Ancient WordsIf you open the index to your Bible, you will find the Books 1st and 2nd Chronicles follow The Book of the Prophet Samuel (1st and 2nd) and Kings (1st and 2nd). These volumes recount the history of Israel and Judah from the period at the end of the age of Judges (of whom Samuel was the last), through the establishment of the monarchy, up until the end of the kingdoms as the last remnant moved to exile in Babylon. Interestingly, the same period of time is covered in Chronicles. The Greek title of the book, paraleipomena, means “things omitted,” or “passed over” (i.e., in the accounts found in Samuel and Kings). The Books of Chronicles, however, are much more than a supplement to Samuel and Kings; a comparison of the two histories discloses striking differences of scope and purpose. One should not think of Chronicles as a history of filling in the blanks. Biblical history is primarily interpretative, and its purpose was to disclose the action of the living God in human affairs rather than compiles the facts as we would consider an endeavor of history. Continue reading

The Magnificat

mary-and-elizabeth-rejoiceAs mentioned in a previous post, this coming Sunday is the Solemnity of the Assumption. The gospel is taken from the Infancy Narratives of Luke’s Gospel. The first part of the gospel is traditionally known as the Visitation; the second is the spontaneous prayer of Mary called the Magnificat.

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever.” (Luke 1:46-55) Continue reading