The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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Puzzling over Gueranger's Treatment of the Synoptics

Canisius | 16 January, 2006 20:15

In his entry for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany (pp. 242-3, to be exact), Gueranger remarks, "St. Matthew, the Evangelist of the Humanity of our Lord, has received from the Holy Ghost the commission to announce to us the Mystery of Faith by the star; St. Luke, the Evangelist of Jesus' Priesthood, has been selected, by the same Holy Spirit, to instruct us in the Mystery of the Baptism in the Jordan; but the Mystery of the Marriage-Feast was to be revealed to us by the Evangelist John, the Beloved Disciple.

The three mysteries of the Feast of Epiphany are thus parcelled out among three of the evangelists; Matthew is identified by at least part of the tradition as the gospel most focused on Christ's humanity, while the tradition is fairly unanimous in pointing to Luke as the one most interested in Christ's priesthood. So far, so good.

The curious thing is that Matthew and Mark both have accounts of the baptism in the Jordan. Why does Gueranger say that to instruct us in this mystery has been reserved for Luke? I don't quite understand, although I am entirely confident that Gueranger knows all the gospels quite well.

This is all the more curious since the only liturgy in this season that has a Scripture reading about the baptism is the Octave of the Epiphany (p. 228), and there the reading is from the Gospel of John! I assume that the reading is from John because this text brings out more clearly the revelatory nature of the baptism, but it complicates the question of why Gueranger assigns the role of instructing us about the baptism to Luke's Gospel.


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