Readings

First Reading:                    Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14 (1a)

Second Reading:               Philippians 3:17—4:1

Alleluia:                             cf. Matthew 17:5

Gospel:                             Luke 9:28b-36

 

Commentary

The driving force for these readings is finding God in everyday living.  More is involved than simply finding God.  Trusting God is also included, as exemplified by Abraham.  Saint Paul also illustrates such Faith in God.  The Transfiguration is fundamentally an explanation that it takes unimaginable discernment to reach behind appearances to find the all-loving, spiritual God.

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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.

 

Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18

Gen 15:9-10

Scott W. Hahn, A Broken “Covenant and the Curse of Death: A Study of Hebrews 9:15-22”[1]

While the original Covenant was eternal and everlasting, the Hebrews understood that commitment in a human, rather than a divine sense.  Humans are not able to grasp the divine permanent sense.

 

Gen 15:6-21

Bradley C. Gregory, "Abraham as the Jewish Ideal: Exegetical Traditions in Sirach 44:19-21"[2]

Sirach obliterates the sequential problem between God making the Covenant and promising land and offspring on the one hand, and, on the other hand, putting Abraham to the test of sacrificing Isaac to complete the contract.  The Book of Sirach assumes that the sacrifice of Isaac is the last of a series of ten tests through which God put Abraham.

 


 

Gen 15:7

Wolfgang M. W. Roth, “The Wooing of Rebekah: A Tradition-Critical Study of Genesis 24”[3]

The promise of land was primeval and part of a sacred rite, splitting the once-live sacrifices in half.

 

Gen 15:12

William L. Holladay, "Indications of Segmented Sleep in the Bible"[4]

The Hebrew vocabulary for trance is more suited to the beginning of sleep than anything supernatural, as exegetes have too frequently assumed.

 

Gen 15:18-20

Richard J. Bautch, “An Appraisal of Abraham’s Role in Postexilic Covenants”[5]

After the Exile, the Hebrews realized that while the Covenant was irrevocable, there were conditions associated with the Covenant, viz., following the Law.

 

Psalm 27:1, 7-8, 8-9, 13-14 (1a)

Care for the Sick uses Psalm 27, Part I: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Chapter One: Visits to the Sick: Response B, pages 41-42 and Part III: Readings, Responses, and Verses from Sacred Scripture: Responsorial Psalms D, page 285-286.[6]

 

Funerals also uses Psalm 27 in Part I: Funeral Rites: 1 Vigil for the Deceased: Responsorial Psalm, pages 29-30 and Part III: Texts of Sacred Scripture: 13 Funerals for Adults 3, page 224.[7]

 

 

Psalm 27:9

Craig R., Koester, “Roman Slave trade and the Critique of Babylon in Revelation 18”[8]

Koester argues that your servant in verse 9 means your slave in the context of the Roman Empire.

 

Psalm 27

Paul R. Raabe, review of David G.; Firth, Surrendering Retribution in the Psalms:  Responses to Violence in the Individual Complaints[9]

Raabe reports that Firth categorizes Psalm 27 as a prayer for protection.  The antiphon, The Lord is my light and my salvation, then, is taken as a shield against the vicissitudes of life.

 

Philippians 3:17—4:1

Phil 3:10-17

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.[10]

There is a Third/Fourth Century papyrus with verse 17, used here, at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.  This means that some of the earliest scraps of Sacred Scripture available, only date from two and three hundred years after Christ.  To give some perspective, The United States of America is less than two-hundred fifty years old.

 

Phil 3:17

Veronica Koperski Barry, review of Victor A. Copan, Saint Paul as Spiritual Director: An Analysis of the Imitation of Paul with Implications and Applications to the Practice of Spiritual Direction[11]

As a spiritual director herself, Koperski highly recommends this study.

 

 

Phil 3:20-21

K. K. (Khiok-khng) Yeo, review of S. Sobanaraj, Diversity in Paul's Eschatology: Paul's View on the Parousia and Bodily Resurrection[12]

            Yeo concludes, “The hermeneutical studies in this [last] chapter would be strengthened if S. were to see the modern meaning of the biblical texts not as `relevance’ or application but as the scriptural extension of Paul's eschatology throughout history and today.”

 

Phil 3:20

Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C., “Crossing the Divide:  Foundations of a Theology of Migration and Refugees”[13]

Groody argues from the heavenly citizenship to the sense that the Faithful are all migrants.

 

cf. Matthew 17:5

 

Luke 9:28b-36

Last week I was not adequately distinguishing between articles, such as “a” and “the” and pronouns, such as “I,” “he,” and “you.”  I remain queasy about  these distinctions.  A copy of the Lectionary Gospel is highlighted on a separate sheet for the hard copy edition.  Anyone else wanting one, please ask me at Jirran@verizon.net.  Thank you.

I would like to make two more points.  First, my reason for beginning with the Gospels is that I hope priests will have greater background and more incentive to take advantage of the information.  Second, simply emphasizing the highlighted pronouns will not work.  In other words, the transference (transliteration) from Greek into English requires interpretive reading.  For example, Luke 9:32 misuses the pronoun him.  The first him refers to Peter, the second and third him refer to Jesus.  Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.  Although the Greek does not use the pronoun in they saw, a reader might want to emphasize they in order to clarify the meaning of him.

 


 

Luke 9:28b-33

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.[14]

Luke 9:28b-33 is included in a Third Century papyrus manuscript at P. Chester Beatty I in Dublin and Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna.  I do not understand how the Alands identify one manuscript in two places. 

The Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris has a Ninth/Tenth Century parchment containing Luke 9:36-37.

 

Luke 9:29

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[15]  

The Bishops use Jesus praying during the Transfiguration to assert, “Jesus prayed always.”  As part of the same assertion, the Bishops also cite Mt 14:23 and Lk 11:1.  It seems to me that the Bishops are contradicting themselves between citing specific instances when Jesus prayed and assuming that Jesus prayed always.  It may be more cogent to assume that Jesus and the Faithful make their lives a prayer, than to assume they “prayed always.”

 

Luke 9:28-36

Paul Lawrence, The IVP Atlas of Bible History[16]

Lawrence offers the following explanation.

 

… Jesus took Peter, James and John up a mountain by themselves. … Moses, representing the Old Testament Law, and Elijah, representing the Old Testament prophets, appeared in glorious splendor too.  Since the fourth century, tradition has identified the site as Mount Tabor (588 m or 1,930 ft) to the south east of Lake Galilee, although the far higher Mount Herman (2,814 m or 9,232 ft) … is much more likely.

 

 

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. 66, No. 3 (July 2004) 429.

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 1 (April 2008) 74.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 2 (April 1972) 180.

 

[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 220, 221.

 

[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 43.

 

[6] 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 VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: 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 York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1983) 296.

 

[7] 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) 40, 226.

 

[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (October 2008) 768.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007 114.

 

[10] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 97.

 

[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 163.

 

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

 

[13] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 3 (September 2009) 661.

 

[14] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 98, 121.

 

[15] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006, 481.

 

[16] Downers Grove, Illinois,  InterVarsity Press, 2006, 144.