These readings are about people, whose first language is not American English.  They are, however, in the United States, seeking a better life.  For the Faithful, that better life, ultimately, is in the hereafter.


Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from material below the double line.  Those who are not interested in scholarly details may stop reading here. If they do, however, they may miss some of the fun stuff scholars are digging up.


The JustFaith topics listed for 2007 at 7/17/2007 : Immigration, Climate change, The UN Millennium Development Goals, Federal Budget Priorities, and Prison Reform. Other topics under consideration are Economic Development for the Poor, Rural Life, Militarism, Racism, Forming Small Justice Communities, and Community Organizing and Aging and the Elderly are helpful. Concern for immigration merits consideration with these readings.  My intention is to leave this notice here for the next two presentations, before relegating the announcement to the Appendix.


First Reading: Wisdom 18:6-9

Wisdom 18:9a-b, … in secret the holy children of the good were offering sacrifice and putting into effect with one accord the divine institution … refers to the efforts of the Faithful to improve the distribution of goods and services according to the maxims of holy charity.


Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20, 22

          The Lectionary citation of 20-22 rather than 20, 21 is wrong.  The Lectionary citation of 20, 21, for exactly the same verses for the Second Sunday of Lent, Reading 25A and the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Reading 146B,  must be correct.  At least the Lectionary is contradicting itself. Again, sloppy scholarship.


          Psalm 33

          Jeremy Corley, “A Numerical Structure in Sirach 44:1—50:24”[1]

          This psalm is one of those using twenty-two lines, but is not acrostic, that is, poetry.  Numerology, or the study of the occult significance of numbers,  is present in the First Testament.  Modern scholars are not interested in numerology, regarding it close to superstition.


Psalm 33

Margaret Barker, The Great High Priest: The Temple Roots of Christian Liturgy[2]

Verse 1, praise, is about putting together a new, re-creative song.  Singing at worship can renew the spirit within the Faithful.  Psalm 33 looks back to the Exodus from Egypt as something about which to sing; in anticipation of the greater exodus from this life into the next.


Second Reading: Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19

          Hebrews 10:19—12:29

          Alan C. Mitchell, S.J., “The Use of prepein in Hebrews 2:10"[3]

          prepein means fitting. The Lectionary uses Hebrews 2:10 in Cycle B, the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Reading 140.  Personal Notes develops Reading 140 in 2003 and 2006. The point Mitchell makes for this Sunday is that in 10:19—12:29 Hebrews is proving “the lasting quality of Jesus’ death by contrasting it with the ritual requirements for the Day of Atonement.  Those sacrifices cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper (9:9), but Jesus’ sacrifice can (9:14-28).”


          Hebrews 11:1                              

          John E. Thiel, "For What May We Hope?  Thoughts on the Eschatological Imagination"[4]

Eschatology means last things or ultimate destiny.  Thiel thinks it is sound to think about the lives of the dead. “We can think of the blessed dead as engaged in the moral task of promise-keeping.”  The basic promise for humans is to do good and avoid evil.  Thiel goes on to mention “the virtuous work of forgiveness.”  Bette and I have a feeling that the deceased habitually bestow blessings on us after they pass on into the next life.  That, basically, is why we feel blessed, no matter what happens.


Hebrews 11:1

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Catechism for Adults[5]

The Bishops use this verse in Chapter 4, ”Bring About the Obedience of Faith.”  To their credit, the Bishops mention nothing about the Magisterium in this chapter.  The Bishops, however, never define faith, except as “both a gift of God and a human act by which the believer gives personal adherence to God …”  This definition is reasonable according to the lexicographers, i.e. those who write dictionaries.  I think of faith as accepting something on the word of another, as in the relationship between a professor and his students or parents and their children or the Magisterium and the Faithful.


Hebrews 11:14

For those who speak thus, the Greek means with a foreign accent, is the key verse to these readings.  I think of the Hispanics and foreign Europeans I have known.  Strangers in the land characterizes Christians seeking a better life, both in this life and in the next.


Hebrews 11:16

Mentions Homeland, reminding the Faithful of the homeless.


          Heb 11:17-20

          Robert J. Daly, S.J., “The Soteriological Significance of the Sacrifice of Isaac[6]

This is the clearest and most complete reference to the Akedah or “Binding of Isaac” in the New Testament.


Hebrews 11:19

Lectionary (1998):                        he received Isaac back as a symbol.

The Vulgate (circa 410):               unde eum et in parabola reportavit.

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         he received him for a parable.

King James (1611):                      he also received him in a figure.

Catholic RSV (1966):                    he did receive him back and this was a symbol.

New American (1970):                  he received Isaac back as a symbol.

New Jerusalem (1985):                figuratively speaking, he was given back Isaac


I wondered how the various translations handled Isaac, who only appears as a pronoun in the Greek.  This verse illustrates the problem the Bishops have avoiding a functional in favor of a literal translation.  Sometimes being too literal is not literal at all, literal in the sense of literally conveying the original meaning.  The Bishops, here, are using a functional rather than a literal translation.  Good for them.


Alleluia: Matthew 24:42a, 44


Gospel: Luke 12:32-48

These verses are available for the sick[7] and at funerals.[8]


          Luke 9:51--18:14

          Richard J. Dillon, “Previewing Luke's Project from His Prologue (Luke 1:1-4)"[9]

This reading is part of a larger frame of reference, leading to Jerusalem, where Jesus will absorb all of the punishments due humanity.


Luke 12:32-34

Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan, ‘”Let My People Go! Threads of Exodus in African American Narratives”[10]

Duggan writes, “While Jesus embodied freedom, freedom itself was mired in religious, political, and social concerns.  As a role model, Jesus employs both his freedom from evil and his freedom for service to God.  Thus, Jesus was free to disregard tradition and free to identify with … the poor (… Luke 12:32-34) …” Latinos and African-Americans exemplify those with whom Jesus could identify and those who can identify with Jesus.


          Luke 12:35-38

          Craig L. Blomberg, "Interpreting the Parables of Jesus: Where Are We and Where Do We Go from Here?"[11]

          From the parable in these readings, Blomberg concludes, “Jesus enjoins faithfulness in stewardship to the tasks with which God entrusts one, regardless of the timing of the end of the age” and finding a homeland.


          Luke 12:36-38

          William L. Holladay, "Indications of Segmented Sleep in the Bible"[12]

          Holladay observes, “… two similar parables about activity at midnight, of the wise and foolish bridesmaids (Matt 25:1-13) and of the master home from the wedding feast (Luke 12:36-38).  Both parables describe wakefulness and the preparation of a meal in the middle of the night.”


          Luke 12:43

          Deirdre Good, review of Halvor Moxnes, Putting Jesus in His Place: A Radical Vision of Household and Kingdom[13]

          The sense of the parable is that the master may arrive at any time.  Moxnes objects to The Good News Bible adding home.  It is not necessarily to home that the master is returning.  The point seems to be that the nuclear family is a creation of the industrial age, rather than a construct of how the ancients lived.  “Greek, Latin, and Hebrew do not have terms for our modern word `family.’”  Deirdre Good reports that Moxnes concludes, that “accusations that he [Jesus] was a eunuch, a drunkard, and a glutton fit his picture [of Jesus not conforming to accepted family practices].  Jesus’ identification of God as the Father of a new household within a community of brothers creates a new household in place of ones he and his followers left.”


All in all, these readings are about a type of sojourn in the wilderness for Christians seeking a better life in a better homeland, ultimately looking to the next life.



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


Website statistics


With the addition of the July 2007 edition, the index to the Catholic Biblical Quarterly at now extends to 321 pages and 2.49 MB.


Included are six of seven new articles and twenty-three book reviews, reviews that included Biblical references found in the Sunday Lectionary.


The article by Anne Marie Kitz, “Effective Simile and Effective Act: Psalm 109, Numbers 5, and KUB 26” did not enter the index, because it makes no reference to Sacred Scripture that the Lectionary uses.


The index and a list of colleges carrying the Catholic Biblical Quarterly

are both at


Use of the web site is as follows:


Usage Summary by Month

Year   Western-civilization hits/day

                     Biblical Quarterly Index hits/month

                               Personal Notes hits/month

                                         Total countries/month


July    282     148     25       31 215 from Japan

June   282     180     54       33   46 from Australia

May    174       17     10       16   37 from China


In order to use the List Serv Bible Study Index, one must know the Readings number (RDGS #). This RDGS # appears on the left hand side at the beginning of each series of Index citations.


For example, in the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, the RDGS for Sunday, July 29 is 111C. These readings are from The Order of Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours and Celebration of the Eucharist 2007 for the Archdiocese of Louisville Dioceses of Arlington, Covington, Lexington, Owensboro, Richmond, and Wheeling-Charleston. In other words, the readings here are a guide and not a mandate for the Universal Church. A chart for the next three months and a little more follows:


Date   Reading        Cycle


29       111               C


  5      114               C

12       117               C

19       120               C

26       123               C


  2      126               C

  9      129               C

16       132               C

23       135               C

30       138               C


  7      141               C

14       144               C

21       147               C

28       150               C


  4      153               C

11       156               C

18       159               C

25       162               C




Ideas, suggestions, corrections? Thank you.



[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 51.


[2] London: T & T Clark International: A Continuum imprint, 2003 119.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 4 (October 1992) 690.


[4] Theological Studies, 67, #3 (September 2006) 525, 537.


[5] Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006 39, 47, 512.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 1 (January 1977) 66.


[7] 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) 313.


[8] 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) 30, 235.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 2 (April 1981) 221.


[10] in Yet with a Steady Beat: Contemporary U.S. Afrocentric Biblical Interpretation, Randall C. Bailey, ed., (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2003) 125.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 53, No. 1 (January 1991) 64, 77.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 217.


[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2006) 157.