The Acts of the Apostles, 2:42, relates that they [the first Christians] devoted themselves . . . to the communal life.  Communal life does not mean monastic life.  The meaning is like parish life.

 

First, communal life means praying together, such as Mass, and grace, before and after meals.  Second, communal life means acting together, like supporting the Bishop and the corporal works of mercy, for example the Outreach program.  Third, communal life includes both horizontal and vertical relationships.  Horizontal relationships are among equals, such as child-to-child and adult-to-adult.  Horizontal relationships are non-competitive.  Vertical relationships are competitive, among unequals, such as between lord and master, judge and judged, teacher and student.

 

Communal parish life means devotion to the institutional Church, which accurately describes what Personal Notes tries to do.  Secular society helps the Church by calling attention to the cover up of sexual abuse of children.  The burden is not only on the hierarchy.  The burden is also on the Faithful.  Through the Sunday collection, the Faithful enable and have responsibility for hierarchic capers, involving such scandals as extravagant living styles,[1] to say nothing of further abusing church victims of child-abuse.

 

Just because the 1968 pelvic birth control encyclical, Humanae Vitae, came from the Holy Father does not mean Humanae Vitae is good for parish life.  The Faithful need to examine whether Humanae Vitae is having an impact on the increasingly high divorce rate in Western life.  Personal Notes suspects Humanae Vitae contributes to the high divorce rate by setting silly standards for communal family life. 

 

Personal Notes suspects Humanae Vitae is silly for three reasons.  First, the reason the then Cardinal Karol Wojtyla (Later Pope John Paul II) gave for rejecting the findings of the Birth Control Commission is that those findings made the Papacy look bad.  Second, the Papacy overreacted firing Professor Charles Curran from The Catholic University of America for questioning Humanae Vitae.  Third, and most importantly, Humanae Vitae unduly burdens the sexual relationships of married life among the Faithful.

 

The antiphon furnishes the context for this question, Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting.  Another pelvic question concerns the impact of the statements of the Virginia bishops on how we love those with same-sex attractions.  Are we willing to leave the secular sides of marriage to the state? 

 

U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, a God fearing woman, explained the reasoning behind her decision permitting same-sex marriages in secular society before state courts.  Her judgment came Thursday, February 12, Lincoln’s birthday.  The Black judge explained that marriage has “evolved into a civil and secular institution . . . an exercise in governmental power.”[2]  This means that the state has its own legitimate interests collecting taxes from homosexual couples who wish to be married in the eyes of the state.

 

Personal Notes regrets that the hierarchy did not complain about the marriage tax; but now finds it effectively necessary to complain that same-sex couples will have to pay the same tax.  Judge Allen and Personal Notes are silent about the sacramental character of same-sex marriages.  This means that the state is not attempting to interfere with the sacramental life of the Faithful for the Church.

 

This also means that Judge Allen and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring are not interfering with Church law when they decide to tax married homosexual couples the same as they tax other married couples––for being married.  Like other citizens, the Bishops are free to complain, even to call down the wrath of God against those they deem sinners.  The problem in a democracy, is convincing the electorate that such wrath best serves the interests of the people of God.

 

The Church is free to teach as best it can, but it needs to be careful about its reputation for making up the truth to suit its politics.  Lacking credibility for dissembling the truth pertains not only to the sexual cover-ups that are bankrupting one diocese after another, but also to the lack of academic freedom at The Catholic University of America, where the administration has been on continuing censure by the American Association of University Professors since 1990, for almost a quarter of a century.[3]

 


 

 

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

 

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.

 

Acts 2:42-47

Acts 2:37-42

Jeff Cavins, Tim Gray, and Sarah Christmyer, The Bible Timeline:  The Story of Salvation[4]

Cavins regards they devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles as having the power to be witnesses, which he defines as martyrs.  This suits his Opus Dei, top-down approach to Church governance, as learning from the apostles.  The way Scripture reads in English, however, the community may also be devoted to teaching the apostles.  That would not occur to either Cavins or Opus Dei.

 

Acts 2:41—5:42

Luke Timothy Johnson, “Narrative Perspectives on Luke 16:19-31”[5]

Johnson argues that Luke 16:31, If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone rises from the dead, is setting up Acts 2:41—5:42.

 


 

Acts 2:42

Kaspar Olevianus (1536-1587), “Notes on Colossians 4:2”[6]

Olevianus writes about the commitment of the Apostles to prayer.  “It must be noted here that the apostles did not want the dedicated enthusiasm for public prayer and the ministry of the Word to be impeded by care for the poor.”

 

Acts 2:44-47

The National Black Catholic Congress, Inc., Congress XI:  Pastoral Plan of Action Instrument[7]

The National Black Congress, Inc. shows how participation in parish life is faithful to the Acts of the Apostles.  Father John David refers to “common posture”[8] as part of actual participation on the Mass.  In this way, Mass happens not only at the most segregated hour of the week, 11:00 a.m., Sunday morning, but also the rest of the week in the way the Faithful live.

 

Acts 2:46

John Baldovin, “History of the Latin Text and Rite”[9]

In the beginning, “the breaking of the bread” was just another name for the Eucharist.  At first, the Faithful used leavened bread, which took some time to break up.  While that happened, the Faithful sang the Agnus Dei and miserere nobis.  In 701, Pope Sergius I (c. 650, 867-701)[10] brought the ceremonial Agnus Dei chant to the West from the East.  Despite the chant, the Eastern Church strongly rejected depicting Jesus as a lamb.  What Pope Sergius did has strong political overtone. 

 

At first, the Faithful sang the Agnus Dei, somewhat like the Kyrie today, in both Latin and Greek.[11]  This liturgical activity joined the breaking of the bread with the suffering and death of Jesus.  In time, unleavened bread took less time to break up and fewer people went to Communion.  In the process, liturgical activity lost some of its meaning.

 

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

Funeral Rites uses Psalm 118 once.[12]

 

Psalm 118:22-23

Jacobus Arminius (1559-1609), “The Certainty of Sacred Theology”[13]

Psalm 118:22-23, has become the cornerstone, offers assurance to trust Sacred Theology.  Arminius calls Sacred Theology, “this light which shines with such overpowering brilliancy.”  Arminius does not seem bothered by the Council of Trent (1545-1563).

 

Psalm 118:22

Karl Allen Kuhn, “Deaf or Defiant?  The Literary, Cultural, and Affective-Rhetorical Keys to the Naming of John (Luke 1:57-80)”[14]

Kuhn argues that the sign of contradiction uttered by Simeon when the Holy Family presented Jesus at the Temple prophesied the stone which the builders rejected at the crucifixion and death of our Lord.

 

 

 

1 Peter 1:3-9

Pastoral Care of the Sick uses this reading.[15]

 

1 Peter 1:3-9

John H. Elliott, review of Kenneth J. Thomas and Margaret Orr Thomas, Structure and Orality in 1 Peter: A Guide for Translators[16]

Elliott concludes, “It can only be hoped that this study does not represent any growing tendency among [publisher] UBS translators to produce guides out of touch or out of synch with the measured conclusions of exegetical analysis.”

 

Sacred Scripture in the Missal[17]

So far I have not identified just where the 2011 Missal uses these verses, labeled 48 and 63.

 

1 Peter 1:3-4

48 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Pt 1:3-4).

 

63 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Pt 1:3-4).

 

 

 

 

 

1 Pet 1:3

Stephen J. Lampe, review of Luigi Orlando, La prima lettera di Pietro:  Tradizioni inniche, liturgiche, midraschiche[18]

Orlando finds remnants of baptismal liturgies and catechesis in 1 Peter 1:3.

 

1 Pet 1:4

Patrick Regan, “Theology of the Latin Text and Rite”[19]

Regan writes, “Its [epiclesis] euchological use is based on 1 Peter 1:4, where the baptized are called divínae natúrae consórtes [without the accent marks] on account of their redemption by Jesus Christ, signifying also that although living in this world the faithful aspire to what is beyond.”  How Regan finds those three words, divínae natúrae consórtes, in 1 Peter 1:4 is beyond me.  The Vulgate does not have those words.  The Lectionary has to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

 

1 Pet 1:6

Maurice A. Robinson, “Rule 9, Isolated Variants, and the `Test-Tube’ Nature of the NA27/UBS4 Text: A Byzantine-Priority Perspective”[20]

Robinson expresses doubt about the Nestle-Aland27 Greek for 1 Peter 1:6, you may have to suffer.  Although scholars tend to regard Nestle-Aland27 as definitive, Nestle-Aland27 regard themselves as only presenting a “working text.”

 

1 Pet 1:7

Jerome H. Neyrey, S.J., “Lost in Translation: Did It Matter If Christians `Thanked’ God or `Gave God Glory’?”[21]

Neyrey uses the Greek for praise, glory, and honor to argue that where the liturgy uses thanksgiving, praise is often more appropriate.

 

John 20:29

 

John 20:19-31

John 20:19-23

Jeff Cavins, Tim Gray, and Sarah Christmyer, The Bible Timeline:  The Story of Salvation[22]

To his credit, Cavins does not claim that Jesus told his disciples how to govern themselves, as he prepared them for his Ascension, following his resurrection.  Cavins points out the wonderful powers with which Jesus empowered his disciples as they waited in Jerusalem for the fiery tongues of the Holy Spirit.

 

John 20:19, 21

Joyce Ann Zimmerman, “The Mystagogical Implications”[23]

The sign of peace following the Our Father at Mass alludes to John 20:19, 21 and is a prayer for both peace and unity.

 

John 20:31

Mary L. Coloe, review of Cornelis Bennema, Encountering Jesus:  Character Studies in the Gospel of John[24]

Bennema analyzes characters in John for their commitment to Jesus and potential as role models for the Faithful.  Coloe argues that is fine as far as it goes, but these characters also help develop a theology of who Jesus is.

 

John 20:30-31

Joseph A. Bracken, S.J., “The Challenge of Self-giving Love”[25]

Bracken dislodges cause and effect from love in favor of a mutual self-giving.  From other signs . . . that are not written in this book Bracken argues that a  learning curve is taking place, continuing into the present, as the Faithful continue to develop what love means.

 


 

John 20:30

Kaspar Olevianus (1536-1587), “Sermons on Galatians”[26]

Olevianus writes, “Nor would there have been any need to consummate everything by his death, as he said, It is finished . . . ”  John uses It is finished twice, once at 19:28 and again at 19:30.[27]  Footnote 8, page 83 in the Reformation Commentary is mistaken.  The Lectionary does not use John 19:28 and 30

 

John 20:31

Martin Bucer (1491-1551), “Lectures on Ephesians”[28]

What Bucer translates as These things are written, so that believing, you may have life, the Lectionary translates as But these are written that you may come to believe that  . . . you may have life . . .   Bucer advises the Faithful to “concentrate . . . on good works.”

 

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 Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting (Psalm 118:1).[29]  At Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News, Virginia, the organist has a proclivity for “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord,” as an alternate.[30]

 

In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the forgiveness of sins, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “that all may grasp and rightly understand . . . by whose Spirit they have been reborn.”[31]

 

This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with He is not here, but is risen:  remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again (Luke 24:6-78).[32]  The sense of not being here suits not being present in the sexual coverup antics of the current hierarchy.

 

 



[1] NCR Editorial Staff, “Editorial:  N.J. archbishop’s retirement home an assault on parishioners’ goodwill,” http://ncronline.org/news/people/editorial-nj-archbishops-retirement-home-assault-parishioners-goodwill  (accessed February 20-23, 2014).

 

[2] Peter Dujardin, Daily Press, Sunday, February 1, 2014, pages 1 and 8.

 

[4] West Chester, Pennsylvania:  Ascension Press, 2004, 2011, Session 21, page 150, 151, p. 2.

 

[5] 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) 211.

 

[6] 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) 237.

 

[7] Indianapolis, Indiana, National Black Catholic Congress XI, July 19-21, 2012) 12.

 

[8] Father John David Ramsey, “Aspects of Worship: Posture,” Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church bulletin, February 9, 2014, The 5th Sunday in Ordinary time,” 1.

 

[9] 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) 599.

 

[10] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Sergius_I  (accessed February 9, 2014).

 

[11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Sergius_I  (accessed February 9, 2014).

 

[12] 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.

 

[13] 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) 22.

 

[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 3 (July 2013) 496.

 

[15] 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.

 

[16] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 2007) 595.

 

[17] Unable to locate the original source.

 

[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 389.

 

[19] 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) 325.

 

[20] 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) 29.

 

[21] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 9, 19, 21.

 

[22] West Chester, Pennsylvania:  Ascension Press, 2004, 2011, Session 21, page 146, 149, p. 2.

 

[23] 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) 616.

 

[24] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2 (April 2011) 373.

 

[25] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 4 (December 2013) 858.

 

[26] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011) 83.

 

 

[28] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011) 267.

 

[29] 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) 351.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.

 

[30] The organist used that alternate at the 5:00 p.m. Mass, Saturday, February 15, 2014, in place of “Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!”

 

[31] 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) 395.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.

 

[32] 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) 390-391.