Bernard Lonergan is one of the greatest theologians of today, who has never interested me.  One of the reasons is that he confuses effects with causes.  That is why others find him difficult to understand.


Lonergan begins with the effect of Christ being God, namely resurrecting the son of the widow of Nain, to argue that resurrecting that son is the cause of Christ being God. 


Scholar Raymond Moloney, S.J. explains,


Lonergan’s general notion . . . that by his subjectivity Christ has . . . a world-with-him of other persons, with whom he is aware of living.  In that world [sic] persons are known not as objects, but as subjects, creatures of fellow-feeling.  We might see instances of this kind of relationship at work in Christ’s spontaneous reaction to the plight of . . . the widow of Nain in Luke 7:13.


In other words:  Lonergan places other persons within the self, before they are known outside the self.  Lonergan misrepresents the cause of knowing how others feel, as the effect of how the subject knows them.  Lonergan says other people feel the way they do because yet others perceive them feeling that way.  Lonergan loses his way between objectivity and subjectivity and between cause and effect.


In the case of the widow of Nain, according to Lonergan, Jesus feels his pain as her pain; rather than her pain as his pain.  Jesus, then, resurrects the son, because of his own distress, rather than the distress of the widow.  Lonergan is caught on the explosive petard of how Christ as God can know anything as human.  Lonergan seems educated beyond his ability to learn.  As human, Jesus, the Christ, is always human, even when humans do not understand.


What a wonderful gift Jesus is to humanity.  That gift, through grace, not only lives in the Faithful, but it also finds its sustenance in Sacred Scripture.  Contemplating the gift of grace, the Faithful can pray the Mass.


The Faithful can listen for the priest to pray “O God, from whom all good things come . . . ”[1]  Those good things include the Word of God, about to be heard, and the lives of the Faithful, always witnessed.


The Responsorial Antiphon is I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me  (Psalm 30:2a).  In this case, the Lord is rescuing the Faithful from the illiterate nonsense of the 2011 Missal.  While the words of the Missal make little to no sense, the Faithful still make their presence a type of holocaust of praise.


And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted (Isaiah 12:4).[2]  For the Faithful today, Isaiah has in mind the difficult times the Church faces with the current dysfunctional Papacy.  At Mass, the Faithful still praise God and exalt his holy name in the hope of better things to come.





First Reading                     1 Kings 17:17-24

Psalm:                              Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13 (2a)

Second Reading                Galatians 1:11-19

Alleluia Verse                    Luke 7:16

Gospel:                             Luke 7:11-17


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.


In the past ten years, this is the only time Personal Notes has used Reading 90C.  I have not translated any of the readings for the purpose of marking verses.


1 Kings 17:17-24


1 Kings 17—2 Kings 2

Kathryn L. Roberts, "God, Prophet, and King: Eating and Drinking on the Mountain in First Kings 18:41”[3]

Roberts argues that 1 Kings presents Elijah in the tradition of a new Moses.


1 Kings 17

Brian Britt, "Prophetic Concealment in a Biblical Type Scene”[4]

Britt argues that this scene follows a pattern, including (1) announcement, Why have you done this to me, O man of God; (2) journey, Elijah went to Zarephath of Sidon, (3) two encounters, Give me your son, and gave him to his mother, when the life breath returned to the child’s body, (4) conversion, Now Indeed I know that you are a man of God.


1 Kings 17:8-24

Andrew E. Arterbury, “Breaking the Betrothal Bonds:  Hospitality in John 4”[5]

Arterbury uses the relationship between the widow of Zarephath as part of his argument “that traveling prophets were some of the most common guests in Jewish and early Christian hospitality contexts.”


1 Kings 17:18

Andrew Willet (1562-1621), “Commentary on Genesis 8:1”[6]

Willet explains, “God is said to remember a person’s sins when he punishes them, as the widow in 1 Kings 17:18 said to the prophet, `Have you come to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?’”  Willet lived just after the Council of Trent, 1545-1563.  Willet was eighteen years older than Saint Vincent de Paul, 1580-1660.



1 Kings 17:17-24

Mary Ann Beavis, “The Resurrection of Jephthah’s Daughter:  Judges 11:34-40 and Mark 5:21-24, 35-43”[7]

Beavis includes the resurrection of the widow’s son in 1 Kings as part of her rejection of “some scholars [who] describe the miracle [of Jephthah’s daughter in Mark] as a resuscitation from a coma rather than a resurrection.”


1 Kings 17:21

William Bales, “The Descent of Christ in Ephesians 4:9”[8]

After recognizing a parallel between Paul healing Eutychus, Bales goes on to argue, “Throughout the Book of Acts, the life, ministry, and destiny of Christ are recapitulated in and through the members of the church.”


Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11, 12, 13 (2a)

Psalm 30

Joel S. Burnett, "The Question of Divine Absence in Israelite and West Semitic Religion”[9]

The Responsorial Antiphon is I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.  Burnett uses Claus Westermann to include Psalm 30 in a “form-critical category of psalms of declarative praise or thanksgiving” and a means “for celebrating divine presence in worship.”


Psalm 30:4

Richard J. Bautch, “An Appraisal of Abraham’s Role in Postexilic Covenants”[10]

Butch includes you preserved me (Psalm 30:4) to argue for an implication “that the immanent God is both personal and constant.  That is, the divine life giver who fashions all creatures is constantly within them, to enliven and if need be to protect them on an ongoing basis.”



Psalm 30:5

John T. Willis, review of Samantha Joo, Provocation and Punishment: The Anger of God in the Book of Jeremiah and Deuteronomistic Theology[11]

For his anger lasts but a moment illustrates “biblical texts typically connect God’s anger and mercy in the same pericope or context.”


Galatians 1:11-19

Gal 1:11

William O. Walker, Jr., “1 Corinthians 15:29-34 as a Non-Pauline Interpolation”[12]

Walker argues that the Greek for of human origin in the gospel preached by me is not of human origin is language Paul uses.  Along with Rom 3:5, 1 Cor 3:3; 9:8 and Galatians 3:15, the phrase is used “nowhere in the remainder of the NT.”  Neither does the Lectionary use Galatians 1:11.


Galatians 1:11-17

John David Ramsey, A Precarious Faith:  The Tri-une Dynamic of the Christian Life[13]

Father John David Ramsey is my pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News, Virginia.  Precarious in A Precarious Faith carries the meaning that care needs to be taken to maintain Faith, rather than Faith is fragile and easily lost.  In the summer issue of The Journal of African American History, Sandra C. Duvivier uses precarious in the sense of something fragile:  “freedom was a precarious concept for fugitives who, if recaptured, would be returned to slavery” and “an enslaved woman who has a precarious relationship to bondage and freedom . . . perceives escape as an act of betrayal against these slave owners [who treated her well].”

In a footnote, Father John David explains what he means.


The word “precarious” is particularly apt.  It is derived from the Latin adjective precarious, “obtained by or depending on . . . prayer,” which in turn is derived from the noun prex, précis, “prayer.”  Thus, in addition to its more common sense of “open to failure, insecure, characterized by instability,” the word also has the related (and, for theology, very appropriate) sense of “depending on the will or pleasure of another.”  Cf. Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language (G. and C. Merriam Co., 1934).



The 2013 Unabridged Merriam-Webster Dictionary has, “archaic : depending on the will or pleasure of another : held on sufferance : liable to be changed or lost at the pleasure of another,” meaning that Father John David is using an archaic definition.  In any event, Duvivier uses precarious in the sense of depending on the will of another, in this case, White people.


Father John David uses Galatians 1:11-17 to argue “Paul is never in doubt about his role as an apostle.”  Nor did I go up to Jerusalem . . . rather, I went into Arabia and then returned to Damascus.  In other words, Paul did not need the institutional Church because he was “one of those personally chosen and sent out by Christ as a witness to the gospel.”  Paul spent three years nurturing his precarious Faith, before he went to Jerusalem to confer.


Gal 1:11-12

Helen R. Graham, M.M., review, Sephen E. Witmer, Divine Instruction in Early Christianity[14]

Graham reports that Witmer uses Galatians 1:11-12, through a revelation of Jesus Christ, to argue that this is one of “only a few passages [that] bring didactic terminology into close combination with reference to God.”  Graham concludes, “Witmer concludes with an earnest call for further study of this important aspect of Christian self-understanding [divine instruction], which has continued to influence later Christian (and Jewish) tradition since the writing of the NT.


Gal 1:11-12

Patricia M. McDonald, review of Hendrikus Boers, Christ in the Letters of Paul: In Place of a Christology[15]

McDonald reports that Boers argues, that “Paul’s encounters with Christ [Galatians 1:11-12 [used here] and 1 Cor 15:5-10 used in Reading 75C] serve to underline the independent nature of his ministry and to justify Paul’s freedom to continue to interpret Jesus in different circumstances.”  McDonald concludes, “It [the book] is a serious attempt at redirecting attention to the specifics of the primary text, as we struggle to understand Paul’s expression of what God has done in and through Christ.”


Gal 1:12, 15-16

Frank J. Matera, "Christ in the Theologies of Paul and John: A Study in the Diverse Unity of New Testament Theology"[16]

Matera argues that God . . . had set me apart is the most important text for understanding the call of Paul.  Being “set apart” is a factor examined in Same Call, Different Men.[17]


Gal 1:12

Kevin P. Sullivan, review of Murray J. Harris, The Second Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text[18]

Sullivan reports that Harris “neatly outlines the various interpretations offered for this passage, [through a revelation], and shows a thorough knowledge of the relatively recent scholarly work on heavenly ascents.”  Sullivan characterizes Harris as “a work of impressive scale and erudition.”


Galatians 1:12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 13-15

Alain Gignac, “A Translation That Induces a Reading Experience:  Narrativity, Intratextuality, Rhetorical Performance, and Galatians 1—2”[19]

Gignac goes into detail that “When translating Paul, it is particularly difficult to follow along with the subtleties of semantic cross-references within a single paragraph or even between two chapters that are quite far apart.  Let’s give a few examples . . . .” including some from Galatians.  That helps explain why I label the 2011 Missal illiterate.



Gal 1:13-14

Robert C. Tannehill, review of Richard I. Pervo, Dating Acts: Between the Evangelists and the Apologists[20]

Tannehill reports that Pervo uses Galatians 1:13-14, I was even more a zelot [sic] , to date Acts between 110 and 120 A.D.  Pervo makes a good case, but “should not be taken as the final word.”


Gal 1:13-14

Vincent M. Smiles, "The Concept of `Zeal’ in Second-Temple Judaism and Paul's Critique of It in Romans 10:2”[21]

Smiles elaborates on zeal.  “As an apostle, he [Paul] encountered zeal in his Jewish and Jewish-Christian opponents (cf. Rom 10:2; 15:3a with Acts 21:20; 22:3), some of whom, Luke says, tried to kill him (Acts 21:31; 22:22; 23:12-14).  For Paul, zeal is both commendable and problematic (Rom 10:2-3; Phil 3:2-8).”

Smiles summarizes, “What Paul the Apostle found wrong with the zeal of his opponents was the wrong understanding of the covenant that, in his judgment, it produced, [sic] an understanding that that made `works’ the bedrock of the covenant.”


Gal 1:13

Jeremy Corley, "The Pauline Authorship of 1 Corinthians 13”[22]

Corley uses the Greek for beyond measure in support of his argument that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:13.


Gal 1:15

Basil S. Davis, "Severianus of Gabala and Galatians 6:6-10"[23]

Davis argues that God . . . had set me apart to rebuke “the Galatians for their failure to realize that God was supplying them with the Spirit and working miracles among them without any need of their keeping the law.”



Gal 1:15

Eugene Hensell, O.S.B., review of Michael W. Holmes (ed), The Greek New Testament:  SBL Edition[24]

Hensell reports that one of the reasons Holmes published is to challenge “a growing attitude that the NA/USB edition is the standard if not original text of the Greek NT.”  Personal Notes never thought that it was.  The other reason was to give “scholars and students living in under-resourced regions easy access to an up-to-date, critically edited Greek NT.  The cost is only $29.95 and is available, at no cost, on the internet at  Holmes uses Galatians 1:15, about going up to Jerusalem, to adopt a reading not found in any of the other critical Greek texts Holmes used.


Gal 1:15-16

Richard I. Pervo, review of Josep Rius-Camps and Jenny Read-Heimerdinger, The Message of Acts in Codex Bezae: A Comparison with the Alexandrian Tradition, Volume 3, Acts 13.1—18.23: The Ends of the Earth; First and Second Phases of the Mission to the Gentiles[25]

Pervo recounts that the authors are in a conundrum,


that Acts, especially chaps. 13-28, is a long account of the conversion of the reluctant Paul to admit Gentiles freely. . . . If this interpretation is valid, Acts cannot be historically accurate, for it introduces a major conflict with the letters, in which Paul proselytizes Gentiles from the beginning (Gal 1:15-16).


Gal 1:15-17

Michele Murray, review of Matthew W. Mitchell, Abortion and the Apostolate:  A Study in Pauline Conversion, Rhetoric, and Scholarship[26]

Murray reports, “In M.’s view both Paul’s gentile mission and his apostolic commissioning should be understood as connected to his `Damascus experience’ (p. 88).”  Murray finds “lack of clarity at certain points in M.’s argumentation [but] . . . Scholars of Christian origin, in particular those interested in the history of Pauline scholarship, will find this volume worthwhile.”



Gal 1:17-19

Daniel A. Smith, “Seeing a Pneuma(tic Body):  The Apologetic Interests of Luke 24:36-43”[27]

Smith argues from I did not immediately consult flesh and blood, to Luke knew the Pauline letters and reacted against them.  Paul tended to see resurrected bodies as spiritual, Luke as material, Personal Notes as both spiritual and material, body and soul.


Gal 1:18-19

Teresa Okure, S.H.C.J., “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (Jn 4:1-42) in Africa[28]

Okure links Jesus being from Galilee with Blacks being from Africa; both as despised places.  In Jerusalem, Paul met James the brother of the Lord, who was also from Galilee.


Gal 1:18-19

William O. Walker, Jr., “Apollos and Timothy as the Unnamed `Brothers’ in 2 Corinthians 8:18-24”[29]

Walker points out that Paul refers to Cephas and James as apostles, to confer with Cephas . . . But I did not see any other of the apostles, only James the brother of the Lord.  In other words, the idea of twelve apostles does not mean there were only twelve.


Gal 1:18

E. Best, "Peter in the Gospel According to Mark”[30]

E. Best regards I went up to Jerusalem as acknowledging the central position of Peter.


Gal 1:18-19

William O. Walker, Jr., "Galatians 2:7b-8 as a Non-Pauline Interpolation”[31]

Walker points out that Cephas is the Aramaic for the Greek Peter or Rock.  Paul prefers using Cephas.  Walker argues that “Paul gives Cephas an important role in the Christian movement  . . . by reporting that during his visit to Jerusalem he saw only Cephas and James (Gal 1:18-19).”


Gal 1:13

Paul Lawrence, The IVP Atlas of Bible History[32]

Contains a map showing the relationship between Jerusalem and Damascus, about 120 miles or about from Newport News to Richmond, Virginia and halfway back.


Luke 7:16


Luke 7:11-17

Luke 7:11-17

Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C., “Crossing the Divide:  Foundations of a Theology of Migration and Refugees”[33]

Groody uses Luke 7:11-17 to argue that Jesus “reached out in particular to those who were marginalized . . . economically . . . ”  Based on the widow of Nain (some widows were wealthy), that argument is a stretch.


Luke 7 :11-15

Michael L. Cook, .S.J., “The African Experience of Jesus”[34]

Cook points out “Jesus is seen as one who grew in wisdom and in years and in favor with God and his fellow clan members (Lk 2:52) [used at reading 17C, Holy Family].  Moreover, he must be seen to show a special concern for and to participate in the customs and practices of the people such as . . . funeral rites (Mk 5:35-43; Lk 7:11-15 [used at Reading 95B, Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time]; Jn 11:33-44 [used at Reading 34A, Fifth Sunday of Lent].”


Luke 7:13

Raymond Moloney, S.J., “The Freedom of Christ in the Later Lonergan”[35]

Moloney uses the relationship between Jesus and the widow of Nain to argue the relationship between the feelings of Christ and humanity.  This article has helped me understand why I do not find Bernard Lonergan interesting.  Lonergan consistently puts the cart before the horse.


To begin with why Lonergan is not interesting, Moloney writes, “


As we have seen, the keynote here is self-transcendence reaching its highpoint in self-fulfillment; but self-fulfillment can too easily become auto-sufficiency, the hallmark of an unchristian individualism, and this in turn can lead to a narrow notion of freedom as simply emancipation rather than as loving the good.


Making light of the significance of emancipation in the History of the United States of America is a gross miscalculation.  Here, the cart is choosing the good; the horse is emancipation.


Lonergan confuses potency and act.  The cart is potency, the horse is act.  Lonergan does not address the relationship between potency and act in an almighty, perfect God.


Lonergan confuses inductive and deductive reasoning.  Deductive reasoning, based on principles derived from facts is the cart; inductive reasoning, based on facts and experience from which principles can be derived is the horse.  This is a major problem with how hierarchs in the Roman Catholic Church think.  Hierarchs reject deductive thinking based on facts, rather than principles.


Luke 7:11-17

John T. Carroll, review of Jaroslav Rindoš, He of Whom It Is Written:  John the Baptist and Elijah in Luke[36]

Carroll reports,


The primary argument is for the most part convincing.  That is, Luke’s coloring of Jesus’ ministry employing an Elijah palette (see, e.g., 4:25-26; 7:11-17 [used here]) does not attenuate the evangelist’s portrayal of the baptizing prophet John as the promised Elijah of Mal 3:1, 22-23  . . . —congruence in mission, that is, not identity in person.



Luke 7:12

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[37]

Luke expresses As he drew near to the gate of the city with a Dative of Destination case, rather than a preposition such as to.  Why Luke does that is open to speculation.

Nain ends with the Greek letter, “n,” that the Saint Jerome changes to “m,” in the Latin Vulgate


Luke 7:16-17

Dennis Hamm, S.J., “What the Samaritan Leper Sees: The Narrative Christology of Luke 17:11-19”[38]

Hamm argues that the Samaritan Leper, like the widow of Nain, sees God entering history through Jesus.  Hamm is not “claiming that Luke is elaborating a Johannine theme of Jesus replacing the temple . . . .He brings about the eschatological fulfillment of the role of the temple . . . “


Luke 7:17

Jerome H. Neyrey, S.J., “Lost in Translation: Did It Matter If Christians `Thanked’ God or `Gave God Glory’?”[39]

Neyrey breaks down the Greek. 


“To Praise,” which means to publicize the excellence of someone, may be expressed just as well by “to bless,” “to glorify,” “to magnify,” and “to acknowledge,” and by nouns such as a “report” spreading about Jesus (Luke 4:14) or a “word” circulating about him (Luke 5:15; 7:17 [used here]).



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 


[1] 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) 470.


[2] UMI Annual Commentary 2012-2013:  Precepts for Living: Based on the International Uniform Lessons, Vincent E. Bacote, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc., 2012) 489-490.



[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 4 (October 2000) 634.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002) 39-42.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2010) 66, 78.


[6] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament I: Genesis I—II, (ed.) John L. Thompson (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2012) 274.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2010) 54.


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2010) 99.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 2 (April 2005) 229.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 56.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 2007) 552.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 91.


[13] Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2002, 21 fn. 12, 199.


[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2010) 170.


[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 1 (January 2008) 139.


[16] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 2 (June 2006) 241.


[17] Archbishop Gregory Aymond, “Reflections from an Archbishop,” in Mary L. Gautier, Paul M. Perl, and Stephen J. Fichter, Same Call, Different Men:  The Evolution of the Priesthood since Vatican II (Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2012) 204-208, 89.


[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (October 2005) 713.


[19] 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) 159, 161, 163, 164, 165.


[20] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69 No 4 (October 2007) 827-828.


[21] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 2, (April 2002) 282, 296, 298 (source of the second quote).


[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 2 (April 2004) 259.


[23] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 300.


[24] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4 (October 2012) 817.


[25] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 2009) 422.


[26] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 384.


[27] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 766, 770.


[28] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 405.


[29] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2 (April 2011) 327.


[30] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October 1978) 548.


[31] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 4 (October 2003) 575, 581.


[32] Downers Grove, Illinois,  InterVarsity Press, 2006, 149.


[33] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 3 (September 2009) 657.


[34] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 3 (September 2009) 681.


[35] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 4 (December 2009) 809 (source of the quote), 818.


[36] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2013) 171.


[37] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 148.


[38] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 2, (April 1994) 283, 286.


[39] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 8, 11.