Social sciences, such as anthropology, sociology, and even history focus the following comments.  Sociology was the beginning.  Auguste Comte (1798-1857) founded sociology as the study of human social behavior and its origins, development, organizations, and institutions.  Sociology is a social science, which uses various methods of empirical investigation and critical analysis to develop a body of knowledge about human social actions, social structure, and functions.[1]  Empirical investigation continues to knock the pins out from under pre-conceived, biased notions of human behavior.


How to make sense out of life when the social sciences shake loose those many false biases, puzzles thinking adults.  For Personal Notes, this puzzlement extends to the administration of The Catholic University of America refusing to listen to a professor, before letting him go; in other words, denying a professor due process before firing him.  The administration of The Catholic University of America has been in this situation since 1990, when the American Association of University Professors censured it.[2]


The Catholic University of America is a Pontifical University.  This means that the Pope is ultimate administrator of the school.  In general,


Current international quality ranking services do not have a quality-ranking category that reflects the unique nature and mission of Pontifical universities, nor do their methodologies take into account this unique nature and mission in a way that reflects their educational quality.  Since 19 September 2003 the Holy See has taken part in the Bologna Process, a series of meetings and agreements between European states designed to foster comparable quality standards in higher education, and in the "Bologna Follow-up Group".  The Holy See’s Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of Quality in Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties (AVEPRO) was established on 19 September 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI "to promote and develop a culture of quality within the academic institutions that depend directly on the Holy See and ensure they possess internationally valid quality criteria."[3]


This also means that Pontifical Universities in Europe have problems with academic rigor and quality.


The readings for this Sunday are about the intellectual light that comes from divine revelation.  The first two Readings for this Sunday mention darkness twice and light seven times.  The Responsorial Antiphon proclaims The Lord is my light . . .  four times.  1 Corinthians 1:10 urges the Faithful to be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. 


For Personal Notes, this means coming to terms with whatever empirical data the social sciences reveal, without fear of contradicting past errors.  Just as there was nothing wrong with admitting Galileo was correct about the physical universe, so there need not be anything wrong about admitting the Papal Teaching Magisterium was wrong about the social universe.  With Galileo, it took four hundred years.  That is malfeasance by the Papal Teaching Magisterium.


Jesus, himself, got out of the way, when he heard that John had been arrested.  There is nothing wrong with the Teaching Magisterium getting out of the way when the social sciences arrest what had seemed like prophetic utterances.  Just as the movement in Matthew is abrupt, from quoting Isaiah about light, to taking the disciples along a new path of righteousness, so might the movement in the Twenty-first century be abrupt, from hanging on to pre-Vatican II misjudgments, to opening up new meanings for Christianity.  The Faithful deserve a Teaching Magisterium that transparently follows the truth, as a firm reflection of The Truth, wherever truth may lead.




First Reading                     Isaiah 8:23-9:3

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14 (1a)

Second Reading:               1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17

Alleluia:                             Matthew 4:23

Gospel:                             Matthew 4:12-23


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.


Isaiah 8:23-9:3


Isaiah 8:23

H. G. M. Williamson, review of Rodrigo Franklin De Sousa, Eschatology and Messianism in LXX Isaiah 1—12[4]

Williamson reports,


this passage [Isaiah 9:5-6, used at Christmas] provides excellent examples of the kind of actualization that d.S. is prepared to accept, namely, the updating of geographical references to reflect later times (see especially the addition of “the district of Judea” in 8:23 [used here]) and the reflection of social and economic oppression from the translator’s own day in 9:3-4. . . . even in transition without deliberate embellishment, the LXX was able to keep alive a form of the hopes to which the Hebrew text already pointed.


Isaiah 8:23

Joseph G. Mueller, S.J., “Christian and Jewish Tradition behind Tyconius’s Doctrine of the church as Corpus Bipertitum”[5]

Muller argues, “Among Jacob’s descendants, some will accept Jesus as the Messiah, and some will reject him.  Both groups are envisaged as Jews.”

What the Lectionary translates as the District of the Gentiles, The New American Bible, revised Edition (NABR),[6] translates Galilee of the Nations.  The NABR translation is needed to understand Muller,


The last part of Isaiah 8:23 threatens Sennacherib with the divine punishment that he will suffer if he attacks the kingdom of Judah.  Here, a play on the resemblance between the words for “Galilee” (gelil) and “dung” (gelalim) leads to interpreting the words “in Galilee of the nations” to mean that God will make Sennacherib as the dung of the nations.


Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14 (1a)

Psalm 27 is one of the readings Funerals uses at a Vigil for the Deceased and as a prayer for protection from all danger.[7]


Psalm 27:4

Matthew J. Lynch, "Zion's Warrior and the Nations: Isaiah 59:15b—63:6 in Isaiah's Zion Traditions"[8]

Lynch argues, “Various images such as `rock,’ `shelter,’ and `stronghold’ [the Lectionary does not use that vocabulary] convey the protection that Zion grants to those who cannot secure their own defense (Pss 27:4 . . . ).  Because of Zion’s fundamental opposition to the arrogant, humility is the most fitting description of its “anthropology.”


1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17

1 Corinthians 1:10

John David Ramsey, A Precarious Faith:  The Tri-Une [sic] Dynamic of the Christian Life[9]

Father John David, my pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, in Newport News, Virginia, argues,


In the first of his letters to the church at Corinth, Paul addresses a broad range of problems facing the congregation, ranging from divided loyalties and issues of authority, to problematic sexual relations, to dealing with grievances within the community, to the proper attitude toward food.  As was the case when we explored Romans, all of the issues in one way or another have to do with threats to unity of the community—that is, with issues that threaten to pervert and break proper relationship with God and with neighbor, the relationship which Christ restored and to which the community lives in witness.  Though he deals with the various issues individually, Paul weaves among them his constant theme:  Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.


The Lectionary translates that same verse, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be untied in the same mind and in the same purpose.  Father John David uses no ellipses to indicate the omitted phrases, which are present in the original Greek.[10]


1 Cor 1:10

Ilaria L. E. Ramelli, “The Pastoral Epistles and Hellenistic Philosophy:  1 Timothy 5:1-2, Hierocles, and the `Contraction of Circles’”[11]

Ramelli argues,  “In 1 Tim 5:2, adelfouV (`brothers’) and adelfaV (`sisters’), too, depend on parakalei [to console, to exhort]; Paul often associates adelfoi (`brothers/siblings’) and parakalew in his authentic letters, e.g., Rom 12:1; 15:30; 16:17; 1 Cor 1:10 [used here]; 16:15.”  The Lectionary has I urge you, brothers and sisters [adelfoi] . . . 


1 Cor 1:13-17

Maria Pascuzzi, “Baptism-based Allegiance and the Divisions in Corinth:  A Reexamination of 1 Corinthians 1:13-17”[12]

Pascuzzi argues as follows,


First, Pascuzzi refers to “personality-centered politics that Paul rejects.”  Then, she explains, “the conflict was due to the negative comparison with Apollos to which his followers subjected Paul.”  Pascuzzi refers to “Apollos as a successful preacher, operating independently of Paul.”  She concludes, “Paul is a preacher, not a baptizer.”



1 Corinthians 1:13

Francis Watson, “Mistranslation and the Death of Christ:  Isaiah 53 LXX and Its Pauline Reception”[13]

In 1 Corinthians 1:13, the Lectionary has Was Paul crucified for you?  The argument concerns the Greek for you.  Watson is unwilling to look at the Greek for a resolution, insisting, “the formula remains dependent on Isaiah 53 LXX.  Without this text, there would be no basis for the claim that what took place in Christ’s death took place `for us.’”


1 Corinthians 1:13

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[14]

Wallace is silent on for you.  Wallace has another concern, namely the lack of a subject in a passive verb.  1 Corinthians 1:13 has three passive verbs:  divided, crucified, and baptized.  Without being named, God is understood as doing the acting in all three cases.


Personal Notes cites members of the Protestant Revolt in the spirit of Gerald O’Collins, S.J., writing,[15]


In fact, by allowing the liturgy to be celebrated in the vernacular, by stressing “the table of God’s word” along with the importance of the homily (no. 52), and by granting to the laity—although restricted to certain circumstances—communion “under both kinds” (no. 55), Vatican II conceded the demands of Martin Luther and other 16th-century Protestant reformers, albeit in the 20th century.  In short, while SC [Sacrosanctum concilium [sic]] did not use explicitly the language of “reform” or “reformation,” what it enacted can and should be described in those terms.



1 Corinthians 1:13

Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558), “Annotations”[16]

The Protestant revolutionary, Bugenhagen, urges,


Do not doubt that we will be glorified with Christ if we suffer with him.  But this suffering of Paul is for the church—that is, for the gospel, which he had preached to the church and now confirmed through his trials.  “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.”  Likewise, none of us suffers to himself, because “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”


A footnote explains that the excerpt alludes to 1 Cor 1:13 [used here]; Acts 9:4; Rom 14:7; Rom 8:28.  For context, Martin Luther lived 1483-1546.


1 Cor 1:13

John K. Goodrich, “`Standard of Faith’ or `Measure of a Trusteeship’?  A Study in Romans 12:3”[17]

Goodrich argues, “Paul’s use of merizw indicates that, when the verb does not describe internal division—whether in the church or in the mind (1 Cor 1:13; 7:34)—it refers to the individual distribution of some personal assignment.”  In this case, division refers to internal division.


1 Cor 1:17—2:16

George T. Montague, S.M., review of Ian W. Scott, Paul’s Way of Knowing: Story, Experience, and the Spirit[18]

Montague reports


Scott begins his work by asking whether amid the postmodern distrust of rational thought, its sense of loss of center and accompanying angst, there is a value in exploring Paul’s way of knowing.  Not alone in this endeavor, S. nevertheless provides fresh and welcome light for understanding Paul’s work as a whole.  In part [sic] 1, he examines whether and to what extent Paul believes human reason contributes to an understanding of the faith.  Counter to the view of those who hold that revelation obliterates human reason . . . S. maintains that Paul does use reason in explaining the faith in Rom 1:18-32; 1 Cor 1:17—2:16; and elsewhere.


 . . . 


This study is not the last word on understanding Paul’s epistemology, but it is a highly significant contribution to interpreting his way of knowing in the light of the grand narrative in which the apostle and his people are emplotted.


1 Cor 1:17b

William O. Walker, Jr., “Apollos and Timothy as the Unnamed `Brothers’ in 2 Corinthians 8:18-24”[19]

Walker argues,


Quite apart from the portrayal of Apollos in Acts, the characterization of the “brother” as one “for whom there is praise for his proclamation of the good news” would appear to be consistent with what Paul himself says and/or implies about Apollos in 1 Corinthians.


1 Cor 1:10-11

Scott D. Mackie, “The Two Tables of the Law and Paul’s Ethical Methodology in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 and 10:23—11:1”[20]

Mackie argues,


There is a near consensus that panta moi exestin [all things are permitted for me] represents a quotation used as a maxim by some or many at Corinth.  It is certainly emblematic of the larger issues that Paul believes threaten the integrity of the Corinthian community, chief of which are divisions within the church (1:10-11 . . . ).  According to Paul’s assessment, prideful, hierarchical assertions of spirituality and wisdom [that Personal Notes sees in the Teaching Magisterium of the Papacy ignoring and disparaging the domestic Church] are at the core of these divisions . . .  One might reasonably infer from 6:12-20 and 10:23—11:1 that some of the Corinthians believed a wise, spiritual person had the `authority’ to act with complete autonomy, dualistically disparaging embodied, communal existence in light of their knowledge and spiritual attainment.


Matthew 4:23


Matthew 4:12-23

Matthew 4:12-25

Frank J. Matera, The Sermon on the Mount:  The Perfect Measure of the Christian Life[21]

Matera argues, “Jesus is the obedient Son of God who, unlike Israel in the wilderness, does not fail when tested because he trusts in the power of God to save him (Matt 4:1-11).  He is the light that shines upon those who dwell in darkness (Matt 4:16).”  Personal Notes regards darkness as embedded in the current Papacy to the extent it continues with hierarchs who abuse children.  That is why Personal Notes thinks more are leaving than entering the Roman Catholic Church.


Matt 4:12-17

Sharon Betsworth, review of Joel Kennedy, The Recapitulation of Israel:  Use of Israel’s History in Matthew 1:1—4:11[22]

Betsworth reports Kennedy,


Points to the OT quotations as an argument for the unity of 1:1—4:11; for 4:12-17 [used here] also includes a fulfillment quotation.  K. connects the theme of kingship in Matthew 2 and 3:2, yet, although 4:12-17 concludes with Jesus’ declaration of the kingdom of heaven, K. does not include it in his discussion.  In a study arguing for the narrative unity of Matt 1:1—4:11, it would seem that 4:12-17 provides the logical conclusion of the narrative block.  Overall, however, K. covers a great deal of territory very well, helpfully expanding on previous scholarship on Matt 1:1—4:11.



Matthew 4:17, 22

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward:  A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life[23]

Rohr argues, “Although Jesus’ first preached message is clearly `change!’ (as in Mark 1:15 and Matthew 4:17 [used here]), where he told his listeners to `repent,’ which literally means to `change your mind,’ it did not strongly influence Christian history.”  Rohr goes on,


Most of the calls of the disciples in the New Testament are rather clearly invitations to leave “your father and your nets” (Matthew 4:22).  When he calls his first disciples, Jesus is talking about further journeys to people who are already happily settled and religiously settled!  He is not talking about joining a new security system or a religious denomination or even a religious order that pays all your bills.  Again, it is very surprising to me that so many Christians who read the Scriptures do not see this.  Yet maybe they cannot answer a second call because they have not yet completed the first task.  Unless you build your first house well, you will never leave it.  To build your house well is, ironically, to be nudged beyond its doors.


Matthew 4:17

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[24]

Comfort comments on the manuscripts.


Tasker . . . , speaking for the NEB [1961 New English Bible] translators, considered the possibility that the words metanoeite (“repent”) and gar (“for”) were a later assimilation of the text to 3.2 [sic], particularly as Matthew never elsewhere associates the call to repentance with Jesus.  However, since the words are present in all Greek witnesses, the NEB translators included them in the text.  And, indeed, they should be included, for it is very likely that the translators of  . . .  omitted the words to avoid having Jesus repeating the Baptist’s message verbatim (see 3:2) because it might look like Jesus was John’s follower.



Matthew 4:18-22

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Priests for the Third Millennium:  The Year for Priests[25]

Cardinal Dolan uses Matthew 4:18-22 for his Chapter 17, “Priestly Identity.”  In remembrance of Norbert Stein, S.S.J. (-12/29/01) with whom I shared seminary experiences beginning in 1955, Personal Notes includes how Dolan finishes his “Priestly Identity” chapter. 


Allow me to conclude with an old poem attributed to St. Norbert:


O Priest, who are you?

Not through yourself, for you are drawn from nothing.

Not for yourself, since you are mediator of humanity.

Not to yourself, for you are married to the Church.

Not your own, for you are the servant of all.

You are not you, for you are God.

Who are you, then?

You are nothing, and everything.


Dolan does not have the priesthood of the laity in mind, though Personal Notes does.


Personal Notes gave up systematically examining the illiterate 2011 Missal November 25, 2012.  On April 7, 2013, with Reading 045C 2nd Sunday of Easter_A Catholic Bible Study 130407, Personal Notes systematically began to incorporate material from 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).  The hope is that this approach will help pray with the new Missal, despite itself.


Catherine Vincie, “The Mystagogical Implications”[26]

Vincie explains the Mass.


Whether gathered in a barrio in South America, in a struggling parish in a US inner city, or in a wealthy suburb of London, the mystery is the same:  we are gathered into one by Christ Jesus and we manifest the true nature of the church—a communion of the love of God in Christ Jesus and in the Spirit’s power.  Gathering rites enacted week after week can lose their luster, yet they have the potential to lift us out of our malaise and become moments of revelation.  If we truly heard the words we speak, how could we not be moved?



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 



The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday is The Lord is my light and my salvation (Psalm 27:1a).[27]


In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the Gloria, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “direct our actions according to your good pleasure.”[28]


This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists call to mind with He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:  and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much (Luke 16:10).[29]  Hierarchic injustice toward sexually abused children, therefore, is injustice “in much.”

[2]  (accessed November 24, 2013 and January 2, 2017).


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (January 2011) 119.


[5] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 2 (June 2012) 303, 309.


[6] Saint Joseph Edition of The New American Bible:  Revised Edition (New Jersey:  Catholic Book Publishing Corp., 2011), 873.


[7] 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) 29-30, 224.


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2008) 250.


[9] Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2002, 351-352.


[10] 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, 441.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 3 (July 2011) 571.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 4 (October 2009) 813-829.


[13] in Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 242, 243.


[14] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 247, 436, 450.  The quote is from page 436.


[15] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 4 (December 2012) 772.


[16] 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) 164.


[17] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4 (October 2012) 758.


[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 656, 657.


[19] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2 (April 2011) 326.


[20] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 2 (April 2013) 316.


[21] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2013, 10, 11, 28, 34, 44, 48, 116.  The quote is from page 10.


[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (January 2011) 162.

[23] San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass:  A Wiley Imprint, 2011, 11, 22


[24] Carol Stream, Illinois:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008, 9.


[25] Huntington, IN 46750:  Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division:  Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 2000, 227.


[26] 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) 146-147.



[27] 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) 517.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.


[28] 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) 463.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.


[29] 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) 242, 243.