The Baptist Commentary, Urban Ministries, looks to Daniel 9:9, To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.[1]  Lent is a time to repent and ask God for mercy and forgiveness.  For Roman Catholics and others, today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent, which uses different readings to the same effect.

 

In the real world, the Papacy, by dismissing Father Roy Bourgeois, from his Maryknoll Order, misses the compassion, inherent in the readings for this Sunday.  Bourgeois claims that the Papacy is wrong to deny females ordination to the ministerial priesthood.  There is precedent for female ordination.

 

In 2005, Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek presented the documents for Ordained Women in the Early Church:  A Documentary History.[2]  On December 7, 2012, the Association of Catholic Priests (Ireland) called on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “to cease this type of abuse, to restore Fr. Bourgeois to the full exercise of his ministry and allow for open and honest discussion on issues that are of crucial importance for the future of the Church.”  The Association represents a quarter of the four thousand Roman Catholic priests of Ireland.  On November 28, one of the largest groups of Sisters in the Western Hemisphere, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, issued a similar statement.[3]

 

There is more.  The Roman Catholic clergy involved in denying the Sacrament of Confirmation to Lennon Cihak, the high school junior in Barnesville, Minnesota, do not seem to understand what that Sacrament is about.  Confirmation is the Sacrament that strengthens the Faithful to have the courage of their convictions in difficult circumstances.  The Daily Press Sunday, December 9, 2012 headline tells it all:  “Catholic teen risks wrath of Church:  Boy’s confirmation is called off after his online post against a gay marriage ban.”  The sense of the Faithful would not be to condemn the boy, but to use the grace of Confirmation to strengthen the courage of his convictions before the Republican politics that enamored the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the last election.  Cihak took his stand October 24, thirteen days before the vote on a proposed state constitutional amendment designed to deny gay marriages.  Cihak took his stand as a matter of civil law, not moral theology.[4]

 

Contemplative prayer for this Sunday draws from Readings with God removing reproach from Joshua and the Israelites.  Personal Notes prays for God now to remove reproach from the Roman Catholic Church.  The Responsorial Antiphon, Psalm 34:9a, calls out, Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.  2 Corinthians 5:17 speaks of a new creation, meaning purification from sin.  Luke 15:24 insists, this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again.  Bourgeois and Cihak are not cast here as a Prodigal Sons, but rather as Prophets in the mold of Joshua, calling the Papacy to mend its misogynist ways.

 

 

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

 

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. 

 

Joshua 5:9a, 10-12


 

Joshua 5:9

William Greenhill, Exposition[5]

Greenhill (1591-1671), a contemporary of Saint Vincent de Paul (1580-1660) uses Joshua 5:9, removed the reproach, to proclaim the protection of God over the Faithful, despite their shame, idolatry, and profaneness.

 

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

The Church makes this psalm available for funerals[6] and care for the sick.

 

Psalm 34:9

John David Ramsey, A Precarious Faith:  The Tri-une Dynamic of the Christian Life[7]

Father John David quotes Thomas Aquinas, to argue that the faithful share the mind of Christ.  Taste and see that the Lord is good.  The Lectionary has, Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.  For the Lectionary, the Lord modifies goodness.  For Saint Thomas, goodness modifies the Lord.  Like the Lord, the Faithful can be good.  This suits Saint Thomas.  The Faithful, however, are in no position to modify goodness, as the Lectionary has it.  Personal Notes is pointing out the difference without judging the accuracy of either translation.  Personal Notes lacks the background to do more than point out that there is a difference.

 

2 Corinthians 5:17-21


 

2 Cor 5:17

Nijay K. Gupta, “Which `Body’ Is a Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19)?  Paul beyond the Individual/Communal Divide”[8]

Gupta agrees when Ernst Käsemann affirms that 2 Cor 5:17 is an apocalyptic statement, “where new creation is demonstrated by any person being in Christ (tis en Cristw).”

 

2 Cor 5:14-21

William J. Shaules, review of Michael J. Gorman, Inhabiting the Cruciform God:  Kenosis, Justification, and Theosis in Paul’s Narrative Soteriology[9]

Shaules concludes his review, “. . . simply not useful.”

 

2 Cor 5:14-21

Russell Morton, review of Kar Yong Lim, “The Sufferings of Christ Are Abundant in Us” (2 Corinthians 1:5):  A Narrative Dynamics Investigation of Paul’s Suffering in 2 Corinthians[10]

Morton argues, “Paul’s self-understanding is undoubtedly more nuanced that L. acknowledges.”

 

2 Cor 5:17

Harvey D. Egan, S.J., “In Purgatory We Shall All Be Mystics”[11]

Whoever is in Christ is in a new creation involves a purification Egan argues is Purgatory.  The context is the communion of Saints.  Egan quotes Benedict XVI, “no one lives alone.  No one sins alone.  No one is saved alone.”

 

Luke 15:18

 

Luke 15:1-3, 11-32

The Church uses this Gospel in caring for the sick.[12]

 

 

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) 333-334.

 

[2] Ordained Women in the Early Church:  A Documentary History.  Edited and Translated by Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek.  (Baltimore, Maryland:  The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005.  Pp. xvi, 220.  $48.00).  Reviewed by William Tabbernee, Phillips Theological Seminary in The Catholic Historical Review, January 2007, pages 127-128.

 

[3] http://ncronline.org/node/40791 (accessed December 9, 2012).

[4] Jenny Deam, Special to Tribune Newspapers, “Catholic teen risks wrath of church:  Boy’s confirmation is called off after his online post against a gay marriage ban,” Daily Press (published in Newport News, Virginia), Sunday, December 9, 2012, page 18.

 

[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) 83. 

 

[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)  286, 324.

 

[7] Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2002, 179.

 

[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 3 (2010) 535.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2 (April 2011) 382.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2 (April 2011) 398.

 

[11] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 4 (December 2012) 885.

 

[12] 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.