Accepting bodily resurrection is essential to Christian Faith.


First Reading: Jeremiah 17:5-8


Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6 (Psalm 40:5-a)

            Psalm 1

            Anthony R. Ceresko, O.S.F.S., "Endings and Beginnings: Alphabetic Thinking and the Shaping of Psalms 106 and 150"[1]

            Psalm 1 is a six-verse psalm.  The psalmist is thinking acrostically, that is, with a purpose to teach and to learn wisdom.  That “the way of the wicked vanishes” at the conclusion of the psalm indicates how the psalmist is thinking.


            Psalm 1:3

            Patrick W. Skehan, Eugene Ulrich, Peter W. Flint, “A Scroll Containing `Biblical’ and `Apocryphal’ Psalms: A Preliminary Edition of 4QPsf (4Q88)”[2]

            The Dead Sea Scrolls contain a hymn associated with the tree in Psalm 1:3 “planted beside the waters,” a tree that the Lectionary associates with the tree in Jeremiah 17:8.  I have great respect for Eugene Ulrich and those with whom he chooses to associate.


Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20

To begin, 1 Corinthians 15:20 is used both here and in Reading 160 on page 976 in the Lectionary.  The difference is that the “But now” read today does not appear in the Twenty-fourth or Last Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The Greek contains “But now,” meaning, “in fact” or “actually.”


The Greek for vain, in the phrase, “your faith is vain,” connotes pointless.  The Greek for for this life only connotes less a sense of purpose than a sense of time.  Bodily resurrection is essential to Christian hope, according to the Greek for this Lectionary reading.


            1 Corinthians 15:1-47

            David J. Downs, "`Early Catholicism’ and Apocalypticism in the Pastoral Epistles”[3]

            1 Corinthians 15:1-47 is apocalyptic, maintaining a tension between the last things, not yet obtained, and the last things already obtained.  In other words, the fullness of grace is yet to come, although grace is already present in the hearts of the Faithful.


            1 Corinthians 15

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

            Barker insists on secrets among elite participants in both the First and New Testaments.  I understand neither the secrets, nor who has them, nor why, according to Barker.


            1 Corinthians 15:16-17

            Frank J. Matera, "Christ in the Theologies of Paul and John: A Study in the Diverse Unity of New Testament Theology"[5]

            Paul takes the scandal of the Cross to explain the meaning of Christ.  In contrast, John takes the scandal of the Incarnation to witness that same meaning of Christ.  The scandal of the Incarnation is the God, whom the universe cannot contain, become human.  Mary, therefore, contained in her womb the God the universe cannot contain.  That is the scandal of the Incarnation, about which John marvels.


            1 Corinthians 15:20

            Bruce J. Malina, “Christ and Time: Swiss or Mediterranean?[6]

            Firstfruits symbolizes the whole harvest.  The Middle East did not have the distinction between potency and act as understood by Aristotle and later Western philosophy.  In Western Civilization, potency and act are distinct and separate.  In the Middle East at the time of Jesus, that separation was not understood.  Potency was part of act.  Firstfruits was part of the whole harvest, not simply a potential symbol thereof.


Alleluia: Luke 6:23ab


Gospel: Luke 6:17, 20-26

            Luke 6:22-26

            Susan R. Garrett, “Exodus from Bondage: Luke 9:31 and Acts 12:1-24”[7]

            The image is of the Exodus into the Promised Land.  Within the context of the Lectionary, the Promised Land is the land of the resurrected body.  The geography of where that land is belongs not only to the hearts of the Faithful, but also, according to Catholic doctrine, to an unidentified physical place somewhere.


            Luke 6:20-49

            Patrick T. McCormick, “Violence: Religion, Terror, War”[8]

            McCormick asks the question of how the biblical command to love enemies should inform the response of the United States to terrorism.



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

[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2006) 34.


[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 2 (April 1998) 280.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (October 2005) 659.


[4] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003, 13.


[5] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 2 (June 2006) 245.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 1 (January 1989) 16.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 4 (October 1990) 661.


[8] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 1 (March 2006) 153.