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St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 24:13-45

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 22, 2014

Please not that the final three sermons which St Cyril preached on the Gospel of Luke have survived only in fragments. I have reproduced here what has survived on his preaching on 24:13-45.

24:13. Behold two of them went that same day to a village.

As two of the disciples walk to a village called Emmaus, they conversed with one another concerning Christ, regarding Him as no longer living, but mourning Him as dead. And as they conversed, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them, without being recognised by them, “for their eyes were held that they should not know Him. And He says to them, |726 “What is it, I pray, of which you converse with one another as you walk thus mournfully? And one of them whose name was Cleopas answered and said, Are You only a stranger in Jerusalem,” &c. And then they tell Him of the rumours of the resurrection brought by the women, and of that by Peter, but believe them not. For by saying, “And women also astonished us, who found not the body,” they show that they had not been induced to believe the news, nor regard it as true tidings, but as a cause of trouble and astonishment: and Peter’s testimony, who had seen only the linen bandages at the sepulchre, they did not consider as a trustworthy proof of the resurrection, because he did not say that he had seen Him, but inferred that He had risen from His being no longer there. And you must know that those two belonged to the number of the seventy, and that Cleopas’ companion was Simon,—-not Peter, nor he of Cana,—-but another of the seventy.

24:27. Having begun from Moses and from all the prophets.

In this discourse the Lord shows that the law was necessary to make ready the way, and the ministry of the prophets to prepare men for faith in this marvellous act, that so when the resurrection really took place, those who were troubled at its greatness might remember what was said of old, and be induced to believe. He brings forward therefore Moses and the prophets, interpreting their hidden meaning, and making plain to the worthy what to the unworthy was obscure, so settling in them that ancient and hereditary faith taught them by the |727 sacred books which they possessed. For nothing which comes from God is without its use, but all and several of them have their appointed place and service. In their due place servants were sent before to make ready for the presence of the Master, by bringing in beforehand prophecy as the necessary preparative for faith, that, like some royal treasure, what had been foretold might in due season be brought forward from the concealment of its former obscurity, being unveiled and made plain by the clearness of the interpretation. Having thus then stirred up their minds by the writings of the law and the prophets, He afterwards more plainly sets Himself before them, when, having consented to their request to go with them to the village, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and divided it among them. ” For their eyes, it says, “were held that they might not know Him,” until namely the word had entered stirring up their heart to faith, and then, rendering what they had before heard and believed visible, He offered them the sight seasonably after the hearing. He does not, however, continue with them, for “He vanished, it says, out of their sight.” For our Lord’s relation to men after His resurrection does not continue the same as before, for they too have need of renovation, and a second life in Christ, that the renewed may associate with the renewed, and the incorruptible approach the incorruptible. For which reason, as John tells us, He did not permit Mary to touch Him, until He should go away and return again.

24:33. They rose up that same hour.

Cleopas, it says, and his companions, rose up that same hour, the same of course in which Jesus had vanished out of their sight, and returned to Jerusalem: but it does not say that they found the eleven gathered together that same hour, |728 and told them what had happened concerning Jesus, 2 but this took place on the fortieth day after His resurrection, on which day He was also taken up. This evangelist therefore has omitted the events which took place in the intervening time, and which Cleopas and his companions found the eleven discussing in private, and saying, that “the Lord is risen, and has been seen by Simon:” and of him he has not mentioned either where, or when, or how this took place. It was during these days that those events also took place which were done in Galilee, and which Matthew has recorded.

24:36. Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them.

And 3now, keeping to the order of events, we say, that the account of the resurrection having already reached the apostles from many quarters, and their desire to see Him having thus been roused, He comes according to their desire, and stands visible and revealed before them as they seek for and expect Him. And no longer does He appear to them with their eyes held, nor converse with them as concerning some other person, but permits them to see Him plainly, and bids them be of good cheer. But they even so were in doubt and affright; for they thought that they saw not Himself, but some apparition and shadow: but He quiets the perturbation occasioned by such thoughts, addressing them with His usual and customary speech, and saying, “Peace be to you.”

24:38. He said to them, Why are you troubled? and why do reasonings arise in your hearts?

To convince them firmly and indubitably, that He is the same Who suffered, He immediately shows that being God |729 by nature, He knows what is hidden, and that the tumultuous thoughts within them escape Him not: for He said, “Why are you troubled? And this is a very plain proof that He Whom they see before them is not some other person, but the very same Whom they had seen both suffering death upon the cross and laid in the tomb, even Him Who sees reins and heart, and from Whom nothing that is in us is hid. This therefore He gives them as a sign, His knowledge namely of the tumult of thoughts that was within them. And to prove moreover in another way that both death is conquered, and that human nature has put off corruption in Him as the foremost, He shows His hands and His feet, and the holes of the nails, and permits them to handle Him, and in every way convince themselves that the very body which had suffered was, as I said, risen. Let no one therefore cavil at the resurrection: and though you hear the sacred Scripture say of the human body, that “it is sown an animal body, it is raised a spiritual body,” do not deny the return even of human bodies to incorruption. For as the animal is that which follows after, and is subject to animal, that is, to fleshly lusts, so also the spiritual is that which submits itself to the will of the Holy Spirit. For after the resurrection from the dead, there will be no longer the opportunity for carnal affection, but, the goad of sin will be entirely powerless. That very (body) therefore which has been brought down to the earth, shall be clothed with incorruption.

That the disciples therefore might be quite sure that it is the very same Who suffered and was buried and rose again, He shows, as I said, both His hands and feet: and He bids them be fully convinced that it is not a spirit, as they thought, but rather in very truth a body, saying, “And you see that a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see Me have.” For a shadow and spirit and apparition merely could not endure the touch of the hand.

Having then, as we have said, shown His hands and feet to |730 the disciples, the Lord fully convinced them that the body which had suffered had risen: but, to produce in them still further a yet more firmly-settled faith therein, He asked for something to eat. And what was brought was a piece of broiled fish, which He took and ate in the presence of them all. Now this He did for no other reason than clearly to show them that He Who had risen from the dead was the same Who in old time had eaten and drunk with them during the whole period of the dispensation, and conversed with them as a man, according to the prophet’s voice: intending them to perceive that the human body does indeed need sustenance of this kind, but a spirit by no means so. Who therefore that claims to be faithful, and receives unhesitatingly the witness of the holy evangelists, can any longer listen to the fictions of heretics, can any longer endure the apparition-mongers? For the power of Christ surpasses human enquiry, nor is it on the level of the understanding of ordinary events. He ate then a piece of fish because of the resurrection: but the natural consequences of eating by no means followed in the case of Christ, as the unbeliever might object, knowing that “whatsoever enters in at the mouth, must necessarily be cast out and go into the draught.” But the believer will admit no such cavils into his mind, but leave the matter to the power of God.

24:45. Then He opened their mind to understand the Scriptures.

When He had quieted their reasonings by what He said, by the touch of their hands, and by partaking of food, He then opened their mind to understand, that “so it was necessary for Him to suffer,” even upon the wood of the cross. The Lord therefore recalls the minds of the disciples to what Me had before said: for He had forewarned them of His sufferings upon the cross, according to what the prophets had long before spoken: and He opens also the eyes of their heart, so as for them to understand the ancient prophecies.

The Saviour promises the disciples the descent of the Holy Spirit, which God had announced of old by Joel, and power |731 from above, that they might be strong and invincible, and without all fear preach to men everywhere the divine mystery.

He says to them now that they had received the Spirit after the resurrection, “Receive you the Holy Spirit,” and adds, “But tarry you at Jerusalem, and wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard of Me. For John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit;” in water no longer, for that they had received, but with the Holy Spirit: He does not add water to water, but completes that which was deficient by adding what was wanting to it.

Having blessed them, and gone a little in advance, He was carried up to heaven, that He might share the Father’s throne even with the flesh that was united to Him. And this new pathway the Word made for us when He appeared in human form: and hereafter in due time He will come again in the glory of His Father with the angels, and will take us up to be with Him.

Let us glorify therefore Him Who being God the Word became man for our sakes: Who suffered willingly in the flesh, and arose from the dead, and abolished corruption: Who was taken up, and hereafter shall come with great glory to judge the living and the dead, and to give to every one according to his deeds: by Whom and with Whom to God the Father be glory and power with the Spirit for ever and ever. Amen. (source)

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, fathers of the church, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 24:13-35

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 22, 2014

Text in red are my additions.

13 And behold, two of them went, the same day, to a town which was sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, named Emmaus.

“And behold,” conveying, that the following was a sudden and unexpected manifestation.

“Two of them,” generally supposed to refer to two of the seventy-two disciples. Our Lord had several followers besides the seventy-two, of whom some, like Nicodemus, who came to Him by night, did not publicly profess their adherence and attachment to Him. That these two were of the seventy-two, is the more common opinion of the Fathers. That they were not of the Apostles, is clear from verse 33, where it is said, “they found the eleven gathered together.”

“Went the same day,” Easter Day, on which our Lord had risen.

“To a town.” St. Mark (16:12) has, “into the country.” The common opinion is, that St. Luke here, and St. Mark, refer to the same occurrence, which is fully detailed by St. Luke alone. The objection to this opinion, derived from the assertion of St. Mark, that those to whom they announced it, “did not believe;” whereas, St. Luke (v. 34) would seem to say the contrary, is of no weight; since it might be said that among those, of whom St. Mark speaks, some did not believe, while others did, and among the letter were the Apostles.

“Sixty furlongs,” or about seven and a half miles “from Jerusalem.” “Named Emmaus.” After the total subjugation of the Jews, it was called Nicopolis, as we are informed by Sozomen (Lib. 5, Hist. c. 21); St. Jerome (ad Eustoch. de Epitaph. Paulæ Ep. 27).

14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

The occurrences which took place in regard to our Lord, viz., His sufferings, death, and the announcement made by the holy women on that morning, formed the subject of their conversation.

15 And it came to pass that while they talked and reasoned with themselves, Jesus himself also, drawing near, went with them.

“And it came to pass,” seemingly by mere chance, so far as it concerned them, but not so, as regarded our Lord, by whom it was deliberately arranged beforehand.

“Talked and reasoned with themselves,” talked over the events that occurred, “and reasoned” about the conclusions to be deduced, as to whether He had really risen, as He had promised, and the consequences of His having risen or not risen, &c.

“Jesus Himself also”—the very person of whom they were speaking. This is the force of “also,” unexpectedly, His approach being unobserved till He actually joined them as a fellow-traveller, journeying the same way; thus illustrating His promise, as Ven. Bede, in hoc loco, observes—that “where two or three are assembled in His name, He is in the midst of them.”

16 But their eyes were held, that they should not know him.

“But their eyes were held,” &c. Our Lord did not wish to be recognised by them. St. Mark (16:12), says, “He appeared in a different shape.” Both may have happened. Whilst remaining substantially the same as He had been before in His mortal form, His glorious and immortal body presented in some features a different appearance, owing to the natural qualities of a glorified body, from what it had before presented, just as shall be the case with our bodies after the Resurrection (1 Cor. 15:41, 42); and, as happened to our Lord Himself after His resurrection, when Magdalen took Him for the gardener, and the Apostles for a Spirit (v. 37), although it is not said that in either case their eyes were held. His glorious body may have assumed the appearance of a stranger travelling homewards. The eyes of the disciples were held so as not to recognize Him in His altered and glorified shape. So were their ears also in regard to His voice, which probably was changed as well as His outward appearance. Our Lord held their eyes by a supernatural influence, so that although seen, He might not be recognized by them, in order that their faith and testimony might be more firm, when after laying bare the wounds of unbelief, a suitable remedy might be more effectually and more abidingly applied—“ut ulcus suum (dubitationis et tristitiæ) discipuli aperirent ct pharmacum susciperent”—(Theophylact).

17 And he said to them: What are these discourses that you hold one with another as you walk and are sad?

“What are those discourses that you hold one with another?” The Greek for “hold,” conveys the idea of lossing backwards and forwards like a ball. Hence, it means, to interchange.

“And are sad,” show a sad and mournful countenance. Our Lord Himself well knew the subject of their conversation, and the cause of their sorrow—He may also have on His near approach, overheard what they were speaking about. He wishes, however, to ascertain it from themselves, in order to apply the remedy, of which their own admissions would be naturally suggestive. In some MSS.—the Vatican among the rest—after, “as you walk,” are inserted the words, “they stood still,”—εσταθησαν—“sad in countenance.”

18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleophas, answering, said to him: Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things that have been done there in these days?

“Cleophas,” probably, a native of Emmaus, as is inferred from the pressing invitation given to our Redeemer to receive hospitality from him (v. 29).

“Art thou only a stranger?” &c., that is, art thou the only stranger among the crowd of strangers, that came to Jerusalem on the occasion of the great Paschal solemnity, that is ignorant of these things, of which we are speaking? They took Him for one of the strangers who came to celebrate the Pasch at Jerusalem. “And hast not known,” &c. “And,” has the meaning of “who, knoweth not,” &c. “Only,” or rather “alone,” directly affects the verb, “knowest not,” in the meaning of the passage. These disciples are so full of their subject, that they can think of nothing else, and cannot conceive, how it could be supposed, that there was any thing else to engage the attention of any one in Jerusalem, save the great events they were discoursing about. Beelen (Gramm. Græcit, § 3) observes, that the finite verb, παροικεις (paroikeis = “living,” but in the sense of dwelling or residing temporarily), is put for παροικων (paroikeo), and one sentence expressed by two, connected by και, συ μονος παροικων Ιερουσαλημ, ουκ εγνως (“Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known”). Basically, the Greek structure noted by Beelen simply confirms the point MacEvilly is attempting to make. The following translation might help capture the meaning: “Are you the only person living  Jerusalem, that thou has not known the things that have come to pass in it in these days?”

19 To whom he said: What things? And they said: Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people.

Our Lord, without denying that He knew all the events, designedly conceals all cognizance of them, and, in order to ascertain from their own admission the thoughts of their minds, the weakness of their faith and their hesitancy, which He meant to remedy, asks, “what things?” What are the things you refer to as having happened? They reply, the things that happened, “concerning Jesus of Nazareth,” &c.

The disciples here refrain from expressing their belief in our Lord’s Divinity, if they had such belief, not knowing the stranger with whom they were conversing. It might be perilous to express such faith, on account of the persecution they might suffer from the Jews (Ven. Bede). Or, it may be, that being in a state of doubt and perplexity on account of recent events, they knew not what to call our Lord, beyond what was almost universally believed regarding Him, viz., that He was a distinguished Prophet, who, with miraculous wonders, united a doctrine all heavenly “before God” (Acts 2:22), “and all the people,” God and man testifying to His merits. The power and sanctity of God were wonderfully displayed in Him, and the whole people, the envious Pharisees excepted, always revered Him as a Prophet. They then convey to this stranger, that such a man should rather be treated with honour, than be ignominiously put to death.

20 And how our chief priests and princes delivered him to be condemned to death and crucified him.

“And crucified Him,” by the hands of the Romans, to whom they delivered Him for this purpose (see Acts 2:36; 4:10). The disciples prudently refrain from expressing their own convictions regarding the injustice of the treatment He received, as they were speaking to an unknown stranger, who might denounce them to the Jewish authorities.

21 But we hoped that it was he that should have redeemed Israel. And now besides all this, to-day is the third day since these things were done.

“We hoped that it was He who should have redeemed Israel”—the promised, long-expected Messiah, who would rescue the Jewish people from the odious yoke of the Romans. But, now recent events have considerably perplexed us, and served to lessen this hope. The disciples shared in the common error of their countrymen, who imagined that the Messiah would effect the temporal deliverance of the Jews. Even up to His ascension, they expected this (Acts 1:8). In this verse, is shown the perplexity or fluctuation between hope and fear, under which the disciples were now labouring.

“And besides all this,” besides the perplexity caused by His death and ignominious sufferings, our embarrassment and want of confidence and belief regarding Him, are still more increased, when we remember—what was calculated to raise our hopes still higher—that He promised to rise again on the third day, and now, “to-day is the third day since these things happened,” that is, since His betrayal and death; and still, there is no clear evidence of His having risen. Even if the disciples remembered our Lord’s promise, they did not clearly understand what it meant. The disciples probably remembered the promise and prediction regarding His resurrection on the third day, as is conveyed in the above explanation, but in their confusion and perplexity, they omit all allusion to such promise, and express themselves in an incoherent form, or, it may be, they purposely suppressed any distinct allusion to this prediction, when addressing a stranger whom they knew not, lest they might expose themselves to ridicule, for their credulity in attending to a promise, in which they were apparently disappointed.

22 Yea and certain women also of our company affrighted us who, before it was light, were at the sepulchre,

And even to add to our perplexity, and cause us to linger still between hope and doubt, “certain women also of our company, affrighted us,” threw us into an ecstasy, or threw us into amazement—such is the force of the Greek verb.

23 And not finding his body, came, saying that they had all seen a vision of angels, who say that he is alive.
24 And some of our people went to the sepulchre and found it so as the women had said: but him they found not.

“And some of our people.” Hence, more than one went, more than Peter (v. 12); John also is included, so that there is reference here to the visit made by Peter and John. (John 20:3, &c.) “But Him they found not.” Hence, between the disappearance of the body, and their ignorance as to where He is, our doubts and perplexity are further increased.

25 Then he said to them: O foolish and slow of heart to believe in all things, Which the prophets have spoken.

Hitherto, our Lord had patiently heard them out, and having fully ascertained from themselves the spiritual malady of religious doubt and hesitation, they were suffering from, He now prudently applies the proper remedy. “O foolish”—the Greek word, ανοητοι (anoetoi), means devoid of mind or intelligence—“and slow of heart to believe in all things,” or, to believe all things—“the prophets have spoken.” “All things.” They believed and fully appreciated what the prophets had said regarding the glories of the future Messiah; but the other things, that regarded His humiliations and sufferings, they were slow to believe, and could not be brought to comprehend.

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and so, to enter into his glory?

“Ought not Christ to have suffered these things?” “Ought not.” Looking to the predictions of the prophets, to His own voluntary, free action, arranging all beforehand, and to the decree of God, ordaining that His Son should redeem mankind, by His voluntary sufferings and ignominious death, it was necessary He should suffer. There was nothing about which the prophets and the Books of Moses were more explicit than regarding the sufferings and humiliations of the Messiah, therefore called “the end of the law” (Rom. 10:4). Hence, our Lord shows the disciples that the very thing that weakened their faith and made them lose all hope—for by saying, “we hoped,” they insinuate that such hope was lost at present—should be the very thing to increase their faith, and confirm their hope. For if He did not suffer, He would not be the Messiah of whom the prophets spoke.

“And so,” through the predicted ordeal of sufferings, and no other way—this being an indispensable condition—“enter into His glory,” viz., the glory of His resurrection, ascension—the exalted name He received in reward for His humiliation (Philip. 2:6). “His glory”—“His,” singly merited by Him—“His,” by the preordinating decrees of God (Heb. 2:9). This is His ordination regarding all His followers, “per multas tribulationes,” &c. (Acts 14, &c.)

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things that were concerning him.

“Moses.” The Books of Moses, “and the writings of the prophets,” “He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things that were concerning Him.” Commencing with the very beginning of Sacred Scripture, the Books of Moses, He fully explained the texts that chiefly regarded Him, and also the types that foreshadowed Him, the Brazen Serpent, the Paschal Lamb, the Sacrifice of Isaac, and the rest which are found in the several books of Sacred Scriptures regarding Him.

28 And they drew nigh to the town whither they were going: and he made as though he would go farther.

“The town” of Emmaus, “whither they were going”—“and He made as though He would go farther.” Although He wished to remain and reveal Himself, still in order to give them an opportunity of pressing Him to partake of their hospitality, and thus render them worthy of hearing more of His heavenly doctrines, He acted as if He meant to proceed farther. He only showed by act what He meant to do; He meant to go farther, if they did not press Him to remain. There is nothing, therefore, savouring of a practical falsehood in seeming to do what. He was about doing. His action, when seeming to proceed, was equivalent to the question, “shall we now part?” There was no more in this than in His appearing in the form of a stranger travelling homewards, and His apparent motion forwards was only carrying out this notion; or in His assuming the form of the gardener, when He first appeared to Magdalen. Although He knew, as God, they would press Him to remain; still, acting as man, He made an experiment of their hospitable feelings towards Him, whom they regarded as a stranger.

29 But they constrained him, saying: Stay with us, because it is towards evening and the day is now far spent. And he went in with them.

“They constrained Him, saying,” &c. They eagerly pressed Him, whose society and words had caused them such pleasure. “Because it is towards evening.” The sun had already passed the meridian. Some hours of day, however, still remained. For they returned that very day to Jerusalem, and announced to the Apostles, that they saw the Lord (v. 33). It is supposed by many that Cleophas lived at Emmaus, and entertained our Lord at his house, which, St. Jerome says (Ep. 27 Epis. ad Paulam, c. 3), our Lord made into a church, from which it is inferred, that St. Jerome held that our Lord administered the blessed Eucharist on this occasion. Wherever the Eucharist is celebrated, there is a church.

30 And it came to pass, whilst he was at table with them, he took bread and blessed and brake and gave to them.

It is a subject of dispute among Commentators whether our Lord celebrated the blessed Eucharist on this occasion, or not. Some who hold the affirmative (St. Augustine, Sermo. 140, de Tempore; St. Jerome, Ep. 27; Theophylact, Bede, A. Lapide, Maldonatus, &c.), prove their view: first, from the words used here, “took bread,” “blessed,” “broke,” “gave to them,” which, being precisely the same as those in which the institution of the Eucharist is described (Matthew 26:26), would imply that the same thing took place in both cases. Again, the words of the disciples (v. 35), “the breaking of bread,” are the terms in which the blessed Eucharist was designated in the days of the Apostles (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor. 10:16; panis quem frangimus); 2nd, from the effect produced. “This breaking of bread” had the miraculous effect of opening the eyes of the disciples, so as to know our Lord. It was, therefore, a very solemn, religious act. These disciples, probably, having heard from the Apostles of the ceremony observed by our Lord at the last supper, seeing it repeated here, and remembering His words a year before this (John 6), when He spoke of Himself as the Bread that came down from heaven—the Bread that gave life to the world—at once, owing to the miraculous effect of the Eucharist, recognised Him in this adorable mystery of His love; 3rd, the blessing here is different from the ordinary blessing at meals, for it was given, not at the commencement, but at the end of supper, “cum cænasset,” for our Lord immediately after vanished.

These Commentators, therefore, hold that our Lord gave Himself to these two disciples under one species, in the form of bread only, as we have no account of the chalice, our Lord having suddenly disappeared on being recognised in the breaking of bread. Others, however (Jansenius, Estius, Calmet), are of a different opinion, whilst Bellarmine, Natalis, Alexander, &c., give no positive opinion on the subject either way.

31 And their eyes were opened: and they knew him. And he vanished out of their sight.

“Their eyes were opened.” The following words explain what this means, not that they were blind before, but that some veil, some obstacle, supernaturally impeded their clear vision, so that they could not see Him. Hence, it is added, “and they knew Him.” This was the miraculous effect of “the breaking of the bread,” as they themselves afterwards explain (v. 35). They were opened in the same way as were those of our fallen first parents (Genesis 3), of Agar (Genesis 21:19).

“And He vanished out of their sight.” He rendered Himself invisible to them, by an effect of His Divine power, and passed away from them, after He had shown Himself visibly to them in His glorious body, and after He had been recognised by them. This circumstance of suddenly rendering Himself invisible and disappearing, was of itself calculated to confirm their faith and belief that it was Christ, and Christ only, they saw.

32 And they said one to the other: Was not our heart burning within us, whilst he spoke in the way and opened to us the scriptures?

“Was not our heart burning,” &c. These words are understood by some to mean, that they reproached themselves for not having known Him before, owing to the fire which His conversation kindled in their hearts. Others understand the words to be confirmatory of their assured recognition of our Lord, just seen by them, as if to say, surely it must be He, for we could not account otherwise for the burning heat we felt during the entire time He was expounding the Scriptures, and conversing with us on the way. The effect of God’s Word properly received is, to enlighten us and inflame us with Divine love, “ignitum eloquium tuum vehementer.” (Psalm 119:140; Proverbs 30:5; Deut. 32:2; Luke 12:42; Ezechiel 1:13, &c.) No wonder that the pious reading of, and meditation on, the Word of God, should stimulate and inflame us to advance more and more in the road of perfection. If it fail, the fault is entirely our own.

33 And rising up, the same hour, they went back to Jerusalem: and they found the eleven gathered together, and those that were with them,

“The same hour,” without a moment’s delay. Although now it was “towards evening,” &c., they rose up, at once, from table, in their anxiety to impart to the Apostles and other disciples the glad tidings regarding our Lord’s resurrection and appearance to themselves. Probably, they meant before this occurrence to spend the night at Emmaus; but now, they make no delay in returning in haste to Jerusalem.

“The eleven.” It is thus the Apostolic College is styled subsequent to our Lord’s death. Thomas was absent on this occasion (v. 36), hic, when the two approached, and being incredulous, left before our Lord spoke to the eleven (John 20:19–24). It may be, Thomas was present. “And those that were with them,” viz., the holy women and the other disciples—our Lord’s disciples of either sex—who then stopped at Jerusalem, and were assembled together in the same house with the Apostles, conversing about the wonderful manifestations both to the women and Peter regarding His resurrection.

34 Saying: The Lord is risen indeed and hath appeared to Simon.

“Saying,” that is, the eleven, and the others, first informed the two disciples, who imagined they were the first to announce the glad tidings of our Lord’s resurrection, so that when the two announced the apparition vouchsafed to themselves, they had nothing new to impart, that the others had not already known.

“The Lord is risen indeed,” that is, truly and undoubtedly.

“And hath appeared to Simon.” It would seem that our Lord appeared to Peter first, before He manifested Himself to any other man, out of regard for his ardent love, to console him for his fall—as He appeared first to the fallen, loving Magdalen before other women—and as a privilege intended for the head of His Church (1 Cor. 15:5). When He appeared to Peter we cannot ascertain. But it is commonly believed He appeared to him, before He appeared to the two disciples referred to here. It would seem the Apostles and disciples placed more reliance on the declaration of Peter than they did on that of the women; although still some among them doubted (Mark 16:13).

35 And they told what things were done in the way: and how they knew him in the breaking of bread.

After hearing from the assembled Apostles and disciples of our Lord’s apparition, the two disciples relate in turn what occurred to themselves on the road and at table, and furnished further evidence, to an audience already prepared to believe, of the truth of our Lord’s resurrection.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Acts 3:1-10

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 22, 2014

Text in red are my additions.

In this chapter we have an account of the miraculous cure, by St. Peter, of a lame man, with several accompanying circumstances, which placed the reality of the miracle beyond all cavil or dispute, and elicited the wonder and amazement of the people (1–12). The address of Peter, showing that this miracle was brought about, not by human agency, but by the power of Christ and by faith in Him (12–17). His exhortation to penance recommended on several grounds (19–26).

1 NOW Peter and John went up into the temple at the ninth hour of prayer.

“Now,” immediately after the occurrences recorded in preceding chap. 2, St. Luke here specifies, in particular, one of the miraculous wonders wrought by the Apostles recorded in a general way, (Acts 2:43).

“Peter and John went up into the temple.” The Greek places here the words commonly found in the last verse of preceding chapter. “Together.” “Went up.” The Zorobabelic Temple rebuilt by Herod was situated on an elevated part of the city, Mount Moria, the site of the ancient Temple of Solomon. “At the ninth hour of prayer.” This was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The followers of our Lord made it a practice to resort to the Temple for devotional exercises. The ninth hour was the time fixed for evening sacrifice. The fixed hours for public prayer in the Temple among the Jews were the third, our 9 o’clock (2:15), sixth (our 12 o’clock), ninth (3 o’clock with us). Daniel “adored three times a-day” (Daniel 6:10). David, evening, morning, and mid-day (Ps. 55:18).

2 And a certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb was carried: whom they laid every day at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful, that he might ask alms of them that went into the temple.

“A man lame from his mother’s womb,” and well known as such. Hence, no fear of collusion or deception as to his ailment or subsequent miraculous cure.

“The gate of the temple called Beautiful.” It is not agreed upon among commentators what “the gate,” here termed, “beautiful” referred to. No gate of this name is spoken of by Josephus or other Jewish authors. It refers, according to some, to the gate of Nicanor, leading from the court of the Gentiles to that of the women. It was so called, because, according to a Jewish tradition, the hand of that furious enemy of God’s people was attached to it by Judus Machabæus, as a trophy of the glorious victory be achieved in a battle wherein Nicanor was slain. Josephus tells us (Bell. Ind., c. v. 5, 3), that it was made of Corinthian brass, or overlaid with it, equal in value to gold, and exquisitely wrought. It surpassed all the others in magnificence. Hence, called “Beautiful,” Others say, there is question of the gate called Susan, the principal gate on the east side. On it was sculptured in relief a representation of the city of Susa, the chief city of Persia, as expressive, from the days of Zorobabel, of the loyalty of the Jews to the Persian Powers. This was contiguous to the Portico of Solomon, whither the Apostles repaired after the miracle. Owing to the great concourse of people there it was a place advantageous for asking alms. Hence, some commentators say it was the gate here spoken of.

“That he might ask alms,” &c. From the earliest times it was quite a common practice with mendicants to plant themselves at the gates of churches.

3 He, when he had seen Peter and John, about to go into the temple, asked to receive an alms.

MacEvilly offers no comment on this verse. Almsgiving was a sacred duty within Judaism (see the Book of Tobit 1:3, 16; 2:14; 4:7-11). For more Jeiwsh background see “Alms” in the online Jewish Encyclopedia. See also The Catholic Encyclopedia article on “Alms and Almsgiving”.

4 But Peter with John, fastening his eyes upon him, said: Look upon us.

“Look upon us” in order to fix his attention on the subsequent miracle, and make him see that the miracle was performed by the Apostles.

5 But he looked earnestly upon them, hoping that he should receive something of them.

MacEvilly offers no comment on this verse. The primary particle δέ (de) used here usually serves as an adversative conjunctive (i.e., “but”, implying a contrast, rather than “and”, implying a connection).  That such is the meaning here is confirmed by the word προσδοκων (prosdokon), translated above as “hoping.” The word would be better translated here as “expecting.”  

The man clearly expects some sort of financial gift, however small, to help alleviate his beggarly condition which, the text suggests, was the result of his lame condition.

6 But Peter said: Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise and walk.

“I have none.” No private funds of his own for dispensing in charity. The common fund was not at his disposal for such purposes.

“What I have,” given me for the benefit of others. It was not from himself, but owing to the power promised by our Lord (Mark 16:17, 18) and given him, he performed the miracle.

“In the name,” by the power and authority “of Jesus Christ,” &c., whose instrument I simply am, “of Nazareth,” the title commonly given him, the name under which this man may have heard of him, as a crucified malefactor and seducer.

“Arise and walk.” The command conveyed the power of working the miracle by the Apostle.

I have none. The Apostles have not yet become administrators of the donations given for the alleviation of the poor (see Acts 4:32-5:11). The Apostle has shown his trustworthiness in administering true wealth (Luke 16:10-13). The power he and the rest of the Apostles posses is of incomparable value in relation to money (Acts 8:18-24).

In the name of Jesus Christ. The power of the name of the Lord will become a focal point in Peter’s speech to the people in Acts 3:11-26. The healing is the catalyst for that speech and should be seen in intimate connection with it. Concerning the name of Jesus see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, articles 340-345.

Arise and walk. There is an obvious allusion to the theme of Jesus’ resurrection here; it will become explicit in Peter’s speech (Acts 3:15-16).

7 And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up: and forthwith his feet and soles received strength.

“Forthwith,” instantly. “His feet and soles.” “Soles” in the Greek means “ankle bones” owing to the weakness of which he could not support his body, “received strength.” All the circumstances point to an undoubted miracle. Commentators remark that in the use of terms connected with the human frame, the technical accuracy of Luke, the Physician, is observable.

8 And he leaping up, stood and walked and went in with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God.

“Leaping up” expresses the joy he felt. It may be also expressive of his first essay at walking. He next “stood,” then “walked,” regularly, like the rest. The fact of his walking, which he was not used to, having been a cripple from a child, is a clear proof of the miracle.

“Praising God,” to whom he knew he was indebted for his cure. For St. Peter did not even pretend that it came from himself. Here, we have a literal fulfilment of the Prophecy of Isaiah (35:6) “then, shall the lame man leap, as a hart.”

Regarding Isaiah 35:6: See the Greek text of Isaiah 35:6~”Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free: for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the wilderness.” Note the staccato use of verbs here to emphasize the effect of the healing (“leaping,” “stood,” “walked,” “went in,” “walking,” “leaping,” “praising”). His act of “praising” suggests that he has become a member of the Church (Acts 2:47). With the word “praise” there also may be another allusion to Isaiah 35~And the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and shall come into Sion with praise, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and mourning shall flee away (Is 35:10). 

9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God.

“All the people.” The very crucifiers of our Lord saw the miracle and its suddenness. There could be no collusion or fraud. The Apostles were strangers to the man that was cured. Some of them carried him to the place where he was daily placed to solicit alms from the passers by.

10 And they knew him, that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had happened to him.

“Filled with wonder,” &c. The effect of the miracle on their feelings.

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This Week’s Commentaries: Sunday, April 20–Sunday, April 27, 2014

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 19, 2014

SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2014



MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary Today’s First Reading (Acts 2:14, 22-33).

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 2:14, 22-33).

St John Chrysostom on Today’s First Reading (Acts 2:14, 22-33).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 2:14, 22-33).

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Psalm (16).

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Today’s Psalm (16).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (16).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 28:8-15).

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Matt 28:8-15).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Matt 28:8-15).

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Matt 28:8-15).


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 2:36-41).

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 2:36-41).

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 2:36-41).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 2:36-41).

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Psalm (33).

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Today’s Psalm (33).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (33).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 20:11-18).

St Cyril of Alexandria on Today’s Gospel (John 20:11-18).

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 20:11-18).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 20:11-18).


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 3:1-10).

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 3:1-10).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 3:1-10).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Psalm (105).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 24:13-35).

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 24:13-35).

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 24:13-25. Fragments on n 13-45.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 24:13-35.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 3:11-26).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 3:11-26).

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 8.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 8.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Psalm 8.

Father Tauton’s Commentary on Psalm 8.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel Luke 24:35-48.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 24:35-48).

FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 4:1-12).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 4:1-12).

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Today’s Psalm (118).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 21:1-14). The commentary is actually on verses 1-19.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Today’s Gosepl (John 21:1-14). The commentary is actually on verses 1-19.

My Notes on Today’s Gospel (John 21:1-14).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 21:1-14).


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 4:13-21).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 4:13-21).

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Today’s Psalm (118).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 16:9-15).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Mark 16:9-15).

SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2014


Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Daily Catholic Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 28:1-10

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 12, 2014

Mat 28:1 And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.

“And in the end of the Sabbath, when it began to dawn,” &c. Commentators labour under some difficulty in reconciling the apparent discrepancy between St. Matthew’s own assertions here, viz., 1st., that the event took place “in the end of the Sabbath,” which was evening, as the words are rendered here by the Vulgate interpreter, “Vespere autem Salbbati;” and, 2ndly, that it occurred, “when it began to dawn,” early in the morning; and also between St. Matthew and the three other Evangelists, who expressly say, it occurred “very early in the morning, the sun being now risen” (Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1); “on the first day of the week, it being yet dark” (John 20:1). These apparent difficulties and contradictions will disappear by recurring to the original, in which the words rendered by the Vulgate, “Vespere Sabbati,” “in the end of the Sabbath” (οψὲ δὲ σαββὰτων), literally and strictly mean, late, or long, after the Sabbath days, or week had terminated. “When”—the entire night having intervened—“it began to dawn towards the first day of the week,” that is, when the early dawn of the day, which was the first of the week, began. The Greek is, εις μιαν των σαββατων, unto ONE (or, first) of the Sabbaths. The cardinal one is put, by Hebrew usage, for the ordinal, first. “Sabbaths,” in the plural, merely designates the week, or seven days of the week. Called Sabbath, according to Hebrew usage, in honour of the great day of rest, “jejuno bis in Sabbato,” says the Pharisee in the Gospel. The days were called first, second, &c., of the Sabbath, according to the order they held in reference to the Sabbath-day.

Then, the event here referred to, occurred long after the Sabbath had ended (οψε τῶν σαββατῶν). For, an entire night had intervened (note: according to Jewish reckoning days ran from sunset to sunset; thus the Sabbath began sunset Friday and ended sunset Saturday). The Evangelist next specifies at what precise hour it occurred, viz., at that time of the morning following the Sabbath, when it began to dawn, towards the first of the Sabbath-days (εις μιαν των σαββατῶν). This explanation fully removes any apparent discrepancy between St. Matthew’s own assertions, as referred to above; and also between him and the other Evangelists. The only point to be still cleared up is, how the words of St. Mark, “the sun be now risen,” can be reconciled with the words of the others, who say, “it was only beginning to dawn; that it was very early;” and St. John says, “it was yet dark.” Without recurring to the hypothesis, that there is question of different visits, or of different persons, in the words of the Evangelists—an hypothesis which is now generally rejected, as it is universally, held that there is but question of the same visit and the same persons in the narrative of the four Evangelists—the words are commonly reconciled in this way. The other Evangelists speak of the time the pious women left home for the sepulchre, which was before the sun had risen, darkness being still over the earth; whereas, St. Mark speaks of the time they had actually arrived, the sun having risen above the horizon, in the interval between their leaving home and their arrival at the monument. And while the words of the other Evangelists convey to us an idea of the anxious care and pious sedulity of the holy women who left home in the darkness, immediately preceding day, the words of St. Mark clearly express what we should naturally expect, viz., that these pious women would hardly have ventured to come to the monument before daybreak. Others, with St. Augustine, who give the Greek aorist for “risen,” a present signification, say, the words of St. Mark mean, “sole oriente,” when the sun was rising, and the shades of darkness were still brooding over the earth. Any further apparent difference observable in the narrative of the Evangelists may be accounted for, if we bear in mind that no one of them describes all the circumstances of the resurrection. One describes circumstances omitted by the other. “Vespere Sabbati,” is taken for the entire night succeeding the Sabbath. Vespere is sometimes used in this sense, in Scripture, “evening and morning was one day.” Should the Greek word, οψε, rendered vespere, be taken for night; then, the words, “when it began to dawn.” &c., show at what particular time of the night the occurrence in question took place, viz., at its close, when morning was breaking upon them.

“Came Mary Magdalen”—referred to (27:61)—“and the other Mary,” viz., Mary of Cleophas, the mother of James and Joseph (Mark 15:40–47). Although there were other women with them (Luke 23:55); still, these are specially mentioned, as being the leaders, distinguished beyond the rest, for their pious sedulity and the manifestation of ardent and intense love for our Blessed Redeemer. St. Mark (16:1), mentions, “Mary, the mother of James and Salome.” St. Luke adds, “Joanna” (24:10), “and the other women that were with them.” This Joanna, he tells us elsewhere (8:3), was the wife of Chusa, Herod’s steward.

These pious women “came to see the sepulchre,” with the ulterior object of embalming the body with the spices they had previously purchased (Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1). These spices they purchased on the evening of Friday, before the Sabbath commenced, and in the meantime they rested (Luke 23:56). St. Mark (16:1), insinuates, that it was on the evening after the Sabbath, they bought these spices. Hence, some interpreters say, that St. Luke describes this buying of the spices, by anticipation; while others say, both accounts are literally true. They bought some on Friday evening; and finding the quantity insufficient, they purchased more after the Sabbath was over, on Saturday evening. Most likely, these women were ignorant of the precaution taken by the Chief Priests, in placing a guard of soldiers, and sealing the mouth of the holy sepulchre, having returned home on Friday evening, before these occurrences took place. Had the Blessed Virgin been with them, she, surely, would have been mentioned. Her faith and her knowledge of His approaching resurrection, prevented her from taking any part in this pious preparation for embalming Him, as she knew it to be quite useless.

It is not mentioned at what precise hour our Redeemer had arisen, nor can we know for certain, as St. Jerome informs us. It occurred some time before the holy women had arrived, early in the morning. Some holy Fathers (Cyril of Alexandria, &c.), say, it was the hour before midnight. Others, early in the morning. Hence, St. Mark says (16:9), He arose “early the first day of the week,” before the sun rose. His resurrection, or rather His glorious Nativity in His resurrection, is referred to no less than His first birth of the Virgin, in the words of the Royal Psalmist, “ex utero ante luciferum genui te.” For, St. Paul tells us (Acts 13:33), that in His resurrection are verified the words “Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te.” St. Augustine (apud Prosperum senten. 203), observes, that He was born at midnight; died at noon; rose at morning; and ascended at mid-day.

Mat 28:2 And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and coming rolled back the stone and sat upon it.

“And behold there was a great earthquake.” “Behold,” conveys that this earthquake occurred immediately in connexion with the approach of the women, on their way, just before arriving at the sepulchre. Hence, it was different from that which occurred at His death. As an earthquake occurred at Christ’s death, so did it also at His resurrection, and that “a great” one. It was not for the purpose of displacing the stone from the mouth of the sepulchre and opening it for our Redeemer to come forth, that the earthquake occurred. For, as the holy Fathers tell us, our Redeemer came forth in virtue of the glorious gift of subtilty, without displacing the stone, or, breaking the seal, or causing any separation of their component parts, just as He came forth from His mother’s womb, or entered the chamber where His Apostles were assembled, after His resurrection, the door being shut. Moreover, we know when the earthquake occurred; but no one could say when precisely the resurrection took place, although it is quite certain, it took place before the earthquake in question. But, it took place for the purpose of displaying the majesty of God, in the person of His Angels. For, in SS. Scriptures, an earthquake denotes the presence and power of God (Psa. 68:8, 9; 99; 104:7)—and here the power of Christ, who, having broken the gates of death and taken away the spoils of hell, arose powerfully, thus giving an idea of the commotion which the preaching of His resurrection would cause throughout the earth; also, for the purpose of rousing the guards to a full consciousness of the presence of the Angels, and the event of the resurrection.

“For an Angel of the Lord descended from heaven.” Here is assigned the cause of the earthquake. It was caused by the descent and power of the Angel.

“And coming, rolled back the stone.” The Greek reading is: For, the Angel of the Lord having descended (καταβας), from heaven, and having come (προσελθων), rolled, &c. These words show by whose agency the stone was rolled back. The Angel had thus shown to the women, that the sepulchre was empty, Christ having already risen.

“And sat upon it.” This he did, in order to show that it was he rolled it back, and also, that he was the guard of his Lord’s sepulehre, as St. Jerome expresses it. For, some persons might introduce another body, and endeavour to show that our Lord had not risen. Most likely, there is question of the same Angel referred to by St. Mark (16:5), whom, he tells us, the women saw, “on entering the sepulchre.” How to reconcile this with St. Matthew’s account, who insinuates that it was outside the sepulchre he sat on the stone (see next verse).

Mat 28:3 And his countenance was as lightning and his raiment as snow.

“And his countenance was as lightning,” &c. Besides wishing to show His heavenly origin, and the glory of the resurrection of the Divine Master whom they served, the Angels had also exhibited themselves in this brilliant, glorious form, with the view principally, of terrifying the guards, and deterring them from throwing any obstacle in the way of the pious women. And that this consequence resulted, appears from the following verse.

Commentators are somewhat perplexed in endeavouring to reconcile the apparently conflicting statements made by the four Evangelists with reference to the number, position, and apparition of the Angels on this occasion.

(a). Matthew and Mark speak of only one Angel; Luke and John, of two. The answer commonly given is, that two Angels appeared on the occasion. But, as Matthew and Mark had chiefly in view, to mention what the Angels said to the women, and as only one of them, most likely, addressed them; hence, they make no mention of the second. While, on the other hand, Luke and John, having chiefly in view, to show that the resurrection of our Lord was proved by the apparition of the Angels, speak of the two witnesses—the number required in every case of proof. Two are also mentioned at His ascension, as witnesses, that He was to return in the same manner from heaven. Or, it may be said, that the women saw one Angel, at one time; and two, at another; one, outside, sitting on the stone, who terrified the guards; and on coming nearer, and looking in, they saw two Angels, when the one that was on the right said, “Why seek you Him that is living,” &c.

(b). Matthew insinuates that the Angel sat on the stone outside the monument. For, it was rolled back from the mouth of the monument, and thus outside it; while St. Mark, who speaks of only one, and St. John, who speaks of two Angels, say it was inside the tomb the holy women saw them. The most probable answer is, that when St. Mark speaks of their “entering into the sepulchre” (16:5), he speaks of their preparing to enter. They saw the Angel inside the monument, inasmuch as the stone was placed within the enclosure which divided the monument from the rest of the garden.

(c). Matthew and Mark say, he sat; Luke, that he was standing. But, the word, standing, in Scriptural usage, indicates more the presence than the position of an object, “de his stantibus, non gustabunt mortem,” that is, who are present. Also Luke (7:37, 38; 18:11); John (1:26), or they might have sat at one time; and stood at another.

(d). St. John speaks of Magdalen only, as having seen the Angels (20:12). The other Evangelists speak of others besides, having seen them. But, this was owing to the fact, that the Evangelists omitted severally to mention all the circumstances of the resurrection. There is no contradiction between the Evangelists, one of whom mentions one circumstance which was merely omitted, but not denied, by the other. One Evangelist speaks of Mary Magdalen only, as the principal among those that came, but does not deny that others also came. In like manner, when St. John (20:2), says, she came to Peter and John, he does not contradict St. Luke, who says (24:10), that she and others announced the resurrection to the eleven. St. John does not deny this. For, as she did not come alone, although St. John makes express mention of her only, being the principal among the women that came, most remarkable for her ardent love and anxiety for our Lord; so, in like manner, she did not go to the two Apostles only, although they alone are mentioned by St. John; because, it was to those principally among the eleven, Magdalen spoke, as being the Apostles who most ardently loved our Lord. There is no contradiction between two writers, one of whom says less, the other more, by supplementing the former. The apparent contradiction between St. Luke (24:9), who says, they told the eleven the things they saw and heard; and St. John, who says, Magdalen said, in doubt, “they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him,” which doubt could hardly be consistent with the vision and words of the Angels, may be thus explained: The women, even after the vision of the Angels, could hardly be induced to believe firmly in our Lord’s resurrection, and therefore, while announcing the vision and words of the Angels, they also expressed their doubts and fears; and as St. John said nothing of the account given to the eleven, respecting the Angels, he supplies what the other Evangelists omit, regarding the expression of her doubts and fears. It is observed, regarding the Evangelists, in the several narratives, that each so continues and connects his own account, as if none of the particular circumstances supplied by the others were omitted. That St. Luke makes mention of the same announcement made to the Apostles, recorded by St. John, appears plain, from the words (24:24), “And some of our people went to the sepulchre,” &c. Hence, more than Peter (verse 12) went, as St. John declares (20:3).

(e). Magdalen, according to St. John (20:2), announces the removal of the stone, and says nothing of the Angels. But, it can be answered in a general way, that each Evangelist does not relate all the circumstances. It may be also said, in a special way, that, as the three other Evangelists agree in stating that Mary Magdalen and the women saw the Angels at their first approach, we must take their united and uniform testimony as clearly proving the fact. Then, most likely, St. John, out of anxiety to prove the resurrection, from his own testimony, and that of St. Peter, who went with him to the tomb, passes over the occurrences prior to this, relating to the vision of the Angels, and thus inverts the order in which things occurred. He mentions the apparition of the Angels, in the second place (20:12).—Maldonatus.

St. Luke says (24:9), the women mentioned to the eleven all that occurred. But, this might apply to the other Apostles, after Peter and John left for the sepulchre.

Mat 28:4 And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror and became as dead men.

“And for fear of Him the guards were struck with terror.” Not a fear of human punishment, which the absence of our Lord’s body might entail; but, a sudden panic, with which they were preternaturally struck at the presence of the Angel—a fear, lest lightning from heaven might consume them; or, the earth swallow them.

“And became like dead men.” owing to the paleness of their countenances, and the stupor which seized on them, not, however to the extent of rendering them perfectly senseless; for, God had providentially so arranged, that they were capable of giving testimony in proof of our Lord’s resurrection (v. 11).

Mat 28:5 And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you: for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

“Answering,” by a Hebrew usage, signifies, commencing to speak. “Said to the women,” Magdalen among the rest; for, she was present, though this is denied by some. “Fear not you,” as if to say: Let the guards and enemies of our Lord fear, who put Him to a cruel death, and endeavour still to impede the glory of His resurrection. As for you, who have come on an errand of charity and devout affection, there is no ground for fear, but rather for joy. “For I know that you seek Jesus, who was crucified.” I am fully aware of your object in coming here; you are engaged in the service of Him of whom I am but the minister. “Crucified,” to convey, that from the Cross of Christ have flown all blessings, salvation to men, glory to God, and perseverance to the Angels St. Mark adds, “Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified” (16:6).

Mat 28:6 He is not here. For he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid.

“He is not here”—not, that He is taken away; but, rather by His own omnipotent power—“He is risen, as He said.” He has fully verified His promise of rising on the third day, and thus furnished the most undoubted grounds for your faith, so that if you believe not me, believe His own sacred words, whom you have followed as a great Prophet, incapable of deceiving or telling you a lie. “Come,” have a proof of it yourselves, enter the monument, “and see the place where the Lord was laid,” the common Lord of all, Angels and men; no other than the everlasting God Himself.

St. Luke quotes different words, as spoken by the Angels: “Why seek you the living among the dead?” (24:5). St. John: “Woman, why weepest thou?” (20:13). All the words recorded by the Evangelists were spoken by the Angels. First, the women, on approaching and seeing the stone removed, began to weep—Magdalen alone is said to have wept. “Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping” (John 20:11). But although the others also wept; still, she alone is mentioned as being the chief among them. Next, entering the sepulchre, the Angels said to them, “Why weep ye?” Then, Magdalen answering on behalf of all, said, “Because they have taken away my Lord,” &c. (20:13). Then, the Angel speaking for himself and the other Angel, said, “Be not affrighted; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified” (Mark 16:6). “Why seek you the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5), as if rebuking them for their want of faith. “He is risen; He is not here;” and then he ordered them to announce the joyous tidings to the disciples (as in following verse).

Mat 28:7 And going quickly, tell ye his disciples that he is risen. And behold he will go before you into Galilee. There you shall see him. Lo, I have foretold it to you.

“Going quickly, tell His disciples”—who are now sorrowing for the death of their Master, the joyous news—“that He is risen.” St. Mark adds (16:7), “and Peter,” to show his singular regard for him who was at all times most ardent in his love for his Master; whom He made the head of His Church, His own vicar on earth. He probably wished to encourage Peter, lest a recollection of his fall might cause him to hesitate about coming with the rest (St. Gregory.)

“And behold He will go before you.” &c. The Greek (προαγει), is in the present tense: “He goeth before you.” But the present tense here has a future signification, He will go. It might also mean, He is resolved, prepared, to go before you; and no matter what haste you may make, He shall be before you, as in virtue of the glorious gift of subtilty, His glorified body would be transported there in an instant. “There you shall see Him.” No doubt, our Blessed Lord had manifested Himself to the women and disciples in Jerusalem and at Emmaus; but He did so in a transient and private way, to confirm their wavering faith. It was only in Galilee where He had most followers, having performed there most of His wonders, and devoted most of His time to preaching, and where His followers would be farthest away from those that would molest them, that He was determined to manifest Himself publicly to His assembled Apostles, and to great numbers at once (1 Cor. 15:6). It was there He conversed familiarly with them for forty days, and “showed Himself alive after His Passion, by many proofs, for forty days appearing to them, and speaking to them of the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3). In Judea, where He had been often persecuted, and where His disciples could not well assemble, from fear of the Jews, He did not show Himself in this public manner.

“There you shall see Him.” The women, too, are not excluded from the privilege of seeing Him in Galilee.

“Lo, I have foretold it to you,” as if to say, when it shall have come to pass, you will derive fresh grounds of belief from the fact of My having told you of it beforehand; or, as if he said, I have now discharged my office, by announcing to you, on the part of God, what is to happen. St. Mark has (16:7), “as he told you,” as if the Angel was only quoting our Lord’s own prediction and promise on the subject, in order to gain credit for his words.

Mat 28:8 And they went out quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples.

“With fear,” or rather, awe, produced by the appearance of the Angels at the sepulchre, and the announcement of the resurrection of their Lord, and anxiety lest these things might be spectral appearances, rather than realities. “And great joy,” caused by the joyous tidings they heard. They felt mingled sensations of awe and joy.

“Running to tell His disciples,” viz., “to the eleven, and to all the rest” (Luke 24:9). What they announced to the eleven, St. Matthew does not say, but St. Luke tells us, “they told all these things,” viz., the apparition of the Angels, and the taking away of our Lord’s body (John 20:2).

The apparent discrepancy between the account of what the women announced, as recorded in St. Luke (24), and St. John (20:2), is easily cleared up. The women being timid, and in doubt whether the whole thing was a reality or not, said nothing of it on their way back (Mark 16:8), and when they reached the Apostles, they informed them alternately of what they saw and heard, and of their own doubts and fears on the subject, which made them imagine our Lord’s body was taken away. This latter point, regarding their doubts, is recorded by St. John only (20:2), and omitted by the other Evangelists. The Apostles, too, in the first instance, regarded the women’s account “as an idle tale, and they did not believe them” (Luke 24:11).

Here, we must insert what is described by St. John (20:2–19), in order to fill up the Gospel narrative, and remove the apparent discrepancies in the narratives of the Evangelists. Magdalen and her companions, in obedience to the Angels injunctions, hasten to Jerusalem from the sepulchre, to announce to the Apostles what they saw and heard (Luke 24:9). While doing this, they give expression to their own fears and doubts (John 20:2). (Some expositors hold that at her first visit Magdalen did not wait for the vision of Angels seen by the other women, she at once, on seeing the stone removed, hastened back to tell the Apostles. This opinion is not easily reconciled with Luke 24:9, 10.) Immediately, Peter and John hasten to the sepulchre, followed by Magdalen and her companions. Peter and John enter the sepulchre, and return home, wondering at what they saw. The companions of Magdalen also return, leaving Magdalen behind them, weeping from fear, and a desire to find the body of our Lord. While stooping down and looking into the sepulchre, she saw two Angels, who were exhibiting reverence to our Lord, who was standing behind Magdalen. On looking behind her, to see who it was that the Angels were reverencing, she saw our Lord, and mistook Him for the gardener in charge of the garden where the sepulchre was. But immediately after recognizing Him, from His usual tone of voice, when pronouncing her name, she would lay hold of His feet (verse 9), which in Scripture denotes a species of adoration; but this He would not allow. Magdalen was, then, the first to whom, according to the Gospel History, our Lord showed Himself after His resurrection (Mark 16:9). She merited this favour by her love and affection, owing to which she clung to the sepulchre where His sacred body had been deposited. After this, overtaking the other women on their way (verse 9), she had the privilege of seeing Him a second time, in company with these others. It is supposed by many, as a matter of congruity—although the Gospel makes no mention of it—that He appeared first of all to His Blessed Mother, on the day of His resurrection.

Mat 28:9 And behold, Jesus met them, saying: All hail. But they came up and took hold of his feet and adored him.

“And Jesus met them saying,” &c. This occurred on their second return from the sepulchre, after the Apostles had left, Mary Magdalen remaining alone after them at the tomb. That it could not refer to the first time they ran back in haste to inform the Apostles of what they saw and heard, expressing at the same time their anxious doubts about His sacred body, appears clear from the fact, that from SS. Mark and John, it is certain that our Lord appeared to Magdalen first, early on the morning of His resurrection, and that at the tomb, not on the road. Moreover, the women said nothing of our Lord appearing to them, when first they announced these things to the Apostles (John 20:2; Luke 24:9, &c. 23, 24). It was on their return, after the Apostles had examined the tomb, that this apparition occurred to the women, and to Mary Magdalen, who had overtaken them, after having seen Him already alone at the sepulchre.

Maldonatus, quoting the authority of St. Athanasius, holds, that the apparition referred to is the same as that in Mark (16:9; John 20:16), which was made to Magdalen only; and that Magdalen alone is mentioned by St. Mark as having been first favoured with the apparition of our Lord, not in opposition to the other women, but to the Apostles; or, that she was the first among them who saw Him, and to her alone did He speak; and that she is spoken of alone out of the rest, because she was the most prominent among them for her love and deep affection for Him.

“All hail”—χαιρετε—is a common Hebrew form of salutation, expressive of peace, and embracing all blessings. It means, rejoice at the glad event, which has thrown open the gates of heaven, after the triumph over death and hell, and has reversed the malediction entailed by the first woman. Hence, as death commenced with the female sex, it was congruous, that the message of the resurrection—the triumph over death—should be first announced to the same (St. Hilary).

“They came up,” after recognizing Him, “and took hold of His feet,” out of modesty and reverence; they decline embracing His person. Among the Jews, it was a kind of reverence and adoration, particularly on the part of women towards men, to touch their feet (Exod. 4:25); also the case of the woman of Sunamis (4 Kings 4:27; also Luke 7:38; John 11:32). The women here touch His feet, with the view of adoring Him, which is afterwards explained. “And adored Him.” It is said, that He forbade Magdalen on the occasion of His first apparition (John 20:17) to touch Him. Whether He did so here, and that the women, in the excess of their love, still touched Him, thinking they were doing Him honour, as in the case of the blind men in the Gospel, who proclaimed His goodness, nothwithstanding His prohibition (9:30, 31), is not mentioned by the Evangelist. Neither does St. John say whether Magdalen touched Him or not. St. John tells us, He told Magdalen not to touch Him; whether she actually did so or not, he does not say. St. Matthew tells us here, that the other women actually took hold of His feet; whether they were prohibited from doing so or not, is not mentioned by him.

Mat 28:10 Then Jesus said to them: Fear not. Go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee. There they shall see me.

Whilst they were engaged in reverently and affectionately adoring their Lord with mingled feelings of awe and affection, “Jesus said to them: Fear not.” The presence of spiritual and supernatural beings is calculated to inspire mortal man with awe and terror. Hence, the awe and fear which the women felt at the presence of their Lord risen from the tomb. Most likely, also, their fears arose from the apprehension, as in the case of the Angels, lest what they saw might be a phantom rather than a reality. Our Redeemer, addressing them, dispels their fears, from whatever cause proceeding, and tells them:

“Go, tell My brethren that they go into Galilee,” &c. By “His brethren,” are meant all His Apostles, including those who were nearly allied to Him by kindred. Our Redeemer is supposed here to allude to the words of the Psalm (21:23), “Narrabo nomen tuum fratribus meis,” quoted by St. Paul (Heb. 2:12). During His mortal life, He called them His disciples and friends; now, risen glorious and immortal from the dead, He designates them by the tender and endearing appellation of “brethren,” to assuage their grief for His death, strengthen their minds, and inspire them with confidence; to show, that, although He is now glorious, still He participates in the same human nature; and also to suggest to them, that while He is the natural Son of God, the first-born among many brethren, they are the adoptive sons of God, heirs of God, and co-heirs of Christ. He transmits the same message, that had been already given by the Angels (verse 7) to confirm the testimony of the Angels, and to show that His words and theirs perfectly agreed.

“There they shall see Me” (verse 7). He manifested Himself to them shortly after this in Jerusalem, but it was only in a passing, transient way: whereas, in Galilee He remained many days, freely conversing with them on all matters pertaining to the future government of His Church, &c.

Our Redeemer manifested Himself several times in Judea. On the day of His resurrection, He showed Himself five different times—1st, to Magdalen (Mark 16:9; John 20:16)—most probably, before all, He appeared to His Virgin Mother; 2nd, to the women (verse 9); 3rd, to Peter (Luke 24:34); 4th, to the disciples going to Emmaus (Luke 24:36); 5th, to the ten assembled disciples, after the return of the two from Emmaus (Luke 24:36), Thomas being absent.

After the day of His resurrection, He appeared five other times before His ascension—1st. After eight days, when Thomas was present (John 20:26). 2nd. When the seven disciples were fishing on the Sea of Tiberias (John 21:2). 3rd. To the eleven on a mountain of Galilee, generally supposed to be Thabor (Matt. 28:16). Most likely, this is the apparition referred to by St. Paul (1 Cor. 15:6), where “He was seen by more than five hundred brethren at once.” The Evangelist only makes mention of the eleven, who saw Him by appointment; he does not, however, say by how many more He was seen, on that occasion. 4th. He appeared to St. James (1 Cor. 15:7); this is not mentioned in the Gospel. 5th. To all the Apostles and others, on Mount Olivet, at His Ascension (Acts 1:9). He appeared to St. Paul afterwards (Acts 9:3; 1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8).


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This Week’s Posts: Sunday, April 6–Sunday, April 13 (Fifth Week of Lent)

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 6, 2014



Last Week’s Posts.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

The Story of Susanna in the Liturgy of Lent. Scroll down below headline to find the start of the article.

St Jerome’s Notes on Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62. The notes do not deal with all the verses of today’s reading.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Daniel 13:1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62. Reading from RSV and JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 23.

Pope Benedict’s Commentary on Psalm 23.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 23.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 23.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 23. Attributed to St Albert.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 8:1-11.

Cornelius a Lapide Commentary on John  8:1-11.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on John 8:1-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 8:1-11.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Numbers 21:4-9.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Numbers 21:4-9. Reading from RSV and JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 102.

Father McSwiney’s Summary of, and Brief Notes on Psalm 102.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 102.

Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 8:21-30.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on John 8:21-30.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 8:21-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 8:21-30.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

St Jerome’s Notes on Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95. Reading from RSV and JB followed by commentary.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Daniel 3:52-53, 55-56. This post is on verses 52-57.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 8:31-42.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary John 8:31-42.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on John 8:31-42.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 8:31-42.

St Augustine’s Tractate on John 8:31-42.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures John 8:31-42. Scroll down and read lectures 4 & 5.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Genesis 17:3-9. Reading from RSV and Jb followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 105.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 105. Notes on the entire Psalm.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on John 8:51-59.

St Augustine’s Tractate on John 8:51-59. Actually on verses 48-59.

St Augustine’s Comments on John 8:51-59. Actually, this is on verses 46-59.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on John 8:51-59.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 8:51-59.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on John 8:51-59. Scroll down and read lecture 8.

FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Jeremiah 20:10-13. Reading from RSV and JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 18.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 18.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 10:31-42.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 10:31-42.

St Thomas Aquinas Lecture John 10:31-42. Scroll down and read lecture 6.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 10:31-42.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 37:21-28.

Pending (maybe): My Notes on Today’s 1stReading (Ezekiel 37:21-28).

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 11:45-56.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on John 11:47-54. Scroll down and read lectures 7 & 8.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 11:45-56.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 11:45-56.



Commentaries for Holy Week.

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Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Ephesians 5:8-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 27, 2014

8 For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light.
9 For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth:
10 Proving what is well pleasing to God.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness: but rather reprove them.
12 For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.

(8) You were once in the darkness of Gentile error, and so far might have found some excuse; but you are now enlightened by the faith and grace of Christ. Walk therefore as sons of light, making it your object to study, examine, cherish, and carry out in practice, that which is the will of God concerning you. (9) For the fruit of light, the outcome of the faith of Christ, is goodness, justice, truth, in opposition to the fruit of darkness, wrath, fraud, or avarice, and lies, referred to above (Eph 4:31). The fruit of the sunshine is the ripened grape, the growth of the dark dungeon the poisonous fungus. The Greek text has, the fruit of the Spirit.  (11) Hold no communication with the fruitless works of darkness. Do not do them, do not praise them, do not approve them, do not consent to others doing them, do not jest at them, do not speak of them, do not think of them. Fruitless, because they have no fruit of life eternal; their fruit is death. Rather reprove them, by taking no part in them, or, if necessary, protesting in words. For it is not sufficient to do well, if we tolerate and encourage, by flattery, complacence, or approval, the evil deeds of others. (12) What these people do in their secret assemblies, is execrable even to be said. So the Syriac. St. Epiphanius says that this refers to the heretical followers of Simon Magus.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for all that is made manifest is light.
14 Wherefore he saith: Rise, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee.

The Syriac of verse 13 has: All things are by light proved and revealed. The right way to reprove the darkness of evil, is by the light of good deeds; because it is the nature of light to illumine. The light of day brings into prominence all that had been hidden in the shades of night; so do good deeds bring out by contrast the evil deeds of others. As Christ, who is the Light of the world, illumines every man who comes into the world, so in proportion the Christian, who is a son of this Light, should illumine and enlighten his neighbour by his good deeds and his example. For a holy life is a light which is not only conspicuous in itself, but sheds its radiance on, and is reflected from, all the objects around. The quotation in verse 14, as St. Thomas thinks, is from Isaiah 60:1. Rise, be enlightened, Jerusalem, for thy light is come. Thy light is Christ. Other writers think the words are taken from some other canonical book, which has been lost: they do not occur in the Scriptures literally as the Apostle gives them.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Ephesians 5:8-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 27, 2014

This post opens with the bishop’s brief analysis of chapter 5 followed by his commentary on verses 8-14. Text in purple indicate his paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on.


In this chapter, the Apostle exhorts the Ephesians to love one another after the example of God (4:32), and also after the example of Christ, who sacrificed himself for us (1, 2). He exhorts them to shun all impurity both in word and deed, because wholly unsuited to the exalted state of sanctity to which they were called, and because it provokes the punishment of exclusion from God’s eternal inheritance (4, 5). He cautions them against listening to the false teachings of some men on this head (6). He dissuades them from all participation whatsoever, in the wicked conduct of their Pagan neighbours. He, on the contrary, adduces several motives of persuasion, to encourage them to set forth, by the pure and bright contrast of their holy lives, in darker and more hideous colours, the wicked deeds of the others (7–15).

He exhorts them to act with wise caution and circumspection in their intercourse with the Pagans, considering the perilous nature of the days upon which they had fallen (15–18). He cautions them against excessive indulgence in wine, and exhorts them to seek consolation from a different source—viz., the Spirit of God; and he points out how, in their different meetings, they are to express their joy in the Holy Ghost, by singing psalms, and other spiritual songs, and by expressing their thankfulness to God (19, 20).

He next lays down a general principle of Christian policy, relative to the duties of subjection and subordination, in the different states of life (21). Descending to particulars, he devotes the remainder of this chapter to the instruction of those engaged in the marriage state, as to the duties they mutually owe each other. In this state, the woman is the party on whom the duty of obedience devolves. He shows the relation of subjection which she bears her husband, to be similar to that which the Church bears to Christ; and hence, she should be subject to him, as the Church is to Christ (22–24), He, on the other hand, adduces the same analogy of relation, as a reason why husbands should love their wives. They hold in their regard a relation of headship, similar to that which Christ holds in regard to the Church (25–27). Another reason for this love is founded on the nature of the conjugal union between man and wife (28, 29). He, next, points out the ground of the comparison of the man and wife with Christ and his Church, by showing that the Church is a part of Christ, and for this purpose he quotes in a mystical sense, the passage in Genesis, where reference is made to the creation of the woman (30). He quotes more largely from the passage in Genesis, in order to develop more fully the motive referred to (in verse 28), and shows the union between man and wife to be a type of the indissoluble and mystic union between Christ and his Church (31, 32). He applies to the Ephesians the motives already adduced, and calls upon husbands and wives to attend to them (33).

8 For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light.
9 For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth:

8. Such a partnership in crime is wholly at variance with your present calling. You were formerly, indeed, among the children of error and unbelief, but now you are enlightened in the principles of Christian faith and morality. Lead, therefore, the lives of men instructed in Christian virtue, and taught to hold in abhorrence the hideous crime of Paganism.
9. (For the fruits of Christian grace and faith are the works of goodness and benevolence, of justice and truth).

And that as children of light, they should perform works altogether different from those which they practised in Paganism, is clear from the circumstance, that the works of light, or of grace and Christian faith, are opposed to the works of darkness or Paganism. The fruit of grace and faith consists in works of “goodness” and benevolence towards our neighbour—opposed to the spirit of anger and ill will, denounced in the preceding chapter. “Of justice,” opposed to the thefts and injustices there referred to (verse 28). “And of truth,” i.e., works done in candour and openness—opposed to the lies referred to in the last chapter. “The fruit of the light.” In the common Greek, it is, καρπος τοῦ πνεῦματος, the fruit of the spirit. The Vulgate reading, is, however, best supported by the authority of the chief MSS. and Versions.

10 Proving what is well pleasing to God.

Live, like children of light, diligently examining what is the will of God, and faithfully complying with it.

The preceding verse is to be enclosed in a parenthesis (as in Paraphrase), and this verse to be immediately connected with verse 8. The first care of a Christian should be to discover the holy and adorable will of God; and the next, to endeavour to fulfil it. “Thy holy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” “To God.” In Greek, τῳκυρίω, to the Lord.

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness: but rather reprove them.

And hold no communication cither by act, approval, or consent, with the unfruitful works of darkness; but, on the contrary, reprove such works, and those who do them, by the contrast of your own bright example, and manifest by every means, your utter abhorrence of them.

“Unfruitful works of darkness.” They are called “unfruitful,” because, far from bringing any advantage, they may cause evil to the man who performs them—“Stipendium peccati, mors.”—Romans, 6:23.

12 For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.

Hold no communication with such persons; for, the things that they do in secret, are too disgraceful to be uttered.

He gives a reason for his injunction in the first part of verse 11, to hold no communication with these deeds or the perpetrators of them. “It is a shame to speak of.” He probably refers to the disgraceful deeds of the followers of Simon Magus, whose doctrines and deeds of lust were intolerable, and too shameful to mention.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for all that is made manifest is light.

Pursuing an opposite line of conduct, by the light of your good example, you should reprove them; for all the things that are brought forth to public gaze and reproved by the contrast, are made manifest by the light—it being the nature of light to enlighten—and it is the peculiar property of light—nothing else can do it—for, everything that manifests, is light.

In this verse he assigns a reason for the latter part of verse 11. “But rather reprove them.” Why? Because, it is the nature of light to enlighten. “All things that are reproved, are manifested by the light,” and nothing else can do it; for, this power to enlighten is the peculiar property of light, “for all that manifests is light.” In this interpretation, the verb, “that is made manifest,” which, in the Greek, is a participle, in the middle voice, φανερουμενον, admitting of either an active or passive signification, is taken actively to mean, that manifests; for, it is not easy to see, how it is universally true to say, that everything “that is manifested is light.” Are not sins oftentimes manifested?—and do they, by being made manifest, become light? Moreover, the Apostle is here condemning that against which he cautions them, with the view of inducing them to avoid it altogether. Now, he could not so zealously exhort them to avoid it, if it became light. Nor can it be said, that by being made manifest, sins shall be abandoned and commuted in the light of the gospel; for, in all probability, many of those referred to here by the Apostle never were converted.

14 Wherefore he saith: Rise, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee.

Hence, because it is the peculiar property of light to enlighten, the Scripture says:—Arise thou that sleepest (in sin), and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee.

Whence are these words taken? Some, with St. Jerome, think they were taken from some Apocryphal book; or, that the Apostle himself, under the influence of a prophetic spirit, now expresses them in the name of the Holy Ghost, as the prophets of old used to say—“hæc dicit Dominus.” Others, with St. Thomas (and this is the more probable opinion), refer them to the 60th chapter of Isaias, in which, addressing the mystic Jerusalem, or the Church, he says—“Surge, illuminare Jerusalem” &c., which is applied by St. Paul, with some change in the words, to his present subject, as they refer almost to the same subject of which he here treats. In this verse, is pointed out the concurrence of man’s free will with the preventing graces of God. These graces find a man in an absolute inability to rouse himself to supernatural acts; they rouse him from this spiritual lethargy; and, if he correspond with them, he shall receive further graces, co-operating graces, &c.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 17, 2014

1 THEN Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples,

“Then,” after He had reduced to silence His adversaries, and had employed all possible remedies in vain, to effect the conversion of the Scribes and Pharisees; after He had adduced the most cogent reasons to prove the truth of His doctrine, and had sealed the Divinity of His Heavenly mission by incontestable miracles; after He had privately reprehended them for their wickedness; seeing them still incorrigible, and become more hardened and obdurate, “then,” in order to guard the multitude and His disciples against being seduced by their wicked example, He publicly upbraids them for their vices.

2 Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.

Before doing so, however, He distinguishes between their public teaching, when interpreting the law of Moses, or their public authority, and their private errors, and personal vices; and guards against the charge of being the enemy of the law of Moses, and a subverter of constituted authority. In the former character, He wishes the people to respect and follow them, since they were the legitimate representatives of the authority Divinely constituted by Moses; and, as the New Law, which was to succeed the Old, and the Gospel ministry, which was to be substituted for that of Aaron and his sons, were not yet established, the people were still bound to obey the existing spiritual authority.

“Have sitten upon the chair of Moses.” By this “chair of Moses,” is meant, the authority Divinely instituted, and exercised by Moses, of teaching the people and expounding to them the law of God, and of ruling them in all things appertaining to the Divine worship; just as by the chair of Peter, cathedra Petri, is meant, the authority Divinely granted him to teach and rule the entire Church. To sit in the chair of Peter is to succeed to the fulness of his authority, that is, to “the full power of feeding, ruling, and governing the universal Church.” Hence, to “sit in the chair of Moses,” means, to exercise, by legitimate succession, the teaching and authority of Moses, in expounding the doctrine of God. The words are allusive to the posture which teachers were generally in the habit of assuming in authoritatively delivering instruction to their hearers; the custom, however, among the Jews in delivering instructions, or expounding the SS. Scripture, in their synagogues, was to do so in a standing posture (Luke 4:16; Acts 13:16). So also Ezra read the law in a standing posture (Ezra 8:4). The Greek for “sit” (εκαθισαν), means, have sitten, and do still sit (Beelen).

3 All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not. For they say, and do not.

“All things, therefore, whatsoever they shall say to you, do,” &c. The word, “therefore,” shows the source of the obligation here imposed by our Divine Redeemer. It is in virtue of their public ministerial character, as successors to the authority of Moses.

“All things whatsoever.” Some interpreters give these words a wide extension, so as to embrace not only the commandments and precepts contained in the law of Moses, and expounded by them from it; but also, all the ordinances and precepts, even of an indifferent nature, imposed by the Scribes and Pharisees, not opposed to the law of Moses, as those would be regarding the honour due to parents (15:4), and those regarding perjury (v. 16); also, their teaching, regarding our Redeemer, which was manifestly opposed to Moses. These, and all such, are clearly excepted from the words, “all things whatsoever,” Thus, when the Apostle commands children to obey their parents, “in all things,” he manifestly, from the very nature of things, excepts obedience when they command evil. The universal form of the words, “all things whatsoever,” with the limitation already assigned, is in favour of this interpretation. (Jansenius, &c.) Others, with Maldonatus, restrict the words to the precepts contained in the law of Moses, and taught from it, or to the doctrine of Moses; and this would seem to be implied in the words, “sit in the chair of Moses,” as if he said, all things, then, that they command, while expounding the law of Moses, or, rather, all things which the law of Moses prescribes, the Pharisees being its expounders, do and observe. In this interpretation, there is not even the appearance of contradiction between the commands of our Redeemer here, and the caution He gives (c. 16), “cavete a fermento Pharisærum,” as in this latter place, He means to guard them against the errors which the Pharisees taught, opposed to the law of Moses. In such circumstances, they did “not sit on the chair of Moses.”

Whether the Jewish Church was gifted with infallibility, or not, is a point not quite agreed upon. At all events, it seems to have never, as such, whatever might have been the perverse teachings of individuals, erred in faith, until the time it rejected and condemned Christ. Then, however, it had ceased; it was of merely temporary duration, and any promises made to it could only regard the time of its existence. But, in reference to the Christian Church, the gift of infallibility has been secured to it until the end of time, until the consummation of ages. (See Luke 22:32).

“But, according to their works do ye not.” Our Redeemer here carefully distinguishes their private doctrines, personal conduct, and, likely, also their private teaching, from their utterances in their public ministerial capacity. It was the more necessary to caution the people against being imitators of their wicked conduct, as men are apt to attend to, and imitate the practice, rather than the doctrine, of their teachers.

“For they say, and do not.” This is the first subject of reproach, on the part of our Lord, against the Scribes and Pharisees. Their conduct is not in accordance with their teaching. The man who delivers precepts, binding on all, and himself violates them, commits a threefold sin—1st. By transgressing the law, which he is bound to observe. 2ndly. By not correcting others, as he should. 3rdly. By rendering his teaching odious, thus injuring his hearers.

4 For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them.

“For, they bind,” i.e., collect into bundles, “heavy … burdens”—the second subject of reproach. These words are allusive to the practice, resorted to sometimes, of tying and binding up heavy loads, to be carried by beasts of burden. “Insupportable.” The Greek, δυσβάστακτα, means, hard to be carried. This has reference to the multiplied ceremonial precepts, which constituted a heavy burden, “which neither they, nor their fathers, have been able to bear” (Acts 15:10). To this, add the traditions of the ancients, and their own. St. Chrysostom, however, remarks, that, in this, our Redeemer does not refer to the Jewish Ceremonial Law, which Christ had not, as yet, abrogated; but, to the traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees, and the laws they imposed, contrary to Scripture. It may be, He refers, both to the heavy load of the Ceremonial Law, to which they superadded a great multiplicity of human traditions. To this, add their rigid interpretation of the letter of the Divine Law, the stern severity with which they enforced it. All this rendered their precepts “insupportable.” The rigour with which they enforced the observance of the Sabbath may serve as an example of the latter. The words, “lay them on men’s shoulders,” conveys an idea of the haughty, authoritative tone, assumed by these men.

“But with a finger of their own,” &c. A proverbial form of expression, common to both Greek and Latin writers, conveying, that one has no inclination or disposition whatever to take part in any labour one imposes on others. The word, “finger,” is opposed to “shoulder,” and the whole phrase conveys, that these men did not use the least exertion to render, by their own example, the observance of these ordinances light for those upon whom they imposed them.

Whether He refers here to the peculiar traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees, or to the multitude of the precepts of the Old Law, which they rendered still more intolerable by the excessive rigour with which they enforced their strict observance—and this latter seems more likely, as the Pharisees were most observant of their own traditions, while they neglected the law—St. Chrysostom observes, that our Redeemer prefers a twofold charge against the Pharisees: 1st. That of being too exacting, as regards others. 2ndly. Of being too indulgent in regard to themselves.

5 And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes.

In the foregoing, our Redeemer cautions His followers against imitating the Pharisees, &c., in their violations of God’s law; here, He cautions them against imitating them, in the good they seem to do; since, even in this, their motives are corrupt. They perform all their external good works, such as prayer, fasting, alms-deeds, &c., from a vicious motive, for the purpose of gaining human applause, rather than of promoting the glory of God. In this, they are not to be imitated.

“For, they make their phylacteries broad.” These “phylacteries,” literally, preservatives, to remind them to keep the law; were strips or scrolls of parchment, on which were written the Ten Commandments, or some sentences from the law. These the Jews bound round their foreheads, their left wrist, or arm, while at prayer (Josephus Antiq. iv. 8–13), to remind them of their duty. St. Jerome assures us, that, up to his own time, the Jews wore them in India, and among the Persians and Babylonians. This custom took its rise from a too literal, instead of a spiritual, interpretation of the text (Deut. 6:8), “Thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand, and they shall be, and shall move as a sign between thy eyes.” What was commanded here, was, that the Jews should be always mindful of God’s Commandments, that they should make them the rule of their conduct, and meditate on them day and night. But the Jews took the words literally, and acted accordingly. It is not the use of them our Redeemer here condemns; but, the ostentatious display of them by the Pharisees, in order to appear more religious than others.

“And enlarge their fringes.” We read Numbers 15:38; Deut. 22:12), that Moses commanded the Jews “to make to themselves fringes,” or, to make strings in the them, at the four corners of their cloaks. These fringes, or tassels, which hung from the four corners of their cloaks, which were square in front and behind, had each a distinguishing thread of deep blue—the colour of the heavens—to remind them, of their obligation to observe God’s Commandments, and also to keep before their minds, that they were segregated from all other nations. St. Jerome informs us, that, in his time, some Jews inserted sharp-pointed thorns, whose puncture, when they either walked or sat down, would remind them of their duty. What our Redeemer here censures is, the ostentatious display of the Pharisees, who enlarged these tassels, in order to appear more religious than others. They affected all this external show of piety in their garments, while they denied its spirit, and despised its ordinances, in the regulation of their own lives.

6 And they love the first places at feasts and the first chairs in the synagogues,

“They love,” that is, inordinately and eagerly ambition. “The first places at feasts.” Among the Jews, the first place was at the top of the table; among the Greeks and Romans, the middle of the triclinium. Our Redeemer does not so much censure them for actually obtaining these places—since those placed in exalted station should get a preference; and God, whose representatives they are, is honoured in them—as for their ambitious and vainglorious anxiety in regard to such distinctions; and it was with a view of receiving those marks of honour and distinction, they affected the exterior sanctity of manners referred to in the preceding words.

“And the first chairs in the synagogues.” The most honourable seats in these places of public meeting, assigned to the seniors and the learned, with their backs to the desk of the reader, and their faces to the people. They would thus be in a position to exhibit the most profound humility and simplicity.

7 And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi.

“And salutations,” profound marks of reverence and respect due to them, as pre-eminently holy, and observant of the law, in places of public resort. This reverence, so much coveted by the Scribes, &c., was, probably, rendered by the people with uncovered head, and bended knee.

“And to be called by men, Rabbi.” The word, “Rabbi,” signifies, “my master.” It is repeated in the ordinary Greek, “Rabbi, Rabbi” (but not repeated so in the Vatican MS.) This was an epithet applied by Judas to our Lord (Matt. 26:49), and also to John the Baptist, by his disciples (John 3:26). It is not the title itself that our Redeemer censures, but the vainglorious assumption and pride of the Pharisees, who were delighted with the frequent repetition of the term.

8 But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master: and all you are brethren.

“Be you,” My followers and disciples, whom I wish to be altogether free from the vices and passions of these Scribes and Pharisees—“you”—whose morals I wish to be, in every respect, the opposite of theirs.

“Be not called Rabbi,” &c., that is, neither vaingloriously affect nor desire such titles of pre-eminence and distinction, nor take foolish complacency in them, should they be bestowed on you, nor on this account prefer yourselves to others. It is quite clear, that our Redeemer does not here condemn the use and bestowal of these titles; since, St. Paul calls himself the doctor of the Gentiles, and the father of the Galatians, in the faith; and we are all obliged to show honour and respect to our fathers and superiors, on earth. In order to see what our Redeemer here censures, we must look to the scope or end of His observations, and this clearly is, to inculcate humility and simplicity of life, on the part of His followers, so opposed to the pride and vain, ostentatious assumption of these titles by the Scribes, &c., thus despising all others.

“For one is your Master.” His disciples should acknowledge that there is but “One,” who is strictly entitled to the appellation of “Master;” that, although others may be “masters,” in an inferior degree, they are still but the ministers and instruments employed by that “one Master,” who alone can, by excellence be termed such. He alone, of Himself, possesses all knowledge; He alone can impart fruit to the teaching of others; He alone can speak to the heart, and interiorly communicate light and knowledge; compared with Him, none others can strictly be termed “masters.” From Him, they borrow all their knowledge. All they have, “is received” from Him, and all the glory of their labour should be referred to Him alone. Hence, those who affect to glory in this, or similar titles, assume what is not theirs, and derogate from what is due to Him. In this sense, our Redeemer tells us not to wish to be called “Rabbi,” as compared with God; as implying superiority in a prohibited sense, over others; “and, all you are brethren,” all, whether in an humble or exalted station, learned or unlearned, all, are one in Christ, all children of the same Heavenly Father, members of the same Christian family. No one should, therefore, assume superiority over others, in the sense that anyone has anything from himself, since all our gifts are received. This, however, does not interfere with due subordination, or with the relations which should exist between the governed and governing parties (1 Cor. 4:15), or with the gradation established by God, in His mystic body, so absolutely necessary for its well-being and existence (1 Cor. 12:14–27).

The words, then, mean: Do not vaingloriously aspire to the title of doctor or teacher, as if you had, of yourselves, any claim to this title; as if you were entitled to derive honour therefrom, as is done by the Pharisees. For, there is only One who can strictly be termed such, viz., Christ; or, as if you could, therefore, despise others, who may not be thus privileged; for, they are become your equals in Christianity. “You are all brethren.”

9 And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven.

“And call none your father upon earth,” in the sense, of referring all we possess to them, as the principal cause, viz., our existence, our possessions; or, all we hope for, by way of inheritance. In this sense, we have but “one Father, who is in heaven.” To Him alone are we are indebted for everything—our life, our persons, all our faculties and senses, our corporal and spiritual privileges, our claims to eternal happiness. It is the vainglorious affectation of this and the other titles, on the part of the Scribes, for the purpose of pride and ostentation, that our Redeemer here condemns, as opposed to the glory and honour of God, the great source of all good, “of whom is named all paternity, in heaven and earth” (Eph. 3:15). He, by no means, however, censures or prohibits Christians from bearing and bestowing, in a dependent and subordinate sense, these titles, which superiority of office, station, or talent, may confer, and which may contribute to the subordination due by others. “As there is, by nature, but one God, and one Son, yet others are called sons of God, by adoption; so, there is but one Father and Master; yet, others, in a less strict sense, are styled fathers and masters” (St. Jerome).

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, Christ.

Most likely, our Redeemer here repeats what He inculcated (v. 8), to show His detestation of pride, and to eradicate it the more effectually from the minds of His Apostles, whom He had appointed to be teachers and doctors of the entire earth; or, it may be, that a different idea is conveyed here, tending, however, to the same end. “Rabbi”—derived from Rab, signifying, the multitude—may refer to the multiplied variety of learning one possesses for teaching others. “Master” (καθηγητης), may refer to the same, under a different relation, as “leader, guide, director;” and Christ is to be called so pre-eminently, as being alone, “the way, the truth, and the life.”

11 He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant.

This shows the scope of the preceding. Our Redeemer supposes that there is to be pre-eminence and superiority enjoyed in His Church, and authority exercised by some over others. This order and subordination is required in every well-regulated body, for its very continuance in existence. But, supposing this, our Redeemer points out the true and proper way of exercising this superiority. (See 20:27, &c.)

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

“Whosoever,” no matter who, “shall exalt himself,” through pride, and shall attribute to himself what he has not, or, shall glory in what he may have, as if it were not received, and shall thus usurp the glory of God’s gifts, and despise others, such a man shall be humbled, debased, and degraded, for all eternity. Man has a natural aversion to whatever debases him, and since he sinned, he only merits humiliation and debasement. But, God, who is goodness itself, and knows man’s weakness, obliges him to humble himself, only with a promise of solid and enduring elevation; and, in prohibiting him to exalt himself, it is with a threat of eternal humiliation. In thus addressing His disciples, our Lord traces an image of the folly of the Pharisees, who exalted themselves above others; since, the measure of their humiliation, at a future day, shall be that of their self-elevation at present. For this reason, He hurls against them the following woes and maledictions, to inspire others with a horror of their criminal conduct, and thus deter them from imitating their vicious example.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Christ, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Commentaries and Posts for the Second Week of Lent, Year A (Sunday, March 16–Sunday, March 23, 2014)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 16, 2014

SUNDAY, MARCH 16, 2014

Commentaries and Resources for the Second Sunday of Lent.

MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2014

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Daniel 9:4b-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Daniel 9:4b-10. Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 79.

My Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (79:8, 9, 11, 13). Includes background to the entire psalm and a suggested reading list.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 6:36-38.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 6:36-38.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Isaiah 1:10, 16-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 1:10, 16-20. Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 50.

St Augustine on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23). This post is on the entire Psalm.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (50:8-9, 1bbc-17, 21 and 23). On the entire Psalm.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 23:1-12.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12.

Pending: Father Maas, Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily on Today’s Readings (Solemnity of St Joseph).

St Augustine’ City of God on Today’s First Reading and Psalm 89. Augustine’s brief treatment of Psalm 89 in this post differs from his notes (see next link).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s First Reading (2 Sam 7:4-5a, 12-14, 16). Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (89). Notes are to the entire Psalm.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22). This post is on verses 13-25.

Pending: Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Jermiah 17:5-10).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Jeremiah 17:5-10. Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire psalm.

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

A Lectio Divina Reading of Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

My Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

St Hilary’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Two Homiletic Commentaries on Luke 16:19-31.

St John Chrysostom’s First Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

St John Chrysostom’s Second Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

St John Chrysostom’s Third Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

St John Chrysostom’s Fourth Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

Asterius of Amasea’s First Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 16:19-31.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 16:19-31.

FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Genesis 37:3-4, 13a, 17b-28. Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Genesis 37:3-4, 13a, 17b-28).

Seeds Of Abraham: Joseph. EWTN podcast, listen to episodes 10-14 which focus on Joseph in Genesis.

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21). On the entire Psalm. I would suggest reading the whole thing but, for those pressed for time, read paragraph numbers 7-13 which give his notes on verses 12-22.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21). Please note this Commentary follows the Psalm numbering of the Vulgate and Septuagint in which Ps 104 corresponds to 105.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46.

Father Maas’ Commentary Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46).

St Irenaeus Podcast: Matthew’s Eschatology (20:20-22:14). Podcast study which includes today’s Gospel reading.

St William of York’s Pontifical Bible Study on Matthew (21:18-46). Includes study of today’s reading.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Pending (maybe): My Notes on Micah 7:14-15, 18-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Micah 7:14-15, 18-20. Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Micah 7:14-15, 18-20).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12). Post on the entire Psalm.

A Practical Commentary on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

Father Leopold Fonck’s Commentary on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32. Actually, this post is on verses 1-32 inclusively.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32. Actually, this post is on verses 1-32.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

SUNDAY, MARCH 23, 2014


Next Week’s Posts.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Daily Catholic Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »


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