The psychological insight from these readings is to face up to and confront reality with the calm confidence of Christ and without defensiveness.  There is always more to do than anyone is able.  Rather than be overwhelmed, these readings show how to reach out and get the better of the situation.


The African American female scholar, Dr. Deborah Gray White shares the type of hypertension, with which the Faithful sometimes must battle.  The issue is not how Dr. White handled the matter, but that she had to handle it.  The handling is always difficult and the issue is whether to face or avoid the difficulty.

The master of ceremonies introduced Dr. White as Dr. Gray White, as Dr. Deborah Gray White boiled over inside, because the master of ceremonies would not simply look down to get her name correct.  Dr. White was out of place, an intervention in the status quo.  Dr. White admonishes “… to take into account the stress factors involved in always having to prove ourselves, in feeling we must always represent the race, in the feelings that we must not, may not fail, even when, or despite the fact that, our colleagues and our employers do not know or cannot remember, or will not say our names.”[1]


First Reading: Genesis 18:1-10a

          Like Dr. White, Abraham represented his race and accepted all of the burdens thereto associated.  Abraham, however, handled his difficulties differently from Dr. White.


          Genesis 12—50

          Bruce N. Fisk, “Offering Isaac Again and Again: Pseudo-Philo's Use of the Aqedah as Intertext”[2]

          Perhaps someone else can see how to make this reference relevant to the readings today.


          Genesis 18:15

          Nathan Macdonald, “Listening to Abraham—Listening to Yhwh: Divine Justice and Mercy in Genesis 18:16-33”[3]

Perhaps someone else can see how to make this reference relevant to the readings today.

Genesis 18:1-2

Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[4]

Barker exemplifies the need to accept human limitations, in particular my human limitations understanding what she has on her mind.  In the reading, the singular pronoun does not agree with the plural persons present.  Barker wonders who these persons may be, three angels? two angels and the LORD? the angels next to the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple? some sort of Philolausian triangular masculinity, versus a square femininity, associated with an older temple tradition?


Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 15:2-3, 3-4, 5

Nothing new.


Second Reading: Colossians 1:24-28

          Col 1:24

          Jerry L. Sumney, "`I Fill Up What Is Lacking in the Afflictions of Christ': Paul's Vicarious Suffering in Colossians"[5]

Though he had never met the Colossians, Paul offered up his sufferings for them and for the Church.


Colossians 1:24

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[6]

The Catechism cites Colossians 1:24 in Chapter 19, “Anointing the Sick and the Dying.”  The Catechism misses the point when it asks question 3, “What are the effects of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick?” and answers “providing for the restoration of health, if it is conducive to the salvation of his [sic] soul.”  Not only is the patriarchal sexism unnecessary, so is limiting the restoration of health to the salvation of the soul of the person anointed.  The restoration of health may also be for the good of the Church, as illustrated in Colossians.

To its credit, the Catechism notes, “Illness breaks the running pace of life, but there is still the need of calming down.”  Setting priorities is key to facing reality joined to the suffering of Christ.  Certain situations require acceptance, rather than defensive denial.


Alleluia: cf. Luke 8:15

Nothing new.


Gospel: Luke 10:38-24

Nothing new.



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

[1] Deborah Gray White, “`Matter out of Place’: Ar’nt I a Women? Black Female Scholars and the Academy,” The Journal of African American History, Vol. 92, No. 1 (Winter 2007) 6.


[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 3 (July 2000) 484.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 1 (January 2004) 26, 35.


[4] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003 232, 111, 149-150, 267.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4 (October 2006) 666, 678.


[6] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006 252, 255, 258.