This Lectionary reading for June 17 began preparation almost a month earlier, May 13, Mother’s Day, without realizing that June 17 would be Father’s Day.  The wife of Uriah, the Hittite, was probably herself a Hittite.  Eventually she was the mother of Solomon and an ancestor of Jesus.  Her relationship with David involved a great deal of repentance and forgiveness.  A sense of forgiveness for the tragedies of life runs through these readings.  God forgives the Faithful for their occasional rebellions; the Faithful forgive God for their own trials and tribulations.

 

First Reading: 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13

          2 Samuel 11—20

          Anthony F. Campbell, S.J., “The Storyteller’s Role: Reported Story and 4

          Campbell notes that 2 Samuel omits many aspects of the stories inviting embellishment, for example, how Bathsheba felt about David, who had killed her husband. Campbell also notes, “… a storyteller might choose to note whether Bathsheba’s washing was unduly revealing or not and whether it mattered.”

 

          2 Sam 12:1-25

          Agneta Schreurs, Psychotherapy and Spirituality: Integrating the spiritual dimension into therapeutic practice[1]

          Schreurs considers how a patient may misuse the death of the first issue from Bathsheba and David as punishment from God to the point of psychological illness. Schreurs accepts the fact that feeling guilty over a wrong deed may be psychologically healthy and spiritually sound.  As a therapist, however, she also wants to examine an unhealthy understanding of Sacred Scripture.  In total context, the relationship between humans and God in 2 Samuel 12 is about forgiveness and mercy, rather than revenge and retribution.

 

          2 Sam 12:1-14

          Wendell E. Langley, S.J., “The Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32) against its Semitic and Rabbinic Backdrop”[2]

          Draws a parallel between the parable of the stolen lamb told by Nathan to David about Uriah and the parable of the prodigal son told by Jesus to the Pharisees. Langley comments, “… if destroying a human possession is a sin, how much more so is destroying a human life!”

 


          2 Sam 12:1-12

          David A. Bosworth, "Evaluating King David: Old Problems and Recent Scholarship"[3]

          David was a rascal whom God loved and who loved God.  Bosworth comments, “their [ruptures in the king-deity relationship] in the biblical text indicates a criticism of David that is not characteristic of royal propaganda.”  David, therefore, is special in the Divine plan of things.

 

          2 Sam 12:7

          John Kessler, “Sexuality and Politics: The Motif of the Displaced Husband in the Books of Samuel[4]

          Bathsheba is an example of someone with a displaced husband, whose devotion the patriarchal human writer ignores.  In Samuel, the writers treat Bathsheba as an object, rather than anyone with personal agency in the story.

 

          2 Sam 12:9-10

Richard Bauckham, Gospel Women: Studies of the Named Women in the Gospels[5]

          The wife of Uriah, the Hittite, was probably herself Hittite.  The other three women in the genealogy of Matthew, Rahab, Ruth were both gentile and Tamar can be argued as gentile.  While these women are traditionally regarded as preparations for the role of Mary, Bauckham argues convincingly that these women are better regarded as preparations for extending the Kingdom of God to the gentiles.  An explanation for the lower case gentiles here is made below.

 

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

This Psalm exemplifies the sloppy scholarship endemic to the Lectionary.

 

Psalm 32:7

Reading       

093C             You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;

                               with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.

 

077B            I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

 

Vulgate         Tu es refugium meum, a tribulatione conservabis me;

                     exsultationibus salutis circumdabis me.

 

077B, Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, seen February 12, 2006 and February 16, 2003 is closer to the Latin.

 

Psalm 32:5a

093C             I acknowledged my sin to you,

077B             Then I acknowledged my sin to you.

Vulgate         Peccatum meum cognitum tibi feci

 

          Psalm 32:1

Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[6]

          Verse 1, taking away sin, is atonement.

 

          Ps 32:8

          Joseph Jensen, O.S.B., “Yahweh's Plan in Isaiah and in the Rest of the Old Testament"[7]

          Makes the Jewish point that the LORD is the God of history.  As Jensen words it, “There is, finally, another series of texts in which the psalmist benefits from counsel received directly from the Lord, who leads him by the right path, even to glory (Psalm 16:7; 32:8 [not used by the Lectionary] 73:24).”

 

Second Reading: Galatians 2:16, 19-21

Gal 2

Demetrius K. Williams, “The Bible and Models of Liberation in the African American Experience”[8]

          For Paul, once the Faithful believe in Jesus, everything else, for example laws, is off the table. Paul accepts the law of love as a corollary to Faith in Jesus. As Williams words it:

 

His [Paul’s] teaching on justification by faith in Romans, Galatians, and Philippians was formulated to articulate and support his vision that Jew and Greek are equal and have equal access to the covenant promises (for Gentiles without recourse to the Jewish identity symbol of circumcision and the observance of certain parts of the law).  This ideal was sustained in Paul’s theology and praxis even to the point of open conflict (as in his debate with Peter in Gal 2).

 

          Gal 2:1-21

          Charles H. Cosgrove, "Did Paul Value Ethnicity?"[9]

          Irrelevant to the verses the Lectionary uses, but very relevant to uses of the word gentile. Cosgrove explains.

 

Although it is customary to translate the word eqnh as “Gentiles” with a capital G, as if this term were the ethnic counterpart of “Jews,” doing so is misleading if it gives the impression that Jews used eqnh as a proper ethnic name for non-Jews.  Jews used the term eqnh at times of non-Jewish peoples generally and sometimes inclusive of themselves, inasmuch as they thought of themselves as an eqnoV.

 

          Gal 2:7-9

          Robert A. J. Gagnon, “Why the `Weak’ at Rome Cannot Be Non-Christian Jews”[10]

          Paul approaches God through Jesus and Judaism first. Then Paul reconfigures the relationship to the gentiles to fit what would become Western Civilization.  Paul writes about gentiles to messianic Jews, like himself, though I have not seen any scholar identify Paul as a messianic Jew.  Gagnon observes, “Paul had no jurisdiction over any Jews, much less over unbelieving Jews. God appointed him to be apostle to the Gentiles [capitalization in original] (Romans 1:5-6, 13-15; Gal 2:7-9),”

 

          Gal 2:11-16

          Charles H. Talbert, “Paul, Judaism, and the Revisionists”[11]

          Galatians confirms that there were messianic Jews in the early Church. This article is part of the argument whether the Faithful believe in Christ or live his life. As Talbert words it, “the faithfulness of the Son of God who lives in and through believers (Gal 2:20).” Talbert sides with those who say Christians live the life of Christ.

 


          Gal 2:15-16

          Brendan Byrne, S.J., “The Problem of Nomos and the Relationship with Judaism in Romans"[12]

          Nomos is Greek for law. Paul cannot have it both ways. Either the law merits acceptance or not. What Paul does is narrow the law from the accoutrements of Judaism to the direct access of Christianity through Jesus.  Paul also expands the law from focusing on Jews to focusing on all humanity.

          Byrne offers a translation different from the Lectionary, which is offered here for the purpose of embellishment, rather than correction.

 

Lectionary         We  who know that a person is not justified by works of the law but

Byrne                But recognizing that a person is justified by works of the Law but

 

Lectionary         through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ

Byrne                through faith in Christ Jesus, we too have put our faith in Christ

 

Lectionary         Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and

Byrne                Jesus, in order that we might be justified from faith in Christ and

 

Lectionary         not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be

Byrne                not from works of the Law, seeing that `from works of the Law shall

 

Lectionary         justified.

Byrne                no flesh be justified’(PS 143:2)”

 

Byrne goes on, “… Paul rehearses for Peter’s benefit what might be called “the Jewish-Christian experience of conversion.”

 

Paul seems to make the point that the love of God for the Faithful is like the love of a mother for her child, not so much concerned with laws as with affection.

 

          Gal 2:15-21

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

          The Lectionary uses the vertical pronoun, I eight times in the eight lines of Galatians 2:19-21.  Such egocentric writing is not considered good form in Western Civilization.  Scholars debate whether such use of I, is a sign that someone other than Paul may have interpolated the passage.  Corley regards this passage in Galatians as genuinely Pauline.

 

          Gal 2:15-21

          Benjamin Fiore, S.J., review of Pedro Mendoza Magallón, “Estar crucificado juntamente con Cristo”: El Nuevo status del creyente en Cristo: Estudio exegético-teológico del Gal 2, 15-21 y Rom 6, 5-11[14]

          The scholarly debate is over how much sooner Paul wrote Galatians than Romans.  Magallón proposes two years, which Fiore thinks is too little time to gain the sophistication Romans exhibits.  Fiore writes, “… the unlikely parallel between Jesus and Abraham in terms of obedience and faith all support Magallón’s option” of Faith in, rather than of, Jesus, mentioned above and explained below.  Also below is an article that disagrees.

 

          Gal 2:16

          R. Barry Matlock, "`Even the Demons Believe’: Paul and pistis Xristou"[15]

          Scholars argue over an ambiguity in the Greek, which could mean either faith in Christ or faith of Christ.  The Lectionary translation is faith in Christ.  I think that the reason for the ambiguity is that either one amounts to the other.

 

          Gal 2:19b-20a

          John Kloppenborg, “An Analysis of the Pre-Pauline Formula 1 Cor 15:3b-5 In Light of some Recent Literature”[16]

          Verses 19b-20a reflect antithesis common in early Christian preaching. No longer I, but Christ lives in me.

 

          Gal 2:20

          Robert J. Daly, S.J., “The Soteriological Significance of the Sacrifice of Isaac"[17]

          This article disagrees with that above.  I like the idea, expressed in this article, that the sacrifice of Isaac prefigures the self-sacrifice of Jesus.

 

          Gal 2:20

          Charles H. Talbert, “Paul, Judaism, and the Revisionists"[18]

          The significance of the life of Christ is in Galatians 2:20, Christ died, for me.

 


          Gal 2:20

          Joseph Plevnik S.J., “The Understanding of God at the Basis of Pauline Theology"[19]

          Paul associates the new life in Christ with life “in the Spirit.”  When one reflects that Paul may not have realized that the Spirit was the third person of the Trinity, Spirit takes on a more personal meaning.

 

          Gal 2:20

          Frank J. Matera, "Christ in the Theologies of Paul and John: A Study in the Diverse Unity of New Testament Theology"[20]

          Matera looks at the Greek and concludes that Christ died and gave himself up for “me.”

 

Alleluia: 1 John 10b

 

Gospel: Luke 7:36—8:3

          Luke 7:36-50

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[21]

          The Bishops cite these verses in Chapter 18, “Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation: God is Rich in Mercy,” in the broader scope of Part II. “The Sacraments: the Faith Celebrated.”

 

          Luke 7:36-50

          Robert H. Stein, “The Matthew-Luke Agreements Against Mark: Insight from John"[22]

          Luke 7:36-50 is also found at Matt 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9 (reading 38B) and John 12:1-8.  The commonality increases the historicity of what happened.

 


          Luke 7:36-50

Bogdan G. Bucur, “Exegesis of Biblical Theophanies in Byzantine Hymnography: Rewritten Bible?”[23]

          Bucur writes,

 

… the hymn penned by the ninth-century nun Cassiane speaks of “the woman who had fallen into many sins” (see Luke 7:36-50) falling before Jesus and saying, “I shall kiss Your [sic] most pure feet and wipe them with the hairs of my head, those feet whose sound Eve heard at dusk in Paradise, and hid herself for fear.”  By embracing the feet of Jesus, the woman is therefore prostrated at the feet of Him who walked through Eden in the cool of the Day (Gen 3:8), the feet of Yahweh.

 

The ministry of Jesus is inclusive, rather than exclusive.

 

          Luke 7:41-50

          Craig L. Blomberg, "Interpreting the Parables of Jesus: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?"[24]

          This is a triadic parable, with the creditor standing in for God and the debtors standing in for two contrasting subordinates.  This triadic aspect leaves the parable open to three (as opposed to one) distinct lesson, which the reader is free to open up, examine, and explore.

 

          Luke 7:41-48

Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[25]

          The forgiveness of sins was a Jubilee celebration.  As Barker puts it, “Luke’s account of Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth [which the Lectionary used at 72C, January 28, 2007, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time] shows that he claimed to have inaugurated the final Jubilee; no other interpretation can be put on the claim to have fulfilled that day (Luke 4:21) the Jubilee prophecy in Isaiah 61 which was central to the Melchizedek expectations of this time.”

 


          Luke 7:44

          Mary L. Coloe, P.B.V.M., “Welcome into the Household of God: The Foot Washing in John 13"[26]

          Draws together the sinful woman washing the feet of Jesus and Jesus washing the feet of his disciples in John 13.  According to custom exhibited by the sinful woman, the foot washing took place before the meal began.  Jesus, therefore, probably washed the feet of his disciples before the Last Supper.  The fact that oil was more commonly used than water did not surface in the sources.

 

          Luke 7:48-50

          Richard J. Dillon, "The Benedictus in Micro- and Macrocontext"[27]

          While John the Baptizer urged repentance for sins, Jesus forgave them.  The Benedictus is the canticle of Elizabeth to her cousin, the Virgin Mary.

 

          Luke 7:50

          Dennis Hamm, S.J., “What the Samaritan Leper Sees: The Narrative Christology of Luke 17:11-19"[28]

          On four occasions, Jesus tells people in Luke-Acts that their Faith has saved them.  The four occasions include the sinful woman, which the Lectionary uses this Sunday.  The other three instances are the woman healed from hemorrhage (Luke 8:48), the man healed from blindness outside Jericho (Luke 18:42), and the tenth Samaritan leper (Luke 17:17-18).  Hamm concludes,

 

Luke’s christology can be said to be on a “trajectory” towards that of the Fourth Gospel.  For Luke, to “see” Jesus properly is to believe that he is the one in whom the kingdom of God is accessible.  Jesus, therefore, can be worshipped even as ho theos [the God]. The response of the Samaritan worshiping God at the feet of Jesus indicates that this theology comes to expression even in the Third Gospel.

 

This is the first time for me to go through these readings. I used the Vulgate to identify the verses in my Lectionary, but I did nothing with the Greek.

 

 

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



[1] London and Philadelphia: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2002 287.

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 58, No. 2 (April 1996) 239.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 205.

 

[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 3 (July 2000) 419-420.

 

[5] (Grand Rapids, Michigan/Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002) 12-13.

 

[6] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003, 49.

 

[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 3 (July 1986) 453.

 

[8] in Yet with a Steady Beat: Contemporary U.S. Afrocentric Biblical Interpretation, Randall C. Bailey, ed., (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003) 49.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 272.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1 (January 2000) 66.

 

[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 1 (January 2001) 11, 17, 21.

 

[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 2 (April 2000) 297.

 

[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 2 (April 2004) 258, 266, 271.

 

[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 159.

 

[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 2 (April 2002) 300-316.

 

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

 

[17] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 1 (January 1977) 67.

 

[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 1 (January 2001) 17 and 21.

 

[19] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 4 (October 2003) 563.

 

[20] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 2 (June 2006) 243, 244.

 

[21] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006 235*.

 

[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 3 (July 1992) 489.

 

[23] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2007) 101.

 

[24] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 1 (January 1991) 63, 77.

 

[25] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003 38.

 

[26] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vo. 66, No. 3 (July 2004) 407.

 

[27] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 3 (July 2006) 478.

 

[28] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 2 (April 1994) 285, 287.