Sacred Scripture includes a commercial element when dealing with virtue, justice, and ethics.  As the Lucam “Our Father,” words it,  We ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us (Luke 11:4).  Debt is commercial.  Abraham haggles with God like a buyer and seller in a fish market.  For the sake of those ten [Sodomites], I will not destroy it [Sodom] (Genesis 1:32). 

The Psalmist presents the Faithful as the handiwork of God (Psalm 138:8), handiwork, something that might be bought and sold in the marketplace.  Sacred Scripture does weave a commercial element into what it means to be holy.  But that is not all.  Colossians sets out God as a crafty bookkeeper, obliterating the bond [what the Faithful owe God] against us, with its legal claims (Colossians 2:14).

 

The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday is Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me (Psalm 138:3a).[1]  The needed help refers to forgiving sins and debts.  For many, help is also needed to find jobs.

 

In the prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the forgiveness of sins, the Faithful using the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for that “we may use the good things that pass”[2] as a reference to their commercial enterprises.

 

Ezra set the religious perspective on commerce when he referred to the commercial means of exchange, silver and gold.  And I said unto them, Ye are holy unto the LORD; the vessels are holy also; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers (Ezra 8:28).[3] 

 

 

Readings

First Reading                     Genesis 18:20-32

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8 (3a)

Second Reading:               Colossians 2:12-14

Alleluia:                             Romans 8:15bc

Gospel:                             Luke 11:1-13

 

Annotated Bibliography

Musings above the solid line draw from material below.  Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some interesting details.

 

Genesis 18:20-32

Gen 18

Gioacchino Campese, C.S., “The Irruption of Migrants:  Theology of Migration in the 21st Century”[4]

Campese argues there is a “profound rediscovery of the Christian tradition of hospitality inspired by some of the biblical icons of hospitality, such as Abraham (Gen 18) . . . ”

 

Genesis 18:17-33

Clifford M. Yeary, Pilgrim People:  A Scriptural Commentary[5]

Yeary quotes the whole passage, 17-33 to make a point about “God’s Pilgrimage of Friendship.”

 

Gen 18:30

Wilma Ann Bailey, review of Matthew Richard Schlimm, From Fratricide to Forgiveness:  The Language and Ethics of Anger in Genesis[6]

Bailey reports that Schlimm uses let not my Lord grow impatient to point out the possibility of God becoming angry.  Bailey faults Schlimm for “loose interpretation of biblical stories,” “never analyzes a text that treats the anger of God,” “premature.”  Schlimm offers interesting scholarly work, but not anything that a reader can trust for academic rigor.

 

Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6-7, 7-8 (3a)

 

Colossians 2:12-14

Col 2:14

James F. Keenan, S.J., review of Gary A. Anderson, Sin:  A History[7]

Keenan approvingly reports that Anderson portrays “the God of the Scriptures is a creative accountant who plays with the books, for our sake,” obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims.

 

Romans 8:15bc

 

Luke 11:1-13

Luke 11:4

Walter T. Wilson, “Seen in Secret:  Inconspicuous Piety and Alternative Subjectivity in Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18”[8]

Wilson points out “. . . language that conceptualizes sins as debts from which one can be `released’ (Matt 6:12; cf. Luke 11:4 [used here]),” we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us.

 

Luke 11:9

Amelia J. Uelmen,   “Caritas in Veritate and Chiara Lubich:  Human Development from the Vantage Point of Unity”[9]

Uelmen argues that the principles of Caritas in Veritate lead to economic justice and human development.  Ask and you will receive.  This article seems to be sop to get the Papacy off the editorial backs of Theological Studies.

 


 

Luke 11:10

Jo-Ann A. Brant, review of George L. Parsenios, Rhetoric and drama in the Johannine Lawsuit Motif[10]

Brant reports that Parsenios is beginning a scholarly discussion of the lawsuit motif in John.  Brant writes,

 

Perhaps the most significant contribution comes . . . when P. looks at John’s puzzling use of the verb zetin (e.g. John 34).  In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus praises the act of seeking and promises its success (Matt 7:7; Luke 11:10 [used here]).  In John, seeking is often a hostile act undertaken by Jesus’ opponents (e.g. 7:25; 8:21).

 

Luke 11:11

Maurice A. Robinson, “Rule 9, Isolated Variants, and the `Test-Tube’ Nature of the NA27/UBS4 Text: A Byzantine-Priority Perspective”[11]

Robinson points to four zero-support verses by number of variant units per verse, of which Luke 11:11 is one.  What father among you would hand his son a snake . . . 

 

Luke 11:13

Paul Elbert, “Acts 2:38 in Light of the Syntax of Imperative-Future Passive and Imperative-Present Participle Combinations”[12]

Elbert argues the Father in heaven [will] give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him; means ask him in persistent prayer. 

 

Luke 11:13

Fr. Yozefu – B. Ssemakula, The Healing of Families:  How To Pray Effectively for Those Stubborn Personal and Familial Problems[13]

Ssemakula exhorts, “you will now have to fill up that place vacated by satan [sic] with the Holy Spirit—the Consoler and Protector (Lk 11:13 [used here], Jn 14:16-17, 26).”  

 

Personal Notes gave up systematically examining the illiterate 2011 Missal November 25, 2012.  On April 7, 2013, with Reading 045C 2nd Sunday of Easter_A Catholic Bible Study 130407, Personal Notes systematically began to incorporate material from A Commentary on the Order of Mass of The Roman Missal:  A New English Translation:  Developed under the Auspices of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, Edward Foley (ed.) (Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2011).  The hope is that this approach will help the Faithful pray with the new Missal, despite itself.

 

Anscar J. Chupungco, “The ICEL2010 Translation”[14]

 

“May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life” is a mistranslation that Chupungco takes four paragraphs to explain.  This is the second of those paragraphs:

 

Last Sunday, Chupungco explained, “English propositional clauses with or without verbs are not the equivalent of the Latin ablative absolute.”  This Sunday, Chupungco will explain what a more literal translation would be.  Next Sunday Chupungco will explain what the current Missal actually says.  Finally, Chupungco will explain that the 2011 Missal gave up the search for a meaningful formal equivalent translation.  In other words, as the translation now stands, the translation is nonsense.

 

ICEL2008 placed the phrase “with our sins forgiven” after the personal pronoun “us” (“May almighty God have mercy on us, and lead us, with our sins forgiven, to eternal life’).  Syntactically the phrase describes our forgiven condition, not the forgiving action of God.  The Latin text places et, dimissis peccatis nostris after Deus, which is the grammatical subject of the ablative absolute, in order to affirm that God is the subject of the forgiveness of our sins.  Literally, the sentence should read:  “May almighty God have mercy on us, and having forgiven our sins, lead us to eternal life.”

 

For more on sources see the Appendix file.  A complete set of Personal Notes, dating from the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 14, 2002 to the present, is on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes. 

 



[1] 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 the Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota:  The Liturgical Press, 1988) 736.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.

 

[2] n.a., The Roman Missal:  Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II:  English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Washington, DC, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011) 477.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.

 

[3] UMI Annual Commentary 2012-2013:  Precepts for Living: Based on the International Uniform Lessons, Vincent E. Bacote, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc., 2012).

 

[4] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 1 (March 2012) 21, 29.

 

[5] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2010, 12.

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4 (October 2012) 801.

 

[7] Theological Studies, Vol. 72, No. 4 (December 2011) 922.

 

[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 2010) 486.

 

[9] Theological Studies, Vol. 71, No. 1 (March 2010) 33.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 390.

 

[11] in Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 60.

 

[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2013) 95-96, 104.

 

[13] [no publisher or place of publication is listed] www.healingoffamilies.com, 2012, 336.

 

[14] in A Commentary on the Order of Mass of The Roman Missal:  A New English Translation:  Developed under the Auspices of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, Edward Foley (ed.) (Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2011) 139.