One way to calm the soul is by getting things right with God. My concern is to accept the mercy of God forgiving sins, forgiving me for the wrong turns into which I have directed my life.
The first reading from Wisdom 12:13, 16-19, is about
the Exodus out of Egypt,
that God is forgiving the Israelites their sins and allowing them to get back
on track. Repeatedly, the Israelites
stumble and fall. Eventually,
Still full of hope, the Lectionary offers the Faithful Psalm 86. Psalm 86 praises God for his mercy. Psalm 86 is among those used by the Church in Pastoral Care for the Sick. Psalm 86:5, 15 portrays God as both patient and kind, something dear to the heart of Paul, especially as preserved by the Faithful in 1 Corinthians 13:4. Romans, the readings for today, reflects a love of the patience and kindness of God.
Romans 8:26-27 explains that, because of
The Greek for hearts, which the Spirit searches in Romans, has a range of meaning from emotions to intellect and will. Since the Holy Spirit knows what he wants, he knows how to plead the case effectively. The issue is for the Faithful to seek and plead for that forgiveness. Paul is comfortable with that arrangement.
Forgiving sins is one of the functions of the ordained
sacramental priesthood. As illustrated
from the Lectionary, the priesthood of
Parables are among the most undeniably authentic teachings of Jesus. In the Lectionary, Matthew -43 offers three of seven (Matthew 13:1-52) parables of Jesus. All of the three are about Israel rejecting Jesus. Matthew has Jesus himself explain the parable about the tares and the wheat. The Lectionary translates tares as weeds. Tares look like wheat until the harvest, the harvest toward which Josephites work in the Black Apostolate for those unrepresented and misrepresented. The parable has a threefold shift in power from the enemy to the weeds to the harvest of which God is in charge.
Evil is a carry-over issue from last Sunday. Matthew has a duality of good and evil
A side issue is violence as an appropriate political weapon. Saint John Chrysostom (354-407), one of the Four Great Eastern Doctors of the Church, saw nothing wrong with closing down heretical schools and forbidding heretics to speak. Under the best circumstances, the academic world counters the abuse of free speech with more free speech, rather than censorship. Censorship is a form of violence.
The violence at the end-time of the tares and the wheat seems contrary to the attributes of the Sermon on the Mount, also in Matthew. The difference is that the Sermon is about how humans ought to treat one another; the end-time for the tares and wheat is about what God will do. In the novitiate, the Novice Master admonished us not to test one another, because the vicissitudes of life would offer enough of that.
The Fathers of the Church point out that tares and wheat resemble one another until they develop seeds. Discernment is difficult, important, and in many ways best left up to the Almighty.
Another side issue is the bodily resurrection,
required for the grinding of teeth in
There is also something to be said about
the legitimacy of owning anything, e.g. the field into which the man sows the
A final side issue is that since 1991, at least,
scholars are shifting their understanding of parables. First, scholars are understanding parables
more as allegory and less as history. An
allegory is a symbolic representation, like an emblem. An allegory can have a hidden spiritual
meaning that transcends the literal sense of a sacred text. In this instance,
Second, parables often make more than one point,
aligning with a central character in the narrative. For example, at one level, the parable of the
wheat and the weeds expresses solidarity with the outcasts of
These readings are about recovering from the effects of sin, recovering through the graces of the Exodus, through the praise of the Father, through the intercession of the Holy Spirit, and through grace earned by Jesus Christ, leaving the Faithful a promise that in due time they “will shine like the sun” (Matthew 13:45).
These A Catholic Bible Study, Personal Notes and some others are already on the web site at http://www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes/Personal%20Notes.htm
For more on sources see the Appendix file.
 The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: 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: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 292.
 Jeremy Corley, “The Pauline Authorship of 1 Corinthians 13," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 2 (April 2004) 264.
 Joseph Plevnik, S.J., “The Understanding of God at the Basis of Pauline Theology," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 65, No. 4 (October 2003) 562.
 Brendan Byrne, S.J., “The Problem of NomoV and the Relationship with Judaism in Romans,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 2 (April 2000) 308.
 Jack Dean Kingsbury, “Observations on the `Miracle Chapters’ of Mathew 8-9," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October 1978) 565.
 W. R. G. Loader, “Son of David, Blindness, Possession, and Duality in Matthew,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 4 (October 1982) 577.
 Jack Dean Kingsbury, “The Developing Conflict between Jesus and the Jewish Leaders in Matthew’s Gospel: a Literary-Critical Study," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 1 (January 1987) 60.
 Mark Allan Powell, “The Magi as Kings: An Adventure in Reader-Response Criticism,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 3 (July 2000) 468.
 Barbara E. Reid, O.P., “Violent Endings in Matthew’s Parables and Christian Nonviolence," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 2 (April 2004) 237, 251-252.
 Chrysostom, “25. But while the men were asleep, his enemy came, etc.” in “Exposition from the Catena Aurea,” in 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) 329; Jerome in “Exposition from the Catena Aurea,” in 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) 321.