Vice President Joe Biden had his rosary beads out in the White House Situation Room as he watched real-time footage from a helmet camera worn by a Navy SEAL going after Osama bin Laden.[1]  During his run for the Vice Presidency in 2008, I remember how the Bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania attacked Biden as not following Catholic principles.  I also remember how the Vatican relieved that same Bishop of his office following the election of Biden as Vice-President of the United States of America. 

History will be the ultimate judge of how we will remember the execution of bin Laden.  As a retired professor of Western Civilization, I like to observe that some say that the theory of a just war is just war.  I disagree, but that is not the point for the readings this Sunday. 

The Faithful, including struggling legislators, are not in a sweetness situation with their Roman Catholic hierarchy.  All of the contemporary Faithful are much like the ancient Faithful before the Babylonian Exile, with religious leadership dysfunctional and in disarray.  For the only time in its history, Amnesty International indited the Vatican in its May 13, 2011 Annual Report on rights abuses and restrictions and failures to implement international rights’ agreements.[2]  Amnesty International specifically cited sex abuse, a point these Personal Notes frequently cite as the sexual abuse cover-up.  The cover-up is even more serious than the original sexual crimes.

May 19th, Raymond Arroyo, “The World Over,” at EWTN television, did not face the political tensions involved with Biden praying the rosary in the Situation Room.  The program also passed over the Amnesty International inditement[3] and the forthcoming 300-page John Jay College of Criminal Justice report, formally called “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010.”[4]  The United States Council of Catholic Bishops released the John Jay report in Washington, D.C., May 18, just before Arroyo could give an assessment the next day.[5] 

The readings for this Sunday offer a sense of direction for the political shoals in which the Faithful find themselves.  The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs is the Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday.  Israel, in the name of David, wrote the 145th Psalm after the Exile.  Like Joe Biden, the Faithful need confidence that the Lord will offer direction in these trying times. 

In the First Reading, Second Isaiah prophecies that God is fulfilling the promises made to David to the people of Israel, returned from Exile.  The Faithful of today have the same Davidic promises.  Romans insists that nothing will separate the Faithful from the love of Christ.  Matthew portrays Jesus as leaving the Faithful the Eucharistic gift of himself.  All of this is appropriate for the unholy mess in which the Faithful find themselves with regard to the current Roman Catholic hierarchy scandalous cover-up of sexual abuse.

 

Readings

First Reading:                   Isaiah 55:1-3

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18 (cf. 16)

Second Reading:              Romans 8:8:35, 37-39

Alleluia:                             cf. Matthew 4:4b

Gospel:                             Matthew 14:13-21

 

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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.

 

Isaiah 55:1-3

Isaiah 55:1-13

Gregory J. Polan, O.S.B., review of Oystein Lund, Way Metaphors and Ways Topics in Isaiah 40-55[6]

Polan reports that Lund would improve his argument by including the initial explanation Isaiah 6:9-10 offers to interpret his metaphors.  Polan observes that Isaiah 55:1-13 concludes Second Isaiah, that is, Isaiah written in the Babylonian Exile.

 

Isaiah 55:3-5

Michael J. Chan, “Isaiah 65—66 and the Genesis of Reorienting Speech”[7]

God told David to wait building the temple.  Chan speculates that Second Isaiah proposed that Davidic waiting as the Babylonian Exile.

 

Psalm 145:8-9, 15-16, 17-18 (cf. 16)

Pastoral Care of the Sick uses Psalm 145.[8]

 

Romans 8:8:35, 37-39

The Church makes these verses available for both visits to the sick and funerals.[9]

 

cf. Matthew 4:4b

 

Matthew 14:13-21

Matt 14:13-33

Leroy Andrew Huizenga, “Obedience unto Death: The Matthean Gethsemane and Arrest Sequence and the Aqedah”[10]

Huizenga argues that Matthew portrays Jesus as obedient, like Isaac, before his executioner.  When Matthew portrays Jesus as the miracle worker, Matthew is making the point that Jesus had a choice, when it came to dying on the cross.

 

For my background and more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes.

 

Themes

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.  Commas separate verses within the same book and semi-colons separate books.  The abbreviation for following is f.  The abbreviation for personal confusion is ??  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 8:35, 37-39:

 

Verse 35       Romans 37:39 ??; Romans 5:5; 2 Corinthians 5:14, 2:9; Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 12:10; Romans 11:12 f.

Verse 37       John 16:33! Revelation 12:11.

Verse 38       Romans 14:14; 15:14; 1 Corinthians 3:22; Ephesians 1:21!

Verse 39       Romans 8:35! John 17:26.

 

 

Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Matthew 14:13-21:

 

Verse 13       Matthew 13—21; Mark 6:32-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-13; cf. Matthew 15:32-39 parallel; Mathew 4:12!

Verse 14       Matthew 9:36! Matthew 15:39 f. parallel.

Verse 16       Matthew 16—20; 2 Kings 4:42-44.

Verse 18       Matthew 16:9.

Verse 19       Mark 7:34; John 11:41, 17:1; Psalm 123:1; Mark 14:22! Acts 27:35.

 

For my background and more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes



[1] Jeremy Scahill, “The Kill Team,” The Nation, Vol. 292, No. 21 (May 23, 2011) page 6, column 2, second last paragraph.

 

 

[3] Raymond Arroyo, the Encore Presentation on ETWN, “The World Over,” Friday, May 20, 2011.  I do not own the technology required to record this program, and accept the risk associated therewith.

 

[4] David Gibson, “Report spreads blame for Catholic sex abuse,”  http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/report-spreads-blame-catholic-sex-abuse (Accessed May 18, 2011).

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 2009) 379.

 

[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 2010) 452.

 

[8] 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) 328.

 

[9] 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) 267.

 

N.a., 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) 216.

 

[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 517.