First Reading:                    Exodus 17:3-7

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9 (8)

Second Reading:               Romans 5:1-2, 5-8

Verse before the Gospel:   cf. John 4:42, 15

Gospel:                             John 4:5-42



On Sunday, January 16, Raymond Arroyo was in find fiddle as he spoke with Bishop Thomas Olmsted, the Bishop attacking Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Tucson, Arizona.  His Excellency is denying that Saint Joseph’s Ho

spital is Catholic because the hospital is not following his medical directives on abortion.  Arroyo had the Reverend Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. to explain the moral theology involved.  Father Pacholczyk earned his academic degree from Yale in neuroscience, not moral theology.  The best Father Pacholczyk could offer was that not all of the facts are known by the Faithful. 

In other words, this is the classic cover-up.  The Faithful cannot possibly know enough to stand in judgment over His Excellency, the bishop and local Ordinary.  Arroyo did not seek and Pacholczyk did not offer why the facts in question were being hidden.[1]

The reading from Exodus is about grumbling because the presence of God is not immediately evident, as it is not for many having to deal with the authoritarian local Ordinary in Tucson.  The Responsorial antiphon, if today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts applies in every which direction.  Many voices are raised concerning abortion; the problem is discerning which is the voice of God.  Because of their sexual cover-ups, the bishops are of little help. 

I am writing this on the twenty-fifth anniversary of celebrating the birthday of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Monday, January 17.  King would have been 92 today.  Like Martin Luther King with civil rights, so the Faithful are locked in a struggle to determine what is right, namely “the truth.”  The Samaritan woman of the Gospel has a similar problem, trying to discern who Jesus is and whether to listen to his voice.  The need for prayer this Sunday is set.



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.



Exodus 17:3-7

Exodus 17:1-17

Clifford M. Yeary, Pilgrim People:  A Scriptural Commentary[2]

Yeary gets into a dither about Egyptians enslaving the Jews.  Yeary then has the effrontery to use the United States War for Independence, rather than the Civil War, as analogous to that Egyptian slavery.  Yeary called the War for Independence “the American Revolution.”  Before setting up the complaints of the Israelites in the desert at Massah and Meribah, Yeary prattles on:


We don’t read a verdict on Moses’ action, but he naturally fears retribution by the Egyptians.  But how should we regard him?  Was he a revolutionary in a just cause, or did he murder in hot blood.  During the early days of the American Revolution peace-loving citizens might have found it just as hard to judge the character of those who later would be declared heroes.  It will take more than this event to turn Moses into a real hero, however.  Guilty or innocent, God is nowhere near finished with Moses.


We are, indeed, on a pilgrimage.  The effrontery of Yeary regarding the War for Independence as about slavery is comparable to the forthcoming May 1st beatification of Pope John Paul II, a beatification that Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) characterizes as “rubbing more salt into the wounds” caused by the sexual cover-ups of that pontiff.[3]


Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9 (8)


Romans 5:1-2, 5-8

Romans 5:1-5

Clifford M. Yeary, Pilgrim People:  A Scriptural Commentary[4]

Referring to Romans 5:1-5 in the context of Philippians 3:20, Yeary regards human life as a pilgrimage to what Saint Augustine called “The City of God.”  Romans 5:1-5 is about justification by Faith.



Rom 5:1, 5

Stanley E. Porter, review of John D. Morres, Wrestling with Rationality in Paul: Romans 1—8 in a New Perspective[5]

Morres asserts that Paul uses fuzzy, rather than clear, logic.  Expecting background ancients had but moderns do not have, explains why the logic is fuzzy.  Morres explicitly examines Romans 5:1, 5.  Porter concludes, “I suspect that more justification of the entire enterprise is needed.  Nevertheless, there is much to digest here in M.'s detailed discussion, which, it is hoped, will help to spur further attention to the details of the text of Romans.”


Rom 5:5

Nijay K. Gupta, “Which `Body’ Is a Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19)?  Paul beyond the Individual/Communal Divide”[6]

Gupta observes, “But we must not reject the possibility that at other times Paul intends for en to be more individually significant.  After all, he is quite fond of speaking of Spirit endowment as occurring in the hearts of believers (Gal 4:6; Rom 5:5 [used here]; 8:27; 2 Cor 1:22; 3:3).”


Rom 5:6

A. Andrew Das, “Paul and Words of Obedience in Second Temple Judaism:  Romans 4:4-5 as a `New Perspective’ Case Study”[7]

Das argues, “In [Romans] 5:6 Paul applies the term asebhV to the beneficiaries of Christ’s death in general.  The use of asebhV (“ungodly”) should therefore be taken as a general indictment of sin that could apply to both gentiles and Jews.”


Rom 5:8

Jerome A. Miller, “Wound Made Foundation:  Toward a Theology of Redemption”[8]

Miller uses convoluted, sophisticated language to deal with the notion I express as God the Abusive Father.  Miller is sympathetic with the argument that rather than God demanding retribution for human evil, God empathizes with humanity.  Miller tries what historians call a “bottom up approach” that Miller labels concentrating theological reflection on the sinner.  Miller seems to have a problem depicting God condemning humans to eternal suffering.  Miller uses the language of “cover up” to mean an unwillingness of humans to confront the enormity of sin.  Miller uses the word heuristic twenty-six times in thirty pages.  Heuristic means “providing aid or direction in the solution of a problem but otherwise unjustified or incapable of justification.”[9]  Perhaps heuristic justifies the beatification of Pope John Paul II.


cf. John 4:42, 15


John 4:5-42

John 4:1-42

Robert Lassalle-Klein, “Guest Editorial/Introduction”[10]

Lassalle-Klein comments on the article by Teresa Okure, S.H.C.J., mentioned below.  Okure


argues that John highlights the common experience of rejection, prejudice, and isolation shared by the two main characters [Jesus and the Samaritan], and examines how their encounter brings Jesus, the woman, the Samaritans, and the disciples into a communion fellowship of faith.


John 4:1-42

Teresa Okure, S.H.C.J., “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (Jn 4:1-42) in Africa”[11]

Okure draws out this pericope to look for practical applications of the option for the poor to the current situation in Africa.  In her applications, Okure is too general for my taste.


John 4:10-15.

Andrew E. Arterbury, “Breaking the Betrothal Bonds:  Hospitality in John 4”[12]

Arterbury rejects the argument some make that the relationship between Jesus and the Samaritan woman is betrothal.  Arterbury argues that the situation is one of ordinary hospitality, portrayed in such a way that John compares Jesus with Zeus.  Arterbury goes on, Jesus “does not come either to punish or reward the Samaritans for their hospitality; rather he comes to bring eternal life (v. 14) and true worship (vv. 23-24).”


John 4:11

Amelia J. Uelmen, “Caritas in Veritate and Chiara Lubich:  Human Development from the Vantage Point of Unity”[13]

This is an essay about an experience; finding that love unites.  Uelmen moves from the Samaritan having to figure out her relationship to Jesus to the following. 


The analysis in Caritas [by Benedict XVI] reflects a conviction that only if we answer the fundamental questions about our human nature vocation—only if we face the truth about ourselves—can we then begin to work through the questions of what we should do to foster integral human development.


John 4:20-24

N. Clayton Cory, review of Paul M. Hopkins, Jesus as the Fulfillment of the Temple in the Gospel of John[14]

Cory reports that Hopkins over-emphasizes Jesus as the fulfillment of the Temple.  “Hopkins original contribution is … the correlation of the theme of the temple with the entire passion/resurrection/exaltation nexus in John and the related theme of Jesus’ fulfillment of major Jewish feasts (Tabernacles, Dedication, and Passover).”


John 4:20

Michael K. Magee, review of Sumkin Cho, Jesus as Prophet in the Fourth Gospel[15]

Magee reports that Cho is convincing that Jesus is more than a prophet.  The question is where to worship:  whether on the Samaritan mountain, Gerizim, or Jerusalem.  The answer is that the time is coming when the place to worship will be in the hearts of the Faithful.


John 4:21

Sophia Park, S.N.J.M., “The Galilean Jesus: Creating a Borderland at the Foot of the Cross (Jn 19:23-30)”[16]

Jesus addresses the Samaritan as “woman,” just as he addressed his mother as “woman” at the foot of the cross.  The point made is that Jesus is substituting patriarchal relationships for relationships of love of God.


For more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at





For recurring themes in Sacred Scripture, see the following.  The exclamation point (!) indicates where a principal reference list of passages related by a common theme or expression found.  With this material, I am trying to lay a foundation for developing Biblical themes the next time through the Cycles, when I intend to add in which Lectionary readings the relevant passages are found.


Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings at: Romans 5:1-2, 5-8.


Verse 1         Galatians 2:16!; Isaiah 32:17; 53:5; John 16:33; 1 John 3:21.

Verse 2         Ephesians 3:12!; 1 Peter 5:12; Colossians 1:27; Titus 2:13; 8:18, 30.

Verse 5         Psalm 22:6, 25:20; Hebrews 6:18 f.; Sirach 18:11; Acts 2:17!; 1 John 4:13.

Verse 6         Romans 4:5.

Verse 7        

Verse 8         John 3:16; 1 John 4:10; 1 Peter 3:18, 14:15; 1 Corinthians 8:11;

                               1 Thessalonians 5:10.



Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings at: John 4:5-42.


Verse 5         Genesis 48:22; Joshua 24:32.

Verse 6        

Verse 7        

Verse 8        

Verse 9         Ezra 4:1-3; Sirach 50:25 f (f. is an abbreviation for and the following verses).

Verse 10       John 7:37 f.; Revelation 21:6; Genesis 26:19; Jeremiah 2:13; Zachariah 14:8.

Verse 11       Genesis 21:19.

Verse 12       John 8:53; Matthew 21:41 f. parallel.

Verse 13      

Verse 14       John 7:37 f., 67:35, 27, 53, f.; Isaiah 58:11.

Verse 15       John 6:34.

Verse 16      

Verse 17      

Verse 18       John 1:21!; Luke 7:39.

Verse 19       Deuteronomy 11:29, 27:12, 12:5; Psalm 122.

Verse 20      

Verse 21       1 Kings 8:27; Isaiah 66:1; Malachi 1:11.

Verse 22       Acts 17:23.

Verse 23       Isaiah 2:3; John 5:25; Romans 13:11; Ephesians 2:18; Romans 12:1.

Verse 24       2 Corinthians 3:17.

Verse 25       John 1:41!

Verse 26       John 9;37, 10:25.

Verse 27      

Verse 28      

Verse 29       John 4:39.

Verse 30      

Verse 31       John 4:8.

Verse32        John 6:27.

Verse33        Matthew 16:7.

Verse 34       John 5:30, 6:38; Hebrews 10:9 f., 5:36, 17:4, 19:28.

Verse 35       John 4:30; Matthew 9:37!

Verse 36       Isaiah 9:2.

Verse 37      

Verse 38       Micah 6:15; Job 31:8.

Verse 39       John 7:31!; John 4:29.

Verse 40       Luke 9:52!; Acts 10:48, 18:20.

Verse 41      

Verse 42       1 John 4:14.








Through Reading 70A, January 30, 2011, I designed these notes on the availability of manuscripts to make the point that uncertainty exists about exactly what Greek to use for the purposes of translation.  At that point, I began offering manuscript availability for background when examining Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology,  which I purchased based on the review in the Catholic Quarterly.[17]



Romans 5:1-2, 5-8

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.[18]

The Alands explain:


If the scribe read the words aloud, or when copying was done from dictation (a technique undoubtedly used to facilitate mass production in many a scriptorium), there was the risk of homonyms being misinterpreted. …

Also, w and o were pronounced alike, but this has a considerable range of implications because it can make the difference between the indicative and the subjunctive mood, as in that much debated text in Rom. 5:1.  Should it be read eirhnhn ecomen proV ton qeon, i.e., “we have peace with God [as in the Lectionary],” or as an exhortation (ecwmen)?  A long series of earlier editions preferred the latter interpretation:  Tischendorf, Westcott-Hort, von Soden, Vogels, Merk, Bover.  Only the earlier Nestle had ecomen as does the “new Nestle” [and the Nestle I am using]).  The earlier Nestle read this despite its ground rules:  this is one of the few instances where Erwin Nestle, on the advice of German biblical scholars (and rightly, we believe), altered the text he inherited from his father.  With regard to ecomen and ecwmen the evidence of the Greek manuscripts (and therefore also of the versions based on them) remains ambiguous:  w can stand for o, as well as o for w.  Many scholars believe that in the original dictation of the letter Tertius may well have written ecwmen for Paul’s dictated ecomen.  We can be certain only that the correctors of … and B intended ecomen when they emended the ecwmen of their exemplars.

The external criteria yield no certainty here, so that internal criteria become determinative.  From the context of Rom. 5, as well as from Pauline theology generally, we believe that only the indicative ecomen is possible for Rom. 5:1.



John 4:5-42

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.[19]

The Staatliche Museen in Berlin has a parchment with John 4:9-10 dating from about 500.  The Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna has a Sixth Century parchment with John 4:9, 12.  The British Library in London has a Ninth Century parchment with John 4:23-37. 

The Alands explain:


The evidence of the Latin version comes in the apparatus immediately following that of the Greek witnesses, and is itself followed by the evidence of the Syriac versions.  For these the following signs are used.  The Sinaitic Syriac preserves the text of the Gospels with considerable lacunae: … John 1:1-25; 1:47—2:15; 4:38—6 [used here]; 5:25-46; 14:10-11; 18[20]:

[1] Raymond Arroyo, the Encore Presentation on ETWN, “The World Over,” Sunday, January 16, 2011.  I do not own the technology required to record this program, and accept the risk associated therewith.


[2] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2010, 22, 29, 33.


[4] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2010, x.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 4 (October 1997) 782.  (Accessed January 17, 2011.)


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 2010) 529-530.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 4 (October 2009) 807.


[8] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 3 (September 2009) 525-554, particularly 548.


[9]  (Accessed January 18, 2011 and December 31, 2013.)


[10] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 261.


[11] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 401-418.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2010) 77-82.


[13] Theological Studies, Vol. 71, No. 1 (March 2010) 30.


[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 4 (October 2009) 900.


[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 161.


[16] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 431.

[17] Robert Hodgson, Jr., review of Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 877-878.

[18] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 286.


[19] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 100, 101, 127, 250.


[20] 31—19:40.