Saturday, November 26, 2011

Translation Please?

Perhaps to ensure that sloth does not get the better of me, I subscribe to KLOVE's Encouraging Word daily scripture email.  I don't always hit the universalis site to see the Mass readings, or readings for the day, or the Office of Readings, even though every time I do I usually love them.  I also don't assist at Mass during the week, only on Sundays and Holy Days, and am thinking maybe I should change that for Advent.

This is the verse that showed up today, and I was sure I never heard or read it before.

Saturday 11/26/2011

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.  Colossians 3:17, NLT
NLT is New Living Translation.  

The Revised Standard Version and the New Jerusalem versions of the Bible strive for literal word for word translation.  The NLT follows a theory of trying to do thought for thought translation, or the closest natural equivalent for the message expressed in the original language text in both meaning and style.

"representative of the Lord Jesus" really touched me today.  

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17, RSV

For some reason doing or saying everything, keeping in mind that I am a representative of the Lord Jesus is more impacting to me than saying or doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.  I used the Blue Letter Bible reference to check the original Greek translation.  It does say in the name of, versus as a representative of.

My previous favorite and helpful verse for the past couple of months has been:

Do everything with love.  1 Corinthians 16:14, NLT

Let all that you do be done in love.
 1 Corinthians 16:14, RSV

Not a significant difference in the wording there, although the NLT is a little more direct by losing a few words.

It is significant to me that both of these verses jumped out at me, and both of them the Holy Spirit is using to convict me tonight as I write this--in a good way, not in a you've failed again way.  I failed to be a good representative of the Lord Jesus both outside and inside of my home this week, inclusive of this night.
These verses, whether in the more literally correct RSV that I didn't seem to be as touched by when I read them in the past, or in the NLT version, which are hitting me as a sort of sobering wake up are saying to me:
  • Are you doing everything with love?  
  • Are you conscious that you are a representative of the Lord Jesus in everything that you say or do?
  • Do you realize that everything that you say or do is an opportunity to give thanks to God the Father through Jesus?
While I often give credit to the Blessed Mother, for her intercession, that I think her spouse the Holy Spirit acts on to teach and guide me, I also think the Holy Spirit likes to confirm his teaching to me through the messages of the Immaculate Conception.  I highlighted in the below recent message those aspects that coincide with the teachings of the above two verses.

November 02, 2011 Monthly Message to Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo 
Our Lady of Medjugorje: 

"Dear children, the Father has not left you to yourselves. Immeasurable is His love, the love that is bringing me to you, to help you to come to know Him, so that, through my Son, all of you can call Him 'Father' with the fullness of heart; that you can be one people in God's family.
However, my children, do not forget that you are not in this world only for yourselves, and that I am not calling you here only for your sake. Those who follow my Son think of the brother in Christ as of their very selves and they do not know selfishness. That is why I desire that you be the light of my Son, that to all those who have not come to know the Father - to all those who wander in the darkness of sin, despair, pain and loneliness - you may illuminate the way and that, with your life, you may show them the love of God. I am with you. If you open your hearts, I will lead you. Again I am calling you: pray for your shepherds. Thank you."

Mary, my heart is open.  Please do lead me.  Thank you for your intercession.  Thank you for all those who join in this community of readers and writers seeking also to nurture each other, grow in our own faith, and also to be the light of your Son, and show those who walk in darkness the love of God.  Certainly we seek to do this not just in what we write in the peace of a few moments at our keyboards, but especially in our lives--in our families, in our workplaces, in our churches and communities.

Holy Spirit, I don't feel confident that I will live from this moment on as an unselfish, representative of Christ loving all as I love myself.  Still I am happy to know that this is your will for me, and that you are patient and teach me where I am failing, and why I am not using all moments as opportunity to love and thank God through Jesus, nor to show others the love of God.

Sometimes I fantasize that when I grow up, I will have that self-mastery that doesn't act on misplaced anger; that humility that doesn't get angry at a slight in the first place so as to have anger to misplace.

Please help me, my God.  Please cure me of the disease of self-absorption.  Let me let go of pettiness, by concentrating more on how great is your love, and your mercy, and how grateful I am for all that you have given me.

No my dear children, we need never fear that the Mass hinders us in the fulfillment of our temporal affairs; it is altogether the other way around. We may be sure that all will go better and that even our business will succeed better than if we have the misfortune not to assist at Mass.
-- St. John Vianney
I do love Mass, Lord.  Please help me and sustain me with the resolution to assist more frequently at Mass during the week.

I continue to prefer the New Jerusalem and Second RSV translations, but I am of course grateful that this NLV translation is out there since the Holy Spirit made good use of it to teach my mind and heart a needed lesson.


  1. I know what you mean about translations. With so many out there it can get confusing, but like you I have found one that seems to speak to me more than others. I have a Douay-Rheims translation. While the Church Lectionary uses the New American Bible, it is my least favorite translation. I, however, am grateful for it because it was the Bible a friend recommended to me when he suggested I return to my faith. The NAB got me reading Scripture again.
    I agree with st John Vianney. I know my days are better or at least I can deal with things better on the days I go to Mass.
    Thanks for a great post and prayer that I will join you in.
    God bless.

  2. I love your prayer, Colleen! You, my friend, are a beautiful representative of Christ!

  3. Karinann, I was ok with the NAB for long time, but then when I saw that it actually said that David "took a siesta", I was ready for a new translation. It just struck me as going to far to translate from Greek to Spanglish. I went to New Jerusalem because Mother Angelica always raved about it, and because that was the version chosen for the Saints Devotional Edition one of our priests introduced me to.

    The RSV2 CE is the one used for the Ignatius Study Bible so that is why I use that one too. My father-in-law had a Douay-Rheims translation we recently returned to him. Shame I didn't read it more before returning it.

  4. Anne, Thank you for your encouragement!

  5. I love St John Vianney's quote. Great post. Thanks, Colleen! God bless!

  6. Colleen, your prayer is so sincere and beautiful, and one that I certainly need to pray myself.

    My favorite bible is the New Jerusalem for the exact same reason you mentioned - Mother Angelica : )

    But, I later learned that she actually had an older version before they switched to inclusive language. But I love my NJB, however, if I use a Bible quote on a post, etc., I usually get it out of the New American, just because more people are familiar with it. I don't like it much though.

    Oh, to be free of "self-absorption and pettiness!" Amen, Collen!

    Thanks for sharing.


  7. Hi, Patricia!

    My version of New Jerusalem Bible must be older version too, because I just opened to the Epistles and there is "Brothers," all over the place with just the implied (& Sisters)! :) Although it does say 1985 which seems like yesterday as that was when I graduated high school. In our Ukrainian Byzantine parish, regardless of the word, the singing of the epistle begins with "Brethern", but in our Church we use the RSV version rather than the NAB. Remember Mother Angelica's favorite verse reference when talking about New Jerusalem? "Now it happened that as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit." (Luke 1:41) She loved "leapt". I do too! That is what our hearts feel like when we have the Holy Spirit moving us to love our Lord Jesus.

    The prayer flowed from what the Holy Spirit was teaching me, so he gets the credit--for being my prayer coach, but I appreciate your encouragement!
    Love, Colleen