An important change in the prayer life of the Faithful happened May 1, as later announced on June 19, 2013.  The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments proclaimed that it had embedded changes into Eucharistic Prayers II, III, and IV.  The Congregation added “Blessed Joseph, her Spouse,” after “the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.”[1]  The prayer now reads, “ . . . with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with blessed Joseph, her Spouse, with the blessed Apostles . . . ”[2]

 

If the change happened at 8:00 a.m. Sunday Mass, June 23, the first Sunday after the proclamation, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (OLMC), to which I belong, made no announcement about the difference.  Father Peter Tran did say “St. Joseph” in what sounded like a strange place, but his lackadaisical attitude toward the English language is bemusing, mystifying, and disappointing.  He may have made the change. 

 

Connecting the prayer life of the Faithful with the liturgy of the Mass is a type of Mystagogy.  The Commentary defines Mystagogy as,

 

(1) a form of theological reflection integral to and born of the liturgical event [for example, the Mass] itself; (2) Scripture is only one (albeit important) lens for defining Mystagogy; and (3) the proper origins of Mystagogical interpretations are to be found in Jesus, especially his table ministry culminating in the final meal(s) with his disciples . . . .an imaginative form of theological reflection, prompted by the Holy Spirit, contextualized in a particular faith community, integral to and born of the liturgical event itself, more poetic than discursive, that respects the affective as well as cognitive gifts of the assembly, for the sake of encountering the mystery of God in Christ, which leads to personal and ecclesial transformation in service of the in-breaking of god’s reign of justice and peace in the world.[3]

 

The relevant question for recognizing the spirituality of others, mentioned in the first sentence above, is who cares about adding the name of Saint Joseph?  Evidently, few if any, because of the way OLMC skipped over the change at Sunday Mass.  That means, from now on, Personal Notes will place these deeper, less interesting aspects of spiritual life, as a continuation below the solid line, after the Annotated Bibliography.

 

 

Readings

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

 

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.

 

Wisdom 9:13-18b

 

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

Psalm 90:4

Andrew Willet (1562-1621), “Commentary on Genesis 5:5”[4]

Willet speculates,

 

Yet while they [the patriarchs] enjoyed this long term, the Lord would not allow any of them to attain unto a thousand years:  not for the reason the Hebrews suppose, that God granted seventy of Adam’s thousand years to David; nor for the reason Irenaeus mentions (which seems too curious), namely, to make good on what he said to Adam, “in whatever day you eat of it, you shall die,” and because a thousand years with God is as yesterday (Ps 90:4), Adam died during that first “day,” before he came to a thousand.  Rather, God hereby wished to put the fathers in mind of their mortality . . . 

 

Willet was a contemporary, eighteen years older than Saint Vincent de Paul (1580-1660)

 

Philemon 9-10, 12-17

Philemon 13

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

Wallace explains,

 

The imperfect tense is used to indicate that an attempt was about to be made or one that was almost desired to be made.  The action, however, was not carried out.  Often the notion conveyed is that the action was contemplated more than once (hence, the imperfect is naturally used).

What is portrayed with this usage frequently is present time in which the action is entirely unrealized in the present.  The imperfect seems to be used to indicate the unreal present situation.

 

Philemon

James H. Evans Jr., We have been Believers:  An African American Systematic Theology[6]

Evans explains,

 

A central New Testament text for slaveholders was Paul’s letter to Philemon.  This letter supplied what was called “the Pauline mandate” for slavery.  In it [sic] Paul converts and then returns a fugitive slave, Onesimus, to his master, Philemon, with the admonition that they should treat one another kindly within the confines of their social arrangement.  The influence of this epistle can be seen in that at least one proslavery writer saw it as biblical support for the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.  African slaves were able to resist the contorted biblical interpretation of their masters to some degree.  Indeed, many rejected outright the letter to Philemon as revelatory.  What should not be lost in the proslavery use of the New Testament is that the ethical mandates fell almost exclusively upon the slave, while leaving the master free from any constrictions.  Further the ethical norms never jeopardized the privileged status of the slaveholder or altered the social condition of the slave.

 

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.[7]  Pushing on to verses 38-39 and 77-89, the people felt the LORD responsible for protecting the pious from undeserved shame.[8]  I feel particularly shameful when I realize I have misused my reason to misinterpret what is happening around me.  Faith in the Almighty can rescue such shame.

 

Luke 14:25-33

Luke 14:25-35

Sharon H. Ringe, review of Justo L. González, Luke[9]

Ringe honors the life of scholarship as a historical theologian and church historian that González has led.  She goes on,

 

The currently revived interest in the churches in the meaning and implications of Gospel teachings on discipleship lead me to wish for more discussion of the modern implications of the “cost of discipleship” teachings in Luke 14:25-35, especially the relationship between the demands of discipleship” teaching in Luke 14:25-35, especially the relationship between the demands of discipleship and family relationships and obligations (p. 183).  Because of my own interests, I would have appreciated additional reflections on such issues as economic justice, Jews and gentiles in Luke’s community, and how the theology of Luke’s Gospel reflects the community’s negotiation of life in the Roman Empire, but I cannot fault G. for not writing the book I would have written.

This book is at the very least, a valuable resource for teachers and preachers in the church who must lead those entrusted to them to a deeper understanding of both the biblical traditions and their development into the theology and doctrines [sic] of the Christian tradition.  It also provides the evidence that biblical study is the perfect starting point for one’s theological understanding.  I am delighted to have this resource to include in my exegetical course on Luke, to open discussions in areas beyond my own professional expertise.

 

Luke 14:26

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward:  A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life[10]

Rohr writes,

 

Carl Jung said that so much unnecessary suffering comes into the world because people will not accept the “legitimate suffering” that comes from being human.  In fact, he said neurotic behavior is usually the result of refusing that legitimate suffering!  Ironically, this refusal of the necessary pain of being human beings to the person ten times more suffering in the long run.  It is no surprise that the first and always unwelcome message in male initiation rites is “life is hard.”  We really are our own worst enemy when we deny this.

 

Luke 14:32

Daniel A. Smith, “Seeing a Pneuma(tic Body):  The Apologetic Interests of Luke 24:36-43”[11]

Smith argues that the apologetic interests of Luke concern Marcion (c. 85-c. 160).[12]  Marcion held that “Christ had a body composed not of flesh but of spirit.”  Smith uses the Greek of Luke 14:32 to show similarity with Greek of Marcion.

 


 

Luke 14:33

Thomas Massaro, S.J., review of Christopher M. Hays, Luke’s Wealth Ethics:  A Study in their Coherence and Character[13]

Massaro reports that

 

Researchers have long noted glaring inconsistencies in the ethical paradigm employed by Luke when the subject of the proper disposition of riches arises.  Luke 14:33, for example, sternly identifies the renunciation of possessions as a condition of discipleship.  But of course many pericopes in both Luke and Acts make abundant accommodation for retaining wealth (e.g., the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19) . . . .In a nutshell, H’s claim is that Luke does indeed advocate the renunciation of all of one’s wealth, “though that renunciation appears in a variety of forms determined by one’s vocation and wealth” (24).

 

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.

 

Catherine Vincie, “The Mystagogical Implications”[14]

Vince has the nerve, concerning Mass, to write,  “There is no room in this gathering for distinctions among us, no privileged seats, no special places for any except the poor at the Lord’s table.  How different this is from our normal gatherings!  What a challenge it is for us to let this world become our world.”  The Church takes a monarchial approach to organization of the sanctuary reinforced by newly ordained priests who have an attitude of privileged and set apart.

 

 

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 In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.[15]  Every age means every circumstance.

 

In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the forgiveness of sins, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “true freedom.”[16]

 

 



[1] The Josephites email, Friday, June 21, 2013.

 

[2] 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) Eucharistic Prayer II, 649 [used most often]; Eucharistic Prayer III, 653; Eucharistic Prayer IV, 661.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Missal.

 

[3] Mary Collins and Edward Foley, “Mystagogy:  Discerning the Mystery of Faith” 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) 83, 100.

 

[4] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  Old Testament I: Genesis I—II, (ed.) John L. Thompson (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2012), 228.

 

[5] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 359, 387, 552 (source of the quote).

 

[6] second edition (Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 2012) 43-44.

 

[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 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.

 

[8] Louise Joy Lawrence, “`For truly, I tell you, they have received their reward’ (Matt 6:2): Investigating Honor Precedence and honor Virtue," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 4 (October 2002) 693.

 

[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 373.

 

[10] San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass:  A Wiley Imprint, 2011, 73-74.

 

[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (September 2010) 764.

 

[13] Theological Studies, Vol. 74, No. 2 (June 2013) 476.

 

[14] 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) 144.

 

[15] 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.

 

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