My new ($179.89) Missal[1] arrived Thursday, October 20, 2011.  The Missal was unavailable any sooner.  The English text of the Missal is a compound, complex, convoluted, confounding conundrum—gibberish dressed in Italian grammar.  God only knows whether there is an underlying Latin text or where it is available.  This new Missal is but one more example of Vatican irresponsibility.

So long as the Vatican imposes its European standards on how the Faithful pray in the United States of America, there can be no peace emanating from the Lectionary.  Material below the solid line describes some of the Scriptural conflict.  Peace for the Faithful comes, not from a narcissistic irresponsible hierarchy in love with itself, but from love of God, whose kingdom is not of this world.  In you, Lord, I have found my peace is the Responsorial antiphon for this Sunday.  Peace is a political phenomenon resulting from prioritizing truth over what Matthew 23:6 describes as places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues, greetings in market places. 

The Scripture from Malachi 1:9 seems apropos of the current Roman Catholic irresponsible hierarchy, I, therefore, have made you contemptible and base before all the people, since you do not keep my ways, but show partiality in your decisions.  I realize that Catholics are not the only ones involved in sexual coverup scandals, but, since I am closest to Catholics, thereof I write.  When Malachi mentions all the people, Malachi seems to give a nod of approval to some sort of democracy. 

Democracy works.  The Church should try some of it.  Look at what just happened with the debt crisis.  Only after the people began showing contempt for the Congress, was the Congress able to get past its partisan bickering and move forward.

Before all the people is a legitimate standard that democracy uses, but no hierarchy does.  Neither would a hierarchy describe itself as a nursing mother caring for her children as Saint Paul does in 1 Thessalonians 2:7.  Neither would a hierarchy develop anything like a Bill of Rights or a right to dissent. 

Democratic legislators, in this era of civil rights, are linking the right to same-sex marriage to legitimate civil rights.  Voters are not approving single-sex marriages; elected officials, however, are.  The Catholic hierarchy is adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage, as a religious matter in which the state is over-stepping its authority.  So long as the Catholic hierarchy is deeply immersed in the sexual-coverup scandal, I wish it would find some other non-sexual red herrings with which to distract all the people.  Let all the people deal with unrepresentative irresponsible elected legislators.

I need to note that, in the Lectionary, Thessalonians give thanks to God unceasingly, where I think it would be better to praise God unceasingly, as explained below.  Praise is spontaneous, designed to lift up God; whereas thanks is duty bound and self-focused.  The scribes and Pharisees wanted praise, rather than any sort of thanks.

Of particular interest to vowed Catholics in religious orders is Matthew 23:10, Do not be called Master.  Religious novices have Novice Masters or Mistresses.  My experience as a former Josephite novice was that my fellow novices and I were not hoping for an alter-Christus, other Christ.  We were happy to settle for someone known to be prudent, that is all, just prudent, which he was.  Everyone called him The Master, with pride.  He did not want his novices trying to exegete Holy Scripture, so I continue to leave the matter with the Psalmist, in you, Lord, I have found my peace.


First Reading:                    Malachi 1:14b—2:2b, 8-10

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 131:1, 2, 3 

Second Reading:               1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9, 13

Alleluia:                             Matthew 23:9b, 10b

Gospel:                             Matthew 23:1-12

Annotated Bibliography

Musings above the first solid line draw 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.


Malachi 1:14b—2:2b, 8-10

Verse Lectionary               NABRE

  8       made void               corrupted

  9       decisions                 instruction

10       violating … fathers  profaning … ancestors


The differences in vocabulary have a difference in meaning.  The Lectionary empowers you to unilaterally void the covenant of Levi; instead, the NABRE has corrupt, which carries a far different meaning.  I am bothered that the Vatican permits the NABRE for private devotion, but not for the Lectionary, meaning that Vatican politics is determining the truth associated with translation.  Decisions and instruction are also far different; as is the difference between violating and profaning.  Fathers connotes a biological relationship, whereas ancestors does not.  For example, in the United States, ancestors were the founding fathers of the United States of America.  The sense is ancestors, not biological parents.  Malachi carries the meaning of founders, rather than fathers.


Psalm 131:1, 2, 3

In 2002, Personal Notes observed that there was no word for lap corresponding to the Latin translation.  The NABRE also avoids the word for lap.  The Lectionary has like a weaned child on its mother’s lap; whereas the NABRE has like a weaned child to its mother.  The Lectionary focuses on the child; the NABRE focuses on the relationship with God.  The Vatican denies that change in focus, except for pious reading.  Pious reading is politics.  The liturgy needs the truth.  With all of the sexual coverup scandals, such as Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley not releasing his promised list of suspected pedophile priests,[2] the Church hurts itself by covering up or being unwilling to provide the better translations of Sacred Scripture in the holy liturgy.


1 Thessalonians 2:7b-9, 13

1 Thess 2:1-12

Jerry L. Sumney, "`I Fill Up What Is Lacking in the Afflictions of Christ': Paul's Vicarious Suffering in Colossians"[3]

By listing his sufferings, Paul was using the rhetoric of the time to show both that he was genuine and that the Faithful should use his example to do likewise.


1 Thess 2:7-12

Cornelia B. Horn, review of Christine Gerber, Paulus und seine “Kinder”: Studien zur Beziehungsmetaphorik der paulinischen Briefe[4]

Horn praises Gerber who argues that Paul used family metaphors to inculcate a relationship greater than friendship among those who listened to him.


1 Thess 2:7

Richard S. Ascough, review of Beverly Roberts Gaventa, Our Mother Saint Paul[5]

Ascough describes the essays in this book as compelling.  Gaventa translates gentle among you in the Lectionary, as infants in your midst.  The NABRE uses gentle with the following note.  “Many excellent manuscripts read “infants” (nepioi), but `gentle’ (epioi) better suits the context here.”  Wallace is silent on the matter.[6]  The reviewer, Ascough, refers to the passage as “oddly constructed.”  In the book, Gaventa argues that Paul is changing family values in the light of Christian commitment.


1 Thess 2:9

Basil S. Davis, "Severianus of Gabala and Galatians 6:6-10"[7]

Davis argues from working night and day to imply that Paul meant hearers of the Word ought to support preachers of the word.


1 Thess 2:9

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[8]

Wallace explains:


Paul is not suggesting here that he and his colleagues were working 24-hour shifts among the Thessalonians, but that they labored both in daytime and nighttime [sic].  The stress is not on the duration, but on the kind of time in which they worked.  . . . It is, of course, possible that this expression “day and night” is merely a stereotyped phrase that has lost its original grammatical nuances.


The reason for the [sic] above is that my Word Spellchecker says it should either be both in daytime and in nighttime or in both daytime and nighttime, but not the way Wallace, the grammarian, has it.  J


1 Thess 2:9

Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., "Episteusa, dio elalhsa (2 Corinthians 4:13): Paul's Christological Reading of Psalm 115:1a LXX"[9]

Stegman argues that Paul describes sufferings he willingly endured and sufferings forced upon him.  Ultimately, Stegman argues for a “christological ventriloquism” whereby Paul speaks for Jesus.


1 Thess 2:13

Pope Paul VI, “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”[10]

Pope Paul VI calls on the language of the Lectionary for this Sunday.  You have received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God.  Paul VI went on to link devotion to Sacred Scripture to devotion to the Holy Eucharist.


1 Thess 2:13

A. K. M. Adam, review of R. W. L. Moberly, Prophecy and Discernment[11]

Adam reports that Moberly uses Osama bin Laden, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and homosexual ethics as test cases against his criteria for discerning prophecy.  These Personal Notes musings are in the same genre.  The former Jesuit novice and current Governor of California, Jerry Brown,[12] words the matter as “truth speaks to power.”[13]


1 Thess 2:13

John Clabeaux, review of Colin R. Nicholl, From Hope to Despair in Thessalonica: Situating 1 and 2 Thessalonians[14]

Clabeaux reports that Nicholl offers a good book for specialists.  Nicholl argues from the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe.  Paul is reassuring the Thessalonians they need not despair.


1 Thess 2:13

Edward F. Siegman, C.PP.S, “Teaching in Parables: (Mk 4:10-12; Lk 8:9-10; Mt 13:10-15”[15]

Siegman argues that that the word sown in verse 13 is the same word sown in the parable explained by Jesus in the synoptic Gospels.  In this liturgical Cycle, the Lectionary presents that parable in reading 103A, July 10, the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  In other words, Sacred Scripture is the seed sown by God to plant his love in the hearts of the Faithful.


1 Thess 2:7b

Karl P. Donfried, review of Gordon D. Fee, The First and Second Letters to the Thessalonians[16]

Donfried reports that Fee, contrary to the Lectionary, argues that infants contains the original Pauline meaning of gentle.  Donfried characterizes Fee as a “judicious commentary.”  This means that translators of 1 Thessalonians 2:7b are not satisfied, mainly because the source manuscripts differ.


Matthew 23:9b, 10b


Matthew 23:1-12

Matt 23:1-36

Jeffrey A. Gibbs, review of Alistair I. Wilson, When Will These Things Happen?  A Study of Jesus as Judge in Matthew 21‑‑25[17]

Gibbs approves of Alistair, noting that Matthew 21—25, including 23:1-36, is where Jesus is most upset with the ruling religious establishment.  It seems to me that if Jesus can conflict with the ruling religious establishment of his day, so may I do the same with the ruling religious establishment of my day.  The religious establishment saw to the crucifixion of Jesus.  Gibbs concludes that Alistair is “coherent and largely convincing.”


Matt 23:1-12

James Swetnam, S.J., review of Luis Sánchez Navarro, “Venid a mi” (Mt 11,28-30): El discipulado, fundamento de la ética en Mateo[18]

Swetnam thinks a lot of this beginning scholar.  The Gospel for this Sunday presents the unique teacher, Jesus, the person embodying “countervailing legitimacy,” that I would frame as the right to dissent, as described by Charles Curran.  Charles Curran is a Catholic papal critic whom the administration of The Catholic University of America forced out of its faculty.


Matt 23:4

Virgilio Elizondo, "Jesus the Galilean Jew in Mestizo Theology"[19]

Elizondo argues, “This rejection [by Jesus] of rejection is good news to the downtrodden but threatening to those in control of status and belonging, whose laws and traditions often exclude and disgrace others (Lk 11:46; Mt 23:4 [used here they widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels]).”


Matt 23:5-7

Jerome H. Neyrey, S.J., “Lost in Translation: Did It Matter If Christians `Thanked’ God or `Gave God Glory’?”[20]

Neyrey argues from what Jesus accused the scribes and Pharisees of seeking, to what God seeks.  The scribes and Pharisees sought praise, honor, and glory, not gratitude.  Neyrey argues it does make a difference whether the Faithful praise or thank God.  Praise elevates the one praised; thanks keeps the one thanked in place.  Praise is directed outwardly; thanks expresses my thanks.  Praise is spontaneous; thanks is duty bound.  Praise can never be commanded, but thanks can be commanded as a debt or obligation.


Matt 23:6

Daniel W. Ulrich, “The Missional Audience of the Gospel of Matthew”[21]

Ulrich argues that, in the beginning, Christian Churches competed with Jewish synagogues.  Ulrich uses nine verses, including Matthew 23:6, seats of honor in synagogues, to make his point.


Matt 23:7-8

Leroy Andrew Huizenga, “Obedience unto Death: The Matthean Gethsemane and Arrest Sequence and the Aqedah”[22]

Huizenga points out that Judas addressed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as “Rabbi,” a decidedly negative term in Matthew, as evidenced in, as for you, do not be called `Rabbi.’


Matt 23:8-10

Helen R. Graham, M.M., review, Sephen E. Witmer, Divine Instruction in Early Christianity[23]

In her review, Graham uses the words divine instruction fifteen times in fifty-one lines.  Evidently, Graham, somehow, worries that readers will not accept Jesus as the author of divine instruction.  The book is about divine instruction, particularly as described by Jesus, the divine instructor, in Matthew 23:8-10.  Jesus instructs the Faithful to love God and one another as he has loved God and us.


Matt 23:8-10

Dino Dozzi, "`Thus Says the Lord' The Gospel in the Writings of Saint Francis"[24]

Dozzi has a typographical error.  Dozzi means Chapter 23, but has 25.  As might be expected, Saint Francis does not want anyone called Teacher.  As an academic, this scares me, because two of the most important Archbishops in the United States are Franciscan Capuchins, Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, and Séan P. O’Malley of Boston.  Franciscans themselves seem leery of the idea of religious order bishops.[25]


Matt 26:1—4:12—25:46

Boris Repschinski, review of Peter Fiedler, Das Matthausevangelium"[26]

Repschinski reports that Fiedler argues that Matthew wrote for a Jewish, rather than a Gentile audience.  German scholarship has been slow to deal with such Jewish-minded scholarship for Matthew.  Fiedler seems too polemical to correct the situation.  The Gospel for today reflects the Jewish focus. 



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



[1] 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).


[2] From staff and wire reports, “Nationline:  Church sex abuse suspects named, USA Today, Friday, July 29, 2011, page 3A, column 1.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4 (October 2006)   666, 667.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 4 (October 2006) 763.


[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 2 (April 2008) 369.


[6] Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996) 821.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 2 (April 2007) 296.


[8] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 124.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (October 2007) 728.


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


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 1 (January 2008) 164.


[14] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 1 (January 2008) 165.


[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 2 (April 1961) 67.


[16] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 825.


[17] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 2007) 603.


[18] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (July 2006) 347.


[19] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 275.


[20] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (July 2009) 10.


[21] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (July 2007) 76.


[22] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 523.


[23] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (July 2010) 170.


[24] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, Supplement (2004) 28.


[26] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 2007) 576.