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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 1:11-2:2

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 30, 2013

In order to help provide context this post opens with the bishop’s brief analysis of 2 Thessalonians chapters 1 and 2. His notes on 1:11-2:2 follow. Purple text indicates the bishop’s paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF 2 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER ONE

In this chapter, the Apostle, after the usual Apostolic salutation, returns thanks to God for the exalted virtues of faith and charity which his grace enabled the Thessalonians to display in the midst of sufferings and persecution (1–5). He consoles them, in the next place, by pointing to the rich rewards in store for them—to attain which, however, suffering is necessary—and to the heavy anger reserved, as is meet, for their persecutors, on the day of judgment, when Christ will come in majesty to judge the world (5–8). He describes the coming of the Judge for the twofold purpose of punishing his enemies, and rewarding his faithful servants, in whose exaltation, after suffering persecutions and humiliations, he shall be glorified, and his power and goodness rendered conspicuous—(8–10). Lastly, he prays God to grant the Thessalonians perseverance, and the grace to perform good works worthy of their vocation.

ANALYSIS OF 2 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER TWO

It appears, that certain expressions employed by the Apostle in chapters 4, 5, of the preceding Epistle, as implying the near approach of the day of judgment, produced feelings of terror and alarm in the minds of the Thessalonians. They, in consequence, became indifferent about their temporal concerns and their duties to society. This state of feeling had been artfully employed by the false teachers, to confirm them in these erroneous impressions; these also alleged certain expressions and epistles as emanating from the Apostle, to the same effect. To remedy this state of things, the Apostle beseeches them to be no way affrighted, and to pay no attention to any assertion or epistle purporting to emanate from himself, on this subject (1, 2).

In the next place, he gives two precursory signs, that are to usher in the day of judgment viz., a general apostacy, and the coming of Antichrist (3). He describes the sacrilegious impiety and wicked morals of Antichrist, and reminds the Thessalonians of his oral instructions on the subject, when amongst them, and also of the cause which, he told them, was to retard the public appearance of this impious man, who, at present, works clandestinely and privately by means of his wicked precursors, until the obstacle to his public appearance is removed (4–8). But when this obstacle, whatever it be, is removed, then, this wicked impostor will appear, performing wonders and prodigies, and leading into error those who, in punishment of their resistance to God’s light, will be delivered over by him to the spirit of error (9–11).

He calms any apprehension which the character given of Antichrist might be apt to beget in the minds of the Thessalonians, by assuring them, that there is room for dread on the part of the incredulous, but none whatever as regards those, who are the first fruits of the faithful, or of God’s elect (12, 13). He exhorts them to persevere and firmly hold to the traditions which they have learned (14). He, finally, wishes them perseverance in grace and good works (15, 16).

2Th 1:11  Wherefore also we pray always for you: That our God would make you worthy of his vocation and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith in power:

Wherefore, we always pray for you, that our God may render you worthy of his call (to this glory) by giving you perseverance to the end of your life, and so may fulfil the benevolent designs of his will (in electing you), and perfect by his all-powerful grace the work of your faith (by consummating it in glory).

“Wherefore,” i.e., in order that you may arrive at this exalted glory. We pray him so to perfect in you the work of faith, &c. “Of his vocation.” In Greek, of the vocation, referred to.

2Th 1:12  That the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And that our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you may in turn be glorified, and this owing to the gratuitous goodness of our God, and the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Jesus Christ may be glorified in you.” The final end of his prayer is, that Christ would be glorified in them; and the secondary end is, that they would be glorified in Christ, as the glory and dignity of the master tends to render the servant exalted and glorious.

“According to the grace of our God,” &c., lest they might attribute anything to themselves, the Apostle refers all the praise of these blessings and favours to the gratuitous bounty of God.

2Th 2:1  And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and of our gathering together unto him:

We earnestly beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (which you dread so much), and by our gathering together unto him;

“And of our gathering together,” &c.—(See First Epistle. 4:17). “We shall be taken up into the clouds to meet Christ.” To this, reference is made in the present verse.

2Th 2:2  That you be not easily moved from your sense nor be terrified, neither by spirit nor by word nor by epistle. as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand.

Not to be easily moved from the settled faith and persuasion of your mind (and among other points, regarding the day of judgment), nor to be seized with terror or perturbation, either by any person pretending to a spirit of prophecy, or by any words or Epistle said to emanate from us to the effect, that the day of the Lord was at hand.

 “As if the day of the Lord.” In Greek, the day of Christ. The Vulgate is preferred by critics generally.

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St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 26, 2012

The following post contains St John Chrysostom’s Second Homily on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-8 in it’s entirety. It also contains an excerpt from his third homily, encompassing 2 Thessalonians 1:9-12.

CHRYSOSTOM’S SECOND HOMILY ON ST PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE THESSALONIANS
(On 2 Thess 1:1-8)

2 Th 1:1  Paul and Sylvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians. In God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
2 Th 1:2  Grace unto you: and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The greater part of men do and devise all things with a view to ingratiate themselves with rulers, and with those who are greater than themselves; and they account it a great thing, and think themselves happy, if they can obtain that object. But if to obtain favor with men is so great an advantage, how great must it be to find favor with God? On this account he always thus prefaces his Epistle, and invokes this upon them, knowing that if this be granted, there will be nothing afterwards grievous, but whatever troubles there may be, all will be done away. And that you may learn this, Joseph was a slave a young man, inexperienced, unformed, and suddenly the direction of a house was committed to his hands, and he had to render an account to an Egyptian master. And you know how prone to anger and unforgiving that people is, and when authority and power is added, their rage is greater, being inflamed by power. And this too is manifest from what he did afterwards. For when the mistress made accusation, he bore with it. And yet it was not the part of those who held the garment, but of him who was stripped, to have suffered violence. For he ought to have said, If he had heard that thou didst raise thy voice, as thou sayest, he would have fled, and if he had been guilty, he would not have waited for the coming of his master. But nevertheless he took nothing of this sort into consideration, but unreasonably giving way altogether to anger, he cast him into prison. So thoughtless a person was he. And yet even from other things he might have conjectured the good disposition and the intelligence of the man. But nevertheless, because he was very unreasonable, he never considered any such thing. He therefore who had to do with such a harsh master, and who was intrusted with the administration of his whole house, being a stranger, and solitary, and inexperienced; when God shed abundant grace upon him, passed through all, as if his temptations had not even existed, both the false accusation of his mistress, and the danger of death, and the prison, and at last came to the royal throne.

This blessed man therefore saw how great is the grace of God, and on this account he invokes it upon them. And another thing also he effects, wishing to render them well-disposed to the remaining part of the Epistle; that, though he should reprove and rebuke them, they might not break away from him. For this reason he reminds them before all things of the grace of God, mollifying their hearts, that, even if there be affliction, being reminded of the grace by which they were saved from the greater evil, they may not despair at the less, but may thence derive consolation. As also elsewhere in an Epistle he has said, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son: much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life” (Rom 5:10).

“Grace unto you and peace,” he says, “from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Th 1:3  We are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith groweth exceedingly and the charity of every one of you towards each other aboundeth.

“ We are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren,” he says, “as it is fitting.”  Again a sign of great humility. For he led them to reflect and consider, that if for our good actions others do not admire us first, but God, much more also ought we. And in other respects too he raises up their spirits, because they suffer such things as are not worthy of tears and lamentations, but of thanksgiving to God. But if Paul is thankful for the good of others, what will they suffer, who not only are not thankful, but even pine at it.

2:3 cont. “because your faith groweth exceedingly and the charity of every one of you towards each other aboundeth.”

And how, you say, can faith groweth?That is when we suffer something dreadful for it. It is a great thing for it to be established, and not to be carried away by reasonings. But when the winds assail us, when the rains burst upon us, when a violent storm is raised on every side, and the waves succeed each other—then that we are not shaken, is a proof of no less than this, that it grows, and grows exceedingly, and becomes loftier. For as in the case of the flood all the stony and lower parts are soon hidden, but as many things as are above, it reaches not them, so also the faith that is become lofty, is not drawn downwards. For this reason he does not say “your faith groweth;” but “groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you towards each other aboundeth.” Seest thou how this contributes for the ease of affliction, to be in close guard together, and to adhere to one another? From this also arose much consolation. The love and faith, therefore, that is weak, afflictions shake, but that which is strong they render stronger. For a soul that is in grief, when it is weak, can add nothing to itself; but that which is strong doth it then most. And observe their love. They did not love one indeed, and not love another, but it was equal on the part of all. For this he has intimated, by saying, “of every one of you toward each other.” For it was equally poised, as that of one body. Since even now we find love existing among many, but this love becoming the cause of division. For when we are knit together in parties of two or three, and the two indeed, or three or four, are closely bound to one another, but draw themselves off from the rest, because they can have recourse to these, and in all things confide in these; this is the division of love—not love. For tell me, if the eye should bestow upon the hand the foresight which it has for the whole body, and withdrawing itself from the other members, should attend to that alone, would it not injure the whole? Assuredly. So also if we confine to one or two the love which ought to be extended to the whole Church of God, we injure both ourselves and them, and the whole. For these things are not of love, but of division; schisms, and distracting rents. Since even if I separate and take a member from the whole man, the part separated indeed is united in itself, is continuous, all compacted together, yet even so it is a separation, since it is not united to the rest of the body.

For what advantage is it, that thou lovest a certain person exceedingly? It is a human love. But if it is not a human love, but thou lovest for God’s sake, then love all. For so God hath commanded to love even our enemies. And if He hath commanded to love our enemies, how much more those who have never aggrieved us? But, sayest thou, I love, but not in that way. Rather, thou dost not love at all. For when thou accusest, when thou enviest, when thou layest snares, how dost thou love? “But,” sayest thou, “I do none of these things.” But when a man is ill spoken of, and thou dost not shut the mouth of the speaker, dost not disbelieve his sayings, dost not check him, of what love is this the sign? “And the charity,” he says, “of every one of you all toward one another aboundeth.”

2 Th 1:4  So that we ourselves also glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith, and in all your persecutions and tribulations: which you endure

“So that we ourselves also glory in you in the churches of God.” Indeed in the first Epistle he says, that all the Churches of Macedonia and Achaia resounded, having heard of their faith. “So that we need not,” he says, “to speak anything. For they themselves relate to us what manner of entering in we had unto you.” (1Th 1:8-9) But here he says, “so that we glory.” What then is it that is said? There he says that they need not instruction from him, but here he has not said that we teach them, but “we glory,” and are proud of you. If therefore we both give thanks to God for you, and glory among men, much more ought you to do so for your own good deeds. For if your good actions are worthy of boasting from others, how are they worthy of lamentation from you? It is impossible to say. “

So that we ourselves,” he says, “glory in you in the Churches of God, for your patience and faith.”  Here he shows that much time had elapsed. For patience is shown by much time, not in two or three days. And he does not merely say patience. It is the part of patience indeed properly not yet to enjoy the promised blessings. But here he speaks of a greater patience. And of what sort is that? That which is shown in persecutions. “For your patience,” he says, “and faith, and in all your persecutions and tribulations which you endure.” For they were living with enemies who were continually endeavoring on every side to injure them, and they were manifesting a patience firm and immovable. Let all those blush who for the sake of the patronage of men pass over to other doctrines. For whilst it was yet the beginning of the preaching, poor men who lived by their daily earnings took upon themselves enmities from rulers and the first men of the state, when there was nowhere king or governor who was a believer; and submitted to irreconcilable war, and not even so were unsettled.

2 Th 1:5  For an example of the just judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which also you suffer.

“For an example of the just judgment of God.” See how he gathers comfort for them. He had said, We give thanks to God, he had said, We glory among men: these things indeed are honorable. But that which he most seeks for, who is in suffering, is, deliverance from evils, and vengeance upon those who are evil entreating them. For when the soul is weak, it most seeks for these things, for the philosophic soul does not even seek these things. Why then does he say, “an example of the just Judgment of God”? Here he has glanced at the retribution on either side, both of those who do the ill, and of those who suffer it, as if he had said, that the justice of God may be shown when He crowns you indeed, but punishes them. At the same time also he comforts them, showing that from their own labors and toils they are crowned, and according to the proportion of righteousness. But he puts their part first. For although a person even vehemently desires revenge, yet he first longs for reward.

For this reason he says, “that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which also you suffer.”  This then does not come to pass from the circumstance that those who injure them are more powerful than they, but because it is so that they must enter into the kingdom. “For through many tribulations,” he says, “we must enter into the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)

2 Th 1:6  Seeing it is a just thing with God to repay tribulation to them that trouble you:
2 Th 1:7  And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with the angels of his power:

The phrase “seeing it i a just thing” here is put for “because,” which we also use, in speaking of things that are quite evident and not to be denied; instead of saying, “Because it is exceedingly righteous.” “If so be,” he says, “seeing it is a just thing” with God to punish these, he will certainly punish them. As if he had said, “If God cares for human affairs,” “If God takes thought.” And he does not put it of his own opinion, but among things confessedly true; as if one said, “If God hates the wicked,” that he may compel them to grant that He does hate them. For such sentences are above all indisputable, inasmuch as they also themselves know that it is just. For if this is just with men, much more with God.

“To repay,” he writes,  “tribulation to them that trouble you, and to you who are troubled, rest with us.” What then? Is the retribution equal? By no means, but see by what follows how he shows that it is more severe, and the “rest” much greater. Behold also another consolation, in that they have their partners in the afflictions, as partners also in the retribution. He joins them in their crowns with those who had performed infinitely more and greater works. Then he adds also the period, and by the description leads their minds upward, all but opening heaven already by his word, and setting it before their eyes; and he places around Him the angelic host, both from the place and from the attendants amplifying the image, so that they may be refreshed a little. “And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with the angels of his power.”

2 Th 1:8  In a flame of fire, giving vengeance to them who know not God and who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If they that have not obeyed the Gospel suffer vengeance, what will not they suffer who besides their disobedience also afflict you? And see his intelligence; he says not here those who afflict you, but those “who obey not.” So that although not on your account, yet on His own it is necessary to punish them. This then is said in order to full assurance, that it is altogether necessary for them to be punished: but what was said before, was said that they also might be honored, because they suffer these things on your account. The one causes them to believe concerning the punishment; the other to be pleased, because for the sake of what has been done to them they suffer these things.

All this was said to them, but it applies also to us. When therefore we are in affliction, let us consider these things. Let us not rejoice at the punishment of others as being avenged, but as ourselves escaping from such punishment and vengeance. For what advantage is it to us when others are punished? Let us not, I beseech you, have such souls. Let us be invited to virtue by the prospect of the kingdom. For he indeed who is exceedingly virtuous is induced neither by fear nor by the prospect of the kingdom, but for Christ’s sake alone, as was the case with Paul. Let us, however, even thus consider the blessings of the kingdom, the miseries of hell, and thus regulate and school ourselves; let us in this way bring ourselves to the things that are to be practiced. When you see anything good and great in the present life, think of the kingdom, and you will consider it as nothing. When you see anything terrible, think of hell, and you will deride it. When you are possessed by carnal desire, think of the fire, think also of the pleasure of sin itself, that it is worth nothing, that it has not even pleasure in it. For if the fear of the laws that are enacted here has so great power as to withdraw us from wicked actions, how much more should the remembrance of things future, the vengeance that is immortal, the punishment that is everlasting? If the fear of an earthly king withdraws us from so many evils, how much more the fear of the King Eternal?

Whence then can we constantly have this fear? If we continually hearken to the Scriptures. For if the sight only of a dead body so depresses the mind, how much more must hell and the fire unquenchable, how much more the worm that never dieth. If we always think of hell, we shall not soon fall into it. For this reason God has threatened punishment; if it was not attended with great advantage to think of it, God would not have threatened it. But because the remembrance of it is able to work great good, for this reason He has put into our souls the terror of it, as a wholesome medicine. Let us not then overlook the great advantage arising from it, but let us continually advert to it, at our dinners, at our suppers. For conversation about pleasant things profits the soul nothing, but renders it more languid, while that about things painful and melancholy cuts off all that is relaxed and dissolute in it, and converts it, and braces it when unnerved. He who converses of theaters and actors does not benefit the soul, but inflames it more, and renders it more careless. He who concerns himself and is busy in other men’s matters, often even involves it in dangers by this curiosity. But he who converses about hell incurs no dangers, and renders it more sober.

But dost thou fear the offensiveness of such words? Hast thou then, if thou art silent, extinguished hell? or if thou speakest of it, hast thou kindled it? Whether thou speakest of it or not, the fire boils forth. Let it be continually spoken of, that thou mayest never fall into it. It is not possible that a soul anxious about hell should readily sin. For hear the most excellent advice, “Remember,” it says, “thy last things” (Sirach 28:6), and thou wilt not sin for ever. A soul that is fearful of giving account cannot but be slow to transgression. For fear being vigorous in the soul does not permit anything worldly to exist in it. For if discourse raised concerning hell so humbles and brings it low, does not the reflection constantly dwelling upon the soul purify it more than any fire?

Let us not remember the kingdom so much as hell. For fear has more power than the promise. And I know that many would despise ten thousand blessings, if they were rid of the punishment, inasmuch as it is even now sufficient for me to escape vengeance, and not to be punished. No one of those who have hell before their eyes will fall into hell. No one of those who despise hell will escape hell. For as among us those who fear the judgment-seats will not be apprehended by them, but those who despise them are chiefly those who fall under them, so it is also in this case. If the Ninevites had not feared destruction, they would have been overthrown, but because they feared, they were not overthrown. If in the time of Noah they had feared the deluge, they would not have been drowned. And if the Sodomites had feared they would not have been consumed by fire. It is a great evil to despise a threat. He who despises threatening will soon experience its reality in the execution of it. Nothing is so profitable as to converse concerning hell. It renders our souls purer than any silver. For hear the prophet saying, “Thy judgments are always before me.” (Psalm 17:22, Septuagint). For although it pains the hearer, it benefits him very much.

For such indeed are all things that profit. For medicines too, and food, at first annoy the sick, and then do him good. And if we cannot bear the severity of words, it is manifest that we shall not be able to bear affliction in very deed. If no one endures a discourse concerning hell, it is evident, that if persecution came on, no one would ever stand firm against fire, against sword. Let us exercise our ears not to be over soft and tender: for from this we shall come to endure even the things themselves. If we be habituated to hear of dreadful things, we shall be habituated also to endure dreadful things. But if we be so relaxed as not to endure even words, when shall we stand against things? Do you see how the blessed Paul despises all things here, and dangers one after another, as not even temptations? Wherefore? Because he had been in the practice of despising hell, for the sake of what was God’s will. He thought even the experience of hell to be nothing for the sake of the love of Christ; while we do not even endure a discourse concerning it for our own advantage. Now therefore having heard a little, go your ways; but I beseech you if there is any love in you, constantly to revert to discourses concerning these things. They can do you no harm, even if they should not benefit, but assuredly they will benefit you too. For according to our discourses, the soul is qualified. For evil communications, he says, “corrupt good manners.” Therefore also good communications improve it; therefore also fearful discourses make it sober. For the soul is a sort of wax. For if you apply cold discourses, you harden and make it callous; but if fiery ones, you melt it; and having melted it, you form it to what you will, and engrave the royal image upon it. Let us therefore stop up our ears to discourses that are vain. It is no little evil; for from it arise all evils.

If our mind had been practiced to apply to divine discourses, it would not apply to others; and not applying to others, neither would it betake itself to evil actions. For words are the road to works. First we think, then we speak, then we act. Many men, even when before sober, have often from disgraceful words gone on to disgraceful actions. For our soul is neither good nor evil by nature, but becomes both the one and the other from choice. As therefore the sail carries the ship wherever the wind may blow, or rather as the rudder moves the ship, if the wind be favorable, so also thought will sail without danger, if good words from a favorable quarter waft it. But if the contrary, often they will even overwhelm the reason. For what winds are to ships, that discourses are to souls. Wherever you will, you may move and turn it. For this reason one exhorting says, “Let thy whole discourse be in the law of the Most High.” (see Sirach 9:15) Wherefore, I exhort you, when we receive children from the nurse, let us not accustom them to old wives’ stories, but let them learn from their first youth that there is a Judgment, that there is a punishment; let it be infixed in their minds. This fear being rooted in them produces great good effects. For a soul that has learnt from its first youth to be subdued by this expectation, will not soon shake off this fear. But like a horse obedient to the bridle, having the thought of hell seated upon it, walking orderly, it will both speak and utter things profitable; and neither youth nor riches, nor an orphan state, nor any other thing, Will be able to injure it, having its reason so firm and able to hold out against everything.

By these discourses let us regulate as well ourselves as our wives too, our servants, our children, our friends, and, if possible, our enemies. For with these discourses we are able to cut off the greater part of our sins, and it is better to dwell upon things grievous than upon things agreeable, and it is manifest from hence. For, tell me, if you should go into a house where a marriage is celebrated, for a season you are delighted at the spectacle, but afterwards having gone away, you pine with grief that you have not so much. But if you enter the house of mourners, even though they are very rich, when you go away you will be rather refreshed. For there you have not conceived envy, but comfort and consolation in your poverty. You have seen by facts, that riches are no good, poverty no evil, but they are things indifferent. So also now, if you talk about luxury, you the more vex your soul, that is not able perhaps to be luxurious. But if you are speaking against luxury, and introduce discourse concerning hell, the thing will cheer you, and beget much pleasure. For when you consider that luxury will not be able to defend us at all against that fire, you will not seek after it; but if you reflect that it is wont to kindle it even more, you will not only not seek, but will turn from it and reject it.

Let us not avoid discourses concerning hell, that we may avoid hell. Let us not banish the remembrance of punishment, that we may escape punishment. If the rich man had reflected upon that fire, he would not have sinned; but because he never was mindful of it, therefore he fell into it. Tell me, O man, being about to stand before the Judgment-seat of Christ, dost thou speak of all things rather than of that? And When you have a matter before a judge, often only relating to words, neither day nor night, at no time or season dost thou talk of anything else, but always of that business, and when thou art about to give an account of thy whole life, and to submit to a trial, canst thou not bear even with others reminding thee of that Judgment? For this reason therefore all things are ruined and undone, because when we are about to stand before a human tribunal concerning matters of this life, we move everything, we solicit all men, we are constantly anxious about it, we do everything for the sake of it: but when we are about, after no long time, to come before the Judgment-seat of Christ, we do nothing either by ourselves, or by others; we do not entreat the Judge. And yet He grants to us a long season of forbearance, and does not snatch us away in the midst of our sins, but permits us to put them off, and that Goodness and Lovingkindness leaves nothing undone of all that belongs to Himself. But all is of no avail; on this account the punishment will be the heavier. But God forbid it should be so! Wherefore, I beseech you, let us even if but now become watchful. Let us keep hell before our eyes. Let us consider that inexorable Account, that, thinking of those things, we may both avoid vice, and choose virtue, and may be able to obtain the blessings promised to those who love Him, by the grace and lovingkindness, &c.

AN EXCERPT FROM CHRYSOSTOM’S THIRD HOMILY ON ST PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE THESSALONIANS
(On 2 Thess 1:9-12)

2 Th 1:9  Who shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction, from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his power:

There are many men, who form good hopes not by abstaining from their sins, but by thinking that hell is not so terrible as it is said to be, but milder than what is threatened, and temporary, not eternal; and about this they philosophize much. But I could show from many reasons, and conclude from the very expressions concerning hell, that it is not only not milder, but much more terrible than is threatened. But I do not now intend to discourse concerning these things. For the fear even from bare words is sufficient, though we do not fully unfold their meaning. But that it is not temporary, hear Paul now saying, concerning those who know not God, and who do not believe in the Gospel, that they “shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction.” How then is that temporary which is everlasting? “From the face of the Lord,” he says. What is this? He here wishes to say how easily it might be. For since they were then much puffed up, there is no need, he says, of much trouble; it is enough that God comes and is seen, and all are involved in punishment deed will be Light, but to others vengeance.

2 Th 1:10  When he shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed; because our testimony was believed upon you in that day.

“And from the glory of his power,” he says, (at the end of verse 9), “when he shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be made wonderful in all them who have believed.”

Is God glorified? Yea, he says, in all the Saints. How? For when they that puff so greatly see those who were scourged by them, who were despised, who were derided, even those now near to Him, it is His glory, or rather it is their glory, both theirs and His; His indeed, because He did not forsake them; theirs, because they were thought worthy of so great honor. For as it is His riches, that there are faithful men, so also it is His glory that there are those who are to enjoy His blessings. It is the glory of Him that is good, to have those to whom He may impart His beneficence. “And to be made wonderful,” he says, “in all them that believed,” that is, “through them that believed.” See here again, “in” is used for “through.” For through them He is shown to be admirable, when He brings to so much splendor those who were pitiable and wretched, and who had suffered unnumbered ills, and had believed. His power is shown then; because although they seem to be deserted here, yet nevertheless they there enjoy great glory; then especially is shown all the glory and the power of God. How? “Because our testimony was believed upon you in that day.”

2 Th 1:11  Wherefore also we pray always for you: That our God would make you worthy of his vocation and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith in power:

“Wherefore also we pray always for you.” That is, when those are brought into public view, who have suffered unnumbered ills, deigned to make them apostatize from the faith, and yet have not yielded, but have believed, God is glorified. Then is shown the glory of these men also. “Call none blessed,” it says, “before his death.” (Sirach 11:28) On this account he says, in that day will be shown those who believed. “Wherefore also we pray,” he says, “always for you: That our God would make you worthy of his vocation and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith in power.”

“That God would make you,” he says, “worthy of his vocation”; for they were not called. Therefore he has added, “and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness .” Since he also who was clothed in filthy garments, was called, but did not abide in his calling, but for this reason was the more rejected. “Of his vocation,” namely that to the bride-chamber. Since the five virgins also were called. “Behold” it says, “the bridegroom cometh.” (see Matt 25:6) And they prepared themselves, but did not enter in. But he speaks of that other calling. Showing therefore what calling he is speaking of, he has added, “and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness and the work of faith in power.” This is the calling, he says, that we seek. See how gently he takes them down. For that they may not be rendered vain by the excess of commendation, as if they had done great deeds, and may not become slothful, he shows that something still is wanting to them, so long as they are in this life. Which also he said in his Epistle to the Hebrews. “For you have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Heb 12:4) “And fulfill all the good pleasure,” he says, that is, His gratification, persuasion, full assurance. That is, that the persuasion of God may be fulfilled, that nothing may be wanting to you, that you may be so, as He wills. And every “work of faith,” he says, “with power.” What is this? The patient endurance of persecutions, that we may not faint, he says.

2 Th 1:12  That the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.

(He spoke there of glory, he speaks of it also here. He said, that they are glorified, so that they might even boast. He said, what was much more, that they also glorify God. He said, that they will receive that glory. But here too he means; For the Master being glorified, the servants also are glorified. For those who glorify their Master, are much more glorified themselves, both by that very thing, and apart from it. For tribulation for the sake of Christ is glory, and that thing he everywhere calls glory. And by how much the more we suffer anything dishonorable, so much the more illustrious we become. Then again showing that this also itself is of God, he says, “according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ ”; that is, this grace He Himself has given us, that He may be glorified in us, and that He may glorify us in Him. How is He glorified in us? Because we prefer nothing before Him. How are we glorified in Him? Because we have received power from Him, so that we do not at all yield to the evils that are brought upon us. For when temptation happens, at the same time God is glorified, and we too. For they glorify Him, because He has so nerved us; they admire us, because we have rendered ourselves worthy. And all these things are done by the grace of God.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 23, 2012

To help provide context this post opens with Father Callan’s Summary of 2 Thess 3:6-15 and 2 Thess 3:16-18, followed by his notes on the reading. Text in red are my additions.

CORRECTION FOR DISORDERLY MEMBERS, AND EXHORTATION
TO THE LOYAL

A Summary of 2 Thess 3:6-15~Idleness at Thessalonica on the part of many who were looking for the early arrival of the Parousia had become worse since the reception of 1 Thess. These disturbers are now more sternly rebuked by the Apostles, with an appeal to their own example, who worked for their own living while preaching the Gospel (ver. 6-12). After rebuking the disorderly and troublesome, the Apostles address the good members, encouraging them to perseverance in works of faith and asking them to avoid the disobedient (ver. 13-15).

CONCLUSION OF THE LETTER

A Summary of 2 Thess 3:16-18~In closing his letter St. Paul wishes peace and the divine presence to all the faithful at Thessalonica; he salutes them in his own handwriting, as a sign of the genuineness of this Epistle, and embraces all in a final blessing.

6. And we charge you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they received of us.

We charge you, brethren, etc. Speaking in the name and with the authority of our Lord, the Apostles now command the Thessalonians to avoid all those whose moral conduct (2 Thess 3:11) is not according to the written and oral teaching which the Thessalonian Church has received. They therefore issue a species of excommunication against those idle and disturbing members of the Church, who, on pretext of the imminence of the Parousia, have given up their regular pursuits and are living on the charity of their neighbors. These directions, however, are to be executed in charity and for the spiritual benefit of the offenders (2 Thess 3:14-15).

The tradition, etc. See above, on 2:14. Here is what Father Callan wrote on that passage:

Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.

Therefore, brethren, etc., i.e., since you are called to so great a destiny.

Stand fast in the faith and practice of your religion.

And hold the traditions, i.e., the instructions, the dogmatic and moral teachings, which we have given you, “whether by word” of mouth, “or by our epistle,” i.e., 1 Thess. In these last words we have a plain case against the teachings of Protestantism, that Scripture is the only source of divine revelation, to the exclusion of what has been passed down by word of mouth or tradition. On this passage St. Chrysostom says: “From this it is clear that the Apostles did not give everything through Epistles, but many things also not in writings; and these also worthy of faith. Wherefore, we also regard the tradition of the Church as worthy of faith. It is tradition, seek nothing further.“

They received. This is the older reading; but some authorities prefer another good reading, “you received.” There is little support for “he received,” as in the Authorized Version. For a more real excommunication, see 1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:20.

7. For yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, for we were not disorderly among you;

In verses 7-9 the Apostles appeal to their own conduct and example while at Thessalonica as a model which the faithful should imitate.

Disorderly means idle, living on other people, as explained in the following verse.

8. Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nothing, but in labor and in toil we worked night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of you:

Eat any man’s bread is a Hebraism meaning “to partake of food,” “to feast,” “to live on.” In order not to be any burden to the faithful the Apostle and his comrades worked day and night to make their own living. Cf. 1 Cor 9:15 ff.; 2 Cor 11:7 ff.; 1 Thess 2:9 ff.

9. Not as if we had not power, but that we might give ourselves a pattern unto you to imitate us.

It was not that the Apostles had not the right to demand temporal support for their spiritual services, but that they might give the faithful an example of self-denial in things legitimate for the sake of the Gospel.

10. For also when we were with you this we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat.

These things St. Paul and his companions had inculcated, not only by example, but also by their express teachings while at Thessalonica.

That, if any man will not work, etc. This was probably a proverbial expression, based on the rule of Gen 3:19: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, etc.” It is to be noted that the Apostle says “will not work,” and not “can not work”; for the sick and disabled have a right to charity and care by others. Mere idleness for the sake of pleasure is here condemned authoritatively.

16. Now the Lord of peace himself give you everlasting peace in every place. The Lord be with you all.

In view of the disturbance which has upset the Thessalonian Church, St. Paul now asks our Lord, the author of peace, to give the faithful there lasting peace of mind and soul.

In every place. This is also the reading of the Gothic version and of the MSS., A, D, F, G; but the majority of the best Greek MSS. and the Syriac and Coptic versions have: “In every way.”

The Lord be with you all, including the disorderly.

17. The salutation of Paul with my own hand; which is the sign in every epistle. So I write.

The salutation of Paul with my own hand. He means to say that he sends this greeting to them in his own handwriting, as a mark of the authenticity of the letter. It was the custom of the time to dictate letters to amanuenses, and this also seems to have been Paul’s uniform practice. But here he writes the greeting at the end so that there will be no danger of falsification on the part of anyone at Thessalonica, where a false letter, pretending to be from him, appears to have been in circulation (2 Thess 2:2). It is probable that St. Paul wrote with his own hand the whole letter to Philemon (ver. 19), and perhaps that to the Galatians also (Gal 6:11). Cf. Voste, h. I.

Which is the sign in every epistle. The reason for this precaution is probably to be found in the forged letter that was being circulated by misguided members of the Thessalonian Church, who claimed that it had come from Paul himself (cf. Introduction, No. III, b). See below.

So I write, i.e., this is my handwriting.

Here is what Fr. Callan wrote concerning the occasion of the Letter in his Introduction:

“Shortly after the receipt of the first letter to the Thessalonians word was brought St. Paul at Corinth, perhaps by the bearer of that Epistle, about the most recent conditions in Thessalonica and the eflfect in that city of the letter just received. Persecution had continued to rage more furious than ever, and yet faith and charity were increasing (2 Thess 1:3-5). But the Parousia was still a disturbing question, and in this respect the first letter seems to have made matters worse, instead of better. Some of the faithful had become so convinced of the imminence of the “Day of the Lord” that they had abandoned their daily duties, and had given themselves over to prayer and meditation, living on the charity and bounty of others. In their assemblies there were excitement and disorder, and there was danger that the whole Church would be thrown into confusion. These misguided members claimed the authority of St. Paul for their beliefs and teachings, and it seems there was in circulation a forged letter, purporting to be from the Apostle himself (2 Thess 2:2, 2 Thess 3:6-14). In view of these conditions, St. Paul, with Silas and Timothy, writes this second letter to the Church at Thessalonica to comfort and encourage the faithful there, to clear up misunderstandings regarding the Second Coming of the Lord, to strengthen discipline, and to recall the idle to their accustomed daily duties and labors.

18. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

The final benediction is the same as in 1 Thess. and in Rom 16:20, save that the word “all” is added here, so as not to appear to exclude the well-intentioned but disorderly members of the Thessalonian Church.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 23, 2012

To help provide context for today’s reading this post begins with Fr. Callan’s summaries of 2 Thess 2:1-12 and 2 Thess 2:13-17. His notes on the reading follow. The verse numbering of some translation differ from what is found here.

THE PAROUSIA IS NOT YET

A Summary of 2 Thess 2:-11~The faithful must not be disturbed about the Coming of the Lord, for certain signs, yet far off, must first precede that grand event. There must come first a great religious revolt, and then the man of sin. Antichrist, must appear, as was explained before in the Apostle’s preaching. This mystery of iniquity is already at work, but something holds back the full exercise of his power. He shall eventually be conquered by Christ coming in His glory, but he will first show great signs and wonders and seduce many.

THANKSGIVING, EXHORTATION AND PRAYER

A Summary of 2 Thess 2:13-17~St. Paul now turns away from the thought of the reprobate to think of the elect and the spiritual blessings of which they have been the willing objects, believing in the Gospel and consenting to the truth; and he says that for them who have been chosen by God and sanctified and ordained to eternal life, he and his companions ought always to give thanks to God (2 Thess 2:13-14). He exhorts his readers to steadfastness in what they have received from him, whether by preaching or by letter; and then offers a prayer that they may be comforted and strengthened in faith (2Thess 2:15-17).

1. And we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him:

Touching the coming of our Lord, etc., i.e., on behalf of the Parousia, or Second Coming of Christ to judge the world.

And of our gathering together, etc. Better, “and of our being gathered together, etc.,” referring to the reunion of the living and the dead at the coming of our Lord at the end of the world (1 Thess 4:17, 1 Thess 5:10).

The Vulgate nostræ congregationis should read circa nostram
congregationem.

2. That you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as by us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand.

The Apostle asks the Thessalonians that they be calm and peaceful, that they do not lose their “sense” (i.e., their prudent and sober judgment), nor be greatly disturbed, as if the Parousia were at hand.

By spirit, i.e., by any pretended revelation or prophesy attributed to the Holy Ghost.

Nor by word, i.e., any utterance or teaching based on a pretended revelation or prophesy, or on some utterance of the Apostle, misinterpreted or falsely attributed to him.

Nor by epistle, as by us (ως δι ημων), etc., i.e., any spurious letter circulated in the name of Paul, or false explanation of his first Epistle to the Thessalonians. Let none of these sources of error lead them to think the Second Advent is upon us.

The missam of the Vulgate is not expressed in the Greek.

3. Let no man deceive you by any means.

There is nothing in the writings of St. Paul more obscure and difficult of explanation than 2 Thess2:3-12 here. This is due partly to the eschatological events here described as going before the Parousia, about which the Apostle speaks nowhere else; partly to the fact that he assumes his readers to be thoroughly familiar from his oral teaching with the obscure points in discussion; and partly to the veiled terms in which those mysterious events are apparently of set purpose expressed. As a result, we cannot be too certain of the correctness of some of the expositions given.

The first warning is, “let no man deceive you,” i.e., lead you into the mistake of thinking the Parousia is present.

By any means, whether by any of the three ways mentioned in verse 2, or in any other way; and the reason for this is immediately given by adding, “for unless there come a revolt first,” i.e., a falling away from God (ἀποστασία
apostasia), etc. That “revolt” or apostasy here means a religious defection or falling away from God is the opinion of St. Thomas and all modern interpreters. It will be the first of the great events that shall precede the Parousia.

14. Whereunto also he called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Whereunto, etc., i.e., to which faith and sanctification God called the Thessalonians in time, through the preaching of the Apostles, “unto the purchasing, etc.,” i.e., to the end that they might have a share in the eternal glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15. Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.

Therefore, brethren, etc., i.e., since you are called to so great a destiny.

Stand fast in the faith and practice of your religion.

And hold the traditions, i.e., the instructions, the dogmatic and moral teachings, which we have given you, “whether by word” of mouth, “or by our epistle,” i.e., i Thess. In these last words we have a plain case against the teachings of Protestantism, that Scripture is the only source of divine revelation, to the exclusion of what has been passed down by word of mouth or tradition. On this passage St. Chrysostom says: “From this it is clear that the Apostles did not give everything through Epistles, but many things also not in writings; and these also worthy of faith. Wherefore, we also regard the tradition of the Church as worthy of faith. It is tradition, seek nothing further.”

16. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God and our Father, who hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good  hope in grace,
17. Exhort your hearts, and confirm you in every good work and word.

Since the Thessalonians could not of their own strength continue firm in their faith, St. Paul now prays God to give them the necessary grace.

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, etc. Our Lord is here mentioned before the Father, as in 2 Cor 13:13 and Gal 1:1, because He is the way to the Father. On these words St. Chrysostom remarks: “Where now are those who say that the Son is less than the Father, because He is named after the Father in the grace of washing?” St. Paul heartens his readers by reminding them that our Lord and God the Father have loved them from all eternity, and have given them “everlasting consolation” in the midst of tribulations through the “good hope” they have of possessing one day the joys of heaven; and this divine love God has for them, as well as the hope He has given them, is “in grace,” i.e., is gratuitous, the result of pure mercy on His part. Therefore the Apostle prays that God would “exhort,” i.e., comfort their hearts in the midst of tribulations, “and confirm,” i.e., strengthen them in the pursuit of every good work. It is to be observed that the verbs “exhort” and “confirm” here are in the singular, following the mention of our Lord and God the Father, which shows that the action of our Lord is identical with that of the Father, and therefore that He is one with the Father in nature and substance.

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This Weeks Posts: Sunday Nov 7- Saturday Nov 13

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 13, 2010

Some posts are prepared in advanced and scheduled for publication; they will not be available until the time indicated. Posts without time indicators or which are labeled “Link” are already available.The phrase “More posts pending” means I hope to publish more on a given day than what is listed, however, it’s no guarantee that I will do so.

PLEASE MAKE USE OF THE “RATE THIS” FEATURE AT THE TOP OF EACH POST! The stars act as ratings for the post, 1st = very poor; 5 = excellent. The ratings will help increase traffic to my blog. Please also consider recommending/sharing the blog post via the StumbleUpon, Digg, and Reddit links at the bottom of the post. Thanks!

Sunday, Nov 7
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Last Weeks Posts: Sunday Oct 31-Saturday Nov 6.

Resources For Sunday Mass, Nov 7. A weekly feature of this blog, the post focuses on the Scripture readings. The post for this coming Sunday’s Mass will become available on Wednesday the 10th.

Father Callan on 2 Thess 3:7-12 for Sunday Mass, Nov 14. Available 12:05 AM EST.

Bishop MacEvily on 2 Thess 3:7-12 for Sunday Mass, Nov 14. Available 12:10 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 21:5-19 for Sunday Mass, Nov 14. Available 12:15 AM EST.

MONDAY, NOV 8.

Readings. Link.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Titus 1:1-9) Available 12:05 AM EST.

Pope John Paul II on Today’s Psalm (24). Originally posted for All Saints Day. This commentary/meditation was delivered as part of the Pontiff’s catechesis on the Psalms and Canticles used in the morning and evening prayers of the Divine Office.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 17:1-6). Available 12:10 AM EST.

UPDATE: Bishop MacEvily on Today’s 1st Reading (Titus 1:1-9).

TUESDAY, NOV 9
Feast of the Dedication of the St John Lateran Basilica, Rome.

Readings. Link.

Father Callan on Today’s 2nd Reading (1 Cor 3:9c-11, 16-17). Available 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 2:13-22). Available 12:10 AM EST.

Father MacRory on Today’s Gospel (John 2:13-22). Available 12:15 AM EST.

My Ten Most Popular Posts.

WEDNESDAY, NOV 10
Memorial of St Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church.

Readings. Link.

Father Callan on Today’s 1st Reading (Titus 3:1-7). Available 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 17:11-19). Available 12:10 AM EST.

Augustine’s Homily on Today’s Gospel. Available 12:15 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Luke 17:11-19.

Catholic Encyclopedia on Pope St Leo the Great. Link.

The Sermons of St Leo the Great. Link.

Letter of St Leo the Great. Link.

Excerpts from the Writings of St Leo the Great. Link. Contains a brief biography followed by links to numerous passages excerpted from his writings.

UPDATE: Bishop MacEvily on the Second Letter of John. Available 12:20 AM EST.

UPDATE: Change I Can’t Believe In. Link.

UPDATE: IG Report Shows Obama WH Rewrote Gulf Spill Report To Supposr Moratorium. Link. I guess if you’re going to increase the budget of the EPA 124% you need a justification and, apparently, in “the most open and honest administration in history” even a concocted one will do.

UPDATE: Happy Birthday to the US Marine Corp! link.

MORE POSTS PENDING?

THURSDAY NOV 11
Memorial of St Martin of Tours, Bishop.

Readings. Link.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel. Available 12:05 AM EST.

Father Callan on Today’s 1st Reading. This is actually his commentary on the entire short Epistle. Available 12:10 AM EST.

Pope John Paul II on Today’s Psalm. link.

Catholic Encyclopedia on St Martin of Tours. Link.

Some Interesting Things About St Martin. Link. Among other things, this post tells how his memorial is celebrated in various parts of the world.

Sulpicius Severus on St Martin of Tours. Link. This excerpt is taken from the Office of Readings for St Martin’s day.

MORE POSTS PENDING!

FRIDAY NOV 12
Memorial of St Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr.

Readings. Link.

Bishop MacEvily on Today’s 1st Reading (2 John 4-9). This is actually a post on the entire shore Epistle, it was originally posted on Wednesday.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 17:26-37). Available 12:05 AM EST.

St Josaphat and the Internal and External Unity of the Church. Link.

 

SATURDAY NOV 13
Memorial of St Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin.

Readings. Link.

Bishop MacEvily on Today’s First Reading (3 John 5-8). Available 12:05 AM EST. This is actually a commentary on the entire epistle.

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (Luke 18:1-8). Available 12:10 AM EST.

Bernardin de Piconio on 1 Corinthians 6:1-11.

Father Charles Callan on 1 Corinthians 9:19-27.

News and Views Roundup. Link.

MORE POSTS PENDING!

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 1 Corinthians, Notes on 2 Thessalonians, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Gospel of John, Notes on the Lectionary, Notes on Titus, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 7, 2010

I’ve included the Bishop’s brief Analysis of the whole of chapter 3 to help provide context. In addition, I’ve also included his paraphrasing of the verses he is commenting on. The paraphrasing follows the biblical text and is in purple.

Summary of 2 Thess 3~The Apostle had been informed that, notwithstanding his instructions, when at Thiessalonica, and his injunctions conveyed in his former Epistle, some able-bodied men among the Thessalonians continued to go about, begging, when they might procure means of support by manual labour; indulging in idle curiosity, prying into the concerns of others and neglecting their own, to the great disedification and estrangement of the unbelievers. Hence, in this chapter, after recommending himself to their prayers (1, 2); and promising them the aid of the Almighty (3); and praying to God in turn for them (4, 5); he repeats his former injunctions on this important subject, and conjures these disorderly men, in the most solemn manner, to devote themselves to a life of labour.

He quotes himself as an example in this matter, and refers to the laborious life which he led amongst them; but should any person, after this admonition, continue refractory, he enjoins on the rulers of the Church to separate such a one from the society of the faithful. He tells them that severity should, however, be blended with tenderness and brotherly compassion (6-15). He concludes, by wishing them the abundance of peace and grace.

2Th 3:7  For yourselves know how you ought to imitate us. For we were not disorderly among you.

For you yourselves know  what example we gave you, and how deserving we were of imitation; for we did not lead a disorderly life amongst you; we were neither idle nor turbulent.

He gave them an example for imitation.

2Th 3:8  Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nothing: but in labour and in toil we worked night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of you.

Nor did we receive the necessaries of life from any of you without paying for them, but in labor and toil, we exerted ourselves unceasingly for that end; lest we might be a burden to any of you.

“Neither did we eat.” In some Greek copies, neither did we receive; which differs little in signification from ours ; for it was to be eaten that it was received.  “For nothing,” i.e., without paying for it.  “But in labour and toil.” He laboured at the trade of a cabinet-maker, in order to procure the means of subsistence, and that assiduously.  “Day and night,” means continually. What an example of Apostolic independence is here furnished by the Apostle! The minister of the Gospel, who is anxious for the gifts of his people, and is the slave of avarice, can never enjoy that freedom and bold independence of mind, so necessary for the impartial discharge of his duties. The Apostle, also, by his example, teaches us to devote all our time to some useful occupation. What a picture! the teacher of the entire world labouring, as a mechanic, to procure a livelihood!

2Th 3:9  Not as if we had not power: but that we might give ourselves a pattern unto you, to imitate us.

Not that we had not a strict right to support from you, but, we had foregone that right, in order, by working hard, to exhibit ourselves to you as a model for imitation.

He had a right to support.—1Cor 9:14, &c.

2Th 3:10  For also, when we were with you, this we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat.

(We are inculcating nothing new at present), for when we were amongst you, we enjoined the duty of laboring contained in the adage: the man who does not wish to work, is not deserving of the food he eats.

He announced to the Thessalonians, prone to idleness, the precept of labouring, which he confirmed by many examples and adages; among the rest by this: “the man who does not wish to labour, should not eat.” He says,
“will not work;” wishes not to work (ου θελει), because, some are not able to do so; but all should be disposed to do so.

2Th 3:11  For we have heard there are some among you who walk disorderly: working not at all, but curiously meddling.

For we have heard, that some amongst you are still leading a disorderly life, doing nothing, wholly engaged in curiosity, and in prying into the affairs and concerns of others.

His reason for dwelling on this subject arose from his having heard that some among them were living in a disorderly manner, since it is against the ordination of God for men to lead a life of idleness, of indolence, and ease. For idleness begets curiosity; curiosity begets turbulence and inquietude, which destroys discipline and causes disorder. The idle and the curious go about intermeddling in the concerns of others, and thus disturb peace and social order.

2Th 3:12  Now we charge them that are such and beseech them by the Lord Jesus Christ that, working with silence, they would eat their own bread.

But we command such persons, and we also entreat and conjure them by the Lord Jesus Christ, to lead a quiet, unobtrusive life, to engage in manual labor, and thus provide themselves with the means of subsistence, and not be depending on the charity of other.

“By the Lord Jesus Christ.” In Greek, by our LordJesus Christ. The Vulgate is supported by the chief manuscripts. He joins earnest entreaty, lest the repetition of the command might savour of harshness or undue severity. “Working with silence.” He opposes “silence ” to curiosity, to going about and creating disorder by prying into the concerns of others; and “working” he opposes to idleness.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on 2 Thessalonians, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 7, 2010

This post includes Father Callan’s brief summary of 3:6-15 followed by his notes. I’ve included his notes on verses 6 and 13-15. Notes in red, if any, are my additions.

CORRECTION FOR DISORDERLY MEMBERS, AND EXHORTATION
TO THE LOYAL

A Summary of 2 Thess 3:6-15. Idleness at Thessalonica on the part of many who were looking for the early arrival of the Parousia had become worse since the reception of 1 Thess. These disturbers are now more sternly rebuked by the Apostles, with an appeal to their own example, who worked for their own living while preaching the Gospel (ver. 6-12). After rebuking the disorderly and troublesome, the Apostles address the good members, encouraging them to perseverance in works of faith and asking them to avoid the disobedient (ver. 13-15).

6. And we charge you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they received of us.

We charge you, brethren, etc. Speaking in the name and with the authority of our Lord, the Apostles now command the Thessalonians to avoid all those whose moral conduct (ver. 11) is not according to the written and oral teaching which the Thessalonian Church has received. They therefore issue a species of excommunication against those idle and disturbing members of the Church, who, on pretext of the imminence of the Parousia, have given up their regular pursuits and are living on the charity of their neighbors. These directions, however, are to be executed in charity and for the spiritual benefit of the offenders (ver. 14-15).

The tradition, etc. See above, on 2:14. Here is what Father Callan wrote on that passage:

Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.

Therefore, brethren, etc., i.e., since you are called to so great a destiny.

Stand fast in the faith and practice of your religion.

And hold the traditions, i.e., the instructions, the dogmatic and moral teachings, which we have given you, “whether by word” of mouth, “or by our epistle,” i.e., 1 Thess. In these last words we have a plain case against the teachings of Protestantism, that Scripture is the only source of divine revelation, to the exclusion of what has been passed down by word of mouth or tradition. On this passage St. Chrysostom says: “From this it is clear that the Apostles did not give everything through Epistles, but many things also not in writings; and these also worthy of faith. Wherefore, we also regard the tradition of the Church as worthy of faith. It is tradition, seek nothing further.

They received. This is the older reading; but some authorities prefer another good reading, “you received.” There is little support for “he received,” as in the Authorized Version. For a more real excommunication, see 1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:20.

7. For yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, for we were not disorderly among you;

In verses 7-9 the Apostles appeal to their own conduct and example while at Thessalonica as a model which the faithful should imitate.

Disorderly means idle, living on other people, as explained in the following verse.

8. Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nothing, but in labor and in toil we worked night and day, lest we should be chargeable to any of you:

Eat any man’s bread is a Hebraism meaning “to partake of food,” “to feast,” “to live on.” In order not to be any burden to the faithful the Apostle and his comrades worked day and night to make their own living. Cf. 1 Cor 9:15 ff.; 2 Cor 11:7 ff.; 1 Thess 2:9 ff.

9. Not as if we had not power, but that we might give ourselves a pattern unto you to imitate us.

It was not that the Apostles had not the right to demand temporal support for their spiritual services, but that they might give the faithful an example of self-denial in things legitimate for the sake of the Gospel.

10. For also when we were with you this we declared to you: that, if any man will not work, neither let him eat.

These things St. Paul and his companions had inculcated, not only by example, but also by their express teachings while at Thessalonica.

That, if any man will not work, etc. This was probably a proverbial expression, based on the rule of Gen 3:19: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, etc.” It is to be noted that the Apostle says “will not work,” and not “can not work”; for the sick and disabled have a right to charity and care by others. Mere idleness for the sake of pleasure is here condemned authoritatively.

11. For we hear there arc some among you, who walk disorderly, working not at all, but curiously meddling.
12. Now we charge them that are such, and beseech them by the Lord Jesus Christ, that, working with silence, they would cat their own bread.

We hear, etc. The tense is present in Greek, as it should also be in the Vulgate, which shows that the Apostle had recent news from Thessalonica regarding those disturbing persons who, instead of working and attending to their own affairs, were going about interfering with the affairs of others. In solemn words he admonishes them to be quiet and to earn their own living.

13. But you, brethren, be not weary in well-doing.

The Apostle now turns his attention to the faithful members of the Church at Thessalonica, and exhorts them to continue “in well-doing,” which most probably means simply perseverance in virtuous living (so Voste and moderns generally), though the older commentators, Knabenbauer and others think the Apostle is here referring to doing works of charity, giving alms, and the like.

14. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed:
15. Yet do not esteem him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

In these verses, while enjoining social and religious ostracism for the contumacious Christians, St. Paul makes it clear that his purpose is for the good of the guilty persons, that they may be led to see the error of their ways and won to better behavior. Therefore, verse 6 is to be explained in the light of these verses.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on 2 Thessalonians, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

This Weeks Posts: Sunday, Oct 31-Saturday, Nov 6

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 6, 2010

Some posts are scheduled in advance and will not become available until the time indicated. Scheduled posts and with no time indicator are already available. These are either links to other sites (e.g., the readings) or to posts previously published by me (e.g., the Bible commentaries under Tuesday).

SUNDAY OCT 31
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Last Weeks Posts.

Resources for Sunday Mass, Oct 31. A weekly feature of  this blog. Resources for the Nov 7 Mass will be posted on Wednesday.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Thess 2:16-3:5 for Sunday Mass, Nov 7. Available 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 20:27-38 for Sunday Mass, Nov 7. Available 12:10 AM EST.

My Notes on Psalm 17 for Sunday Mass, Nov 7. Available 12:15 AM EST.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 8. Available 12:30 AM EST.

MONDAY NOVEMBER 1
Solemnity of All Saints.

Readings.

Aquinas’ Homily Notes for All Saints Day. Available 12:05 AM EST.

Pope John Paul II on Today’s Psalm. Available 12:10 AM EST.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Today’s 2nd Reading. Available 12:15 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel. Available 12:20 AM EST.

A Shorter Commentary on Matt 5:1-12. Off site link.

NOTE: The Two following links are to online books, use the sites zoom feature to increase text size if needed.

The Virtues of the Elect. A sermon for All Saints Day. Off site link.

The Imitation and Invocation of the Saints. Sermon. Off site link.

TUESDAY NOVEMBER 2
The commemoration Of All The Faithful Departed (All Souls Day).

Readings.

Bernardin de Piconio on Today’s 2nd Reading (Rom 5:5-11). This post is actually on verses 1-11. The Lectionary also offers an alternate reading; see next link.

Piconio on Today’s 2nd Reading (Rom 6:3-9). This post actually contains commentary on all of chapter 6.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 6:37-40). Available 12:05 AM EST.

The Doctrine of Purgatory. Sermon. Off site link. Use the site’s zoom feature to increase text size.

Charity for the Souls of the Faithfully Departed. Sermon. Off site link. Use the site’s zoom feature to increase text size if needed.

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 3

Readings.

Pope John Paul II on Today’s Psalm. The whole Psalm in two parts:

Bernardin de Piconio on Today’s 1st Reading (Phil 2:12-18). Available 12:00 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 14:25-33). Available 12:05 AM EST.

Resources for Sunday Mass, Nov 7 (Ordinary & Extraordinary Forms).

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 4
Memorial of St Charles Borromeo, Bishop.

Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s 1st Reading. Available 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel Reading. Available 12:10 AM EST.

Juan de Maldonado on Matt 13:31-35 for Sunday Mass, Nov 4 (Extraordinary Form). Available 12:15 AM EST.

The Life of St Charles Borromeo. Online book.

Butler’s Lives of Saints on St Charles Borromeo. Online book.

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 5

Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s 1st Reading. Available 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel Reading. Available 12:10 AM EST.

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 6

Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s 1st Reading (Phil 4:10-19). Available 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel Reading (Luke 16:9-15). Available 12:10 AM EST.

Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, John Paul II Catechesis, liturgy, Meditations, Notes on 2 Thessalonians, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on Matthew, Notes on Philippians, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, PAPAL COMMENTARY ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | 1 Comment »

Resources for Sunday Mass, Nov 7 (Ordinary & Extraordinary Forms)

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 3, 2010

This post contains resources (mostly biblical) for this Sunday’s Mass for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite. I hope to update it with a few more posts before Saturday Noon.

ORDINARY FORM
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Readings. From the NAB.

My Notes on Psalm 17.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Thess 2:16-3:5.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 20:27-38.

Franciscan Sisters Bible Study Podcast. They usually post the study on Thursdays.

Dr Scott Hahn Podcast. Brief, does a good job of relating the readings.

Word Sunday:

  • MP3 PODCAST In this week’s audio podcast, we explore the argument of Jesus for the resurrection. His argument, and our faith, is based upon the reality of God, a living God, a God active in our lives, even after death.
  • FIRST READING2 Maccabees 7 presented the famous story of the seven sons who died a martyr’s death, in hope of the resurrection. This was the first written example scholars know about that explicitly confirms a belief in the resurrection.
  • PSALM Psalm 17 is a hymn for salvation, even beyond the days troubles and, implicitly, beyond death itself.
  • SECOND READING 2 Thessalonians 2 encouraged readers to pray for the author (St. Paul?) and for reader’s needs. A prayer for me, a prayer for you.
  • GOSPEL In Luke 20, the Sadducees confronted Jesus with a rabbinical argument over the resurrection. Jesus defended the notion of the resurrection by appealing to THE revelation of God on Mt. Sinai. He was the Living God, so, he was alive for even people who have died. In other words, to be a Jew who believed in the Jewish deity, one must believe in the resurrection.
  • CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, a losing high school football team turned the season around in a game against their crosstown rivals. Despite their season, they never gave up hope, just like the sons who died in hope of the resurrection.
  • FAMILY ACTIVITY Our belief in the resurrection is entwined with our belief in heaven. What is heaven really like? Have your family create a picture of serving God in heaven with friends and relatives.

Lector Notes. Brief notes on the historical and theological background. Could make a useful bulletin insert.

John Henry Newman on the Gospel. An excerpt from a sermon (see next link).

The Resurrection of the Body. A sermon by John Henry Newman.

The Scripture in Depth.

A Summary of the Gospel. From St Vincent Archabbey.

The Bible Workshop.

Lectio Divina: A Reading of the Gospel. From the Caremlites.

Bible Study Lessons. From St Charles Borromeo parish.

EXTRAORDINARY FORM
Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.

NOTE: The readings in the EF differ from those in the OF. Also, a number of the links below are to online books, you can use the site’s zoom feature to increase the text size if necessary.

My Notes on 1 Thess 1:2-10.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 13:31-35.

UPDATE: Jaun de Maldonado on Matt 13:31-35.

Homily on the Epistle (1 Thess 1:2-10). Scripture reading is included.

Homily on the Gospel (Matt 13:31-35). Scripture reading is included.

I hope to add some stuff to this post latter in the week.

Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 1 Thessalonians, Notes on 2 Thessalonians, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Thess 2:16-3:5 for Sunday Mass, Nov 7

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 31, 2010

I’ve included in this post Father Callan’s summaries of 2:12-16 and 3:1-5 to help provide some context. The latter summary appears in the post before the commentary on 3:1.

THANKSGIVING, EXHORTATION AND PRAYER.
A Summary of 2:12-16. St. Paul now turns away from the thought of the reprobate to think of the elect and the spiritual blessings of which they have been the willing objects, believing in the Gospel and consenting to the truth; and he says that for them who have been chosen by God and sanctified and ordained to eternal life, he and his companions ought always to give thanks to God (ver. 12-13). He exhorts his readers to steadfastness in what they have received from him, whether by preaching or by letter; and then offers a prayer that they may be comforted and strengthened in faith (ver. 14-16).

5. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God and our Father, who hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation, and good hope in grace,
16. Exhort your hearts, and confirm you in every good work and word.

Since the Thessalonians could not of their own strength continue firm in their faith, St. Paul now prays God to give them the necessary grace.

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, etc. Our Lord is here mentioned before the Father, as in 2 Cor 13:13 and Gal 1:1, because He is the way to the Father. On these words St. Chrysostom remarks: “Where now are those who say that the Son is less than the Father, because He is named after the Father in the grace of washing?” St. Paul heartens his readers by reminding them that
our Lord and God the Father have loved them from all eternity, and have given them “everlasting consolation” in the midst of tribulations through the “good hope” they have of possessing one day the joys of heaven; and this divine love God has for them, as well as the hope He has given them, is “in grace,” i.e., is gratuitous, the result of pure mercy on His part. Therefore the Apostle prays that God would “exhort,” i.e., comfort their hearts in the midst of tribulations, “and confirm,” i.e., strengthen them in the pursuit of every good work. It is to be observed that the verbs “exhort” and “confirm” here are in the singular, following the mention of our Lord and God the Father, which shows that the action of our Lord is identical with that of the Father, and therefore that He is one with the Father in nature and substance.

MUTUAL INTERCESSION.
A Summary of 3:1-5. The Apostle now requests prayers for himself and his companions (ver. 1-2). He assures the Thessalonians of God’s faithfulness and of his own confidence in them (ver. 3-4), and prays once more for them (ver. 5).

1. For the rest, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run, and may be glorified, even as among you;

For the rest. See on 1 Thess 4:1. Father Callan’s comment on that verse: For the rest is a formula of transition often used by St. Paul, directing attention to something else that is to follow.

That the word of the Lord, etc., i.e., that the teaching of the Gospel may spread rapidly without impediment in the world.

And may be glorified, i.e., may be acknowledged and may produce the fruit of life among all men, as it has done “among you.” The Dei of the Vulgate should be Domini, to agree with the Greek.

2. And that we may be delivered from perverse and evil men; for all men have not faith.

St. Paul’s second request is that he and his companions “may be delivered from perverse and evil men,” very likely referring to his Jewish opponents at Corinth at this time (Acts 17:13 ff., 18:6 ff.). It is not surprising that opposition should be encountered, “for all men have not faith,” i.e., comparatively few embrace the faith, and this for two reasons, namely, because faith is first of all a free gift of God, and secondly, because men are indisposed and do not want faith.

3. But the Lord is faithful, who will strengthen and keep you from evil.

After requesting their prayers, the Apostle now turns his thoughts to the Thessalonians themselves, assuring them that, however strong their enemies may be, “the Lord is faithful” to His promises (1 Cor 1:9), and that, having called them to the Gospel, He will not be wanting in His grace to “strengthen” them in the pursuit of good and protect them against the incursions of “evil,”
or better, “the evil one,” probably alluding to the last petition of
the Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:13; Luke 11:4).

Again, read Dominus for Deus in the Vulgate.

4. And we have confidence concerning you in the Lord, that the things which we command you both do and will do.

We have confidence concerning you, etc. The Apostle is speaking in the present tense, and seems to be preparing his readers for the more severe counsels he will give them in verse 6. He means to say that he is relying on their good will, assisted by God’s grace which is never wanting to the well-disposed, for he adds, “in the Lord,” the author of all grace.

5. And the Lord direct your hearts into the charity of God and the patience of Christ.

After expressing his confidence in their good will to do all in their power, St. Paul now prays that God will make up to them whatever may be lacking on their part by moving and directing their hearts “in the charity of God, etc.” It is not certain whether there is question here of the love which God has for us and the patience of which Christ gave us an example, or of the love we have for God and the patient expectation of the coming of Christ. The latter opinion is thought to be more probable (Cajetan, Voste).

In charitate et patientia of the Vulgate should be in charitatem et
patientiam, according to the Greek.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on 2 Thessalonians, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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