Readings

First Reading:                    Acts 2:42-47

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24 (1)

Second Reading:               1 Peter 1:3-9

Alleluia:                             John 20:29

Gospel:                             John 20:19-31

 

Commentary

The Gospel for this Sunday, from John Chapter 20, seems to come to a conclusion and then someone else, trying to be helpful, added yet a second conclusion, John Chapter 21.  This is a curiosity that testifies to the integrity of the Gospel of John.  To make the book flow, all the redactors would have had to do was eliminate verses 30 and 31. 

The Lectionary will not stir up thinking among the Faithful, by highlighting the dual ending.  Only the Roman Catholic Magisterium can think with impunity.  At least, that is how the Church bureaucracy seems to operate. 

Thanks to institutions such as the National Catholic Reporter, with political news, and Southern Methodist University, with Charles Curran, the moral theologian fired at The Catholic University of America, truth sometimes leaks out from Magisterial attempts at cover-up.  The problem is that Western Europe has become secular, while the Church in the United States is in deep doldrums.  Beatifying the Father of the Sexual-abuse cover-up, Pope John Paul II, focuses my concern. 

Benedict XVI is not much help, as he tries to separate justice from charity in his first encyclical, “God is Love.”  In his encyclical, Benedict leaves justice to the State and claims charity for the Church.  From my perspective, the welfare State does more for those who need charity, than does the Church.  The wonderful work the Church does do is relegated to filling in the cracks the welfare State does not fill.  Beautifying John Paul II affords neither justice nor charity toward victims of the sexual cover-up.

It does not seem to occur to the Magisterium that the Church herself has a need to examine her conscience.  The stance of the American bishops avoiding the nuances in which moral theologians envelope birth control and abortion is cause for prayer and examination.  Bishops assume neither legislators nor moral theologians have standing when it comes to episcopal proclamations.  That assumption is why Europe has become secular and why, in the United States, Catholic funerals are more frequent than Catholic marriages.

 

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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.

 

Acts 5:12-16

Acts 2:25-36

C. Kavin Rowe, review of Dennis J. Horton, Death and Resurrection:  The Shape and Function of a Literary Motif in the Book of Acts[1]

Rowe reports that Horton convincingly argues that current attempts to understand the death and resurrection of Jesus as somehow separated into cause and effect makes it impossible to understand the Acts of the Apostles.  Acts presents the death and resurrection of Jesus as a single unified entity.

 

Acts 2:44-45

Amelia J. Uelmen, “Caritas in Veritate and Chiara Lubich:  Human Development from the Vantage Point of Unity”[2]

Lubich argues from Acts 2:44-45 that it is wise to bundle together that which one does not need to make room for other things.  This is having a practical affect on me, because I have more winter shirts than I need.  For some time I have been meaning to bundle them together for others who need them.

 

Acts 2:42

Mary Ann Beavis, review of Graham H. Twelftree, Exploring Luke’s View of the Church[3]

Beavis reports that Luke thought of Church as any group of Christians that met together.  Etymologically, Twelftree argues that Luke drew his word for Church from the Greek for Lord.  From Acts 2:42, Luke associates Church with communal life.  Twelftree’s “implication is that the pursuit of social justice is peripheral to the scriptural mandate.”  Such an implication, exempting the Church from social justice, makes Twelftree treacherous for the Black Apostolate.

 

Acts 2:44-45

Fr. Tissa Balasuryia, “Companion to the Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI on `God is Love’”[4]

Balasuryia writes, “The Encyclical is rather simplistic in ignoring the long history of Christian spiritual arrogance.”  Referring to Acts 2:44-5, Balasuryia reflects, “This is a beautiful story, but the history of the Church is far from bearing witness to the communion, the sharing of prayer, and the impact of prayer.

 

 

Psalm 118: 2-4, 13-15, 22-24 (1)

Funeral Rites uses Psalm 118 once.[5]

 

1 Peter 1:3-9

Pastoral Care of the Sick uses this reading.[6]

 

John 20:29

 

John 20:19-31

John 20:19-29

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Priests for the Third Millennium:  The Year for Priests[7]

Chapter 1 in Dolan uses John 20:19-29 as the scripture selection.  Dolan reports that after Vatican II, in 1967, one fourth of  the Saint Louis seminary priest faculty left the priesthood.  Dolan bemoans, “These days our people are faced with countless priests who ridicule their faith, who publicly criticize the magisterium and dismiss the truths of our church.”  As Rector of the Pontifical North American College, the American seminary in Rome, Dolan asks, “How then can we increase and protect our faith?”  He answers, in part, “we are not afraid to probe, wonder, question, think critically.” 

Really?  I wonder where he has been.  Dolan is in denial.  Fear of thinking is what has placed the administration of The Catholic University of America on the censured list of the American Association of University Professors, since 1990.  That list is published and distributed every two months.[8]

Dolan returns to this scripture in Chapter 18, “Sacrament of Penance.”  Dolan shows his colors.  First he relates, “I remember once hearing the first confession of a little boy who was obviously very nervous, and, at the end, I said, `You did so well!  It will be much easier next time.’”  Five pages later, Dolan goes on, “A good confessor doesn’t even speak of what he has heard, even generically, in the confessional.”  Only after I had left the seminary some forty years, did a former student and non-Catholic chaplain explain that confidentiality is one of the most difficult obligations of pastoral ministry.  Dolan does not follow his own standards.

 

John 20:28, 31

Craig A. Evans, review of Jerome H. Neyrey, S.J., The Gospel of John in Cultural and Rhetorical Perspective[9]

John uses verses 28 and 31, My Lord and my God, to assert the Divinity of Jesus.  Evans faults Neyrey for avoiding Christians driven from the synagogues.  That notwithstanding, Evans praises this collection of essays by Neyrey dating from 1979 to 2007.

 

 

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

 

Themes

For recurring themes in Sacred Scripture, see the following.  The exclamation point (!) indicates where a principal reference list of passages related by a common theme or expression found.  Italics of the same verse indicates a special relevance.  The abbreviation for following is f.  With this material, I am trying to lay a foundation for developing Biblical themes the next time through the Cycles, when I intend to add in which Lectionary readings the relevant passages are found.

 

Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Acts 2:42-47:

 

Verse 42       Acts 5:21! 4:32! 46; Acts 20:7; Acts 27:35.

Verse 43       Acts 1:14; Acts 6:4; Romans 12:12! Colossians 45:2, 5:5-11; Acts 19:17, 5:12!

Verse 44       Acts 4:32!

Verse 45       Acts 4:34-37 Luke 8:3; Acts 12:33, 4:35.

Verse 46       Acts 1:14! Ecclesiasticus 9:7.

Verse 47       Acts 3:8 f; Luke 19:37; Acts 2:41!, 6:7, 9:31, 11:21, 12:24, 14:1,16:5, 19:20.

 

Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in 1 Peter 1:3-9:

 

Verse 3         2 Corinthians 1:3! Sirach 16:12; Ephesians 2:4! Acts 1:23! Titus 3:5! Romans 6:4; Ephesians 1:18!

Verse 4         Colossians 1:5, 12.

Verse 5         1 Corinthians 2:5; 1 Peter 1:20.

Verse 6         Acts 4:13, 5:10; Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 4:17! James 1:2!

Verse 7         James 1:3! Proverbs 17:3; Sirach 2:5; Romans 2:7-10; 1 Corinthians 1:7! Ephesians 6:24; 2 Timothy 4:8.

Verse 8         John 17:20, 29; 2 Corinthians 5:7; John 8:56; Acts 16:34.

Verse 9         Romans 6:22; Hebrews 10:29, Mark 8:35.

 

Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in John 20:19-31:

 

Verse 19       John 20:19-23: Luke 24:36-43; John 9:22! John 21:2, 14:27.

Verse 20       John 20:20, 19:34, 16:22, 20:18!

Verse 21       John 20:19! 17:18.

Verse 22       Genesis 2:7; Ezekiel 37:9; Wisdom 15:11, 7:39! Luke 24:49.

Verse 23       John 20:11, 7:39! Luke 24:49! Mathew 18:18!

Verse 24       John 11:16!

Verse 25       John 20:18! 1 John 1:1; John 20:20!

Verse 26      

Verse 27       John 20:19! Luke 24:39.

Verse 28      

Verse 29       John 20:18! Psalm 35:23; John 1:50; 1 Peter 1:8!

Verse 30       John 12:37, 2:11!, 21:25.

Verse 31       John 19:35, 2:23! Matthew 16:16; John 5:24! 1 John 5:13.

 

Manuscripts

 

Through Reading 70A, January 30, 2011, I designed these notes on the availability of manuscripts to make the point that uncertainty exists about exactly which  Greek to use for the purposes of translation.  At that point, I began offering manuscript availability for background when examining Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology,  which I purchased based on the review in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.[10]

 


 

Acts 2:30-37, 45—3:8

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.[11]

Macquarie University in North Ryde, Australia has a Third Century papyrus with Acts 2:30-37.  The Public Library in Leningrad has an Eighth Century parchment with Acts 2:45—3:8.

 

1 Peter 1:3-9

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.[12]

The Bibliotheca Bodmeriana in Cologny has a Third/Fourth Century papyrus with 1 Peter 1:1—5:14.  The same source has a Seventh Century papyrus with 1 Peter: 1:1-2, 7-8.

 

John 20:19-31

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.[13]

The British Library in London has a Third Century parchment with John 20:19-20, 22-25.  The Bibliotheca Bodmeriana in Cologny has a parchment from about 200 with John 20:25—21:9.  The Leningrad Public Library has a Sixth Century parchment with John 20:17-26.  The Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris has a Seventh Century palimpsest (written over) parchment with John 20:26-27, 30-31. 

The Alands explain,

 

that the way in which chapter 21 has been attached to the gospel of John argues against any such complex theories as Rudolf Bultmann’s, for example.  A redactor needed only to delete 20:30-31 [about many other signs not written in the book], and the sequence would have been quite smooth—but this is precisely what was not done.

 

 



[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010), 829.

 

[2] Theological Studies, Vol. 71, No. 1 (March 2010) 33.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (January 2011) 177.

 

[4] Crosscurrents, Vol. 56, No. 2 (Summer 2006) 234, 238, 239.

 

[5] 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) 275.

 

[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) 278.

 

[7] Huntington, IN 46750:  Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division:  Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 2000, 17, 23, 239, 242, 247.

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[9] Theological Studies, Vol. 72, No. 1 (March 2011) 187.

 

[10] Robert Hodgson, Jr., review of Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), the Catholic Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 877-878.

 

[11] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 102, 120.

 

[12] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 100, 101.

 

[13] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 96, 100, 120, 121, 297.