This Sunday has the Faithful recognize that God is king not only of Israel but also of the entire world.  Not only is the word all used in the antiphon; all is also used in three other verses the Lectionary presents this Sunday.  Verse 9, The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.  Verse 17, The LORD is just in all his ways and holy in all his works.  Verse 18, The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.  As the Black Catholics of the Richmond Diocese like to put it, “God is good all the time; all the time God is good.”

Philippians 1:23 fits life; I am caught between the two, whether to leave or stay.  Sometimes the Faithful are forced to make choices in the midst of great uncertainty.  At the present time, this sort of choice-exercise repeats itself most visibly with the parish HOPES Committee on which I serve.  HOPES stands for Helping Others Experience Sorrow.  We usually help with receptions after funeral Masses.  Staying at the foot of the cross is sometimes all we can offer.  We try to help others choose to stay and accept the holy will of God, no matter what.  We choose to stay.

Oftentimes in life, occasions arise, for example with cover-up scandals, when the more difficult catch is to be vulnerable to others who will offer us a cross.  Trusting in the Lord, however, is its own good fortune.  The point is to make the difficult choices and accept the results of a good conscience.  Sometimes those choices are difficult, either to decide what to do, or to do it, after making a decision.


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 scholarly details.

Isaiah 55:6-9

Isaiah 55: 8f.

Matthew R. Schlimm, "Different Perspectives on Divine Pathos: An Examination of Hermeneutics in Biblical Theology"[1]

Pathos means “an element in experience or in artistic representation evoking pity or compassion.”[2]  The first argument Schlimm presents is that Twentieth Century contemporaries derive more from philosophers like Aristotle and Plato, than prophets like Jeremiah and Hosea.  Schlimm uses Isaiah 5:8 ff., my thoughts are not your thoughts to work his way through the emotions of God as expressed by the prophets.  Schlimm argues that God experiences emotions, but not like humans.


Isaiah 55:8-9

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

Clinton writes, “Another important principle of unity in Isaiah is the divine plan by which Yahweh guides Israel and the nations.  The book has various terms for the plan: … `intentions; thoughts’ (“my intentions are not your intentions” in 55:8-9) …”


Isa 55:12-14

Richard J. Clifford, S.J., "The Unity of the Book of Isaiah and Its Cosmogonic Language”[4]

Notice that Clifford is also the author of the above article.  With Jesuit humility, Clifford cites a later work, but does not cite his own in his article.


Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18 (18a)

Psalm 145

Aelred Cody, O.S.B., review of Markus Witte (ed.), Gott und Mensch im Dialog: Festschrift fur Otto Kaiser zum 80.  Geburtstag, Volumes 1-2[5]

Reinhard G. Kratz focuses on Psalm 145 to comment that God is king not only of Israel but also of the entire world.  Not only is the word all used in the antiphon; all is also used in three other verses the Lectionary presents this Sunday.


Phil 1:21-24

Paul J. Achtemeier, review of Jouette M. Bassler, Navigating Paul: An Introduction to Key Theological Concepts[6]

Bassler presents four key problems with Paul one of which is expressed at Philippians 1:21-22 about departing and being immediately with Christ.  Taking a step back, quoting from the review of Achtemeier, helps taking in Philippians 1:21-24.


… Paul offered no clear presentation of how he understood “law.” … Judaism never regarded fulfilling law as a means of earning grace; rather, works of law functioned as identity markers of “chosen People.” … faith points to union with Christ [meaning that the Faithful believe with the Faith of Christ, rather than with Faith in Christ] … Pauline mystical union is not individualistic … the resurrection of Christ, rather than justification, is “surely the center of Paul’s theology” [quoting Bassler] …


Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a

Phil 1:23

John Gillman, review of Jaime Clark-Soles, Death and the Afterlife in the New Testament[7]

Clark-Soles places the idea of the resurrection of the Faithful within a context of contemporary secular thought. Gillman writes,


in discussing Phil 1:23 [caught between life and death], C-S assumes “that Paul implies a disembodied intermediate state, followed by the reunion of the body and soul at the Parousia (p. 101) … in the end, it is not possible to ascertain whether Paul considered the Christian to be conscious or unconscious, embodied or disembodied” in the intermediate state (p. 105).”


Phil 1:27

Terence W. Tilley, “Remembering the Historic Jesus—A New Research Program?”[8]

In presenting what current scholarship is doing with the historic Jesus, Tilley writes,


… none of our authors sets out to discuss the full range of practices that constitute the exercise of Christian faith in Jesus. … living so as to be worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phil 1:27) and a host of other practices that also define discipleship are not within their purview, Nor should they be …


Of such are academics.


cf. Acts 16:14b


Matthew 20:1-16

Matthew 20:12

Some of the Greek manuscripts transpose the two words them and us.

Lectionary (1998)                         you have made them equal to us


The Vulgate (circa 410)                pares illos nobis fecisti


Douay-Rheims (1582-1610)         thou hast made them equal to us


King James (1611)                       thou hast made them equal unto us


Catholic RSV (1969)                    you have made them equal to us


New American (NAB) (1970)        you have made them equal to us


New Jerusalem (1985)                 you have treated them the same as us


The transposition of the words in Greek, though it would in English, does not change the meaning.


Matt 19—23

Terence L. Donaldson, "The Law That Hangs (Matthew 22:40): Rabbinic Formulation and Matthean Social World”[9]

At the conclusion of his article, Donaldson writes, “Mathew strove to construct for his community a habitable world, one that would hang not by a hair [or the law that hangs] but by the sturdier cords of God’s promise and fulfillment.”  How this fits the parable is that Christians are the late-comers to the vineyard.


Matt 20:1, 8

Louise Joy Lawrence, "`For truly, I tell you, they have received their reward’ (Matt 6:2): Investigating Honor Precedence and Honor Virtue”[10]

Lawrence observes, “the theme of reward and punishment is prominent throughout the whole of Matthew’s Gospel.”



[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (October 2007) 679.


[3] Theological Studies, Vol. 66, No. 4 (December 2005) 744.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 1 (January 1993) 5, 15, 16.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 3 (July 2006) 578.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (October 2007) 810.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (October 2007) 814.


[8] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 1 (March 2007) 34.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 4 (October 1995) 695.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 4 (October 2002) 700.