First Reading:                   Wisdom 7:7-11

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 90:12-13, 14-15, 16-17 (14)

Second Reading:              Hebrews 4:12-13

Alleluia:                             Matthew 5:3

Gospel:                             Mark 10:17-30



The readings for this Sunday help grasping reality in the most stressful circumstances.  There are different views of reality, as explained by home plate umpires.  One view is “I call ‘em as they are.”  Another view is “I call ‘em as I see ‘em.”  A final view is “There ain’t nothin’ till I call ‘em.”  Even with a camera or video, those three versions still hold.  In academic discourse, those views are called modernist, constructivist, and social constructivist.[1]  The point is that readings from Sacred Scripture are grounded in reality.

The Wisdom readings are about the importance of prayer for understanding reality.  Psalm 90 is about the function of love for gaining wisdom of heart.  Hebrews is about the word of God discerning “reflections and thoughts of the heart.”  Finally, the Gospel of Mark is about the need for detachment in following Jesus.  Detachment is the negative side of positive passionate support.


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 material.


Wisdom 7:7-11

Wis 7:1-7

Michael W. Duggan, review of Alexis Leproux, Un discourse de Sagesse: Étude  exégétique de Sg 7-8[2]

Leproux dates the Wisdom of Solomon to the very beginning of the Second Sophistic movement, after the Roman conquest of the eastern Mediterranean in 30 B.C.  Duggan points out that recent NT scholarship “has begun to view Paul through the lens of the Second Sophistic.”  Just what the difference is between the First and Second Sophistic, I do not know.


Wis 7:9

Edoardo Fumagalli, "Saint Francis, The Canticle, The Our Father"[3]

As he was dying in pain, Saint Francis reflected on Wisdom 7:9, about gaining eternal bliss being better than gold, silver, or priceless gem.


Psalm 90:12-13, 14-15, 16-17 (14)

The Church uses this psalm in her care for the sick.[4]


Codex Sinaiticus[5]

The continuing point of the exercise reaching into the original manuscripts is to accept some doubt. From doubt results the search for truth as part of Christian life. The Church chose Sacred Scripture from many competing original manuscripts. Development of the words of Sacred Scripture is an historical reality. These Notes try to include this reality as an act of humility against the self-righteous pride required to lead a Christian life. Let us wait for one more week without change before relegating this paragraph to the Appendix.  


Hebrews 4:12-13

Hebrews 4:12

“Sacred Scripture in the Life and Mission of the Church: Chapter VI from the Second Vatican Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation: Dei Verbum: Solemnly Promulgated by His Holiness, Pope Paul VI on November 18, 1965”[6]

The Second Vatican Council translated Hebrews 4:12, “For the Word of God is living and active;” whereas the Lectionary translates the same passage as “Indeed the word of God is living and effective.”  Effective is not the same as active.  The 1998 Lectionary translation seems to be backpedaling from the 1965 Vatican II assertion of a more active approach to Sacred Scripture.


Matthew 5:3

What the Lectionary translates as “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” the Sinaiticus translates as “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs in [sic] the kingdom of the heavens [sic].”  In seems like a typographical error for is.  Heavens is in the plural in the Greek.[7]


Mark 10:17-30

Mark 10:21

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.[8]

Mark 10:21 is not in the index to the Alands.  How the reference made it into my personal off-line index, I do not know.

The Alands use Mark 10:21 as a technical example for finding passages in sources other than the Nestle-Aland I am using.  The Alands offer several causes to pause.  One is where they write, “… in a number of instances, it is the gospel of Mark that tends to borrow from the gospel of Matthew rather than the reverse.”  Another is variation that they ascribe to the fact that monks were the scribes copying the verses, who accommodated what they were copying to their way of life.  Exactly what the Alands say that the monks did remains unclear to me.


Mark 10:4-52

Michael Patella, O.S.B., review of Stephen P. Ahearne-Kroll, The Psalms of Lament Mark’s Passion: Jesus’ Davidic Suffering[9]

In the Gospel reading for today, Jesus laments that he lost the man of many possessions as his disciple.  Ahearne-Kroll relates this passage to the Lamentation Psalms.  Patella writes,


In his exegesis of Mark 10:4-52 [used here]; 11:1-25; 12:1-12; and 12:35-37, A.-K.  holds that the evangelist prepared readers for the use of the Psalm in the passion narrative where the four Davidic psalms portray the magnitude of Jesus’s suffering and express commensurate pathos.


Patella observes that the conclusions appear forced.


Mark 10:17-22

C. Clifton Black, “Mark as Historian of God’s Kingdom”[10]

For Mark, the answers Jesus gives to questions are based “on an intuitive penetration of Scripture’s underlying intent” rather than Jesus acting “as an autonomous agent.”


Mark 10:17

Gregory R. Perry, review of Filip Noel, The Travel Narrative in the Gospel of Luke: Interpretation of Lk 9:51—19:28[11]

Perry writes,


Whether or not Luke is inspired by Mark 10:17 in recording the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  (Luke 10:25), N. is right to emphasize its importance for Luke’s readers (p. 389) and wrong to limit its relevance to the story of Mary and Martha (p. 386).


More and more, my sense is that Matthew and Luke wrote to amplify what Mark wrote and that John, in turn, amplified the synoptics.

Mark 10:28-30

Deirdre Good, review of Halvor Moxnes, Putting Jesus in His Place: A Radical Vision of Household and Kingdom [12]

Using Mark 10:28-30, Moxnes places Jesus in a Galilean household.  Good writes that the best feature of Moxnes is “its concentration on the household as the primary location of Jesus’ first socialization.”


Mark 10:29

Dino Dozzi, "`Thus Says the Lord' The Gospel in the Writings of Saint Francis"[13]

Dozzi observes, “Francis’s obedience to whatever the Lord asks of him in the Gospel is present in all his writings …” Dozzi then goes on to link sacrifices for the sake of the gospel with the rules Francis wrote for his order.



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


[1] Mark A. Yarhouse and James Sellers, “Family Therapies:  A Comprehensive Christian Appraisal” (2009 manuscript in press) 50.


[2] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 2009) 375.


[3] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 19, Supplement (2005) 8.


[4] 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).


[6] Adoremus Bulletin, Vol. XIV, No 7 (October 2008) 4.


[8] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 266, 308.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 635.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 78, 80.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 343, 344.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 1 (January 2006) 157.


[13] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, Supplement (2004) 15.