This is no doubt related to the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarch from Constantinople will be in attendance with three other Orthodox bishops.
In doing this Pope Francis is clearly underscoring his recognition of the significance of their presence, expressing his gratitude as well as his desire to continue working towards unity. It seems Francis will make ecumenism as much as a priority as Benedict did.
But back to that headline: I repeat, the Gospel will be read in Greek!
I can't believe I'm typing this! This is awesome.
I love hearing the parts of the Mass in Latin, but let's remember, the New Testament was written in Greek.
And if you're wondering, the readings will be taken from those assigned for the feast of the day, the Solemnity of St. Joseph. Here are the lectionary selections:
- First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:4-5a,12-14a,16 (God's covenant promise to David that his son would be given an everlasting kingdom)
- Second Reading: Romans 4:13,16-18,22: (God's covenant promise to Abraham, Abraham's faith, and his spiritual fatherhood of those who are righteousness by faith)
- Gospel: Matthew 1:16,18-21,24a (the annunciation to Joseph and his obedience of faith).
This appears to be a little out of the ordinary. Usually one would expect a special set of readings for the occasion of a papal installation.
However, it seems Pope Francis is really underscoring the significance of St. Joseph for his pontificate. This isn't a surprise. Just today the new pope's coat of arms was released and on it Joseph figures prominently via the symbolism.
Joseph is the "foster-father" of Jesus and is recognized in Catholic tradition as the Patron of the Universal Church. The pope--papa--is understood to be the "Holy Father". St. Joseph's feast day then is certainly an appropriate day to inaugurate his Petrine ministry!
Here are pictures from the program book of the Greek texts (with English translations on the left).