Generally, the Faithful do not receive a sermon-homiletic commentary this Sunday.  With two brief exceptions at the end of these Personal Notes, my Gospel comments substitute Readings 37B, “At the Procession with Palms” for the long Passion Gospel.

 

The word for this Sunday is hosanna.

 

Pope John Paul II’s, Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginia Mariae does mention Phil 2:8 from 38ABC.  The Crucifixion and death on the Cross suits these contemplations.

 

Mark 11:1-10

 

This is part of a parallel showing the Divinity of Jesus.  A scholar explains:

 

Mark 11:1-11 represents the enactment of Jesus’ role in the allegory of 12:1-12: he is the Messiah (God’s Son) come to the temple in search of righteousness, the “fruit” of the covenant between God and his people.  This concept not only frames the central intercalation but is also interwoven with it, enriching the symbolism of the cursing of the barren tree and the clearing of the temple and clarifying the nature of the conflict between Jesus and Jerusalem’s religious authorities.[1]

 

verse 1         When Jesus and his disciples drew near to Jerusalem,

                               to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives,

                               he sent two of his disciples and said to them,

                               “Go into the village opposite you,

                               and immediately on entering it,

                               you will find a colt tethered on which no one has ever sat.

                     Untie it and bring it here.

 

Bethphage was within a mile of the Temple, a place priests could rest and relax on the Sabbath.  At the time, the Sabbath proscription forbade traveling more than a mile.[2]

 

Saint Jerome identifies the two disciples as knowledge and work, which I would translate as ora et labora or contemplation and work.[3]

 

verse 9[4]        Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out:

                               Hosanna!

                                         Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

                                         Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!

                               Hosanna in the highest!”

 

Hosanna means Save me, I beseech thee.[5]  Saint Jerome is more elaborate, citing Symmachus, “I beseech Thee, O Lord, save us, do, I beseech Thee.”[6]  The grammarian has it, “Help, I pray!” from the Hebrew.  The grammarian points out that in early Christian liturgy hosanna was used as a cry of rejoicing.[7]

 

Saint Ambrose sees in the colt a figure of the Gentiles.  Ambrose sees the Gentiles giving Jesus his ride into Jerusalem.  Ambrose goes on, “May He also teach us to put up with the restraint of others’ loquacity.  Far rarer is the power of silence than that of speech.  May he wholly instruct us Who was as one dumb, Who opened not his mouth against betrayal …”[8]

 

Luke 19:38 tempers this messianic proclamation, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”[9]  The messiah that Jesus is, differed from the messiah expected.  Hosanna in the highest, means in reference to the heavens above, rather than the practical details on earth, here below.

 

The people and Jesus are developing the sense of messiahship.  As a scholar words it, “It is Jesus who determines what messiahship means; it is not messiahship that determines Jesus.”[10]  Not only that, but a scholar warns about “the existence of a pervasive Davidic messianism that is, in fact, largely the construct of Christian imagination.”[11]

 

Isaiah 50:4-7

 

verse 4[12]       The Lord GOD has given me

                               a well-trained tongue,

                     that I might know how to speak to the weary

                               a word that will rouse them.

                     Morning after morning…

 

In this spirit, I intend to know if any of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association would like to receive these Personal Notes.  At least twenty visitors go to the index monthly at www.western-civilization.com  As of 6:00 p.m., Sunday, March 25, 2003, there had been 47 hits during the month downloading 7421 kilobytes.  The Library Index had 57 hits, downloading 2891 kilobytes.  My site is visited from all over the world.

 

As of 1:40 p.m. Sunday, March 12, 2017, there had been 9550 hits during the month downloading 507116 kilobytes.  The Library Index had 1894 hits, downloading 27914 kilobytes.  My site is visited from all over the world.

 

Psalm 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24

 

I thought Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P. wrote that the 22nd Psalm was Jesus’s favorite.  While I was not able to document that, I was able to document that Jesus thought highly of the Psalm.  This Psalm begins, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  The sounds recorded in the Bible are Aramaic rather than Hebrew, meaning that the Psalm was near and dear to Jesus.[13]

 

Stuhlmueller regards the 22nd Psalm as Eucharistic “that continues to be a barometer of openness on the part of the church to the poor, the oppressed, the neglected, and the ostracized.”[14]  This psalm is Davidic[15] in its very personal relationship between God and the author, “you, my God.”[16]  A sense of hosanna rejoicing.

 

Philippians 2:6-11

 

verse 5         Christ Jesus,

verse 6                              though he was in the form of God,

                               did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.

 

A scholar cites the previous verse in support of the notion that God acts through Christians

 

Pope John Paul II writes:

 

Ecce homo: the meaning, origin and fulfillment of man is to be found in Christ, the God who humbles himself out of love, “even unto death, death on a cross” (Phil 2:8).  The sorrowful mysteries help the believer to relive the death of Jesus, to stand at the foot of the Cross beside Mary, to enter with her into the depths of God’s love for man and to experience all its life-giving power.[17]

 

verse 8                   he humbled himself,

                               becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

 

A scholar points out that, at the time of Jesus, honor was highly honored.  These verses in Philippians are among verses showing how Jesus shamed shame.  As another scholar puts it, “Paul employs this rhetoric to criticize those who are boasting on the typical grounds of culture, power and birth (1 Cor 1:26, 29; 3:18).”[18]  Yet another scholar writes, “Power in weakness, confidence of honor while apparently put to shame—that is was the paradox of Christian existence in a Jewish and Graeco-Roman environment.”[19]

 

Mark 14:1-15:47

 

verse 28        But after I have been raised up,

                               I shall go before you to Galilee.”

 

A scholar notes that Jesus appeared to everyone, including those who had abandoned him, e.g. Saint Peter, the disciples, including the women disciples who had followed him from Galilee (Mark 15:47; 16:1-4).[20]

 

verses 48-49 Jesus said to them in reply,

                               “Have you come out as against a robber,

                               with swords and clubs, to seize me?

                     Day after day I was with you teaching in the temple area,

                               yet you did not arrest me;

                               but that the Scriptures may be fulfilled.”

 

A scholar points out that the reference to teaching in the temple involves the cleansing of the temple.  This is an act that must have repeatedly disrupted services.  Jesus probably also had to explain what and why he was acting.  The action must have been central to his teaching.[21]

 

In conclusion, hosanna is a cry for help made so confidently that rejoicing is involved.  Isaiah expresses the same confidence with the “well-trained tongue.”  The Psalm is Jesus’s prayer on the Cross, at the moment of his death, a prayer of love and confidence.  Philippians is about not worrying about exaltation in this life looking with a hosanna toward the next.



 

[1] Scott G. Brown, “Mark 11:1—12:12: A Triple Intercalation?" the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002) 89.

 

[2] Remigius of Auxerre, Ecclesiastical Writer, +908 in Exposition from the Catena Aurea, The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: Volume Two: From the First Sunday in Lent to the Sunday after the Ascension, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996) 158.

 

[3] Saint Jerome, Minge’s Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina, Edition Paris 1844-1866, vol. 26, III, 21 in Exposition from the Catena Aurea, The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: Volume Two: From the First Sunday in Lent to the Sunday after the Ascension, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996) 173.

 

[4] Versification follows the Nova Vulgata: Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio: Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II ratione habita Iussu Pauli PP, VI Recognita Auctoritate Joannis Pauli PP, II Promulgata Editio Typica Altera (00120 Citta Del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1979, 1986, 1998) ISBN 88-2209-2163-4.

 

[5] Gloss, in Exposition from the Catena Aurea, The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: Volume Two: From the First Sunday in Lent to the Sunday after the Ascension, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996)" 162.

 

[6] Saint Jerome, Minge’s Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina, Edition Paris 1844-1866, vol. 26, III, 21 in Exposition from the Catena Aurea, The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: Volume Two: From the First Sunday in Lent to the Sunday after the Ascension, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996) 174.

 

[7] 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) 210.

 

[8] St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 32, 4, Bk. 9 in Luke; Minge’s Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Series Latina.  Edition Paris 1844-66.  Vols. 221 15, col. 1795.

 

[9] Brendan Byrne, S.J., “Jesus as Messiah in the Gospel of Luke: Discerning a Pattern of Correction,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003) 88.

 

[10] Christopher M. Tuckett, “The Christology of Luke-Acts,” in The Unity of Luke-Acts, ed. Verheyden, page 164 as cited in Brendan Byrne, S.J., “Jesus as Messiah in the Gospel of Luke: Discerning a Pattern of Correction,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003) 95.  footnotes 7 and 43.

 

[11] Brendan Byrne, S.J., “Jesus as Messiah in the Gospel of Luke: Discerning a Pattern of Correction,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 1 (January 2003) 81.

 

[13] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, page 109.

 

[14] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, page 114.

 

[15] Mark K. George, “Yhwh’s Own Heart,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2002) 459.

 

[16] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, page 166.

 

[17] Pope John Paul II, Rosarium Virginia Mariae, athttp://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2ROSAR.HTM, 10/16/02, paragraph 22, page 12 of 26.

 

[18] S.M Pogoloff, Logos and Sophia: The Rhetorical Situation of 1 Corinthians, page 229 as cited in F. Gerald Downing, “`Honor’ among Exegetes,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 1 (January 1999) 67.

 

[19] H. Moxnes, “Honour and Righteousness in Romans,” JSNT 32 (1988) 61-77 as cited in F. Gerald Downing, “`Honor’ among Exegetes," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 1 (January 1999) 67.

 

[20] Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., “Mark 6:6b-30: Mission, the Baptist, and Failure,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 4 (October 2001) 663.

 

[21] P. M. Casey, "Culture and Historicity: The Cleansing of the Temple," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 2 (April 1997) 311.