In 2001, Pope John Paul II gave Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger authority to investigate all sexual abuse cases.[1]  In 2002, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, as Archbishop of San Francisco, gave Canon lawyer, Father Gregory Ingels, authority to help write the “zero tolerance” sexual abuse policy to which Pope John Paul II agreed.[2]  On April 19, 2005, 115 Cardinals elected Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI.[3]  On June 11, 2005 newspapers announced that the Archdiocese of San Francisco settled a sexual abuse case against Ingels for $2.4 million.[4]  On July 13, 2005 newspapers announced that Pope Benedict XVI extricated Levada to Rome to follow the footsteps of Cardinal Bernard Law.  United States courts can no longer reach either of them.

Benedict XVI gave Levada the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Many consider that the second most powerful position in the Catholic Church.  Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger held that office before becoming Pope Benedict XVI.[5]  If Levada follows the footsteps of Ratzinger, Levada is next in line for the Papacy.

That problem is relatively far away, in the Vatican.  There is a problem closer to home.  The Bishop of Richmond, Francis X. DiLorenzo, is asking the Faithful to comment on a document called “We’ve Come this Far by Faith.”  To observe that the Bishop presents a document poorly written that misses important problems, such as the love and study of Sacred Scripture, birth control, abortion, euthanasia, and sexism takes the courage of the Faithful. 

The Faithful are humbled when the clergy lack courage to deal with problems.  My name for today is Courage Sunday.  The readings for this Sunday begin with Jeremiah needing courage to disagree with the prevailing politics of Israel.  Jeremiah says, everyone mocks me.  The courageous 63rd Psalmist, having returned from exile to find Jerusalem in relative ruins, insists on being glad to seek God.  Romans encourages the early Christians courageously to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice and not conform yourselves to this age.  Finally, Jesus warns his disciples that he will suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes and be killed.  The Faithful remember the part about and on the third day be raised. 

The point for the readings of this Courage Sunday, is, that courage can be part and parcel of an engagement with God.  Speaking truth to power can be an exercise of courageous love.  Whenever politics, especially Church politics, determines truth, the love of God suffers, because God is truth.  That is why these Musings engage religious politics above, in order to engage God right here and now, with the full expectation of being raised from whatever distress results from such courage.



First Reading:                    Jeremiah 20:7-9

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9 (2b)

Second Reading:               Romans 12:1-2

Alleluia:                             cf. Ephesians 1:17-18

Gospel:                             Matthew 16:21-27



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.


Jeremiah 20:7-9

Jer 20:7-18

Bark E. Biddle, review of Hannes Bezzel, Die Konfessionen Jeremias: Eine redaktionsgeschichtliche Studie[6]

Biddle reports that Jeremiah 20:7-18 is one of five confessions.  Bezzel works to unravel whether these confessions are truly autobiographical or the result of later redactors embellishing the life of Jeremiah.  Bezzel thinks that Jeremiah 1—20 is about what Jeremiah experienced and Jeremiah 20-45 how others saw what Jeremiah experienced from the outside.  Jeremiah personally experienced verses 7-18.  Not everyone will agree with everything Bezel presents, but Bezel is a sound scholar.


Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9 (2b)

Care of the Sick uses Psalm 63,[7] as means of consolation, rather than invective.


Romans 12:1-2

Care of the Sick uses Romans 12:1-2,[8] as means of consolation, rather than invective.


Rom 12:1

Nijay K. Gupta, “Which `Body’ Is a Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19)?  Paul beyond the Individual/Communal Divide”[9]

Gupta argues that bodies in offer your bodies refers to the individual bodies of the Faithful.  Gupta, however, wonders whether the Mystical Body of Christ resides in each individual body or in the bodies of all the Faithful as a whole.  Gupta concludes, “In the end, we must look to the details of Paul’s ostensibly convoluted discourses about how the person participates equally with the community in Christ and, in Paul’s theology, find meaning that goes beyond an individual/communal divide.”





Rom 12:1

Casimir Bernas, O.C.S.O., review of Romano Penna, Volume 2, Rm 6—11; Volume 3, Rm 12—16[10]

Bernas points out that Romans formulates 12:1-2 as a hymn in the Greek.  Bernas argues that this passage is a transition from instruction to exhortation (I urge you brothers and sisters) based on instruction.  Bernas argues that Paul is not always logical.  “If we moderns are not always satisfied by Paul’s logic, it is because he is not always logical.” 

Sometimes we moderns take the Greek intellectual tool of logic for granted.  Jesus and Paul did not grow up in a culture enhanced with Greek logic; many cultures still do not.  The point is that while the New Testament is written in Greek; the New Testament is a translation of what originally happened in Aramaic and Hebrew, outside the bounds of Greek logic.


cf. Ephesians 1:17-18


Matthew 16:21-27

Matthew 16:23

Paul Lakeland, Engaging Theology:  Catholic Perspectives:  Church:  Living Communion[11]

Lakeland uses get behind me, Satan to argue that the disciples struggled to understand just who Jesus was.  Lakeland goes on to argue that that struggle continues for the Church.  Lakeland concludes, “A puzzled and conflicted fascination does not qualify as faith.”


Matthew 16:25

David G. Schultenover, S.J., “From the Editor’s Desk”[12]

In setting up a Theological Studies journal issue on the social doctrine of the Church, Schultenover examines Matthew 16:25 on the meaning of love.  Love means letting go; trusting and engaging the beloved.  The more the lover lets go, the more the lover finds himself.  Letting go is scary.  That seems to be what God is doing, somehow, in creating the object of his love.



Matt 16:21

Leroy Andrew Huizenga, “Obedience unto Death: The Matthean Gethsemane and Arrest Sequence and the Aqedah”[13]

Huizenga argues from Matthew 16:21, where Jesus prophecies his death, that the death of Jesus was under the control of both human and satanic enemies and God. 


Matt 16:24

Jon Sobrino, S.J., “Jesus of Galilee from the Salvadoran Context: Compassion, Hope, and Following the Light of the Cross”[14]

Sobrino uses verse 24, about denying oneself, to justify meddling in the affairs of others as an act of love for the abused, especially victims of the downside of capitalism.


Matt 16:25

Amelia J. Uelmen,   “Caritas in Veritate and Chiara Lubich:  Human Development from the Vantage Point of Unity”[15]

Uelmen argues from whoever loses his life for my sake will find it to say that ironically emptying oneself is self-fulfillment.  “In an anthropology modeled on the life of the Trinity, openness to the other, even to the point of emptying oneself in order to fully receive the reality of the other, is not a negative encroachment on one’s personhood, but actually the positive key to self-fulfillment …”



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 publication of 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.[16]  One purpose showing the divergences in translation is to show the Church contradicting itself, meaning something is wrong with one or other or both of the translations.


Jeremiah 20:7-9

Verse 7

Lectionary:    duped … duped … triumphed

NABRE:        seduced … seduced … prevailed

The NABRE translation has sexual implications not found in the Lectionary.

Verse 8

Lectionary:    outrage is my message … derision and reproach all the day.

NABRE:        outrage I proclaim … reproach and derision all day long.

Verse 9

Lectionary:    I will speak in his name no more … becomes like fire … holding it in, I cannot endure it.

NABRE:        I will no longer speak in his name … it is as if fire …holding back, I cannot!

The NABRE closes with an exclamation point.


Psalm 63:2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9 (2b)

Verses 2-9 are so diverse that I repeat them all.  The indentations indicate poetry.

Verse 2

Lectionary:    O God, you are my God whom I seek;

          for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts

          like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.

NABRE:        O God, you are my God—

          it is you I seek!

For you my body yearns;

          for you my soul thirsts,

In a land parched, lifeless,

          and without water

The NABRE uses exclamation points.

Verse 3

Lectionary:    Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary

          to see your power and your glory,

NABRE:        I look to you in the sanctuary

          to see your power and glory.

Verse 4

Lectionary:    for [sic] your kindness is a greater good than life;

          my lips shall glorify you.

NABRE:        For [sic] your love is better than life;

          my lips shall ever praise you!

Verse 5

Lectionary:    Thus will I bless you while I life;

                     lifting up my hands, I will call upon your name.

NABRE:        I will bless you as long as I live;

          I will lift up my hands, calling on your name.

Verse 6

Lectionary:    As with the riches of a banquet shall my soul be satisfied,

          and with exultant lips my mouth shall praise you.

NABRE:        My soul shall be sated as with choice food,

          with joyous lips my mouth shall praise you!

Verse 8

Lectionary:    You are my help,

                               and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.

NABRE:        You indeed are my savior,

          and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.


Romans 12:1-2

Verse 1

Lectionary:    I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, …

NABRE:        I urge you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, …

The Lectionary translates with the dynamic (functional) equivalence brothers and sisters, while the NABRE translates with the formal equivalence brothers.[17]


Daniel B. Wallace justifies therefore from the Greek because of what he labels an Inferential Conjunction.  I am guessing the Lectionary omits therefore to improve the flow of thought.  The documentation leaves no indication that something is being left out.  Up until and now and now, I do not see how else to document what the Lectionary presents.  I suppose the Lectionary might offer a caveat in the Introduction.


Matthew 16:21-27

Verse 21

Lectionary:    Jesus began …

NABRE:        From that time on, Jesus began …

The Lectionary leaves out the first phrase, without documenting the omission.

Verse 27

Lectionary:    … repay all …

NABRE:        … repay everyone …



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.  With this material, I am trying to lay a foundation for developing Biblical themes the next time through the Liturgical Cycles.  I intend to add in which Lectionary readings to find the relevant passages.


Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Romans 12:1-2:


Verse 1         Daniel 2:18; Theod ?? 2 Corinthians 1:3, 6:13, 19; Luke 2:22; Ephesians 65:2; 1 Peter 2:2, 5; 9 ?? Testament of Levi 3:6.  The Greek manuscripts are difficult at the words  pleasing to God. 

Verse 2         1 Peter 1:14; Philemon 2:6 f., 3:21; Galatians 1:4; Philemon 3:21! Colossians 3:10; Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:23, 2:18 ?? 5:10, 17; Philemon 1:10.


Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in Matthew 16:21-27:


Verse 21       Matthew 16:21-23 Mark 8:31-32; Luke 9:22, 17:12, 22 f. parallel, 20:18 f. parallel; 26:2 parallel; Luke 13;33, 28:6! 12:40; Hosea 6:2; John 2:19; 1 Corinthians 15:4.    The Greek manuscripts are difficult at the words  Jesus began to show his disciples.  Some manuscripts have Jesus Christ.

Verse 22       1 Maccabees 2:21.

Verse 23       Matthew 4:10; 2 Samuel 19:23; 1 Kings 11:14 LXX; Isaiah 8:14; 1 Peter 2:8; Romans 9:32 f.; 1 Corinthians 1:23, 2:11, 3:3.

Verse 24       Matthew 16:24-28 Mark 8:34-9:1; Luke 9:23-27.

Verse 25       Matthew 10:38 f. parallel; Luke 17:33; John 12:25; Revelation 12:11.

Verse 26       Matthew 4:8; Luke 12:20; James 4:13; Psalm 49:8 f.

Verse 27       Matthew 19:28, 24:30 parallel, 25:31, 24:31! 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Romans 2:6! Psalm 62:13; Proverbs 24:12; Sirach 35:22 LXX.





Through Reading 70A, January 30, 2011, I designed these comments on the availability of manuscripts to make the point that uncertainty exists about exactly which Greek to use for the purposes of translation.  At that point, I began offering manuscript availability for background when examining Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, which I purchased based on the review in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.[18]


Matthew 16 & 17

Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the    Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, 2nd ed., Erroll F. Rhodes, tr.[19]

The Alands record that “The evidence of the Latin version comes in the apparatus immediately following that of the Greek witnesses, and is itself followed by the evidence of the Syriac versions.  For these the following signs are used.  sys The Sinaitic Syriac preserves the text of the Gospels with considerable lacunae: … Matt: 16:15—17:11 …” 

There is a syc in the apparatus at Matthew 16:12; sys.c  in the apparatus at 16:13; syh at Matthew 16:17; syc and syh at Matthew 16:20.  I do not know what to make of it, except to think that the scholars are meticulous in their cross-referencing.



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.[20]


[2] Ron Russell, San Francisco Weekly, July 13, 2005, “Blind Eye Unto the Holy See:  Pope Benedict XVI Names Him Roman Catholicism’s Top Doctrinal Watchdog—Even Though, as San Francisco Archbishop, William J. Levada Resolutely Looked Away from Sex-Abuse Complaints against a Renowned Priest and Legal Scholar,”  (accessed August 21, 2011).


[3] N.a., “Ratzinger is elected as New Pope, Last Updated:  Tuesday, 19 April, 2005,”  (accessed August 21, 2011).


[4] Brandon Bailey, San Jose Mercury News (California), June 11, 2005, “15 Victims of Clergy Abuse Get $21 Million:  Settlement Is Largest by S.F. Archdiocese,”    (accessed August 21, 2011).  Also see:  (accessed August 21, 2011).

[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 601.


[7] 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 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 (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1983) 289.


[8] 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 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 (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1983) 267.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 2010) 522, 536.


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


[11] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, A Michael Glazier Book, 2009, 17-18.


[12] Theological Studies, Vol. 71, No. 3 (September 2010) 514.


[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 523-525.


[14] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 458.


[15] Theological Studies, Vol. 71, No. 1 (March 2010) 39.


[16] 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).


[18] Robert Hodgson, Jr., review of Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 877-878.


[19] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 250.


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