Through the prophet Isaiah, God says, my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.  A better meaning of the prophecy is the Faithful are to be a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7), replacing the temples at Jerusalem.  

This Sunday at least some Black Baptists call to mind, We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted [sic], but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).  With the pelvic popes, John Paul II, already canonized, and Paul VI, about to be canonized, the Faithful are troubled on every side . . . perplexed . . . persecuted . . . cast down.  This is particularly true of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the Faithful who support Obamacare.  In the midst of this situation, the Faithful can contemplate, to paraphrase Isaiah 56:7, being living houses, where the Lord dwells.

 

 

Readings

First Reading                     Isaiah 56:1, 6-7

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 (4)

Second Reading:               Romans 11:13-15, 29-32

Alleluia:                             cf. Matthew 4:23

Gospel:                             Matthew 15:21-28

 

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.

 

Isaiah 56:1, 6-7

Isa 56:1-8

Andrew R. Davis, review of Jacob Stromberg, Isaiah after Exile:  The Author of Third Isaiah as Reader and Redactor of the Book[1]

Davis faults Stromberg for using unity of language both to deny confluence between Isaiah 56:1-8 and 66:1-2 and to assert confluence between 66:1-2 and the rest of Isaiah.  That is a minor point.  The main point is that Third Isaiah composed Chapters 56-66 and gave the final redaction to Chapters 1—39, First Isaiah, and 4—55, Second Isaiah.

 


 

Isa 56:3-8

J. Andrew Dearman, review of Carol J. Dempsey, Isaiah:  God’s Poet of Light[2]

This is an introductory study for a wide readership by an established scholar.  Dempsey generally minimizes the relationship between the First and New Testament.  Isaiah 56:3-8, however is an exception that Dempsey uses to correlate the two.

 

Isa 56:6-8

Kevin B. McCruden, review of Tatha Wiley, Encountering Paul:  Understanding the Man and His Message[3]

Isaiah 56:6-8, which Wiley bypasses, makes it look as if Gentiles would be expected to accept Jewish laws.  That said, Wiley argues, basically successfully, that the patriarchal Deutero-Pauline letters hide the openness of Paul to accepting everyone to whom the Holy Spirit came at Baptism.

 

Isa 56:7

J. R. Daniel Kirk, “Time for Figs, Temple Destruction, and Houses of Prayer in Mark 11:12-25”[4]

By leaving out Matthew 21:13, the Lectionary is tricky here.  It is written:  My house shall be a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of thieves.  Kirk argues the prophecy is not about a physical temple, but about the Faithful replacing the temple as a house of prayer.  This is developed above the solid line.

 

Psalm 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8 (4)

 

Romans 11:13-15, 29-32

Romans 11

John Mayer (1583-1664), “Commentary upon All the Prophets”[5]

With Romans 11, Mayer looks forward to the day when Jews will be converted to Christianity.

 

For perspective, Saint Vincent de Paul lived 1580-1660.  Saint Vincent de Paul and Mayer were almost exact contemporaries.

 

Rom 11:28-29

Gavin G. D’Costa, “What does the Catholic Church Teach about Mission to the Jewish People?”[6]

John Paul II used the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable to argue the Jewish Covenant still stands.  In Reflections on Covenant and Mission John Paul II “states a theological rationale for mission to the Jewish people.”  Whether or not the Catholic Church has a mission to convert the Jews is contested.  What makes most sense is that the Church does have a mission to serve as a witness to Jesus Christ as an invitation for Jews to join the witness.

 

Rom 11:28-29

Edward Kessler, “A Jewish Response to Gavin D’Costa”[7]

Kessler uses Romans 11:28-29 to argue that Jews and Christians both “traditionally claimed exclusively to be the true Israel.”  That being the case, in light of the Shoah or Jewish Holocaust, Jews have the better claim.  A mission by Christians to convert the Jews is obnoxious.

 

Rom 11:29

Edward Kessler, “`I am Joseph, Your Brother’:  A Jewish Perspective on Christian-Jewish Relations Since Nostra Aetate No. 4”[8]

Kessler argues, “The church’s election derives from that of Israel, but this does not imply that God’s covenant with Israel is broken.  Rather, it remains unbroken—irrevocably (Rom 11:29).”

 


 

Romans 11:28-29

Gerald O’Collins, S.J., “Does Vatican II Represent Continuity or Discontinuity?”[9]

In 1964, for the first time in the history of Catholic Christianity, in Lumen Gentium, an ecumenical council, said something positive about the Jews, referring to them as “`most dear’ to God, who never `repents’ of his `gifts and calling.’”

 

Romans 11:17-29

Mary C. Boys, S.M.J.M., “What Nostra Aetate Inaugurated:  A Conversion to the `Providential Mystery of Otherness’”[10]

Sister Boys faults the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops for  reluctance to mitigate its aim at converting the Jews.

 

Romans 11:29

John Calvin (1509-1564), “Commentaries on Ezekiel”[11]

Contrary to his reputation as judgmental, Calvin quotes what the Lectionary has as For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable as predestination for the elect.

 

Romans 11:29

Fr. Yozefu – B. Ssemakula, The Healing of Families:  How To Pray Effectively for Those Stubborn Personal and Familial Problems[12]

Ssemakula skips over the ravages of mental disease, as he proclaims, God’s gifts are irrevocable, as we well know (Rom 11:29).  Ssemakula is referring to the impact of words, words that do lose their impact with diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

 


 

Romans 11:32

Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560). “Notes on Paul’s letter to the Colossians 2:17”[13]

Alluding to For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all, Melanchthon argues that the purpose of the law is not to condemn, but to show mercy.

 

Rom 11:33-36

Brian J. Abasciano, review of Pablo T. Gadenz, Called from the Jews and from the Gentiles:  Pauline Ecclesiology in Romans 9—11[14]

Gadenz confuses the problem resulting from lack of Faith, with lack of Faith.  In doing so, Gadenz is outside the mainstream of exegetes.

 

cf. Matthew 4:23

 

Matthew 15:21-28

Matthew 15:21-28

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[15]

Comfort identifies no manuscript divergences here.

 

Matthew 15:24

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[16]

The Greek reads Jesus answering in reply, said. The Lectionary has He said in reply.   After translating, Jesus, answering, said, quoting Zerwick, Wallace explains:  “The construction apokriqeiV eipen `became to such an extent an empty formula that it is even sometimes used when there is nothing preceding to which an `answer’ can be referred . . . .’”  Wallace misidentifies Matthew 15:25, which is wrong, with Matthew 15:24, which has the phrase.

 

Matthew 15:22

William Greenhill (1591-1671), “An Exposition of Ezekiel”[17]

Greenhill argues the Canaanite woman calls Jesus Son of David because Jesus was a type of David “in his slaying Goliath and in his kingly and prophetical office.”

 

Matthew 15:24

John Calvin, “Commentary on Ephesians”[18]

During his earthly ministry, Jesus did not preach to the Gentiles.  I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  Once the disciples bring the Gospel message to the Gentiles, Calvin argues peace is possible for the soul.  Father Carlos Lerma, Parochial Vicar at my Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News, Virginia, often preaches about that peace, a peace I do not enjoy.  Sometimes, when I am deep in thought, especially concerning Personal Notes, my gentle wife makes a quiet noise behind me and I yelp.  The peace of which Calvin writes is desirable, but I do not personally have it, yet.

 

Matthew 15:27

St. Thérèse of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul:  A New Translation, Robert J. Edmonson, CJ, (translator)[19]

Thérèse looks at the verse as follows:  “This is how God deigns to take care of me.  He can’t always give me the fortifying bread of outward humiliation, but from time to time, He allows me to feed on the crumbs that fall from the children’s table (cf. Mt. 15:27).”

 


 

Matthew 15:21-28

Frank J. Matera, The Sermon on the Mount:  The Perfect Measure of the Christian Life[20]

Matera recognizes It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs as a “harsh saying,” because the time is not yet ripe to include others, besides Israel.

 

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 O God, let all the nations praise you![21]

 

In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the Gloria, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “fill our hearts, we pray.”[22]

 

This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted [sic], but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).[23] 

 



[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4 (October 2012) 803.

 

[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 346.

 

[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2 (April 2011) 408.

 

[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 3 (July 2012) 509, 510, 514-518, 524-526.

 

[5] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament XII: Ezekiel, Daniel, (ed.) Carl L. Beckwith (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2012) 304.

 

[6] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 3 (September 2012) 595, 596 (source of quote), 598, 611 (source of quote).  See footnote 23 on page 597 concerning the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) removal of “Reflections on Covenant and Mission” from the USCCB web site.

 

[7] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 3 (September 2012) 619 (source of quote), 625.

 

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

 

[9] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 4 (December 2012) 787.

 

[10] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 1 (March 2013) 87, 91, 101 fn. 104 (see here for the USCCB).

 

[11] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament XII: Ezekiel, Daniel, (ed.) Carl L. Beckwith (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2012) 106.

 

[12] [no publisher or place of publication is listed] www.healingoffamilies.com, 2012, 100.

 

[13] 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) 200.

 

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

 

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

 

[16] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 212.  Also see http://biblehub.com/matthew/21-13.htm (accessed May 25, 2014).

 

[17] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament XII: Ezekiel, Daniel, (ed.) Carl L. Beckwith (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2012) 186.

 

[18] 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) 298.

 

[19] Brewster, Massachusetts: Paraclete Press, 2006, 278.

 

[20] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2013, 39, 101 (source of the quote).

 

[21] 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) 808.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.

 

[22] 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) 480.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.

 

[23] UMI Annual Sunday School Lesson Commentary:  Precepts for Living ®: 2013-2014:  International Sunday School Lessons:  Volume 16:  UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), Okechuku Ogbonnaya, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), 2013) 568-569.