This Sunday the Liturgy of the Word includes passages from both Sirach and the Psalms. Sirach offers the Church worldly wisdom. The Psalms are the prayer book of the Church. Throughout, the Bible Study used at my Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News, Virginia avoids both, thereby, exhibiting the dysfunctional Church.
That Bible Study calls itself The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation. Sacred Scripture, however, is not a timeline and is more than a story, as The Timeline seems to indicate. Sacred Scripture is about theology that contains history; not about history that contains theology. The Timeline does not make that point. Sacred Scripture is about the reality of Salvation, not The Story of Salvation.
The Bible Study avoids consideration of important facts for primeval humanity: evolution, the importance and development of language, and the flood of Noah. To see what I have written about evolution and Adam and Eve go to http://www.western-civilization.com/102/ii/24Darwin.PDF. Language as a human tool is a technology embedded in Sacred Scripture, sometimes simply known as “The Word.” The Tower of Babel is about the misuse of language, a misuse grounded in historical reality. Jeff Cavins, principal author of The Timeline, never considers the wonderment of language as a new human technology, unavailable to other non-human animals.
Finally, the flood of Noah should have left geologic evidence, evidence for which Cavins never searches. There was an earthquake on Miletus dating from the tenth to ninth centuries B.C. Miletus is an eastern Mediterranean island, south of Greece. wonder about any correlation between the flood caused by that earthquake and the time when the Book of Genesis was written. Cavins shows no interest in considering what evidence geologic sediments offer for the flood of Noah.
The Faithful do not have to look far for evidence of the Tower of Babel at Sunday Mass. In the gobbledygook babbling prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the forgiveness of sins, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for the following few sensible words, “by your watchful care, keep safe what you have nurtured.” That nurturing would include evolution, the development of language, and the meaning of the flood and Noah’s Ark. The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday is God, in your goodness, you have made a home for the poor (Psalm 68: cf. 11b). This means that God is reaching out to the Faithful. Sirach 3:28 exhorts, an attentive ear is the joy of the wise.
First Reading Sirach 3:17-18, 21, 29-30 (for documentation see 126C for 2004)
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11 (cf. 11)
Second Reading: Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24 (for documentation see 126C for 2004)
Alleluia: Matthew 11:29ab
Gospel: Luke 14:1, 7-147
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.
Sirach 3:17-18, 21, 29-30
Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11 (cf. 11)
Mark S. Smith, “God in Israel’s Bible: Divinity between the World and Israel, between the Old and the New”
Smith concludes, “While Israel’s prose tradition recalled Moses first unknowingly coming to God at the Mountain and then leading Israel to this mountain to meet God, the God of Israel of the oldest poetic memory came to Israel.”
Hebrews 12:18-19, 24
Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar: Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament
Wallace translates, then explains.
Wallace: You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels . . . The Lectionary: you have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and countless angels . . . The main difference is between Wallace have come to and the Lectionary have approached. The other difference is between myriads and countless angels.
While not explaining that difference, Wallace does offer meaning that may not be evident. First, with regard to Mount Zion, the city, and myriads, Wallace writes, “Not every dative of destination is impersonal, as can be seen by the last dative used here . . . [myriads of angels]” Then, with regard to the heavenly Jerusalem, Wallace writes, “This text also involves parallel datives not in apposition. There are no absolute structural clues for determining whether a case is appositional or parallel; a determination needs to be made on grounds other than syntactical.” Without Wallace, Personal Notes would have thought Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem were all the same place, in apposition rather than parallel.
Daniel A. Smith, “Seeing a Pneuma(tic Body): The Apologetic Interests of Luke 24:36-43”
Smith explains, “Where Paul visualizes continuity in corporeality but discontinuity in essence, Luke visualizes continuity in both aspects.” Smith uses Hebrews 12:23 as part of his argument that Paul visualizes continuity in corporeality but discontinuity in essence. I observe that Paul tends to follow Plato and that “continuity in both aspects” tends toward Aristotle.
William Greenhill (1591-1671), “An Exposition of Ezekiel”
Greenhill explains, “ . . . of such as are enrolled in heaven (Heb 12:23) . . . These made up the church and body of Christ.” Saint Vincent de Paul was eleven years older than Greenhill. Greenhill was an English non-conformist clergyman, who served for a time as parliament chaplain.
William Greenhill (1591-1671), “An Exposition of Ezekiel”
Greenhill explains, “Water cleanses, cools, comforts; and so does forgiveness of sin through the blood of Christ ( . . . Heb 12:24).”
Luke 14:1, 7-14
Carol Schersten LaHurd, review of Kenneth E. Bailey, Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels
Though LaHurd has great respect for Bailey she also has some trouble. LaHurd reports, “In Luke’s telling, Jesus is `the one who eats with sinners (like the father plans to do),’ but that need not mean that by this action Jesus `affirms himself to be the divine presence in the community (14:10)’ (p. 208).”
Personal Notes gave up systematically examining the illiterate 2011 Missal November 25, 2012. On April 7, 2013, with Reading 045C 2nd Sunday of Easter_A Catholic Bible Study 130407, Personal Notes systematically began to incorporate material from A Commentary on the Order of Mass of The Roman Missal: A New English Translation: Developed under the Auspices of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, Edward Foley (ed.) (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2011). The hope is that this approach will help the Faithful pray with the new Missal, despite itself.
Anscar J. Chupungco, “The ICEL2010 Translation”
The Collect Prayer (ICEL2010,
“Then the Priest . . . says the Collect prayer” (line 4)
Although the Latin collecta, which is a prayer than concludes the introductory rites, is found in some medieval sacramentaries, MR1962 simply calls it oratio. This evades the unresolved debate among scholars on the nature, purpose, and position of the collecta. The other prayers are called orátio super oblata (OM2008, no. 30), orátio post communionem (OM2008, no. 139), and orátio super populum (OM2008, no. 142. ICEL1973 called it “opening prayer, a misnomer since the prayer actually concludes the introductory rites. It is useful to note that the Liturgy of the Word has no opening prayer; it begins with the first reading. ICEWL2010’s translation of orátio as “Collect prayer” renders the debate among the liturgists moot.
In its translation, ICEL1973 inserted the word “sings” (“Then the priest . . . sings or says the opening prayer”). While it is true that the priest is encouraged to sing the greetings, presidential prayers, Eucharistic preface, and doxology, the Latin simply says dicit. It is hoped that the new translation, which omits the word “sings,” will not diminish the established practice of singing the oratio, at least on Sundays.
The newly ordained (June 1) Gino Paul Rossi sings these prayers, at least on Sundays. During the first week of his ordination, he said at least some of his first Masses at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.
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
 Jeff Cavins, Tim Gray, and Sarah Christmyer, The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation (West Chester, Pennsylvania: Ascension Press, 2004, 2011)
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_Gate_of_Miletus (accessed June 19, 2013).
 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) 482. Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.
 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.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 1 (January 2012) 15. The quote is from page 27.
 Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 148, 153.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 756. The quote is on page 768.
 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) 228 (source of the quote), 434..
 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) 84.
 the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 3 (July 2011) 606.
 in A Commentary on the Order of Mass of The Roman Missal: A New English Translation: Developed under the Auspices of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, Edward Foley (ed.) (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2011) 140-141.
 For pictures, see The Catholic Virginian, Vol. 88, No. 16 (June 10, 2013), pages 3 and 16.