As confused and mixed-up as the Church appears, God is still God of history.  God will use non-believers to demonstrate his majesty.  Atheists and non-believers can be helpful scrubbing up lack of religious integrity.  Those in Protestant revolt readily serve the same purpose, leaving Christian options open in the United States of America. 


Homosexuality is one of the problems in the immediate present.  Homosexuality has occupied the blogs, with President Barack Obama issuing a decree, July 21, against discriminating against homosexuals by the federal government.[1]  The problem is not love in the abstract, but married love.  The social sciences challenge natural law proponents.  The deeper problem is shutting down what the social sciences are finding out. 


What the social sciences, or any sciences, find out, reflects God.  That, however, is not how even the Faithful think.  To get college students to reflect, I asked whether any came to college to learn about God.  None did.  When I asked whether all learning about creation also taught something about the Creator, we agreed, it did.  As an historian, I must proclaim that God is the God of history, including everything that goes on in history.


For this Sunday, first, the soul must pray with the Psalmist, Give the Lord glory and honor.  As far as humans are concerned, God deserves glory and honor because of all creation.  Honoring God first, then, will put all learning in perspective.




First Reading                     Isaiah 45:1, 4-6

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10 (7b)

Second Reading:               1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b

Alleluia:                             Philippians 2:15d, 16a

Gospel:                             Matthew 22:15-21


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.


Isaiah 45:1, 4-6

Isaiah 45:1-6

Jeff Cavins, Tim Gray, and Sarah Christmyer, The Bible Timeline:  The Story of Salvation[2]

As reluctant as I am to recognize prophecies in the Sacred Scripture, this one in Second Isaiah about Cyrus, two centuries before Cyrus, is one I accept.[3]  Cavins shows no hesitancy with any prophecies in Sacred Scripture.

Cavins does not point to disagreement with Second Isaiah.  Goggling “Deutero-Isaiah Hypothesis” brought 5,270 results July 23, 2014.  The idea that there may have been two or three Isaiah’s arose at the time of the deists of the French Revolution.  According to that line of thought, Isaiah represents not only a single individual, but also a school of thought that came after the original Isaiah.  That is what makes sense to me, even if not to many others of the 5,270 results.


Isa 45:1

Joseph Blenkinsopp, “The Cosmological and Protological Language of Deutero-Isaiah”[4]

As Deutero-Isaiah moves along, any hope in a Cyrus is lost and transfers to God and Divine intervention.


There is general agreement that Cyrus was born about 600 or in the Seventh Century B.C.  For a one hundred sixty year lead-time, Second Isaiah would have had to be written about 760 B.C.  The Babylonian Exile lasted from about 597 B.C. to 538 B.C.[5]  The Assyrian deportation, which I call the First Babylonian Exile, began in 722 B.C.[6]  That is still not early enough for a Second Isaiah writing in 760 B.C.  The date for Isaiah himself is in the 740s.[7]  Second-Isaiah dates from the Sixth Century Babylonian Exile.[8]  Even a century, however, is early enough for the prophecy to be real.


A scholarly shift occurred in the last quarter of the Twentieth Century.  From about 1800 to 1975 scholars worked to identify different contributors to Isaiah.  From 1975 to the present, scholars have stressed the unity in all of Isaiah, something I had always assumed.


Isaiah 45:3-5

Joseph G. Mueller, S.J., “Christian and Jewish Tradition behind Tyconius’s Doctrine of the church as Corpus Bipertitum”[9]

Both sinners and the Faithful belong to the church, beginning even in First Testament time, including Jews and Gentiles, to the present.


Isaiah 45:4

Andrés García Serrano, “Anna’s Characterization in Luke 2:36-38:  A Case of Conceptual Allusion?”[10]

Serrano offers a lengthy explanation, important enough to memorize for praying the fourth decade of the Joyful Mysteries, The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.


Both expressions, consolation and redemption, are used by Luke in describing Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25, 38), and both are related to the return from captivity in Deutero-Isaiah, which is the symbol of messianic liberation.  Although the historic context of Simeon and Anna is not the exile of Babylon, the Lucan context revives a similar crisis.  Israel is not in exile outside of their land, but outsiders are in their land; the oppressive power is not outside but inside, as for example, Caesar Augustus’s census shows (Luke 2:1).  Jerusalem also needed a savior from its sins, the `salvation through the forgiveness of their sins’ (Luke 1:77); see also 1:16; 2:11, 30-32).  The Roman occupation was the only apparent exile; sin and death are the real exile.  The prophets, especially Deutero-Isaiah (Isa 40:2 [used here]; 43:3, 6; 44:11, 22; 45:1; 50:1; 53:5), often link sin to the exile.  If it is true that the widow Anna especially represents the time of exile, Anna could be expecting the Messiah of the LORD to redeem Jerusalem from slavery, to come into the temple, and to redeem Jerusalem from the outsiders who are within, and from its sins.  The redemption of Jerusalem is understood in Deutero-Isiah as the liberation from Babylon when God returns to Jerusalem, entering the temple.  Anna’s speaking about Jesus and entering the temple mirror the messenger speaking and lifting up the voice (Isa 40:9-10 [used here]; 52:8-9), the messenger who breaks the silence (Isa 51:11; 54:1), announcing liberation from sins and God’s reentry into the temple, proclaiming the fulfillment of the new exodus.


Isaiah 45:4

Stanley E. Porter, “Assessing Translation Theory:  Beyond Literal and Dynamic Equivalence”[11]

The Greek uses boy for my servant in For the sake of Jacob, my servant.  In the New Testament, this usage is rare.


Psalm 96:1, 3, 4-5, 7-8, 9-10 (7b)


1 Thessalonians 1:1-5b

1 Thessalonians 1:1

Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary:  Commentary on the variant readings of the ancient New Testament manuscripts and how they relate to the major English translations[12]

In God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is repeated in some manuscripts as the source of grace and peace.  This variant looks like the work of busybody scribes aligning the introduction with other Pauline introductions.  It makes more sense, however, that Paul did not repeat himself so close together.


1 Thessalonians 1:3

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

This is an example of Sharp’s rule, which is:


When the copulative kai connects two nouns of the same case, (viz. nouns (either substantive or adjective, or participles) of personal description, respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connexion [sic], and attributes, properties, or qualities, good or ill), if the article o or any of its cases, precedes the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle:  i.e. it denotes a farther description of the first-named person . . . .


Wallace must be referring to Lord Jesus Christ.


1 Thess 1:4

Scott D. Mackie, “The Two Tables of the Law and Paul’s Ethical Methodology in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 and 10:23—11:1”[14]

Mackie refers to 1 Thessalonians 1:4 to assert that Paul “seems to possess a Deuteronomic understanding of reciprocative love, with the believer’s love for God . . . offered in response to God’s prior demonstration of love . . . “


1 Thess 1:1-10

Timothy Milinovich, “Memory and Hope in the Midst of Chaos:  Reconsidering the Structure of 1 Thessalonians”[15]

Milinovich shows that 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 is part of a ripple set of literate rings developing the same meaning of love and thanksgiving.


1 Thessalonians 1:1

Sacred Scripture in the Missal[16]

3 “…to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom 1:7; see 1 Cor 1:3; 2 Cor 1:2; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; Phil 1:2; 2 Thess 1:2; Phlm 3).  “Grace to you and peace” also occurs at Col 1:2; 1 Thess 1:1; Rev 1:4.  See also 1 Tim 1:2; 2 Tim 1:2; Tit 1:4; 1 Pt 1:2; 2 Jn 3.



1 Thessalonians 1:3

“Encyclical Letter Lumen Fidei of the Supreme Pontiff Francis to the Bishops, Priests, and deacons [sic] and lay Faithful on Faith”[17]

Pope Francis refers to 1 Thessalonians for its “dynamic of faith, hope and charity” that “thus leads us to embrace the concerns of all men and women on the journey towards that city “whose architect and builder is God (Heb 11:10), for “hope does not disappoint” (Rom 5:5).  Thessalonians has, your work of faith and labor of love and endurance in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Philippians 2:15d, 16a


Matthew 22:15-21


Matthew 22:12-22

Daniel Dyke, (d. 1614), “Commentary on John 3:2”[18]

Dyke asserts, “A person who has an empty purse travels without fear.”  Dyke, evidently, never traveled in the inner city at night.  Dyke then speculates, “This [having something to lose] is also true in the spiritual journey.  Nicodemus had something to lose.”


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 Give the Lord glory and honor (Psalm 96:7b).[19]


In the gobbledygook prayer at Sunday Mass immediately following the Gloria, the Faithful hearing the 2011 Roman Missal can listen for “serve your majesty”.[20]


This is a call for grace that some Black Baptists bring to mind with Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days? (Job 24:1).[21] 


[2] West Chester, Pennsylvania:  Ascension Press, 2004, 2011, Session 16, page 1, 114.



[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 3 (July 2011) 496, 498.


[7]  (accessed July 23, 2014).


[8]  (accessed July 23, 2014).


[9] Theological Studies, Vol. 73, No. 2 (June 2012) 290, 292, 293.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 3 (July 2014) 468, 478-479 (source of the quote).


[11] 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) 222.


[12] Carol Stream, Illinois:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008, 641.


[13] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 106, 227, 271 (source of the quote), 274.


[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 75, No. 2 (April 2013) 325, 326.


[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 76, No. 3 (July 2014) 498-500, 503-504, 514.


[16] Unable to locate the original source.


[17] L’Osservatore Romano: Weekly Edition in English, Vol. 46, No. 28 (2304), Vatican City Wednesday, 10 July, paragraph 57, page 21/23.


[18] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament IV:  John 1—12, Craig S. Farmer(ed.), general editor, Timothy George, associate General editor, Scott M. Manetsch, (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic:  An imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014) 88.


[19] 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) 905.  Personal Notes refers to this book as the Lectionary.


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


[21] UMI Annual Sunday School Lesson Commentary:  Precepts for Living ®: 2014-2015:  International Sunday School Lessons:  Volume 17:  UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), A. Okechuku Ogbonnaya, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), 2014) 72-73.