These comments for September 22 initiated July 14.  For the first time, on July 14, the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Reading 105C, the Faithful sang the Responsorial Antiphon as presented in the hymnal found in the pews.[1]  Personal Notes regards this approach as fundamental to prayer at Sunday Mass.  The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday is Praise the Lord, who lifts up the poor (Psalm 113: cf. 1a, 7b).  Such lifting up is fundamental to politics in the United States.  The Catholic Church might profit from doing more.

While the Catholic Raymond Arroyo of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) has stopped attacking President Barack Obama directly, he continually invites surrogates to do so.  A particular favorite is the self-righteous Representative Chris Smith, Republican of New Jersey.  For example, on July 11, Smith attacked Obama by name at least five times, without Obama, or the Sisters who support Obamacare, having an opportunity to respond.

The EWTN approach to the United States as a secular society is misconstrued.  A recent survey found that most of those who claimed to have no religion both prayed and believed in angels.  What may be happening is that as more people enter the ranks of the poor, less people respond positively to surveys inquiring about religious affiliation.  As least, that is how the research makes sense to Personal Notes.[2]


Now is the time to praise the Lord, who lifts up the poor.




First Reading                     Amos 8:4-7

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8 (cf. 1a, 7b)

Second Reading:               1 Timothy 2:1-8

Alleluia:                             cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9

Gospel:                             Luke 16:1-13


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.


Amos 8:4-7


Amos 8:1-14

James H. Evans Jr., We have been Believers:  An African American Systematic Theology[3]

Evans observes,


Not only does God render judgment on those who oppress (Amos 8:1-14), but God actually exercises what Latin American liberation theologians have referred to as “a preferential option for the poor.” . . . the reality of the experience of God among African American Christians convinced them that not only were they not abandoned by God, but that God had taken their plight as God’s own.


Amos 8:4-6

Patrick T. McCormick, “A Right to Beauty:  A Fair Share of Milk and Honey for the Poor”[4]

McCormick points out,


Amos 8:4-6 complains that the rich cannot wait to defraud and exploit the poor in the marketplace, or sell their neighbors into bondage for the price of a pair of sandals.  By fixing their scales, imposing cruel levies, withholding just wages, and defrauding their neighbors in court, the rich have become thieves and robbers.


McCormick argues that poverty is ugly and against the will of God.  McCormick says nothing about poverty being relative.  McCormick does not offer a definition of what he means by poverty except as the opposite of beauty.  McCormick does not take into consideration those who consider it possible for good art to be ugly, with no redeeming beauteous values.  His article leaves me feeling as if I have just eaten a cream puff.


Psalm 113:1-2, 4-6, 7-8 (cf. 1a, 7b)

Psalm 113:2

69 “May the name of the LORD be blest both now and forevermore” (Ps 113:2).[5]

So far I have not identified just where the 2011 Missal uses these verses.



Psalm 113:5

Harvey D. Egan, S.J., “In Purgatory We Shall All Be Mystics”[6]

Eagan points out,  “The Bible emphasizes that one cannot look upon God’s face and live.  Who is like God, who is above all that is not God (Pss 71:19; 89:8; 113:5 [used here])?  The Bible depicts God’s holy presence as both attractive and dangerous.”


Psalm 113:7

Clifford M. Yeary, Pilgrim People:  A Scriptural Commentary[7]

Yeary elaborates,


There is no real claim in Scripture that the temple could actually house God in some finite fashion.  Solomon himself acknowledges in 1 Kings 8:27 that “the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this temple which I have built!”  In Psalm 113:7 [sic] the temple is referred to as God’s footstool.  Nevertheless, to one of the Lord’s faithful worshipers, who would have traveled to the temple from some distance in order to pray and have sacrifices offered, the temple was a place in which God did dwell in a very special way.  The temple was a glorious sign that God lived in the midst of Israel’s people.  God had directed no other people on earth to build such a dwelling. 


1 Timothy 2:1-8

1 Timothy 2:6

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[8]

Quoting R.E. Davies, Wallace explains,


Clearly the reference in 1 Timothy 2:6 which speaks of “the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all,” (antilutron uper pantwn) has a substitutionary meaning.  The prefixed anti- reinforces the idea of substitution already present in the lutron concept, and so even if the uper were taken with the meaning “for the benefit of,” the concept of substitution would be present in the text.



1 Timothy 2:1, 4

Ilaria L. E. Ramelli, “The Pastoral Epistles and Hellenistic Philosophy:  1 Timothy 5:1-2, Hierocles, and the `Contraction of Circles’”[9]

Ramelli argues, “Christ, it is stated, came into this world to save sinners (1:15); the Christians should pray “for all human beings” (uper pantwn (2:1, because “god wants all human beings (pantaV anJrwpouV) to be saved and to reach the knowledge of truth” (2:4), and because Jesus offered himself in atonement “for all” (uper pantwn (2:6)).”  In other words, when the priest prays that Christ dies for many, the priest means for all.


1 Tim 2:4

Luis Sánchez-Navarro, review of José Antonia Badiola Saenz de Ugarte, La voluntad de Dios Padre en el Evangelio de Mater[10]

Sánchez-Navarro reports that Badiola argues,


God is not an apathetic deity; God is a Father whose loving will is “that none of these little ones should be lost” (18:14)—or, as 1 Tim 2:4 [used here] affirms, “who wills (Jelei) everyone to be saved and to some to knowledge of the truth.  As [Fr. Klemens] Stock states in his introduction, “the study supplies a substantial contribution to the knowledge of the Gospel of Matthew, in which Jesus reveals in a remarkable way God as Father and the meaning of his will” (p. 9).


1 Tim 2:1-4

Gerald O’Collins, S.J., “Does Vatican II Represent Continuity or Discontinuity?”[11]

O’Collins makes two references to 1 Timothy.


The postconciliar liturgical changes offer spectacular examples of the two procedures [retrieval and updating] working in tandem:  for instance, the Second Eucharistic Prayer retrieved from the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus (d. ca. 236); the restoration of the ancient Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults [RCIA] (no. 64); and the reintroduction of the “prayer of the faithful,” based on 1 Timothy 2:1-2 and now restored after the gospel [sic] reading and homily (no. 53). . . .


After the Muslims, the same article in LG [Lumen gentium [sic] ] turns to other believers in God:  “Nor is this God distant from others who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, since to all he gives life and breath and all things (cf. Acts 17:23-28) and since the Savior wills all human beings to be saved (cf. 1 Tim 2:4).”


1 Timothy 2:5-6a

Jeffrey R. Asher, review of Mark M. Yarbrough, Paul’s Utilization of Preformed Traditions in 1 Timothy:  An Evaluation of the Apostle’s Literary, Rhetorical, and Theological Tactics[12]

Evaluating Yarbrough, Asher argues,


 . . . his insistence that first-century Christians had a fixed system of core beliefs (i.e., a form of orthodoxy involving christology (p. 82) and “what it meant to be a follower of Christ” (p. 20) is not representative of the conclusions of the larger academy, is largely unsubstantiated in the study, and ultimately is unnecessary for his argument.


Personal Notes cites members of the Protestant Revolt in the spirit of Gerald O’Collins, S.J., writing,[13]


In fact, by allowing the liturgy to be celebrated in the vernacular, by stressing “the table of God’s word” along with the importance of the homily (no. 52), and by granting to the laity—although restricted to certain circumstances—communion “under both kinds” (no. 55), Vatican II conceded the demands of Martin Luther and other 16th-century Protestant reformers, albeit in the 20th century.  In short, while SC [Sacrosanctum concilium [sic]] did not use explicitly the language of “reform” or “reformation,” what it enacted can and should be described in those terms.


1 Timothy 2:5

William Greenhill (1591-1691), “Exposition of Ezekiel” [14]

Greenhill, a Protestant revolutionary, writes


 . . . 1 Timothy 2:5, “One mediator.”  The godly Jews had no other mediator.

Here [Ezekiel 9:1-11] are implied the three offices of Christ.  His kingly office, whereby he rules and commands all creatures.  That is couched in the words “among them,” or in the midst of them . . . .His priestly office, implied in his linen clothing . . . .His prophetical office, shadowed out by the inkhorn he had by his side.


Saint Vincent de Paul (1580-1660) was an older contemporary of Greenhill.


1 Tim 2:6

Mark F. Whitters, “Taxo and His Seven Sons in the Cave (Assumption of Moses 9-10)”[15]

Whitters concludes, “For early Christianity, Taxo’s example shows a precedent and rationale for Jesus’ death offered as a self-sacrifice, as found . . . (e.g. 1 Tim 2:6 . . . ”  1 Tim 2:6 is who gave himself as ransom for all.


1 Tim 2:8-15

Nancy Calvert-Koyzis, review of Risto Saarinen, The Pastoral Epistles with Philemon & Jude[16]

Calvert-Koyzis reports,


Saarinen argues that the instructions for women to remain silent and under the authority of men according to their inferior natures (1 Tim 2:5-15 [used here]) reflect the author’s misogynistic tendencies, seen particularly in comparison to other NT texts such as 1 Cor 11:5 and Gal 2:28 [used at reading 96C] . . . 


Calvert-Koyzis goes on, “Finally, although I can appreciate the desire for theologians to have a “voice” in the interpretation of Scripture, I wonder at the wisdom of a commentary series in which biblical scholars play no, or very little, part.”


1 Tim 2:8-15

Paul Rhodes Eddy, review of Alan G. Padgett, As Christ Submits to the Church:  A Biblical Understanding of Leadership and Mutual Submission[17]

Padgett has a chapter on 1 Timothy 2:8-15.  Eddy reports, “. . . it is the combination of a robust Christocentric hermeneutical method with the claim that Jesus explicitly lived out an ethic of mutual submission toward his disciples that presents a unique challenge to the complementarian perspective.”  Hermeneutical means interpretive.[18]



1 Tim 2:8-15

Teresa J. Hornsby, review of William Loader, Sexuality in the New Testament:  Understanding the Key Texts[19]

Hornsby reports that Loader offers “a solid overview of the existing scholarship.  Hornsby concludes with Loader, “The NT writers are one . . . in affirming the light of God’s goodness which breaks through our alienation and dissemblance with love.  The continuing challenge is to think these two thoughts together” (p. 126).”


1 Tim 2:8-15

Philip H. Towner, review of Michel Gourgues, Les deux lettres à Timothée, La letter ‘a Tite[20]

Towner reports,


 . . . as attempts to reimagine Paul for a post-Pauline church can be a compelling option.  To illustrate this option as it plays out in G.’s exegesis, we might consider his treatment of 1 Tim 2:8-15 (still a contentious issue in come churches) . . . .He [Gourgues] veers in directions consistent with his Catholic tradition, and the perspectives he offers from the depth of his spiritual tradition are an invitation to scholars of other traditions to engage in a rich and rewarding conversation.


1 Tim 2:8:8

Tatha Wiley, review of Philip B. Payne, Man and Woman, One in Christ:  An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters[21]

Wiley reports,


But grammar and contextual connection cannot adequately deal with what is going on in 1 Timothy:  hostility toward women leaders, subverting the gender equality experienced in the Pauline communities.  As a hermeneutical presupposition, inerrancy cannot anticipate that meaning is dialectical.  It prevents the question from even being considered.  . . . P. is an impressive textual critic, and his work provides many insights, the most important of which is that gender equality is an intrinsic component of redemption.


cf. 2 Corinthians 8:9


Luke 16:1-13

Luke 16:1-13

Luke Timothy Johnson, “Narrative Perspectives on Luke 16:19-31”[22]

Johnson explains, “ . . . in 16:1-13  . . . a parable and maxims delivered pros tous mathetas (“to his disciples”), and however strange or difficult we find 16:1-13, it is clearly meant to be positive instruction concerning phronesis (cleverness/sagacity”) in the use of material possessions.”


Luke 16:1-8

Callie Callon, “Adulescentes and Meretrices:  The Correlation between Squandered Patrimony and Prostitutes in the Parable of the Prodigal Son”[23]

Callon argues,


Mary Ann Beavis argues that the parable of the unjust steward (Luke 16:1-8), with its interpretively problematic ending of a master praising his slave for outwitting him by acting dishonestly, becomes decidedly less difficult when viewed in light of ancient comedy, particularly in terms of the figure of the trickster slave.


Luke 16:1, 7

Maurice A. Robinson, “The Rich Man and Lazarus—Luke 16:19-31”[24]

Studying the Greek, Robinson suggests that Luke 16:1 “may set the pattern for this chapter,” including verse 7.


Luke 16:6

Maurice A. Robinson, “Rule 9, Isolated Variants, and the `Test-Tube’ Nature of the NA27/UBS4 Text: A Byzantine-Priority Perspective”[25]

Luke 16:6 about your promissory note has zero support for four variant units.  In other words, the original Greek manuscripts do not support everything in this verse.



Luke 16:8

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward:  A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life[26]

Rohr writes,


 . . . sometimes nonreligious people are more open to this change in strategy than are religious folks who have their private salvation project all worked out.  This is how I would interpret Jesus’ enigmatic words, “The children of this world are wiser in their ways than the children of light” (Luke 16:8).  I have met too many rigid and angry old Christians and clergy to deny this sad truth, but it seems to be true in all religions until and unless they lead to the actual transformation of persons . . . . which is probably why he [Jesus] made the sinner, the outsider, the Gentile, the Samaritan, the woman, the Roman centurion, the poor person, and the leper the heroes and heroines of his stories.


Luke 16:14-31

Luke Timothy Johnson, “Narrative Perspectives on Luke 16:19-31[27]

Johnson writes,


However difficult it is to find a connecting thread running through the obscure sayings in 16:14-18, it can be asserted with considerable probability that Luke intended them to serve the narrative function of distinguishing the teaching of the prophetic messiah from that of his opponents.


Luke 16:13

David J. Downs, review of Christopher L. Carter, The Great Sermon Tradition as a Fiscal Framework in 1 Corinthians:  Towards a Pauline Theology of Material Possessions[28]

Downs reports that


texts that express hostility toward wealth or call for dispossession of goods (e.g. Luke 12:13-21 [used in reading 114C]; 16:13 [used here] . . . )—features of Jesus’ preaching that find no easy parallels in Paul’s letters—do not figure in C.’s study.



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 



The Responsorial Antiphon for this Sunday is Praise the Lord, who lifts up the poor.[29]


In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the forgiveness of sins, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “love of you and of our neighbor [sic]”[30]

[1] Large Print:  Breaking Bread November 27, 2011—December 1, 2012 © 2011 by OCP, 5536 NE Hassalo, Portland, OR  972213-3638 Liturgy ISBN 1939-2583.


[2] Rodney Stark, “The Myth of Unreligious America,”  The Wall Street Journal, Friday, July 5, 2013, page A 9, col 1-4, below the fold.


[3] second edition (Minneapolis:  Fortress Press, 2012) 80.


[4] Theological Studies, Vol. 71, No. 3 (September 2010) 715.


[5] Sacred Scripture in the Missal[5]

So far I have not identified just where the 2011 Missal uses these verses.


[6] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 4 (December 2012) 871.


[7] Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2010, 37.


[8] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 157, 187, 351, 366, 388 (source of the quote).


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 3 (July 2011) 580.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4 (October 2012) 805-807.


[11] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 4 (December 2012) 772, 788.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 2 (April 2011) 409-410.


[13] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 4 (December 2012) 772.


[14] 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) 48-49.


[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 731.


[16] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 840.


[17] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 3 (September 2012) 694.


[18] (accessed July 14, 2013).


[19] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 1 (January 2013) 159.


[20] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 2 (April 2013) 360.


[21] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (January 2011) 170-171.


[22] in Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 210.


[23] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 2 (April 2013) 264.


[24] in Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 102, 104 (source of the quote), 105.


[25] in Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 60.


[26] San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass:  A Wiley Imprint, 2011, xxi-xxii, 142.


[27] in Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 210.


[28] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 3 (July 2011) 616.


[29] 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.


[30] 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.