Several housekeeping notes, continued: up to this point, my reason for mentioning Carroll Stuhlmueller in the prologue was a Sister in the last stages of cancer, now no longer able to either receive or send e-mail.  This good religious has a love of Stuhlmueller that I wanted to share.  Stuhlmueller will no longer receive top billing.


The Quarterly references apply recent scholarship to the Lectionary[1] readings.  In effect, these Personal Notes annotate the Index references at By reviewing the footnotes; one can quickly decide whether the effort to consult the original article may be worth the effort.


My intention is to leave these notes in the prologue for one more Sunday, then add the same as an appendix at the end of each session.  The Lectionary gives the readings used at Mass, the Vulgate[2] reaches toward a traditional Latin translation, while Nestle[3]  and the grammarian[4] reach even further back to the original Greek.  Sunday Sermons[5] brings the Fathers of the Church to bear, in the monastic traditions, including the Poor Clares.  Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter on the Rosary[6] ties the devotion to the Mass.  I try to use American English and style for the Apostolic Letter, changing the original without comment.


The Sunday words are developed out of Stuhlmueller.  Stuhlmueller advises praying the psalms with a word-focus.  A single word is somewhat easier than the Responsorial Antiphon that is a little more difficult, but that I use personally.


As the readings cycles progress, eventually Stuhlmueller and the Sunday Sermons will be used up.  After that, I may simply add to what I originally wrote.  That change will take several more years to accomplish.


While the projected Appendix will take up considerable printed space, my computer can readily accommodate that.  I will not expect regular readers to print the Appendix, nor do I intend to print it for my personal use each week.


The idea is to balance and connect recent scholarship with the substance of traditional spirituality.


All of that said, the word for this week is kindness.


Pope John-Paul II’s Apostolic Letter, “Rosarium Virginia Mariae,” cites Ephesians 1:10.  The Joyful Mysteries are appropriate for these readings.


The overview for these readings is about consolation, not only as a sequential event but also even as a contemporaneous event, connected with dryness.  The idea is to be joyful through it all.


Amos 7:12-15


First God calls Amos from following a flock of sheep to following God himself in prophetic mode.  For this, God then permits Amaziah, priest of Bethel to drive Amos away from the royal temple to flee to the land of Judah.


One scholar quoting another notes, “Amaziah, priest-in-charge at Bethel, was able to quote an oracle of Amos—one which was apparently not fulfilled—as grounds for extraditing him (Amos 7:11).”[7]  That must have been no consolation for Amos.


Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14


Verse 8 is the Responsorial.


verse 8          Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.


This Responsorial verse formed the Alleluia verse for the First Sunday of Advent in this Cycle B.  The verse is again used the same way for the Second Sunday of Advent B as here in the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time B.


verse 11                  justice and peace shall kiss.


The first draft of these notes is being composed on the Feast of Corpus Christi, June 22, when the Poor Clares laid the corner stone for their new monastery in New Kent County, Virginia.  While there, I noted that Bishop Walter F. Sullivan, our local ordinary, has a “Pax Jus” license plate.  Peace is political, an exercise in power.  Justice is truth bearing down on politics.  First, comes consolation in recognizing the call of God, and then comes dryness trying to avoid the difficulties of the original call, the justice of what one does.


As a technical note, the Vulgate does not have a verse 14.  How the Vulgate verse 13 fits the Lectionary verses 13 and 14 is unclear.  Translating the psalms is a difficult task.


Ephesians 1:3-14


Where the Lectionary uses destined, the Vulgate uses praedestinavit and praedestinati, in other words, predestined.  Calvinists support a heresy known as predestination.


verse 5          In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ,

                               in accord with the favor of his will


Favor of his will means that God controls history itself, ensuring whatever God wants happens.


verse 6                    for the praise of the glory of his grace

                               that he granted us in the beloved.


Where the Lectionary offers beloved as an adjective, Saint Jerome capitalizes Dilecto as a name.


The Greek does not capitalize hgaphmenw, that is Dilecto or beloved.


verse 8          In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us

                               the mystery of his will in accord with his favor


For insight, the Vulgate uses prudentia.


verse 10        In him we were also chosen,

                               destined in accord with the purpose of the One

                               who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will


To quote what the Pope writes about the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary:


20. The first five decades, the “joyful mysteries,” are marked by the joy radiating from the event of the Incarnation.  This is clear from the very first mystery, the Annunciation, where Gabriel’s greeting to the Virgin of Nazareth is linked to an invitation to messianic joy: “Rejoice, Mary.”  The whole of salvation history, in some sense the entire history of the world, has led up to this greeting.  If it is the Father’s plan to unite all things in Christ (cf. Eph 1:10), then the whole of the universe is in some way touched by the divine favor with which the Father looks upon Mary and makes her the Mother of his Son.  The whole of humanity, in turn, is embraced by the fiat with which she readily agrees to the will of God.


Exultation is the keynote of the encounter with Elizabeth, where the sound of Mary’s voice and the presence of Christ in her womb cause John to “leap for joy” (cf. Lk 1:44).  Gladness also fills the scene in Bethlehem, when the birth of the divine Child, the Saviour of the world, is announced by the song of the angels and proclaimed to the shepherds as “news of great joy” (Lk 2:10).


The final two mysteries, while preserving this climate of joy, already point to the drama yet to come.  The Presentation in the Temple not only expresses the joy of the Child’s consecration and the ecstasy of the aged Simeon; it also records the prophecy that Christ will be a “sign of contradiction” for Israel and that a sword will pierce his mother’s heart (cf. Lk 2:34-35).  Joy mixed with drama marks the fifth mystery, the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple.  Here he appears in his divine wisdom as he listens and raises questions, already in effect one who “teaches.”  The revelation of his mystery as the Son wholly dedicated to his Father’s affairs proclaims the radical nature of the Gospel, in which even the closest of human relationships are challenged by the absolute demands of the Kingdom.  Mary and Joseph, fearful and anxious, “did not understand” his words (Lk 2:50).


To meditate upon the “joyful” mysteries, then, is to enter into the ultimate causes and the deepest meaning of Christian joy.  It is to focus on the realism of the mystery of the Incarnation and on the obscure foreshadowing of the mystery of the saving Passion.  Mary leads us to discover the secret of Christian joy, reminding us that Christianity is, first and foremost, euangelion, “good news,” which has as its heart and its whole content the person of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, the one Saviour of the world.


verse 11        so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,

                     we who first hoped in Christ.


For first, the Vulgate uses ante, which I would also translate as earlier or, more literally, before.


cf. Ephesians 1:17-18


No comment.


Mark 6:7-13


Scripture scholars look at the various pericopes in Mark and see one encapsulated in another.[8]  This pericope is the calm before the storm, first of the execution of John the Baptist, then of the execution of Jesus.  This is the sense of first consolation, then dryness.  Consolation gets the Faithful through the dryness.


verse 9          They were, however, to wear sandals


Poor Saint Peter, undoubtedly among those sent out, has to be told everything.


verse 11        Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,

                               leave there and shake the dust off your feet

                               in testimony against them.”


The grammarian points out that testimony has reference to Jews knocking the dust from their feet upon leaving a gentile town before re-entering the Holy Land.


Gathering the readings together, Amos is invited to prophecy and then oversteps the truth and is forced to flee; the psalmist, reflecting upon the prophet Isaiah, starts with the dryness of exile but ends with a promise of consolation; Ephesians hints at the promise of Isaiah while proclaiming the consolation of Christ; the Gospel is replete with consolation, with only a hint of dryness to come.  The ultimate consolation resides in the kindness of God.

[1] All indented verses are taken from 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 Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1998).


[2] The Latin.  Saint Jerome, and the Vulgate all refer to Nova Vulgata: Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio: Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II ratione habita Iussu Pauli PP, VI Recognita Auctoritate Joannis Pauli PP, II Promulgata Editio Typica Altera (00120 Citta Del Vaticano: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1979, 1986, 1998) ISBN 88-2209-2163-4.


[3] Nestle-Aland: Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine: Textum Graecum post Eberhard et Erwin Nestle communiter ediderunt Barbara et Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger: Textus Latinus Novae Vulgatae Bibliorum Sacrorum Editioni debetur: Utriusque textus apparatum criticum recensuerent et editionem novis curis elaboraverunt Barbara et Kurt Aland una cum Instituto Studiorum Textus Novi Testamenti Monasterii Westphaliae (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1999) Editio XXVII and Nestle-Aland: Greek-English New Testament: Greek text Novum Testamentum Graece, in the tradition of Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle edited by Barbara and Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger. English text 2nd Edition of the Revised Standard Version The Critical Apparatuses prepared and edited together with the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, Munster/Westphalia by Barbara and Kurt Aland (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1998) Editio XXVII.


[4] Max Zerwick, S.J. and Mary Grosvenor, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament unabridged, 5th, revised edition (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico 1996) and Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994).


[5] The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: Volume One: From the First Sunday of Advent to Quinquagesima, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996);  The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: Volume Two: From the First Sunday in Lent to the Sunday after the Ascension, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996); The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: Volume Three: From Pentecost to the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996); The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: A Manual of Preaching, Spiritual Reading and Meditation: Volume Four: From the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost to the Twenty-fourth and Last Sunday after Pentecost, tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996).


[6] Pope John Paul II, Rosarium Virginia Mariae, at, 10/16/02.

[7] J. Blenkinsopp, A history of prophecy in Israel (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1983) 23, footnote 23 in Randall E. Otto, “The Prophets and Their Perspective,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 2 (April 2001) 225.

[8] Scott G. Brown, “Mark 11:1—12:12: A Triple Intercalation?” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (January 2002) 78-89.