Jesus covers up that he is the Messiah, by telling his disciples not to tell anyone (Matthew 16:20).  The cover-up does not work and he is crucified, albeit willingly.  Jim Tressel covered up the fact that his Ohio State University football players allegedly sold their memorabilia for cash and discounted tattoos.  That cover-up did not work either.  Ohio State University forced Tressel to resign.[1]  Sometimes, cover-ups and gaming the system does work, at least in human terms.

Bernard F. Law, the former Cardinal Archbishop of Boston, covered up sexual abuse and that worked.  Law was promoted to the Roman Curia, archpriest of the Basilica de Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, whose ceiling is covered with gold said to be taken from the Inca Indians.[2]  Law now helps choose Roman Catholic bishops.

Pope John Paul II, the Father of the Sexual-abuse Scandal covered up the crimes and that worked.  John Paul II is currently beatified on the fast track toward full canonization as a Roman Catholic Saint. 

The prayer for this Sunday is to accept those unpleasant truths required for honest humility.  With humility, there is a way to revel in shortcomings because human shortcomings can reveal the mercy of God. 



First Reading:                    Isaiah 22:19-23

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8 (8bc)

Second Reading:               Romans 11:33-36

Alleluia:                             Matthew 16:18

Gospel:                             Matthew 16:13-20



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 22:19-23

Isa 22:22

S. W. Flynn, shorter notice of Robert Louis Wilken (ed), Isaiah: Interpreted by Early Christian and Medieval Commentators[3]

Flynn praises Wilken for introducing readers to how the patristic fathers (between 165 AD-1225 AD) used allegory to understand Sacred Scripture.  Flynn faults Wilken for not explaining why he omits Chapter 22, because the Christology of 22:22 is clearly pertinent to the church fathers he is using.  Flynn questions many other omissions as well.  Flynn mentions the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS) as the source of translations used by Wilken.  I did not locate a review of the NETS in the CBQ.


Isa 22:22

David Bosworth, review of Hayim Ben Yosef Tawil, An Akkadian Lexical Companion for Biblical Hebrew:  Etymological-Semantic and Idiomatic Equivalents with Supplement on Biblical Aramaic[4]

Bosworth reports that Akkadian can be helpful for understanding Hebrew derivatives.  Bosworth thinks Tawil excessive, however, in building these relationships.


Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8 (8bc)


Romans 11:33-36


Rom 11:25-36

Christoph Stenschke, review of Jochen Flebbe, Solus Deus:  Untersuchungen sur Rede von Gott im Brief des Paulus an die Römer[5]

Stenschke reports that, in Romans, Flebbe brings God into focus.  The God of Israel saves Jews and gentiles, alike.  Stenschke faults Flebbe for excluding God working through Christ in his arguments.


Rom 11:33-36

Mary Christine Athans, B.V.M., review of The Catholic Church and the Jewish People: Recent Reflections from Rome, ed by Philip A. Cunningham, Norbert J. Hoffman, S.D.B., and Joseph Sievers[6]

Sister Athans has high praise for this collection of essays presented in 2005 on the fortieth anniversary of Nostra aetate, the Vatican II Declaration of the Relationship to the Church to [sic] Non-Christian Religions.  Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini (Archbishop Emeritus of Milan) writes that Christians and Jews have much in common, especially from his new retired perspective in Jerusalem.  Orthodox Jews are more willing to test the waters of dialogue, yet always suspicious that dialogue for Christians is simply a backdoor for attempts at conversion.  Sister Athans concludes with an indication that the upper echelons of scholarship bring to the table the wonder expressed in Romans 11:33-36 about the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! 


Rom 11:33-36

Casimir Bernas, O.C.S.O., review of Romano Penna, Volume 2, Rm 6—11; Volume 3, Rm 12—16[7]

Bernas regards Penna highly.  Penna uses the depth passage to explain how Paul deals with the bitter fact that the Jews did not follow Jesus en masse.  I take this passage to explain how to confront evil, as a mystery amidst the wonders of God, in a way, evil is a cover-up of the goodness of God.



Rom 11:36

Jerome H. Neyrey, S.J., “Lost in Translation: Did It Matter If Christians `Thanked’ God or `Gave God Glory’?”[8]

Neyrey argues that ancient doxologies gave praise, but never thanks.  One example of a lean doxology is the to him be glory forever of Romans 11:36.  Neyrey continues with his argument that thanking God is a way of praising God in the Christian dispensation.


Matthew 16:18


Matthew 16:13-20

Matt 16:13-25

Leroy Andrew Huizenga, “Obedience unto Death: The Matthean Gethsemane and Arrest Sequence and the Aqedah”[9]

Huizenga argues that this passage, about who Jesus is, is a sign that Jesus is obedient unto death.  I turn verse 20, to tell no one, into a cover up of the true identity of Jesus, in order to delay or avert crucifixion.


Matt 16:18

William Bales, “The Descent of Christ in Ephesians 4:9”[10]

Bales searches out the meaning of netherworld in Sacred Scripture.  The Greek translation would be Hades.  The netherworld was an unpleasant place, with gates, that confined the deceased.  Bales looks to the psalms and other places to find meaning for the word netherworld.


Matt 16:19

Walter T. Wilson, “Seen in Secret:  Inconspicuous Piety and Alternative Subjectivity in Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18”[11]

Wilson argues that, for Matthew, the binding and loosing reveals a commercial contract setting in the matter of forgiveness.



Matthew 16:19

Sandra M. Schneiders, “The Lamb of God and the Forgiveness of Sin(s) in the Fourth Gospel”[12]

Schneiders contrasts Matthew 16:19 with John 20:21-23.  The sin of the world is refusal to accept the love God offers humanity.  Schneiders argues that Matthew approaches such refusal as a judge; John as a theologian.


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


Divergences between the Lectionary and the NABRE


In 2011, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops authorized a revised translation of the New American Bible (NAB), thereby setting up tension with the Lectionary used at Sunday Mass.  Scholars are citing the new translation as NABRE, which abbreviation I will use here.  This tension between the Lectionary and the NABRE will increase with the use of the new Sacramentary, now called Missal, beginning in Advent.  The hierarchy is playing name games, because the full title of the Lectionary includes Missal.[13] 


Isaiah 22:19-23


Verse 15

Lectionary:    Thus says the LORD to Shebna, master of the palace (undocumented in the Lectionary)

NABRE:        Thus says the Lord, the GOD of hosts: 

                               Up, go to that official,

                               Shebna, master of the palace



Verse 21

Lectionary:    and gird him … and give over to him …

NABRE:        … gird him … confer on him …




Verse 22

Lectionary:    … David on Eliakim’s shoulder; when he opens …when he shuts

NABRE:        … David on his shoulder; what he opens …what he shuts …

What makes more sense than when.

Verse 23

Lectionary:    … peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family

NABRE:        … peg in a firm place, a seat of honor for his ancestral house


Psalm 138:1-2, 2-3, 6, 8 (8bc)

The differences between the Lectionary and NABRE are so vast, that I repeat the whole verses.

Verse 1

Lectionary:    I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart, for you have heard the words of my mouth; in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise.

NABRE:        I thank you Lord, with all my heart; in the presence of the angels to you I sing.

Verse 2

Lectionary:    I will worship at your holy temple.  I will give thanks to your name, because of your kindness and your truth:

NABRE:        I bow low toward your holy temple; I praise your name for your mercy and faithfulness.  For you have exalted over all your name and your promise.

See Jerome H. Neyrey, S.J., at Rom 11:36, above, on the difference between thanks and praise.

Verse 3

Lectionary:    when I called, you answered me; you built up strength within me.

NABRE:        On the day I cried out, you answered; you strengthened my spirit.

Verse 6

Lectionary:    The LORD is exalted, yet the lowly he sees, and the proud he knows from afar.

NABRE:        The LORD is on high, but cares for the lowly and knows the proud from afar.

Sees is far different from cares.

Verse 8

Lectionary:    Your kindness, O LORD, endures forever; forsake not the work of your hands.

NABRE:        The LORD is with me to the end.  LORD, your mercy endures forever.  Never forsake the work of your hands!


Romans 11:33-36

Verse 33

Lectionary:    who has given the Lord anything

NABRE:        who has given him anything


Matthew 16:13-20

Verse 13

Lectionary:    Jesus went into the region …

NABRE:        When Jesus went into the region …

Verse 16

Lectionary:    … Christ …

NABRE:        … Messiah …

Verse 20

Lectionary:    … Christ …

NABRE:        … Messiah …



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; italics of a different verse or book from where it appears, indicates a direct quote.  Commas separate verses within the same book and semi-colons separate books.  The abbreviation for following is f.  For more lengthy following, the abbreviation is ff.  The abbreviation for personal confusion is ??  For material based on the Greek Septuagint Greek, the abbreviation is LXX.  LXX means the psalms may be one less than the number used.  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 11:33-36.  These verses are indented in the form of a hymn sung by the first Christians.


Verse 33       1 Corinthians 2:10; Apocalypse of Baruch 14:8 ff., 9:23! ?? 1 Corinthians 1:21, 2:7; Ephesians 3:10; Colossians 2:3; Ephesians 3:5; Wisdom 17:1; Job 5:9, 9:10; Ephesians 3:8; Psalm 76:20 LXX.  The Oh in Oh, the depth is an example of an emphatic or deep emotional address.  The value of this Oh is to show the mind of Saint Paul.  There are only nine instances of this type of Oh with the nominative case in the New Testament.[14]

Verse 34       Isaiah 40:13 LXX; Job 15:8; Jeremiah 23:18; 1 Corinthians 2:16.

Verse 35       Job 41:3

Verse 36       1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16 f.; Hebrews 2:10; Romans 16:27!



Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Matthew 16:13-20:


Verse 13       Matthew 16:13-20 Mark 8:27-30; Luke 9:18-21.

Verse 14       Matthew 14:2 parallel, 17:10, 21:11!

Verse 15      

Verse 16       Matthew 14:33, 26:63, 27:40, 43, 54; John 1:34, 49, 6:69, 10:24, 11:27, 19:7, 20:31.

Verse 17       Matthew 4:18!

Verse 18       Matthew 11:27; Galatians 1:15 f.; John 1:42! Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:5; Job 38:17; Psalm 9:14; Wisdom 16:13.

Verse 19       Matthew 18:18! Isaiah 22:22; Revelation 1:18, 3:7.

Verse 20       Matthew 8:4!  The Greek manuscripts are difficult at the words strictly ordered.



For my background and more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at   Beginning with Reading 118A, the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, August 14, 2011, unless otherwise noted, my Bible of preference will be the NABRE.[15]


[1] Barren Everson and Hannah Karp, “Ohio State’s Tressel Quits,” The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, May 31, 2011, page A3, col. 1-4.  Steve Wieberg, “Under Fire, Tressel laves Ohio State:  How a coverup ended a powerful coach’s run,” USA Today, Tuesday, May 31, 2011, page 1A, columns 3-4.  Our View, “Today’s debate:   Scandal at Ohio State:  Tressel says goodbye, Columbus; college sports gets a black eye,” E. Gordon Gee (President of Ohio State), “Opposing View:  `A tough-loving friend’ to athletics,” Catalina Camia and others, “Tressel fallout far from over,” David Jones, Destin, Florida, “Ohio State ruling still irks Petrino,”,  USA Today, Wednesday, June 1, 2011, page 7C, columns 1-2, page 10A, columns 1-2.  Christine Brennan, “Keeping Score:  Ohioans play defense for Tressel,” USA Today, Thursday, June 2, 2011, page 3C, column 1.  Pete Dirlam, “Letters:  Send strong message,” The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, George Dohrmann and David Epstein in Sports Illustrated, Jerome Solomon in the Houston Chronicle, Phil Sheridan in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Drew Sharp in The Sacramento Bee,  “Opinionline:  What people are saying about football scandal:  Ohio State’s Tressel had to get the ax,” USA Today, Friday, June 3, 2011, page 10A, column 4 and page 11A, columns 2-4.  


[2]  (accessed June 6, 2011).


[3] Theological Studies, Vol. 69, No. 3 (September 2008) 718.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (January 2011) 142.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2010) 148.


[6] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 1 (March 2009) 228.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (April 2010) 836.


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 21.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 518.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2010) 87, 88.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 3 (April 2010) 486.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (January 2011) 28.


[13] 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 Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1998).


[14] Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996) 69, fn. 12.


[15] Saint Joseph Edition of The New American Bible:  Revised Edition (New Jersey:  Catholic Book Publishing Corp., 2011.