Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P. does a lot with Psalm 19.  The first part of the psalm is polytheistic, full of the powers of nature.[1]  The latter part of the psalm, the part used in the Lectionary, is calming, showing the Lord as the source of peace.  Stuhlmueller writes, “It is the divine person of YHWH as savior and protector, not the Lord’s enthronement, which centers Israel’s piety and worship.”[2]

 

Command is the word for this Sunday.

 

Pope John Paul II’s, Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginia Mariae cites none of the Lectionary[3] verses for this Sunday.  The Coming of the Kingdom suits these contemplations.

 

Exodus: 20:1-17

 

The Exodus theme runs through Jewish religion.  Jesus leads the new Exodus from the trials and travails of this scared society into the healed wholeness of the Spirit, both in this life and in the next.

 

verse 1          In those days, God delivered all these commandments;

 

The sense of delivered is in the sense of an elocutionary delivery rather than something like a hand-delivery of a message.

 

verse 2                    … that place of slavery.

 

Slavery might be better translated as servitude.  Saint Jerome[4] uses domo servitutis, house of servitude.

 

verse 5                    you shall not bow down before them or worship them.

 

For bow down, Jerome uses adorabis (in the singular), for worship, coles in the sense of cultivate.

 

verse 6                    but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation

on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

 

verse 10                  … or your male or female slave

 

The Latin uses two different nouns, servus and ancilla.  This is the same ancilla Mary used to say “I am the handmaid of the Lord in the Magnificat.

 

verse 11        In six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth,

                               the sea and all that is in them;

                               but on the seventh day he rested.

                     That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

 

In these days of the Hubble telescope; note that the ancient Hebrew had no word for cosmos, the universe, and the extra-terrestrial.  That notwithstanding, the sense of cosmos is in this psalm.[5]

 

More importantly at the personal level, P. M. Casey notes, “In 1 Macc 2:29-38 we read that in the Maccabean period, some Jews died rather than fight on the Sabbath, interpreting the prohibition of work on the Sabbath …”[6]

 

verse 17        You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.

                     You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife,

                               nor his male or female slave, not his ox or ass,

                               nor anything else that belongs to him.”

 

This 17th verse is about honor and respect due everyone.[7]  We might want to think about now taking this to include a right to privacy, something new in human rights.

 

The other place to find the Decalogue is Deut 5:9.[8]

Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11

 

verse 8          The law of the LORD is perfect,

                               refreshing the soul;

                     the decree of the LORD is trustworthy,

                               giving wisdom to the simple.

 

For perfect, the Latin uses immaculata readily associated with the Lourdes Immaculate Mary hymn.

 

For simple, the Latin uses parvulis or little ones in the sense of little school children.

 

verse 9          The precepts of the LORD are right,

                               rejoicing the heart;

                     the command of the LORD is clear,

                               enlightening the eye.

 

verse 10        The fear of the LORD is pure,

                               enduring forever;

                     the ordinances of the LORD are true,

                               all of them just.

 

The fear of the LORD reduces anxiety because the fear of the LORD keeps one on the straight and narrow, even when things go well and one is tempted to forget that one is a creature. Stuhlmueller explains,[9]

 

Therefore, one’s delight in the Law of YHWH reveals an interior peace and satisfaction that center upon the person of YHWH (Pss 19:8-9; 119:2, 10). This interior satisfaction in YHWH orients one to the proper meaning of `the fear of the LORD’ (Psalm 19:9 [sic should be 10]; Prov 1:7), a healthy fear, lest one stray from the heart’s greatest delight.  Such wandering, unfortunately, is easily possible when one is successful (Psalm 37:-9).

 

Ordinances and just carry the same meaning, the former is a noun, the latter an adjective.  The idea is that God’s laws are good ones at the same time.

 

verse 11        sweeter also than syrup

 

Where the Lectionary gets syrup is a mystery to me. The Latin has honey and dripping honeycomb.  As a self-proclaimed connoisseur of Chardon, Ohio Maple Syrup as better than any other, getting syrup into and out of the Bible has interest.  Syrup is not in my Concordance.[10]

 

In the Personal Notes for last week, the philosophers brought mystery into consideration.  Stuhlmueller writes in like manner.[11]

 

No human statement nor any earthly expressions can possibly contain the awesome mystery of God.  Mystery such as this rises with the majestic grandeur of African clouds, preparing for the ensuing collapse of the heavens upon the earth in tropical downpour.  The opening words [of Psalm 19], like a trumpet call piercing the distant silence, declare that YHWH—and none other—reigns as King.

 

Perhaps a scholar had the mystery-philosophers in mind when he wrote, “G. Stemberger has illustrated how the principle of moral intention is central in prophetic literature (Isa 29:13) and in Mosaic legislation (Exod 20:17; Deut 5:21; Lev 19:17) and how a legitimate conjunction of moral and ritual elements is promoted thereby.”[12]

 

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

 

Verse 26 notices the fact that the Corinthians were not many from the well-to-do.  The NSRV translation: “not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.”[13]  Who finds it easier to follow the Way: those who are more fortunate because life itself is easier or those who are less fortunate because they need God more?

 

John 3:16

 

No comment

 

John 2:13-25

 

verse 13        Since the Passover of the Jews was near,

 

While the Passover is important to Jews, the Passover is also important to Christians. For the former, the Passover is a remembrance of the flight out of the house of servitude in Egypt. For the latter, the Passover is a remembrance of the flight out of the house of servitude in sin.

 

verse 14        He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves

                               as well as the money changers seated there.

 

verse 15        He made a whip out of cords

                               and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen,

                               and spilled the coins of the money changers

                               and overturned their tables,

 

verse 16                  and to those who sold doves he said,

                               “Take these out of here,

                               and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

 

Oxen is translated by boves the same word used for cows.[14]

 

Doves is translated with pigeons in the RSV.  The grammarian uses doves.[15]

 

Money changers is interesting in that two different Greek words are used: keramtistaV and kollubistwn.  The first money changers carries the Greek connotation of cut short or crop, in other words, a cheat.  The second money changers carries the Greek connotation of money changer only.

 

The Greek for marketplace is emporiou that transliterates as emporium.

 

The grammarian translates this as “a house of commerce.”[16]

 

verse 20        The Jews said,

                               “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years …

 

Has been in this case does not connote has been continuously, but rather, has been intermittently,[17] like Mercury Boulevard in Hampton, Virginia.

 

verse 23        While he was in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,

                               many began to believe in his name

                               when they saw the signs he was doing.

 

The grammarian points out that the literal translation is “seeing His signs which He did,” a Semitic carry-over.[18]

 

verse 24        But Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all,

                               and did not need anyone to testify about human nature,

                     He himself understood it well.

 

The Latin for trust derives from Credo as in the Credo of the Mass.  Only God is absolutely trustworthy.

 

This overturning the money changers is a turning point in the Gospel of John.  After this incident, the plot to murder Jesus is underway.

 

Following the commands of God in Exodus sets forth what the commands are.  The psalmist sings of the joys inherent to keeping the commandments.  Paul shows that the commands are within reach of everyone and meant for everyone, in the final analysis. John goes on to show what to expect from love of the Father, a loss of self in the Father and for the Father in the hope and full expectation of the resurrection.

 



[1] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, pages 35, 38.  Also see Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., “Deutero-Isaiah: Major Transitions in the Prophet’s Theology and in Contemporary Scholarship,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 1 (January 1980) 12.

 

[2] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, page 61.

 

[3] All indented verses, as below, are from National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Roman Missal Restored by Decree of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican and Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Lectionary for Mass: For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America: Second Typical Edition: Volume I: Sundays, Solemnities, Feasts of the Lord and Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1998).

 

[4] Saint Jerome, the Vulgate, and the Latin all refer to Nova Vulgata: Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio: Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II ratione habita Iussu Pauli PP, VI Recognita Auctoritate Joannis Pauli PP, II Promulgata Editio Typica Altera (00120 Citta Del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1979, 1986, 1998) ISBN 88-2209-2163-4

 

[5] Stanley B. Marrow, “KosmoV in John,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002) 93.

 

[6] P. M. Casey, “Culture and Historicity: The Cleansing of the Temple,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 2 (April 1997) 320.

 

[7] Robert H. Gundry, “Mark 10:29: Order in the List,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 3 (July 1997) 467.  Also see Louise Joy Lawrence, “`For truly, I tell you, they have received their reward’ (Matt 6:2): Investigating Honor Precedence and honor Virtue,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 4 (October 2002) 692.

 

[8] Vincent M. Smiles, “The Concept of `Zeal’ in Second-Temple Judaism and Paul’s Critique of It in Romans 10:2,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 2 (April 2002) 286.

[9] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, page 182.

 

[10] Rev. Newton Thompson, S.T.D. and Raymond Stock, Concordance to the Bible (Douay Version) (St. Louis, Mo.: B. Herder Book Co., 1942)

 

[11] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, page 63.

 

[12] Louise Joy Lawrence, “`For truly, I tell you, they have received their reward’ (Matt 6:2): Investigating Honor Precedence and honor Virtue,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 4 (October 2002) 701.

 

[13] Translation found in Benedict T. Viviano, O.P., “The Least in the Kingdom: Matthew 11:11, Its Parallel in Luke 7:28 (Q), and Daniel 4:14,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1 (January 2000) 51.

 

[14] Cassell’s Latin Dictionary: Latin-English and English-Latin revised by J. R. V. Marchant, M.A. and Joseph F. Charles, B.A. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1952) 73.

 

[15] Max Zerwick, S.J. and Mary Grosvenor, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament unabridged, 5th, revised edition (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico 1996) 291.

 

[16] Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994) 80.

 

[17] Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994) 83.

 

[18] Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994) 66.