On the one hand, the readings for this Sunday suit the “pay, pray, and obey” passive Church.  On the other hand, these readings neglect an active engagement with changing society in a positive direction.  My concern is with the unintended consequence of accepting discipline that has turned abusive.

Recent psychological research[1] demonstrates that the majority of postpartum women suffer from psychological stress.  That stress has led to child abuse.  One of the functions the thinking dynamic Domestic Church might undertake is helping establish societal standards for determining when discipline crosses the border from discipline for the sake of the disciplined.  Another function might be establishing the standard that discipline for any other reason, such as relieving paternal stress, is immoral.

Then the Church should offer the Faithful options for action to protect or remove an abusive situation.  “Honor your parents” can cause, rather than remove an abusive situation.  Honoring your parents can be twisted into a vicious cycle passing abusiveness towards children from generation to generation.

W. E. B. DuBois was forthright about this problem.  As Edward J. Blum words it, “Du Bois took direct aim at both the biblical literalism of many Black believers and the atonement theologies of many Christians that characterized God as demanding the crucifixion of a perfect man in order to satiate his need for blood in return for sin.”[2]


Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from material below the double line.  Those uninterested in scholarly details should 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 www.justfaith.org/JM125.html 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.  Child abuse, abuse of the elderly and of prisoners merits consideration with these readings.  My intention is to leave this notice here for the next three presentations, before relegating the announcement to the Appendix.


First Reading: Isaiah 66:18-21

          Isaiah 66:18-24

          Richard Clifford, S.J. and Khaled Anatolois, "Christian Salvation: Biblical and Theological Perspectives"[3]

          This article draws out the parallel between the Lucan travels of Jesus and the pilgrimage of the nations to Zion.  Isaiah begins (Isaiah 2:1-4) and ends (Isaiah 66:18-24) with that pilgrimage.  For Luke, the pilgrimage progresses through Calvary to Glory.


          Isaiah 66:19-20

          Charles H. Cosgrove, "Did Paul Value Ethnicity?"[4]

Cosgrove observes that Paul, guided by such texts as Isaiah 66, avoids the language of Jewish messianic nationalism.  That notwithstanding, Paul can plausibly be understood as valuing ethnicity.


Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 117:1, 2 (Mark 16:15)

          Psalm 117

          William P. Brown, review of Theodore Mascarenhas, The Missionary Function of Israel in Psalms 67, 96, and 117[5]

          According to Brown, Mascarenhas “ultimately serves to undermine the mystery of election” as he tries to expand the missionary function of Israel with such verses as Psalm 117:1, Praise the LORD, all you nations.  In other words, Mascarenhas, though scholarly, is wrong.  The review is convincing.


Second Reading: Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13

          The Greek for suffering in this reading connotes teaching and education, or, in the translation of the Lectionary, training.  The Greek, however, can also connote scourging, a word the Lectionary uses, the Lord … scourges every son he acknowledges.  Concern of Holy Mother the Church for child and other types of abuse, in the name of discipline, is a major concern for the Domestic Church.


          Heb 12:9-13

          Edward L. Bode, review of Filippo Urso, Imparò L’Obbedienza dalle Cose Che Pati” Eb 5, 8: Il valore educativo della sofferenza in Gesù e nei cristiani nella Lettera agli Ebrei[6]

          Bode writes, “The message of the spiritual value of suffering conflicts mightily with the contemporary notion that pain is the primordial and sole moral evil.”  In Bode’s words, Urso works to make the point that “The objective of educational suffering is participation in God’s holiness.”


          Heb 12:13

          Timothy E. Saleska, review of ST. BONAVENTURE, translation and notes by CAMPION MURRAY, O.F.M. and ROBERT J. KARRIS, O.F.M., Works of St. Bonaventure: Volume 7, Commentary on Ecclesiastes[7]

          Studying Saint Bonaventure reveals that what is meant by a literal interpretation of Sacred Scripture has a history that changes over time.  Saint Bonaventure limits his sense of the literal to word comparisons, rather than the total context in which a particular writer wrote.


Alleluia: John 14:6


Gospel: Luke 13:22-30

          Luke 13:22

          Francis D. Weinert, “Luke, the Temple and Jesus' Saying about Jerusalem's Abandoned House (Luke 13:34-35)”[8]

          Weinert writes that, while God is temporarily leaving Jerusalem to its own devices (Luke 13:34-35), the announcement, well before Jesus reaches Jerusalem, indicates that God is not abandoning Jerusalem.  God will, ultimately, save Jerusalem from abuse.


          Luke 13:22

          Gregory R. Perry, review of Fillip Noel, The Travel Narrative in the Gospel of Luke: Interpretation of Lk 9:51—19:28[9]

          Noel is less interested in developing a travelogue for Jesus to demonstrate that Jesus is the Christ, than he is in developing the nature of the Kingdom of God as a plan to reform and save a people.  This development might suit the efforts of the JustFaith programs.


Child abuse can be a criminal act.  The roles of church and state ought to be, but are not explored here, because the need only came to light, after the Sunday liturgy was over and the material had been distributed.



For more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes

[1] Wilma King, “`Mad’ Enough to Kill: Enslaves Women, Murder, and Southern Courts,” The Journal of African American History, Vol. 92, Winter 2007, 43.


[2] Edward J. Blum, W.E.B. DuBois: American Prophet (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007) 46.


[3] Theological Studies, Vol. 66, No. 4 (December 2005) 743, 747, 768.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 285.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 3 (April 2006) 518.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 351.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 298.


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 1 (January 1982) 73.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 343.