The word for this week is shepherd.
The overview for these readings is about dealing with scandal.
verse 1 Woe to the shepherds
who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the LORD.
verse 2 Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
against the shepherds who shepherd my people:
You have scattered my sheep and driven them away.
You have not cared for them,
but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.
A scholar draws a parallel from this verse to Nabal, the
After describing Nabal as a harsh man of evil deeds 1 Samuel
25 uses that harshness to justify the breakup. Harshness, then, is something
serious, especially since it relates to what the Faithful would recognize as
political correctness. Harshness “implies the violation of expected behavioral
or relational norms.” The scholar goes on, “The latter’s [Nabal’s] socially
offensive behavior is manifested by his refusal to recompense
There is at least one Nabal at Daily Mass at the Newport News Poor Clare Monastery, “violating expected behavioral and relational norms with socially offensive behavior,” related to loudness, pitch, and timber of others there assembled in prayer. “To whom no one can talk” characterizes at least one of those socially offensive Faithful. Foolishness well describes the daily harshness. Harshness is a refusal to accept the flock norms of the Good Shepherd. Placing a loud speaker on the altar is a stroke of genius, suggesting the point of a need to “be talked to.”
own folly and to the hand of Yahweh .…
Nabal, like Saul, is unfit to be king, even though he fancies himself to be
worthy of a royal banquet .… ten days later, Yahweh smites him [Nabal] and he
dies (vv. 37-38).
verse 4 I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them
so that they need no longer fear and tremble;
and none shall be missing, says the LORD.
Why not wonder whether the next Richmond Ordinary may not be
verse 5 Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD,
I will raise up a righteous shoot to
The Lectionary is calling to mind the root of Jesse
of Isaiah (Isa —), where the word shoot is used.
Unlike other prophets, who represented hope as only residing
directly in God,
Psalm 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
This translation, I will walk in the dark valley is better than the King James Valley of Death. Fundamentally, this is a cheerful psalm.
verse 1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Cycle B uses this psalm only here; Cycle C does not use it; Cycle A uses it four times. Funeral Rites uses it in four places: (1) Vigil for a Deceased Child; (2) Funerals for Adults, Responsorial 1, (3) Funerals for Baptized Children, Responsorial 1, and (4) Antiphons and Psalms 1. I developed a cross-index between the Funeral Rites and the Lectionary, that I am ready to make available for the asking.
verse 14 For he is our peace, he who made both one
and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh
In other words, if God can forgive the Faithful through
Prayer for peace and for the family
number of historical circumstances also make a revival of the Rosary quite
timely. First of all, the need to implore from God the gift of peace. The Rosary has many times been proposed by my
predecessors and myself as a prayer for peace. At the start of a millennium
which began with the terrifying attacks of 11 September 2001, a millennium
which witnesses every day in numerous parts of the world fresh scenes of
bloodshed and violence, to rediscover the Rosary means to immerse oneself in
contemplation of the mystery of Christ who “is our peace,” since he made “the
two of us one, and broke down the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph ).
Consequently, one cannot recite the Rosary without feeling caught up in a clear
commitment to advancing peace, especially in the
“Behold, your Mother!” (Jn 19:27)
signs indicate that still today the Blessed Virgin desires to exercise through
this same prayer that maternal concern to which the dying Redeemer entrusted,
in the person of the beloved disciple, all the sons and daughters of the Church:
“Woman, behold your son!” (Jn 19:26). Well-known are the occasions in the
nineteenth and the twentieth centuries on which the Mother of Christ made her
presence felt and her voice heard, in order to exhort the People of God to this
form of contemplative prayer. I would mention in particular, on account of
their great influence on the lives of Christians and the authoritative
recognition they have received from the Church, the apparitions of
Following the witnesses
would be impossible to name all the many Saints who discovered in the Rosary a
genuine path to growth in holiness. We need but mention Saint Louis Marie
Grignion de Montfort, the author of an excellent work on the Rosary.
and, closer to ourselves,
verse 27 My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
This does not mean that the Faithful expect to act like sheep before unworthy shepherds. What this does mean is that the Faithful should keep listening, until they discern the voice of the Lord, to then follow that voice wherever it may lead.
A scholar points out that verses 30-34 are part of a larger pericope (30-44) about the feeding of the 5,000.
with “the macabre banquet of Herod in
6:14-29” and the rejection of Jesus in 6:1-6a by the people of
The authors’ witty rejection of the rationalizing interpretation of the feeding story that treats it as an example of the crowd’ sharing inspired by Jesus’ preaching, and their alternative suggestion that the passage be read in light of the metaphor of the church as a pilgrim people complete the artistry of the interpretation.
verse 30 The apostles gathered together with
and reported all they had done and taught.
A scholar points out that this is the apostles’ return from
the disciples’ being sent out in verses 7-13. Most commentators link verse 30
with what follows, as the Lectionary presents. The other, less developed
link, belongs with what precedes. Apostle
means someone sent out, i.e. the disciples. At this point, apostle is not a title.
A scholar thinks that verse 30 is “another suggestion of their [the apostles] failure, as
happens on the way to
verse 31 He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
The grammarian offers insight for by yourselves. From the Greek, the grammarian suggests “Now you (namely in your turn do as I did and)” as in Mark 35: “By now it was already late and his disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already very late.”
The grammarian notes that opportunity may also be translated have a good opportunity, have leisure/time.
verse 33 People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.
The grammarian points out that They hastened may be translated as They ran.
verse 34 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.
The grammarian explains moved with pity as also translatable as be moved to pity in one’s most inward parts, be touched by, have compassion on.
To summarize, Jeremiah is about accepting established norms as emanating from The Good Shepherd, the psalm is about finding safety in the flock of the shepherd. Ephesians offers an explanation for that safety in the sacrifice of the Mass, an expression of the life of Christ, while Mark tells the Faithful disciples to take a rest from their labors so as not to become un-Christ-like. All of this means that the prophets anticipated the scandalous behavior of the hierarchy practically from the beginning of Sacred Scripture. Life goes on, even supernatural life, so, the Faithful need not be afraid to take a vacation. With the Monsignor, God seems to command a vacation.
The Quarterly references apply recent scholarship to the Lectionary readings. In effect, these Personal Notes annotate the Index references at www.western-civilization.com By reviewing the footnotes, one can quickly decide whether the effort to consult the original article may be worthwhile. The idea is to balance and connect recent scholarship with the substance of traditional spirituality.
Traditional spirituality rests upon several basic sources in
these Personal Notes.
The Lectionary gives the readings used at
The Sunday words
are developed out of
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.
This Appendix takes up two pages; 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.
Brackets [ ] indicate insertions made by me, parentheses ( ) indicate insertions made by someone else.
 International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by Authority of Pope Paul IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: 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 (New Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998)
 It is well-known and bears repeating that private revelations are not the same as public revelation, which is binding on the whole Church. It is the task of the Magisterium to discern and recognize the authenticity and value of private revelations for the piety of the faithful.
 Translation from Tuesday after Epiphany or January 8, WI, United States 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 II: Proper of Seasons for Weekdays, Year I: Proper of Saints: Common of Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002)129.
 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).
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
 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).
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.