Monday, October 4, 2010

The Number of Sts Simon and Jude

I like to read the Bible with the Church by following the Lectionary readings and trying to fill in the gaps when the readings skip chapters. Last week, for example, the Lectionary skipped its way through the book of Job in six days, five if you exclude Wednesday, when the readings for the Feast of the Archangels superceded those for the 26th Week of Ordinary Time. Once a month, I’ll chart the readings for the month, print the chart, and tuck it into my Bible for reference.

Two things struck me as I prepared my chart for October. The first is that, although we aren’t numerologically superstitious, I couldn’t help but notice that the Lectionary entry for the Feast of Sts. Simon and Jude on October 28 is 666. That also happens to be Beggar’s Night (aka Trick or Treat) in our little village. All Saints Day (November 1) uses Lectionary entry 667, making 666 the last fixed entry before Halloween. I’m sure that it means nothing, but it’s still interesting to note.

The second striking thing is the entry for All Souls Day, November 2. There are three options for the first reading, three options for the responsorial psalm, 13 options for the second reading, and 12 options for the gospel. That’s 1,404 different possible combinations! I think that I’ll just default to whichever four are featured on the USCCB site for that day.

Note: I don’t have my own copy of the Lectionary. I use this site as a reference, with little recourse other than to trust in its accuracy.

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