notes. My reason for mentioning
Some of my documentation, like that for Stuhlmueller, is
repeated for each session: references to the Lectionary,
the Vulgate, Sunday
Sermons of the Fathers,
The Quarterly references apply recent scholarship to the Lectionary readings. In effect, these Personal Notes annotate the Index references at www.western-civilization.com By reviewing the footnotes, one can quickly decide whether the effort to consult the original article may be worth the effort.
My intention is to leave these notes in the prologue for two more Sundays, then add the same as an appendix at the end of each session. The Lectionary gives the readings used at Mass, the Vulgate reaches toward a traditional Latin translation, while Nestle and the grammarian reach even further back to the original Greek. Sunday Sermons brings the Fathers of the Church to bear, in the monastic traditions, including the Poor Clares. The idea is to balance and connect recent scholarship with the substance of traditional spirituality.
The Sunday words are developed out of Stuhlmueller. Stuhlmueller advises praying the psalms with a word-focus. A single word is somewhat easier than the Responsorial Antiphon that is a little more difficult, but that I use personally.
As the readings cycles progress, eventually Stuhlmueller and the Sunday Sermons will be used up. After that I may simply add to what I originally wrote. That change will take several more years to accomplish.
While the projected Appendix will take up considerable printed space, my computer can readily accommodate that. I will not expect regular readers to print the Appendix, nor do I intend to print it each week.
All of that said, the word for this week is church.
verse 1 In
church to harm them.
but prayer by the church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.
Verses 7-9 can be read with the sense that the very human
verse 7 Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him
and a light shone in the cell.
“Get up quickly.”
The chains fell from his wrists.
verse 8 The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.”
He did so.
Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.”
verse 9 So he followed him out,
not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real
he thought he was seeing a vision.
We too go out into the world bumbling and stumbling unaware of how real the grace that is in us is.
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
This Psalm is related not only to the angel just mentioned
in Acts, but also to the Gospel according to
verse 5 I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
verse 7 When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
verse 8 The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Verse 8 is also the Responsorial Antiphon.
Psalm 34 is a wisdom psalm, not caught up “with adoration and stunned silence, with excitement and outrage,” but rather “with reflection and calm strength, with moderation and appreciation for the learning experience.” Stuhlmueller suggests that the Jewish schoolmasters arranged the psalms so that the First Psalm is a wisdom psalm and other psalms, such as this, show gratitude for the ability to learn about knowing God.
verse 17b And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
verse 18a-b The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom.
A scholar notes that “the disciples of the risen
verse 13a When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
Caesarea Philippi is north of the
verse 13b-c he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
Son of the living God
is a touch added by
The grammarian observes that blessed may also be translated happy.
This is real happiness, not like the blessedness of those in
untoward circumstances in the Beatitudes.
I can also take this as a sort of goofy happiness, “Be happy, don’t worry,”
appropriate to a
At a more reverential level, “it is only by revelation of
God that one can truly know and confess the mystery of
verse 18c and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
Scholars note that for the times, the netherworld is simply where the dead are, not hell. The grammarian writes, “regarded as synonymous with the powers of evil or with death.”
Gates cause problems because gates are passive, letting in and out, loosing and unloosing, but not prevailing against anything. One sense is that the powers of evil are let loose from the netherworld to inhabit this world with people, that the battle is fought in the Church, not that the Church is a refuge from the battle.
The grammarian comments,
This picture of conflict may be interpreted in various ways: the gates of hell, subject to constant attack from the Church (whose mission is to save souls from sin and death), will not have the power to resist; or the powers of evil (or death) will not succeed in conquering the Church (which on this interpretation is the fortress under attack).
Verses 13-20 are important for the founding of the church.
As one scholar notes:
Amy-Jill Levine is confident that Matthew’s church was predominantly Jewish, yet she concedes that its members would think of themselves as neither “Jew” nor “Gentile,” for in the “New era of the ekklesia” those terms were “no longer operative”; she concludes that “the church is neither the new Israel nor the true Israel” and that “the new era belongs not to Israel at all, but to the ekklesia.”
verse 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
A scholar thinks this verse was only added after the
resurrection; that these particular words were never directly spoken by
The idea is that
 All indented verses are taken from National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Roman Missal Restored by Decree of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican and Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Lectionary for Mass: For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America: Second Typical Edition: Volume I: Sundays, Solemnities, Feasts of the Lord and Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1998).
 The Latin.
 The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers:
Volume One: From the First Sunday of Advent to Quinquagesima, tr. and ed. M. F.
Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation Press, 1996); The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers:
Volume Two: From the First Sunday in Lent to the Sunday after the Ascension,
tr. and ed. M. F. Toal, D.D. (P.O. Box 612, Swedesboro, NJ 08085: Preservation
Press, 1996); The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers: Volume Three: From
Pentecost to the Tenth Sunday after Pentecost, tr. and ed.
 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 (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft 1999)
Editio XXVII and Nestle-Aland:
Greek-English New Testament: Greek text Novum Testamentum Graece, in the
tradition of Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle edited by Barbara and Kurt Aland,
Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger. English text 2nd
Edition of the Revised Standard Version The Critical Apparatuses prepared and
edited together with the Institute for New Testament Textual Research,
Munster/Westphalia by Barbara and Kurt Aland (
 Max Zerwick, S.J. and Mary Grosvenor, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament unabridged, 5th, revised edition (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico 1996) and Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994).
 Lawrence M. Wills, “Scribal Methods in Matthew and Mishnah Abot,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 63, No. 2 (April 2001), page 247, 248
Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The
Spirituality of the Psalms (
 Standard Bible Atlas, 2nd edition (Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing, 1997).
. W. R. G. Loader, “Son of David, Blindness, Possession, and Duality in
 W. R. G. Loader, “Son of David, Blindness, Possession, and Duality in Matthew,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 4 (October, 1982), pages 583-584. Also see Robert H. Stein, “The Matthew-Luke Agreements Against Mark: Insight from John," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 3 (July, 1992), page 497.
 Mark Allan Powell, “The Magi as Kings: An Adventure in Reader-Response Criticism,” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 3 (July 2000), page 470-469.
 Jack Dean Kingsbury, “Observations on the `Miracle Chapters’ of Mathew 8-9," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October 1978), page 565.
 Joel Marcus, “The Gates of Hades and the Keys of the Kingdom (Matt 16:18-19),” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 3 (July, 1988), page 455.
 Joel Marcus, “The Gates of Hades and the Keys of the Kingdom (Matt 16:18-19),” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 50, No. 3 (July, 1988), page 443-446.
 Jack Dean Kingsbury, “Observations on the `Miracle Chapters’ of Mathew 8-9," the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 40, No. 4 (October 1978), page 562.
 Douglas R. A. Hare, “How Jewish Is the Gospel of Matthew?” the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 62, No. 2 (April 2000), page 273, footnote 38 citing A.-J. Levine, Social and Ethnic Dimensions of Matthean Salvation History (1988), pages 10-11.