Greek thinking and language is the source of Western logic.  That logic causes problems for scholars dealing with the Greek translation of what happened in the original Aramaic that Jesus spoke.  Logic means that the Fathers of the Church had to figure out what to do with the phrase “God the Father.”  The Nicene Creed (325 AD) incorporates God the Son and God the Holy Ghost (or Spirit) with God the Father, as three persons with one nature, God.  How to present three persons in one nature is difficult to explain.  Saint Patrick helped.  Saint Patrick, with his cloverleaf explanation, only came later (c. 387-493).[1]

Before the logic of the Greeks, thinking was more right-brained holistic.  That holistic view was the culture of Jesus.  Michael C. McCarthy, S.J., the inspiration for these musings, recognizes a difference between God as a logical loving European Father and God as a holistic fearful North African Judge.  The closest thing to an African griot (gree oo) in Europe would be something like a Shakespearian bard.  The griots of Africa thought holistically. 

McCarthy cites Wisdom 12:18, you judge with clemency … for power, whenever you will, attends you, as a verse Saint Augustine used to explain Divine Wrath.  Augustine excused Divine Wrath, symbolized by the pastoral staff or crosier used by bishops, as necessary for guiding the Faithful.  With no logic involved at all, many times, a terrible hurricane, tornado, or thunderstorm has made me feel the mighty presence of God almighty—the Divine Wrath.  As difficult as are the Divine Wrath verses in Sacred Scripture, the Faith of our Fathers preserved those verses for a reason.  Abandoning a certain amount of logic, the present Faithful can only pray to discern the reason for preserving the Wrath of God in Sacred Scripture.

McCarthy mentions neither the Book of Job, nor the reply of Jesus when his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  (John 9:2, Reading 31A for the Fourth Sunday of Lent.)  “Jesus answered, `Neither he nor his parents sinned …’”  This is the attitude I take with me to the Healing Ministry at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

What it all comes down to is the Wrath of God, for the Europeans, was something quite illogical and consequential; for the North Africans lack of logic had no consequence.  McCarthy argues that since Divine Wrath is an embarrassment to the Church, the Roman Catholic Church systematically covers it up in the Lectionary Sunday readings and all texts used in public worship.  Such a cover-up was not always the case. 

The current liturgical cover-up happened at the time the Roman Curia began to turn back the changes of Vatican II under Pope Paul VI (1963-1978).  The problem with this cover-up is the residue of a Pollyanna God, who really does not care what people do.  The other problem with this cover-up is that it leads to the other cover-up of the sexual abuse of children by the all-male hierarchy. 

All the while the Roman Catholic hierarchy covers up the truth of Divine Wrath in public prayer, that same hierarchy excuses itself for covering up the sexual abuse of children.  Neither cover-up is holy.  These personal musings do not pretend to do much more than insist that covering up both the Divine Wrath and the sexual abuse of children is inappropriate.  The scandal resulting from admitting both is a lesser evil than avoiding the truth.  The current approaches seem dysfunctional.  The most appropriate approach for the Faithful, therefore, is prayer for discernment regarding the best course to take from now on. 


First Reading:                    Wisdom 12:13, 16-19

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16 (5a)

Second Reading:               Romans 8:26-27

Alleluia:                             cf. Matthew 11:25

Gospel:                             Matthew 13:24-43



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 interesting details.


Wisdom 12:13, 16-19

Wis 12:18

Michael C. McCarthy, S.J., “Divine Wrath and Human Anger:  Embarrassment Ancient and New”[2]

The annotations for this article are above the double line.


Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16 (5a)


Romans 8:26-27

Rom 8:18-39

Michael Peppard, “Adopted and Begotten Sons of God:  Paul and John on Divine Sonship”[3]

Peppard argues that Paul regarded God as adopting the Hebrews after the escape through the Red Sea.  Just as the Hebrews then had to wait before entering the Promised Land, so must the Faithful now wait for the Second Coming.  Because he [the Holy Spirit] intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will, in turning aside Divine Wrath.


Rom 8:23-27

Ignatius Brady, O.F.M., “Saint Francis and the Holy Spirit”[4]

Brady argues from the writings of Saint Francis, “If the Spirit lives and works in us, then we shall love and adore the Father with pure heart and pure mind (freed from every selfish affection or desire), always praying and not losing heart for this is what He seeks above all else, that we worship Him in Spirit and in truth (ER [??] 22).”  Divine wrath is part of truth.


Rom 8:26-27

Nijay K. Gupta, “Which `Body’ Is a Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19)?  Paul beyond the Individual/Communal Divide”[5]

Gupta argues that Saint Paul is fond of pointing out the presence of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of the Faithful, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes …  The Faithful need that Divine intercession when coming to terms with Divine Wrath.


cf. Matthew 11:25


Matthew 13:24-43


Mat 13:32

Ryan S. Schellenberg, “Kingdom as Contaminant?  The Role of Repertoire in the Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Leaven”[6]

Schellenberg argues that the expected contrast would have been between the anticipated shrub and the unexpected tree resulting from the mustard seed.  To make the unexpected point about the Kingdom of God, Schellenberg argues the Evangelists defined the mustard seed as “the smallest of all the seeds on earth.”  The idea has to be that the Kingdom of God is unexpectedly large.


Matt 13:37-43

Walter T. Wilson, review of Matthias Konradt, Israel, Kirche und die Völker im Matthäusevangelium[7]

Wilson reports that Konradt might write more about the Divine Wrath, citing Matthew 13:40, just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.  Wilson concludes, “… the same one who sows good seed in `the world’ is also the one who will judge the world (13:37-43).”


For my background and more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at




For recurring themes in Sacred Scripture, see the following.  The exclamation point (!) indicates principal reference lists of passages related by a common theme or expression.  The exclamation point sometimes also functions as a semi-colon, comma, or period.  Italics of the same verse (I supply the book and chapter) indicates a special relevance; italics of a different verse or book, indicates a direct quote.  Commas separate verses within the same book and semi-colons separate books.  The abbreviation for following is f.  The abbreviation for personal confusion is ??  For material based on the Greek Septuagint Greek, the abbreviation is LXX.  LXX means the psalms may be one less than the number used.  With this material, I am trying to lay a foundation for developing Biblical themes the next time through the Cycles.  I intend to add in which Lectionary readings to find the relevant passages.


Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Romans 8:26-27:


Verse 26       Ephesians 6:16; Jud ?? 20; Revelations 22:17; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Isaiah 28:11, 34; Hebrews 7:25; Mark 8:12! 2 Corinthians 12:4.

Verse 27       Revelation 2:23; Psalm 139:1; 1 Corinthians 4:5, 2:10.


Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Matthew 13:24-43:


Verse 24       Matthew 13:36-43.

Verse 25       Mark 4:27.

Verse 30       Revelation 14:15; Matthew 3:12.

Verse 31       Matthew 13:31 f. Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18 f—17:20!

Verse 32       Daniel 4:9, 18; Ezekiel 17:23, 31:6; Psalm 103:12 LXX.

Verse 33       Matthew 13:33 Luke  13:20 f, 16:6; 1 Corinthians 5:6; Genesis 18:6.

Verse 34       Matthew 13:34 Mark 4:33 f.; Matthew 1:3!

Verse 35       Psalm 78:2; 1 Corinthians 2:7!

Verse 36       Matthew 13:1.

Verse 37       Matthew 13:24-30; 1 John 3:9.

Verse 38       1 Corinthians 3:9!

Verse 39       John 8:44! 40:49, 24:3, 28:20; Hebrews 9:6; Enoch 16:1; 4 Ezra 7:113.

Verse 40       Matthew 3:10!

Verse 41       Matthew 24:31! 25:31-46, 20:21! 7:23; Psalm 141:9; 1 John 3:4.

Verse 42       Daniel 3:6; Mathew 8:12.

Verse 43       Matthew 17:2; Judges 5:31; 2 Samuel 23:3 f; Daniel 12:3; Matthew 11:15!





Through Reading 70A, January 30, 2011, I designed these comments on the availability of manuscripts to make the point that uncertainty exists about exactly which Greek to use for the purposes of translation.  At that point, I began offering manuscript availability for background when examining Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, which I purchased based on the review in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.[8]


Romans 8:26-27

Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, 2nd ed., Erroll F. Rhodes, tr.[9]

The University Library at Cambridge has a Third Century papyrus with Romans 8:24-27.  The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor has a parchment dating from about 200 with Romans 8:15—16:27.


Matthew 13:24-43

Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, 2nd ed., Erroll F. Rhodes, tr.[10]

The Bodleian Library in Oxford has a Ninth Century Palimpsest, twice rewritten parchment, evidently with all of Matthew.



For my background and more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at

[1] See  (accessed April 30, 2011).


[2] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 4 (September 2009) 866.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (January 2011) 100.


[4] Greyfriars Review Vol. 19, Issue 3 (2005) 202.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 2010) 530.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 542.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (October 2008) 836.


[8] Robert Hodgson, Jr., review of Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 877-878.


[9] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 97, 99.


[10] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 126.