and there chant score and translation below:

Look upon me and have mercy on me, O Lord; for I am abandoned and destitute; consider my abjection and my labour, and forgive me all my sins, my dear God. Unto you, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; O my God, I trust in you; let me not be put to shame.

The RCL Gospel reading is Mark 4:26-34 - the parables of the scattered seed and the mustard seed:
Jesus said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come."

He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

 Robert Farrar Capon writes, in "Kingdom, Grace, Judgment: Paradox, Outrage, and Vindication in the Parables of Jesus," about the parable of the growing seed:

First and foremost, [the parable] ties the imagery [of seed] expressly, within the parable itself, to the kingdom: "The kingdom of God," Jesus says, "is as if a man should cast seed upon the ground." Note the strength, even the extravagance, of the comparison: the kingdom is presented as the very thing sown. The kingdom is not the result of the sowing of something quite different from itself (in which it would be contained only virtually, as a plant is contained in a seed); rather, the kingdom as such is present, in all its power, right from the start. Moreover, by the very force of the imagery of sowing, the seed is clearly to be understood as having been sownin this world, squarely in the midst of every human and even every earthly condition.  This emphasis on the kingdom as a worldly, not just an otherworldly piece of business was already clear in the Sower; but Jesus' repetition of it here as well as later makes me want to underscore it.


The kingdom Jesus proclaims is at hand, planted here, at work in this world.  The Word sown is none other than God himself incarnate.  By his death and resurrection at Jerusalem in A.D. 29, he reconciles everything, everywhere, to himself - whether they be things on earth or things in heaven.  And at the end, when he makes all things new, he makes not just a new heaven but a new earth - a glorified re-creation of nothing less than his old stamping ground.  The Bible's last chapters proclaim a heaven and earth more inextricably intertwined than ever.  Whatever else the "New Jerusalem" may signify, it says plainly that the final "heaven" will be as earthy as the eschatological earth will be heavenly - and that that's the way it is going to be forever.

The (Episcopal Church) collect for today is this one:
Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace we may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion; for the sake of our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
 Hatchett's Commentary says this:
This collect is new, but the preamble includes quotations from the collects for the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, the second Sunday after Trinity, and the twenty-second Sunday after Trinity in earlier Prayer Books.  The prayer was drafted by the Rev. Dr. Massey H. Shepherd, Jr.  It portrays the church's misssion to the world - a ministry of proclamation of the gospel and of social concern and action.  In order that we may fulfill this mission we pray that the church might be kept in God's steadfast faith and love.


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