First Reading:         1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19

Psalm:                    Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10 (8a and 9a)

Second Reading     1 Corinthians 6:13C-15A, 17-20

                               John 1:41, 17b

Gospel:                   John 1:35-42



This Sunday links well with the readings from last Sunday, the Baptism of Christ the Lord.  This Sunday, the focus is more on John the Baptist and religious vocations.  The readings begin with Samuel listening to the Lord.  The Psalm is about the assembly as the church listening to the praise of God.  1 Corinthians teaches the Faithful that the role of their bodies is as temples of the Holy Spirit, a means for reaching the Kingdom of God and not as ends in themselves.  The ancient Church presents the Faithful the Gospel of John.  The message of this Gospel is to praise the glory of God.

My reading this week of The Critical Calling,[1] by Richard A.  McCormick, is changing my mind about good behavior.  Until now, I had thought in terms of right and wrong, good and bad, intrinsically evil or not.  McCormick is suggesting that, in order to act, one must have a proportionate reason.  There is an element of coercion anytime a human exercises free will.  Any choice that is made has unhappiness about the choice that is not made.  An example of this is the institution of the Catholic Worker. 

The Catholic Worker objects to the bad theory about capitalism, leaving the poor behind.  The people running the Catholic Worker are college-educated and competent for making their way in capitalist society.  They, however, choose not to participate, but rather to object.  I admire their Faith in refusing the good life associated with capitalism.

The point is that choices would not be choices if there were no difficulty.  I think there is proportionate reason to support the Catholic Worker.  Bette does not.  The problem is not right and wrong or good and bad, but rather proportionate reason for acting.



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 scholarly details. 


1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19

1 Sam 3:3

Antti Laato, “Second Samuel 7 and Ancient Near Eastern Royal Ideology”[2]

Laato argues that redactors changed this passage with a view to justifying the monarchy of David.  This reminds us of what Karl Rove is doing to rewrite the history of the Bush Presidency, even before that history is written.


1 Sam 3:3

William L.  Holladay, "Indications of Segmented Sleep in the Bible"[3]

Holladay is making the point that humans are not “hard-wired” to sleep straight through the whole night, as is necessary in an industrial society.  Holladay looks for and finds signs of broken, segmented sleep throughout Sacred Scripture.


Psalm 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10 (8a and 9a)

Psalm 39 = 40

Codex Sinaiticus[4]

This psalm is in the Codex Sinaiticus.  Verse 10, about the assembly, uses a Greek word from which English derives ecclesial.  This means that the Church is not a building and not the hierarchy, either.  Church is the whole assembly.  This means that various parts of the Church can learn from one another, for example, men from women, colonizers from the colonized, and the like.


Psalm 40:6-8

Kenneth Schenck, "2 Corinthians and the PistiV Cristou Debate"[5]

Schenck argues “… Heb 1:5-7 [to be used at reading 12C] strikingly interprets Ps 40:6-8 [used here] as if these words were uttered by Christ as he came into the world.” … ears open to obedience you gave me …


1 Corinthians 6:13C-15A, 17-20

1 Cor 6:12-20

Duane F.  Watson, review of John Paul Heil, The Rhetorical Role of Scripture in 1 Corinthians[6]

Heil argues that Paul is addressing something specific in Corinthian culture about attitudes toward the body.  As mentioned above the double line, Paul is arguing that the human body is a vehicle for gaining eternal life, rather than an end in itself.

At one point, Watson disagrees with Heil, writing,


Heil relies on studies claiming that 1 Cor 6:12-20 [used here] is a chiasm and that the quotation from Genesis [not used] is the pivot of the chiasm.  Studies of rhetorical argumentation in the NT that acknowledge the role of Greco-Roman argumentation in the NT, however, cast doubt that chiasms appear nearly as frequently in NT texts as many have assumed.


This is a caution against reading too much into the Pauline corpus.


John 1:41, 17b


John 1:35-42

Since I found no difficult words in the Greek, I went to the next level looking for exclamation marks in the margins.  Nestle-Aland explains, “An exclamation mark indicates where a principle reference list of passages related by a common theme or expression is found …”[7]  I found the following passages with co-relative Lectionary readings.


Lectionary Reading                      Passage

21A                                              Matthew 3:13-17

21B                                             Mark 1:9-11

21C                                             Luke 3:21 s .  36

40A                                              1 Peter 1:19

48C                                             Revelation 5:6.12.

64A                                              John 29-34


Rather than check out these other Readings now, I am simply noting them in my Ordo for the next time they appear.   For a more complete rendition see 065A


John 1:37-42

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[8]

The Bishops use the Gospel for today to explain “The Spirituality of the Priest.” The Bishops ignore the book, Ordained Women in the Early Church: A Documentary History, to take their position favoring an all-male priesthood.  The reviewer of Ordained Women, begins with the following sentence, “If there were ever any doubts that women were ordained to ministerial positions in the early church, such doubts can now be put to rest.”[9] “Proportionate Reason” makes more sense than an absolute behavioral norm.


John 1:38-39

Jerome H.  Neyrey, S.J., "`I Am the Door' (John 10:7, 9): Jesus the Broker in the Fourth Gospel"[10]

Neyrey argues that the vocation of Andrew and Peter is that of a client-patron, with Jesus acting as a broker with God the Father.


John 1:35-42

Edward L.  Bode, review of Alberto Casalegno, "Perché Contemplino la Mia Gloria" (Gv 17, 24): Introduzione alla teologia del Vangelo di Giovanni[11]

Bode writes that


Casalegno interprets the gospel as revealing the evangelist’s community, proven in hostility, the community recognized its universal mission, was oriented to scripture and feasts, and was under the Spirit as master and advocate.  Episodes related in the Gospel indicate that the community included followers of the Baptist 1:35-24) …


John 1:35-51

Sandra M.  Schneiders, review of Rekha M.  Chennattu, Johannine Discipleship as a Covenant Relationship[12]

Chennattu argues that the call of Peter and Andrew involves a new covenant.  Chennattu is a rising academic star from the land of India.



Alice Lafferty, review of Maurizio Marcheselli, "Avete qualcosa da mangiare?" Un pasto, il Risorto, la comunità[13]

Lafferty praises Marcheselli who argues that “John 1:19—2:12 narrates the manifestation of the Messiah to Israel.”  Marcheselli continues that the “redactional intention of John 21” relates to the reading in the Gospel for today.  Marcheselli somehow argues, “the rapport demonstrated between Peter and the Beloved Disciple [in John] is representative of a diverse but amicable Christian community capable of honoring both identity and diversity.”


John 1:35-40

Jane S.  Webster, review of Richard Bauckham, The Testimony of the Beloved Disciple: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John[14]

Bauckham takes on Raymond E.  Brown and the predominant scholarly thinking to argue that the Gospel of John rises somewhat spontaneously from the early Church, rather than from individual writers.  The early Church conflated John the son of Zebedee and John the Elder from Ephesus.  Webster writes, “Bauckham urges a return to the Gospel as an early and valid source for history.”  Webster goes on, “Because Bauckham does not identify competition between Peter and the beloved disciple here, he suggests that the Gospel arises not from a sectarian community but from the `whole church’ (p.  87).”



[1] Richard A. McCormick, S.J., The Critical Calling: Reflections on Moral Dilemmas Since Vatican II (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1989, 2006).


[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 59, No. 2 (July 1997) 264.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (July 2007) 218.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 3 (July 2008) 530.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (July 2007) 358.


[7] 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, 34*.


[8] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006, 271-272.


[9] William Tabbernee, review of Ordained Women in the Early Church: A Documentary History, Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osiek (eds. and trs.) in The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. XCIII No. 1 (January 2007) 127.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (July 2007) 285.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 2007) 574.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 2007) 575.


[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 1 (July 2008) 160.


[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (October 2008) 819-820.