The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Commentaries on the Daily and Sunday Readings of Ordinary Time: Weeks 19-34

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 13, 2016

NOTE: Each Week Includes The Current and Upcoming Sunday.

Commentaries for the 19th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begin Aug 14. Commentaries for the 20th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begin Aug 21. Commentaries for the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begin Aug 28. Commentaries for the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begin Sept 4. Commentaries for the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begin Sept 11. Commentaries for the 24th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begin Sept 18. Commentaries for the 25th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begin Sept 25. Commentaries for the 26th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begin Oct. 2. Commentaries for the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begins Oct. 9. Commentaries for the 28th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begins Oct. 16. Commentaries for the 29th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begins Oct 23. Commentaries for the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begins Oct. 30. Commentaries for the Thirty-First Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begins Nov. 6. Commentaries for the Thirty-Second Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begins Nov. 13. Commentaries for the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C.

Begins Nov 20. Commentaries for the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year II, Sunday C. THIS IS THE FINAL WEEK OF THE LITURGICAL YEAR. Includes First Sunday of Advent, Year A (Nov 27).

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St Robert Bellarmine’s Commentary on Psalm 5

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2016

PSALM 5
A PRAYER TO GOD AGAINST THE INIQUITIES OF MEN

Title: Unto the end, for her that obtaineth the inheritance. A psalm for David.

Psa 5:1 Give ear, O Lord, to my words, understand my cry. Psa 5:2 Hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God.

In three ways one is not heard by another; either because the words are not heard; or because the words are not understood; or because the person to whom they are addressed is otherwise engaged. God sees everything, understands everything, and looks after everything; but he is said, sometimes, to see not, to understand not, to abandon everything, because he so despises the intercessor; as if he did not see, understand, or care about his prayers. Therefore, the holy prophet, when about to pray, commences by asking that God may see, understand, and attend to him. Now God despises the suppliant as if he did not see him or hear him, when the one who puts up the prayer, puts it up in so distracted a way that he does not actually feel what he is saying, or prays so coldly that his prayer cannot possibly ascend. In such cases God holds himself as if he did not know what was wanted, when the petitioner himself did not seem to know, in his asking for things of no possible use to him, however urgent and ardent he may have been in asking for them. Then finally, God is like one paying no attention to the suppliant, when the suppliant is unworthy of being heard, by reason of his want of humility, confidence, or other requisites; or by reason of the sinful state in which he is still, and his having no idea of penance. The prophet then, inspired by the Holy Ghost, with consummate skill asks God for the gift of perfect prayer; that is to say, that when he shall pray, his prayers may not be repulsed, but that they may be heard, understood, and attended to adding, “My King,” for a king is supposed to hear his people; and “My God,” raising up an additional claim as a creature, and therefore depending on his Creator for everything.

Psa 5:3 For to thee will I pray: O Lord, in the morning thou shalt hear my voice.
Psa 5:4 In the morning I will stand before thee, and I will see: because thou art not a God that willest iniquity.

I will not only pray, but I will stand up in contemplation; in the morning, before the cares of the world obtrude; and the principal subject of my meditation shall be your hatred of sin; your great regard for innocence and justice; and therefore, you being justice and the light, if I wish to please you, I must aim at justice and innocence, and hate iniquity.

Psa 5:5 Neither shall the wicked dwell near thee: nor shall the unjust abide before thy eyes.

God not only hates sin, but sinners too; and therefore, the wicked shall receive no hospitality from him: “Nor shall the unjust abide before thy eyes;” that is; you will not look long upon them with an eye of clemency, He may look upon them for a while with eye of clemency and give them much of the goods of this world; but such will not be of long continuance, for in a short time he will fling them from his face unto eternal perdition.

Psa 5:6 Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity: thou wilt destroy all that speak a lie. The bloody and the deceitful man the Lord will abhor.

God’s hatred of evil, or evil doers, is not only negative, but he positively hates, seeks to destroy them, and, actually, will do so: and as sin is committed by act, word, thought, or desire, each is here enumerated; first, the “Workers of iniquity;” secondly, they that “Speak a lie;” thirdly, “The bloody and the deceitful.”

Psa 5:7 But as for me in the multitude of thy mercy, I will come into thy house; I will worship towards thy holy temple, in thy fear.

After saying, that in the morning he would meditate on the hatred God bears to sin and to sinners, he now tells us the fruit of such meditation, saying, “But as for me, in the multitude of thy mercy” as much as to say, relying on thy great mercy, and not on my own strength, to avoid sin, “I will come into thy house,” the house of prayer. “I will worship towards thy holy temple,” that is to say, I will throw myself prostrate in presence of thy tabernacle, “in thy fear,” for in fear and trembling will I implore your assistance.

Psa 5:8 Conduct me, O Lord, in thy justice: because of my enemies, direct my way in thy sight.

From God’s house he now puts up the prayer that God may lead him in his justice; that is, through the paths of justice, by causing him to keep all his commandments, and thus to avoid all sin; which is the same as “Direct my way in thy sight;” in other words, make me walk the straight road, having God always before me. And he makes therein special mention of his enemies; for divine grace is needed against them, to direct, to protect, to anticipate, and to follow up the number of enemies who lie in wait for us, and seek to lead us to sin, be they demons or mortals, making use of threats or allurements. He includes in the word enemies all those who, however friendly they may appear to be, come in the way of our salvation. For, “Man’s domestics are his enemies.” The meaning, then, is, make me walk the straight road before thee. We should always ask the grace of God to walk in the way of his commandments.

Psa 5:9 For there is no truth in their mouth: their heart is vain.
Psa 5:10 Their throat is an open sepulchre: they dealt deceitfully with their tongues: judge them, O God. Let them fall from their devices: according to the multitude of their wickednesses cast them out: for they have provoked thee, O Lord.

He assigns a reason for his praying for help against his insidious enemies, namely, their purpose of injuring him, and the difficulty of avoiding their stratagems. “There is no truth in their mouth,” he says, because, when they want to deceive, they terrify, seeking to make one avoid some trifling evil, that thereby they may be led into a greater one; when they want to deceive us in another shape, they allure by persuading us to go after some good of no value, and thereby lose one of great value. “Their heart is vain” within, and they are perverse without. They relish nothing, desire nothing, and can, therefore, speak of nothing but what is vain. And he repeats the same in the following verse, but inverting the order of it. “Their heart is an open sepulchre,” being a repetition of, “their heart is vain;” and “they dealt deceitfully with their tongues,” being a repetition of, “there is no truth in their mouth.” In making use then, of the words, “throat,” “open sepulchre,” he implies that the mouth, throat, and tongue, being the members wherewith speech is pronounced or issued, are, as it were, the mouth of the sepulchre; and that the soul or heart, the seat of the bad, foul, horrid thoughts and desires, like fetid and putrid corpses, and exhaling the foul odors of sinful language form the interior of the sepulchre. And he therefore adds, “They dealt deceitfully with their tongues;” that is, my enemies, having no truth in their hearts, not only say what is false, but also what is deceitful, because they would, under the show of rectitude, persuade me to what is bad. “Judge them, O Lord,” etc. This must be taken more as a prophecy than an imprecation. It means that the enemies of the just will not only be excluded from the inheritance, but they will be condemned to eternal punishment, and will accomplish none of the objects they seek for. “Judge them” is more significant in the Hebrew, which makes it, “condemn them.” “Let them fall from their devices,” that is, let them be disappointed in the hope they had of perverting the elect. “According to the multitude of their wickedness cast them out.” that is, their sins will drive them from the inheritance into everlasting darkness: “for they have provoked thee, O Lord,” that is to say, because when they thought themselves they were injuring others, it was in reality God they injured, as we have in 1 Kings 8, “They have not cast you, but me out;” and in Acts 5, “You have not lied to men, but to God.”

Psa 5:11 But let all them be glad that hope in thee: they shall rejoice for ever, and thou shalt dwell in them. And all they that love thy name shall glory in thee.
Psa 5:12 For thou wilt bless the just. O Lord, thou hast crowned us, as with a shield of thy good will.

The happy inheritance of the just, as promised in the Psalm, is here predicted. “Let them all be glad that hope in thee,” that is to say, though the just are now engaged in a laborious contest, let them rejoice in hope; not putting their hope in the vanities of this world, but in the true God, through whom, in the proper time, they will exult forever in his praise. “And thou shalt dwell in them,” making them, as it were, your habitation; they will, therefore, be in God, as he is in them; and he will be all unto all in them. And this external praise and exultation will arise from the immense internal joy and glory which will be their lot. “For all they that love thy name shall glory in thee:” namely, all the truly just, love making them the just, the friends, the sons of God. Their glory will arise from “your blessing the just,” that is, from your blessing every just man; and with the blessing, conferring favors on them, by giving them the crown of glory they deserve. And as the benevolence of God, who elected us before the foundation of the world, is the root of all good, inasmuch as from it proceed vocation, justification, merit, and glory itself, he thus concludes, “O Lord, thou hast crowned us as with a shield of thy good will.” I acknowledge, O Lord, that all our happiness comes from thy grace and goodness, which, like the shield of the soldier, surrounds and protects us. The same idea is expressed in Psalm 102, “Who crowneth thee in mercy and compassion.”

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St Robert Bellarmine’s Commentary on Psalm 4

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2016

PSALM 4
THE PROPHET TEACHES US TO FLY TO GOD IN TRIBULATION, WITH CONFIDENCE IN HIM

Psa 4:1 Unto the end, in verses. A psalm for David. When I called upon him, the God of my justice heard me: when I was in distress, thou hast enlarged me. Have mercy on me: and hear my prayer.

David, in the person of the Church, or any faithful soul advising sinners to follow its example, exhorts them to be converted, to put their confidence in God, to abandon evil, and do good, giving himself as an example—for when he was in trouble, he invoked the Almighty, and was heard. “The God of my justice heard me,” that is to say, the God from whom all my justice proceeds, whose grace makes me just. He then tells how he was heard, “When I was in distress thou hast enlarged me.” God sometimes hears us by removing the tribulation; sometimes by giving patience to bear it, which is a greater favor; sometimes by not only giving the patience to bear it, but even to be glad of it, which is the greatest favor of all, and it is that of which the prophet speaks here. Tribulation hems us in; joy enlarges our hearts; but when one glories in tribulation, his sadness is changed into joy, and tribulations bring to such persons not hemming in, but enlargement. “Have mercy on me; and hear my prayer.” He asks for continuation of the grace, as if he said, Hear me always, pity me always, as you have done hitherto. The holy prophet knew that while here below we are always exposed to danger, if his mercy do not only go before, but also accompany and follow us.

Psa 4:2 O ye sons of men, how long will you be dull of heart? why do you love vanity, and seek after lying?

That is to say, how long will you have a heart of stone, a hard one, inclined to the earth, thinking of nothing but the goods of this world? For, according to the Lord, “The hearts are weighed down by excess, drunkenness, and the cares of this world;” and because hardened hearts are not susceptible of celestial thoughts, but only of terrestrial and transitory, they only love what is terrestrial and transitory; and as we take trouble only in seeking for the things we ardently love, the prophet adds, “Why do you love vanity, and seek after lying?” The goods of this world are called vain and fallacious, because they are neither stable nor solid, though they may seem to be so; and are therefore, with justice, designated as false and fallacious, especially when compared to those of eternity.

Psa 4:3 Know ye also that the Lord hath made his holy one wonderful: the Lord will hear me when I shall cry unto him.

This is the strongest reason that can be advanced for man holding himself disengaged from temporal things. Because the Holy One of God, meaning the Son of God, the only one among men free from sin, came from heaven to us. Hence the demon, in Mark 4, exclaimed: “I know you are the Holy One of God.” And this Holy One went his way, doing good, suffering persecutions, despising the things of this world, holding up those of the other, and by such a new route arrived at eternal happiness, corporally reigning in heaven, and spiritually happy forever. And as he is our guide, and went before us to prepare a place for us; undoubtedly, if we walk in his footsteps, we will come to true and everlasting happiness. And as he is not only our Leader, but also our Advocate and Mediator, David therefore adds: “The Lord will hear me when I shall cry unto him;” that is to say, I am now quite sure of being heard when I know there is on the right hand of God an intercessor on my behalf.

Psa 4:4 Be ye angry, and sin not: the things you say in your hearts, be sorry for them upon your beds.

The Holy Ghost having severely reproved and admonished mankind, and advised them to repent, tells them now what they ought to do, and instructs them to have a holy horror of sin, to resist their evil desires, and, by such means, to avoid sin; and, should they happen to fall, at once to be sorry and contrite; and not to stop at the doing no harm, but to go further, by offering the sacrifice of justice in doing good. “Be angry, and sin not;” that is to say, when your wicked and rebellious temper, the top and bottom of all our sins, stirs us up, let your anger vent itself on your own poor corrupt self; contend with it, so that you shall not fall into sin. St. Basil tells us that anger was implanted in us by God, to be a source of merit. “The things you say in your hearts, be sorry for them upon your beds;” that is to say, in the dead hour of night, when you shall be alone in your bedchamber, free from all cares; then turn over all your shortcomings, and in God’s presence be sorry for them, imitating the example of David himself, who in Psalm 6 says, “Every night I will wash my bed; I will water my couch with my tears,” thus carrying out the advice he gave to others.

Psa 4:5 Offer up the sacrifice of justice, and trust in the Lord: many say, Who sheweth us good things?

The second part of sanctity is here portrayed, namely, the going farther than doing no evil, but producing good. Good works are here called the sacrifice of justice, by reason of their being highly agreeable to God, and their contributing to his glory. “Let them see your good works, that they may glorify your Father who is in heaven,” saith our Lord. St. Paul on alms says: “I have received your offerings in the odor of sweetness;” on fasting, and other corporal works he has, Romans 12, “I beseech you, therefore, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God;” observe, though, how he adds: “and trust in the Lord,” for fear of presumption, which is always lying in wait on our good works. We must work well, but in such manner as not to be proudly confident in our works, like the Pharisee, “Who gave thanks to God, that he was not like other men,” etc. Let us rather hope in the Lord, who will enable us to avoid sin, to produce good works, and arrive at the harbor of eternal salvation. For, as presumption is like a poison destroying the merit of our good works, so humble diffidence in our own strength, and a reliance on God, is like salt, seasoning and preserving all our good actions. “Many say, Who showeth us good things?” A common objection of the carnal, who are numerous, hence “many.” When we preach to them the contempt of things here below, and exhort them to innocence and justice, many reply, Who will show us what is good, if the things we see and handle be not good? Who has come up from hell? Who has gone up to heaven?

Psa 4:6 The light of thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us: thou hast given gladness in my heart.

The prophet replies by saying that the path of justice has been pointed out to us by God; that we have a master within us, the light of natural reason, to point out the real truth, for “this light is signed upon us” indelibly, that is, on our superior part; for we consist of two parts, the soul, the superior, and the body, the inferior. In the superior part is the light that puts us above the brutes, a light derived from the countenance of God, and wherein we are the image and likeness of God. By means of this light we can, in the first place, understand the road that leads to happiness; for the natural law, so written on our hearts, that even iniquity itself cannot blot it out, teaches that we should not do to another what we would not have done to ourselves, and therefore, that we must not steal, commit adultery, etc. Through the grace of God we can also understand that real happiness consists in making ourselves as like as possible to God, for the perfection of an image is to be as like as possible to the original. Such considerations produce great joy, hope, and love of God in the mind, for what is more pleasing than the reflection of one’s being the living image of a thing of infinite beauty, and that he is dearly beloved by that same omnipotent original? However, as all have not such emotions, David concludes the verse by saying, thou hast “given gladness,” not in their hearts, but “in mine,” which all just and pious people equally experience.

Psa 4:7 By the fruit of their corn, their wine, and oil, they rest:

Another argument from which men may understand that God is the author of all good, for it is he who, in the fitting time, multiplies the grain and produces the fruit, as St. Paul has it, Acts 14, “Nevertheless he left not himself without testimony, doing good from heaven, giving rains and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”

Psa 4:8 In peace in the self same I will sleep, and I will rest: 

David’s conclusion then is, whatever the conduct of those whom I have been exhorting may be, my desire is to confide entirely in God, and rest altogether in him. “In peace,” that is, in the most perfect tranquillity; “in the self same” that is, in union, along with. “I will sleep and rest,” that is, I will securely lie down, and profoundly sleep. Observe the word “self same,” a word of frequent use in the Psalms, and signifies with, or in union with.

Psa 4:9For thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope.

A reason for his casting all his solicitude on God, and for his saying that he would sleep and rest in peace in the other world, because God, by his most true and faithful promises, made him to settle himself in hope alone. Thus the just man, the friend of God, dwells in divine hope alone, as he would in a fortified house, doing what in him lies for this world as well as for the next, not confiding in his own strength nor in anything created, but in God alone, and, therefore, is not confounded, but securely sleeps, and will sleep with equal security in the world to come.

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St Robert Bellarmine’s Commentary on Psalm 3

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2016

PSALM 3
THE PSALM OF DAVID WHEN HE FLED FROM THE FACE OF HIS SON ABSALOM

Psa 3:1 The psalm of David when he fled from the face of his son Absalom. Why, O Lord, are they multiplied that afflict me? many are they who rise up against me.

David, addressing himself in prayer to God, complains of and wonders at the number of his enemies, for, as we read in 2 Kings 15, “All Israel was then most cordially following Absalom.” Such was the case with Christ, especially in his passion, for then his son, that is, his people, rebelled against him, crying out: “we have no king but Caesar;” and he, like a sick man and a fugitive, was obliged to fly from them through his death; but speedily returned through his resurrection. Absalom signifies the peace of the father, because, in fact, it was the son only that stirred up the war; but the father was always at peace, both as regards David, who wept at the death of his son, and as regards Christ, who prayed for his persecutors; and as Achitophel, the intimate friend and counselor of David, was the person to betray him in the rebellion of his son, and afterwards hanged himself, similar was the end of Judas, one of Christ’s most familiar friends, who also hanged himself.

Psa 3:2 Many say to my soul: There is no salvation for him in his God.

This would appear to apply to the inward temptations of the devil, seeking to make him despair, as if his confidence in God had been to no purpose. To it also may be referred what the people were then naturally saying, namely, that notwithstanding David’s great confidence in God, he was then apparently entirely abandoned by him; a thing quite common for the ignorant to take up, when they see pious people in trouble. Thus, Job’s wife reproaches him, “Do you still remain in your simplicity?” So with Tobias’s wife, when she said, “Your hope is now evidently come to nothing, and your alms now appear.” And so they said of Christ: “He has confided in God, let him free him now if he will.”

Psa 3:3 But thou, O Lord, art my protector, my glory, and the lifter up of my head.

What one in trouble, a just man such as David, and especially what Christ, the head of all the just, would say. The meaning is, many tell me I put my hope in God to no purpose; but they are quite mistaken, for you, Lord, never desert those that confide in thee; therefore you are “my protector,” to ward off the weapons of my enemies, not content with which you become “my glory,” that is to say, the cause of my glory. Hence it arises that you come to be “the lifter up of my head;” that is to say, you make me, who a while ago hung my head in grief and sorrow, hold it up now in joy and exultation.

Psa 3:4 I have cried to the Lord with my voice: and he hath heard me from his holy hill.

A proof of David’s confidence. He appealed to the Almighty, and, at once, he was heard. Observe the expression, “I have cried with my voice;” as much as to say, not silently, indifferently, or passively, but loudly, emphatically. “From his holy hill,” means either Sion, or, more probably, the kingdom of heaven.

Psa 3:5 I have slept and have taken my rest: and I have risen up, because the Lord hath protected me.

In the persecution of Absalom David made no resistance, but lay down as one would to sleep, but soon after awoke, strengthened by the Lord to recover his kingdom, “because the Lord hath protected” him.

Psa 3:6 I will not fear thousands of the people surrounding me: arise, O Lord; save me, O my God.

Clearly applicable to David, who, on recovering courage, rose up and got ready to meet his enemies; and, therefore, now exclaims he has no fear of the countless enemy, confiding, as he does, not in his own power, or the arms of his allies, but in God; and he therefore supplicates him to rise and save him from the hands of the enemy. Observe the connection between the word “arise,” in this verse, and “I have risen,” in the preceding, as much as to say, I have on your inspiration arisen, and do you now at my request arise in my defense.

Psa 3:7 For thou hast struck all them who are my adversaries without cause: thou hast broken the teeth of sinners.

An acknowledgment of the divine protection, and his deliverance from his enemies, whose teeth were so broken that, though they may bark, they could not possibly injure or bite.

Psa 3:8 Salvation is of the Lord: and thy blessing is upon thy people.

An invocation of the divine blessing, and thanksgiving for the benefits conferred by him.

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St Robert Bellarmine’s Commentary on Psalm 2

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2016

PSALM 2
THE VAIN EFFORTS OF PERSECUTORS AGAINST CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH

Psa 2:1 Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things?

David, recognizing in spirit the coming Messias, the many persecutions he was to undergo, to end in his most successful reign, commences by taunting his persecutors. “And the people devised vain things,” foreshadowing the folly of the Jews, “when they took counsel to destroy Jesus.”

Psa 2:2 The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord, and against his Christ.

After saying in general, that both gentiles and people rose up against Christ, he now descends to particulars, and attributes the excitement not so much to the people as to those placed over them. The first of whom was Herod. Next the princes and the people, as the gospel has it, “All Jerusalem was troubled with him.” Then Pontius Pilate and the princes of that day. Then, after the passion and resurrection of our Lord, all the persecutions of the Roman emperors. So clearly foreshadowed is the Messias in this verse that the apostles, in the fourth chapter of the Acts, not only literally applied it to our Savior, but even the old Jewish Rabbis hold it to apply to the Savior the infatuated Jews are still foolishly looking out for! Observe the propriety of the words used here. The gentiles are said “to rage,” as if they were animals void of reason; while the Jewish people are made “to meditate vain things,” having taken counsel to destroy Jesus.

Psa 2:3 Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us.

The prophet assigns a reason for such rage and conspiracy; it was for fear they may be subjected to the law of Christ, so opposed to their carnal desires, and the wisdom of the world. These words are then, as it were, spoken by the kings and princes. The law here gets the name of bonds and yoke, because such it is, in point of fact, to the wicked; whereas, to the just, it is “sweeter than honey, and more desirable than gold and precious stones,” as we read in Ps. 19.

Psa 2:4 He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them: and the Lord shall deride them.

Here the prophet shows again how vain was the labor of the kings and princes in assailing the Christian religion. For the religion of Christ is of divine origin, and nobody can offer resistance to God. “He that dwelleth in heaven” is very appropriate, inasmuch as it shows that God sees all, is above all, and without any trouble can baffle all their counsels, and demolish all their plans. “Shall laugh at and deride them,” means that God in his wisdom, by means of signs and wonders, through the patience of the martyrs, through the conversion of nations and peoples, and through other means known to himself alone, will so confound them that they shall be an object of laughter and ridicule to every one. That we see fulfilled. The pagan and the Jewish priesthood are now ridiculed by all. They have neither temples nor sacrifice; and all the persecutors of the Church have met a miserable end.

Psa 2:5 Then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his rage.

He explains the manner in which God has held the enemies of Christ up to ridicule, not in language, but in the most grievous punishments and afflictions; for instance, Herod, stricken by the Angel; Maximinus, eaten up by vermin, and others. Strictly speaking, God is not subject to anger or fury; his judgments are always tranquil; but he is metaphorically said to rage and to be angry, when he punishes with severity, especially when the correction does not conduce to the salvation of the culprit. Such anger and fury belong to those who do not, like physicians, hurt to heal, but hurt to kill. Thus, when David says, “Lord, reprove me not in thy fury, nor correct me in thy anger,” he prays for the reproof and correction of a father, not of an enemy; and that it may tend to his salvation, and not to his detriment.

Psa 2:6 But I am appointed king by him over Sion, his holy mountain, preaching his commandment.

Having spoken of the rebellious sentiments and expressions of Christ’s enemies, he introduces the Redeemer now, as if answering them. I am appointed king, not by man, but by God, and therefore, man’s threats I regard not. I am ordained king on Sion, his holy mountain; that is, on his Church, the city built on a mountain, of which Jerusalem was the type; the principal part of which, and most beloved and sanctified by God, was Sion, as he says in Ps. 86, “The Lord loveth the gates of Sion beyond all the tabernacles of Jacob.”

Psa 2:7 The Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee.

Here is the beginning and the foundation of God’s decree. For to Christ, as being the true and natural Son of God, is due all power in heaven and on earth. Three generations are here alluded to. The first, when in the day of eternity, I God begot you God. The second, when, on the day of your birth, I begot thee according to the flesh, made you God Man, without the seed of man, your mother remaining inviolate, without the stain of sin. Thirdly, I begot you today, that is, on the day of your resurrection, when, by my divine power, I restored you to life, and that a glorious and immortal one.

Psa 2:8 Ask of me, and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.

As if God the Father were to say: You my natural Son, the incarnation of my power raised from the dead, have just right to ask me for power over all nations as your inheritance, and the whole world, even to its remotest boundaries, as your possession of right.

We have to observe here, that the word inheritance is frequently applied in the Scripture to one’s property, even though it may not have come to them by inheritance, and thus the people of God are called his inheritance, and he theirs. And as property was frequently divided among brothers by lot, and then measured by chains, the words inheritance, part, lot, chain, possession, became synonymous; two of them even are sometimes united, as, “The Lord is the part of my inheritance,” that is, the part that came to me by inheritance; and in another place, Deut. 32, “Jacob, the lot of his inheritance,” meaning that the people of Israel were the Lord’s inheritance, which he selected for himself, measured with chains, and separated from the inheritance of others. Thus all nations are here said to be the inheritance of Christ, as the words, “The utmost parts of the earth for thy possession,” evidently convey. We are to observe, secondly, that by the kingdom of Christ is meant his spiritual kingdom, that is, his Church, which was to be spread over the whole world. The meaning of the verse then is, that Christ was placed king over Sion, that is, over God’s people; but that his kingdom was not, like that of David or Solomon, confined to the kingdoms of Judea or Palestine, but was to extend over all nations, and to include all the kingdoms of the world, according to Daniel’s prophecy, chap. 2, infidels even included, for “All power on earth and in heaven is granted unto me,” and he is “appointed judge of the living and of the dead,” Acts 10.

Psa 2:9 Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron, and shalt break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

The extreme and most just power of Christ over his Church, and over all mankind, through which he can as easily reward the good and punish the wicked, as a potter can make and break the vessels of clay, is here indicated. In the first part, the iron rod expresses the most just, inflexible, and irresistible power of Christ; in the second, the vessels of clay expose the frailty of the human race. The word “Break them in pieces” does not imply that Christ will actually do so, but that he can do so if he wills; breaking their sins and infidelities in pieces, through his mercy, and from vessels of reproach forming them into vessels of honor; or breaking them in pieces in everlasting fire, in all justice, they having richly deserved it.

Psa 2:10 And now, O ye kings, understand: receive instruction, you that judge the earth.

The prophet now exhorts the kings of this world on whom the people depend as their resistance to Christ has been in vain, to freely subject themselves to him, the true and supreme king of all kings; and as, generally speaking, from wrong judgment proceed wrong affections, he first exhorts them to correct their judgment, to understand the truth and be rightly informed. Then he exhorts them to correct their evil affections, and, instead of hating Christ, to begin to serve, to love, and to revere him. Hence he adds:

Psa 2:11 Serve ye the Lord with fear: and rejoice unto him with trembling.

A wonderful admixture of love and fear, as if he were to say, blend love with your fear, and fear with your love. The Hebrew for “fear” signifies filial not slavish fear, and thus the meaning of the first part of the sentence is, serve the Lord as a son would his father; but also, when you exult as a child before him, forget not to fear him, as is beautifully conveyed in the second part of this verse.

Psa 2:12 Embrace discipline, lest at any time the Lord be angry, and you perish from the just way.

The meaning of these words is, that the kings should not only correct their judgment and affections, and that they should be instructed and obedient but that they should do so with great fervor; because the Hebrew word implies that they should not only do the thing, but do it with all their might, their strength, and their desire, assigning a very cogent reason for it, “lest at any time the Lord be angry, “and you perish from the just way.” The most grievous punishment inflicted on princes is when God, on account of their sins, gives them up to the “reprobate sense,” Rom. 1, permits them to be deceived by wicked counselors, and do much evil, for which they are lost to this world and the next; such were Pharaoh, Roboam, Achab, and others, in whom the most grievous sins became the punishment of other sins, such being not a small slip from the straight road, but an entire loss and extermination of the path of justice.

Psa 2:13 When his wrath shall be kindled in a short time, blessed are all they that trust in him.

The conclusion of the Psalm, in which the holy prophet pronounces how it may be inferred from the preceding, how good and useful it is to love God and serve him with one’s whole heart, for, in the day of judgment, which cannot be far distant, such people alone can have any confidence. He says, “in a short time,” to signify that the terrible day is shortly to come; for a thousand years are like yesterday that passed; nor can that be called long that has an end. “His wrath shall be kindled,” to give us to understand that the day of judgment will be exclusively a day of justice and revenge, leaving no place for mercy. “Blessed are all they that trust in him;” not that confidence will suffice—it will only when it is based on true friendship.

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Commentaries for the First Week of Advent

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2016

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Year A: First Sunday of Advent. We are pilgrims journeying to the New Jerusalem and the Heavenly Zion. It should be a pilgrimage of joy (Psalm), peace (1st reading), and integrity (2nd reading) as we await the return of the Lord (Gospel). See Heb 12:22-24.

Year B: First Sunday of Advent. We pray that the Lord might intervene personally on our behalf (1st reading) so that we might turn to Him and be saved (Ps), found blameless (2nd reading) and vigilant (Gospel).

Year C: First Sunday of Advent.

EXTRAORDINARY FORM: Commentaries and Resources.

The Time of the Antichrist: Newman’s First Advent Discourse. The first of four discourse on the Antichrist by John Henry Newman.

FIRST MONDAY OF ADVENT
Note: On the First Monday of Advent in  Isaiah 2:1-5 is usually read, but when the Sunday cycle “A” precedes it the first reading is Isaiah 4:2-6. The reason for this is that the First Sunday of Advent in cycle “A” uses Isa 2:1-5 for its first reading.

In Cycle A. Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 4:2-6.

My Notes on Isaiah 2:1-5.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 2:1-5.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 122.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 122.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 122.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on 122.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 8: 8:5-11.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew  8:5-11.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 8:5-11.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 8:5-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 8:5-11.

TUESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT

Father Maas’ Commentary on Isaiah 11:1-10. This post is actually on verses 1-16.

My Notes on Isaiah 11:1-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 11:1-10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 72.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 72.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 72.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 10:21-24.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 10:21-24.

WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT
Note: in 2016 this day falls on Nov. 30, the Feast of St Andrew, Apostle. The first link is to commentaries for that feast. Remaining links are for the normal Advent weekday.

2016. Commentaries for the Feast of St Andrew, Apostle.

Haydock’s Commentary on Isaiah 25:6-10. Very basic notes.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 25:6-10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 23.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 23.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 23.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 23.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 15:29-37.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 15:29-37.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 15:29-37.

THURSDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT

My Notes on Isaiah 26:1-6.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 26:1-6.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 118.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 118.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 118.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 7:21, 24-27.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 7:21, 24-27. This post includes commentary on verses 22 & 23 as well.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 7:21, 24-27. This post includes commentary on verses 22 & 23 as well.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 7:21, 24-27. On 21-27.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 7:21, 24-27.

FRIDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT

Pending (maybe): My Notes on Isaiah 29:17-24.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 29:17-24.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 27.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 27.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 27.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 27.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 9:27-31.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 9:27-31.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 9:27-31.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 9:27-31.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 9:27-31.

SATURDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF ADVENT

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 30:19-21, 23-26.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 147.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 147.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 147. On verses 1-11.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 9:35-10:1, 5a, 6-8.

SUNDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF ADVENT

Year A Commentaries. Justice and peace are to be the marks of the Messiah and His reign (1st reading, Ps). We must reform our lives (Gospel) and live in harmony with others (2nd reading). Note the theme of judgment in 1st, Ps, and Gospel readings.

Year B Commentaries.

Year C Commentaries.

Extraordinary Form~Commentaries on the Readings.

The Religion of the Antichrist: Cardinal Newman’s Second Advent Discourse.

 

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Commentaries for the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2016

This is the last week of the Liturgical Year.

THE SOLEMNITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE
We are in Year C.

Year A: Commentaries for the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Year B: Commentaries for the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Year C: Commentaries for the Solemnity of Christ the King. Needs some updating.

MONDAY OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Revelation 14:1-3, 4b-5.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 24.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (In Two Parts):

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 24.

St Robert Bellarmine’s Commentary on Psalm 24.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 24.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 21:1-4.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 21:1-4.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 21:1-4.

TUESDAY OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Revelation 14:14-19.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 96.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 96.

St Robert Bellarmine’s Commentary on Psalm 96.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 96.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 21:5-11.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 21:5-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 21:5-11.

WEDNESDAY OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Revelation 15:1-4.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 98.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 98.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 98.

St Robert Bellarmine’s Commentary on Psalm 98.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 21:12-19.

My Notes on Luke 21:12-19.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 21:12-19.

THURSDAY OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
In 2016 this day falls on Thanksgiving. The first link is for commentaries on the Thanksgiving Day readings. 

2016. Commentaries for Thanksgiving Day.

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Revelation 18:1-2, 21-23; 19:1-3, 9a.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 100.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 100.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 100.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 21:20-28.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 21:20-28.

FRIDAY OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Revelation 20:1-4, 11-21:2.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 84.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 84.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 21:29-33.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 21:29-33.

SATURDAY OF THE THIRTY-FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Revelation 22:1-7.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 95.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 95.

Father Tauton’s Commentary on Psalm 95.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 21:34-36.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 21:34-36.

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Note: this begins the new lectionary cycle. In 2016-2017 the Sunday Cycle is Year A; the Daily Cycle is Year I.

Year A: First Sunday of Advent.

Year B: First Sunday of Advent.

Year C: First Sunday of Advent.

 

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Commentaries for the First Sunday of Advent, Year A

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2016

READINGS AND OFFICE:

Today’s Mass Readings.

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING: Isaiah 2:1-5.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 2:1-5.

My Notes on Isaiah 2:1-5.

Word-Sunday Notes on Isaiah 2:1-5.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Psalm 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 122.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 122.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 122.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 122.

Word-Sunday Notes on Psalm 122.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: Romans 13:11-14.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 13:11-14.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Romans 13:11-14.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 13:11-14.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 13:11-14.

Father Rickaby’s Commentary on Romans 13:11-14.

Word-Sunday Notes on Romans 13:11-14.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Romans 13:11-14.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Matthew 24:37-44.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 24:37-44.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 24:37-44.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 24:37-44.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 24:37-44.

Word-Sunday Notes on Matthew 24:37-44.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 24:37-44.

GENERAL RESOURCES:

Sacred Page Blog: Happy New Year! The 1st Sunday of Advent. Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma’s reflections on the readings.

St Charles Borromeo Parish Bible Study Notes.

Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological background to the readings.

Gospel Summary with Life Implications. St Vincent’s Archabbey.

Thoughts From the Early ChurchFrom a commentary on Matthew by Paschasius Radbertus.

Scripture in Depth. Brief look at all the readings.

Prepare For Mass. Various links, videos, etc.

PODCASTS:

Franciscan Sister’s Bible Study Podcast. Looks at all of the readings.

St Martha’s Parish Bible Study Podcast. Looks at the readings in some detail.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study on Matthew 24-25.

The Destruction of the Temple and the End of the World. Dr. Brant Pitre on Matthew 23-25.

Dr Scott Hahn’s Sunday Bible Reflections. Brief. Does good job of summarizing the major theme(s) of the readings.

Father Robert Barron’s Homily Podcast. A noted theologian, scholar, speaker.

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Commentaries for Thanksgiving Day

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2016

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 145.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 145.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 145.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:3-9.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:3-9. On 1-9.

Father Rickaby’s Notes on 1 Corinthians 1:3-9. On 1-9.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:3-9. On 1-9.

My Notes on 1 Corinthians 1:3-9. On 1-9.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:3-9.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 17:11-19.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Luke 17:11-19.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 17:11-19.

St Augustine’s Homily on Luke 17:11-19.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 17:11-19.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 17:11-19

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2016

Luk 17:11 And it came to pass, as he was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

We cannot determine for certain, to which journey of our Lord from Galilee to Jerusalem reference is made here. Nor, indeed, does the context here afford us any clue for ascertaining it. It may, possibly, refer to the journey mentioned (Lk9:42, &c.), on which He had been treated so inhospitably by the Samaritans, towards whom He returned good for evil, by curing one of their countrymen of a loathsome leprosy. For, of the ten cured, one was a Samaritan. And His having passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee, is mentioned in allusion to the cure of the Samaritan leper with the nine others. This was His direct route to Jerusalem, through the confines of both provinces, by the road which passes between both.

Luk 17:12 And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off.

“As He entered,” or was about to enter, “a certain village,” which was on the confines of both provinces. The cure here referred to took place outside the village, from which, by the law of Moses, those infected with leprosy were excluded. Hence, “they stood afar off,” as they were not allowed to come too near, for sanitary and mystical reasons, contemplated by the law of Moses. At what distance, lepers were obliged to keep aloof cannot be ascertained.

Luk 17:13 And lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

“They lifted up their voice.” As they could not approach too near (Leviticus 13:46), in order to be heard by Him, and also to show the earnestness and fervour of their supplication. They also joined in one common cry, in the hope that their joint cry for relief would be more efficacious. Jews and Samaritans, between whom there was no communication (John 4:9), cast aside their mutual religious differences, and became united from a sense of their common misery, and a strong desire of a cure, of which all were equally in quest.

“Jesus, Master.” The Greek word for “Master”—επιστατα—which is peculiar to St. Luke, and applied by him in several parts of his Gospel to our Lord only, (5:5; 8:24–45; 9:33–49), signifies, not merely a teacher, but a teacher vested with authority. It conveys, You can command all things, command this disease to depart from us. Comparing Luke 9:49, with Matthew 17:4; Mark 9:5, it signifies the same as κυριε, Lord, and Rabbi, Master. In Luke (9:49), it corresponds with διδασκαλε, Master, Teacher, in Mark 9:38.

“Have mercy on us.” They don’t specify in what they hoped to have Him exercise mercy. But, firmly believing in His power, they confided in His beneficent will to restore them to health, and remove their bodily leprosy.

Luk 17:14 Whom when he saw, he said: Go, shew yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean.

“Whom when He saw,” not only with the eyes of the body, but also with the eyes of mercy, “He said: Go, show yourselves to the priests.” (See Matthew 8:4, &c.) Our Lord sends them to the priests, before He actually cures them, as He cured the leper (Matthew 8), in order to try their faith and test their obedience, and also make it clear, to whom they were indebted for their cure. Understanding our Lord’s command to contain an assurance that He would cure them—the priests had no power to cure, their part simply was to attest the cure and offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving as prescribed in the law of Moses, and restore them to society (Leviticus 13:14)—they obeyed at once, and were miraculously cared on their way. It is said by some, that, as our Lord could not recognise the Samaritan priests—priests of a false faith and worship—He meant that even the Samaritan would go to Jewish priests. Others say, that the “priests” meant, those belonging to each one’s religion. The Jewish priests, for the Jews; the Samaritan priest, for the Samaritan leper. Without raising any question as to our Lord’s sending the Samaritan to his own priest, as a minister of a schismatical worship, the advocates of this latter opinion might say, he was sent merely for a certificate of his restoration to health, which, likely, the Jewish priests would not give; and even, if given by them, it would not avail him. This did not necessarily entail a journey to Jerusalem on the part of the Jewish lepers. The priests of any locality could give the required attestation of the cure; and thus enable a cured leper to return to his house and kindred.

Luk 17:15 And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God.

Whether he returned, after having shown himself to the priest, as our Lord commanded, and received the required certificate of his cure, or before it, when on his way he saw himself cured, is not quite clear from the context, although the words, “when he saw that he was made clean, he went back,” would seem in favour of the opinion that he returned the moment he saw himself cured. Having gone some distance, and probably out of our Redeemer’s sight, they perceived their cure. Most likely, they were also cleansed from the leprosy of sin. Our Redeemer, it is thought, usually conferred the grace of justification on those on whom He wrought a bodily cure, inspiring them with sentiments of true contrition.

“With a loud voice,” showing the intensity of his grateful feelings.

“Glorifying God,” who displayed His power and goodness in his cure, through Christ.

Luk 17:16 And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks. And this was a Samaritan.

“And fell down on his face,” in prostrate adoration, “at His feet.” Before, he kept aloof; now, seeing himself cured, he ventured to approach nearer, even to His very feet.

“And he was a Samaritan.” The Evangelist adds this, to contrast the gratitude of this stranger, who belonged to a people who were not so favoured as the Jews, with the ingratitude of the nine others who were Jews.

Luk 17:17 And Jesus answering, said: Were not ten made clean? And where are the nine?
Luk 17:18 There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger.

This interrogatory form is a more forcible way of enunciating the fact of their cure.

Our Lord would seem to reproach the nine others for their want of gratitude in not imitating the example of the Samaritan, who returned and gave thanks to his benefactor. “To give glory to God,” by openly proclaiming the exercise of His power and goodness in their cure through Christ. He does not say, “give glory to Me,” to convey, that the glory of every thing should be given to God alone, and that He sought His Father’s glory in all He did.

“But this stranger,” alien in religion and extraction. The circumstance of this man being a stranger to the Jewish religion, a member of a false and schismatical Church, between which and the Synagogue there was no communication, not even civil intercourse, only set forth, in a clearer light, the ingratitude of the Jews, God’s chosen people, on whom He bestowed so many and such signal favours; to whom the Son of God was sent to preach first, and by them ungratefully rejected.

“Where are the nine?” How applicable is not this question, in many instances, to Christians, who, after receiving wonderful cures of their bodily ailments and spiritual distempers from God, ungratefully forget all, and insult and outrage afresh the best of benefactors, relapsing into sin, like the swine wallowing in the mire, or the dog returning to his vomit; thus, crucifying again the Son of God, and making a mockery of Him.

Luk 17:19 And he said to him: Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole.

“Arise,” from the posture in which he lay prostrate at His feet. “Go thy way?” Thou hast shown thy gratitude, in which the nine others were signally wanting.

“Thy faith,” whereby thou didst unhesitatingly believe in My power; and, confiding in My implied assurance of curing thee, on thy way to the priest, didst obey My mandate. “Hath made thee whole,” restored his bodily health, and most likely, cured him of the spiritual leprosy of sin, signified by the corporal leprosy from which he suffered. Our Lord, by ascribing the cure to faith, which concurred as a necessary disposition for effecting it, showed His great modesty, in not ascribing it to Himself, who accomplished it.

He, as usual, commends the great virtue of faith, as it was the foundation of the whole system of spiritual life, and of the religion He was about to establish. It was the virtue most needed to bring man back to God. For, as man first departed from God by pride of intellect, the affectation of knowledge like unto that of God; so, his first step in his return to God must be, by humbling that proud intellect, and rendering it captive to faith in embracing, on the sole authority of God, truths which it could not understand, since faith is the “argumentum non apparentium” (Heb. 11:1). (See 2 Cor. 10:4, 5.)

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Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Luke 17:11-19

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 24, 2016

Luk 17:11 And it came to pass, as he was going to Jerusalem, he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

And it came to pass as He was going up to Jerusalem from the borders of Cæsarea Philippi or Paneas, as is clear from S. Matt 17:22, to Jerusalem; to the feast of tabernacles, as appears from S. John 7:2. He went through the midst of Samaria and Galilee; for this was the direct road for one journeying from Cæsarea to Jerusalem. Mention is made of Samaria to suggest a reason why, among the ten lepers that were healed by Christ, one was a Samaritan; namely, that as Christ was going through Samaria, although He had been inhospitably received by the Samaritans, nay, shut out from one of their towns, Lk 9:53, He yet wished to do good to a Samaritan, that He might return kindness for ill-treatment. See the chronological order of events which I have prefixed to this commentary.

Luk 17:12 And as he entered into a certain town, there met him ten men that were lepers, who stood afar off.

And as He entered into a certain town. Lepers, as being unclean, were not able to enter cities, towns and villages, lest they should communicate their leprosy to the inhabitants, as well as their legal defilement, which under the old law was communicated by contact with a leprous and unclean person; as in Num 5:2. Hence they met Christ before the village.

There were ten lepers, says Euthymius, whom their disease had united together; for otherwise the Jews hold no communication with the Samaritans, Jn 4:9. These ten leper’s seem to have agreed, as soon as they met Jesus, to demand to be healed with one voice. They made an attack upon the clemency of Jesus.

They stood afar off, as being unclean and out of communion with the clean, being banished lest they should affect them by their breath. In figure leprosy is concupiscence, heresy, and every kind of sin, as is shown in Lev 13:14 and Mt 8:2.

Luk 17:13 And lifted up their voice, saying: Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.

And lifted up their voices. They cried out aloud, because they stood afar off. The voice was one and proceeded from all, “Jesus, Master,” have mercy on us, and free us from this heavy and incurable disease. Master here does not so much mean teacher as Lord, one who directs his servants and tells them his wishes. The Greek is ε̉πίστατα, that is Præfect—Præses; one whose right it is to rule and command: for they do not ask Christ to teach them, and give them precepts of virtue, but to command the leprosy and cause it to depart from them. So the Hebrew, Rabbi, means not only master but also Lord, and Mighty, and One of the first rank. Moreover, S. Luke everywhere calls Christ ε̉πίστατα, as is seen Lk 5:5, 8:24, 8:45, 9:33, 9:49;  S. Matt. also, Mt 8:25, 17:4, and elsewhere, has κύζιε, that is Lord. So the Gauls, Germans, and Belgians call their masters Lords, Domini, mon maistre, mein meister.

Luk 17:14 Whom when he saw, he said: Go, shew yourselves to the priests. And it came to pass, as they went, they were made clean.

Whom he saw, he said. Theophylact says, “They stood afar off indeed in position, but they were near in speech, for ‘The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon Him,'” Ps 145:18.

Go, shew yourselves to the priests. That is, if you go to them and obey Me, you shall assuredly be healed of your leprosy by My power and providence.

And it came to pass, as they went. Christ commanded them to go to the priests, not that they might be healed by them, for this was impossible, but firstly, for the honour and deference due to the priest-hood; secondly, because the law commanded lepers, if they were healed, to show themselves to the priests, that by their means they might be brought back to the city and temple, and to the society of men. The priests, moreover, had their own signs by which they might know whether a man were a leper or not, as I have shown before. Thirdly, to prove the faith and obedience of the lepers, for they knew themselves to be lepers, and that they could not be healed by the priests, but only that their leprosy could be declared. Yet they went to them at the command of Christ, believing that they would thus be healed by Him before they came to the priests. For if they had not so believed they would assuredly not have gone to them. Fourthly, that Christ might make the priests witnesses of the miraculous healing done by Him, and that from this they might know that He was the Christ.

Allegorically: Christ wished to signify that mystical lepers, that is sinners in the New Law, ought to come to the priests that they may be healed by penance, and absolved from the leprosy of sin. “It is not,” says S. Chrysostom, “the duty of the priest, under the New Law, to prove the leprosy, as it was under the Old, but to cleanse and expiate it when proved.” Lib. iii. de Sacerdotio.

And as they went, they were cleansed. “In certain faith and blind obedience, not judging of the command,” says Euthymius. It is probable that immediately on their going they were healed, that they might know it to have been done by Jesus. Hence the Samaritan, perceiving what had happened, and that he was cured, returned to Jesus and gave thanks. Thus is God wont to reward prompt faith and obedience.

They were cleansed. From their leprosy, which among the Jews was the greatest of uncleannesses, both natural and legal; especially because it was contagious, and made those who came near, leprous and unclean.

Luk 17:15 And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean, went back, with a loud voice glorifying God.

And one of them, when he saw that he was made clean. He left the road and went back to Jesus, the Author of his healing, magnifying God with a loud voice, who, through Jesus, had healed him.

Luk 17:16 And he fell on his face before his feet, giving thanks. And this was a Samaritan.

And fell down on his face before His feet. That by profound humiliation he might show his great reverence to Him, as in the Greek and Syriac. And this was a Samaritan: a Samaritan, and therefore an alien from and abhorrent to the Jews, a schismatic moreover, so that it was wonderful that he alone gave thanks so earnestly to Jesus, who was a Jew, when the other lepers, who were Jews by nation and religion, passed Him by and gave no thanks for so great a benefit.

Luk 17:17 And Jesus answering, said: Were not ten made clean? And where are the nine?

And Jesus answering said, Why do not the nine, equally with this Samaritan, return and acknowledge their cure, and give Me thanks? In truth the nine were rejoiced at their cure, and went to the priests, that they might be declared to be clean, and restored to the society of men, thinking wholly of themselves, and caring very little for the glory of Jesus.

Luk 17:18 There is no one found to return and give glory to God, but this stranger.

There is no one found to return. By confessing and declaring themselves cured by God through Christ of their leprosy, which was a great glory to God.

But this stranger. That is, except this Samaritan, who was a stranger to the nation and religion of the Jews. For the Samaritans were Babylonians, Assyrians and Medians, and were transferred by Shalmanezer to Samaria. 2 Kings17:24. The Syriac says, “Why were they separated, so that none gave glory to God except this one?” He represents the Gentiles, who were to believe in Christ, and give Him thanks, when the unbelieving Jews would hold Him in contempt. We thus see that strangers are often more grateful than natives, because strangers wonder at strange benefactors more, and pay them greater respect than natives, who, as familiar with their benefactors, think that benefits are their due from the right of country. Moreover, they were ashamed to humble themselves before their own countrymen, and to acknowledge the misery from which they had been delivered. Rightly therefore does Christ blame them; and He might with justice have deprived them of the benefit of the cure, and allowed them to fall back again into their leprosy. But He would not do this, because His mercy was so great that it extended even to the ungrateful. S. Bernard sharply rebukes the Wickedness of ingratitude, Serm. li. on Canticles. He says, “It is the enemy of our souls, the inanition of our merits, the dispenser of our virtues, the ruin of our benefactions. Ingratitude is a burning wind, drying up the Fountain of Holiness, the dew of mercy, the streams of grace.”

Luk 17:19 And he said to him: Arise, go thy way; for thy faith hath made thee whole.

And He said to him, Arise, go thy way: for thy faith. Faith, by which you have believed that I am able to save you, nay that I will do so, if you obey Me, and go to the priests. For this faith has worked with your healing, even though I be the primary author. Hence very likely the prompting of God elicited from this leper some act of contrition by which he was justified; and that he then left the schism of the Samaritans, and joined the true religion of the Jews. In the end he became a disciple of Jesus, and received His baptism, and became a Christian and preached the power and miracle of Christ and converted many to Him.

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