The first composition of this Personal Notes took place March 3, 2013, as the Faithful awaited the choice of a new Pope.  Because of the scandalous administration of Benedict XVI, the Church is in crisis.  The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) editorialized,[1]  “The Papacy after Benedict:  He leaves a rich legacy of faith but also a failing Vatican bureaucracy.”


The one issue during Benedict’s papacy that threatened to overwhelm all others has been the sexual-abuse scandals among the Catholic priesthood.  The Church has brought upon itself much of the condemnation it’s received over cover-ups and lax treatment of abusive priests, though Pope Benedict recognized the problem and acted, if belatedly, to air these crimes and draw a line under them.


I join with the WSJ to pray, “We hope, though, that when the cardinals [sic] gather to pick Benedict’s successor, they consider someone able and willing to clean out the Augean Stables at the Vatican itself.  The papacy’s voice is needed.  But it needs an upgrade.”  The upgrade is honesty and integrity.


Truth is the key to getting out of the crisis.  As head of the Congregation for the Faith and as Pope, Benedict, for twenty-years, led the sexual cover-up of the truth.  The Cardinals seem split, between those who want to continue the business-as-usual cover-up and those who want to come clean, letting the chips fall where they may.[2]  This is a time for prayer and fasting that the crisis will end peacefully


At Mass, just before the Liturgy of the Word, the priest, in prayer, will use the word truth and true, the Word of truth and the true faith.[3]  For the Church to escape from its crisis, truth needs to trump Church politics, with faith in God as the source of all truth.  In that way, this Sunday is about the priesthood of all the Faithful.  The Psalmist offers the reminder, You are a priest forever, in the line of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4b). 


Abraham paid tribute to Melchizedek, who was not Jewish.  Melchizedek was an outsider, whom God and the Church eventually drew into the inner circle.  There is more on Melchizedek beyond the solid line. 


Especially from a Black perspective or from a victim of Church abuse perspective, reaching to outsiders is an important part of the new Evangelization.  This is a time of crisis, but not a time of despair.  The Faithful can join the angels, And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts:  the whole earth is full of his glory (Isaiah 6:3).[4] 


The results of the papal political games are now known.  The Faithful can pray that the Cardinals elected a new pope with both the mature integrity and honesty first learned at his mother’s knee.





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


Annotated Bibliography

Musings above the solid line draw from material below.  Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some interesting details.


Genesis 14:18-20

Gen 14:18-24

Joseph Blenkinsopp, “The Cosmological and Protological Language of Deutero-Isaiah”[5]

Blenkinsopp argues that what the Lectionary translates as creator normally means to acquire.  Blenkinsopp goes on,


Practically the only other affirmation of Yhwh as creator deity occurs in the account of one of Jeremiah’s symbolic actions, performed during the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, according to which the necessity of submission to Nebuchadnezzar is reinforced by Yhwh’s affirmation that “with my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth, with the people and animals on it, and (therefore) I give it to whomsoever I please” (Jer 27:5).


The Lectionary does not use Jer 27:5.


Gen 14:18-20

Sacred Scripture in the Missal[6]

So far I have not identified just where the 2011 Missal uses these verses.



Genesis 14:18

Anscar J. Chupungco, “The ICEL2010 Translation”[7] 

Eucharistic Prayer I refers to Melchizedek.  The Faithful can recognize whether the priest uses Eucharistic Prayer I by listening for To you, therefore, most merciful Father . . . after the Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, following the Liturgy of the Word.  If he is using Eucharistic Prayer I, the priest will then mention the offering of your high priest Melchizedek, a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim.  Chupungco comments,


The text again raises the question of how to translate hostia.  Mazza’s literal translation is, “and that which your great priest Melchizedek offered to you, a holy sacrifice, a spotless offering.”  What Melchizedek offered was bread and wine, not a sacrificial animal (Gen 14:18).  It might be noted that Mazza’s rendering also avoids the grammatical problem of apposition in ICEL2010.


Chupungco means that spotless victim is not what Melchizedek offered.  Melchizedek offered bread and wine.


Genesis 14:1-20

Johannes Brenz (1499-1570), “Explanation of Galatians”[8]

Brenz, who was a contemporary of Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), explains, “Abraham was a great man and a hero . . . He gave a tenth of the spoils to Melchizedek. . . .but he was not considered righteous because he did them, but rather because he believed.”  While the Faithful may not all be able to do great and holy works, God commissions all of the Faithful to believe.



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

Psalm 110:1

Francis Watson, “Mistranslation and the Death of Christ:  Isaiah 53 LXX and Its Pauline Reception”[9]

Watson explains that Lord is lacking in the Hebrew the Psalmist may be quoting at verse 110:1.  “Its insertion [Lord] means that the questions are addressed to God, who is still, however, referred to in the third person.  This made it possible for Christian trinitarian theology to find here a distinction within the one divine lordship (cf. Gen 19:24; Ps 110:1).”  I lack sufficient knowledge of Hebrew to fathom what may be going on here.


1 Corinthians 11:23-26

The Church uses 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 in its care of the sick.[10]


1 Cor 11:17-34       

Steven J. Friesen, review of Bruce W. Longenecker, Remember the Poor:  Paul, Poverty, and the Greco-Roman World[11]

“L.’s focus on charity to the exclusion of structural change” troubles Friesen.  Excluding charity from considerations of structural change, such as racism and sexism, troubles me, too.



1 Cor 11:23-25

Christopher Tuckett, review of Dale C. Allison, Jr., Constructing Jesus:  Memory, Imagination, and History[12]

Tuckett reports, “If ever there were a book that could be called `essential reading,’ this is surely it.”  As an historian, I know the problems of documentation and remain unimpressed with what current scholars have been doing with the subject of the historical Jesus.  Tuckett reports on some interesting comments from Allison, whom Personal Notes has mentioned in the past.[13]


In Chap. 5, A. discusses Jesus’ views about his death.  The approach is in one way unusual:  A. approaches the question via Paul’s statements about Jesus’ death (numerous references to the “cross,” as well as texts such as Gal 1:4; 2:20 [used at Reading 93C]; 1 Cor 11:23-25 [used here]; Phil 2:8 [used at Reading 136A]; etc.).  In another way [sic] the result is slightly disappointing:  Jesus approached his death in full awareness and willing acceptance (until perhaps, Gethsemane) of what lay in store.  But A. eschews any further interpretative scheme.  As far as it goes, this is (in my view) fully convincing; others may have further questions!


1 Cor 11:23a, 24b, 25b-26

John David Ramsey, A Precarious Faith:  The Tri-une Dynamic of the Christian Life[14]

Father John David, my pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Newport News, Virginia, writes,


Paul reintroduces the focal act of Christian unity into a community that has lost its unity by failing rightly to observe Christ’s commandment. . . .  There is no ambiguity in Paul’ [sic] demand.  There must be a deep and conscious awareness of the body of Christ when they participate in the Lord’s Supper, without which there is not unity—the “joining together in unity” on the intimate terms which being in Christ both demands and makes possible.  And without this unity there is no Supper, and no community.  Thus, discerning the body is paramount, centrally important, for the life and health, worship and witness of those called out by Christ.


1 Cor 11:24

Russell Morton, review of Pierre-Marie Beaude, Saint Paul:  L’ouevre de metamorphose[15]

Morton reports, “Beaude defines metamorphosis as the sudden transformation of a body from one state to another. . . .Paul adopts the extant themes on metamorphosis in nature . . . and applies them to . . . the Eucharistic elements that become Jesus’ body and blood (1 Cor 11:24) . . . ”  Disagreeing with Beaude, Morton concludes, “Likely, then, metamorphosis is less the center of Paul’s thought than a component of it.”


1 Cor 11:26

Sacred Scripture in the Missal[16]

So far I have not identified just where the 2011 Missal uses these verses.


34 “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes” (1 Cor 11:26).


John 6:51


Luke 9:11b-17

Luke 9:12

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[17]

All of these references are oblique.  None is direct.  The material is technical and otherwise impertinent to Personal Notes.



Personal Notes gave up systematically examining the illiterate 2011 Missal November 25, 2012.  On April 7, 2013, with Reading 045C 2nd Sunday of Easter_A Catholic Bible Study 130407, Personal Notes began to incorporate material from A Commentary on the Order of Mass of The Roman Missal:  A New English Translation:  Developed under the Auspices of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, Edward Foley (ed.) (Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2011).  The intention is to call attention to the Commentary as an addition to Reading 1610 Missal:  The Last Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The hope is that this systematic approach will help the Faithful pray with the new Missal, despite itself.


Chupungco has some scorching comments about The Penitential Act.[18]


“let [sic] us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries”

The Latin verb aptare, which is the root word of apti, does not mean to prepare or to be in the process or phase of preparation.  It means to be in the state of being well-suited [sic] for an action.  We acknowledge our sins not that we may prepare ourselves for  the celebration [sic] but that we may in point of fact be worthy to celebrate.  “Prepare ourselves” is not the literal translation of apti simus.  The ICEL2010 retains ICEL1973’s “to prepare ourselves,” but it corrects its predecessor’s weak translation of agnoscamus (“let us call to mind our sins”).


In the 2010 rendition, Personal Notes simply refers to “In these days of the scandal that Pope Benedict XVI has become . . . ”[19]  Toying with the Holy Word of God in the 2011 illiterate Missal is part of that scandal.



For more on sources see the Appendix file.  A complete set of Personal Notes, dating from the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 14, 2002 to the present, is on the web site at


[1] The Wall Street Journal Editorial, “Review & Outlook:  The Papacy After Benedict,” The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, February 12, 2013, page A 14, above the fold.


[2] John L. Allen Jr., March 1, 2013, “Update on conclave start date,” (accessed March 1 and 3, 2013).  See all of  National Catholic Reporter: The Independent News Source, Vol. 49, No. 10 (March 1-14, 2013), 24 and 16a pages;  Craig Wilson, book review, “`Vatican Diaries’ peers around altar, finds a good story:  What’s back there?  Chaos and scandal,”  The Vatican Diaries:  A Behind-the-Scenes look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church, John Thavis, Viking, 306 pp., USA Today, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, page 3 D, columns 4-5; Natalie DiBlasio, USA TODAY WORLD, “A new pope?  What are the odds?  Gamblers place their bets on papal election,”  USA Today, Thursday, February 28, 2013, page 5A, above the fold; John L. Allen Jr., Dennis Coday, Joshua J. McElwee, February 26, 2013, “Wuerl:  `Teach truth from  pulpit, then meet people were they are’ (accessed February 26 and March 3, 2013); Stacy Meichtry in Rome and Jeanne Whalen and Bruce Orwall in London, “Scotland’s Archbishop Steps Down, The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, February 26, 2013, page A 9, above the fold;. Jason Horowitz, The Washington Post, Vatican City, “Inside the Vatican’s rivalries:  Vatileaks scandal exposes power struggles but yields PR push, not real change,” Daily Press (published in Newport News, Virginia), Sunday, February 24, 2013, page 14.


[3] 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) 495.


[4] UMI Annual Commentary 2012-2013:  Precepts for Living: Based on the International Uniform Lessons, Vincent E. Bacote, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc., 2012) 478-479.



[5] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 3 (July 2011) 495.


[6] Unable to locate the original source.


[7] in A Commentary on the Order of Mass of The Roman Missal:  A New English Translation:  Developed under the Auspices of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, Edward Foley (ed.) (Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2011) 289.


[8] in Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011) 94.


[9] in Translating the New Testament:  Text, Translation, Theology, Stanley E. Porter and Mark J. Boda (eds.) (Grand Rapids, Michigan:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009) 224.


[10] 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.


[11] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 3 (September 2012) 602.


[12] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 2 (April 2012) 366.


[13] 010A 4th Sunday_of_Advent_A Catholic Bible Study 101219; 076A 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time_A Catholic Bible Study 110213; #667 All Saints_A Catholic Bible Study 091101; 668 All Souls_A Catholic Bible Study 081102.


[14] Ph.D. Dissertation, Duke University, 2002, 353.


[15] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 74, No. 4 (October 2012) 807.


[16] Unable to locate the original source.


[17] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 192, 287, 472, 599.


[18] Anscar J. Chupungco, “The ICEL2010 Translation,” in A Commentary on the Order of Mass of The Roman Missal:  A New English Translation:  Developed under the Auspices of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, Edward Foley (ed.) (Collegeville, Minnesota:  Liturgical Press, 2011) 138.


[19] 169C Sunday After Trinity Sunday_The_Solemnity 100606, page 2/5.