Readings for this Sunday, in many ways, direct the Faithful to a consideration of the primacy of Peter and his successor Bishops of Rome, the Popes.  The teaching Magisterium of the Church does offer guidance for how the Faithful are to conduct themselves.  The fact is that this guidance, in light of the sexual cover-ups, loses its luster.

 

The sexual cover-ups constitute a passive attack on the Faithful.  An active attack on the Faithful is also happening in the hierarchic confrontation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWC).  The Bishops claim the LCWC is not following its lead; when in reality what the LCWC is doing is developing a different style of leadership.  The Papacy is monarchic, not to be questioned.  In comparison, the LCWC is democratic, unafraid to question whatever seems to need development.[1]

 

The Faithful can rightfully pray that God will not abandon them in a quandary of dysfunctional monarchic decisions.  The Faithful, living in democracies, can insist their approach to self-governance harms no one and at least listens to the downtrodden.  After the Gloria, the Faithful can listen for “cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose” meaning a prayerful petition that the monarchic Papacy and the democratic LCWC reach out to one another.

 

 

Readings

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

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 22:19-23


 

Isaiah 22:15-24

Jeff Cavins, Tim Gray, and Sarah Christmyer, The Bible Timeline:  The Story of Salvation[2]

Cavins directs readers to “read about the steward in Isaiah 22:15-24,” where the word “steward” does not appear.  Two lines earlier, Cavins writes, “Much like a prime minister today, he was second only to the king in power and authority and acted with the king’s authority in his absence.”  Cavins has no use for democracy, whereas modern governance has no use for monarchy, which holds itself above the law and accountability.

 

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[3]

Open and close are two contrasting expressions Bosworth draws upon to explain what Tawil has done.  Separately, Bosworth thinks Tawil has overdone the relationship between Akkadian and Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Aramaic.  Just the same, this is a useful reference work.

 

Isa 22:22

Casimir Bernas, O.C.S.O., review of G. K. Beale, Handbook on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament:  Exegesis and Interpretation[4]

Beale relates Isaiah 22:22, “. . . when he opens, no one shall shut . . . ” to Revelation 3:7, “. . . who opens and no one shall close . . . ” with a high Christology, which, admittedly, is debatable.  Beale tries to relate the First and New Testament historical settings in his search for meaning.  Beale is sound.

 

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

 

Romans 11:33-36


 

Romans 11:34

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[5]

What the Lectionary offers as For who has known the mind of the Lord [sic] or who has been his counselor?, Wallace translates as, For who has known the mind of God, or who has become a counselor with him?  The Greek has Lord, rather than God.  I am not arguing with how Wallace is translating Lord in this instance.  Wallace explains the intricacies of the grammar.

 

Although etymologically possible, the usage of sumbouloV in both classical and Koine Greek meant simply “advisor,” not “fellow advisor.”  The gen. must be taken then as objective (“who has counseled God”), the thought being all the more pernicious, for the hypothetical counselor would not be in league with God, but above him.

 

Rom 11:33-36

Rodrigo J. Morales, review of Jean Noël Aletti, S.J., God’s Justice in Romans:  Keys for Interpreting  the Epistle to the Romans (trans. Peggy Manning Meyer)[6]

Romans 11:33-36 is a “brief paean to God’s mercy.”  The relationship between the justice and mercy of God is a mystery that merits repeated return to Romans.

 

Romans 11:33-36

John David Ramsey, A Precarious Faith:  The Tri-Une [sic] Dynamic of the Christian Life[7]

What the Lectionary translates as For from him and through him and for him are all things.  To him be glory forever.  Amen. Father John David Ramsey, my pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News, Virginia, translates as For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be the glory forever.  Amen.  Father John David describes Faith, “Faith is ever and always a precarious business, and requires constant vigilance in order to remain radical dependence upon and trust in God rather than becoming self-dependence in God’s name.”  That is how the Faithful remain hopeful that dysfunctional Church administration, especially evident in the sexual cover-ups, is not the end.  In the final analysis, God will bring justice to all.

 


 

Rom 11:33-36

Robert J. Daly, S.J., “Phenomenology of Redemption?  Or Theory of Sanctification?”[8]

Daily points out that, in the Greek, these verses are in the form of a hymn Paul is quoting.

 

Rom 11:33-34

Edward Collins Vacek, S.J., “Discernment Within a Mutual Love Relationship with God:  A New Theological Foundation”[9]

What the Lectionary translates as How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!, Vacek translates as How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!  Vacek explains, “This article proposes that an illuminating, mutual love relationship with God requires humans to codetermine God’s will for themselves and others.  They respond to the Spirit who frees and leads by attraction.”  There is no easy way for discernment of what the purpose of God may be in any particular given situation.

 

Romans 11:33

John Colet (1467-1519), “Exposition of First Corinthians”[10]

Colet is full of emotion, using seven exclamation points as he alludes to Romans 11:33.

 

Rom 11:33

Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Ezekiel, Daniel, first printing, page 159, last line, incorrectly cites Romans 11:33 as Rom 11:13.  The Scripture Index incorporates the same error.

 

The significance of the error is that Rom 11:13 is used for The Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, this year August 17.  The Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, this year August 24, uses Romans 11:33.

 

In a personal email, InterVarsity Press has acknowledged calling this error to its attention.

 

Matthew 16:18

 

Matthew 16:13-20

Matthew 16:20

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]

Some manuscripts have Jesus the Christ, rather than the Lectionary the Christ.

 

Matthew 16:13-20

Jeff Cavins, Tim Gray, and Sarah Christmyer, The Bible Timeline:  The Story of Salvation[12]

Cavins leaves no room for democratic governance in the Church.  Cavins writes, “In the Davidic Kingdom, the king invested authority to rule his kingdom under him in a steward (a type or prime minister or CEO) and his successors after him).  Cavins, thereby eliminates accountability to the Faithful for the coverup of the abuse of their children.

 

Matt 16:13-20

Mary Ann Beavis, “Reconsidering Mary of Bethany”[13]

You are the Christ equates with the confession of Martha of Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world (John 11:27).

 

Matthew 16:13

Francis J. Moloney, S.D.B., “Constructing Jesus and the Son of Man”[14]

Moloney asserts that the present Son of Man is unique to Matthew, but I do not find the present in Matthew and do not understand.

 


 

Matthew 16:15-18

John David Ramsey, A Precarious Faith:  The Tri-Une [sic] Dynamic of the Christian Life[15]

Skipping over the primacy of Peter, Father John David asserts that confession of Jesus as Christ is the basis for the Christian Church.  Father John David goes on

 

If we are to understand something about the precarious life of the church and the theology which arises from that life, then we must begin with Christ, in whom the church finds the source of its identity, its framework, its dynamic—the whole of its way of life and mission.

 

Christ is the hope of the Church, even as the Protestant revolt continues and hierarchic scandals become more evident, day-by-day.

 

Matthew 16:15

James H. Evans [sic] Jr., We have been Believers:  An African American Systematic Theology[16]

Evans uses But who do you say that I am?  to characterize Chapter 4, “Jesus Christ:  Liberator and Mediator.” 

 

Matthew 16:16-17

Erasmus Sarcerius (1501-1559), “Annotations on Ephesians”[17]

Sarcerius also seems to skip around the primacy of Peter, where he writes, “What Paul calls the foundation, Christ called the rock.  By “rock” we understand, along with Augustine and other real theologians, the faith or confession of faith made by Peter about Christ, that he is the Son of the living God.”

 


 

Matthew 16:16

Thomas L. Brodie, O.P., review of Brandon D. Crowe, The Obedient Son:  Deuteronomy and Christology in the Gospel of Matthew[18]

Matthew is presenting Jesus not only as the Messiah, but also as the Son of the living God.  Deuteronomy presents Israel as the Son of God.  From this, Matthew presents Jesus as the unique Son of God.

 

Matt 16:16b-19

Gerald O’Collins, S.J., “Peter as Witness to Easter”[19]

O’Collins argues that the Faithful should not be surprised if the successors of Saint Peter as much as he did.  My observation is that the Faithful are not so surprised.

 

Matthew 16:18-19[20]

Rudolf Gwalther (1519-1586), “Sermons on Galatians”

Gwalther goes after the Pope.  “That is what the popes of Rome do in a most arrogant and ungodly fashion, misusing Christ’s words in Matthew 16 as a means of establishing their tyranny. . . . “

 

Sarcerius, “Annotations on Galatians”

Sarcerius writes, “The church is not built on human opinions but on the Word and on faith.  `On this rock I will build my church.’”

 

Matthew 16:18

Johann Spangenberg (1484-1550), “Brief Exegesis of Acts 5:19-20”[21]

Spangenberg proclaims, “ . . . no one is able to oppose or resist God’s
Word and work, even if every gate of hell stands in opposition.”

 


 

Matt 16:17-19

Daniel J. Harrington, S.J., review of Charles H. Talbert, Matthew[22]

Harrington writes, “On disputed issues such as Petrine primacy in 16:17-19 . . . T. lays out the various interpretations in a balanced way while nudging readers toward what he regards as the more probable positions.”

 

Matt 16:17-19

Gerald O’Collins, S.J., “Peter as Witness to Easter”[23]

This article seems to suck up to the Teaching Magisterium of the Papacy.  O’Collins adds to the arguments for Petrine Primacy, such as that found in Matthew 16:17-19, an argument from Peter as the official witness to the Resurrection.

 

Matt 16:18-19

Dorothy Jean Weaver, review of Jeffrey A. Gibbs, Matthew 11:2—20:34[24]

Weaver writes, “G. walks a middle course on the question of Peter’s relationship to `church’ and `keys’ with his conclusion that `Jesus gives (the promises of 16:18-19) to Simon Peter as a Christological confessor speaking on behalf of the other apostles’ (p. 819; emphasis G.’s).”  —whatever that may mean.  My point is that Petrine primacy is contested.

 

Matt 16:19

Lidija Novakovic, review of Jonathan T. Pennington, Heaven and earth in the Gospel of Matthew[25]

The work lacks textual consistency and Matthew 16:19, using the singular for heaven, is one of those inconsistencies in the Pennington thesis, distinguishing between heaven and heavens.  Pennington places too much opposition between heaven and earth.

 


 

Matthew 16:19

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward:  A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life[26]

Rohr writes, “It is always interesting to me that the `power of the keys’ that Jesus gave to Peter both to `bind and to loose’ (Matthew 16:19) is invariably used to bind and so seldom to loose—unless it is to the church institution’s advantage.”  Rohr does not seem to understand that the power to bind does not mean binding new burdens, but simply not changing the state of the offender.

 

Matt 16:17-20

Robyn Whitaker, “Rebuke or Recall?  Rethinking the Role of Peter in Mark’s Gospel”[27]

Whitaker recognizes a softening of the leadership of Peter in Matthew.  Some other scholars think Mark may have a vendetta against Peter and his followers.

 

Matt 18:18, 19

Edward Collins Vacek, S.J., “Discernment Within a Mutual Love Relationship with God:  A New Theological Foundation”[28]

Vacek takes whatever you loose . . . to base discernment on authority, even though, historically, the Faithful cannot always trust authority.  Vacek winds up arguing that love between the Faithful and God resolves problems of discernment in favor of that love.

 

Matt 16:18

Jared Wicks, S.J., “Scripture Reading Urged Vehementer (DV No. 25):  Background and Development”[29]

Sacred Scripture is the rock upon which the Church is built.  Sacred Scripture stands the test of time, leading the Faithful through history.

 


 

Error in Ordo.[30]

Soppy scholarship:  for May 30, 2014, Friday:  Easter weekday, the Ordo notes, “At EP [Eucharistic Prayer]:  intercessions (after Ascension) should be taken from Sat MP [Morning Prayer (Lauds)] (incorrectly printed there).”

 

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, your love is eternal; do not forsake the work of your hands (Psalm 138:8bc).[31]

 

In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the Gloria, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose.”[32]

 

This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man (2 Corinthians 7:2).[33] 

 



[1] See Dawn Cherie Araujo, “Leadership in challenging Times,” http://globalsistersreport.org/node/4221 (accessed June 10, 2014).

 

[2] West Chester, Pennsylvania:  Ascension Press, 2004, 2011, Session 14, page 101 (source of the quote), p. 3.

 

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

 

[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 2 (April 2014) 343.

 

[5] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 119, 130 (source of the quote).

 

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1 (April 2012) 143.

 

[7] Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2002, 238.

 

[8] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 2 (June 2013) 365.

 

[9] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 2013) 683, 685.

 

[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) 51.

 

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

 

[12] West Chester, Pennsylvania:  Ascension Press, 2004, 2011, Session 19, page 135, p. 2 (source of the quote).

 

[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 284.

 

[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 4 (October 2013) 725.

 

[15] Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2002, 71.

 

[16] second edition (Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 2012) 89.

 

[17] 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) 300, 399.

 

[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 1 (April 2014) 132.

 

[19] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 2 (June 2012) 276, 281, 282.

 

[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) 62, 174.

 

[21] 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) 66.

 

[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1 (January 2012) 176.

 

[23] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 2 (June 2012) 264, 266, 268, 270.

 

[24] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 370.

 

[25] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 392.

 

[26] San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass:  A Wiley Imprint, 2011, 142.

 

[27] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 4 (October 2013) 668.

 

[28] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 2013) 691.

 

[29] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 2013) 574.

 

[30]The Order of Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours and Celebration of the Eucharist: 2014: Year A: Sunday Cycle: Cycle II: Weekday Cycle (Archdiocese of Louisville: Dioceses of Arlington, Covington, Lexington, Owensboro, Richmond; Wheeling-Charleston), Rev. Peter D. Rocca, C.S.C. (comp.), (Mahwah, New Jersey 07430: Paulist Press Ordo, 997 Macarthur Boulevard, 2008) 131.

 

[31] 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) 785.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.

 

[32] 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) 481.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.

 

[33] 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) 578-579.