An article in Theological Studies uses Hebrews 11:1 to cope with the loving God permitting suffering.[1]  The basic conclusion is that suffering is part of living; and that the living is worth more than the suffering.  The author of the article, married with family, became a quadriplegic after earning a doctorate in theology and becoming Dean of Theology at Alphacrucis College in Sydney, Australia.

 

Beginning with faith, defined in Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen” [Lectionary:  the realization of what is hoped for [sic] and evidence of things not seen], we are confronted with the act that the problem of suffering leads to the potential emergence of doubt.  In contemporary church circles, the embrace of doubt and uncertainty has become fashionable, but the experience of doubt in the midst of suffering is no small matter.  I am sometimes asked whether the accident and its aftermath have changed my theology, a question that is difficult to answer, largely because I have worked out my theological positions through many years of study.  This question has, however, confronted me with the question of whether God exists at all.  When you are trapped in bed, staring at the celling and unable to move, the line between “Why me, God?” and “Am I praying to myself?” is thin indeed.

In the face of intractable suffering, how does one persist with faith and, equally important, why bother doing so?  An initial answer to both questions is that faith is as much a gift as a choice. . . Faith is not opposed to reason, but transcends and illuminates it. . . . the story of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus can imbue suffering with meaning, or create meaning out of meaninglessness.

 

In a recent book on Liturgical Theology, Kevin W. Irwin has the following helpful comment.[2]

 

Put simply, prayer about suffering should always be done from the perspective of the hope that comes from the resurrection.  Conversely, prayer about the resurrection should always be grounded in the reality that triumph came about after suffering, humiliation, betrayal, and death.  The resurrection does not offer “cheap grace.”  It offers us enduring hope and a totally new life because it came bout after facing into and dealing with the most profound and hurtful of human realities.

But when the resurrection of Christ is appreciated as the center of four faiths, it becomes the lens of hope through which we view and deal with our own weakness, sickness, terminal illnesses, humiliations, and defeats in our daily life.  When brought to prayer in light of the paschal mystery, they are truly transformed through our participation in Christ’s saving death and resurrection.

 

 

Readings

First Reading:                    Wisdom 18:6-9

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

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

Alleluia:                             Matthew 24:42a, 44

Gospel:                             Luke 12:32-48

 

Annotated Bibliography

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

 

 

Wisdom 18:6-9

 

 

Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20, 22 (12b)

Luke 12: 35-40 is read at the Vigil for the Deceased and is option 7 among the Gospel Readings at Funerals for Adults.[3]  A longer reading, Luke 12:35-44 is option O among Gospel Readings from Sacred Scripture for visiting the sick.[4]

 

 

Psalm 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20, 22 (12b)[5]

Nikolaus Selnecker (1530-1592)

Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560)

Moïse Amyraut (1596-1664)

John Calvin (1509-1564)

Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Luther

Selnecker

Luther

Konrad Pellikan (1478-1556)

Thomas Wilcox (c. 1549-1608)

Martin Bucer (1491-1551)

Wolfgang Musculus (1497-1563)

Calvin

Pellikan

Musculus

The English Annotations (1645, 1651, 1657)

Tilemann Hesshus (1527-1588)

Musculus

Calvin

Pellikan

Calvin

 

Psalm 33:17-19

Selnecker[6]

 

 

Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19

Hebrews 11:1

Musculus[7]

 

Hebrews 11:9-10

“Encyclical Letter Lumen Fidei of the Supreme Pontiff Francis to the Bishops, Priests, and deacons [sic] and lay Faithful on Faith”[8]

 

 

Hebrews 11:10

“Encyclical Letter Lumen Fidei of the Supreme Pontiff Francis to the Bishops, Priests, and deacons [sic] and lay Faithful on Faith”[9]

 

Hebrews 11:10

Girolamo Zanchi (1516-1590)[10]

 

Hebrews 11:11

“Encyclical Letter Lumen Fidei of the Supreme Pontiff Francis to the Bishops, Priests, and deacons [sic] and lay Faithful on Faith”[11]

 

 

Hebrews 11:13-16

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul:  A New Translation[12]

 

Hebrews 11:17-19

Katharina Schütz Zell, “Letter to the Suffering Women of the Community of Kentzingen Who Believe in Christ, Sisters with Me in Jesus Christ, 1524”[13]

 

 

 

Hebrews 11:1

Shane Clifton, “Theodicy, Disability, and Fragility:  An Attempt to Find Meaning in the Aftermath of Quadriplegia”[14]

Material above the solid line draws from this article.

 

Matthew 24:42a, 44

 

 

Luke 12:32-48

Luke 12:32-48[15]

Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575)

Johannes Brenz (1499-1570)

Brenz

François Lambert (1487-1530)

Calvin

Johann Spangenberg (1484-1550)

Melanchthon

John Trapp (1601-1669)

Calvin

Melanchthon

Brenz

Luther

Erasmus

 

Luke 12:4

Barbara E. Reid, O.P., “The Gospel of Luke:  Friend or Foe of Women Proclaimers of the Word?”[16]

 

 

 

 

Luke 12:13-34

Andrew Arterbury, review of Matthew S. Rindge, Jesus’ Parable of the Rich Fool:  Luke 12:13-34 among Ancient Conversations on Death and Possessions[17]

 

 

Luke 12:13-34

Joshua A. Noble, “`Rich toward God’:  Making Sense of Luke 12:21”[18]

 

 

Luke 12:32

Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel[19]

 

 

Luke 12:32

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul:  A New Translation[20]

 

 

Luke 12:32[21]

Henry Airay (c. 1560-1616)

 

Edward Reynolds (1599-1676)

 

 

 

 

 

Luke 12:32

Melanchthon[22]

 

 

Luke 2:33-34

Frank J. Matera, The Sermon on the Mount:  The Perfect Measure of the Christian Life[23]

 

 

Luke 12:33

Frank J. Matera, The Sermon on the Mount:  The Perfect Measure of the Christian Life[24]

 

 

Luke 12:34

Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)[25]

 

Luke 12:39-40

Richard W. Miller, “Deep Responsibility for the Deep Future”[26]

 

 

Luke 12:39

Nicholas R. Werse, “Second Temple Jewish Literary Traditions in 2 Peter”[27]

 

 

Luke 12:40

Friedrich Nausea (c. 1496-1552)

 

 

 

 

Luke 12:42

Bullinger[28]

 

 

Luke 12:48

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[29]

 

 

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 Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own (Psalm 33:12b), whether handicapped or not.[30]

 

In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the forgiveness of sins, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “taught by the Holy Spirit.”[31]  For a more thorough examination of the illiterate 2011 Roman Missal, go to 1610 Missal:  Thirty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time 121125.pdf/htm at http://www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes/Personal%20Notes.htm.

 

This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).[32] 

 

Addenda

 

Personal Notes has been wary of Raymond Arroyo, host of “the World Over, on the Eternal Word Television Network, EWTN, disparaging Pope Francis.  Personal Notes has watched for various Papal policies, like anything possibly construed as positive for Democrats, that Arroyo might systematically attack.  On June 30 Arroyo hosted one Mercedes Schlapp, a Fox Television conservative conservative, as well as Monsignor Charles Pope, from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. who had the audacity to critique Pope Francis in his concern about female deacons and “sticking his nose’ into other people’s business.  Monsignor Pope thought he had a duty o so stick his nose in his pastoral approach to his congregation.

 

I have already read every article cited in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.  At this stage I only read unread book reviews there.  Traditionally Theological Studies articles have been more helpful to my prayer life, but, if I have already read the article, I will cite it without annotation.  In a similar way, I present unread sections in Reformation Commentary on Scripture.

 

I intend to begin catching up on material postponed while recovering from the transition of ourselves from Virginia to Ohio and Marty into the next life.  If I ever get three months out, again, I then intend to reevaluate the amount of energy placed into Personal Notes each week.

 

 



[1] Shane Clifton, “Theodicy, Disability, and Fragility:  An Attempt to Find Meaning in the Aftermath of Quadriplegia,” Theological Studies, Vol. 76, No. 4 (December 2015) 780, 783.

 

[2] Kevin W. Irwin, The Sacraments:  Historical Foundations and Liturgical Theology (New York:  Paulist Press, 2016) 333.

 

[3] 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) 30-31, 235-236.

 

[4] 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.

 

[5] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament VII:  Psalms 1—72, Timothy George (ed.), general editor, Scot M. Manetsch, Associate General editor, Herman J. Selderhuis (ed.), (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2015, ISBN 978 0 8308-2957-6 (hardcover : alk. paper), P 1, Y 15) 259-262, 264-267.

 

[6] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament VII:  Psalms 1—72, Timothy George (ed.), general editor, Scot M. Manetsch, Associate General editor, Herman J. Selderhuis (ed.), (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2015, ISBN 978 0 8308-2957-6 (hardcover : alk. paper), P 1, Y 15) 333 fn. 2.

 

[7] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament IV:  John 1—12, Craig S. Farmer (ed.), general editor, Timothy George, Associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch (ed.), (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014, ISBN 978 0 8308-2967-5 (hardcover : alk. paper), P 1, Y 14) 84, fn. 24.

 

[8] L’Osservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, Vol. 46, No. 28 (2013), Vatican City Wednesday, 10 July, paragraph 50, page 20/23.

 

[9] L’Osservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, Vol. 46, No. 28 (2013), Vatican City Wednesday, 10 July, paragraph 57, page 21/23.

 

[10] 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: ISBN 978-0-8308-2974-3 (P 1 Y 13) 100, fn. 42.

 

[11] L’Osservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, Vol. 46, No. 28 (2013), Vatican City Wednesday, 10 July, paragraph 52, page 20/23.

 

[12] Robert J. Edmonson, CJ, (translator) (Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2006) 236.

 

[13] In Scott H. Hendrix, ed. and trans., Early Protestant Spirituality (New York, Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2009) 107.

 

[14] Theological Studies, Vol. 76, No. 4 (December 2015) 780.

 

[15] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament III:  Luke, Beth Kreitzer (ed.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2015:  ISBN 978-0-8308-2014 (hardcover : alk. paper), P 1, Y 15) 268-273.

 

[16] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 1 (April 2016) 13.

 

[17] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 4 (October 2013) 818.

 

[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 2 (April 2016) 313, 316-319.

 

[19] Erlanger, Kentucky:  Libreria Editrice Vaticana, DynamicCatholic.com, 2014, 111.

 

[20]Robert J. Edmonson, CJ, (translator) (Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2006) 150.

 

[21] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament V:  1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles, Timothy George (ed.), general editor, Scot M. Manetsch, Associate General editor, Derek Cooper and Martin J. Lohrmann (ed.), (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2016, ISBN 978 0 8308-29552 (hardcover : alk. paper), P 1, Y 16) 431, fn. 4; 655, fn. 9.

 

[22] 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: ISBN 978-0-8308-2974-3 (P 1 Y 13) 215, fn. 22.

 

[23] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2013, 6.

 

[24] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2013, 71.

 

[25] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament VII:  Psalms 1—72, Timothy George (ed.), general editor, Scot M. Manetsch, Associate General editor, Herman J. Selderhuis (ed.), (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2015, ISBN 978 0 8308-2957-6 (hardcover : alk. paper), P 1, Y 15) 11, fn. 14.

 

[26] Theological Studies, Vol. 77, No. 2 (June 2016) 449, 453.

 

[27] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 78, No. 1 (January 2016) 124.

 

[28] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament IV:  John 1—12, Craig S. Farmer (ed.), general editor, Timothy George, Associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch (ed.), (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014, ISBN 978 0 8308-2967-5 (hardcover : alk. paper), P 1, Y 14) 261, fn. 13.

 

[29] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 135, 403.

 

[30] 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) 763.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.

 

[31] 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.

 

[32] 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) 521-522.