Patterico's Pontifications


Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 139

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am

The most happy man is he who knows how to bring into relation the end and beginning of his life.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It is the twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott” (Happy is the man, who to his God).

Alert readers may recognize that we have heard this one before. But last October, when I first started publishing these cantata posts, I had no resources to try to match the text of the cantata to the text of the Gospel reading. Now I do, and this one fits today’s reading, so I’m using it once more. It’s lovely, and worth listening to again.

Today’s Gospel reading is Mark 10:2-16:

Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

“What did Moses command you?” he replied.

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

The Little Children and Jesus

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

The text of today’s piece is available here. Its opening words contain an echo of Jesus’s words about coming to the kingdom of God “like a little child”:

Fortunate the person who upon his God
can place a truly childlike reliance!
Although sin, the world, and death
and all the devils may hate him,
nevertheless he remains well pleased,
if only he has won God as his friend.

Happy listening!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

30 Responses to “Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 139”

  1. Dominus vobiscum, Patterico!

    An especially timely Reading.

    nk (dbc370)

  2. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    9/11 was one of the most disastrous events in my life. Certainly the most public. Since I was a Naval reservist I had phone mustered before the day was out. By November I deployed. My Japanese wife was inconsolable.

    By 2005 we were divorced. I had spent too many years away. As the saying goes, “All gave some, some gave all.” I’m not going to blame her. What do you do when you have to deal with the unprecedented?

    So here I am. I’ve been told by more than one Catholic priest that we were never really married. I could get an annulment. Beyond the divorce I’ve collapsed on the question of paperwork. God knows. If we were truly on flesh, and I find love elsewhere, then I’m sinning. If we weren’t, I’m not. At least not unforgivably so.

    There’s a lot of Genesis 1 and 2 in there.

    OBTW, read Chesty Puller’s bio “Marine!” if you want to get a read on Catholic Chaplains. Spoiler alert; he was a fan. As I am a lifelong fan of Chesty.

    Do you remember the scene in Star Trek where the Kliongon enraged Scottie by calling the Enterprise a garbage scow?

    Here’s your chance. The Lewis B. Puller is the most beautiful ship in the fleet, certainly more beautiful than the fat bastard (LPD 26). Tell me I’m wrong.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  3. If you have any influence on the services this morning, Pat, how about the naval hymn?

    The Wasp and the Kearsrge, the amphibious assault ships conducting storm avoidance off of Puerto Rico in anticipation of disaster relief, are fine ships. More than adequate to the task. But the Expeditionary Support Base Puller is perfect. Look over her. What does she lack? What is she wanting?

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  4. The Oak Hill also was Johnny on the spot.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  5. Because the letter of the law, didn’t confirm rmto the spirit.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  6. To divorce, is to break up what god has joined, that is the point missed with no fauly divorce.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  7. Concerning marriage and divorce, the money quote is: …what God has joined together, let no one separate.

    felipe (023cc9)

  8. Felipe, can I prove I didn’t eat meat on Friday back when Catholics weren’t supposed to eat meat. And by meat I mean land mammals. I use to look forward to no meat Fridays. Were we going to get Salmon? Flounder? Cod? The list was endless. I didn’t know what treasure my grandfather was going to bring home.

    About the only way I can prove it is to bring them back from the dead.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  9. None of this detracts from the beauty that is Bach. If you thin it does I challenge you to a cage match.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  10. It’s Sunday morning, It’s Bach, and I’ve brought up cage matches. How sick is that? I believe God is a merciful God.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  11. Mosaic law was for a different people, of whom even God did not think very highly: “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you.'” Even after 1,200 years, only a handful had advanced enough to receive Christ.

    nk (dbc370)

  12. It’s just like with baptism Matthew 2:38, many are unwilling to go through it or do it the right way.

    Narciso (e0fa5a)

  13. #8, that brought tears to my eyes, the Friday custom that my mother’s side was reared on and that I try to indulge beyond Fish Fry during late Winter/Early Spring.

    urbanleftbehind (61ee40)

  14. So a simple command, has to be encumbered with bureaucratic protocols which distort the message.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  15. I’ll be willing to put up with a Maserati Merak. Circa 1980. If it would bring peace into the world.×1066/1978-maserati-merak-ss-coupe.jpg

    And any fifty six year old guy wishing himself a forty year old Italian car deserves all the grief he is going to get.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  16. Steve57 (0b1dac) — 10/7/2018 @ 9:06

    God said: “I demand mercy, not sacrifice.” So even if you ate meat on a non-meat Friday, God would be cool with it if you shared a steak with a homeless person.

    felipe (023cc9)

  17. So all the people who went to Hell for eating meat on Fridays before the Church revoked the rule, where are they now?

    nk (dbc370)

  18. That was an erroneous interpretation, dietary laws are but a small issue in the big scheme of things.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  19. Just like sprinkling of infant, I don’t know how orthodox do It, is unscriptural

    Narciso (d1f714)

  20. yes the beheading images sent to Cory Gardner were harmless.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  21. Well that was the wrong thread, can there be anything more unscriptural

    Narciso (d1f714)

  22. Total immersion, feet first, three times, by the priest, except for the head which the priests cups water from the font with his hand and pours over it so as not to drown the poor baby. Tonsure and chrismation (confirmation to you) as part of the ceremony, always. Sometimes first communion, too, but not always, I think only if it’s on a Sunday and the priest saved some from the liturgy.

    nk (dbc370)

  23. Well the argument is,made that it had to be total immersion of an adult, that would signify a conscious commitment to seek God’s grace.

    Narciso (d1f714)

  24. Well, thqt was bad.

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  25. Oh? What did Jesus have to say about that, in the second part of the Reading in the post?

    Not that I’m a theologian.

    nk (dbc370)

  26. It is more about faith, then deep intellectual seasonings

    narciso (d1f714)

  27. Here’s a short overview of the various churches and denominations on the subject of baptism.

    nk (dbc370)

  28. Baptism to declare ones self a Christian used to be a dangerous thing like what asa bibi faces in pakistan

    Narciso (d1f714)

  29. i bet you anything that’s not his real hair

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  30. nk (dbc370) — 10/7/2018 @ 9:29 pm

    This falls under venial sin, not mortal sin. No one goes to hell for a venial sin. A enial sin is like back sassing your mother, a simple, sincere I’m sorry, and you are good to go.

    felipe (023cc9)

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