Thomas Hughson, S.J., in his article, ”Interpreting Vatican II: `A New Pentecost,’” cites Acts 2:1-41, which is the key to understanding Personal Notes for this Sunday, which uses Acts 2:14, 22-33.  Hughson asserts that Vatican II opens the Church to the laity, as never before.  This could be seen as the laity needing the courage of the convictions placed within them by the Holy Spirit.  Because the Holy Spirit, as exemplified in the charismatic movement, is not “politically correct,” following the Holy Spirit requires a willingness to take a risk and pay a price, exacted by both the laity and the Church hierarchy.


The force of the Hughson article is on “the inseparability and mutual complementarity of the institutional and charismatic dimensions of the church.”  Hughson also refers to “the invisible mission of the Spirit in souls.”  Hughson quotes Walter Cardinal Kasper, “the Church does not `have’ the Holy Spirit nor is the Holy Spirit at the disposal of the Church.’”  In other words, charismatic gifts can work outside juridical Church structures, as necessary and legitimate as those structures may be.


          Hughson makes other comments, which I associate with the charism of Confirmation.


There is a difference between the temporal effect in the mission of the Son and the temporal effect in the mission of the Spirit.  … They [the disciples] heard and believed Jesus and his message; this had been faith as obedience to the word of God.  It was not yet the freedom in the Spirit to communicate the gospel at personal risk.


Such is the freedom exercised in these Personal Notes.


Kelly Soprano, Music Ministry Staff at my Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Newport News, Virginia may have exemplified such following the Holy Spirit, when she had the congregation sing “Were you there when the crucified my Lord,” on Palm Sunday.  We never sing such Spirituals at Mount Carmel, though some are present in our hymnal.[1]  To be fair, our congregation has visible only a very light sprinkling of African-Americans and I am the only member of the parish attending the annual Black Catholic Retreat.  In other words, there is not much ethnic demand for Black hymns at Mount Carmel.


The above paragraph and the rest of these Personal Notes represent my lowly lay contribution to the Church.  My family supports my web site, as well as the costs in time and storage associated with maintaining the site.  Besides that, there is personal risk of ostracism associated with writing and distributing these “out-of-the-box” ideas.  That, however, is what the Holy Spirit is saying in the invisible heart of my soul, through the liturgical readings for this Sunday



Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from and is based upon material below the double line.  Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some of the interesting details scholars and others are presenting.


Acts 2:14, 22-33

This marks the beginning of the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church.  Prior to Pentecost, which this reading describes, the disciples knew and loved Jesus, but were not convicted to preach the Gospel.  The Holy Spirit entered the Church and gave that conviction.


Acts 2:1-47

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[2]

The Bishops reference these verses under “Doctrinal Statements” in Chapter 16, “Confirmation: Consecrated for Mission.”  Hughson ignores the United States Catechism, but cites the Catechism of John Paul II.[3]


Acts 2:1-41

Gregory E. Sterling, “Jesus as Exorcist: An Analysis of Matthew 17:14-20; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-3a”[4]

According to Sterling, Acts 2:1-41 is only one of numerous examples of miracles associated with preaching.  Preachers have a right to the expectation that the Holy Spirit stands behind their words.  Such forthright confidence is rare.


Acts 2:1-41

Thomas Hughson, S.J., "Interpreting Vatican II: `A New Pentecost'"[5]

This is the article mentioned above the double line.


Acts 2:22

Robert C. Tannehill, review of Robert F. O'Toole, S.J., Luke's Presentation of Jesus: A Christology[6]

Tannehill writes, “although some of this evidence [of O’Toole] is significant, it must be placed alongside evidence that Jesus acts as God’s instrument or viceroy, a subordinate position.”  In other words, O’Toole has not done enough with the hypostatic union.


Acts 2:22

Richard J. Dillon, review of Scott Shauf, Theology as History, History as Theology: Paul in Ephesus in Acts 19.[7]

Dillon cites Acts 2:22, about Peter calling on the miracles of Jesus to support Hans Conzelmann and Rudolf Bultmann, contra Shauf, that Luke bases his historiography on the apostolic proclamation of salvation through Jesus Christ.


Acts 2:25-36

Richard J. Dillon, "The Benedictus in Micro- and Macrocontext"[8]

Dillon writes, “The importance that the Davidic descendancy now [emphasis in original] has for Luke can be seen in the key junctures of the Acts history at which the divine promise to David and its fulfillment are brought forward.”  Dillon then goes on to cite the speech of Peter on Pentecost (Acts 2:25-36), used this Sunday, as evidence that a juncture, or change in position, is present.  Luke shies away from identifying Jesus with the line of David, until this point in the Luke-Acts narrative.


Acts 2:32

Joseph Plevnik, "`The Eleven and Those with Them’ According to Luke”[9]

Plevnik examines the phrase, we are all witnesses and argues that it is indicative of the fact that “an apostle is a witness to Jesus’ resurrection,” as, sacramentally, are all the Faithful.


Acts 2:33

Bernardin Schneider, O.F.M., "The Corporate Meaning and Background of 1 Cor 15,45b—`O Eschatos Adam eis Pneuma Zoiopoioun"[10]

Schneider cites Acts 2:33, about Jesus sending the Holy Spirit, to write, “… the inauguration and nature of the last creation may perhaps be found best described in Rom 1:3-4 and Acts 2:33 [used this Sunday]”.


Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11 (11a)

Psalm 16

Richard J. Dillon, "The Benedictus in Micro- and Macrocontext"[11]

Dillon writes, “Peter and Paul both present the argument, based on Psalm 16 [used this Sunday], that David’s expectation of deliverance from death and corruption could not have been for himself but only for the one whose resurrection, he, as a psalmist, had foretold.”  That expectation extends to the Faithful.

Saint Peter uses Psalm 16 to proclaim bodily resurrection from the dead.  Christian Faith accepts both (1) the hypostatic union, that Jesus is both human and divine, and (2) bodily resurrection; in other words, the Incarnation and the Resurrection.  Belief in the Incarnation and Resurrection sets Catholics and some other Christians apart from other religious approaches to God.


1 Peter 1:17-21

I did translate the Greek for this passage and comment below.


1 Peter 18-19

1 Peter 18-19 is about ransom, “with the precious blood of Christ.”  In the twenty-eighth edition of the eclectic Greek, these verses are indented.  Such indentation is a sign that the passage originally either was or was in an early Christian hymn.  There is, however, confusion among the twenty-fifth, twenty-sixth, and twenty-seventh editions, confusion that I am unable to describe and only future study may help me penetrate.[12]


1 Peter 1:20

Wondering about the Greek for known before, I found that the English prognosticate derives from that Greek.[13]


1 Peter 1:17

John H. Elliott, review of Kenneth J. Thomas and Margaret Orr Thomas, Structure and Orality in 1 Peter: A Guide for Translators[14]

          Elliott uses 1 Peter 1:17, about sojourning, to object to the lack of sophistication in the book reviewed.  As Elliott words it, “… claims about structure and appropriate translation are not regularly supported with evidence.”


1 Pet 1:20

David J. Downs, "`Early Catholicism’ and Apocalypticism in the Pastoral Epistles”[15]

In the final time marks Peter periodizing history.  The West has traditionally done this by using BC and AD for Before Christ and Anno Domini [the year of the Lord].


Cf. Luke 24:32


Luke 24:13-35

Luke 24:13-35

Andrew E. Arterbury, review of Octavian Baban, On the Road Encounters in Luke-Acts: Hellenistic Mimesis and Luke's Theology of the Way[16]

Luke has three sojourning passages examined by Baban, one of which is the journey to Emmaus, used this Sunday.  Baban points out that Luke is following a Hellenistic model, derived from Aristotle, with four elements: (1) reversal, (2) recognition, (3) suffering, and (4) character.  Just as Luke used his own historical context to spread the Gospel, so are the Faithful today to use their own historical context, such as a new awareness of racism and sexism, to spread the Gospel.

This is not to reduce the Gospel to good works, such as those described by Russell H. Davis in Black Americans in Cleveland.  Davis delineates the basic functions of religion as “spiritual guidance, the inculcation of moral obligations, ministering to the sick, performing the last sad rites at death and comforting the bereaved” as distinct from the “social contributions” of religion.[17]  I see the basic functions of religion as found in the Sunday liturgies, praising and adoring God, begging forgiveness of sins, expressing gratitude for life, and petitioning for wants and needs.  What Davis delineates, both as “basic” and as “social,” in my estimation, overflows from the liturgy.  That is how the Spirituals become especially significant in an area of the country (the South) historically submersed in racism.


Luke 24:13-32

John E. Thiel, "For What May We Hope?  Thoughts on the Eschatological Imagination" [18]

Eschatological refers to ultimate destiny or purpose, in other words, heaven.  Thiel points out that the disciples on the road to Emmaus did not easily recognize the resurrected body of Jesus.  This means that the resurrected bodies of the Faithful may not be easily recognizable either.


Luke 24:26

Lisa Sowle Cahill, "Quaestio Disputata: The Atonement Paradigm: Does it Still Have Explanatory Value?" [19]

Cahill links the Incarnation and Resurrection to make a case against violence.  Cahill also connects the reading to the Black Faithful.  “According to [Takatso Alfred] Mofokeng what is necessary for a full black Christology is to make the resurrection operative in the experience of the faithful, so that they are motivated ‘to seek life in a struggle against forces that deny and destroy life.’”  Cahill is quoting from The Crucified among the Crossbearers: Towards a Black Christology, by Mofokeng, published in 1983 out of South Africa.


Luke 24:29

Anthony J. Godzieba, Lieven Boeve, Michele Saracino, “Resurrection—Interruption—Transformation: Incarnation as Hermeneutical Strategy: A Symposium[20]

Hermeneutical Strategy, in the title of this article, is about principles of interpretation.  The principle here is the search for presence and certainty, found in the mysteries of the Incarnation and Resurrection, and reflected in the verse, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”  Catholic sacraments make the Incarnation and Resurrection ever-present.

Belief in the Incarnation and Resurrection enable believers honestly to dialogue with those who do not believe.  Because the Incarnation and Resurrection require deep Faith, dialogue with non-believers does not require either diluting Catholic belief or denigrating the firmly held convictions of others.  In other words, both the Faithful and non-believers should be able to begin discussion, accepting the fact that deep Faith is a gift, not everyone has.


Luke 24:30-31

Bogdan G. Bucur, “Exegesis of Biblical Theophanies in Byzantine Hymnography: Rewritten Bible?” [21]

Bucur writes of hymns as “Rewritten Bible.”  Combined, the Spirituals, also effectively reproduce the whole Bible.  Bucur writes that Byzantine hymns are “highly significant for our understanding of Christian hymnography, since the proclamation of Jesus Christ as `Lord’ is, indeed, a matter of inspired exegesis, prompted by prophetic-charismatic experience in the course of liturgical action.  …”


Luke 24:33

Joseph Plevnik, "`The Eleven and Those with Them’ According to Luke”[22]

Both the first reading and the Gospel are by the same author, Luke.  Verse 33 refers to the eleven, the subject of this article.  Luke refers to the eleven twice in the Gospel, each time disclosing the presence of the disciples.  The Lectionary at Acts 2:14, capitalizes Eleven, which Luke 24:33 does not do.  Neither does the Greek.


Luke 24:36-39

Bruce J. Malina, “Christ and Time: Swiss or Mediterranean?”[23]

At the time of Jesus, only sensory experience, such as seeing, touching, or hearing were acceptable criteria for what was possible.  This explains Thomas wanting to place his hand in the side of Jesus.  It also helps explain the difference between Mediterranean time, which is foreign to the West, and Swiss time, which the West uses.


For more on sources see the Appendix file.



After-action Report


When three years have passed, as they now have, I will relegate these After-action Reports to the next rendition.  My intention is to repeat this change two more times.  After that my intention is simply to remove the line and the empty space after the line.

[1] Breaking Bread 2006, (Portland: Oregon Catholic Press, 2006) has the following hymns that may be spirituals: 95, 144, 451, 465, 586, 589, 636, 674.  2007 has the following: 96, 134, 143, 159, 328, 469, and 673.  Were you there … is 159.


[2] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006 210.


[3] Catechism of the Catholic Church: second edition: revised in accordance with the official Latin text promulgated by Pope John Paul II: contains glossary and analytical index Libreria Editrice Vaticana (Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, Inc. 2000) 227.  Evidently, Hughson used the First 1994 Edition, which I do not have.  I use the Second 2000 Edition.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 3 (July 1993) 487.


[5] Theological Studies, Vol. 69, No. 1 (March 2008) 17, 24, 29, 32.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4 (October 2006) 773.


[7] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 3 (September 2007) 685.


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 3 (July 2006) 475.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 2 (April 1978) 209.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3 (July 1967) 460 as found at 070115.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No.3 (July 2006) 475.


[12] David Holly, Comparative Studies in Recent Greek New Testament Texts: Nestle-Aland’s 25th and 26th Editions (Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1983) 49 ; Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine: Textum Graecum post Eberhard et Erwin Nestle communiter ediderunt Barbara et Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger: Textus Latinus Novae Vulgatae Bibliorum Sacrorum Editioni debetur: Utriusque textus apparatum criticum recensuerent et editionem novis curis elaboraverunt Barbara et Kurt Aland una cum Instituto Studiorum Textus Novi Testamenti Monasterii Westphaliae (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1999) Editio XXVII 599.


[13] William D. Mounce, Zondervan Greek Reference Series: The Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House: A Division of HarperCollins Publishers, 1993) 390; and 080316.


[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 2007) 595-596.


[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No 4(October 2005) 659.


[16] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 1 (January 2008) 135.


[17] Russell H. Davis, Black Americans in Cleveland from George Peake to Carl B. Stokes: 1796-1969 (Washington, D.C.: The Associated Publishers, 1972, 1985) 423-424.


[18] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 3 (September 2006) 530.


[19] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 2 (June 2007) 419.


[20] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 4 (December 2006) 784.


[21] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2007) 111.


[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 2 (April 1978) 205, 206, 208, 209.


[23] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 1 (January 1989) 16, 17.