First Reading:                    Proverbs 8:22-31

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 (2a)

Second Reading:               Romans 5:1-5

Alleluia:                             cf. Revelation 1:8

Gospel:                             John 16:12-15



Kelli S. O’Brien argues,


… believing is characterized not so much by understanding as by acceptance of Jesus and a willingness to be taught.  Receptivity is rewarded by further revelation and greater understanding.  Faith comes progressively, not whole but in stages.  The Fourth Gospel understands this sort of receptivity as a gift from the Father (6:65), carried on after Jesus' departure by the Paraclete (14:26; 15:26; 16:13 [used here]) and experienced in the Father and Son dwelling in the believer (14:3, 20; 16:16-22; 17:21).[1]


Accepting Jesus despite the Pope is a requirement for Catholics as Pope Benedict XVI continues to support the sexual cover-up, especially March 31, during Holy Week, when these comments were finalized.  This evening, Wednesday, March 31, Chris Matthews, Pat Buchanan, and Joan Walsh, three self-identified Catholics accepted public embarrassment trying to help and protect the Church.  They had to confront the scandal Pope Benedict XVI has become.  The commentators had to debate, which was worse, the culture of cover-up or the abuse of the victims.  Truth versus politics in tension may lead the Faithful to truth determining politics, despite whatever the political line may be this week.

Last year, Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B., wrote, “… that issues that are not confronted clearly, openly, and thoroughly do not go away.  They just continue to surface and disturb the whole group for years.”[2]  My concerns and prayers that the American Association of University Professors is unable to lift its censure of administration of The Catholic University of America belong to that cannot-be-ignored category.

At a more profound level, the Faithful struggle with the nature of God in the blessed Trinity.  The doctrine of the Blessed Trinity took three to four centuries to develop.  While the doctrine of three persons in one God; with the Holy Spirit proceeding from and being the relationship between the Father and the Son is catechetically established, what the Trinity means continues unraveling.

In the overview for the readings for this Trinity Sunday, Proverbs is about the wisdom of understanding that God is the creator of all things.  The Psalmist recognizes that that makes God wonderful.  Romans is excited about the grace that comes to the Faithful through their Faith.  Finally, in John, Jesus talks about his relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit.



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.


Proverbs 8:22-31

Prov 1:1—22:16

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

Lawrence asserts that the majority of Proverbs was written by Solomon between 970 and 930 B.C.


Prov 8:21-31

Sean Freyne, “The Galilean Jesus and a Contemporary Christology”[4]

Just as Lady Wisdom portrayed in Proverbs is available to all, so is the wisdom of Jesus available to all, including Galileans.  Freyne exclaims, “Little wonder that Jesus, as the wisdom teacher who claimed such knowledge of the mystery of the kingdom, could declare it to be `good news’ for all.  He thus showed a deep understanding of God as creator and sustainer of all.”


Prov 8:31

Alfio Marcello Buscemi, “The Evil of Self-Will Admonition II of Saint Francis,” translated by Edward Hagman, O.F.M.[5]

Playing before him all the while, Francis had a sense of fun before his Creator.


Psalm 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 (2a)


Romans 5:1-5

Different languages see 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.  Pronouns highlighted in blue have greater emphasis than in English, but are not as intense as the words marked in red.  Words marked with a vertical line, rather than fully highlighted, indicate places where the English translation lacks a pronoun corresponding to a pronoun in the Greek.

Anyone else wanting one, please ask me at  Thank you.


In the original Greek, this in this grace in which we stand has intense emphasis.  Our Lord Jesus Christ and given to us also has emphasis.


Romans 5:1-5

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.[6]

The Alands have a rare typographical error on page 60 with Rom. 4:23-53.  What they mean is Rom 4:23-5:3.  Ironically, The Alands use this passage to exemplify how copyists changing letters can change meaning. 


Rom 5:1-2

Teresa Okure, S.H.C.J., “Jesus and the Samaritan Woman (Jn 4:1-42) in Africa”[7]

Just as Jesus was kind but not bamboozled by the Samaritan woman, so is Jesus kind but not bamboozled by others on the outskirts of what is politically correct.


Romans 5:5

Neil J. Ormerod, "Two Points or Four?—Rahner and Lonergan on Trinity, Incarnation, Grace, and Beatific Vision”[8]

There are two views of love.  In the Augustinian view, God is love.  In the Thomistic view, love is a quality of God.  The new grammarian has something to say about this.  “1 John 4:8 … God is love.  A subset proposition is clearly seen in this passage.  God has the quality of love, but is not identical with it.  If this were a convertible proposition, it would affirm pantheism, or, in the least, panentheism.”[9]

Ormerod states, “The classical text used by Augustine, Aquinas, as well as Lonergan in discussing grace is Romans 5:5, “the love of God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us.”  The Lectionary reads, the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.  Ormerod is clearer than the Lectionary.  The love of God is our love for God.


cf. Revelation 1:8


John 16:12-15

In the original Greek, all truth, speak on his own, and Everything that the Father has have intense emphasis.  Emphasis also belongs to: much more to tell you, he will guide you, declare to you, he will glorify me, he will take from what is mine and declare it to you, and for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.


John 13—17

Stanley B. Marrow, "Kosmos in John”[10]

Marrow argues,


It is a fact, often remarked but insufficiently pondered, that the term κόσμος in John 13-17 wholly replaces the role filled by "Jews" and its cognates in the preceding chapters of the public ministry and the subsequent chapters on the passion.  Of course, like κόσμος, "Jews" (Ιουδαίοι) with its cognates and correlates (Pharisees, chief priests, etc.) is used by John in a perfectly neutral sense: "the Passover of the Jews" (2:13; 6:4); "the Jews' feast of tabernacles" (7:2) …


The above intimates that, over time, others inappropriately read anti-Semitism into John.


John 16:1

Tom Thatcher, "John's Memory Theater: The Fourth Gospel and Ancient Mnemo-Rhetoric"[11]

Thatcher explains,


In the farewell address (Jesus’ lengthy discourse in the upper room on the night of his arrest), John characterizes these memories of Jesus as a gift of the Holy Spirit, who will “teach” the disciples “all things” and “remind you of everything that I (Jesus) said to you” … (John 14:26, see 16:13 [used here]).  In all these instances, John uses the verb “remember/remind” … to describe the disciples’ subsequent recollections of, and presumably their stories about, Jesus’ remarkable deeds and words.

From the perspective of modern Western readers—who are inclined to agree with Aristotle that “memory” is a physiological process whereby we pull lingering impressions out of our brains “like checked baggage from storage”— John 2:22 and 12:16 fit nicely with other passages in the Fourth Gospel that claim that John’s  story  is based on the “witness” of an associate of the historical Jesus.  … On a number of fronts, then, the words “memory” and “witness” clearly do not merge in John’s mind at the same point where they intersect in modern understandings..


John 16:13

Kelli S. O'Brien, "Written That You May Believe: John 20 and Narrative Rhetoric"[12]

See the first paragraph of Comments on page 1.



John 16:13

Tobias Hagerland, “The Power of Prophecy: A Septuagintal Echo in John 20:19-23.”[13]

Hagerland argues,


Jesus spoke earlier of the Spirit of truth, which  remains … with the disciples (14:17) as it remained … on Jesus (1:32).  This is the Spirit of prophecy, which is itself depicted in prophetic terms:  “For it will not speak of itself, but whatever it hears it will speak, and coming things it will proclaim to you … (16:13 [used here]).


John 16:14, 15

Evan F. Kuehn, "The Johannine Logic of Augustine's Trinity: A Dogmatic Sketch”[14]

Kuehn argues,


Augustine goes on to cite John 16:14-15 to demonstrate the work of the Spirit, who shares all things that belong to the father.  The Father-Spirit relationship is analogical to the Pater-Filius relationship, which is foundational to the Spirit’s procession ex patre filioque.


Basically, this means that the church hierarchy is not essential for contact with the Holy Spirit.



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


[1] Kelli S. O'Brien, "Written That You May Believe: John 20 and Narrative Rhetoric," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 2 (April 2005) 291.


[2] Rembert G. Weakland, OSB, A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church:  Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 157.


[3] Downers Grove, Illinois,  InterVarsity Press, 2006, 72.


[4] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 295.


[5] Greyfriars Review Vol. 19, Issue 1 (2005) 15.


[6] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 60, 286-289, 310.


[7] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 2 (June 2009) 414.


[8] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 3 (September 2007) 667.


[9] 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) 45.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 64, No. 1 (April 2002) 100.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 3 (April 2007) 499-500.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 2 (April 2005) 291.


[13] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 96-79.


[14] Theological Studies, Vol. 68, No. 3 (September 2007) 578.