Some writers on the Internet have noticed that PF, since his masterly handling of reporters' questions in the Airliner after Viganogate, has been rather preoccupied with Biblical allusions to Silence. Much tut-tutting has been expressed by some of these rather censorious writers, who feel that PF has been rather bold in comparing himself to the Lord who was led out in Silence like a lamb to be sacrificed. Others have sarcastically alluded to the contrast beteen his recent stratospheric taciturnity and the endless loquacity which particularly characterised the first carefree years of his pontificate. Personally, I wondered if he was going into training before retiring to Mount Athos to immerse himself in the Hesychia of the Palamite monastic tradition (don't forget you read it here first).
But, this last Sunday (XVI post Pentecosten), PF has missed a fine opportunity to add to his growing collection of Biblical proof-texts about the aureity of Silence. If, as I daringly surmise, PF celebrated he Novus Ordo rather than the Mass of Ages, he missed the opportunity of reading (as the rest of us did in the EF) and preaching upon a passage in S Luke Chapter 14. It includes verses 2-6, in which the Lord addressed a question (or, as we might say nowadays, posed a dubium) to the nomikoi kai Pharisaioi (Torah-experts and Pharisees) about whether it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not.
Hoi de hesychasan (But they kept silent)! How very, how exactly like the new and evasive PF!! They were not going to run the risk of answering questions which might expose them! They weren't born yesterday! You don't get to where they got to by answering tricky questions!
I know what some of you are saying: "Here is Fr H sneering yet again at the Novus Ordo. As mandated by Sacrosanctum Concilium of Vatican II, a much broader set of Biblical readings is now available for the edification of the Faithful. The next liturgical Year is C in the cycle, which means that we shall soon be getting a real ear-full of S Luke for an entire year, doubtlessly including those five particular verses which H is so keen on. I'll prove it ... just hang on while I flip through the Sundays per Annum ... here we are ... Year C ... look at that! ... 22nd Sunday per Annum ... there you are ... Luke Chapter 14 ... here it is ... Oh dear, here it isn't ... the Gospel reading seems to skip from verse 1 straight to verse 7 ... er ..."
Indeed so. 'Seems to skip' is just about the size of it. [Those who go to Mass daily will, however, hear those verses on the Friday of Week 30.] Most Catholics, indeed most bishops and popes, in their pursuit of the Novus Ordo, will be spared these verses at Sunday Mass for their entire lives! (A similar situation exists in the Church of England, where those who use the Three Year Lectionary will never hear these verses, while the Book of Common Prayer admirably gives the unmangled Tridentine reading on Trinity 17.)
These sorts of lectionary details can be checked in about 12.5 seconds by using the immensely handy Index Lectionum by Matthew P Hazell. Everybody should possess one!