Protection from all danger is the theme for these readings.  Isaiah begins by promising a Messiah as the protector.  While Isaiah may not have had Jesus in mind for his prophecies about a protector, Matthew and the other Evangelists did see the relationship.  Matthew cites Isaiah nine times.


In regarding Jesus as Savior, Matthew also regards Jesus as protector.  Matthew regards Jesus as extending a great invitation to all humanity to link their persons with his, yoked, as it were, to the Father and, in this way, able to extend the invitation of Jesus.  The invitation is one of protection.


Paul, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians joins the lives of the Faithful with the life of Jesus.  The Lectionary presents it as a question, Is Jesus divided?  While that is legitimate, from the Greek, it is also legitimate to present the matter as a declarative statement, Jesus is divided.  When Paul binds Jesus to the Faithful and the Faithful to Jesus, it is difficult to separate the two.  Such is the essence of protection in the New Testament.



Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from material below the double line.  Those uninterested in scholarly details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some of the fun stuff scholars are digging up.


Isaiah 8:23—9:3

          Isaiah 8:23b—9:1

          Steven L. Bridge, review of Steve Moyise and Maarten J. J. Menken (eds.), Isaiah in the New Testament[1]

The authors note that Matthew explicitly cites Isaiah nine times.  Matthew grasps the prophecies of Isaiah about protection from all danger as a reference to Jesus.


Isaiah 9:2, 3, 6

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

Barker asserts that the great light in the darkness is God, expressed in the messiah.  Unto us a child is born.


Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14

          Psalm 27

          Paul R. Raabe, review of David G. Firth, Surrendering Retribution in the Psalms: Responses to Violence in the Individual Complaints[3]

          Firth identifies Psalm 27, which the Church uses at Funerals,[4] as a prayer for protection from all danger.


Psalm 27:8-9

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

Barker cites Psalm 27:8-9 [unused in the Lectionary this Sunday] to write, “Seeking the face/presence of the LORD had been at the heart of the temple cult.”  The presence of the LORD is the essence of safety.


1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17

          1 Cor 1:13

          Jerry L. Sumney, "`I Fill Up What Is Lacking in the Afflictions of Christ:' Paul's Vicarious Suffering in Colossians"[6]

          Sumney points out that Paul denies that he was crucified for the Corinthians.  Jesus was crucified for them.


          1 Cor 1:1-11

          William O. Walker, Jr., “1 Corinthians 15:29-34 as a Non-Pauline Interpolation”[7]

          Walker insists that the Resurrection is fundamental to Christian Faith.  My conviction of the Resurrection is found in the lives of the Faithful, which keep the life of Jesus alive, as best we can.


          1 Cor 1:17

          John Fotopoulos, "Arguments Concerning Food Offered to Idols: Corinthian Quotations and Pauline Refutations in a Rhetorical Partitio (1 Corinthians 8:1-9)”[8]

          Paul is not denying his own rhetorical skill.  Fotopoulos joins the argument “… that it was a common rhetorical device for orators to deprecate their own rhetorical ability in order to secure the goodwill of the audience and that by so doing in the Corinthian correspondence Paul was behaving precisely as a skilled orator.”



Cf. Matthew 4:23


Matthew 4:12-23

          Matt 4:16-17

          Mark F. Whitters, "Jesus in the Footsteps of Jeremiah"[9]

          Whitters takes Matthew to parallel the personal call of Jeremiah with the personal call of Jesus at Baptism.  Both Jeremiah and Jesus are saviors.


          Matt 4:18-22

          James Swetnam, S.J., review of Luis Sánchez Navarro, “Venid a mi” (Mt 11,28-30): El discipulado, fundamento de la ética en Mateo[10]

          Navarro explains that the great invitation in Matthew joins Jesus with the Faithful, so that the Faithful are able to extend the original invitation to discipleship to all generations.  Swetnam has high praise for this study.


          Matt 4:23

          Daniel W. Ulrich, “The Missional Audience of the Gospel of Matthew[11]

          Ulrich argues that preaching the Gospel “… can encompass both Jesus’ own message and the church’s message about him.”  The Church, therefore, offers a safe haven for the Gospel.



For more on sources see the Appendix file.





After-action Report



[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 190.


[2] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003 186, 241-242.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 114.


[4] 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) 224.


[5] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003 6.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4 (October 2006) 677.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 85, 87, 94.


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (October 2005) 615.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 232, 246.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 347.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 67, 76, 78.