“The Christian believer is a simple person:  bishops should protect the faith of these little people against the power of intellectuals,”  so said Pope Benedict XVI as Cardinal[1] Joseph A. Ratzinger December 31, 1979.[2]  At the time, Ratzinger was defending an attack by the Papacy against Hans Küng, a German theologian.  Just days before, on December 18, 1979, the Papacy striped Kühn of his right to teach Catholic theology.[3] 

 

The main point Küng makes is that the Church has changed through history.  For now, Küng rejects the doctrine of Papal infallibility.  He also thinks euthanasia can be Christian.  Like Father Charles Curran, however, Kühn still has his priestly faculties and can say Mass publically.

 

Kühn has Parkinson Disease and does not want to end as Pope John Paul II did.  In other words, Küng is considering euthanasia for himself.  The Papacy has forbidden Kühn to teach Catholic theology, but he retains a position on the faculty at the University of Tübingen in Germany as a professor of ecumenical theology.  Since 1996, he has been a retired emeritus professor.

 

Through he is one of the premier Catholic thinkers for the past fifty years, the reason for bringing up Küng is not his thinking, but the unreasonable Papal attack on his thinking.  Sadly, the Faithful are the most sophisticated in history and are not uneducated, unread, unthinking children, who cannot understand truth versus the politics of the Church.  “The Christian believer is a simple person:  bishops should protect the faith of these little people against the power of intellectuals.”  Personal Notes is about exposing the Faithful to intellectuals, especially Scripture scholars.

 

Intellectuals in general are considering the abuse of sexual and financial resources of the Faithful by the hierarchy as the key secular tension at this time.  There is a proper secular response to this tension in the social sciences, sciences that the Papacy tries to ignore.  The main social sciences are:  anthropology, communication, criminology, cultural studies, economics, education, environment, history, human geography, international relations, internet, law, linguistics, media, politics, psychology, social psychology, social work, sociology.[4]  These social sciences look for truth contrary to social expectations, as seen, for example, in the case of Galileo.  There is a sign of hope, however.

 

The Papacy recently sent a delegation to see how Pastor Rick Warren evangelized through his Saddleback Church.  Warren brings all of the social sciences to bear on his Gospel message.  Despite the recent Papal interest, Personal Notes finds the social sciences disregarded, especially in the inaugural address on the New Evangelization by Cardinal Donald Wuerl.[5]  Wuerl conveniently and needlessly confines himself to Medieval science.

 

With Raymond Arroyo on ETWN, Thursday, April 10, 1214, Pastor Warren explained his The Purpose Driven Life with its first sentence:  “It’s not about you.”  For Personal Notes, it is about the Word of God, in both Sacred Scripture and the person of Jesus Christ.  For Personal Notes, the social sciences help in this discovery, despite the blatant attempt by Cardinal Wuerl to avoid truths the social sciences expose, by ignoring them, pretending they do not exist, and have nothing to offer.

 

Surely Wuerl hears what the social sciences present.  The social sciences present their findings through the media.  The problem is that Wuerl and those like him are not listening or not paying attention.  The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.

 

The basic theme for this Sunday is the tension between hearing and listening.  The reading from Isaiah means that God expects and gets results from his Word.  The Responsorial Psalm leans in the same direction.  Romans is about all of creation waiting with eager expectation for the Word of God in the person of Jesus Christ.  And the Gospel is about the parable of the sower and the seed.  Not everyone who hears listens.  Seeking truth allows the Word-of-God seed to flourish.

 

 

 

Readings

First Reading                     Isaiah 55:10-11

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14 (Luke 8:8)

Second Reading:               Romans 8:18-23

Alleluia:                            

Gospel:                             Matthew 13:1-23

 

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.

 

Isaiah 55:10-11

Isaiah 55:11

For the Protestant revolutionaries, my word shall not return to me void means that those who hear the Word have two choices, to either accept or reject.  There is no in between.[6]

 

Psalm 65:10, 11, 12-13, 14 (Luke 8:8)

 

Romans 8:18-23

Romans 8:19-22

Martin Bucer (1491-1551), “Instruction on Christian Love”[7]

Bucer claims the whole of creation has been disgraced by our “diabolical misuse,” which has even more meaning in this era of global warming, than it did at the time of Bucer.

 


 

Romans 8:17, 18

Johannes Bugenhagen (1485-1558), “”Annotations 1:5”[8]

According to the editorial footnote, “ . . . medieval scholasticism signifying strict merit—merit that is so perfect that it creates an obligation on God to reward it, or else he would not be a just God.  Bugenhagen “thus denies the strict meritoriousness [sic] of human good works.”  The editors seem to deny the strict meritoriousness of human good works, even the human good works of Jesus Christ.  Bugenhagen may have been denying either that Jesus had a human nature or that even his human nature could not perform meritorious works.

 

Rom 8:19-23

Paul Trebilco, review of David G. Horrell, Cherryl Hunt, and Christopher Southgate, Greening Paul:  Rereading the Apostle in a Time of Ecological Crisis[9]

Creation awaits means there can be a dialogue with natural science.

 

Romans 8:19-23

Fr. Yozefu – B. Ssemakula, The Healing of Families:  How To Pray Effectively for Those Stubborn Personal and Familial Problems[10]

Ssemakula uses the threefold reference to creation to explain physical suffering.  Suffering is due to the fallen nature of humans.  Jesus saves humanity from that fallen nature.

 


 

Romans 8:21-22

Edith M. Humphrey, “On Probabilities, Possibilities, and pretexts:  Fostering a Hermeneutics of Sobriety, Sympathy, and Imagination in an Impressionistic and Suspicious Age”[11]

Humphrey has a section of her article on Romans 8:12-29.  She shares several insights hidden in translations.  When Paul writes about labor pains and creation groaning, in the spirit of needing to work the soil, Paul uses a feminist approach sometimes missed.  Twenty-first century ecological concerns about global bodies add to first century concerns about resurrection of human bodies.

 

Romans 8:21

James A. Coriden, Chapter 4, “Moral Theology and Academic Freedom:  The New Context”[12]

Coriden moves from the glorious freedom of the children of God to the notion of academic freedom, which, over time, gradually emerges despite efforts to the contrary.  In this spirit, the Catholic Church in the United States suffers in that the American Association of University Professors has kept the administration of The Catholic University of America under censure since 1990.[13]

 

Romans 8:21

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[14]

Through technical grammatical machinations, Wallace approves the Lectionary translation.  Wallace translates as follows, the freedom of the glory of the children of God (=the glorious freedom of the children of God”).  The Lectionary translation is the same as what follows the equals sign in Wallace.

 


 

Romans 8:22-30

Elsa Tamez, “A Latin American Rereading of Romans 7”[15]

Tamez omits the word glorious to settle for The freedom of the sons and daughters of God.  Tamez regards this passage as part of an antidote to the earlier “profound anthropological pessimism” of Paul.

 

Romans 8:22-23

Joyce Ann Zimmerman, “The Mystagogical Implications”[16]

This comment is on Eucharistic Prayer III, mentioning “all you have created.”  Zimmerman translates verses 22-23, that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now; and not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits [sic] of the Spirit, also groan within ourselves as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.  The Lectionary changes Spirit, also to Spirit, we also.  Perhaps the Lectionary translators want to make sure that here it is not the Spirit that is groaning, but the Faithful.

 

Romans 8:22

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward:  A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life[17]

Rohr rests his case on the fact that only God is good.  He takes all creation groaning in labor pains to overlook the fact that scandals crucify Jesus on the Church itself.  Rohr asserts, “The church has never . . . limited me in any way . . . ” despite the fact that the Oath against Modernism, formally required for ordination, only ended in 1967,[18] three years before his ordination.[19]  The Oath against Modernism, in my opinion, is fundamentally an oath against the social sciences.

 

Matthew 13:1-23

Matthew 13:14, 9, 14

Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary:  Commentary on the variant readings of the ancient New Testament manuscripts and how they relate to the major English translations[20]

Comfort presents nothing unusual or significant affecting the Lectionary translation.

 

Matt 13:1-52

John P. Meier, “Is Luke’s Version of the Parable of the Rich Fool Reflected in the Coptic Gospel of Thomas?”[21]

Luke sets up his parables in a way Matthew does not.  Matthew simply begins the parable, without much of a setting.

 

Matt 13:1-23

David G. Schultenover, S.J.,  “From the Editor’s Desk”[22]

Schultenover argues that the New Evangelization is contending with the Gospel of secularism and its different attitudes toward human sexuality, for example.

 

Matthew 13:1-23

Frank J. Matera, The Sermon on the Mount:  The Perfect Measure of the Christian Life[23]

Hearing the Word is insufficient.  Understanding is also required.  The quest for understanding explains Personal Notes.

 

Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23

Rudolf Gwalther (1519-1586), “Homily 65, Acts 9:10-16”[24]

Gwalther alludes to Matthew to assert, “Christ requires honest minds . . . ”

 

Matt 13:1-9

Paul Zilonka, C.P., review of Christopher J. Monaghan, C.P., A Source Critical Edition of the Gospels and Matthew and Luke in Greek and English, Vol. 1, Matthew; Vol. 2 Luke[25]

This parable of the sower and the seed appears in all three synoptic Gospels and is a standard basis of comparison.  Zilonka reports that reading Monaghan is like “wearing 3-D glasses to experience the same text with greater synoptic breath.”  I gave this book as a gift to Father Kenneth Wood, of the Richmond Diocese, to help celebrate his twenty-fifth ordination anniversary.

 

Matthew 13:4-9

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward:  A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life[26]

Rohr encourages the Faithful not to waste their time trying to evangelize the unevangelizable.

 

Matt 13:13-15

Robert J. Daly, S.J., “Phenomenology of Redemption?  Or Theory of Sanctification?”[27]

Daly uses hear but not understand . . . to wonder about applying the redemption of Jesus Christ to non-human creation.

 

Matthew 13:21

Luke Timothy Johnson, “Hebrews 10:32-39 and the Agony of the Translator”[28]

Johnson uses Matthew 13:21 to make his point that the followers of Jesus should expect both physical and verbal public shaming.

 


 

Matt 13:22

David J. Downs, review of Christopher L. Carter, The Great Sermon Tradition as a Fiscal Framework in 1 Corinthians:  Towards a Pauline Theology of Material Possessions[29]

Since Carter does not consider such anti-wealth passages as riches choke, his arguments about Pauline theology of material possessions falters.

 

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 www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes. 

 

 

The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday is The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest (Luke 8:8).[30]

 

In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the Gloria, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “show the light of your truth”[31]

 

This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to [sic] them that are weak (1 Corinthians 8:9).[32] 

 



[2] This is difficult to document.  My source is a blogger, “dennism502,” writing at 10:58 am, Friday, May 2, 2014.  Dennism502 cites as his source, a September 26, 1995 article the National Catholic Reporter by John Allen, Jr.  So far, I am unable to verify the article, but do have a memory having read and thought about it.  That is why I am using the information.  I have gone back to the blog for clarification.  A problem is that the National Catholic Reporter closes down blogs a week after articles appear, making it relatively impossible for readers to check sources there.

 

[6] Editorial Overview in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 339.

 

[7] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament XI:  Philippians, Colossians, Graham Tomlin (ed.) in collaboration with Gregory B. Graybill, general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2013) 217.

 

[8] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament XI:  Philippians, Colossians, Graham Tomlin (ed.) in collaboration with Gregory B. Graybill, general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2013) 136.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2013) 151.

 

[10] [no publisher or place of publication is listed] www.healingoffamilies.com, 2012, 68.

 

[11] 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) 255, 256, 257.

 

[12] in A Call to Fidelity:  On the Moral Theology of Charles E. Curran, James J. Walter, Timothy E. O’Connell, Thomas A. Shannon, eds., (Washington, D.C.:  Georgetown University Press, 2002) 92, fn. 23.

 

[14] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 87-88.

 

[15] 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) 294.

 

[16] in A Commentary on the Order of Mass of The Roman Missal:  A New English Translation:  Developed under the Auspices of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, Edward Foley (ed.) (Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2011) 343, 384.

 

[17] San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass:  A Wiley Imprint, 2011, 77.

 

[20] Carol Stream, Illinois:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008,

 

[21] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 3 (July 2012) 534.

 

[22] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 4 (December 2012) 748.

 

[23] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2013, 102, 114.

 

[24] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 123.

 

[25] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 3 (July 2012) 615.

 

[26] San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass:  A Wiley Imprint, 2011, 142.

 

[27] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 2 (June 2013) 357.

 

[28] 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) 174.

 

[29] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 3 (July 2011) 616.

 

[30] National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Roman Missal Restored by Decree of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican and Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Lectionary for Mass:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Second Typical Edition:  Volume I:  Sundays, Solemnities, Feasts of the Lord and the Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota:  The Liturgical Press, 1988) 694.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.

 

[31] 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) 475.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.

 

[32] UMI Annual Sunday School Lesson Commentary:  Precepts for Living ®: 2013-2014:  International Sunday School Lessons:  Volume 165:  UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), a. Okechuku Ogbonnaya, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), 2013) 517-518.