First Reading:                    Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13 (2a)

Second Reading:               Revelation 5:11-14


Gospel:                             John 21:1-19



The Responsorial Antiphon carries the meaning for the Lectionary readings, “I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.”  In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter and the Apostles stand up to institutional religion before the Sanhedrin.  This is much of what is happening with the Irish people in the sexual cover-up scandal of the hierarchy. 


As a paragraph in the March The Priest magazine put it:


One has to say that the pressure of the state was needed to shake the Church out of its complacency.  However, putting the genie back in the bottle will be impossible.  We will have to face the fact that the Church will be confronted more and more by the state now and on many different issues, and Catholics will be back in court again.[1]


In the United States, the secular government put some brakes on the sexual cover-up scandal, but did not stop it.  Benedict XVI seems unwilling to acknowledge his personal role in what is happening.  The Priest article observes, “So there is still much penance to be done before the scandals genuinely pass into memory.”


It is the secular government, not the Church, which is protecting children from the cover-up.  Ultimately, God is protecting the Faithful from any more damage than has already been done.  God is using secular, human means to accomplish this rescue.


The Book of Revelation 5:12, reminds the Faithful, “`Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.’”  In the Gospel, Jesus shows both how to forgive and that the leadership in his Church is very human.  Does that mean that such leadership functions best when it allows itself to be accountable to the Faithful?  It appears that at least some of the Faithful are demanding just that now.



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 5:27-32, 40b-41

Different languages see reality differently.  The ancient Greeks used pronouns for emphasis.  Translating this emphasis from the original Greek into English is an object of the highlighting on the last page of the hard copy, not found on the web site.  The purpose of the highlighting is to transfer the Greek emphasis on personal pronouns into the English translation.  Anyone else wanting one, please ask me at  Thank you.

I am struck that we are witnesses of these things, Acts 5:32.


Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41

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.[2]

Sinai Harris has a Tenth Century manuscript with Acts 5:34-38, omitted in the Sunday Lectionary.


Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13 (2a)

Psalm 30:4

Richard J. Bautch, “An Appraisal of Abraham’s Role in Postexilic Covenants”[3]

Bautch argues, you preserved me (Psalm 30:4) that “the divine life giver who fashions all creatures is constantly within them, to enliven and if need be protect them on an ongoing basis.” 


Psalm 30:5

John T. Willis, review of Samantha Joo, Provocation and Punishment: The Anger of God in the Book of Jeremiah and Deuteronomistic Theology[4]

Wills uses Psalm 30:5, sing praise … give thanks, to report that “biblical texts typically connect God’s anger and mercy in the same pericope or context … Therefore, a study of God’s anger evokes a study of God’s mercy (and vice versa) for balance,” a balance that this study, which Willis finds, nevertheless, convincing, does not provide.



Revelation 5:11-14

In the Greek, there is an intense emphasis on every creature in heaven and on earth and everything in the universe, Rev. 5:13.

The manuscripts have two difficulties with the Greek, both involving whether or not to include pronouns.


Revelation 5:1-13

Bettye Collier-Thomas, Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons, 1850-1979[5]

Rosa A. Horn (1880-1976), sometime in the 1920s, delivered a sermon titled, “Is Jesus God the Father or is He the Son of God?”  She used some of the Lectionary verses to argue that Jesus is not God the Father.  Horn said, “And who is this sitting upon the throne?  God, the Father.  Who is this who took the book out of the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne?  Jesus, for He is the only Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Son of the living God.”


John 21:1-19

The Greek manuscripts offer at least ten difficulties, more than I remember for any other Lectionary reading.  The difficulties seem to be with adding and subtracting pronouns.

There are four points of intensive emphasis, Jesus revealed himself, John 21:1; Lord you know everything, John 21:17; and you used to dress yourself, John 21:18.  The fourth point of emphasis does not seem to be included in the Lectionary.  It is he jumped into the sea at John 21:7.


John 21:1-19

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.[6]

The Bibliotheca Bodmeriana in Cologny has a papyrus dating from about 200 containing John 21:1-9.



John 21:1-23

Jane S. Webster, review of Richard Bauckham, The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John[7]

Webster reports that John spending time with Jesus after his resurrection argues for one author of the Gospel, that is the Gospel is not a composite of many hands writing, as some scholars think.  Webster concludes, “The volume is essential reading less because the arguments are all equally convincing than because they attend to scholarly assumptions that require critical assessment.”


John 21:4-8  

Robert J. Miller, review of Geza Vermes, The Resurrection[8]

Miller reports there are serious problems with Vermes.  “V. gets it wrong when he states that in none of the appearance stories does anyone recognize Jesus at first (p. 140); this is true only in Luke and John 20:11-18 and 21:4-8 [used here] (not in John 20:19-20; Matt 28:9, 16-17; or the three reports in Mark 16).”


John 21:15, 17

Robert Lassalle-Klein, “Jesus of Galilee and the Crucified People: The Contextual Christology of Jon Sobrino and Ignacio Ellacuría[9]

Klein reports that Sobrino argues Jesus cooking breakfast in John 21:15 and telling Peter to care for his sheep in John 21:17 means “that love of neighbor implies action on behalf of the beloved.”



For more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at


[1] Bevil Bramwell, O.M.I., “Catholic Identity: A New Day in the Church in the U.S.?” Our Sunday Visitor’s The Priest, Vol. 66, No. 3 (March 2010) 20, 22.


[2] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989 122.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 56.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (April 2007) 552.


[5] San Francisco, CA 94103-1741:  A Wiley Imprint: 1998 184.


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


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (April 2008) 819.


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (April 2008) 849.


[9] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 370.