Readings

First Reading:                    Joshua 5:9a, 10-12

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 (9a)

Second Reading:               2 Corinthians 5:17-21

Alleluia:                             Luke 15:18

Gospel:                             Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

 

Commentary

These readings are about the gap between how the Faithful are capable of loving and how they actually love.  There are different types of love:  Santa Claus; Tooth Fairy; family and friends, God Almighty.  Sacrifices the Faithful are willing to make in order to maintain their love marks the difference between the different types.

To give my legs a rest from standing at a funeral reception, I sat down in the Pregnancy Solutions office at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News.  I intend to share these ruminations with the Pastor.  In that room was a sign, “Pregnancy Solutions.”  The parish bulletin for “The 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time January 17, 2010” contains the following.  “If you know of someone who needs assistance with necessities during pregnancy or during the first 18 months after the birth of a child, please refer them to Pregnancy Solutions at 870-3131.  We offer free pregnancy screenings as well.” 

My problem is not with the good work the church is doing for women in need, but with the conceptualization of what is happening.  Just as I find physicians treating pregnancy as an illness, when pregnancy is actually one sign of good health; so do I find it unseemly to treat pregnancy as something that needs solving rather than as something that needs celebrating.  Pregnancy has an economic and physical cost, but that cost should not extend to celebrate love of heart.  The church is helping to love life and in the process is helping solve the economic and physical costs associated with that love.  It seems to me that there is something to celebrate, but I leave whether and how to express that joy to others.

Sometimes the Faithful fail in the love they extend to God and neighbor.  The Prodigal Son loved his father, but not to the extent proper to the relationship.  Second Corinthians is about the sacrifices of Jesus making up for what the Faithful hold to themselves, rather than give away in love.  Joshua 5:9a, “The LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have removed the reproach of Egypt from you.”  Psalm 34:2 proclaims, “I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth.”

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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.

 

Joshua 5:9a, 10-12

 

Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7 (9a)

          The Church makes this psalm available for funerals[1] and care for the sick.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17-21

2 Cor 5:17-21

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.[2]

Multiple repositories, including the University of Michigan have the papyrus manuscript 2 Cor 1:1—13:13, dating from about 200.  In other words, the original letter is unavailable, but only this copy.

 

2 Corinthians 5

Hendrikus Boers, "The Structure and Meaning of Romans 6:1-14”[3]

Boers writes, “Paul begins his reasoning by putting his focus on Christ’s death as the liberation from sin but on Christ’s resurrection as the foundation of the new life to which he and his readers are called ([Rom] 6:vv. 4e-5).vv”  I comment more on this below.

 

Boers also brings in Baptism. 

 

He [Hartwig Thyen] points out that in 2 Corinthians 5 “and frequently elsewhere Paul makes statements, completely unconnected to baptism, that are fully analogous to Rom 6.”  Thus, Paul “does not want to present—not even as an excursus—a `baptismal teaching,’ but makes use of the being baptized of his readers as a point of departure.  So he appeals to them as justified by faith.

 


 

2 Cor 5:

Frank J. Matera, "Christ in the Theologies of Paul and John: A Study in the Diverse Unity of New Testament Theology"[4]

I have a problem marking the difference in approach between Paul and John.  I had thought that Paul focused on the passion and death of Jesus and John on the Resurrection.  That is wrong, as I explain above, in these annotations.

Matera writes, “He [Paul] affirms that God made Christ `to be sin’ so that in Christ we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21).  … In the light of Christ’s death and resurrection, he [Paul] realized that humanity, alienated from God and under the power of sin (Rom 3:9) unleashed by Adam’s transgression (Rom 5:12), is in need of reconciliation (Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:17-21).”

John focuses on the Incarnation and on being a witness to the love of God.

 

2 Cor 5:14-21

Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., "Episteusa, dio elalhsa (2 Corinthians 4:13): Paul's Christological Reading of Psalm 115:1-a LXX"[5]

Stegman asserts, “In fact, Paul will make clear in 2 Cor 5:14-21 [17-21 used here] that Jesus actively participated in God’s plan of salvation for the world.”  The Faithful are to do likewise.

 

2 Cor 5:17-20

Vincent P. Branick, review of Juan Manual Granados Rojas, S.J., La Reconciliación en la Carta a los Efesios y en la Carta a los Colosenses: Estudio exegético de Ef 2,14-16 y Col 1,20.21-23 [6]

Branick concludes, “nevertheless, this book is a fine work of scholarship.”  The faults Branick finds are of a nit-picking variety, to prove he studied the book.

 

2 Cor 5:19

Edwin C. Hostetter, review of Ephraim Radner, Leviticus[7]

Hostetter quotes a 2002 statement from the Pontifical Biblical Commission, “The Old Testament in itself has great value as the Word of God.  To read the Old Testament as Christians then does not mean wishing to find everywhere direct reference to Jesus and to Christian realities.”  Radner does just that.

 

 

2 Cor 5:19

A. Andrew Das, “Paul and Words of Obedience in Second Temple Judaism:  Romans 4:4-5 as a `New Perspective’ Case Study”[8]

Das argues, “In Rom 2:26 the uncircumcised are “reckoned” as circumcised in the same manner as believers are reckoned righteous on the basis of faith.”  Das then cites fifteen Scripture references, including 1 Cor 5:19, entrusting to us the message

 

2 Cor 5:20, 21

Lisa Sowle Cahill, "Quaestio Disputata: The Atonement Paradigm: Does it Still Have Explanatory Value?”[9]

Cahill writes, “Paul’s proclamation of redemption …`For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God’ (2 Cor 5:21).”

 

2 Cor 5:21

Robert Jewett, review of Stephen Finlan, The Apostle Paul and the Pauline Tradition[10]

Jewett reports, “In interpreting 2 Cor 51 and similar passages, F. acutely describes how the `cross functions as a reversal ritual’ that transforms the status of believers from sinning to righteousness without entailing `crude substitutionary theologies of later times.’”

 

Luke 15:18

 

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

The Church uses this Gospel in caring for the sick.[11]

 

A copy of the Lectionary Gospel is highlighted on a separate sheet for the hard copy edition.  Anyone else wanting one, please ask me at Jirran@verizon.net.  Thank you.

 

This time looking for Greek pronouns, I realized that my concern was not for any pronoun, but for personal pronouns, like I, you, and it.  I am especially looking for intensive pronouns, which I am labeling in red.  I am not highlighting relative pronouns, like which.  Using the pronouns, the emphasis is on the Prodigal.

 

The readings highlight two nouns and one adjective in blue, Jesus, everything, and younger.  The reason is that I am unable to translate the Greek as a pronoun.  There are two intensive pronouns, referring to the Prodigal coming to his senses and returning to his father.

 

The Greek offers some other problems.  At Luke 15:20, he ran to his son, son is not in the Greek.  At Luke 15:22, at sandals on his feet, his is not in the Greek.

 

The manuscripts also cause some concern that I can only decipher with the help of Max Zerwick, S.J. and Mary Grosvenor.[12]  At Luke 15:16, some manuscripts have to fill his belly with.  At Luke 15:21, some manuscripts add a phrase that Zerwick does not translate.

 

 

For more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes

 



[1] 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)  286, 324.

 

[2] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 99.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 4 (April 2001) 668 ff.

 

[4] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 2 (June 2006) 243, 253.

 

[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (April 2007) 740.

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 173.

 

[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 2009) 389.

 

[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 4 (April 2009) 811.

 

[9] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 2 (June 2007) 428.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 2009) 401.

 

[11] 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) 317.

 

[12] 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) 244.