First Reading:                    Acts 1:1-11

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (6)

Second Reading:               Ephesians 1:17-23

Alleluia:                             Mathew 28:19a, 20b

Gospel:                             Matthew 28:16-20



The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus are full of splendor.  These readings are about resurrecting all of those abused, as was Jesus.  That is how to understand the Responsorial Antiphon, God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.”  In Acts 1:3, Jesus is not a ghost, but is truly alive.  God has taken Jesus down from the cross and raised him up in glory. 

God does the same for the Faithful throughout history, indeed, in the history of classes of individuals and of individuals themselves.  That is what Ephesians 1:17 means when it says, May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him.  Jesus explains in Matthew 28:18, All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  That me extends to all the Faithful.

As the article annotated below by Robert Lassalle-Klein shows, Pope Benedict XVI finds changing class structures problematic.[1]  Keeping the current class structure of society in place, suits Vatican clericalism.  Such clericalism empowers the sacramentally ordained and wealthy lay minions to enact political policies to abuse the lower-class working Faithful with impunity.  There is plenty here about which to pray.

Resurrecting abused workers develops in two ways, as truth speaks to power.  An example of abused workers is in Wisconsin, where the state administration is attempting to restrict unemployment benefits for those who have paid into the system.  For those already suffering on the Cross, like the unemployed, the readings lend true hope in the glory of the resurrected Christ.  For those not suffering, but able to guide the course of history, the readings offer guidance toward helping the oppressed and those less fortunate. 

This sense of concern for those abused extends not only to patronizing charity, but also to changing the way society is organized.  With the encouragement of President Barack Obama, this change is under way in the Middle East and Northern Africa.  These Notes were first written March 29, the day after Obama offered his explanation for helping the Libyan rebels.


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 1:1-11

Acts 1:3

Daniel A. Smith, “Seeing a Pneuma(tic Body):  The Apologetic Interests of Luke 24:36-43”[2]

Smith argues that Luke demotes Paul and promotes Peter as a witness to the resurrected Jesus.  The argument carries considerable insight.


Acts 1:3

C. Kavin Rowe, review of Dennis J. Horton, Death and Resurrection:  The Shape and Function of a Literary Motif in the Book of Acts[3]

Rowe reports that Horton “examines the `diegetic’ references to death and resurrection throughout the narrative—the places where Acts (more or less) directly `tells’ the reader about death and resurrection (e.g. 1:3 …”  A definition of diegesis:  “diegesis is a style of representation in fiction and is:

  1. the (fictional) world in which the situations and events narrated occur; and
  2. telling, recounting, as opposed to showing, enacting.

In diegesis, the narrator tells the story. The narrator presents to the audience or the implied readers the actions, and perhaps thoughts, of the characters.”[4]

Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (6)


Ephesians 1:17-23


Mathew 28:19a, 20b


Matthew 28:16-20

Matthew 28:19-20

Bettye Collier-Thomas, Daughters of Thunder: Black Women Preachers and Their Sermons, 1580-1979[5]

Florence Spearing Randolph (1866-1951), a minister of Wallace Chapel AME Zion Church in Summit, New Jersey (1925-1946) and Rosa A. Horn (1880-1976), the New York Pentecostal radio preacher, both spoke to Matthew 28:19-20, about the Great Commission to go out and make disciples of all nations.  Both were concerned about their right, as females, to preach the Gospel.  Neither, however, directly focused on that aspect of their concerns in the sermons cited here.


Matthew 28:20

Clifford M. Yeary, Pilgrim People:  A Scriptural Commentary[6]

The role of women preaching the Gospel never seems to occur to Yeary as he cites words spoken by Jesus at the Great Commission, I am with you always until the end of the age.


Matt 28:16-17

Robert J. Miller, review of Geza Vermes, The Resurrection[7]

Miller objects that Vermes is wrong in his argument “that in none of the appearance stories does anyone recognize Jesus at first (p. 140).”  Miller goes on to cite Matthew 28:16-17, when they saw him, they worshiped.  Miller, however, seems to concur with Vermes, writing,


V. also takes care to counteract a common impression that Jesus’ resurrection is central to NT christology, arguing that Paul is interested not in the christological significance of Jesus’ resurrection but in its effects for his followers, and that for NT christology as a whole, the resurrection “forms simply the initial stage of belief in his (Jesus’) exaltation” (p. 136.)


Matt 28:16-20

Pheme Perkins, “What is a Gnostic Gospel?”[8]

Perkins argues that the Gnostic Gospels drew from the Canonical Gospels.  Perkins juxtaposes the mountain appearance in Galilee with Jerusalem.  How that juxtaposition suits the argument of Perkins puzzles me.



Matt 28:19-20

Walter T. Wilson, review of Matthias Konradt, Israel, Kirche und die Völker im Matthäsevangelium[9]

Wilson faults Konradt for lack of balance about other elements of the mission of the Church.  Wilson reports that Konradt argues, “The logic behind 28:18-19 is particularly critical [for understanding the identity of Jesus as the Son of God]:  the universal mission that Jesus now authorizes is predicated on the universal authority that has been conferred on him as the resurrected Son of the Father.”  


Matt 28:19-20

Robert Lassalle-Klein, “Jesus of Galilee and the Crucified People: The Contextual Christology of Jon Sobrino and Ignacio Ellacuría”[10]

Lassalle-Klein argues that, for Sobrino, “The point is that love of neighbor implies action on behalf of the beloved.”  Lassalle-Klein explains related Church politics:


Lest the reader miss the significance and potentially controversial nature of this claim [“This is action [raising Jesus from the dead] on behalf of the victims, of those crucified in history, that tries in a small way—with of course no hubris—to do what God himself does:  to take the victim Jesus down from the cross.”], it is worth noting that in a private letter leaked and published in 1984, Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, mentions (citing an earlier work) “the impressive, but ultimately shocking interpretation of the death and resurrection of Jesus made by J. Sobrino … that God’s gesture in raising Jesus is repeated in history … through giving life to the crucified.”  Responding to what he sees as a misstatement of his claim, Sobrino cautions, “I hope it is clear that I am not talking of repeating God’s action, any more than I talked of bringing in the Kingdom of God in the previous volume of this work.”  He argues, however, “What I do insist on is giving signs—analogously—of resurrection and coming of the Kingdom.  And this is also what Ignacio Ellacuría meant when he … used the expression `taking the crucified people down from the cross’ as a formulation of the Christian mission.”


These Notes reference this article above the double line.



Matt 28:20

Dino Dozzi, "`Thus Says the Lord' The Gospel in the Writings of Saint Francis"[11]

Dozzi argues, “Francis was able to recognize the Lord’s presence in its various forms:  Word, Eucharist, lepers, events.  But he knew only too well that it takes the eyes of faith to discern this living presence.”  To support his argument Dozzi notes how Francis referred to Matthew 28:20, Behold I am with you until the end of the age.  The Lectionary adds the word always with you, so that the Faithful will not quite exactly hear the reference of Francis.


Matt 28:20

F. Scott Spencer, review of Richard A. Burridge, Imitating Jesus: An Inclusive Approach to New Testament Ethics[12]

Spencer reports that Burridge argues, “Matthew’s Gospel, though often viewed as a compendium of Jesus’ ethics, embeds Jesus’ words in a dynamic portrayal of his exemplary character as “God with us” (… 28:20) …”  In other words, Jesus sets an example both in word and in deed.



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




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 a different verse or book, indicates a direct quote.  The abbreviation for following is f.  The abbreviation for personal confusion is ??  For material based on the Greek Septuagint Greek, the abbreviation is LXX.  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.


The Notes for May 8, 2005 mention Luke 24:51 four times; Matthew 28:16; Psalm 472; Matthew 28:20; Matthew 28:19; and Matthew 28:18.  The Greek below mentions Luke 24:51 at Acts 1:4; Matthew 28:18 at Ephesians 1:22; Matthew 28:20 at Acts 1:1. 



Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Acts 1:1-11:


Verse 1         Luke 1:3, 3:23! Matthew 28:20.

Verse 2         Luke 6:13! 1 Timothy 3:16! 2 Kings 2:11.

Verse 3         Acts 13:31, 28:31.

Verse 4         4-14, Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50-53.

Verse 5         Acts 10:41; Luke 24:49; Acts 2:33, 39; John 4:16!

Verse 6         Acts 11:16; Luke 3:16 parallel; Luke 19:11! 3:21; Matthew 17:11 parallel; Mica 3:23 LXX.

Verse 7         Matthew 24:36! Parallel; 1 Thessalonians 1:5! Isaiah 32:15.

Verse 8         Acts 5:32! 5:28, 10:39, 8:1! Psalms of Solomon 8:15; Isaiah 49:6.

Verse 9         John 6:62; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; Revelations 11:12.

Verse 10       1 Peter 3:22; Luke 24:4; 2 Maccabees 3:26.

Verse 11       Acts 2:7, 13:31; 1 Timothy 3:16! Luke 21:27.


Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Ephesians 1:17-23:


Verse 17       Ephesians 1:3; Acts 7:2; Romans 6:4; Isaiah 11:2; Wisdom 7:7; Colossians 1:9 f.

Verse 18       Matthew 6:22 parallel; Ephesians 4:4; Colossians 1:5, 27; Romans 9:23! Acts 20:32! Colossians 3:24; Hebrews 9:15; 1 Peter 1:4.

Verse 19       Ephesians 3:20; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Colossians 1:11, 2:12; Isaiah 40:26 LXX; Daniel 4:30; Theod ??.

Verse 20       Romans 4:24! Psalm 110:1.

Verse 21       Ephesians 2:2, 3:10, 6:12; Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians15:24; Colossians 1:13,16, 2:10, 15; 1 Peter 3:22; Hebrews 2:5; 2 Peter 2:10; Philippians 2:9.

Verse 22       Psalm 8:7 Matthew 28:18! Ephesians 4:15!

Verse 23       Ephesians 4:12; Romans 12:5! Colossians 1:19! cf. 1 Corinthians 15:28; Colossians 3:11; Jeremiah 23:24.


Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Matthew 28:16-20:


Verse 16       Mark 16:14; Luke 24:9, 33; Acts 1:26, 2:14.

Verse 17       Matthew 28:7!

Verse 18       Matthew 14:31; Matthew 9:6 parallel, 11:27 parallel; John 3;35! Daniel 7:14; Ephesians 1:20-22; Revelation 12:10.

Verse 19       Matthew 10:5 f, 24:14 f, 26:13; Mark 16:15c; Acts1:8; Colossians 1:23; Acts 14:21; Matthew 8:12; 2:38.

Verse 20       John 14:23, 18:20; Acts 18:10; Haggai 1:13 LXX; Matthew 13:39!






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.[13]


Acts 1:1-11

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.[14]

The Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna has a Fifth/Sixth century papyrus manuscript with Acts 1:1, 4-5, 7, 10-11.

The Alands explain:


At the beginning of Acts 1:3, for example, are the words oiV kai paresthsen.  Some manuscripts read here o IhsouV kai parewthwen   The words fit the context, but it is puzzling to us why the variant should have occurred until we remember that in the uncials the text could have been OIC, and that the nomina sacra were written in abbreviated form, with QC for kurioV, IC for IhsouV, so that OIC represented o IhsouV.  Then it becomes clear that the scribe who wrote o Ihsous at Acts 1:3 was copying from an uncial exemplar in which a bar had inadvertently been placed over IC (as it actually happens in Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus (C)).  The error is obvious (and the variant is not noted in the apparatus of Nestle-Aland 26).



Ephesians 1:17-23

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.[15]

The Egyptian Museum in Cairo has a Third/Fourth Century papyrus manuscript with Ephesians 1:19-21.


   Matthew 28:7-20

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.[16]

The Alands report that “The Sinaitic Syriac preserves the text of the Gospels with considerable lacunae: Matt. …28—end …”



          Anyone wanting a copy of these Personal Notes, please contact me at

[1] Robert Lassalle-Klein, “Jesus of Galilee and the Crucified People: The Contextual Christology of Jon Sobrino and Ignacio Ellacuría,” Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 370.


[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (April 2010) 754, 770-771.


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


[4]  (Accessed March 29, 2011).


[5] San Francisco, CA 94103-1741:  A Wiley Imprint: 1998, 101, 140, 184.


[6] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2010, 74.


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


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 116.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (October 2008) 835-6.


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


[11] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, Supplement (2004) 13.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 159.


[13] 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.


[14] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 99, 283.


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


[16] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 250.