First Reading:                    Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20 (12)

Second Reading:               1 Corinthians 10:16-17

Alleluia:                             John 6:51

Gospel:                             John 6:51-58



When The Wall Street Journal headlines, “Belgium Asks the Vatican To Punish Bishop for abuse, the Faithful realize that the incarnation does not end with the hierarchy.[1]  The incarnation means the life of God in the lives of the Faithful, including outside the hierarchy.  The incarnation did not end with the birth of Jesus or his ascension into heaven.  The incarnation continues through history.

The Responsorial Antiphon is Praise the Lord, Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is a stand-in for the soul.  The idea is that the Faithful should praise God for the life of grace.

For Catholics the life of grace becomes most alive in Holy Communion.  Rhetorically, 1 Corinthians 16 asks, “The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ.”  The body of Christ refers not only to the physical body, but also to the Mystical Body of Christ as found in the lives of the Faithful.  In John 6:57, Jesus says, “… I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” 

The historian in me wants to look for that life of grace not only in myself and my contemporaries, but also throughout history.  As someone involved with the Black Apostolate for over sixty years, I feel that life of grace changing history.  I wrote about that change mostly in these Personal Notes.



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.


Deuteronomy 8:2-3, 14b-16a

Deuteronomy 8:3

Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum: Graece et Latine: Textum Graecum post Eberhard et Erwin Nestle communiter ediderunt Barbara et Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger: Textus Latinus Novae Vulgatae Bibliorum Sacrorum Editioni debetur: Utriusque textus apparatum criticum recensuerent et editionem novis curis elaboraverunt Barbara et Kurt Aland una cum Instituto Studiorum Textus Novi Testamenti Monasterii Westphaliae[2]

Nestle-Aland use Deuteronomy 8:3 to explain, “Direct quotations are indicated by italics (cf. Mch 5,1.3 at Mt 2,6), and allusions by normal type (cf. references at Mt 4.4 to both a direct quotation, Dt. 8.3, and an allusion, Sap. 16.26).”  The last time through (March 13), I missed the Lectionary reference to Matthew 4.4.  I am correcting that omission at the web site.


Deut 8:14

Dalit Rom-Shiloni, "Psalm 44: The Powers of Protest"[3]

Rom-Shiloni argues that Psalm 44 places more responsibility on God for the Exile than does the Deuteronomic revision of Sacred Scripture.  Deuteronomy 8:14 is one example Rom-Shiloni uses to illustrate, Do not forget the Lord, your God …


Psalm 147:12-13, 14-15, 19-20 (12)


1 Corinthians 10:16-17


John 6:51


John 6:51-58

John 6:56

Funerals uses this reading in two places.[4]



John 6:56

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Priests for the Third Millennium:  The Year for Priests[5]

Dolan uses He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I in him in Chapter 3, “Love.”  Dolan translates the verse differently than the Lectionary, whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.  Dolan does not give the source of his translation.

The he of Dolan is different from the whoever of the Lectionary.  Lives is also different from remains.  The Lectionary translation is less open to judgmental arrogance emanating from the Teaching Magisterium of the Church.

In writing of love, Dolan argues that “filial devotion to the Mother of the First Priest is …a definite part of our spirituality …”  Dolan goes on, “Such devotion has been a tradition of the North American College here in Rome since December 8 [the Feast of the Immaculate Conception], 1859 …” the day after the college opened.[6]

Dolan exhibits a mixed-up sense of love when he writes, “… when we love someone, we want to brag about the beloved, introduce others to the beloved, tell the whole world bout him.”  That has not been my experience.  In my experience, lovers keep their own love for others is kept secret, lest that love be stolen.  What is shared is the love others have for oneself; not one’s love for others.  Dolan has not spent any time in college dormitories where the intimacy of sexual love develops. 

Dolan writes approvingly, “My first pastor always told a married couple at the wedding, “the six most important words in a good marriage are `I love you’ and `I am sorry’.  Say those frequently and your love will be enduring.”  About to celebrate my forty-seventh wedding anniversary and knowing many contemporaries of like mine, I would reduce those important words to two:  Yes, Dear.  That is what spiritual writers mean by holy obedience. 


John 6:51, 52

Anthony J. Kelly, C.Ss.R., “`The Body of Christ:  Amen!’:  The Expanding Incarnation”[7]

When I went to Rome in 2000 and spoke before the historians gathered there, I said, “We present the history of the Church as the history of scandal; when it is the history of grace acting through time.”  Those gathered applauded.  This article is a theologically sophisticated way of grappling with the same reality.  This article has at least sixty-one references to Sacred Scripture used in the Lectionary, including four for this Sunday.  This is the first reference of many anticipated references to this article.

Kelly avoids writing about the fact that the Church is not simply the hierarchy.  Kelly has high accolades from the Teaching Magisterium.  The Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo in Rome awarded Kelly a D. Theol.  In 2004, the papacy chose Kelly for the International Theological Commission. 

The International Theological Commission (ITC) of the Roman Catholic Church consists of up to 30 Catholic theologians from around the world.  These theologians are appointed for renewable five-year terms and have tended to meet together in person once every year for a week.  The function of the ITC is to advise the Magisterium of the Church, particularly the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), a dicastery of the Roman Curia.  The Prefect of the CDF is ex officio the president of the ITC, which is based in Rome.  According to Joseph Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict XVI - the idea for this group was put forward during the first Postconciliar Synod of Bishops in 1967.[8]  


John 6:51

Andreas J. Köstenberger, review, Hans-Ulrich Weidemann, Der Tod Jesu in Johannesevangelium: Die erste Abschiedsrede als Schlusseltext fur den Passions-und Osterbericht[9]

Köstenberger reports that Weidemann refocuses John on his theology of the cross in the passion narrative.  Köstenberger identifies John 6:51 as a hyper-text.  My flesh for the life of the world.


John 6:53

Clemente Ciammaruconi, "The Last Supper of Francis of Assisi: A Passage from `We Who Were With Him'"[10]

In his biography of Saint Francis, Celano uses the theology of the cross found in John 6:53, eat the flesh of the Son of Man.  Ciammaruconi goes on:


In his biography, Celano prefers to subordinate his own account to references to the Gospels (Mt 14:17-19 and Jn 6:53).  But by doing this, he ends up losing all the authenticity of this testimony to the suffering humanity of Francis, now near death, which the Assisi Compilation can restore to us with great fidelity.


John 6:54

William M. Wright IV, “Greco-Roman Character Typing and the Presentation of Judas in the Fourth Gospel”[11]

Wright argues, “Whereas Judas was previously linked by the narrator with those who do not believe and leave the fellowship (6:54) [whoever eats my flesh meaning Judas was not present], he now [John 181-11] openly stands with the opposition and darkness.”



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





For recurring themes in Sacred Scripture, see the following.  The exclamation point (!) indicates where a principal reference list of passages related by a common theme or expression found.  Italics of the same verse indicates a special relevance; italics of a different verse or book, indicates a direct quote. See the comment above at Deuteronomy 8:3.  Commas separate verses within the same book, semi-colons separate books.  Parenthetical expressions in red refer to Lectionary readings.  The abbreviation for following is f.  For more lengthy following, the abbreviation is ff.  The abbreviation for personal confusion is ??  For material based on the Greek Septuagint Greek, the abbreviation is LXX.  LXX means the psalms may be one less than the number used.  With this material, I am trying to lay a foundation for developing Biblical themes the next time through the Cycles, when I intend to add in which Lectionary readings the relevant passages are found.


Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17:

Verse 16       Mathew 26:27 f; Acts 2:42.

Verse 17       Romans 12:5!



Sacred Scripture develops themes for the following readings in John 6:51-58:

Verse 51       John 6:33, 38, 41, 35, 48, 58, 4:14; Mark 14:24 f.

Verse 52       The Greek manuscripts are difficult at the word his flesh.

Verse 53       John 1:51! John 4:14!; Leviticus 17:10-14.

Verse 54       Matthew 26:26-28; John 6:39!

Verse 55      

Verse 56       John 14:20; 15:4-7; 17:23; 1 John 3:6, 24.

Verse 57       John 5:26.

Verse 58       John 6:49, 51!





Through Reading 70A, January 30, 2011, I designed these comments on the availability of manuscripts to make the point that uncertainty exists about exactly which Greek to use for the purposes of translation.  At that point, I began offering manuscript availability for background when examining Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, which I purchased based on the review in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly.[12]

On April 4, 2011, USA Today headlined “Planned high-tech museum to take scholarly look at Bible.”  The location, architecture and name of the museum are currently under development.  The museum will include “the world’s largest collection of ancient biblical manuscripts and texts.”  The Steve Green family owns the manuscripts.  Green is sponsoring the museum.  The director of the collector is Professor Scott Carroll, research professor of manuscript studies at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.  What Carroll is developing will add to what the Alands provide as described below.[13]


Deuteronomy 8:3

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.[14]

The Alands explain:


In the gospel of Luke the answer Jesus gave to the devil in Luke 4:4 [used at Reading 24C, First Sunday of Lent] in the traditional version was “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”  [The Lectionary has one does not live by bread alone.]  Modern versions omit the last phrase.  This conforms to the external evidence and to the internal requirements as well.  The expanded text is derived from Matt. 4:4 [used at Reading 22A, First Sunday of Lent], where Deut. 8:3 is cited in full.  The lectio brevior is preferable here to the expanded text for the same reason we have advanced so often elsewhere:  if the phrase had been in the original text, what reason could there have been for its removal?


Almost as an aside, the Lectionary has on bread and on every word; where the Alands have by bread and by every word.  The Lectionary uses the better American English.


Anyone wanting a copy of these Personal Notes, please contact me at

[1] John W. Miller and Stacy Meichtry, “Belgium Asks the Vatican To Punish Bishop for Abuse,” The Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, April 16-17, 2011, page A8, col. 4-6.

[2] Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1999, Editio XXVII, 35*.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 4 (October 2008) 689.


[4] 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 IV: Order of Christian Funerals: Including Appendix 2: Cremation: 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 Jersey: Catholic Book Publishing Co., 1998) 241, 259.


[5] Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, Priests for the Third Millennium:  The Year for Priests (Huntington, IN 46750:  Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division:  Our Sunday Visitor, Inc., 2000) 45.


[7] Theological Studies, Vol. 71, No. 4 (December 2010) 805.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January 2010) 168.


[10] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, No. 2 (2004) 206.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 3 (July 2009) 558.


[12] Robert Hodgson, Jr., review of Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009), the Catholic Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 4 (October 2010) 877-878.


[13] Cathy Lynn Grossman, “Planned high-tech museum to take scholarly look at Bible:  Organizers say history, not ministry is aim,” USA Today, Nation, page 6A.  At the same place, also see “Collection boasts unrivaled rarities.”


[14] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 308.