The gist of the Lectionary readings is that God must be taken seriously.  Behavior has consequences.  Because of human frailty, Lenten repentance is in order.

 

First Reading: Exodus 3:1-8A, 13-15

          Exodus 3:2

          Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[1]

          The fertile imagination of Barker considers Mary as the unconsumed flaming bush.  I guess the idea is that Mary keeps giving of herself, without ever being consumed.

 

Exodus 3:8a

Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan, ‘”Let My People Go! Threads of Exodus in African American Narratives”[2]

Relates this passage to the African-American experience in the United States.  African-Americans in the United States escaped slavery in a manner similar to the Jews escaping slavery in Egypt.

 

          Exod 3:13-15                              

          R. Scott Chalmers, "Who Is the Real El?  A Reconstruction of the Prophet's Polemic in Hosea 12:5a"[3]

          God is known by two names, El, translated God, and Yahweh, translated Lord.  When scholars look for carry-overs from surrounding peoples, they do not find any.  The Jewish God is different from the others, particularly in title and name.

 

          Exod 3:14                                   

          Jerome H. Neyrey, S.J., "`Without Beginning of Days or End of Life’ (Hebrews 7:3): topos for a True Deity”[4]

          God’s name, “I am who am” means the Existent One.

 

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11

          The Church makes this psalm available for funerals[5] and pastoral care of the sick.[6]  Accepting illness and infirmity in reparation for sin suits Lenten practice.

 

          Psalm 103                                  

          Gerhard Langer, review of Christoph Dohmen, Exodus 19—40[7]

          Moses as mediator influences Psalm 103.

 

          Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, 10-12

          1 Cor 8:1—11:1                          

          Calvin J. Roetzel, review of Frank J. Matera, II Corinthians: A Commentary[8]

          Roetzel disagrees with Matera.  Matera writes that Paul is following a “ring” construction.  Roetzel thinks the argument about eating food offered to idols is linear and more straightforward.

 

          1 Cor 8—10                                

          Richard A. Horsley, “Consciousness and Freedom among the Corinthians: 1 Corinthians 8—10”[9]

          Argues that Paul is not endorsing freedom of conscience.  Paul binds conscience by how others perceive behavior.  The example is eating food offered to idols.  In other words, a conscience entirely self-centered is not Christian.

 


          1 Cor 10:1-13                              

          John Fotopoulos, "Arguments Concerning Food Offered to Idols: Corinthian Quotations and Pauline Refutations in a Rhetorical Partitio (1 Corinthians 8:1-9)”[10]

          Warns that the Israelites tested Christ by eating food offered to idols in the wilderness.  That God struck these Israelites down for eating food offered to idols serves as a warning to the Corinthians.

 

          1 Corinthians 10:1

          In the Greek, “I do not want you to be unaware,” connotes that Paul does want the Faithful to be intellectually active.  Paul is encouraging Bible study.

 

          1 Corinthians 10:1-4

          Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, O.P., “Tradition and Redaction in 1 Cor 15:3-7”[11]

          In the Greek, all is emphasized.  All is used five times in these four verses.  I never remember anyone reading these verses with that emphasis.

 

          1 Corinthians 10:3

          In the Greek, spiritual food refers to the miracle of manna in the desert and the marvel of the Eucharist.

 

          1 Corinthians 10:4

          In the Greek, spiritual rock refers to the rock Moses struck to find water. That is a new association for me.

 

          1 Corinthians 10:5

          In the Greek, struck down brings up an image of dead bodies strewn about. God can be very violent when the Faithful mistreat him.

 

Verse before the Gospel Matthew 4:17

This is a Lenten call to repentance.

 

Gospel: Luke 13:1-9

          Luke 13:3

          Like Matthew 4:17, Luke 13:3 also calls for repentance.

 


          Luke 13:6-9                                

F. Gerald Downing, “In Quest of First-Century C.E. Galilee”[12]

          The parable of the fig tree is about material culture at the time of Jesus. As distinct from laws, material culture enables scholars to delve into how people actually lived.

 

 

Please pass along to me suggestions you may have for improving the changed format.  Unless I change it again, with Easter, I will stop making this special appeal. Thank you.  For more on sources see the Appendix file. Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes



[1] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003, 246.

 

[2] in Yet with a Steady Beat: Contemporary U.S. Afrocentric Biblical Interpretation, Randall C. Bailey, ed., (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003) 130, 138.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4 (October 2006) 613, 630.

 

[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 3 (July 1991) 453.

 

[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) 40,226.

 

[6] 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: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 296.

 

[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 3 (July 2006) 509.

 

[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 4 (October 2004) 661.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October 1978) 4 574-589.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (October 2005) 612, 619.

 

[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 4 (October 1981) 588.

 

[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 1 (January 2004) 94.