These readings develop the notion that the human vocation is dealing with crises and change.  The Prophet Isaiah has a messianic vision that the situation for Israel will change.  Psalm 122 is about everyone changing to worship God.  The Epistle to the Romans speaks: (1) to Israel changing from a chosen people to a people chosen to do good works and (2) to people changing from their pagan ways to Christianity.  The Gospel hearkens to changes associated:  back with Noah and forward with things to come.


Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from material below the double line.  Those uninterested in scholarly details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some of the fun stuff scholars are digging up.


First Reading: Isaiah 2:1-5

          Isaiah 2

          Brian Britt, Prophetic Concealment in a Biblical Type Scene[1]

          Britt asserts that Isaiah is hiding himself in Chapter 2, though I have difficulty recognizing it.


          Isaiah 2:1-4

          Richard Clifford, S.J., and Khaled Anatolois, "Christian Salvation: Biblical and Theological Perspectives"[2]

          Clifford writes that the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem made it worthy of being the goal of the nations’ pilgrimage in Isaiah 2:1-4.  By its nature, pilgrimage requires change.  The early Church personified wisdom in Jesus, “in direct conflict with a pervasive tenet of a Platonic strain in Late Antiquity, which held that knowledge of the divine is attained by a progressive abstraction from material and mundane reality.”


          Isaiah 2:1-4

          Charles H. Cosgrove, "Did Paul Value Ethnicity?"[3]

          Cosgrove writes,


Paul seems to avoid the language of Jewish messianic nationalism.  He shows little interest in the Davidic lineage of Christ (mentioning it only once, in Rom 1:3); he compares the city of Jerusalem to the slave woman Hagar (Gal 4:25); and he says nothing about the temple.


Paul marks a change in the expectations of the Faithful from a chosen people to a people chosen to bring the Good News to everyone.


          Isaiah 2:2-4

          Marvin A. Sweeney, review of Stefan Ark Nitsche, Ein dramatischer Text: Die Frage nach den Genres prophetischer Literatur des Alten Testaments und die Textgraphik der grossen Jesajarolle aus Qumran[4]

          Sweeney is disturbed because Nitsche ignores English-language commentaries on Isaiah.  Sweeney grants Nitsche the realization that “works such as Deutero-Isaiah, Song of Songs, Psalms, Lamentations, and others easily lend themselves to such [theatrical] performance in the temple or perhaps other settings.”  Isaiah 2:2-4 is not part of Deutero-Isaiah, which begins with Chapter 42.  Isaiah 2:2-4, however, sets up the suitability of theater as a teaching tool for the nations to learn about God.  Nitsche thinks Isaiah 2 emanates from the invasion of Sennacherib in 701 B.C., “as Yhwh brings the threat from Sennacherib and ultimately delivers Jerusalem from that threat.”  Sweeney is not sure that Nitsche is correct.  The point is that the human vocation is to deal with change.


          Responsorial Psalm: 155:1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

          This Psalm is available for Funerals.[5]


          The Masoretic text is a Hebrew preparation of the Old Testament from extant Hebrew Scriptures available to them, beginning in 500 A.D.  This text is often compared with the Greek Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls.[6]


          Psalm 122:5

          Melody D. Knowles, "The Flexible Rhetoric of Retelling: The Choice of David in the Texts of the Psalms"[7]

          Knowles writes that the portrait of David in the actual texts of the Masoretic Psalter looks very different from Greek Psalter.  The Greek, rather than the Hebrew, is basic to the Lectionary.  The point seems to be that shifting from Hebrew to Greek to English requires accommodating to change.


Second Reading: Romans 13:11-14

          Romans 13

          Hugh Rowland Page, “A Case Study in Eighteenth-Century Afrodiasporan Biblical Hermeneutics and Historiography: The Masonic Charges of Prince Hall”[8]

          Page proclaims that the only remedy for fear of such things as the African slave trade is the fear of God.


          Romans 13:14

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[9]

          The Bishops change their translation from lust in their Lectionary to licentiousness in their CatechismLust connotes craving.[10]  Licentiousness connotes neglect or disregard for strict rules of correctness.[11]  The Greek carries the meaning of intemperance, and lasciviousness.[12]  The Catechism, therefore, seems more concerned with strict rules, than does the Lectionary.  One wonders about the relationship between the vocabulary used in the Lectionary and the hierarchic sexual abuse cover-up scandals


          Rom 13:14

          Robert H. Gundry, review of Jung Hoon Kim, The Significance of Clothing Imagery in the Pauline Corpus[13]

          Grundy notes that clothing implies change and for Paul the change is in behavior.  In opposition to Kim, Gundy writes, “The interpretation of putting on Christ as being clothed with his righteousness labors under the difficulty that Paul never writes of Christ’s righteousness—always, rather, of God’s righteousness …”  In other words, only God is righteous.  Humans ought not aspire to a pretence of self-righteousness.


Alleluia: cf. Psalm 85:8


          Gospel: Matthew 24:37-44

          Matt 24:32—25:46

          Craig L. Blomberg, "Interpreting the Parables of Jesus: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?"[14]

          Blomberg sees parables finding their meaning in the context of what was happening when they were exhibited.  Mark 4:1-34 includes a parallel to Matthew 24:37-44.  Lectionary reading 92B includes Mark 4:1-34, which parallels Matthew 24.  I have a difficult time recognizing the parallel.  The reading in Mark seems more at ease with Rome than Matthew does with Jerusalem.  The Faithful need to be less at ease with Roman secularism than with religion emanating from Jerusalem.  The point is that the situation in which Mark wrote changed for the situation in which Matthew wrote and that change in situation accounts for differences in the synoptic Gospels.



For more on sources see the Appendix file, included with the hard copy.  Personal Notes are on the web site at


[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002) 41.


[2] Theological Studies, Vol. 66, No. 4 (December 2005) 747, 763.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 284.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (October 2007) 555.


[5] N.a., International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: Approved for use in the Dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 289.


[6]  070930.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 2 (April 2005) 237.


[8] in Yet with a Steady Beat: Contemporary U.S. Afrocentric Biblical Interpretation, Randall C. Bailey, ed., (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003) 114.


[9] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006 234.


[10]  070930.


[11]  070930.


[12] William D. Mounce, Zondervan Greek Reference Series: The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House: A Division of HarperCollins Publishers, 1993) 102.


[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2006) 147, 148.


[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 1 (January 1991) 55.