First Reading:                    Genesis 14:18-20

Responsorial Psalm:          Psalm 110:1, 2, 3, 4 (4b)

Second Reading:               1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Alleluia:                             John 6:51

Gospel:                             Luke 9:11b-17



Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B. first writes, “Zeal once stifled is not easily rekindled.”  He then goes on, “It has always saddened me that this effort to suppress liberation theology led to the de-vitalization of the Church, a lessening of its identification with the poor, and a withering of the zeal that had characterized the Brazilian Church in the years after the council.”[1]  Producing these Personal Notes week-after-week and year-after-year is a gift of the zeal of which Weakland writes. 

Until he mentioned Saint Procopius Abbey in Lisle, Illinois, I had forgotten that my first full-time position (1966-1967) was as a professor of United States and Latin American history there.  Weakland exudes about his “dedication of spectacular new monastery and church” there, of which I had been unaware.[2]  Weakland does not even mention Saint Procopius in his index.  I, nevertheless, remain enthusiastic about monasticism and the monastic life. 

Without thinking that I had been part of the Benedictine mission, I used to tell my Western Civilization students to understand Benedictine monasteries as groups of men going into the wilderness to find solitude with God.  While in the wilderness, they had to make a living and as a result would improve the agriculture.  I never thought of Benedictines as running schools as a means of livelihood.  I recognized that the Benedictines were responsible for saving many of the manuscripts of Sacred Scripture, though the Alands document few, if any, such manuscripts.  Thinking of Benedictines as part of the intellectual enterprise of the Church is new for me. 

Benedictines do exemplify zeal enduring with lack of institutional support.  What is interesting for me this week is that I just learned Father Jim Goode, O.F.M. (a Franciscan), Ph.D. is returning to Virginia to lead the Black Catholic retreat this coming November.  When he gave the retreat last year, I introduced him to these Personal Notes and have not heard from him since, nor did I expect to.  Goode is not among the two dozen people across the country to whom I personally send these Notes every week. 

All of this is pertinent to the readings.  Melchizedek, King of Salem, somehow remained in Sacred Scripture for no apparent institutional reason.  This dampening of interest lasted until the discovery of the dead Sea Scrolls, which revealed that Jews at the time of Jesus saw Melchizedek as a messiah.  The “line of Melchizedek” in Psalm 110 is neither a Hebrew nor Jewish line.  Melchizedek is an outsider existing right in the middle of Jewish zeal for the house of God. 

1 Corinthians explains that Jesus is expanding the notion of the Chosen People to include everyone, for example Black Catholics, ethnic Catholics, and all who choose to be Catholic.  I do not mean this in the technical dogmatic sense that Catholics are the only ones saved.  I mean rather the opposite non-technical, non-dogmatic sense; that Catholics also belong among those who are saved.  Jesus is “living bread” (John 6:51).  The Gospel is about Jesus symbolically commissioning the Twelve to distribute the Eucharistic by distributing the five loaves and two fish.

In these days of the scandal that Pope Benedict XVI has become, zeal is an important ingredient for the survival of the ship that is the Church.  Women are the category of people tromped upon most by the institutional church since the Seventh Century.  In the Catholic Historical Review, William Tabbernee writes the following about the book, Ordained Women in the Early Church:  A Documentary History.  “If there were ever any doubts that women were ordained to ministerial positions in the early church, such doubts can now be put to rest.”  The zeal of the Sisters is the new hope of the Church.  Praise God.[3]



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.


Genesis 14:18-20


Genesis 14:17-20

Paul A. Rainbow, review of Angela Rascher, Schriftauslegung und Christologie im Hebraerbrief[4]

Rainbow observes that Hebrews reinterprets the First Testament according to its own lights, sometimes without regard to the full context of the First Testament exposition.  Rainbow reports that Rascher systematically examines scriptural references in Hebrews for their Christological meaning.  Though Rascher is limited because she backs away from meanings of the First Testament impossible before the time of Jesus, Rascher does bring out important relationships.  Rascher is also mentioned at Psalm 110 below.


Gen 14:18-20

Robert A. Krieg, review of Gerald O'Collins, S.J., Jesus: A Portrait and Salvation for All:  God’s Other Peoples[5]

O’Collins thinks unreservedly highly of Pope John Paul II, who was involved with the current sexual cover-up scandal.  This means I wonder about the ability of O’Collins to think clearly.  O’Collins, however, does make a good point, that when a human learns something about someone else, that human cannot help but learn something about himself.


Gen 14:18-20         

Gerbern S. Oegema, review of Eric Farrel Mason, `You Are a Priest Forever’: Second Temple Jewish Messianism and the Priestly Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews[6]

Mason examines the dead Sea Scrolls to discover that Melchizedek had a messianic prominence at the time of Jesus soon forgotten, but brought to light again with the Scrolls. 


Psalm 110:1, 2, 3, 4 (4b)

Psalm 110:4

Paul A. Rainbow, review of Angela Rascher, Schriftauslegung und Christologie im Hebraerbrief[7]

See Genesis 14:17-20 above.


1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The Church uses 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 in its care of the sick.[8]


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 verses 24 and 25, a more intense emphasis belongs to me in remembrance of me.


1 Cor 11:22-24

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.[9]

The British Library in London has a Sixth/Seventh Century paper manuscript with these verses 22-24.


1 Cor 11:23

Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., "Episteusa, dio elalhsa (2 Corinthians 4:13): Paul's Christological Reading of Psalm 115:1a LXX"[10]

Stegman argues that in his great love for humanity, Jesus followed the will of his Father in heaven.  1 Corinthians uses the passive voice, was handed over, without indicating who did the handing.  It was God the Father.



1 Cor 11:20-28

André Ménard, O.F.M. Cap., "The Spirituality of Transitus in the Writings of St. Bonaventure”[11]

Ménard argues that Bonaventure found community at the shared Eucharistic banquet.


1 Cor 11:25

Kenneth Schenck, "2 Corinthians and the PistiV Cristou Debate"[12]

Schenck argues that the cup Jesus drank was part of the Faith it took for him to accept his crucifixion and death.


John 6:51


Luke 9:11b-17

Daniel B. Wallace writes, “The `subject’ (logical, not grammatical) may be a noun or a participle, which is grammatically unrelated to the rest of the sentence.  The pronoun (in a different case) is used later on simply because it would be too redundant to name the noun again.”  When that happens, the leading noun or article is emphasized.  That is why crowds at verse 11c, Jesus spoke to the crowds, is emphasized.  A more intense emphasis also belongs to buy food for all these people, made them all sit down, and they all ate.


Luke 9:11b-17

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.[13]

The Greek-Coptic diglot has a Sixth Century parchment manuscript with these verses.



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


[1] Rembert G. Weakland, OSB, A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church:  Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 161, 177.


[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) 178, 189.


[3] William Tabbernee, review of Ordained Women in the Early Church:  A Documentary History, (ed.  And tr.  By Kevin Madigan and Carolyn Osick in The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 92, No. 1 (January 2007) 127.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 188.


[5] Theological Studies, Vol. 70, No. 3 (September 2009) 696.


[6] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 4 (April 2009) 905.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (April 2009) 188.


[8] 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) 158, 321.


[9] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 124.


[10] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (April 2007) 729.


[11] Greyfriars Review, Vol. 18, No. 1 (2004) 40.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 70, No. 3 (April 2008) 532-533.


[13] Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989, 119.