The Lectionary readings for this Sunday have sexual imagery as a theme.  Isaiah is a bit Oedipal.  Psalm 96 in the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint uses a tree image.  1 Corinthians mentions the charism of discernment of spirits, while the Gospel is about the wedding feast at Cana.  The sexual imagery is about the union of God with human creatures, rather than about the human union.

 

First Reading: Isaiah 62:1-5

          Isaiah 62:5

          J. Ross Wagner, “From the Heavens to the Heart: The Dynamics of Psalm 19 as Prayer”[1]

          Writing before Barker, Wagner is not caught up in her Oedipal arrangement. Wagner describes the situation, “Isaiah describes God as a bridegroom rejoicing over his bride.”  There is incest in the first half of Isaiah 62:5, “your Builder shall marry you.”  As a poet, Isaiah merits poetic license.  Misusing the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which God has created, is a false issue.

 

          Isaiah 62:5

          Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy [2]

          Barker describes Isaiah 62:5, your Builder shall marry you, as “this Oedipal arrangement.”  Barker writes of an incestuous relationship, a relationship not good for human genetics, but wonderful when it enables humans to participate in the life of God.  Barker also writes of “the bride of the LORD who married her sons.”

 

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 96:1-2, 2-3, 7-8, 9-10 (3)

Psalm 96

William P. Brown, review of Theodore Mascarenhas, The Missionary Function of Israel in Psalms 67, 96, and 117[3]

Because of the way he defines missionary function, Mascarenhas does not convince Brown that the Psalms have a missionary tendency.  Mascarenhas defines mission as “a movement of the adherents of faith toward those who do not belong to that faith.”  For Brown, that definition is too broad and “ultimately serves to undermine the mystery of election.”

 


          Psalm 96:1

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

To sing a new song, means that the Faithful should renew their fervor, anew.

 

          Psalm 96:10

          Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[5]

          Barker raises many questions about the early development of the Bible.  She makes a good case for including the LORD reigns from the tree in the Psalm 96:10.  She suggests the Jews removed the sentence due to its use by Christians.  Contrary to what one would expect, were the suggestion by Baker correct, Psalm 96:10 is not in the Qumran Scrolls.

 

            Aelred Cody, O.S.B., "`Little Historical Creed’ or `Little Historical Anamnesis’?”[6]

            “The LORD is king” is a creedal affirmation.

 

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

          1 Corinthians 12:4-29

            David J. Downs, "`Early Catholicism’ and Apocalypticism in the Pastoral Epistles”[7]

            Downs maintains that `Early Catholicism’ is a misnomer because Apocalypticism continued in early Catholicism.  The imposition of a hierarchy did not impose a limit on charism for the Faithful, although the notion of a Lay Apostolate only develops much later.  The authentic Pauline letters do not deny charism to the Faithful, while the Pastoral Epistles, though attributed to Paul, “display a markedly different ecclesiology,” especially with the exclusion of women from positions of leadership.

 


          1 Corinthians 12:4

          Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., “The Structured Ministry of the Church in the Pastoral Epistles”[8]

          With E. Käsemann, Fitzmyer also observes a “disturbing development in the Pastoral Epistles, where an imported idea from the Jewish Christian community sets up `an office which stands over against the rest of the community (and) is now the real bearer of the Spirit.’”

 

          1 Corinthians 12:8-10

          Jeremy Corley, “The Pauline Authorship of 1 Corinthians 13”[9]

          The list of nine charisms is a sign of genuine Pauline authorship.

 

          1 Corinthians 12:10

          Agneta Schreurs, Psychotherapy and Spirituality: Integrating the spiritual dimension into therapeutic practice[10]

          One of those charisms is discernment of spirits.  Spiritual directors help their advisees distinguish between deception, self-deception, psychopathology, and a true connection with God.  Schreurs cites 1 Corinthians 12:10 for enabling psychotherapy to have a positive impact on spiritual growth.  As Schreurs puts it, “Discernment is more subtle and intuitive than diagnosis.”

 

Alleluia: Cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:14

         

 

Gospel: John 2:1-11

John 2:4

          Craig E. Morrison, O.Carm., “The `Hour of Distress’ in Targum Neofiti and the `Hour’ in the Gospel of John[11]

Morrison proposes understanding that the phrase my hour has not yet come “leaves the audience wondering: What will transpire when `his hour’ does come?”  The answer is that the Hour of Distress for Jesus is when he is raised on the cross.

 


John 2:1-11

          Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B., “Feminist Mariologies: Heteronomy/Subordination and the Scandal of Christology”[12]

McDonnell points out that John frames the public ministry of Jesus with Mary, his mother, beginning at Cana and ending at Calvary.  This means that Mary participated in the public life of Jesus.

 

John 2:4

Benedict XVI, “Encyclical Letter: Deus Caritas Est of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women Religious and All the Lay Faithful on Christian Love.”[13]

          Benedict apparently misses how Mary frames the public ministry of Jesus when he writes, “the Mother’s hour will come only with the Cross.”  Benedict misses the whole psychology of motherhood, which changes according to the changing norms of society.

 

John 2:1-6

          Kilian McDonnell, O.S.B., “Feminist Mariologies: Heteronomy/Subordination and the Scandal of Christology”[14]

John 2:1-6 is one of three texts John has about Mary.  The others are John 6:42 and 19:25-27.  McDonnell sees a central theme of obedience.  That must be when Mary tells the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”  They may have smirked as they filled the jars to the brim.

 


John 2:5

          Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., “The Gospel of John as Scripture”[15]

Moloney shows how John frames the public life of Jesus with his mother, Mary.  The gist of Moloney is that John is deliberately writing Sacred Scripture with “a desire to convince readers that the biblical narrative reached its perfection in the Johannine story of Jesus.”

Moloney bears repeating.  Personal Notes quotes Moloney for August 28, 2005, reading 124A, the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary time and for last August 13, reading 116B, the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  “As always, it is the interplay between the sacred text and myself as its reader, enriched by a serious sharing with other readers who regard the same text as Scripture, that has led me …”

 

John 2:11

          Debbie Hunn, “Who Are `They’ in John 8:33?”[16]

          Hunn asserts that Jesus did not immediately test the faith of his disciples, as he did not at Cana.  Disciples were invited with Jesus to the feast.  This means that Jesus had disciples before his miracles persuaded them.

 

          John 2:11

          Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy [17]

The wine at the wedding feast at Cana is a symbolic link both to Melchizedek, king and priest, and to the Eucharist.

 

 

Please pass along suggestions you may have for improving the changed format. Thank you. 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. 61, No. 2 (April, 1999) 252.

 

[2] (London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003) 239.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 3 (July 2006) 518.

 

[4] (London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003) 119.

 

[5] (London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003) 243, 295-296.

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2006) #1 5.

 

[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (October 2005) 647-648.

 

[8] E. Käsemann, “Ministry and Community in the New Testament,” in idem [which I do not understand] Essays on New Testament Themes (STB 41: London: SCM, 1964) 63-94, esp. 87.  the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 4 (October 2004) 595.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 2 (April 2004) 260.

 

[10] (London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2002) 41, 285, fn. 7.

 

[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (October 2005) 599.

 

[12] Theological Studies, Vol. 66, No. 3 (September 2005) 551.

 

[14] Theological Studies, Vol. 66, No. 3 (September 2005) 534.

 

[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 3 (July 2005), 458, 465, 468.

 

[16] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 3 (July 2004) 391.

 

[17] (London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003) 75.