I was carried away this time, perhaps twice as much as ever. The problem is bringing the tensions in the Gospel into the contemporary scene. The issue is complicated. Unraveling the complications uses up trees. Sorry. Feel free to skip or scan whatever you find boggling. The forty-nine words in the following paragraph reduce and summarize all that follows.
In you, Lord, I have found my peace is the theme for this Sunday. As much as I enjoy the accoutrements of my life, should I seek that at the expense of the Lord, I am lost. Peace is found in the Lord, rather than the accoutrements of life.
Malachi 1:14b—2:2b, 8-10
verse 14b A great King am I, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.
A scholar notes,
A modern reader might argue that the
exile had ended with the decree of
A technical note: the Lectionary sometimes capitalizes LORD. I think that means that Yahweh is the original language. From this point on, my intention is to capitalize all of the letters in LORD whenever the Lectionary does.
Feared is translated from horribile in the Latin. The sense of horrible puts more punch into what Malachi had in mind.
God as king is having an impact on Catholic prayer-life. On October 16, the feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the twenty-fourth anniversary of his election as Pope, John Paul II added five more mysteries to the fifteen decades of the rosary.
Christ’s proclaiming the coming of the
The Baptism of
The Miracle at
The Coming of the
4 The Transfiguration
5 The Institution of the Eucharist
Contemplate the third and fourth Mystery of Light, the
Coming of the
Contemplate the Baptism of Christ in the nursing images of Psalm 131 and 1 Thessalonians.
Psalm 131:1, 2, 3
The nature of this Psalm obliges one to use the ability to think, but with a purpose of finding the Lord, rather than the accoutrements of life. The antiphon, In you, Lord, I have found my peace is only derived from the Psalm.
verse 2 Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child. Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap, so is my soul within me.
The Latin appears significantly different. My translation would be, Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted my soul, brought my soul to peace, like a weaned child in the arms of its mother, like a child in its mother’s arms, so is my soul at rest within me. I do not see a word for lap in the Latin.
1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9, 13
verse 6 We were gentle among you, as a nursing mother cares for her children. With such affection for you, we were determined to share with you not only the gospel of God, but our very selves as well, so dearly beloved had you become to us. You recall, brothers and sisters, our toil and drudgery. Working night and day in order not to burden any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.
I do not imagine heterosexual men describing themselves as nursing mothers. This is part of why others question the sexual orientation of Paul. I, myself, do not have the expertise to present such a question as my own. When the Pope is questioning sexual orientation to the point of denying that a homosexual is able to receive valid consecration to the priesthood, my soul is unsettled, except in you Lord.
[no comment here]
The context of the Gospel of Matthew has a geographic center that a scholar explicates.
The most original
1. The Greek of the gospel points to a strong Semitic influence including the use of Semitic words without translation.
2. The audience addressed seems to be composed, at least in part, of Palestinian Jews. Their Jewish customs are referred to without explanation (15:2; ); so, too Jewish dress (; 23:5); and a Jewish Christian religious practice and piety are presupposed (; 10:5; , 23:3; 24:20).
Verses 2-3 … “The scribes and the Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses. Therefore do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. …”
The chair in the Latin is cathedram. When the Pope speaks ex cathedra, church doctrine says he is infallible.
Verse 6 also uses cathedras.
verse 6 They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues
The Greek uses first couch, prwto-klisia , for place of honor. For chair the original Greek uses kaqedras in verse 2 and prwtoklisia in verse 6. So the parallel with ex cathedra is not there in the original Greek.
There may be a tension here over infallibility. The idea is to find peace, In you, Lord, I have found my peace, in the midst of tension caused by using one’s mind.
While the Faithful usually do not think of Jesus as being blunt about what he did not like, one scholar notes, “Jesus is presented … in the gospels as being quite blunt about why he disliked certain things (e.g., in Matt ; -39) …”
A scholar comments on the liturgical passage for this Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.
A second passage of
importance to the argument that Matthew’s intended readers are Torah-observant [Torah:
1. the five books of Moses constituting the Pentateuch; 2. the body of wisdom
and law contained in Jewish Scripture and other sacred literature and oral
Jews is 23:2-3, “The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they say
to you and observe it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what
they say.” Whatever the origin of this
saying may be,
A scholar elaborates and explains,
… failed expectation concerning the people of God and its leaders. The dissonance in each case can be described as a kind of failed syllogism.
1. The people of God are those who do the “will of (the) Father” ) as it is expressed in the law (-20).
The logical expectation arising from these two convictions is that
Second, a similar pattern emerges with respect to leadership in the people of God. Matthew’s Gospel reflects these two basic convictions about leadership:
1. Leadership in
Again, this leads to an expectation:
The dissonant cognitions can be
described simply as (1) the belief that the ministry, death, and resurrection
Zion, liberation of Israel) were not manifest in the “fulfillment,” Indeed, the whole New Testament can be seen as an attempt to resolve such tensions by creating a new social world in which the inherited world of Judaism was reinterpreted in the light of the present Easter experience.
A scholar further expounds on the fulfillment of the Torah.
The idea that the true
interpretation of the law is entrusted to a particular person or group brings
Matt 16:19 into connection not only with Pharisaic Judaism and its class of
scribes, whose main duty was scriptural exegesis but also with the
Here I rely upon
The reason for the
This fulfilled torah
includes the specific injunctions issued by
Disquieting tension is so associated with the torah that the new assembly, the Christian Church, is to regard its members as equals, as brothers and sisters, without rabbis or teachers.
verses 8-12 As for you, do not be called `Rabbi.’ You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers. Call no one on earth your father; you have but one Father in heaven. Do not be called `Master’; you have but one master, the Christ. The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
What about rabbi in the Greek? The grammarian makes some interesting comments, “Hebrew my Lord, sit; in Aramaic mode of address to a teacher, master. Like the English, the Nova Vulgata uses the Greek, in this Latin occurrence, Rabbi.
As obliquely, though technically noted, once before, at the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 9, 2002, Warren Carter placed this 23:8-12 passage within the context of the Lord’s Prayer.
With the help of
Driver’s [another scholar’s] model of the social impact of ritual, we have
identified at least three likely aspects of the experience of the Lord’s Prayer
which members of the authorial audience recall as they encounter the prayer in
There is no doubt that
the placement of the prayer in
Equally pervasive is
the narrative’s community-forming impact. In calling disciples to follow him Jesus
calls them to encounter God’s reign (4:17-22) in a new and alternative community
(5:3-16). The Sermon on the Mount
requires this community to live according to
The compatibility between the prayer’s liturgical impact (insofar as we can identify three general aspects of it with the help of Driver’s model) and these major themes in the gospel may account for the prayer’s inclusion in the gospel. As part of the gospel narrative, the prayer offers another means of communicating with the audience. The prayer contributes to the gospel’s “meaning” not only by its content in the context of the narrative but also by its perlocutionary force. By encountering this familiar prayer in the gospel’s text, the audience is enabled to recall, and thereby renew, its liturgical experience of the prayer’s gifts of order, community, and transformation, realities which are also central to the gospel’s narrative.
This sense of order, community, and transformation does enable one to recognize that in you, Lord, I have found my peace. Because history teaches that neither the status quo nor the establishment are always correct, the gospel message about thinking through the status quo and the establishment is about loving God.
The Day-By-Day Magnificat
® readings are from Isaac of Nineveh.
Changing the direction of prayer to songs of thanksgiving in
the spirit of
The tensions of life are evident in that socialism,
including communism, is good in moral theory but bad in economic practice;
whereas capitalism is bad in moral theory, even to the point of selling slaves,
but good in economic practice, witnessed by the fact that so many living in the
 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 Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1998)
Nova Vulgata: Bibliorum Sacrorum
Editio: Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II ratione habita Iussu Pauli
PP, VI Recognita Auctoritate Joannis Pauli PP, II Promulgata Editio Typica
Cassell’s Latin Dictionary:
Latin-English and English-Latin revised by J.
Guide for the Liturgy of the Roman
Seraphic Calendar: The Order of Prayer In the Liturgy of the Hours and the
Celebration of the Eucharist for the Provinces, Vice Provinces, the
Commissariat and the Custodies of the Order of the Friars Minor
 Mark Allan Powell, “The Magi as Kings: An Adventure in Reader-Response Criticism,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 3 (July 2000) 469.
 David Seeley, “Jesus’ Temple Act Revisited: A Response to P. M. Casey," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 1 (January 2000) 57.
 Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate ® Dictionary: Tenth Edition (Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 1993)
 Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate ® Dictionary: Tenth Edition (Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 1993).
 Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language: unabridged: second edition: based upon the broad foundations laid down by Noah Webster: extensively revised by the publisher editorial staff under the general supervision of Jean L. McKechnie: including etymologies, full pronunciations, synonyms, and an encyclopedic supplement of geographical and biographical data, scripture proper names, foreign words and phrases, practical business mathematics, abbreviations tables of weights and measures, signs and symbols, and forms of address: illustrated throughout (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1979).
 Joel Marcus, “The Gates of Hades and the Keys of the Kingdom (Matt -19)," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 3 (July 1988) 452-455.
 Warren Carter, "Recalling the Lord's Prayer: The Authorial Audience and Matthew's Prayer as Familiar Liturgical Experience,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 3 (July 1995) 528-529
 Warren Carter, Recalling the Lord's Prayer: The Authorial Audience and Matthew's Prayer as Familiar Liturgical Experience, the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 3 (July 1995) 529-530.
 Isaac of Nineveh as cited in as cited in Magnificat ®, Vo. 4, No. 9 (November 2002), pages 95 and 431.
 Accessed October 26, , 2002, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08176a.htm.