Readings

First Reading:                       Isaiah 2:1-5

Responsorial Psalm:           Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9 (n/a)

Second Reading:                 Romans 13:11-14

Alleluia:                                 cf. Psalm 85:8

Gospel:                                  Matthew 24:37-44

 

Commentary

There are two versions for the coming of the Son of Man.  The first version, from the First Testament, anticipates the Incarnation, the birth of Jesus, the feast for which Advent prepares.  The second version, from the New Testament is about the second return of Jesus from the dead, to judge the living and the dead. 

This is a transition Sunday as the sacred liturgy moves, from Cycle B to Cycle C, in the three-year changes in the readings from Sacred Scripture.  Responsorial Psalm 122, used in its entirety in Advent, used in part on the last Sunday of the previous Cycle, namely last Sunday, carries the transition.  The antiphon for both Sundays is Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

A certain amount of confusion and ambiguity is involved.  Saint Paul, in the Epistle to the Romans is about putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.  To the contrary, the Gospel according to Matthew is about final judgment by the Son of Man.  As the Faithful prepare for the Christmas Season, putting on Christ is more appropriate.  Later in the year, as the Faithful prepare for Easter, preparing for the Last Judgment is more appropriate.

The coming of the Son of Man is about the frustrations of life.  The basic frustration of life for this world is death, which causes transition into life in the next world.  Truly holy people exhibit equanimity in the face of difficulties.  At Our Lady of Mount Carmel, among the Sunday Faithful, I observe a joy in being together to worship and praise God.  Worship and praise are the practical outcomes of the first and second coming of the Son of Man.

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Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from material below the double line.  Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some interesting material.

 

Isaiah 2:1-5


 

Isaiah 2:2-4

Matthew J. Lynch, "Zion's Warrior and the Nations: Isaiah 59:15-b—63:6 in Isaiah's Zion Traditions"[1]

Lynch explains, “In a sense, Yhwh’s dwelling place on Zion was a microcosm of an ordered and reliable world, and thus the decrees (Torah) that Yhwh issued from it had de facto significance for all nations (Isa 2:2-4 [used here]; 51:4; Mic 4:1-5).”

 

Isa 2:2

John T. Willis, review of Paul L. Redditt, Introduction to the Prophets[2]

Willis reports that Redditt treats the Hebrew Bible and that “numerous quotations and references to prophetic literature in the Hebrew Bible in the NT compel some discussion, and R. recognizes and begins to address the matter.”  The relationship I find between Isaiah and Matthew is between Isaiah 2:2, in the days to come and Matthew 24:37, as it was in the days of Noah and the coming of the Son of Man in Matthew 24:37, 39, and 44.  Willis notes, “The expression `in days to come’ / `in the latter days” (see Hos 3:5; Isa 2:2 [used here]; Mic 4:1; Jer 23:20; 48:47; 49:39; Ezek 38:16; Dan 10:14) calls for a brief `collected’ discussion.”  In other words, Redditt skips over in days to come.

 

Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9 (N/A)

Psalm 122 is one of the Funerals choices, Part III: Texts of Sacred Scripture, 16.11 Antiphons and Psalms.[3] The point of Psalm 122 is placing the love of God above all else, within an eternal sense of present time.

 

Romans 13:11-14


 

Rom 13:1

Yung Suk Kim, review of Sion Kim, Christ and Caesar: The Gospel and the Roman Empire in the Writings of Paul and Luke[4]

Yung Suk Kim begins by reporting that according to Sion Kim, “Paul’s assessment of the governing authorities and the Roman Empire is positive, as Rom 13:1-17 [used here] decisively demonstrates.”  Yung Suk Kim, however, concludes, “many scholars will find it difficult to recommend this book to anybody who is serious about the intersection of theology and politics as well as about critical methodological approaches to the text.” 

 

Rom 13:11-14

K. K. (Khiok-khng) Yeo, review of S. Sobanaraj, Diversity in Paul's Eschatology: Paul's View on the Parousia and Bodily Resurrection[5]

In writing his two-page review, Yeo uses the words eschatology/eschatological twenty-three times in fifty-nine lines.  Eschatology means “last things” or “end-time.”  Eschatology is a study or science dealing with the ultimate destiny or purpose of humanity and the world.  Yeo identifies Rom 13:11-14 [used in entirety here] as a “major biblical pericope.”

 

cf. Psalm 85:8

 

Matthew 24:37-44

Matt 24:39-42, 44-48

Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, 2nd ed., Erroll F. Rhodes, tr.[6]

The British Library in London has a Seventh Century parchment manuscript with Matt 24:39-42, 44-48.  The Alands find a parallel in Luke 17:36, which the Lectionary does not use in the Sunday liturgies.  The Alands assert that Luke 17:36 derives from Matt. 24:40, about the two men.

 

The Alands comment on the development of the various Greek manuscripts.

 

In Matt. 25:13 the insertion (“in which the Son of Man comes”) belongs to the category of the interpretive or explanatory addition so dear to the Byzantine Imperial text (in the score or more examples thus far … [the Byzantine text] has been prominent among the witnesses supporting such expansions, and this trait will remain characteristic of it!).  The attestation for the addition is weak, and the source is Matt. 24:44 [used here].

 

In other words, the Alands find an early freedom to change texts that appears shocking after five hundred years printing with movable type, where changes are not needed and are difficult to justify.  My point is that the present Faithful regard Sacred Scripture with an untouchable sacredness the ancients never knew.

 

Reading the Greek points to one difficulty and nothing else (with special Greek-to-English emphasis).  For that reason, I am not distributing a marked copy of the readings.  There may be a problem with my understanding Greek emphasis, but I leave that problem for another day.  The manuscript difficulty resides in Matthew 24:40, two men will be out in the field.  Scholars have not settled on the best Greek to lift from the manuscripts for the translation. 

 

Matt 24:37

John G. Lodge, review of Robert W. Yarbrough, 1—3 John[7]

The coming of the Son of Man is the Parousia.  Lodge reports, “The term parousia in 1 John 2:28, although the only incidence in the Johannine corpus, occurs in the `Olivet discourse’ (Matt 24:3, 27, 37 [used here], 39), which John would have heard “from Jesus’ own lips” (p. 169).”  In other words, Yarbrough thinks there was an eyewitness John who wrote the epistles.

 

Matt 24:40-42

John E. Thiel, "Time, Judgment, and Competitive Spirituality: A Reading of the Development of the Doctrine of Purgatory"[8]

Writing about the last things, Thiel argues, “The style of faith that we find in the Synoptic Gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke is quite different [from Paul] … ultimately before the eschatological destinies of heavenly glory or infernal condemnation … I will name this style of faith `Matthean.’”  Thiel then uses Matt 24:42 for the warning “Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.”  The Lectionary uses the future tense, your Lord will come.  Thiel uses the present tense, your Lord is coming.  The Greek uses the present middle indicative tense, not the future.

 

 

For more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes



[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2008) 249.

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2010) 127.

 

[3] 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.

 

[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 648.

 

[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2008) 394.

 

[6] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 125, 303, 307.

 

[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 2010) 620.

 

[8] Theological Studies, Vol. 69, No. 4 (December 2008) 749.