Religious life has many risks, including navel gazing and unwillingness to think.  Margaret A. Farley offers a solution.  “If the greatest temptation of religious persons is self-righteousness, the second greatest is the grasping for certitude—fighting self-doubt in ways that shut the mind and sometimes close the heart”[1]  My personal history tracks the way between naval-gazing and openness to change.  When I left the seminary to enter secular graduate school, any naval gazing I had, was shaken to the core.  My life-long love and commitment to the Church was permanently sidetracked to run along another line from service as an ordained cleric.  I became a member of academia, instead.

 

When I began teaching at Thomas Nelson Community College, any grasping for certitude had to rest on the uneasy foundations of knowledge gathered in seven years of post-secondary fully-accredited seminary education followed by about ten years of graduate school, after that.  What it comes down to is akin to the blind man, I do believe, Lord (John 9:38).  I had to get used to the idea that in every class I taught someone would have a copy of the Bible available to use in a way different from that to which I had grown accustomed.  My life-long self-righteousness and unwillingness to think were of little use.  One need not be a cradle Catholic, as I am, to be in the same situation.

 

Dialogue is how to deal with both self-righteousness and certitude.  The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want (Psalm 23:1) enables the Faithful to go out on the thin ice of self-doubt and uncertainty.  Personal Notes reflects all of this.

 

 

Readings

First Reading:                   1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 (1)

Second Reading:               Ephesians 5:8-14

Verse before the Gospel:   John 8:12

Gospel:                             John 9:1-41

 

 

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.

 

 

1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a

1 Sam 16:1-13

Serge Frolov, “`Certain Men’ in Judges and Samuel:  A Rejoinder to Mark Leuchter”[2]

Mark Leuchter wrote in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly in 2007.  Personal Notes cites him only once or twice, but not for the Fourth Sunday of Lent.  Frolov uses this pericope to show that Samuel favors David.

 

1 Sam 16:6-7

John T. Willis, review of Petri Kasari, Nathan’s Promise in 2 Samuel 7 and Related Texts[3]

Willis points out that Kasari does not engage all relevant academic studies.  At the verse Willis uses, the LORD rejects how the prophet Samuel sees things, not as men sees does God see.

 

Personal Notes cites members of the Protestant Revolt in the spirit of Gerald O’Collins, S.J., writing,[4]

 

In fact, by allowing the liturgy to be celebrated in the vernacular, by stressing “the table of God’s word” along with the importance of the homily (no. 52), and by granting to the laity—although restricted to certain circumstances—communion “under both kinds” (no. 55), Vatican II conceded the demands of Martin Luther and other 16th-century Protestant reformers, albeit in the 20th-century.  In short, while SC [Sacrosanctum concilium [sic]] did not use explicitly the language of “reform” or “reformation,” what it enacted can and should be described in those terms.  I intend to repeat this paragraph one more time, before relegating it to the Appendix.

 


 

1 Samuel 16:7

William Greenhill (1591-1671), “An Exposition of Ezekiel”[5]

Greenhill argues that the Faithful cannot see through the mud that is their bodies; but that God can see through that mud into the heart.

 

Psalm 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6 (1)

Funerals uses Psalm 23 in four places,[6] Pastoral Care of the Sick in three.[7]

 

 

Ephesians 5:8-14

Ephesians 5

Johann Wigand (1523-1587), “Brief Exposition on the Prophet Daniel”[8]

Wigand argues that there are two types of idolatry, spiritual and material.  Idolatry consists of seeking spiritual and material benefits from what only God can give.

 


 

Ephesians 5:3-14

L. L. Welborn, review of Jeremy F. Hultin, The Ethics of Obscene Speech in Early Christianity and Its Environment[9]

The fruitless works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11) is as close as the Lectionary comes to considering foul language.  One of the problems is that Paul uses foul language in the eyes of the Ancients.

 

Ephesians 5:6-14

Fr. Yozefu – B. Ssemakula, The Healing of Families:  How To Pray Effectively for Those Stubborn Personal and Familial Problems[10]

Ssemakula uses Take no art in the fruitless works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11) to advocate avoiding unwholesome friendships that enable the Devil indirect access to one’s soul.

 

Ephesians 5:8-14

Luke Timothy Johnson, “Hebrews 10:32-39 and the Agony of the Translator”[11]

Johnson argues that Awake, O sleeper (Ephesians 5:14) is more than a circumstance of Christian enlightenment; that enlightenment is a cause of being awake.  Daniel B. Wallace seems to avoid any problem here.

 

Ephesians 5:11

Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575), “Daniel the Most Wise Prophet of God”

Bullinger takes the Lectionary Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them to reprove the wrongdoers.  Bullinger seems to have taken a little liberty with the translation.

 


 

Ephesians 5:14

Henry Airay (c. 1560-1616), “Lectures on Philippians 4:10”[12]

Airay argues for stirring up grace, when the spiritual life goes dry, even into sin.

 

John 8:12

 

John 9:1-41

John 9:1 ff., 2, 3, 41

Fr. Yozefu – B. Ssemakula, The Healing of Families:  How To Pray Effectively for Those Stubborn Personal and Familial Problems[13]

Ssemakula distinguishes between guilt and consequences of sin.  Blindness can be a consequence of sin, even though the blind person has no guilt.  God uses the consequences of sin to show that he loves the Faithful.

 

John 9:4-5

Maurice A. Robinson, “Rule 9, Isolated Variants, and the `Test-Tube’ Nature of the NA27/UBS4 Text: A Byzantine-Priority Perspective”[14]

Robinson focuses on the one who sent me (John 9:4) to show that some translations have only one supporting manuscript.  Philip W. Comfort agrees.[15]

 


 

John 9:4

Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary:  Commentary on the variant readings of the ancient New Testament manuscripts and how they relate to the major English translations[16]

Jesus is speaking of himself and his disciples as co-workers.

 

John 9:6-7

Mary Collins and Edward Foley, “Mystagogy:  Discerning the Mystery of Faith”[17]

Collins and Foley argue that the early Fathers of the Church identified prayer with the liturgy.  Now the Faithful draw from the liturgy in order to pray.

 

John 9:14-16

Martin Luther (1483-1546), “How Christians Should Regard Moses”[18]

Luther argues that the New Testament abolished the Sabbath, because in the New Testament, every day is a holy day.

 

John 9:22

Craig A. Evans, review of Jerome H. Neyrey, S.J., The Gospel of John in Cultural and Rhetorical Perspective[19]

Evans reports that one should not look here for a satisfactory explanation of the Jews rejecting Christians from their synagogues.  Otherwise, this is an excellent book.

 


 

John 9:22

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[20]

What the Lectionary translates as the Jews had already agreed (John 9:22), Wallace translates, bringing out the middle voice, the Jews had already agreed with one another.

 

John 9:22

Sigve K. Tonstad, review of Jo-Ann A. Brant, John[21]

I lack the background to be sure what Tonstad means with

 

She [Brant] also addresses [and rejects] J. Louis Martyn’s influential two-level reading (History and Theology of the Fourth Gospel . . . built largely on the assumption that aposynagogos (9:22 [used here]; 12:42; 16:2) refers to a formalized attempt in rabbinic Judaism to exclude Jewish believers in Jesus in the post-Yavneh era.

 

John 9:35

Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., “Constructing Jesus and the Son of Man”[22]

John 9:35 is one of the Son of Man sayings that Moloney places in the context of the four Evangelists.  Moloney concludes,

 

As [C.F.D.] Moule suggests, “`the Son of man,’ so far from being a title evolved from current apocalyptic thought by the early church and put into the lips of Jesus, is among the most important symbols used by Jesus himself to describe his vocation and that of those whom he summoned to be with him.

 


 

John 9:38-39a

Philip Comfort, “The Significance of the Papyri in Revising the New Testament Greek Text and English Translations”[23]

Here Comfort argues that the I believe verses are interpolations used as a carry-over from Baptismal liturgy.  In his larger study, Comfort elaborates and agrees with himself.[24]

 

Personal Notes gave up systematically examining the illiterate 2011 Missal November 25, 2012.  On April 7, 2013, with Reading 045C 2nd Sunday of Easter_A Catholic Bible Study 130407, Personal Notes systematically began to incorporate material from A Commentary on the Order of Mass of The Roman Missal:  A New English Translation:  Developed under the Auspices of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, Edward Foley (ed.) (Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2011).  The hope is that this approach will help pray with the new Missal, despite itself.  I intend to note this one more time, before placing it in the Appendix.

 

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. 

 

 

 

The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday is The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want (Psalm 23:1).[25]

 

In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the forgiveness of sins, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “reconcile the human race.”[26]

 

This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David:  Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest (Matthew 21:9).[27]  Mainstream liturgies mention David at 1 Samuel 16:13a.

 

 



[1] Margaret A. Farley, Chapter 3, “Ethics, Ecclesiology, and the Grace of Self-Doubt” in A Call to Fidelity:  On the Moral Theology of Charles E. Curran, James J. Walter, Timothy E. O’Connell, Thomas A. Shannon, eds., (Washington, D.C.:  Georgetown University Press, 2002) 68-69.

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2 (April 2011) 255.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1 (January 2012) 132.

 

[4] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 4 (December 2012) 772.

 

[5] 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) 144.

 

[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 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) 143, 223, 253, 267.

 

[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) 171, 188, 323.

 

[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) 268, 307.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 375.

 

[10] [no publisher or place of publication is listed] www.healingoffamilies.com, 2012, 332.

 

[11] 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) 170.

 

[12] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament XI:  Philippians, Colossians, Graham Tomlin (ed.) in collaboration with Gregory B. Graybill, general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2013) 118.

 

[13] [no publisher or place of publication is listed] www.healingoffamilies.com, 2012, 45, 177, 226, 260, 349.

 

[14] 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) 35, 38.

 

[15] Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary:  Commentary on the variant readings of the ancient New Testament manuscripts and how they relate to the major English translations (Carol Stream, Illinois:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008) 292.

 

[16] Carol Stream, Illinois:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008,

 

[17] in A Commentary on the Order of Mass of The Roman Missal:  A New English Translation:  Developed under the Auspices of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, Edward Foley (ed.) (Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2011) 90-91.

 

[18] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament XI:  Philippians, Colossians, Graham Tomlin (ed.) in collaboration with Gregory B. Graybill, general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2013) 199.

 

[19] Theological Studies, Vol. 72, No. 1 (March 2011) 188.

 

[20] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 188, 427, 476, 553, 586.

 

[21] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 3 (July 2013) 569.

 

[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 4 (October  2013) 725.

 

[23] 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) 80, 81, 88.

 

[24] Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary:  Commentary on the variant readings of the ancient New Testament manuscripts and how they relate to the major English translations (Carol Stream, Illinois:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008) 293-294.

 

[25] 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 the Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota:  The Liturgical Press, 1988) 194.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.

 

[26] n.a., The Roman Missal:  Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II:  English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Washington, DC, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011) 246.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.

 

[27] UMI Annual Sunday School Lesson Commentary:  Precepts for Living ®: 2013-2014:  International Sunday School Lessons:  Volume 165:  UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), a. Okechuku Ogbonnaya, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), 2013) 348-349.