Readings

First Reading:                   Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46

Responsorial Psalm           Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 11 (7)

Second Reading               1 Corinthians 10:31—11:1

Alleluia                              Luke 7:16

Gospel:                             Mark 1 40-45

 

Commentary

The leper in Mark required courage to approach Jesus and said, “if you wish, you can make me clean.”  As part of the Mystical body of Christ, the Faithful can join the leper in the liturgy, asking God to cleanse the Church of embarrassment, especially embarrassment associated with covering up institutional faults.

Errors, embarrassment, hurt feelings, and courage are part of breaking down Church arrogance.  In a democracy, the Faithful form public policy out of a consensus of public opinion.  Public policy in a democracy does not change values; it finds values already present.  The function of moral theology and the Church, however, is to change values to be more Christocentric.[1]

My perception of the know-it-all arrogance of the Roman Catholic hierarchy seems to set the tone for academics at all levels of clergy.  With few exceptions, the clergy as a group dare not value scholarship for fear of losing their stations in life.  As Richard A.  McCormick, S.J.  puts it, “because of the fear in some places that theologians are usurping the teaching prerogatives of the hierarchy by presenting their writings as practical, pastoral moral guidelines.”[2]  The hierarchy, able to remove clergy from ministry, attacks scholarly dissent.[3]  As the recently deceased Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., put it, the Church has vehemently attacked modern civilization for a century.[4]  That is the arrogance from which I sadly distance myself, especially since I own the web site, www.  western-civilization.com

Richard A.  McCormick, S.J.  maintains that the Faithful have a right and obligation to participate in the development of Church social teaching.[5]  This is hardly going to happen if the hierarchy attacks its own people for courage to dissent from proclamations of the Magisterium.  Such courage is part of the identity of being an American in the United States—otherwise, we would be still singing, “God save the Queen.”  In the final analysis, dissent is a matter of human rights.

I fear to write it, but without dissent, the Church becomes a Nazi type of society, a society that fights with the Holy Spirit directing the Church in truth, truth that necessarily reflects the will of God.

In the Lectionary, the Gospel of Mark has the leper kneeling down.  Genuflect derives from the Greek for kneeling down.  Such an approach to the liturgy runs the risk of enabling the hierarchy to be arrogant.  The Faithful can join with the penitential Psalm 32, turning to the Lord, in time of trouble.  As the Faithful struggle to improve their environment, they can join with Saint Paul, trying to please everyone in every way … that they may be saved.

 

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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. 

 

Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46

 

Psalm 32:1-2, 5, 11 (7)

Psalm 32:1-5

Celia M.  Deutsch, review of Aaron Milavec, Salvation Is from the Jews (John 4:22): Saving Grace in Judaism and Messianic Hope in Christianity[6]

Milavec convincingly argues that Psalm 32:1-5 shows that the Jews can find forgiveness apart from Jesus.  Deutsch, however, also finds flaws and errors in Milavec.  Deutsch concludes, “Milavec's book, however, needs to be read critically and supplemented by more complete and nuanced work.”

 


Psalm 32:1, 2, 5, 7

Codex Sinaiticus[7]

The Codex offers background for the Psalm.

There is a word for sin in verses 1, 2, and 5.  The same verses use another word for guilt.  Sin and guilt are separable.  God can forgive both.

 

In verse 5, the Codex has a reference to heart, which, evidently is cleansed of sin.

As shown on the next several lines, Verse 7 reflects sloppy scholarship, again.

 

The reading for today for verse 7 is as follows:

I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

 

In Reading 93C for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time verse 7 is as follows:

You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me; with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.

 

The Codex seems to support Reading 93C.

 

1 Corinthians 10:31—11:1

1 Cor 11:1

Zeba A.  Crook, review of Robert L.  Plummer, Paul’s Understanding of the Church’s Mission: Did the Apostle Paul Expect Early Christian Communities to Evangelize?[8]

Crook thinks Plummer is arrogant in the way he ignores other scholars.  This is the arrogance reflected above the double line.

 

Luke 7:16

 

Mark 1 40-45

The Greek apparatus has a problem with the leper kneeling down or genuflecting, which some manuscripts omit.

 


Mark 1:40

Codex Sinaiticus[9]

The Codex Greek agrees with the eclectic Greek, but not entirely.  In the Codex printout there is an apparatus sign, like a T.  At the same place, the eclectic apparatus indicates some of the words the eclectic uses, some manuscripts do not use.  From what I can tell, the Greek word for and or very appears twice in the eclectic, but only once in the Codex.  In place of the second and is a T.  The Greek printout lacks accent and aspiration marks and I am not looking at the photographs to see if those marks are there.  I intend to do that later.  One thing at a time for now.  My focus is on annotating the scholarship.  The Greek is just a sideline.

 

Mark 1:43-45

Harry Fleddermann, "`And He Wanted to Pass by Them’ (Mark 6:48C)"[10]

Fleddermann notes, “Frequently in Mark there is within the same episode an element of revelation and an element of concealment …”

 

Mark 1:1

Edward L.  Bode, review of Vittorio Fusco, Nascondimento e rivelazione: Studi sul Vangelo di Marco[11]

Fusco argues that Mark is about concealment and secrecy as to the divinity of Jesus.  Fusco finds various themes in Mark, none of which relates to believe and repent, below.

 

Mark 1:1-15

Alicia Batten, review of Jean Delorme, Parole et récit évangéliques: Études sur l’évangile de Marc[12]

Delorme argues that repent and believe reflects “the orientation of the Gospel as a whole.”  We might watch for this theme throughout this liturgical cycle of readings.  One problem is remembering to do it.  The other problem is whether other scholars, such as Fusco above, recognize and accept the same theme.  These Notes mention the review by Batten of Delorme at reading 068B, The Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, January 25, 2009.  We are no longer going to watch for a repent and believe theme in Mark.

 

Mark 2:1

Dennis M.  Sweetland, review of Santiago Guijarro Oporto, Jesús y sus primeros discipulos[13]

Guijarro reconstructs the historic Jesus, but with limited resources.  Guijarro deals with the concealment problem.  Sweetland does not find Guijarro convincing, except for those already convinced.

 

 

For my background and more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes.

 



[1] Richard A. McCormick, S.J., The Critical Calling: Reflections on Moral Dilemmas Since Vatican II (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1989, 2006) 198.

 

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

 

[3] See Richard A. McCormick, S.J., The Critical Calling: Reflections on Moral Dilemmas Since Vatican II (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1989, 2006) and Charles E. Curran, The Moral Theology of Pope John Paul II (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2005).

 

[4] Avery Dulles, S.J., “The Theologian and the Magisterium,” Proceedings of the Catholic Theological Society of America 31 (1976):235-246 at 240 as quoted and cited at Richard A. McCormick, S.J., The Critical Calling: Reflections on Moral Dilemmas Since Vatican II (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1989, 2006), 33, 45 fn 26.

 

[5] Richard A. McCormick, S.J., The Critical Calling: Reflections on Moral Dilemmas Since Vatican II (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1989, 2006) 158.

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (July 2008) 840.

 

[7] http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/en/manuscript.aspx?book=26&chapter=31&inputControl=420&lid=en&side=r&zoomSlider=0 090104. Psalm 32 in the Lectionary is Psalm 31 in the Codex Sinaiticus.

 

[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (July 2007) 828.

 

[9] http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/en/manuscript.aspx?book=34&chapter=1&inputControl=420&lid=en&side=r&verse=36&zoomSlider=0  081227.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 45, No.  (July 1983) 390.

 

[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (July 2008) 367-368.

 

[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (July 2007) 820.

 

[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (July 2008) 371.