When we “have the mind of Christ” (Phil 2:15; 1 Cor 2:16), what we primarily have is not his biblical teaching. Rather, through our affection of love for him, we are inspired by uniting with his heart. . . . Still, we also retain our own distinctive heart, and so we creatively feel and do what the historical Jesus could not feel and do (Jn 14:12).
What we have is our own identity, who we are.
The above argument quiets what my pastor, Father John David Ramsey wrote in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church bulletin for December 8, 2013, the Second Sunday of Advent. Father John David emphasized the role of the Teaching Magisterium in the lives of the Faithful. This emphasis is incomplete. The Faithful also come to a deeper understanding of the teachings of Christ outside the Teaching Magisterium, because the Teaching Magisterium does not pretend to teach everything there is to learn. Father John David wrote,
. . . in order to enjoy that fullness and freedom of life that the Lord provides for us, we are all called to come to a deeper understanding of the teachings of Christ made through the magisterium—the teaching office of the Church, by studying those teachings carefully, understanding and embracing them.
Personal Notes contends that Christian families, do have things to teach the celibate hierarchic Church. “A Mutual Love Relationship with God” by Edward Collins Vacek, S.J. argues that some relationships between the Faithful and God are independent of the institutional church. The Church can learn from those relationships.
First Reading Sirach 15:15-20
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-189, 33-34 (1b)
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10
Alleluia: cf. Matthew 11:25
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-37
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.
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-189, 33-34 (1b)
Joseph M. Doyle, S.S.J., When Jesus Was Twelve
Shortly before midnight [during Passover], Jesus awakened from his deep sleep. He desired to pray and the words of a psalm (119:) came to him: “At midnight I will rise and thank you for your just decrees.” There was a door that led to a magnificent garden filled with roses and clusters of green grass. Since it was a cold night, Jesus wrapped his tunic around him and painfully made his way into the garden to pray. Once again, as in the Temple, he slowly prostrated himself on the ground and prayed to his “Abba.” And once again, as in the Temple, his body and soul were filled with light and warmth. There was even a sensation of healing that ran through his whole body, but especially in the area of his wounded side.
1 Corinthians 2:6-10
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.
1 Cor 2:7
Mary Collins and Edward Foley, “Mystagogy: Discerning the Mystery of Faith”
Collins and Foley note, “Various forms of mustérion occur twenty-eight times in the NT, mostly in Paul.” God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden
1 Cor 2:6-8
Francis Watson, “Mistranslation and the Death of Christ: Isaiah 53 LXX and Its Pauline Reception”
Isaiah 53 provides Paul with lexical and semantic resources that enable him to present the death of Christ not primarily as a human act of rebellion (cf. 1 Thess 2:14-16); 1 Cor 2:6-8 [used here]) but as the saving act of God. It is through Isaiah 53 that the soteriological significance of Jesus’ death initially comes to light.
1 Cor 2:7-15
Edward Collins Vacek, S.J., “Discernment Within a Mutual Love Relationship with God: A New Theological Foundation”
Religious awareness contributes to moral judgment a dimension that is necessarily absent from what a hypothetical atheist might experience. Born of God’s Spirit of love, we make judgments as persons who participate in the loving reign of God (Jn 3:3-7; 1 Cor 2:7-15 [used here]). This relationship frees, forms, and informs us.
. . .
But religious persons may also correctly connect these insights with God. The connection may be either external or internal. On the one hand, it may happen that we recognize that an insight has a finite origin, but we subsequently offer thanks to God as the giver of all gifts. An internal connection, on the other hand, occurs when this inspiration is experienced as flowing from our philia. We are formed by this love. When we “have the mind of Christ” (Phil 2:15; 1 Cor 2:16), what we primarily have is not his biblical teaching. Rather, through our affection of love for him, we are inspired by uniting with his heart. This “form” of his heart forms our heart. That is, we cofeel [sic] his affections, so that his affections form the ordo amoris of our own heart (1 Cor 2:9-16 [used here]; Jn 14:7, 26; 1 Jn 3:24). To use an older term, his virtues are “infused” in us. Still, we also retain our own distinctive heart, and so we creatively feel and do what the historical Jesus could not feel and do (Jn 14:12).
1 Corinthians 2:7-8, 10
Philip Comfort, “The Significance of the Papyri in Revising the New Testament Greek Text and English Translations”
Comfort notes, “chapter 2 focuses on the need for believers to receive revelation from the Spirit of God to truly understand all the hidden secret riches of God that are in Christ Jesus (see 2:7-8).” In his church bulletin for December 8, 2013, my pastor, John David Ramsey, writes
Thus, in order to enjoy that fullness and freedom of life that the Lord provides for us, we are all called to come to a deeper understanding of the teachings of Christ made known through the magisterium—the teaching office—of the Church, by studying those teachings carefully, understanding and embracing them.
Father John David is using the Teaching Magisterium as a sure guide to the meaning of Sacred Scripture.
Personal Notes cites members of the Protestant Revolt in the spirit of Gerald O’Collins, S.J., writing,
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 2:8
Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558), “Annotations on Ephesians”
The Protestant revolutionary, Bugenhagen, proclaims, “It was God’s plan to turn the stupidity of the world into wisdom, to lead it to glory by the cross and to life through death, as you read in 1 Corinthians 2:8: “if the rulers of this age had known the wisdom of God, which is the cross of Christ, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory.” The Lectionary has, if they [the rulers of this age] had known it [God’s wisdom], they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Bugenhagen has taken liberty with the original Greek, which Personal Notes observes but does not necessarily fault.
For context, Martin Luther lived 1483-1546. Luther was two years older than Bugenhagen.
1 Corinthians 2:9
Girolamo Zanchi (1516-1590), “of Eternal Life”
The Protestant revolutionary, Zanchi alludes to 1 Corinthians 2:9,
And in that city shall be no more night, neither shall there be need for any candle or sunlight, because the Lord shall give us light and we shall reign forever and ever with Christ Jesus our head, spouse, Savior and our Lord, to whom be praise, honor and glory, world without end. Amen.
For context, the Council of Trent lasted from 1545 until 1563
1 Corinthians 2:9
Thomas Cartwright (1535-1606), Commentary on Colossians 3:4”
Cartwright, the Protestant revolutionary, alludes to 1 Corinthians 2:9, when he exhorts,
If the master’s glory is presently hidden, then the servant should be content with the same sort of glory. Don’t be discouraged that you are taken lightly. Remember that you are in a strange country. For a person does not pay attention to how he is taken in a strange country, and neither should we. The home country is what matters. Here we are strangers, so what does it matter if we are condemned. Keep in mind that when Christ shall appear, we shall appear also—that is, in [sic] the last day with him in glory.
1 Cor 2:9
John Paul Heil, review of Maria Teresa Giordano, La parola della croce: L’itinerario paradossale della Sapienza divina in 1 Cor 1, 18—3, 4
Heil is not bashful.
Surprisingly, the rhetorical analysis at the heart of this work, which is centered on a unit that contains several scriptural quotations (1:19, 31; 2:9 [used here], 16), demonstrates very little knowledge of recent scholarly research on the rhetorical use of Scripture in Paul, including my own work (The Rhetorical Role of Scripture in 1 Corinthians (SBL Studies in Biblical Literature; Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005)). The employment of such recent work on Pauline scriptural quotations would have deepened G.’s rhetorical analysis. G. admits that her work is intended as only the beginning of an analysis of 1 Corinthians 1—4 in the light of ancient rhetoric. But her study represents a noteworthy contribution for others to build upon. It can be recommended to Pauline specialists and to those interested in the ongoing trend of rhetorical approaches to the NT.
The substance of the study is that “the world of the cross as a divine mystery . . . can be known only by the grace of God mediated by the Holy Spirit.”
1 Cor 2:9
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”
Omitting his many scriptural references, Mackie argues,
Nor should anachronistic notions of what constitutes and motivates love be allowed to control the discussion, for as Jacqueline E. Lapsley has recently observed, “The objection that feelings cannot be commanded relies on the modern notions not only that feelings exist within the private world of the individual, but also that they are uncontrollable.” In fact, the command to love God should be understood as advocating, an addition to loyal obedience, an emotional response commensurate with the passionate love God has first shown Israel. Such passion and emotions are not foreign to the Jesus tradition, and Paul himself also seems to possess a Deuteronomic understanding of reciprocative love, with the believer’s love for God offered in response to God’s prior demonstration of love. Remarkably, Paul prioritizes love over faith at the conclusion of his “chapter on love”.
cf. Matthew 11:25
Matthew 5:19, 22, 25, 27, 28, 30, 32
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
These verses deal with anger and human sexuality. Manuscripts vary. The Lectionary sometimes agrees with Nestle-Aland Greek, sometimes not. The material is too technical to unscramble here. The point for Personal Notes is not to be overly self-righteous when deciding the ethics of anger and human sexuality.
Kaspar Olevianus (1536-1587), “Sermons on Galatians”
The Protestant Revolutionary, Olevianus, explains, “Matthew 5[:17-48] teaches what this new obedience is like according to all the commandments.” The Lectionary, Matthew 5:71, has, I have not come to abolish but to fulfill.
Frank J. Matera, The Sermon on the Mount: The Perfect Measure of the Christian Life
Because I regard the spiritual life as prioritizing that truth should determine politics, rather than politics truth, I regard verses 33-37, Let your `Yes’ mean `Yes,” and your `No” mean `No,’ as particularly significant. While not mentioning anything about “mental reservation,” Matera unscrambles some of the meaning as follows.
. . . whereas the righteousness of the Pharisees and scribes is a righteousness based on fulfilling their oaths, the more abundant righteousness of Jesus’ disciples is a righteousness based on their perfect integrity and honesty that no longer requires them to take oaths to assure others of their honesty.
Brad H. Young, review of Hiroaki Yoshimura, Did Jesus Cite Isa 6:9-10? Jesus’ Saying in Mark 4:11-12, and the Isaianic Idea of Hardening the Remnant
Young uses the word “remnant” at least six times in his report. “The prophetic concept of remnant is designed to bring restoration rather than to create a new people as Y. claims.” Young reports, “Y. comes to far-reaching conclusions concerning the purpose of the parables that are not warranted by the evidence.”
Edward Kessler, “`I am Joseph, Your Brother’: A Jewish Perspective on Christian-Jewish Relations Since Nostra Aetate No. 4”
The early church distinguished between those elements of the Old Testament that continued to carry force after the coming of Christ and those that were no more than a shadow: one approach emphasizes a break with Scripture involving a new covenant with God (Luke 22:20; Heb 8:8-13), depicting Judaism as old and superseded; a second describes Jesus as a fulfillment of what was prophesied in the Bible, which remains in a typological relationship to it (1 Cor 10:1-11; Mt. 5:17).
Matthew W. Bates, “Cryptic Codes and a Violent King: A New Proposal for Matthew 11:12 and Luke 16:16-18”
I contend that Jesus is not just offering a platitudinous, gnomic reply to the Pharisees regarding divorce in 16:17-18, as one might think if one were to explicate this as if it were an isolated fragment in light of its parallels in Matt 5:18 [used here], 32 (cf. Mark 10:11-12; 13:31; 1 Cor 7:10-11). Rather, Luke 16:16-18 is a unit, and it is aimed via code at Antipas, who upon becoming enamored of his niece Herodias, the wife of his half-brother Philip, divorced the Nabatean princess to whom he was married and married Herodias. . . . The mere mention of John the Baptist in 16:16 when followed by remarks about illicit divorce and remarriage would have been enough for those with “ears to hear,” that is, those with knowledge of the hidden transcript, to think of Antipas and his misconduct.
Lidija Novakovic, review of Jonathan T. Pennington, Heaven and earth in the Gospel of Matthew
Novakovic reports “The claim that all references to heaven and earth belong to Matthew’s idiolectic language is forced. Some occurrences, such as 5:18 [used here]; 11:25; and 24:35, are clearly traditional,” until heaven and earth pass away (Matthew 5:19).
Brian J. Wright, “Greek Syntax as a Criterion of Authenticity: A New Discussion and Proposal”
Wright is referring to “aorist third person negated imperatives,” which in this context are leave your gift and be reconciled. Wright argues,
Given these arguments, and especially those advanced in this article, it is again not difficult to propose that the aorist third person negated imperative preserved the earliest form of each [Jewish and early Christian] tradition and possibly points to the ipsissima verba of Jesus in Greek, even without some sort of introductory formula. . . .
Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
By the second half of life, you have been in regular unwelcome contact with your shadow self, which gradually detaches you from your not-too-bright persona (meaning “stage mask” in Greek) that you so diligently constructed in the first half of life. Your stage mask is not bad, evil, or necessarily egocentric; it is just not “true.” It is manufactured and sustained unconsciously by your mind; but it can and will die, as all fictions must die.
Michael G. Lawler and Todd A. Salzman, “Virtue Ethics: Natural and Christian”
Lawler and Salzman argue,
Having the mind of Christ as an essential specification of their character, Christians habitually act out of that mind, so that not only do they become and act more and more as Christ did, but also, like Aristotle’s fully virtuous man, they gladly do as Christ did. They act, as the new Testament regularly says, out of their “heart” (e.g., Mt. 5:8, 28 [used here]; 6:21; 12:34, 40; 13:15; 15:8, 18, 19; 22:37), which, in Jewish anthropology, is the zone of “intelligence, mind, wisdom, folly, intention, plan, will, affection, love, hate, sight, regard, blindness.”
Consideration of the “heart” leads us immediately to the virtue Aquinas called “the mother and root of all virtues” and “the most excellent of the virtues,” namely, caritas, charity or self-sacrificing love.
Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament
Wallace waxes on,
Widespread misunderstanding persists about Greek conditions. On any Sunday [sic] misinformation about conditional clauses is communicated from pulpit to pew. Whole theological systems and lifestyles are sometimes built on such misunderstandings.
By way of a crude illustration, several years ago a student at a Christian college in a major midwestern city was reading the Sermon on the Mount. This pious young man came across Matt 5:29 (if your right eye offends you, pluck it out”). [The Lectionary has, If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.] His understanding of Greek was that since this was a first class condition, it meant since. And, obedient to scripture, he proceeded to gouge his eye with a screwdriver! The young man survived the self-mutilation, but lost his eye. A particular understanding of conditions certainly impacted his lifestyle!
Peter F. Ryan, S.J., and Germain Grisez, “Indissoluble Marriage: A Reply to Kenneth Himes and James Coriden”
This article by two celibate males is a diatribe, explained by the editors of Theological Studies, “The article is a reply to one by Kenneth Himes and James Coriden published in our September 2004 issue. Except for minor stylistic changes, the article is published as it was received.” In other words, the article was not subjected to the usual peer review. Overriding the editor, the Vatican insisted on publication. In a matter of full disclosure, Personal Notes cites Grisez at Reading 160A for November 23, 2008 and Reading #667, for November 1, 2009.
I have not read and do not intend to read the original article by Himes and Coriden. My reason for lack of interest is their lack of citing Sacred Scripture in their article. I must admit, however, that Ryan and Grisez are unconvincing that marriage is indissoluble.
Ryan and Grisez use It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you whoever divorces his wife—unless the marriage is unlawful—causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery in support of their argument that sacramental marriage, ratum et consummatum, is indissoluble.
Readers can expect further reference to this article at Reading 140B and 168B, during the next liturgical cycle.
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Priests for the Third Millennium: The Year for Priests
As deeply in sexual cover-up as Cardinal Dolan is, one wonders about the integrity of the following insight.
A third specific area where our people expect integrity from their priests is in always telling the truth. “All you need say is `yes’ when you mean yes, `no’ when you mean no; anything else comes from the evil one, warns Jesus (Matthew 5:37 [The Lectionary has, Let your `Yes’ mean `yes’, and your `No’ mean `No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.]), whom St. Paul describes as “never yes and no, but always yes” (2 Corinthians 1:19). Or, as Cardinal Newman wrote, “Let us aim at knowing when we understand a truth, and when we do not.”
David J. Downs, review of Christopher L. Carter, The Great Sermon Tradition as a Fiscal Framework in 1 Corinthians: Towards a Pauline Theology of Material Possessions
Downs finds Carter problematic.
Yet, given that Paul does cite specific commands of Jesus in 1 Cor 7:10-11 (cf. Matt 5:32 [used here]; 9:14, and 1:23-35, C. does not adequately explain why Paul would avoid reference to financial material from Matthew 5—7 and Luke 6 (in 1 Corinthians and elsewhere), if these “Great sermons” decisively shaped his fiscal thought.
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 www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes
The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday is Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! (Psalm 119:1b).
In the gobbledygook, prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the Gloria, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “hearts that are just and true.”
This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (James 2:26). Works are best when coming from a mature spiritual life.
 Edward Collins Vacek, S.J., “Discernment Within a Mutual Love Relationship with God: A New Theological Foundation,” Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 2013) 707.
 As cited in Michael G. Lawler and Todd A. Salzman, “Virtue Ethics: Natural and Christian,” Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 2 (June 2013) 449.
 Phoenix, Arizona: Tau Publishing, LLC, 2012, 70.
 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+119&version=KJV (accessed December 9, 2013).
 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) 88n56.
 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) 241.
 Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 2013) 705, 707.
 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) 83.
 Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 4 (December 2012) 772.
 in Reformation Commentary on Scripture: New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011) 312.
 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) 31.
 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) 216.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2013) 150.
 Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008, 10-12.
 in Reformation Commentary on Scripture: New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray (Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011) 116.
 Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2013, viii, 6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 42, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 88, 104. The quote is on page 59.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2013) 88.
 Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 306, 437, 475, 681 (source of the quote).
 Theological Studies, Vol. 72, No. 2 (June 2011) 369, 381.
 http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/vatican-pressures-theology-journal (accessed December 12, 2013). https://www.commonwealmagazine.org/blog/theological-studies-and-editorial-independence (accessed December 12, 2013).
 Huntington, IN 46750: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division: Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 2000, 104.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 3 (July 2011) 615.
 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) 563. Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.
 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) 466. Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.
 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) 273-274.