First Reading:                    Wisdom 9:13-18b

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 90:3-4, 12-13, 14-17 (1)

Second Reading:               Philemon 9-10, 12-17

Alleluia:                             Psalm 119:135

Gospel:                             Luke 14:25-33



In Saint Paul’s readings for this Sunday, the slave, Onesimus confused the Church for centuries concerning the morality of slavery.  Human rights are the last thing anyone might expect from a clerical hierarchy based on monarchy.  U.S. Bishops put it this way,


Under criticism that the idea of human dignity grounded in the imago Dei [humans are made in the image of God] doctrine stressed the individual at the expense of the community [namely diocesan control], recent U.S. Catholic documents have offered the more inclusive idea that human rights are the “minimum conditions for life in community” (U.S. bishops’ pastoral letter, “Economic Justice for All,” 1986, nn.  79-84.)[1]


The modern Church is not leading the way in the Declaration of Human Rights, which is not even included as a heading in the 1995 The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism. 

The grammarian, Daniel B. Wallace explains from the New Testament, that during the First Century, churches were not organized according to the principle of monarchy.  Evidence is in the fact that churches were not limited to one presbyter per church.  Common thinking, originating in the Magisterium, asserts that presbyters were always bishops; but I wonder about this distinction between priests and bishops.  I wonder about the necessity and historicity of the distinction.  Church governance is that about which to pray this Sunday. 



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.



Wisdom 9:13-18b

This reading is included in Pastoral Care for the Sick.[2]


Psalm 90:3-4, 12-13, 14-17 (1)


Philemon 9-10, 12-17

Different languages perceive reality differently.  The ancient Greeks used pronouns for emphasis.  Translating this emphasis from the original Greek into English is an object of the highlighting on the last page of the hard copy, not found on the web site.  The purpose of the highlighting is to transfer the Greek emphasis on personal pronouns into the English translation.  Pronouns highlighted in blue have greater emphasis than in English, but are not as intense as the words marked in red.  Words underlined with a horizontal line, indicate places where the English translation uses a noun, corresponding to a pronoun in the Greek. 

Anyone wanting a copy of the highlighted verses, please ask me at  Thank you.


The Greek is intensive in two places, verse 13, retain him for myself; and verse 16, especially to me.


Philemon 13-15

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.[3]

Institut fur Altertumskunde in Cologne has a Third Century papyrus manuscript with verses 12-15.  The Sacred Scripture used by the Faithful rests on a variety of different manuscripts, that the fundamentalist approach to Sacred Scripture at least downplays, if not ignores.



Philemon (included as one of the Pastoral Epistles)

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[4]

Writing about the Pastoral Letters, of which Philemon is one,


Part of the issue here [1 Tim 3:2] revolves around the date and authorship of the Pastoral Letters.  The later they are, the more likely is the monarchial episcopate view.  Certain parallels are usually drawn between the Pastorals and Ignatius (d. 117 CE).  But if the Pastoral Letters were written by Paul (and, hence, well within the first century), they are more likely to comport with the ecclesiology seen everywhere else in the NT, viz., there are to be multiple elders in the church.  … Sometimes, in fact, part of the argument against Pauline authorship involves the assumption that 1 Tim 3:2 avers the monarchial episcopate [Wallace thinks there were multiple overseers], rendering the ecclesiology of the Pastoral different from the rest of Paul’s letters.  Such an argument is at best circular.


Psalm 119:135

Psalm 119 is available for Funeral Rites, Part III: Texts of Sacred Scripture, 16 Antiphons and Psalms at Ant. 17, with a slightly different translation: countenance for face and statutes for laws.[5]


Luke 14:25-33

The Greek in Luke 14:  uses a pronoun for Jesus in verse 25; uses a different noun for all, namely, onlookers, in verse 29.  Verse 33 has three intense words, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions.



Luke 14:16-35

Garwood P. Anderson, "Seeking and Saving What Might Have Been Lost: Luke's Restoration of an Enigmatic Parable Tradition"[6]

Anderson argues that the reason Luke describes the audiences for his parables is in order to set the stage for understanding.  The stage for parables of building the tower and going into battle in verses 27-33 are given in the earlier verses 25-27, about  giving up everything to follow Jesus.


Luke 14:23, 26

Dino Dozzi, "`Thus Says the Lord' The Gospel in the Writings of Saint Francis"[7]

In his Rules, Saint Francis calls for poverty of spirit, not only for things, but also for people and for self.  This hits home personally, as I am lifted up and dumped down in various organizations to which I belong.  More importantly, Saint Francis speaks to the Church when he admonishes not abandoning sinners, for example, priests.  That double-negative, not abandoning, is the way Saint Francis put it.  The “one strike and you are out” principle of the United States episcopate rubs against this admonition of not abandoning sinners.  Religious orders, in contrast, do not subscribe to the abandonment approach.  Religious orders keep sinful priests away from the Faithful, but not away from themselves.



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

[1] The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, general editor, Richard P. McBrien (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco: A Division of Harper Collins Publishers, 1995) 644.


[2] 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: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 256.


[3] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 101.


[4] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 229, fn 43.


[5] 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 IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: 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 Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 286.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (April 2008) 737.


[7] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, Supplement (2004) 8, 15, 39, 50, 58.