Sunday, May 20, 2018

Lectionary Commentary

Servant of the Word
Lectionary Commentary
(Volume I of the Lectionary for Mass [Sundays, Solemnities and Feasts of the Lord])
(Volumes II & III of the Lectionary for Mass)
(Volumes II & III of the Lectionary for Mass)

Volume IV Index (Texts for Commons, Ritual Masses, Masses for Various Needs, Votive Masses and Masses for the Dead)

Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary (under construction)

Liturgical Calendar and Ordo (from Universalis)

This commentary was originally written in the form of a daily exercise in exegesis. It is not a scholarly work but rather an attempt by a simple minister of the Church to capture a glimpse of the Lord as he reveals Himself in the Word. The scope of this work was to develop a set of commentaries and reflections for all three Sunday Cycles (A, B, & C), Years I & II of the Daily Readings and the Feasts, Solemnities, and Memorials celebrated by the Church. I began writing on February 1, 2006 and through various iterations in format continue to this day.

I have completed the original goal with the exception of combinations of dates and assigned readings that have not occurred. I was asked by a reader if there was a place to find all of what I had written based on the book of the Bible in which the passage occurred. This started me on the path I now follow.

I have relied heavily on a number of references as I examined the daily readings in the Lectionary for Mass. These include; The Jerome Biblical Commentary (1966 Edition), The Navarre Bible, and The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: New Testament. I have attempted to cite these works in the footnotes when I borrowed significant sections.

This commentary is a work in progress! I started compiling the daily commentaries at the beginning of Advent 2010. It is my way of helping my brothers and sisters who, like me have a love of the Sacred Scripture and wish to have a systematic resource for delving more deeply into the use made of it in liturgy. The major indexes were completed by January 2014.

I point out that I am NOT a scripture scholar and there are, no doubt, errors, both typographical and factual in what I have written. I am trying to review each passage as it is included but that is a challenging task given the volume and complexity of cross referencing and indexing that must be done. I invite you who are using this text to notify me when these errors are found and I will correct them.

One final note about the inclusion of the readings. The USCCB holds the copyrights for the New American Bible and I was denied permission to re-publish these readings unless I entered an agreement with them and charged an appropriate fee. I understand the need for this stance and my Bishop has indicated that fees for re-publishing the readings is a needed source of income for the USCCB’s work. For this reason, this commentary is restricted to private individuals and Clergy. The readings may not be published for general distribution without permission of USCCB. My commentary and reflections on the other hand I offer as a gift from God to God and his servants.

Structure and Contents
The Servant of the Word Project has five parts; The Supplemental BenchThe Memorial BenchServant of the Word (originally titled Deacon’s Bench), Servant of the Word II (SOW II) and the SOW II Commentary.

The Supplemental Bench is a repository for the readings as they are found in the Lectionary for Mass. These readings also contain “back links” to the entries in either Servant of the Word or Servant of the Word II sections. Most entries in this section are also found at temporary links at the USCCB and Universalis (Universalis is the source for the readings as found in the Jerusalem Bible). The temporary links “time out” after a short period of time.

The Memorial Bench is a compellation or readings, commentaries and reflections on Feasts, Solemnities, and Memorials. When there are multiple options offered for a given day, this is where the second or third options reside.

Servant of the Word is the public Blog where I initially published. As you can see from the final entry, I was asked to stop publishing the Lectionary readings in this domain. The Servant of the Word II is the private continuation of the daily commentaries and reflections. It is not searchable and therefore not useful as a reference volume.

The SOW II Commentary is a synthesis of the commentaries coupled with a “wired” index to the readings along with a second “wired” index to the Psalms and Canticles. The Commentary is broken down into Old Testament and New Testament. Each Book entry contains the complete index for references to that Book of the Bible as used in the Lectionary for Mass. Each sub-entry contains all of the references to that particular entry and is linked through the “Context” heading to the Supplemental Bench or the Memorial Bench.

A Note on Hypertext Links to the NAB

On August 9th 2011, the USCCB launched a new version of its on-line New American Bible.  This new version reduced the function all of the scripture links in the SOW Commentary.  When they were first inserted, they took the reader to the Book, Chapter, and Verse of the citation.  In their older form, they now only go to Book and Chapter.  I am in the process of re-entering all of these links in the new format.  Please bear with me; it is a long process and there are no short cuts.

I do not know if this work will ever find its way into the hands of the students of the word or preachers of the word for which it is intended because of the copyright issues. For anyone able to use it in its present form and location I invite you to share my love affair with scripture and the Church and to use this work to the greater glory of God, its true author.


Deacon Jim Miles
St. Thomas the Apostle Church
Diocese of Lansing
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

572A Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church

Back to SOW II '18

Reading 1
Gn 3:9-15, 20

The LORD God then called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden;
but I was afraid, because I was naked,
so I hid myself.”
Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?
You have eaten, then,
from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat!”
The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me
she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.”
The LORD God then asked the woman,
“Why did you do such a thing?”
The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”

Then the LORD God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you shall be banned
from all the animals
and from all the wild creatures;
on your belly shall you crawl,
and dirt shall you eat
all the days of your life.
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will strike at your head,
while you strike at his heel.”

The man called his wife Eve,
because she became the mother of all the living.

Acts 1:12-14

After Jesus had been taken up to heaven the apostles
returned to Jerusalem
from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem,
a sabbath day’s journey away.

When they entered the city
they went to the upper room where they were staying,
Peter and John and James and Andrew,
Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew,
James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot,
and Judas son of James.
All these devoted themselves with one accord to prayer,
together with some women,
and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 87:1-2, 3 and 5, 6-7

R. (3) Glorious things are told of you, O city of God.

His foundation upon the holy mountains
the LORD loves:
The gates of Zion,
more than any dwelling of Jacob.
R. Glorious things are told of you, O city of God.

Glorious things are said of you,
O city of God!
And of Zion they shall say:
"One and all were born in her;
And he who has established her
is the Most High LORD."
R. Glorious things are told of you, O city of God.

They shall note, when the peoples are enrolled:
"This man was born there."
And all shall sing, in their festive dance:
"My home is within you."
R. Glorious things are told of you, O city of God.

Jn 19:25-34

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother
and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas,
and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved,
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple,
"Behold, your mother."
And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
After this, aware that everything was now finished,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, "I thirst."
There was a vessel filled with common wine.
So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop
and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said,
"It is finished."
And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
Now since it was preparation day,
in order that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath,
for the sabbath day of that week was a solemn one,
the Jews asked Pilate that their legs be broken
and they be taken down.
So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and then of the other one who was crucified with Jesus.
But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately Blood and water flowed out.

Readings from the Jerusalem Bible

First reading
Genesis 3:9-15,20

After Adam had eaten of the tree the Lord God called to him. ‘Where are you?’ he asked. ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden;’ he replied ‘I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.’ ‘Who told you that you were naked?’ he asked ‘Have you been eating of the tree I forbade you to eat?’ The man replied, ‘It was the woman you put with me; she gave me the fruit, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God asked the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman replied, ‘The serpent tempted me and I ate.’

  Then the Lord God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this,
‘Be accursed beyond all cattle,
all wild beasts.
You shall crawl on your belly and eat dust
every day of your life.
I will make you enemies of each other:
you and the woman,
your offspring and her offspring.
It will crush your head
and you will strike its heel.’

The man named his wife ‘Eve’ because she was the mother of all those who live.


Alternative First reading
Acts 1:12-14

After Jesus was taken up into heaven the apostles went back from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a sabbath walk; and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. All these joined in continuous prayer, together with several women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 86(87)

Of you are told glorious things, O city of God!

On the holy mountain is his city
  cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Zion
  to all Jacob’s dwellings.

Of you are told glorious things, O city of God!

Of you are told glorious things,
  O city of God!
‘Zion shall be called “Mother”
  for all shall be her children.’

Of you are told glorious things, O city of God!

It is he, the Lord Most High,
  who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes:
  ‘These are her children,’
and while they dance they will sing:
  ‘In you all find their home.’

Of you are told glorious things, O city of God!


John 19:25-34

'Behold your son. Behold your mother.'
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.

  After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said, ‘I am thirsty.’

  A jar full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said, ‘It is accomplished’; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.

  It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath – since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water.

Readings and Commentary from the Navarre Bible

From: Genesis 3:9-15, 20

Temptation and the First Sin (Continuation)
[9] But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" [10] And he said, "I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." [11] He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you not to eat?" [12] The man said, "The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." [13] Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I ate." [14] The Lord said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, cursed are you above all cattle, and above all wild animals; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. [15] I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."

[20] The man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.


3:7-13. This passage begins the description of the effects of the original sin. Man and woman have come to know evil, and it shows, initially, in a most direct way -- in their own bodies. The inner harmony described in Genesis 2:25 is broken, and concupiscence rears its head. Their friendship with God is also broken, and they flee from his presence, to avoid their nakedness being seen. As if his Creator could not see them! The harmony between man and woman is also fractured: he puts the blame on her, and she puts it on the serpent. But all three share in the responsibility, and therefore all three are going to pay the penalty.

"The harmony in which they found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered: the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions (cf. Gen 3:7-16), their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man (cf. Gen 3:17, 19). Because of man, creation is now subject 'to its bondage to decay' (Rom 8: 21). Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will 'return to the ground' (Gen 3:19), for out of it he was taken. 'Death makes its entrance into human history' (cf. Roman 5:12)" ("Catechism of the Catholic Church", 400).

3:14-15. The punishment God imposes on the serpent includes confrontation between woman and the serpent, between mankind and evil, with the promise that man will come out on top. That is why this passage is called the "Proto-gospel": it is the first announcement to mankind of the good news of the Redeemer-Messiah. Clearly, a bruise to the head is deadly, whereas a bruise to the heel is curable.

As the Second Vatican Council teaches, "God, who creates and conserves all things by his Word, (cf. In 1:3), provides men with constant evidence of himself in created realities (cf. Rom 1:19-20). And furthermore, wishing to open up the way to heavenly salvation, by promising redemption (cf. Gen 3:15); and he has never ceased to take care of the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing (cf. Rom 2:6-7)" ("Dei Verbum", 3).

Victory over the devil will be brought about by a descendant of the woman, the Messiah. The Church has always read these verses as being messianic, referring to Jesus Christ; and it was seen in the woman the mother of the promised Savior; the Virgin Mary is the new Eve. "The earliest documents, as they are read in the Church and are understood in the light of a further and full revelation, bring the figure of a woman, Mother of the Redeemer, into a gradually clearer light. Considered in this light, she is already prophetically foreshadowed in the promise of victory over the serpent which was given to our first parents after their fall into sin (cf. Gen 3:15) [...]. Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert with Irenaeus in their preaching: 'the knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith' (St Irenaeus, "Adv. haer." 3, 22, 4) Comparing Mary with Eve, they call her 'Mother of the living' (St Epiphanius, "Adv. haer. Panarium" 78, 18) and frequently claim: 'death through Eve, life through Mary' (St Jerome, "Epistula" 22, 21; etc.)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 55-56).

So, woman is going to have a key role in that victory over the devil. In his Latin translation of the Bible, the "Vulgate", St Jerome in fact reads the relevant passage as "she [the woman] shall bruise your head". That woman is the Blessed Virgin, the new Eve and the mother of the Redeemer, who shares (by anticipation and pre-eminently) in the victory of her Son. Sin never left its mark on her, and the Church proclaims her as the Immaculate Conception.

St Thomas explains that the reason why God did not prevent the first man from sinning was because 'God allows evils to be done in order to draw forth some greater good. Thus St Paul says, 'Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more' (Rom 5:20); and the "Exultet" sings, 'O happy fault,...which gained for us so great a Redeemer'" ("Summa Theologiae", 3, 1, 3 and 3; cf. "Catechism of the Catholic Church", 412).

From: Acts 1:12-14

The Apostolic College
[12] Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day's journey away; [13] and when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. [14] All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.


13-14. St Luke mentions the twelve Apostles by name, with the exception of Judas Iscariot.

This is the first passage which tells of the spiritual life and devout practices of the disciples. Significantly it places the emphasis on prayer, in keeping with our Lord's own practice and with his constant recommendation to his followers (cf. Mt 6:5, 14:23; etc.).

"Prayer is the foundation of the spiritual edifice. Prayer is all-powerful" (St. J. Escriva, "The Way", 83). It can truly be said that prayer is the bedrock of the Church, which will be made manifest with the coming of the Holy Spirit. The prayer of the disciples, including the women, in the company of Mary would have been a supplication of entreaty and praise and thanksgiving to God. This union of hearts and feelings produced by prayer is a kind of anticipation of the gifts the Holy Spirit will bring.

"We are told this time and again in the passage narrating the lives of the first followers of Christ. 'All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14). [...] Prayer was then, as it is today, the only weapon, the most powerful means, for winning the battles of our interior struggle" (St. J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 242).

Here we see Mary as the spiritual center round which Jesus' intimate friends gather: tradition has meditated on this "tableau", and found it to depict our Lady's motherhood over the whole Church, both at its beginning and over the course of the centuries.

On 21 November 1964, at the closing of the third session of Vatican II, Paul VI solemnly proclaimed Mary Mother of the Church: "Our vision of the Church must include loving contemplation of the marvels which God worked in his holy Mother. And knowledge of the true Catholic doctrine about Mary will always be the key to correct understanding of the mystery of Christ and of the Church.

Reflection on the close ties linking Mary and the Church, so clearly indicated by the present constitution ["Lumen Gentium"], allows us to think this is the most appropriate moment to satisfy a desire which, as we pointed out at the end of the last session, many council Fathers have made their own, calling insistently for an explicit declaration during this council of the maternal role which the Blessed Virgin exercises towards the Christian people. To this end we have considered it opportune to dedicate a title in honor of the Virgin which has been proposed in different parts of the Catholic world and which we find particularly touching, for it sums up in a wonderfully succinct way the privileged position which this council has recognized the Blessed Virgin to have in the Church.

"And so, for the glory of the Virgin and for our consolation, we proclaim Mary Most Holy to be the Mother of the Church, that is, Mother of the entire people of God, faithful as well as pastors, who call her loving Mother, and we desire that from now on she be honored and invoked by the entire people of God under this most pleasing title."

The text makes reference to Jesus' "brethren", an expression which also appears in the Gospels. Given that the Christian faith teaches us that the Virgin Mary had no children other than Jesus, whom she conceived by the action of the Holy Spirit and without intervention of man, this expression cannot mean that Jesus had blood brothers or sisters.

The explanation lies in the peculiarities of Semitic languages. The word used in the New Testament translates a Hebrew term which applied to all the members of a family group and was used for even distant cousins (cf. Lev 10:4) and for nephews (Gen 13:8). See note on Mt 12:46-47. In the New Testament then; the word "brethren" has a very wide meaning--as happens, also, for example, with the word "apostle."

At one point Jesus describes those who hear and keep his word as his "brethren" (Lk 8:21), which seems to imply that, in addition to meaning belonging to the same family group, the word "brother" in the New Testament may be a designation for certain disciples who were particularly loyal to our Lord.

St Paul, for his part, uses this term for all Christians (cf., for example, 1 Cor 1: 10; etc), as does St Peter, according to Acts 12:17.

From: John 19:25-34

The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus (Continuation)
[25] So the soldiers did this. But standing by the cross of Jesus were His mo- ther, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. [26] When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" [27] Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

[28] After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished said (to fulfill the Scrip- ture), "I thirst." [29] A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth. [30] When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said "It is finished"; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Jesus' Side is Pierced. His Burial
[31] Since it was the day of Preparation, in order to prevent the bodies from re- maining on the cross of the sabbath (for that sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. [32] So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him; [33] but when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. [34] But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.


25. Whereas the Apostles, with the exception of St. John, abandon Jesus in the hour of His humiliation, these pious women, who had followed Him during His public life (cf. Lk 8:2-3) now stay with their Master as He dies on the cross (cf. note on Mt 27:55-56).

St. John Paul II explained that our Lady's faithfulness was shown in four ways: first, in her generous desire to do all that God wanted of her (cf. Lk 1:34); second, in her total acceptance of God's will (cf. Lk 1:38); third, in the consistency between her life and the commitment of faith which she made; and, finally, in her withstanding this test. "And only a consistency that lasts throughout the whole of life can be called faithfulness. Mary's 'fiat' in the Annunciation finds its fullness in the silent 'fiat' that she repeats at the foot of the Cross" ("Homily in Mexico Cathedral", 26 January 1979).

The Church has always recognized the dignity of women and their important role in salvation history. It is enough to recall the veneration which from the earliest times the Christian people have had for the Mother of Christ, the Woman "par excellence" and the most sublime and most privileged creature ever to come from the hands of God. Addressing a special message to women, the Second Vatican Council said, among other things: "Women in trial, who stand upright at the foot of the cross like Mary, you who so often in history have given to men the strength to battle unto the very end and to give witness to the point of martyrdom, aid them now still once more to retain courage in their great undertakings, while at the same time maintaining patience and an esteem for humble beginnings" (Vatican II, "Message To Women", 8 December 1965).

26-27. "The spotless purity of John's whole life makes him strong before the Cross. The other apostles fly from Golgotha: he, with the Mother of Christ, remains. Don't forget that purity strengthens and invigorates the character" (St. J. Escriva, "The Way", 144).

Our Lord's gesture in entrusting His Blessed Mother to the disciple's care, has a dual meaning (see p. 19 above and pp. 35ff). For one thing it expresses His filial love for the Virgin Mary. St Augustine sees it as a lesson Jesus gives us on how to keep the fourth commandment: "Here is a lesson in morals. He is doing what He tells us to do and, like a good Teacher, He instructs His own by example, that it is the duty of good children to take care of their parents; as though the wood on which His dying members were fixed were also the chair of the teaching Master" (St Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 119, 2).

Our Lord's words also declare that Mary is our Mother: "The Blessed Virgin also advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of His suffering, associating herself with His sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim who was born of her. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to His disciple" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 58).

All Christians, who are represented in the person of John, are children of Mary. By giving us His Mother to be our Mother, Christ demonstrates His love for His own to the end (cf. Jn 13:1). Our Lady's acceptance of John as her son show her motherly care for us: "the Son of God, and your Son, from the Cross indicated a man to you, Mary, and said: 'Behold, your son' (Jn 19:26). And in that man He entrusted to you every person, He entrusted everyone to you. And you, who at the moment of the Annunciation, concentrated the whole program of your life in those simple words: 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word' (Lk 1:38): embrace everyone, draw close to everyone, seek everyone out with motherly care. Thus is accomplished what the last Council said about your presence in the mystery of Christ and the Church. In a wonderful way you are always found in the mystery of Christ, your only Son, because you are present wherever men and women, His brothers and sisters, are present, wherever the Church is present" (St. John Paul II, "Homily in the Basilica of Guadalupe", 27 January 1979).

"John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, brought Mary into his home, into his life. Spiritual writers have seen these words of the Gospel as an invitation to all Christians to bring Mary into their lives. Mary certainly wants us to invoke her, to approach her confidently, to appeal to her as our mother, asking her to 'show that you are our mother'" (St. J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 140).

Sl. John Paul II constantly treats our Lady as his Mother. In bidding farewell to the Virgin of Czestochowa he prayed in this way: "Our Lady of the Bright Mountain, Mother of the Church! Once more I consecrate myself to you 'in your mater- nal slavery of love'. 'Totus tuus!' I am yours! I consecrate to you the whole Church -- everyone to the ends of the earth! I consecrate to you humanity; I consecrate to you all men and women, my brothers and sisters. All peoples and all nations. I consecrate to you Europe and all the continents. I consecrate to you Rome and Poland, united, through your servant, by a fresh bond of love. Mother, accept us! Mother, do not abandon us! Mother, be our guide!" ("Farewell Address" at Jasna Gora Shrine, 6 June 1979).

28-29. This was foretold in the Old Testament: "They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink" (Ps 69:21). This does not mean that they gave Jesus vinegar to increase his suffering; it was customary to offer victims of crucifixion water mixed with vinegar to relieve their thirst. In addition to the natural dehydration Jesus was suffering, we can see in his thirst an expression of his burning desire to do his Father's will and to save a souls: "On the Cross he cried out "Sitio"!, 'I thirst'. He thirsts for us, for our love, for our souls and for all the souls we ought to be bringing to him along the way of the Cross, which is the way to immortality and heavenly glory" (St. J. Escriva, "Friends of God", 202).

30. Jesus, nailed on the cross, dies to atone for all the sins and vileness of man. Despite his sufferings he dies serenely, majestically, bowing his head now that he has accomplished the mission entrusted to him. "Who can sleep when he wishes to, as Jesus died when he wished to? Who can lay aside his clothing when he wishes to, as he put off the flesh when he chose to?... What must be hope or fear to find his power when he comes in judgment, if it can be seen to be so great at the moment of his death!" (St Augustine, "In loann. Evang.", 119, 6).

"Let us meditate on our Lord, wounded from head to foot out of love for us. Using a phrase which approaches the truth, although it does not express its full reality, we can repeat the words of an ancient writer: 'The body of Christ is a portrait in pain'. At the first sight of Christ bruised and broken -- just a lifeless body taken down from the cross and given to his Mother -- at the sight of Jesus destroyed in this way, we might have thought he had failed utterly. Where are the crowds that once followed him, where is the kingdom he foretold? But this is victory, not defeat. We are nearer the resurrection than ever before; we are going to see the glory which he has won with his obedience" (St. J. Escriva, "Christ is Passing By", 95).

31-33. Jesus dies on the Preparation day of the Passover -- the "Parasceve" -- that is, the eve, when the paschal lambs were officially sacrificed in the Temple. By stressing this, the evangelist implies that Christ's sacrifice took the place of the sacrifices of the Old Law and inaugurated the New Alliance in his Blood (cf. Heb 9:12).

The Law of Moses required that the bodies should be taken down before nightfall (Deut 21:22-23); this is why Pilate is asked to have their legs broken, to bring on death and allow them to be buried before it gets dark, particularly since the next day is the feast of the Passover.

On the date of Jesus' death see "The Dates of the Life of our Lord Jesus Christ" in "The Navarre Bible: St Mark" pp. 48ff.

34. The outflow of blood and water has a natural explanation. Probably the water was an accumulation of liquid in the lungs due to Jesus' intense sufferings.
As on other occasions, the historical events narrated in the fourth Gospel are laden with meaning. St Augustine and Christian tradition see the sacrament and the Church itself flowing from Jesus' open side: "Here was opened wide the door of life, from which the sacraments of the Church have flowed out, without which there is no entering in unto life which is true life. [...] Here the second Adam with bowed head slept upon the cross, that thence a wife might be formed of him, flowing from his side while he slept. O death, by which the dead come back to life! is there anything purer than this Blood, any wound more healing!" (St Augustine, "In Ioann. Evang.", 120, 2).

The Second Vatican Council, for its part, teaches: "The Church--that is, the kingdom of Christ--already present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world. The origin and growth of the Church are symbolized by the blood and water which flowed from the open side of the crucified Jesus (Vatican II, "Lu- men Gentium", 3).

"Jesus on the cross, with his heart overflowing with love for men, is such an eloquent commentary on the value of people and things that words only get in the way. People, their happiness and their life, are so important that the very Son of God gave himself to redeem and cleanse and raise them up" (St. J. Escriva, "Christ is Passing By", 165).

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Scriptural Cheat Sheet for Catholic Apologetics

Scriptural Cheat Sheet for Catholic Apologetics
From Ave Maria Radio

Against Sola Fide/Need for Good Works

    Jas 2:14-26 ... what good is faith without works'.'

    Heb 10:26 ... must avoid sin.

    Jas 5:20 ... "earning" forgiveness.

Lk 6:46; Mt 7:21; Mt 19:16-21; Jn 5:29 ... must do the will of God.

    1 Cor 9:27 .. "buffet my body ..."

Phil 2:12; 2 Cor 5:10; Rom 2:6-10,13,3:31; Mt 25:32-46:

    Gal 6:6-10; Rev 20:12 ... works have merit.

    1 Jn 2:3-4; 1 Jn 3:24: 1 Jn 5:3 ... keep commandments.


Against Sola Scriptura / Need for Tradition

Jn 21:25 ... not everything is in the Bible.

2 Thes 2:15; 2 Tim 2:2: 1 Cor 11:2; 1 Thes 2:13 ... Paul speaks

    of oral tradition.

Acts 2:42 ... early Christians followed apostolic tradition.

2 Pet 3:16 ... Bible hard to understand, get distorted.

2 Jn 1:12;3 Jn 1:13-14 ... more oral tradition.

2 Pet 1:20-21 ... against personal interpretation.

Acts 8:31; Heb 5:12 ... guidance needed to interpret scriptures.


Baptism of Infants

Acts 2:38-39: Acts 16:15, 16:33, 18:8; 1 Cor 1:16 ... suggests

    baptism of all, including children.

Jn 3:5; Rom 6:4 ... necessity of baptism.

Col 2:11-12 ... circumcision (normally performed on infants c.f.

    Gen 17:12) replaced by baptism.

 "Brothers" of Jesus

 Mary wife of Cleophas and "sister" of the Virgin Mary (Jn 19:25)

    is the mother of James and Joset (Mk 15:47; Mt 27:56) who arc

    called the "brothers ol'Jesus" (Mk 6:3).

Acts 1:12-15 ... apostles, Mary. "some women" and Jesus'

    "brothers" number about 120. That is a lot of "brothers."

Gen 14:14 ... Lot, Abraham's nephew (Gen 11:26-28), described as

    Abraham's brother (KJV).

Gen 29:15 ... Laban, Jacob's uncle, calls Jacob his "brother"


John 19:26-27 ... Jesus gives care of Mary to John, not one of his


 2 Sam 6:23. Gen 8:7, Dt 34:6 ..."until."

Church and Authority

Acts 2:42 ... doctrine, community, sacred rite (bread).

Eph 5:25-26 ... Christ loved the Church.

1 Tim 3:15 ... church is pillar/foundation of truth.

Mt 16:18; 20:20 ... Christ protects Church.

Heb 13:17 ...obey.

Mt 18:17-18 ... church as final authority.

Mt 23:2 ... Pharisees succeeded Moses (seat of Moses).

1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:20 ... excommunication.

Deuterocanonicals / Greek OT Canon

Dcuterocanonicals used in NT: 2 Mc 6:18-7:42 ... Heb 11:35;

    Wisdom 3:5-6 ... 1 Pet 1:6-7; Wisdom 13:1-9 ... Rom 1:18-32

Septuagint (Gk, w/Dcutcrocanonicals) version ofOT quoted in NT,

    noticably different from Hebrew version: Is 7:14 ... Mt 1:23; Is

    40:3 ... Mt 3:3; Joel 2:30-31 ... Acts 2:19-29; Ps 95:7-9 ... Heb

    3:7-9 ... etc.


Mt 26:26-27; Mk 14:22,24; Lk 22:19-20; 1 Cor 10:24-25 ... this is

    my body ... this is my blood.

 1 Cor 11:26-30 ... sinning against the body and blood.

Jn 6:32-58 ... long discourse on Eucharist.

Gen 14:18; Ps 110:4; Heb 7:1-17 ... Melchizedek.

Acts 2:42 ... breaking of bread.

Ps 27:l-2; Is 9:18-20; Is 49:26; Micah 3:3; Rev 17:6,16...

    symbolic interpretation ofJn 6 inappropriate.

Forgiveness of Sins

Jn 20:22-23 ... "if you forgive ... they are forgiven."

 Mt 18:18 ... binding on earth and heaven.

2 Cor 5:18 ... ministry of reconciliation.

Jas 5:14-16 ... forgiveness of sins, anointing of the sick, confession.


 1 Jn 1:7, 2 Pet 1:9 ... purified from sins.

Jn 1:29, Heb 9:26-28 ... takes away sin.

Ps 50:3, Ps 102:12, Is 43:25 ... blot out, clear away sin.

Rom 2:13, Rom 3:20... future justification.

Heb 11:8...Gen 12:1-4; Rom 4:2-3...Gen 15:6; Jas 2:21-23...

    Gen 22:1-18 ...justifications of Abraham.

2 Pet 1:4 ... become partakers of the divine nature.


 Gen 5:24; Heb 11:5; 2 Kings 2:1-13 ... Enoch and Elijah taken

    to heaven.

 Lk 1:28 ... annunciation.

 Lk 1:42-48 ... blessed are you among women.

 2 Tim 4:8, Jas 1:12, 1 Pet 5:4, Rev 2:10 ... coronation awaits saints.

 Jn 2:1-5 ... Mary's intercession.


Mt 10:l-4; Mk 3:16-19; Lk 6:14-16; Acts 1:13; Lk 9:32 ...

    Peter always mentioned first, as foremost apostle.

Mt 18:21; Mk 8:29; Lk 12:41; Jn 6:69 ... Peter speaks for

    the apostles.

Acts 2:14-40 ... Pentecost: Peter who first preached.

Acts 3:6-7 ... Peter worked lirst healing.

Acts 10:46-48 ... Gentiles to be baptized revealed to Peter.

Jn 1:42 ... Simon is Cephas (Aramaic: Kepha for rock).

Mt 16:18-19 ... "on this Rock ... keys ... bind ... loose"

Is 22:22; Rev 1:18 ... keys as symbol of authority.

Jn 21:17 ... "feed my sheep"

Lk 22:31-32 ... "Simon ... strengthen your brethren".

Lk 10:1-2, 16; Jn 13:20; 2 Cor 5:20; Gal 4:14; Acts 5:1-5 ...

    "vicars" (substitutes) of Christ.

Mk 6:20;Lk 1:70,2:23; Rom 12:1: Act 3:21. 1 Cor 7:14: Eph 3:5;

    Col 1:22 ... humans can be holy ("call no one holy").

Priesthood and Worship

Acts 1:15-26; 2 Tim 2:2; Tit 1:5 ...unbroken succession.

Acts 15:6,23; 1 Tim 4:14, 5:22; 1 Tim 5:17; Jas 5:13-15 .;.

    presbyters/elders (priests) were ordained, preached and taught

    the flock, administered sacraments.

Lk 16:24; Rom 4; 1 Cor 4:14-15; Acts 7:2; 1 Thes 2:11;

    1 Jn 2:13-14 ... "call no one father"".'

 1 Cor 7:7-9 ... Paul unmarried.

Mt 19:12; 1 Cor 7:32,33 ...celibacy.

Gen 14:18;Ps 110:4; Heb 7:1-17... Melchizedek.

Rev 4:8 ... "vain repetition"?

 1 Kg 8:54; 2 Chr 6:13; Ezra 9:5; Mt 17:14; Lk 5:8 ... kneeling.

Rev 8:3-4 ... incense.

 1 Cor 12 ... different roles of members ofbody.


Lk 12:59; 1 Cor3:15; 1 Pet 1:7; Mt 5:25-26 ... temporary agony

Heb 12:6-11 ... God's painful discipline.

Mt 12:32 ... no forgiveness ... nor in the age to come.

 1 Pet 3:19 ... purgatory (limbo?).

Rev 21:27 ... nothing unclean shall enter heaven.

Heb 12:23 ... souls in heaven are perfect.

Col 1:24; 2 Sam 12:14 ... "extra" suffering.

2 Mac 12:43-16 ... sacrifice for the dead.

2 Tim 1:15-18 ... prayer for Onesiphorus for "that Day."

1 Jn 5:14-17 ... mortal/venial sins


Mk 12:26-27 ... "not God of the dead, but of the living."

Jn 15:1-8 ... vine and its branches.

1 Cor 12:25-27; Rom 12:4-5 ... body of Christ.

Eph 6:18; Rom 15:30; Col 4:3; 1 Thes 1:11 ... intercessory prayer.

Jos 5:14; Dan 8:17; Tob 12:16 ... veneration of angels united

    with God (Mt 18:10).

1 Cor 13:12; 1 John 3:2 ... saints also united with God.

Lk 20-34-38 ... those wlio died are like angels.

2 Mc 15:11-16 ... deceased Onias and Jeremiah interceded

    for Jews.

Rev 8:3-4; Jer 15:1 ... saints' intercession.

Salvation (once and for all?)

 1 Cor 9:27 ... after preaching ... I myself disqualified.

 1 Cor 10:12 ... thinks that he stands ... lest he fall.

Phil 2:12 ... work out salvation with fear and trembling.

Heb 4:1 ... fear of failing to reach salvation.

 1 Jn 5:16,17 ... some sins arc mortal, some not.

Rom 11:21,22 ... spare branches, continue or be cut off.

Statues, Images and Relics

Ex 25:18-22, 26:1,31; Num 21:8-9... God commands images


 1 Kings 6:23-29, 35, 7:29 ... Solomon's temple: statues and


Acts 19:11,12... Paul's handkerchiefs and aprons.

2 Kg 13:20-21 ... Elisha's bones.

Acts 5:15-16 ... Peter's shadow.

Mt 9:20-22 ... Jesus' garment cures woman.