Jesus didn't speak Latin - Catholic Courier

Jesus didn’t speak Latin

To the editor:

Regarding “Mass text must be changed” and “Bishops approve Mass translations” in the July edition of the Catholic Courier: With all due respect “And also with you” says more than “And with your spirit.” You is body and spirit. The ancient Greeks taught that the soul is the real person and the body an encumbrance. An emphasis on soul (spirit) — or on body — and not on the whole person is not a good idea. God the Son is pure spirit — transcendent God — one with the Father and Holy Spirit. He became man. A man is in the Trinity. Jesus is Kyrios. The Lord of all creation and the purpose of creation (Eph. 1:3-10; Col. 1:15 ff). God the Son glorified the human body by His incarnation and resurrection. He elevated body and soul to equal dignity. “This is My Body, This is My Blood, My flesh for the life of the world.” We are born into a man’s flesh and blood life.

“And with your spirit” does not say body and soul. The Latin can be beautiful, concise and doctrinal as in St. Thomas Aquinas’ glorious Adoro Tee:“Pie pelicane, Jesu Domine ‚Ķ (a pelican bleeds) aujus una stilla ‚Ķ“ (one drop of whose blood). Spirits cannot bleed. Bodies bleed.

Better to get closer to Scripture and doctrine than to “the original Latin.” St. Jerome translated the Bible into Latin in the latter 4th century. Our Lord, His apostles, disciples and the early church — the Body of Christ — did not speak Latin.

Yes, “And also with you” is better than “And with your spirit.”

When receiving the “Body of Christ” at Mass I hope I never hear “Spirit of Christ.”

William J. McMahon

Powers Road


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