The second readings in the Liturgy of the Word of Sunday Mass come from one of the letters of the New Testament, the Acts of the Apostles, or the Book of Revelation. During the seasons these are specially selected. During Ordinary Time, we have a continuous reading from the letters, week by week, that makes no effort to relate this text to the first reading or to the gospel: it is simply a profession through the epistles. This can call for extra efforts of preparation by the lector, especially when it is helpful to make a connection between this reading and the selection read the week before. The fact that this second reading follows its own path through one portion of scripture also suggests that a different lector read it, making it all the more obvious that there is not a unifying theme among the elements of the story that are read, but that we find outselves at different places in the gradual movement through the whole of the scriptures. We do not need a common theme to unite the three readings. We are capable of keeping separate strands going at the same time. We do this easily enough with comic strips, soap operas and developing stories from the front pages.
The practice of having a diffferent lector for each reading is strongly encouraged. This practice not only allows more people to share in the ministry of proclamation, adding variety to the proclamation but also is demanded by nature of good proclamation.
A period of silence and stillness follows the reading. It is needed not only for reflection, but to allow the acclamation and gospel to be strong. The contrast is very important.
[Source: Sunday Bulletin, St. Paul Roman Catholic Cathedral, Saskatoon, SK, Canada; May 18, 2008]