Satan disguising politics as truth is the bane of the Twenty-first Century Roman Catholic Church.  To illustrate:  the phenomena of making the facts fit preconceived ideas, rather than developing new ideas to fit newly discovered facts characterizes the now well-known cover up of the sexual abuse of children.  Never before have the Faithful known that bishops criminally covered up clerical abuse of their children.  Powerful, self-righteous arrogance characterizes abusive bishops.  At best, pious pabulum characterizes their priests, who are afraid to read, lest they think.  As long as Pope Francis keeps John Paul II (Father of the sexual coverup) and Benedict XVI (enabler) on the fast track for Sainthood, Pope Francis will remain the complicit Pope Pabulum.


Robert Finn, convicted of covering up child abuse, is the current self-righteous bishop of Kansas City, Missouri.  He refuses to resign for the good of his diocese.  He is also a member of the powerful reactionary, wealthy, secretive organization known as Opus Dei. (The Opus Dei Awareness Network, Inc.) documents how Opus Dei abuses recruits who question anything.  Opus Dei is well-suited to those members of the Faithful who do not want to think and certainly do not want to follow truth, wherever truth may lead them.


The above is an introduction to the current Jeff Cavins Bible study at my Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (OLMC), in Newport News, Virginia.  The Saints Study Links Page associates Jeff Cavins with Opus Dei.[1]  Currently the Navarre Bible Commentary is the only commentary permitted at the OLMC Bible study.  The University of Navarre is responsible for the Navarre Bible Commentary.  The University of Navarre, in Navarre Spain, is the main entry of Opus Dei into higher education.


While I knew about Opus Dei, until the Bible Study parish leader began using the Navarre Bible Commentary, to the exclusion of all other commentaries, I had never heard of the Navarre Bible Commentary.  Navarre, then, appears as a code word for Opus Dei, a word known to followers, but not to others.  For Opus Dei, transparency appears to be a dirty word.  For example, one blogger has observed, “One will not find a reflection on looking after the poor or infirmed in the Navarre Bible.”[2] 


Catering to the wealthy, prosperous, status quo is more suited to keeping things the way they are, rather than bringing about change.  Vatican II represents change and concern for those less fortunate.  Reforming the reform represents maintaining the dysfunctional status quo, keeping things the same, ensuring that the Faithful uphold the catechism and that the hierarchy remains in place.  Religion needs both, but emphasis is different.[3]  Transparency would enable those seeking reform to use truth in their endeavors.


The prayer for this Sunday is that the Church will find its identity helping overcome politics subverting truths needed to develop solutions to large social problems, such as poverty and health care.  That seems to be the approach of Pope Francis, who is encouraging the Faithful to come to God, rather than scolding them for staying away.




First Reading                     Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:3-4

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9 (8)

Second Reading:               2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14

Alleluia:                             1 Peter 1:25

Gospel:                             Luke 17:5-10


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.


Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:3-4

Habakkuk 2:3-4

Luke Timothy Johnson, “Hebrews 10:32-39 and the Agony of the Translator”[4] 

Johnson struggles for meaning as Hebrews cites Habakkuk.  The problem is that the Hebrew Masoretic text differs from the Greek Septuagint.  From what Johnson writes, I hesitate to distinguish the difference. 


Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9 (8)

Psalm 95:1

Gianni Barbiero, “Psalm 132:  A Prayer of `Solomon’”[5]

Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation (Psalm 95:1).  This is one of the kingdom Psalms, with a collective eschatological sense.  The approach is “typical to Deutero-Isaiah and is connected with the liberation of Israel from the Babylonian exile, seen as a sign of the establishment of the reign of God . . . “


Personal Notes cites members of the Protestant Revolt in the spirit of Gerald O’Collins, S.J., writing,[6]


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.


Psalm 95:7-8

Jacobus Arminius (1559-1609), Disputation on Repentance”[7]

The Protestant revolutionary, Arminius advocates,


 . . . after the gate of grace has by the just judgment of God been closed on account of a malicious continuance in sins, no passage is open for the Spirit, who is necessarily the author of repentance.  Therefore [sic] let these words always resound in our ears, “Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.”


For a sense of context, Saint Vincent de Paul lived 1580-1660.  He was twenty years younger than Arminius.  Arminius lived in Holland, Vincent de Paul in neighboring France.


2 Timothy 1:6-8, 13-14

2 Tim 1:6

Richard Rohr, Falling Upward:  A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life[8]

Rohr explains, “The most a bishop or sacrament can do is to `fan (this awareness) into flame’ (2 Timothy 1:6), and sometimes it does.  But sometimes great love and great suffering are even bigger fans for this much-needed flame.”


2 Tim 1:6-14

Philip H. Towner, review of Michel Gourgues, Les deux lettres à Timothée, La letter ‘a Tite[9]

Toner reports,


Finally, I note G.’s intensive treatment of the theology/Christology in 1 Tim 2:1-7; 3:16; 2 Tim 1:6-14 [used here]; Titus 2:11-14.  He 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.  The result will necessarily be a better understanding of the place of these three short letters in the larger, diverse, and growing development of theology and ethics as the apostolic churches sought to navigate their changing times.


2 Tim 1:7

Fr. Richard Tomasek, S.J., “In Processu:  Spiritual formation”

Homiletic & Pastoral Review, 90 # 10 (August/September 2010) 82.

Tomasek urges,


Like Timothy, you [seminarians] too must believe that “god did not give you a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim. 1:7).  Only with such filial boldness will you be able to “rejoice in the Lord” (Phil. 4:4), and even in afflictions (cf. Rom. 5:3-5, 8:37-39.


Tomasek advises, “Get to bed early so that you can get up early to pray:  as a priest you will either pray in the morning or you will not pray at all”


2 Timothy 1:9-11

Patrick Regan, “Theology of the Latin Text and Rite”[10]

Regan explains,


For the full meaning of bringing about the dissolution of death and manifesting the resurrection, one could look at 1 Tim 1:9-11:  here inluminatio is associated with manifestation.  This translates the Greek word used for “appearance” / “epiphany” and indeed interprets it by choosing to call it “enlightenment”:  this casting of light on the world is given in the advent of the Savior and is shown forth in the life bestowed, a life that will not know corruption.


2 Timothy 1:12-14

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Priests for the Third Millennium:  The Year for Priests[11]

The Lectionary stir into flame, Dolan translates fan into a flame.  Dolan goes on to knock the metaphor, “yet, fires can fade, can decay into cold ashes:  fires can burn out.  So can zeal.  How do we fan it into a flame?”  Chapter 21, “Priestly Zeal,” takes 2 Timothy 1:6-12 as its text. 

Dolan uses 2 Timothy 1:11-13 as his text for Chapter 5 “Fidelity.”  I cringe at his use of “dropped dead” to describe the death of his father.  “I remember going to the emergency room of the hospital where I was summoned after my father dropped dead at fifty-one of a heart attack at work.”  My father-in-love died in his early thirties of a brain hemorrhage.  I have never heard my wife, she was her Daddy’s five-year-old girl at the time, describe the event as “dropped dead.”


1 Peter 1:25


Luke 17:5-10


Luke 17:5

Erasmus Sarcerius (1501-1559), “Annotations on Ephesians”[12]

The Protestant Revolutionary, Sarcerius writes,


Faith goes up and down.  Sometimes it is more perfect and sometimes less so; sometimes it is stronger and sometimes weaker.  When it is weaker [sic] there is an opportunity for it to be strengthened.  The apostles prayed to Christ “Strengthen Our faith.”  [the Lectionary has Increase our faith.]  But [sic] it does not follow from this that it is all right for faith to co-exist with doubt, as the monks teach.


Luke 17:8

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[13]

Prepare something for me is in the middle voice.  Wallace comments, “Luke [sic] as a more literary author, occasionally uses the direct middle [voice] . . . ”


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).  For this Sunday, see footnote 11.  The hope is that this approach will help the Faithful pray with the new Missal, despite itself.



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 If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts (Psalm 95:8).[14]


In the gobbledygook, prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the mention of forgiven sins, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “the abundance of your kindness,”[15] with an expectation of freedom from the dictates of Opus Dei.


This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists call to mind with In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates (Genesis 15:18).[16]  This Covenant enables the Faithful to believe together, despite differences.


[1] (accessed August 6, 2013).



[3] DENNIS CODAY, May 12, 2006, Kansas City, Mo., “Cover story—Remaking a diocese:  Extreme makeover: the diocese:  New bishop quickly discards programs, people,”  (accessed August 6, 2013).



[4] 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) 179, 180.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 2 (April 2013) 248.


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


[7] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament XI:  Philippians, Colossians, Graham Tomlin (ed.) in collaboration with Gregory B. Graybill, general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2013) 57-58.


[8] San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass:  A Wiley Imprint, 2011, 91.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 2 (April 2013) 361.


[10] 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) 320 fn. 16.


[11] Huntington, IN 46750:  Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division:  Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 2000, 20, 67, 281, 289, (the quote is on page 290).


[12] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011) 263.


[13] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 333, 414 (source of the quote).


[14] 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.


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


[16] UMI Annual Sunday School Lesson Commentary:  Precepts for Living ®: 2013-2014:  International Sunday School Lessons:  Volume 165:  UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), a. Okechuku Ogbonnaya, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), 2013) 56-57.  The Lectionary uses Genesis 15:18 at Reading 27C, Second Sunday of Lent.