Forgiveness of criminals by the Faithful in a pray-pay-and-obey abusive Church is difficult.  The secular government in Australia is in the process of bringing justice to the institutional Roman Catholic Church there.  A special commission is investigating Church practices.  Australian Cardinal George Pell, much like American Cardinal Bernard Law, is now in Rome, avoiding extradition and prosecution for involvement with sexual abuse of the Faithful.[1]  It is one thing to forgive when someone has sorrow for what has happened combined with a firm purpose of amendment.  It is something else to forgive because `they know not what they do.’ 

 

Forgiveness of egregious sins can be healing and good.  The effort to forgive, before the time is ripe, however, can cause further damage and not be good at all.  Somehow, somewhere, there ought to be a loving Christian way to provide atonement structures to minimize unnecessary suffering.  In the United States the contrast is between `just say No’ Republicans (whom the Bishops favor) versus `tax and spend’ Democrats (whom election results show the Faithful favor).  Following their bishops, Catholics in the United States did slightly favor the Republican, Donald Trump, in the 2016 Presidential election.  Finding forgiveness for policy mistakes by the Church is the prayer for this Pentecost Sunday. 

 

Though the media uses English as the base language, the media does present a Tower of Babel conglomeration of ideas.  The Faithful appropriately pray to find appropriate Christian love and forgiveness in Obamacare, in the Crimea, in the lost 707 jet airplane, and in the sexual cover-up hierarchic strategy.  In contrast to Church monarchic structures, in democracy, the Faithful are involved.  There is no way out of involvement by the Faithful.

 

 

Readings

First Reading:                    Acts 2:1-11

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34 (cf. 30)

Second Reading:               1 Corinthians 13:3b-7, 12-13

Alleluia:                             non-Scriptural

Gospel:                             John 20:19-23

 

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 2:1-11

Acts 2:1-13

Jeff Cavins, Tim Gray, and Sarah Christmyer, The Bible Timeline:  The Story of Salvation[2]

Cavins treats the confusion of languages at the Tower of Babel, as an historical rather than theological event.  Cavins treats Sacred Scripture as a history book, sprinkled with some theology, rather than as a theology book sprinkled with some history.  Cavins goes on to compare the confusion at the Towel of Babel with the clarity among all peoples speaking different languages at Pentecost.  Cavins asserts, “In the Church, as was demonstrated at Pentecost, God is gathering his lost children from every corner of the globe, from every nation of the earth, into a relationship with him.”  To me, this looks like an Opus Dei exaggeration, that the Faithful need only pay-pray-and-obey, and nothing more, as a result of Pentecost.  The reality is that Pentecost marks the beginning of what is left for the Faithful to do bringing the Good News to the rest of humanity.  Johan Spangenberg (1484-1550), below, makes the same Babel/Pentecost relationship.

 

Acts 2:1[3]

Cardinal Cajetan (1469-1534), “Commentary on Acts 2:1”

Cajetan explains what for us is a complicated way of counting for a day.

 

If you should marvel that it is said, “And when the day was completed” [the Lectionary has When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled] (when what should have been said there was, “And when the day began,” for the thing mentioned was done in the morning of that day), let it be known that among the Hebrews the day begins from the first hour of the night.  By this thing done early in the morning, the third hour is correctly described as that which completes the day.  Because the day was divided among the Hebrews into two parts (that is, from evening until morning and from morning until evening), part of the second day was already spent at the third hour.  By this, that day was not then beginning but was being completed.

 

Acts 2:2

Johann Spangenberg (1484-1550), “Brief Exegesis of Acts 2:2”[4]

A noise like a strong driving wind is the way God is announcing his coming presence, something like a king having trumpets and bugles announcing his arrival.

 

Acts 2:3-4

Spangenberg, “Brief Exegesis of Acts 2:3-4”[5]

Like Cavins, Spangenberg links the Tower of Babel with Pentecost.

 

Acts 2:3

Martin Luther (1483-1546), “Second Lectures on Galatians”[6]

After noting that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove at Baptism and like tongues of fire at Pentecost, with the establishment of the Church, such extraordinary events were no longer needed.

That Luther considered the Church established only in the New Testament contradicts a footnote in the Acts Reformation Commentary.  “As a result of his belief that the church has existed since Adam and Eve, Luther regularly referred to Israelite feasts and festivals by their `Christian’ names.”[7]

 

Acts 2:4-13

Rudolf Gwalther (1519-1586), “Homily II, Acts 2:4-13”[8]

Gwalther is impressed with the miracle that enabled the uneducated disciples to speak as if they had learned many different languages.

 

Acts 2:4

Andrew Willet (1562-1621), “Commentary on Genesis 11:7”[9]

Willett comments that just as the gift of tongues came directly from God, so did the confusion of tongues.  Willet does not mention the Tower of Babel.

 

Acts 2:7

Karl Allen Kuhn, “Deaf or Defiant?  The Literary, Cultural, and Affective-Rhetorical Keys to the Naming of John (Luke 1:57-80)”[10]

Kuhn includes the amazement of the Jews at the multilingual preaching of the disciples with similar amazement at the announcement by Zechariah that John would be the name of John the Baptist.  The Jews saw this as a divine intervention.

 

Acts 2:8

Gerald O’Collins, S.J., “Peter as Witness to Easter”[11]

O’Collins compares what Peter did at Pentecost with what the Pope does, today, with his Easter proclamation before television cameras that take his message throughout the world.

 


 

Acts 2:11

Jared Wicks, S.J., “Scripture Reading Urged Vehementer (DV No. 25):  Background and Development”[12]

The mighty acts of God appear primarily in Sacred Scripture.

 

Acts 2:11-12

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul:  A New Translation, Robert J. Edmonson, CJ, (translator)[13]

St. Thérèse looked forward to her confirmation like the disciples looked forward to Pentecost.

 

Acts 20:23

Joyce Ann Zimmerman, “The Mystagogical Implications”[14]

The peace the Faithful wish one another after the Our Father, is like the peace Jesus offers the disciples after the resurrection.  This, however, is more than peace, it is unity in love.

 

Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34 (cf. 30)

Psalm 104:24

John Owen (1616-1683), “Meditations and Discourses on the Glory of Christ”[15]

Owen builds on How manifold are your works, O LORD! to proclaim that all wisdom is found in Christ, without mention of Church.

 

1 Corinthians 13:3b-7, 12-13


 

1 Corinthians 12:3

“Encyclical Letter Lumen Fidei of the Supreme Pontiff Francis to the Bishops, Priests, and deacons [sic] and lay Faithful on Faith”[16]

Using Corinthians 12:3 (No one can cay “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit), Pope Francis calls attention to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the Faithful, who do say, Jesus is Lord.

 

1 Corinthians 12:6

Konrad Pellikan, (1478-1556), “Commentary on Genesis 1:9-10”[17]

Pellikan uses there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone to explain Genesis, where God creates the earth before the sun.

 

1 Corinthians 12:6

Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), “On the Freedom of the Will”[18]

Human effort, assisted with the Holy Spirit, enables the Faithful to merit consequences from their behavior.

 

1 Corinthians 12:6

John Calvin (1509-1564), “Commentary on Acts 26:18”[19]

Calvin is careful to give God credit for producing grace in the Faithful.  The Faithful only participate in what God does.

 


 

1 Cor 12:3

Russell Morton, review of Pierre-Marie Beaude, Saint Paul:  L’ouevre de metamorphose[20]

Beaude argues that words only transform in the context of community.

 

1 Cor 12:2

Jared Wicks, S.J., “Scripture Reading Urged Vehementer (DV No. 25):  Background and Development”[21]

Everything coming from Sacred Scripture, the sacraments, and good works comes from God.

 

1 Cor 12:1-3

Susanne Watts Henderson, review of George T. Montague, S.M., First Corinthians[22]

Montague prioritizes Roman Catholic Church politics over truth, for example calling politicians to task over abortion, but not bishops over pedophilia.

 

1 Cor 12:4-12, 28-30

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Co-Workers: In the Vineyard of the Lord:  A Resource for Guiding the development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry[23]

The Bishops write, “An ecclesiology of communion looks upon different gifts and functions not as adversarial but as enriching and complementary.”  I wish I felt diocesan priests ordained during the reign of John Paul II held to such an ecclesiology of communion.

 


 

1 Cor 12:12-21

Edward Collins Vacek, S.J., “Discernment Within a Mutual Love Relationship with God:  A New Theological Foundation”[24]

Vacek coins the word “the anthroponomous” to argue good works require both Divine and human activity, together.  The head, Jesus,” cannot act without the feet, the Faithful.

 

1 Corinthians 12:12

Calvin, “Commentary on Colossians 1;24”[25]

Calvin joins the suffering of the Faithful with the suffering of Christ for the good of the Church.

 

1 Corinthians 12:12

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul:  A New Translation, Robert J. Edmonson, CJ, (translator)[26]

Thérèse includes the heart among the members of the Body of Christ.  From the heart comes love, the basis of all vocations.

 

1 Corinthians 12:13

William R. G. Loader, review of Bruce Hassen, “All of You Are One”:  The Social Vision[27]

Hansen uses we were all baptized and we were all given to argue that while Paul strives for unity, he does not seek uniformity.  It seems to me that the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI sought uniformity.

 

non-Scriptural

 

John 20:19-23


 

John 20:19, 21, 23

Joyce Ann Zimmerman, “The Mystagogical Implications”[28]

The forgiveness of sins in the Lord’s Prayer links forgiving sins in John 20:23 with peace.  Zimmerman feels the Faithful should feel uncomfortable using the criteria of how the Faithful forgive others for how God forgives them their sins.

 

John 20:19

Sacred Scripture in the 2011 Missal[29]

6 “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, `Peace be with you’” (Jn 20:19).

 

John 20:23

Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary:  Commentary on the variant readings of the ancient New Testament manuscripts and how they relate to the major English translations[30]

Manuscripts appear in perfect, present, and future tenses.  The Lectionary uses the present tense, are forgiven . . . are retained.  For some scholars the tense makes a difference; for others the tense does not make a difference.  The original differences, however, were probably deliberate.

 


 

John 20:23

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[31]

Wallace makes a reference to John 20:23, as he explains.

 

The perfect can be used to refer to a state resulting from an antecedent action that is future from the time of speaking.  (This is similar to one of the strands of the proleptic aorist.)  This usage occurs in the apodosis of a conditional clause (either explicit or implicit) and depends on the time of the verb in the protasis.  The proleptic perfect is quite rare.

 

Wallace cites four other instances.

 

John 20:23

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[32]

Nestle-Almond uses the perfect, with reference to other manuscripts in the notes.  Saint Jerome uses the present tense in the Vulgate.

 

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 Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth (cf. Psalm 104:30).[33]

 

In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the forgiveness of sins, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “the gifts of the Holy Spirit.”[34]

 

This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts:  and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts”  (Haggai 2:9).[35]  One function of the Faithful is to make this a better place.



[1] Tom Roberts, March 17, 2014, “Catholicism in Australia:  Demographics, scandal  underlie tectonic shifts,” http://ncronline.org/news/catholic-australia-demographics-abuse-scandal-underlie-churchs-tectonic-shifts  (accessed March 18-20, 2014).

 

[2] West Chester, Pennsylvania:  Ascension Press, 2004, 2011, Sessions 3 and 21, pages 1, 3-4 (source of the quotation), 26, 146, 151.

 

[3] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 18 Spangenberg, 19 Cajetan.

 

[4] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 20.

 

[5] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 21.

 

[6] 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) 137.

 

[7] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 19, footnote 2 WA 21:438.

 

[8] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 22.

 

[9] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament I: Genesis I—II, (ed.) John L. Thompson (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2012) 333.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 3 (July 2013) 486.

 

[11] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 2 (June 2012) 285.

 

[12] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 2013) 573, 575.

 

[13] Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2006, 82.

 

[14] 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.

 

[15] 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) 170.

 

[16] L’Osservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, Vol. 46, No. 28 (2304), Vatican City Wednesday, 10 July, paragraph 21, page ??/23.

 

[17] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament I: Genesis I—II, (ed.) John L. Thompson (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2012), 21-22.

 

[18] 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) 55.

 

[19] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 342.

 

[20] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4 (October 2012) 807.

 

[21] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 2013) 575.

 

[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 4 (October 2013) 810.

 

[23] Washington, D.C.:  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2005, 20.

 

[24] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 2013) 702.

 

[25] 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) 165.

 

[26] Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2006, 217.

 

[27] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 3 (July 2011) 619.

 

[28] 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.

 

[29] Sacred Scripture in the Missal

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

 

[30] Carol Stream, Illinois:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008, 321-322.

 

[31] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 581.

 

[32] (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1999) Editio XXVII, 316

 

[33] 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) 418.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.

 

[34] 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) 453.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.

 

[35] 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) 466-467.