21 February 2013

The Movement of the (Lenten) Gospel

In an article entitled, "The Spirit of Lent," now deceased American liturgist Mark Searle, lays out what he believes to be the logic of the Gospels for the Season of Lent.  He suggests that the weekday Gospel readings from Ash Wednesday through the Saturday of Lent's third week focus upon "a call to a life of Gospel conversion."  Searle argues that even when something appearing to be a "salvation history narrative" is included, "they are [still] meant to be read as call to conversation rather than as referring to Christ or to the Easter mysteries."  Searle goes on to suggest that the second half of Lent serve as a "presentation of the mystery of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."

Without directly contradicting Searle, I'd like to propose a second logic, at least one that can be noted through our Lenten readings thus far.  My logic focuses more upon what some might call the anagogical, or mystical, interpretation of the Scripture.  In other words: it speaks to the fundamental mystery of salvation as located precisely in God's Christ:

Surely, my examples and summaries are a bit clunky, but I believe that my exegetical perspective is workable.  I'd be interested to hear thoughts.

Ash Wednesday
Pray and fast in private
Jesus speaks on behalf of the Father
Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Take up the cross and follow me
Jesus is worth following: to not is to forfeit the world
Friday after Ash Wednesday
Why do the disciples not fast?
Jesus is the bridegroom
Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Call of Levi/Matthew
Jesus is a reason to drop everything
Monday, Week 1
Sheep and Goats
Service to neighbor is directly corollary to service to Jesus;
Tuesday, Week 1
Our Father
Jesus’ authority extends to teaching us how to pray
Wednesday, Week 1
The Sign of Jonah
Jesus is the sign
Thursday, Week 1
Ask and receive
Jesus again, speaks on behalf of the Father explaining true worship

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