The Jewish scholar, Edward Kessler, writes, “Faith as covenant means that if I and my fellow believers have a relationship with God, this does not entail that you do not.”[1]  Kessler regards covenants as matters of identity, rather than contract.  Personal Notes has been developing the idea that love consists in maintaining a relationship, rather than who gets what out of a relationship.  That aspect of Catholic-Jewish relations is attractive.  The covenantal love relationship with God involves identity.

 

The traditional version of love is about who gets what:  Jesus gives his human life as atonement, so that the Faithful receive redemption; the Faithful give obedience, God receives glory.  There is a different way, different from the traditional way, to regard love.  Rather than being about who gets what, love is also about maintaining a relationship, no matter what happens.  That sign around Newport News, Virginia, “No matter what, trust God,” is about relationship, not about who gets what out of the relationship.  The love song, “I Climb” by Thousand Foot Krutch has the lyrics, “I don’t want you to be anything at all, I just want you to say you love me” makes the point about non-judgmental love.[2]  In that way, both Jews and Christians can approach God, without trampling on one another.

 

 

Readings

First Reading                     1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14 (8)

Second Reading:               Romans 9:1-5

Alleluia:                             cf. Psalm 130:5

Gospel:                             Matthew 14:22-33

 

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.

 

1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a


 

1 Kings 19:4-21

Anne M. O’Leary, P.B.V.M., review of Adam Winn, Mark and the Elijah-Elisha Narrative:  Considering the Practice of Greco-Roman Imitation in the search for the  Markan Source Material[3]

Winn uses 1 Kings 19:4-21 to parallel the call of Elijah to Elisha with the call of Jesus to his disciples as found in Mark 1:1-20.  Both calls were relatively gentle.  Both were about sharing relationships rather than competing for survival.

 

1 Kings 19:11-13

Edward Kessler, “A Jewish Response to Gavin D’Costa”[4]

Kessler, mentioned above, argues that a tiny whispering sound was a shift from description to prescription; from what is to what ought to be.  Contrary to the mission to the Jews, described by D’Costa below, sound means that relationship, rather than truth is the key.  Different people have different relationships with God.

John T. Pawlikowski, O.S.M., “A Catholic Response to Gavin D’Costa,” also disagrees with the need for a mission to the Jews.  Pawlikowski prefers to witness to the Catholic perception of the fulfillment of the covenant in Jesus.  Witness is a shared relationship, rather than a competitive relationship.

 

1 Kings 19:11-12

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul:  A New Translation, Robert J. Edmonson, CJ, (translator)[5]

Thérèse compares the strength to suffer she received from Confirmation with the gentle breeze mentioned in Kings.  Thérèse is finding her relationship with God in this sacrament.

 


 

1 Kings 19:11-12

Catherine Vincie, “The Mystagogical Implications”[6]

The gathering rites as Mass begins are like the gentle breeze in Kings, nothing apparently extraordinary, but, extraordinary, indeed, with the presence of God.  The gathering rites are a matter of shared relationships rather than competitive relationships.

 

Psalm 85:9, 10, 11-12, 13-14 (8)

Psalm 85:8

9 “Let us see, O LORD, your mercy, and grant us your salvation” (Ps 85:8).[7]

Personal Notes calls attention to this without understanding the problem.  The Lectionary has Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.  What the Missal has, I am not finding.

 

Psalm 85:9-13

F. Gerald Downing, “Justification as Acquittal?  A Critical Examination of Judicial Verdicts in Paul’s Literary and Actual Contexts”[8]

Our land means that God is concerned about the whole community in a shared relationship.

 

Romans 9:1-5

Rom 9:1-5

Edward Kessler, “`I am Joseph, Your Brother’:  A Jewish Perspective on Christian-Jewish Relations Since Nostra Aetate No. 4”[9]

Kessler argues that Christians took to heart the criticisms of Paul against the Jews, forgetting his love for the sake of my own people.

 


 

Romans 9:3

Francis Watson, “Mistranslation and the Death of Christ:  Isaiah 53 LXX and Its Pauline Reception”[10]

Watson is concerned about the Greek preposition for the sake of.

 

Romans 9:3

Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary:  Commentary on the variant readings of the ancient New Testament manuscripts and how they relate to the major English translations[11]

Comfort is silent on manuscript differences for Romans 9:3.

 

Romans 9:3

Rudolf Gwalther (1519-1586), “Acts 17:1-4”[12]

Gwalther refers to the constant love Paul had “to his nation,” even though the word nation only came into the English language in the Fourteenth Century.[13]  See further comment below at Romans 9:30—10:21.

 

Romans 9:4-5

Gavin G. D’Costa, “What does the Catholic Church Teach about Mission to the Jewish People?”[14]

A sinful Church covering up sexual abuse of its young children still has a mission to those children and those who care about those children.  That much seems plain.  In a similar way, D’Costa argues the Church still has a mission to Jews, despite such atrocities as the Shoah or Jewish Holocaust.

 


 

Rom 9:4-5

Mary C. Boys, S.M.J.M., “What Nostra Aetate Inaugurated:  A Conversion to the `Providential Mystery of Otherness’”[15]

Sister Boys goes after the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006 and 2008) for being simplistic.

 

Romans 9:4-5

Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560), “Notes on Paul’s Letter to the Colossians 3:11”[16]

Melanchthon alludes to They are Israelites . . . to make the traditional argument, “After Christ had appeared, God no longer wanted his people to be distinguished from the Gentiles.”  With Vatican II, after the Shoah or Jewish Holocaust, such an approach lost its appeal.

 

Romans 9:4

Richard N. Longenecker, “Quo vadis?  From Whence to Where in New Testament Text Criticism and Translation”[17]

Longenecker points to covenants as a sign of theological differences in the first two centuries of Christianity, reflected in other texts that only have the singular, covenant.

 

Romans 9:4

Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary:  Commentary on the variant readings of the ancient New Testament manuscripts and how they relate to the major English translations[18]

All English translations use the plural, covenants, which is the more difficult reading and, therefore, the more likely original.

 

Romans 9:5

24 “…the creator, who is blessed forever” (Rom 1:25); “God who is over all be blessed forever” (Rom 9:5).[19]

Personal Notes calls attention to this without understanding the problem. 

 

Romans 9:5

Wolfgang Musculus (1497-1563), “Commentary on Ephesians”[20]

Musculus argues,

 

But because Paul does not say that we are Christ’s flesh and bone but rather that we are from his flesh and bone, it seems that this must be understood to refer not to any relationship or communion that we might have with him in purely physical terms but to the origin of the church, which was taken and formed from the flesh and bones of Christ in the way that Eve was taken from the flesh and bones of Adam.

 

The later Revolutionary is implicitly concerned about what the Protestant Revolt is doing to the Church.

 

Romans 9:5

John David Ramsey, A Precarious Faith:  The Tri-Une [sic] Dynamic of the Christian Life[21]

The Reverend John David Ramsey, my Pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, in Newport News, Virginia, argues that although Israel did fall down with regard to law, worship, and promises, that fact did not negate law, worship, and promises, to which the Jewish Jesus adhered.

 


 

Rom 9:30—10:21

Brian J. Abasciano, review of Pablo T. Gadenz, Called from the Jews and from the Gentiles:  Pauline Ecclesiology in Romans 9—11[22]

Abasciano seems to answer my objection to “nation” above at Gwalther by asserting, “Paul uses ethnos in Romans 9—11 collectively in the sense of “nation(s).”

 

cf. Psalm 130:5

 

Matthew 14:22-33

Matthew 14:24 and 29

Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary:  Commentary on the variant readings of the ancient New Testament manuscripts and how they relate to the major English translations[23]

The Lectionary has a few miles off shore.  Manuscripts have four major different wordings, meaning from a half mile to four miles out.  Three and a half miles would be in the middle of the sea, with a depth of about 200 feet.  The Greek and Comfort both use stadia, rather than miles.  The distance is significant during a storm.  The best translation is probably in the middle of the sea.

The wind has better manuscript support than the strong wind.  The Lectionary has how strong the wind was.  Someone probably added strong to intensify the description of the wind.

 

Matthew 14:33

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[24]

The Greek grammar for did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God” means that Jesus is identified with God.  The meaning is in shared, rather than competitive, relationship.

 

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. 

 

 

The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday is Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation (Psalm 85:8).[25]  This applies to Catholic relationships with Jewish elder brothers and sisters.

 

In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the Gloria, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “we dare to call our Father.”[26]

 

This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with To whom ye forgive any thing [sic], I forgive also:  for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ (2 Corinthians 2:10).[27]  This applies both to those Jews rejecting Jesus and to those Christians attacking Jews for that rejection.

 



[1] Edward Kessler, “A Jewish Response to Gavin D’Costa” Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 3 (September 2012) 621.

 

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2013) 177.

 

[4] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 3 (September 2012) 620.  John T. Pawlikowski, O.S.M., “A Catholic Response to Gavin D’Costa,” pages 629-640.

 

[5] Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2006, 82.

 

[6] 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) 146.

 

[7] Sacred Scripture in the Missal.  So far I have not identified just where the 2011 Missal uses these verses, labeled 9.

 

[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 311.

 

[9] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 1 (March 2013) 70.

 

[10] 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) 243.

 

[11] Carol Stream, Illinois:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008, 454.

 

[12] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament VI:  Acts, Esther Chung-Kim and Todd R. Hains (eds.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 238.

 

[14] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 3 (September 2012) 595.

 

[15] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 1 (March 2013) 95.

 

[16] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament XI:  Philippians, Colossians, Graham Tomlin (ed.) in collaboration with Gregory B. Graybill, general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2013) 223.

 

[17] 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) 329.

 

[18] Carol Stream, Illinois:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008, 454-455.

 

[19] Sacred Scripture in the Missal.  So far I have not identified just where the 2011 Missal uses these verses, labeled 24.

 

[20] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011) 389.

 

[21] Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2002, 237.

 

[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 3 (July 2012) 602.

 

[23] Carol Stream, Illinois:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008,

 

[24] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 172, 173, 212, 264.

 

[25] 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) 755.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.

 

[26] 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) 479.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.

 

[27] UMI Annual Sunday School Lesson Commentary:  Precepts for Living ®: 2013-2014:  International Sunday School Lessons:  Volume 165:  UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), a. Okechuku Ogbonnaya, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), 2013) 557-558.