Hope is the theme for this Third Sunday of Lent.  Hope is also a general theme for the Catholic Theological Society of America.  In the same spirit, hope is the theme for the next quarter of the calendar for the Black Baptist Urban Ministries.[1] 


Thomas A. Dorsey (1899-1993), the Father of Gospel Music, composed two well-known hymns, unknown to Roman Catholic hymnals, even the Black Catholic hymnal, Lead Me, Guide Me.[2]  Dorsey wrote “Precious Lord” in 1932, as a consolation for hope when his wife, Nettie Harper died in childbirth and his newborn son died soon after. 


Dorsey also wrote “Peace in the Valley.”  Elvis Presley’s rendition sold millions of copies.  The hymn is full of hope, for example with the words, “There will be peace in the valley for me, some day.”[3]  The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday, “The Lord is kind and merciful,” holds out the kind of hope of which Thomas A. Dorsey sang. 


In the First Reading at Mass this Sunday, Moses before the burning bush holds out hope for the Israelites then and the Faithful today.  Saint Paul and Luke both set forth hope in the context of repentance for sin.



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

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

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

Alleluia:                             Matthew 4:17

Gospel:                             Luke 13:1-9



Annotated Bibliography

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


Personal Notes spent a year, Cycle B, 2011-2012, establishing what the Papacy has done to the illiterate 2011 Missal, used each Sunday.  The concluding polished comments are at Reading 1610 Missal:  The Last Sunday in Ordinary Time, available at both www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes and http://www.jamesriverjournal.net/.  Lifting up its heart to the Lord, Personal Notes is finished with its systematic effort to unscramble the Papal mess caused by mistranslation. 


Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15

Exod 3:6

Eric John Wyckoff, S.D.B., “When Does Translation Become Exegesis?  Exodus 24:9-11 in the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint”[4]

Translation becomes exegesis when it involves an interpretation of the text.  That is why Personal Notes objects to the illiterate 2011 Missal, that turns the holy word of God into gibberish.  Wyckoff uses Exod 3:6, Moses was afraid to look at God as an example of how critical scholarship identifies three literary functions for Exod 24:9-11.  Exod 3:6 illustrates “an occasion when humans survive an encounter with God.”  A sense of hope-filled awe in the presence of God is appropriate for the penitential season of Lent.


Exodus 3:7

Song-Mi Suzie Park, “Transformation and Demarcation of Jacob’s ‘Flocks’ in Genesis 30:25- 43:  Identity, Election, and the Role of the Divine”[5]

Park argues that I [God] have seen means that what people see “is not what is really happening; there is more at work than meets the eye.”  In other words, as the signs about town say, “no matter what, trust God.”  Have hope.


Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8, 11 (8a)

The Church makes this psalm available for funerals[6] and pastoral care of the sick.[7]  Accepting illness and infirmity in reparation for sin suits Lenten practice.


1 Corinthians 10:1-2, 4, 12

1 Cor 1-2, 4[8]

William Greenhill (1591-1671), verses 1-2, “Washed with Water”

       verse 4, “An Exposition of Ezekiel”


For a sense of chronology with better-known names, Martin Luther lived 1483-1546.  Luther was a contemporary of Oecolampadius, below, but died sixty years before Greenhill was born.


1 Cor 10: 4, 12

John Calvin (1509-1564), verse 4, “Commentary on Galatians”

Rudolf Gwalther (1519-1586), verse 12, “We must Never Presume on Our Salvation,”

Johannes Oecolampadius (1482-1531), verse 12, “Commentary on the Prophet Daniel,” Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray[9]


For a sense of chronology with some Roman Catholics:  Ignatius Loyola, 1491-1556 (almost an exact contemporary of Henry VII, 1491-1547); Council of Trent, 1545-1563; Saint Vincent de Paul, 1580-1660.


Calvin preaches that “the rock, or mountain, on which the church is founded and built is the Lord Christ.”  Calvin cites, verse 4, among others, to support his contention.  And the rock was the Christ.  This notion of rock through the First Testament is a sign of hope to me, offering a sense of immovable security.  I think of the Rock of Gibraltar.


What the Lectionary translates as all passed through the sea and all of them were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, Gwalther translates, all passed through the sea; and were all baptized to Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  A sense of Lenten forgiveness of sins is associated with the waters of the Exodus and Baptism.


At verse 12, what the Lectionary translates as whoever thinks he is standing secure should take care not to fall, Oecolampadius translates, Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.  This is a good sentiment for Lent, especially for anyone who is balance-challenged.


1 Cor 10:1

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[10]

Wallace points out that I do not want you to be unaware is making “a statement of a general, timeless fact.”


1 Cor 10:1-2

Michael Peppard, “Adopted and Begotten Sons of God:  Paul and John on Divine Sonship”[11]

Peppard uses verses 1-2 to argue that “adoption is thus one of the images Paul uses to try to unite Jews and gentiles [sic] in Christ at the end of days.”  The hope of adoption must first come from being baptized into Moses and then from being baptized into the Holy Trinity, according to the Christian formulary.



1 Cor 10:4

David G. Schultenover, S.J., “From the Editor’s Desk”[12]

Schultenover writes about hope in the context of the [sic] Catholic Theological Society of America.  For Paul, the rock that gave the Israelites water in the desert (Exod 17:6) became for Christians the figure of Jesus become the Christ (1 Cor 10:4 [used here]) . . . .The prophets’ message might be simply stated as this:  hope lives only from adherence to the Lord’s word.”  For the Faithful in the United States of America, to understand, the Lord’s word needs to be in standard American English.  That is the prophetic message in Personal Notes.


1 Cor 10:5

Sacred Scripture in the Missal[13]

So far, I have not identified just where the 2011 Missal uses this verse.


26 “and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was the Christ” (1 Cor 10:4).


Matthew 4:17


Luke 13:1-9

Luke 13:1, 6-9

John P. Meier, “Is Luke’s Version of the Parable of the Rich Fool Reflected in the Coptic Gospel of Thomas?”[14]

The parable of the fig tree comes in response to some people asking about Galileans killed by Pontius Pilate.  Jesus answers not to be concerned about them; but to be concerned about the need to repent.  The Greek Luke uses for some people is practically foreign to the Gospel of Thomas.  As should be expected, Daniel B. Wallace passes by his verse, without comment.  Matthew and Mark do not use the some people approach.  Meier argues that Luke’s version of the parable of the rich fool and the fig tree [used here] is reflected in the Coptic Gospel of Thomas.  In other words, it is more probable that Thomas derived material from Luke than that Luke derived material from Thomas.



Luke 13:1

J. R. Daniel Kirk, “Time for Figs, Temple Destruction, and Houses of Prayer in Mark 11:12-25”[15]

Kirk does not refer to the Lucan fig tree pericope.


Luke 13:5

Fr. Yozefu – B. Ssemakula, The Healing of Families:  How To Pray Effectively for Those Stubborn Personal and Familial Problems[16]

Ssemakula uses Luke 13:5, if you do not repent, you will all perish to argue that the verse is misunderstood.  The sense is that of a mother warning her child not to touch the stove.  If the child touches the stove, it is not Mom who caused the resulting pain.  Ssemakula is insistent:  “And so what did Jesus His Son say about God the Father punishing us in this life because we disobeyed any of His commandments?  Exactly zero!  And that was God’s final word on it, nothing, a non-being, not an issue—never been an issue!”


Luke 13:8

Maurice A. Robinson, “The Rich Man and Lazarus—Luke 16:19-31”[17]

Robinson points out that He said to him in reply is rare Greek phraseology in Luke.  The large point Robinson is making is that “. . . the more difficult reading . . . should be preferred.”  From my observation, Roman Catholic liturgical readings tend to avoid more difficult readings, not realizing that these are the readings that do the most to help the prayer-life of the church.  The story of the fig tree has manuscript difficulty in verse five with if they do not repent, which is also in verse three.  In verse seven, there is a manuscript difficulty with cut it down.[18]  I am just providing information.  I have no quarrel with the Lectionary here.



For more on sources see the Appendix file.  A complete set of Personal Notes, dating from the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 14, 2002 to the present, is on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes. 

[1] UMI Annual Commentary 2012-2013:  Precepts for Living: Based on the International Uniform Lessons, Vincent E. Bacote, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), 2012) 315-320.


[2] n.a., Lead Me, Guide Me:  The African American Catholic Hymnal (Chicago:  G.I.A. Publications, Inc., 1987).


[3] http://www.risa.co.uk/sla/song.php?songid=18437  (accessed December 2, 2012).

[4]the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4 (2012) 688.


[5]the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (2010) 675.


[6] 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.


[7] 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.


[8] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament XII: Ezekiel, Daniel, (ed.) Carl L. Beckwith (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2012, 84 (Greenhill) Exposition, 351-52; 211 (Greenhill) Exposition, 797, 282 (Oecolampadius) In Danielem Prophetam (1543), 59-61.


[9] Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011, 115 (Calvin), 150 (Gwalther). 


[10] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 526.  The quotation is from page 523.


[11]the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1  (2011) 100.


[12] Theological Studies, Vol. 72, No. 2 (June 2011) 245.


[13] Unable to locate the original source.


[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 2011) 535, 540, 543.


[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 3 (2012) 509-527.


[16] [no publisher or place of publication is listed] www.healingoffamilies.com, 2012, 54


[17] in Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 102.


[18] Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine: Textum Graecum post Eberhard et Erwin Nestle communiter ediderunt Barbara et Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger: Textus Latinus Novae Vulgatae Bibliorum Sacrorum Editioni debetur: Utriusque textus apparatum criticum recensuerent et editionem novis curis elaboraverunt Barbara et Kurt Aland una cum Instituto Studiorum Textus Novi Testamenti Monasterii Westphaliae (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1999) Editio XXVII, 205.