Participating in the Resurrection is the key to Christian living. Resurrection is not something that only happened to Jesus, for the Faithful to admire. Resurrection is also for participation by the Faithful.

From the Greek, the letter of Paul to the Romans 5:10, saved by his life, is about participating in the risen life of Christ. Paul wrote first. The four Evangelists only wrote after that. The Gospel of Matthew (naming the apostles in this reading) is about spreading the Good News first set down by Paul. In Romans, Paul is excited about humanity being redeemed from its sins. Romans regards the Exodus as a path made by Jesus for escaping the wrath of God, due to sin. These Lectionary readings are about joy in the new Christian life. To my chagrin, the Bishops seems to miss the reality of the excitement.

 

The United States Bishops offer Exodus 19:3-6, used here, to observe,

 

Before God gave the Commandments at Sinai, he entered into a covenant of love with the community of Israel (cf. Ex 19:3-6). Once the covenant was established, God gave the people the Ten Commandments in order to teach them the way to live the covenant of love.[1]

 

The Bishops make this reference to Exodus 19:4-6 in Chapter 24, “Life in Christ—Part Two,” in a section, “Human Community and Divine Assistance: Further Fundamental Elements of Christian Morality,” in a subsection, “Consciousness of Solidarity and Social Justice.” I see joy and excitement in the fact that the Faithful participate in the very life of God, joy and excitement obfuscated by the excruciating detail of the Bishops.

At a practical level, I wish the Bishops had included something about Parish Councils. Parish Councils are not indexed and I do not remember them anywhere in the Catechism. To me, the Bishops seem to miss the joy and positive excitement of Christian living, especially as to be found in Parish Councils.

 

 

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 of the interesting details scholars are digging up.


Exodus 19:2-6a

Bruce Wells, “What is Biblical Law? A Look at Pentateuchal Rules and Near Eastern Practice”[2]

The Lectionary does not use any of the references to Sacred Scripture in this article. That means the article lacks the usual verse-vehicle for getting into these Notes. Sometimes, I simply pass over such articles. For anyone interested, however, for example lawyers, Wells writes, “The chief goal of presenting this [in-the-article] evidence is to demonstrate the inadequacy of those views that reject the legal nature of most of the relevant pentateuchal texts.”

 

Exod 19:1-8

Robert Doran, "The Pharisee and the Tax Collector: An Agonistic Story"[3]

Agonistic means to strive to overcome in debate. The meaning originally derived from an athletic contest.[4] Doran is writing about the contest between the Pharisee and the tax-collector in the Temple. Doran writes that

 

to take on the kingdom of heaven is to commit to following the commandments … but one has also to be aware that no one is without sin … The two need to be kept in balance, just as “(God’s) attribute of justice and the attribute of compassion are found alongside each other,” citing the words of the scholar, Efraim Elimelech Urbach.

 

Exod 19:1-6

Matthew J. Lynch, "Zion's Warrior and the Nations: Isaiah 59:15b—63:6 in Isaiah's Zion Traditions"[5]

Lynch argues that “Yhwh’s military victories of liberation logically preceded Yhwh’s covenant with Israel, forming the basis for trust in Yhwh’s ongoing protection and blessing …” The reference is to “You have seen for yourselves how I have treated the Egyptians …”

 


Exod 19:5

Paul Niskanen, "Yhwh as Father, Redeemer, and Potter in Isaiah 63:7-64:11"[6]

Niskanen argues that

 

Yhwh is the covenant-bound kinsman … with responsibilities and duties toward his “children.” … [This relationship] does not deny a more general and universal fatherhood (see Isa 45:12), but to a people dispossessed and searching for a new identity in the post-exilic world, it tells them: although all peoples of the earth are mine, you are especially so (see Exod 19:5).

 

Ex 19:6

Richard J. Clifford, S.J., review of Adrian Schenker, Studien Zu Propheten und Religionsgeschichte[7]

Schenker has an essay titled “Ein Konigreich von Priestern (Ex 19:6).” The Lectionary refers to a kingdom of priests. Anyone able to read German may find both the review and the book interesting.

 

Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 3

 

Romans 5:6-11

The Church offers this consoling reading for Funerals.[8]

Romans 5b-11 is also used for Reading 172C, “Friday after the Second Sunday after Pentecost: The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

 

Rom 5:1-21

Robert A. J. Gagnon, “Why the `Weak’ at Rome Cannot Be Non-Christian Jews”[9]

Gagnon argues that the bragging of Paul here softens his harshness elsewhere.

 


Rom 5:6

John Kloppenborg, “An Analysis of the Pre-Pauline Formula 1 Cor 15:3b-5 In Light of some Recent Literature”[10]

Kloppenborg examines whether the Greek has the Christ or (anarthrous, without the article) Christ and looks for the difference in the two presentations. Romans 5:6 does not have the article. Neither is the article present in the other two uses of Christ in the Lectionary for today, verses 8 and 11. Kloppenborg writes “…the messianic title [Christ] may not have been the earliest designation used [for Jesus], if, as I think it probable, such a designation was expressly rejected by Jesus himself.”

 

Rom 5:7

L. L. Welborn, review of Andrew D. Clarke, Secular and Christian Leadership in Corinth: A Socio-Historical and Exegetical Study of 1 Corinthians 1—6[11]

Clark asserts, “`the good man’ for whom someone might die in Rom 5:7 … [is] a benefactor, a representative of the elite.”

 

Rom 5:8-9

Lisa Sowle Cahill, "Quaestio Disputata: The Atonement Paradigm: Does it Still Have Explanatory Value?"[12]

From the time of Saint Anselm (1033-1109)[13] to the mid-Twentieth Century Christendom accepted a notion of atonement that seemed to make violence sacred. Cahill concludes, “A model of salvation through sacrificial love, embodied on the cross, can still have transformative moral and political value if linked with a vibrant belief in the Incarnation and Resurrection.”

 

Rom 5:8 

Frank J. Matera, "Christ in the Theologies of Paul and John: A Study in the Diverse Unity of New Testament Theology" [14]

Matera observes that Paul speaks of Christ “as the one who died for us … the ungodly,” answering the need for reconciliation.

Mark 1:15

 


Matthew 9:36-10:8

Matt 10:6-7

Daniel W. Ulrich, “The Missional Audience of the Gospel of Matthew”[15]

Ulrich writes, “Like a ruler sending out heralds, Jesus commands the disciple missionaries to announce the news of  God’s empire to all who will listen, first within Israel (10:6-7 [used here]) and later among all nations (24:14, 238:19-20).”

 

Matt 10:5-6

Kenton L. Sparks, "Gospel as Conquest: Mosaic Typology in Matthew 28:16-20"[16]

Sparks refers to a “thematic turn” in Matthew, “from a Gospel `only for Israel’ (10:5-6 [used here]) to a Gospel aimed at Gentiles.

 

After-Action Report

My problem with the Bishops runs parallel to the Deuteronomic Reform and Revision of Sacred Scripture, during the reign of Josiah (640-609 BC). Reformers emphasized laws over prophetic utterances, as does the contemporary Roman Catholic hierarchy. The contemporary Catholic hierarchy pontificates on the meaning of the natural law, something known by reason and, therefore, debatable. My main concern is the relationship between natural and unnatural methods of birth control and abortion as set forth in modern political civic struggles. Implicit in what appears above the double line is questioning how the Bishops are silencing theologians who bring reason to bear on the natural law differently from the Bishops.

Also involved in calling the Catholic hierarchy to account is the structure of accountability within the hierarchy. There is no such thing as a written constitution, in the sense of the United States Constitution, for the Roman Catholic Church. The ecclesiastical structure of Church authority is Roman and Medieval. In Medieval Europe, the Kling might rule from Paris, but the Baron would be in Languedoc. Theoretically, the king had all the power, but in practice, the Baron could do what he wanted, unless the king happened to be present. In other words, the Baron was a king unto himself, much as the local ordinary of a diocese. With modern means of communication, Medieval authority structures have become outmoded.

Medieval law, of which Church Canon Law is a part, applied principles to cases, with different bishops applying the law differently. Even in modern case law, ink which judges apply principles according to case precedent, judges make a difference. Sometimes, seven in modern case law, it is still more important to know who the judge is than what the law says. In Church law it is exponentially more important to know who the bishop is applying the law.

 

After-Action Report

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Reading 91A, June 15, 2008

 

My problem with the Bishops runs parallel to the Deuteronomic Reform and Revision of Sacred Scripture, during the reign of Josiah (640-609 BC). Reformers emphasized laws over prophetic utterances, as does the contemporary Roman Catholic hierarchy. The contemporary Catholic hierarchy pontificates on the meaning of the natural law, something known by reason and, therefore, is debatable. My main concern is the relationship between natural and unnatural methods of birth control and abortion as set forth in modern political civil struggles. Implicit in what appears above the double line is questioning how the Bishops are silencing theologians who bring reason to bear on the natural law differently from the Bishops.

Also involved in calling the Catholic hierarchy to account is the structure of accountability within the hierarchy. There is no such thing as a written constitution, in the sense of the United States Constitution, for the Roman Catholic Church. The ecclesiastical structure of Church authority is Roman and Medieval.

In Medieval Europe, the King might rule from Paris, but the Baron would be in Languedoc. Theoretically, the king had all the power, but in practice, the Baron could do what he wanted, unless the king happened to be present. In other words, the Baron was a king unto himself, much as the local ordinary of a diocese. With modern means of communication, Medieval authority structures have become outmoded.

Medieval law, of which Church Canon Law is a part, applied principles to cases, with different bishops applying the law differently. Even in modern case law, in which judges apply principles according to case precedent, judges make a difference. Sometimes, even in modern case law, it is still more important to know who the judge is than what the law says. In Church law it is exponentially more important to know the bishop applying the law.

My intention is to include After-Action Reports twice in these Personal Notes. For those following along, from week to week, I intend to insert the Report for the Sunday being prepared when the Report is made. At that time, I also intend to add the Report to the Sunday in question, in this case the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Reading 91A, June 15, 2008. If I am still available, I intend to remove the Report from when it was first made, but leave it with the Sunday for which it was made.

 



[1] United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006) 324.

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 3 (July 2008) 223-243.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 268.

 

[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2007) 255.

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 3 (July 2006) 407.

 

[7] Theological Studies, Vol. 66, No. 2 (June 2005) 442-444.

 

[8] 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) 223.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1 (January 2000) 73.

 

[10]the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 3 (July 1978) 356, 361, 363.

 

[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 1 (January 2008)141.

 

[12] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 2 (June 2007) 418, 419, 428, 429.

 

[14] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 2 (June 2006) 243, 253.

 

[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 69, 71, 78.

 

[16] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4 (October 2006) 655.