Readings

First Reading:                    Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23 (7a)

Second Reading:               2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Alleluia:                             2 Corinthians 5:19

Gospel:                             Luke 18:9-14

 

Commentary

The reading from Sirach is a prayer for the poor.  In the secular context between socialism and capitalism, such a prayer is especially pertinent.  On the one hand, socialism is good theory.  Socialism cares for the poor and downtrodden.  The problem is that socialism does not work.  On the other hand, capitalism is poor theory.  Capitalism does not care about the poor and downtrodden.  Capitalism uses the poor and downtrodden to increase profits.  The problem is that capitalism works and everyone, including the poor and downtrodden are better off as a result.  The extremes of each are in Soviet Russia and the United States of America.

The idea of God as Judge runs through the readings:  Sirach 35:12 … God of justice …, Psalm 34:18, …when the just cry out, the LORD hears them …, 2 Timothy 4:8 … the Lord, the just judge …, Luke 18:14 … the latter went home justified …”

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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 details.

 

Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18

Sir 31:1-26

Michael W. Duggan, review of Maria Carmela Palmisano, “Salvaci, Dio dell’Universo!” Studio dell’eucologia di Sir 36H, 1-17[1]

Duggan reports,

 

One must question P.’s designation of Sir 34:21—35:26 as a formal juridical appeal, since these texts read more like the didactic advice of the sage.  Nevertheless, P. makes a genuine contribution by noting how concern for social justice links the prayerful outcry with the preceding material (e.g., 34:24-27; 35:14-22; cf. 36:2-3, 11).

This study makes a fine contribution to scholarship on Ben Sira, particularly in the specialized areas of prayer and social justice.

 

Duggan also reports that Palmisano addresses various different versifications in Sirach.

 

Psalm 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23 (7a)

Care for the Sick uses Psalm 34, Part III: Readings, Responses, and Verses from Sacred Scripture: Responsorial Psalms E God is the salvation of those who trust in him, page 286 and Mass for Viaticum: Responsorial Psalms B, page 324.[2]

 

The Responsorial Antiphon is “The Lord hears the cry of the poor.”

 

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18

Different languages perceive reality differently.  The ancient Greeks used pronouns for emphasis.  Translating this emphasis from the original Greek into English is an object of the highlighting on the last page of the hard copy, not found on the web site.  The purpose of the highlighting is to transfer the Greek emphasis on personal pronouns into the English translation.  Emphasized pronouns are highlighted in blue; intense pronouns in red.  Words marked in orange are difficult to resolve because of differences in the original manuscripts.  Words marked in yellow are remnants from before working with the Greek.

Words marked in the center with a vertical line, rather than fully highlighted, indicate places where the English translation lacks a pronoun corresponding to a pronoun in the Greek.  Words underlined with a horizontal line, indicate places where the English translation uses a noun, corresponding to a pronoun in the Greek.  Words in brackets [   ] are not in the Greek.

Anyone wanting a copy of the highlighted verses, please contact me at jirran@verizon.net.  Thank you.

 

I highlighted thirteen pronouns in blue and five in red:  verse 8, only to me, but to all; verse 16 everyone deserted me, verse 17, through me . . . and all the Gentiles.

 


 

2 Tim 4:6-8

Paul Lawrence, The IVP Atlas of Bible History[3]

Lawrence explains,

 

Paul then returned to Rome and wrote his last letter, his second to Timothy, while imprisoned under the emperor Nero AD 66-67.  Paul senses that his time is almost up:  `For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day’ (2 Timothy 4:6-8a).

 

2 Corinthians 5:19

There are two more intense pronouns:  … reconciling the world to himself in Christ, and entrusting to us the message …

 

Luke 18:9-14

The Church uses this gospel as an option in Pastoral Care of the Sick.[4]

 

There are two difficulties with the Greek at verse 11 and verse 12, neither of which I understand.  To make sense out of the reading, the noun [Jesus]  had to be added at the beginning.  I marked seven pronouns in blue, with another that did not make it from the Greek into the English.  Eight pronouns were more intense:  verse 9, this parable … their own righteousness, verse 11, this prayer to himself, verse 12 whole income, verse 14, whoever exalts himself … humbles himself.

 

 

For more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes.



[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (October 2007) 796.

 

[2] International Commission on English in the Liturgy: A Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences, 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 (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1983) 296.

 

[3] Downers Grove, Illinois,  InterVarsity Press, 2006, 165, 175.

 

[4] “Part III: Readings, Responses, and Verses from Sacred Scripture,” Gospels, P, 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).