The theme for these readings is courage in the face of uncertainty.  Faith is the source of such courage.  Pentecost furnishes an occasion for the Faithful to share courage and Faith among themselves.  For example on the occasion of the Anointing the Sick and Dying sacrament the Faithful can gather to renew the strength of their courage in the face of the uncertainties involved.  Raw courage always requires the tempering effect of the virtue of prudence.

 

First Reading: Acts 2:1-11

          Last September, at the annual Black Catholic retreat for the Richmond Diocese, Deacon Bill Johnson, from the Camden, New Jersey, Diocese used Acts 2 1-4 to inflame the hearts of those present at the retreat with the same Holy Spirit who appeared on the first Pentecost. This is a good time for reinvigorating resolve for courage in the face of the uncertainties of life, uncertainties such as those felt by the disciples gathered in the house before the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the Lectionary readings today.

 

          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”[1]

          Acts 2:1-11, used in the Lectionary, marks the beginning of evidence in Acts that early Christians used miracles for missionary purposes.

 

          Acts 2:1-4

          F. Scott Spencer, review of John J. Pilch, Visions and Healing in the Acts of the Apostles: How the Early Believers Experienced God[2]

          Pilch applies secular standards to all hearing in their own languages.  Pilch suggests that the Disciples speaking in tongues may have been in a trance and that what people heard was the same, but understood according to their first languages.  Were that the case, similar events seem present today among charismatics.

 


          Acts 2:3-4

          John Clabeaux, "The Story of the Maltese Viper and Luke's Apology for Paul"[3]

          Paul is the chief character in sixty percent of the content of Acts.  Somehow, Clabeaux regards Luke as interjecting the viper in a bit of whimsical humor, trying to balance how Paul focuses on the West with how Jesus focuses on Jerusalem.  Evidently, Clabeaux finds a humorous relationship between the fiery tongue of a viper and the fiery tongues of the Holy Spirit.

 

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

          Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[4]

          Barker regards Psalm 104 as praise for the building power of God.  Psalm 104:24, how manifest are your works.  Barker gets into the creation of angels and the presence of angelic hosts around God.  The Lectionary also uses the word works in verse 31.  The creative power of God gives the Faithful reason for their courage in the face of uncertainty.

 

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

          The Church makes this reading available in its care for the sick.[5]

 

          Since I have already translated this passage once from the Greek, I thought I would begin checking the marginalia in the Greek text.  When I discovered I did not understand the apparatus, the abbreviations, I decided I needed to restudy the introductory material.  I was startled at the reality.

          The Greek is not a definitive text. As the Introduction words it, “… this text is a working text … it is not to be considered as definitive …”[6]  If the Faithful do not have a definitive Greek text, then no text in the vernacular, in the Latin, or in the ancient lectionaries can be any more definitive.  Such uncertainty gives pause for courage, especially since the Magisterium claims for itself the right to determine the words of which texts are inspired.

 

          1 Cor 12

          Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[7]

          Barker writes, “in her [the woman who joins things together] role as the Spirit (a feminine noun in Hebrew and Aramaic), she was the bond of unity which inspired Paul’s exposition to the church in Corinth.”

          Accepting the feminine side of God almighty must have been difficult for Paul. In the ancient world, as Julie Galambush words it, reviewing The Gendered Language of Warfare in the Israelite-Assyrian Encounter by Cynthia R. Chapman, “masculinity is associated with victory in warfare and femininity with defeat.”  The Sixth Century prophets had a problem defending God’s honor with Jerusalem, clearly defeated.  The prophets turned the defeat into a domestic dispute in which God “maintains his honor not by protecting but by punishing his unfaithful wife.”[8]

 

          1 Cor 12:4-29

          David J. Downs, "`Early Catholicism’ and Apocalypticism in the Pastoral Epistles”[9]

          Paul envisioned the local church as charismatic, sharing the experience of the Spirit.  The other, pastoral epistles attributed to Paul, had a greater focus on hierarchy.  Sometimes the charismatics need to convince the hierarchy.

 


          1 Cor 12:13

          William O. Walker, Jr., “1 Corinthians 15:29-34 as a Non-Pauline Interpolation”[10]

          Walker is concerned about vicarious baptism of the living for the dead.  Walker looks to this verse, we were all baptized into one body, as not inferring such vicarious baptism.

 

Second Reading: B Romans 8:8-17

          The Church makes this reading available for funerals.[11]

 

          This time around, I translated the Latin to versify the English.  In the process, I found that the Lectionary uses brothers and sisters to translate fratres, which, ordinarily is translated brothers.  The brothers and sisters of the lead-in, changes from lead-in to lead-in, without explanation. The brothers and sisters of verse 12 belongs in that same unexplained category.

 

          Rom 8:10

          Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[12]

          Barker regards Christ is in you as indicative of the creative presence of Christ in all things.  Courage in the face of uncertainty is required to accept that reality.

 

          Rom 8:15-18

          Robert A. J. Gagnon, "Why the `Weak’ at Rome Cannot Be Non-Christian Jews"[13]

          Gagnon regards Romans 8:15-18, “… you received a Spirit of adoption, through whom we cry, `Abba, Father!’” as applying to non-Christian Jews.  In other words, Paul is saying that to be led by the Spirit is not enough, unless it leads to Christ.

 

          Rom 7:14—8:13

          Brendan Byrne, S.J., "The Problem of Nomos and the Relationship with Judaism in Romans"[14]

          Paul is contrasting dialectic between life under the law and life in the Spirit. Like Matthew, Paul seems unable to understand the People of God without a law.  The Magisterium of the Church likes its ability to make laws for the Faithful.  The Catechism, that notwithstanding, does not use Romans 8:8-17.

 

          Rom 8:17

          John Kloppenborg, "An Analysis of the Pre-Pauline Formula 1 Cor 15:3b-5 in Light of some Recent Literature”[15]

          The antithesis in verse 17, as Paul moves from children to heirs to suffering to glory appears to be basic methodology in early Christian preaching.  Elements of uncertainty and courage permeate Christian Faith.

 

          Rom 8:10

          Bernardin Schneider, O.F.M., "The Corporate Meaning and Background of 1 Cor 15,45b—`O Eschatos Adam eis Pneuma Zoiopoioun"[16]

          In verse 10, the spirit is alive, the Lectionary uses the lower case, perhaps referring to the human spirit, receiving the Holy Spirit.  Schneider writes that the spirit of verse 10 is ambiguous.  He also writes that verse 11, “… the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus …,” that Spirit, is the Holy Spirit.

 

Alleluia: No Scripture Reference

 

Gospel: A. John 20:19-23

Deacon Bill Johnson also used John 20:16-23 to inflame the Faithful at the retreat with the Holy Spirit.  John 20:19, fear of the Jews, describes the need for courage in the face of uncertainty.  Since sin is the greatest source of uncertainty, Faith that whose sins you forgive are forgiven them (John 10:23) is a source of great consolation.

 


          John 18—20

          Douglas K. Clark, "Signs in Wisdom and John"[17]

          In John, the resurrection runs parallel with the Exodus passing-over through the sea.

 

          John 20:19-23

          Kelli S. O'Brien, "Written That You May Believe: John 20 and Narrative Rhetoric"[18]

          O’Brien outlines his presentation: I. Experiencing the Resurrection, II. Misunderstanding and Believing, III. Mary Magdalene and Thomas, IV. The Beloved Disciple, and V. John 20 as a Whole.  The gist of the article is that if Mary Magdalene, Thomas, and the Beloved Disciple believe, so can anyone else.

 

          John 20:19-23

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[19]

          Bishops use verse 20 to document as historical that “all the Apostles saw him.”  In the Lectionary, verse 20 has disciples, not Apostles.

          Bishops use (Jn 20:22) as part of the title for Chapter 9, “Receive the Holy Spirit (Jn 20:22)” in Part I.  “The Creed: the Faith Professed.”  Only three of thirty-six chapters include such a verse in the title, thereby increasing the importance of this verse.

          From all that these Notes have said about the difference between Swiss and Mediterranean time, I am at a loss about what the bishops may mean when they write, “For two thousand years, Christian time has been measured by the memory of that `first day of the week’ (Mk 16:2, 9; Lk 24:1; Jn 20:1), when the Risen Christ gave the Apostles the gift of peace and of the Spirit (cf. Jn 20:19-23).”  For comments on the difference between the first day of the week and on the third day, see 063A Pentecost_A Catholic Bible Study 020519 on the internet.

          Bishops cite John 20:22 to describe a manifestation of the Holy Spirit in Chapter 16, “Confirmation: Consecrated for Mission” and Chapter 18, “Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation: God is Rich in Mercy.”  To give mercy, instead of vengeance, takes courage and is not always without adverse consequences.

 


          John 20:11-28

          Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., "The Gospel of John as Scripture"[20]

          Moloney observes, “ … The Beloved Disciple does not see Jesus, and thus must be judged as the first disciple to merit the final blessing of Jesus … All subsequent readers of this text may not see Jesus, but, like the Beloved Disciple, they are blessed in their belief without sight.”

 

          John 20:21

          Frank J. Matera, "Christ in the Theologies of Paul and John: A Study in the Diverse Unity of New Testament Theology"[21]

          The ministry of Jesus and his Faithful followers is to convince the world that God sent Jesus.

 

          John 20:22.

          Bernardin Schneider, O.F.M., "The Corporate Meaning and Background of 1 Cor 15,45b—`O Eschatos Adam eis Pneuma Zoiopoioun"[22]

          Jesus giving new life to the Faithful by breathing on them is analogous to God breathing on the dead bones of Ezekiel and raising them to new life.

 

Gospel: B. John 14:15-16, 23b-26

          I versified this in the Lectionary from the Latin.  Verses 23b and 24 exhibit sloppy scholarship.  Comparing the English translations from the Sixth Sunday of Easter C on page 431 with Pentecost on page 500 gets the following results:

 

Page 431, John 14:24

Whoever does not love me does not keep my words …

Page 500, John 14:24

Those who do not love me do not keep my words …

 


In the following passage, the versifications, the line breaks, are different.

Page 431, John 14:26

The Advocate, the Holy Spirit,

          whom the Father will send in my name,

          will teach you everything

          and remind you of all that I told you.

Page 500, John 14:26

The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my

             name,

          will teach you everything

          and remind you of all that I told you.”

 

The difference in the use of the quotation mark at the end, though without ellipsis, is explainable because the Lectionary ends the quote there on Pentecost.  The Lectionary continues the quote for the Sixth Sunday.

 

The other differences between page 431 and 500 are signs of sloppy scholarship, Academic rigor would have both translations the same or, at least, would recognize explain, and accept responsibility for the differences.

 

For this Sunday, I eliminated and did not repeat what was used for:

63A 050515

63B 060604

63B 030608

63C 040530

63A 020516

 

 

For more on sources see the Appendix file. Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes

 

 



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

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 164.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (October 2005) 609, 610.

 

[4] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003 45, 107, 158, 186, 272, 283, 334.

 

[5] 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 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 (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1983) 269.

 

[6] 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 2*.

 

[7] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003 257.

 

[8] Julie Galambush, review of Cynthia R. Chapman, The Gendered Language of Warfare in the Israelite-Assyrian Encounter, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 319.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (October 2005) 647.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 94.

 

[11] N.a., 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) 215.

 

[12] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003 157.

 

[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1 (January 2000) 67.

 

[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 2 (April 2000) 304 ff.

 

[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 3 (July 1978) 363.

 

[16] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3 (July 1967) 460 as found at http://63.136.1.22/pls/eli/ashow?ishid=n0008-7912_029_03&lcookie=2792486&npage=450-467 070115.

 

[17] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 45, No. 2 (April 1983) 205 ff.

 

[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 2 (April 2005) 284-302.

 

[19] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006 94, 101,178, 203, 236, 244.

 

[20] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 3 (July 2005) 465.

 

[21] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 2 (June 2006) 250.

 

[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 29, No. 3 (July 1967) 466

as found at http://63.136.1.22/pls/eli/ashow?ishid=n0008-7912_029_03&lcookie=2792486&npage=450-467 070115.