Lectionary Year B
April 27, 2003
Step II: Disposition
(JFC) We might have here a teacher's lesson plan to try to explain the meaning of the
word, "good", giving an extensive example which the students are unlikely ever to forget, unless they are accustomed to having olive oil used to shampoo their hair. Goodness is also exemplified as a manner of togetherness which was valued highly in the culture receiving this lesson and another illustration of the meaning of "good" is found in a part of a priest's ordination. The second way to remember the meaning of the word, "good", is given by the example that is equally emphatic if the students live in the arid climate where dew/night mist is uncommon in the hill country mentioned. The climax of these verses seems to aim at declaring God's blessings for life eternal, which might be a non-sequiter, but who's to argue that possibility in Sacred Scripture? Not I, that's for sure! The three verses seem disjointed, they could have originally been parts of quite different literary units addressing different topics.
B. Personal Interaction
(JFC) My first question asks just how to preach these three verses as printed since
they seem to be somewhat unrelated. Then, I have to wonder how far can
togetherness/unity/harmony be expected to go in a human culture (like ours, if not theirs) that seems to be so very competitive? Were the BCE people less competitive? Then, is olive oil running down beards/chins/collars' openings of garments really good and/or pleasant? And, does it really resemble dew/night mist falling on tops of mountains? Furthermore, do these topics really issue in God's promise(s) for eternal blessings?
(JFC) Togetherness/unity/harmony is the subject of the first verse. The second verse
is about the olive oil, the (Aaron's) beard/chin and garment. The dew-covered mountains and God's promise(s) comprise verse three.
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