The Second reading (1 John 3:18-24) for the fifth Sunday of Easter presents a challenge. The Workbook for Lectors cautions the tone of proclamation will be more important than the words in persuading listeners. To me this is an implicit admission that the translation is incomprehensible. Here are the challenging verses, as I will read them this Sunday:
"Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God
and receive from him whatever we ask,"…..
Here is the NIV translation:
The Universalis website uses the Jerusalem bible translation
What I get out of all of this is that we have a tendency to judge our own shortcomings too harshly. We need to guard against having an overly critical conscience. As Rule 62 says: "Don't take yourself too seriously." If God does not condemn us but judges us with mercy, we should do the same for ourselves.
If I get this across Sunday with the tone of my reading alone, it will be by the grace of God.