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

Aquinas’ Sermon Notes for the 5th (Passion) Sunday of Lent (Extraordinary Form)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 20, 2010

Preliminary notes:

(1) This post contains the sermon notes for both the Epistle and Gospel readings.
(2) In the Extraordinary Form of the Rite (the so-called Latin or pre-Vatican II Mass) the fifth Sunday of Lent was also known as Passion Sunday.
(3) Like several other of the sermon notes of Aquinas that have come down to us, the one on the Epistle seems to be incomplete.
(4) You can find many links to online resources for this Sunday’s Mass here.  These resources include both Forms of the Rite and focus on the Scripture readings and include bible studies, homilies, sermons, Early Church Fathers, etc.

Passion Sunday, or Fifth Sunday in Lent.— (From the Epistle.)
” How much, more shall the Blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit,” &c. — Heb. ix. 14.

The Apostle points out especially four things in this Epistle. Firstly, he shows Christ to have been an High Priest: ” Christ being come, an High Priest;” secondly, He commends His High Priesthood: “of good things to come;” thirdly, He shews what He offered: “offered Himself without spot to God;” fourthly, He points out the profit or effect of His oblation: ” purge your conscience/’ &c.

On this last head it is to be noted, that the Blood of Christ purchased seven benefits for us.

(1) Cleansing from our sins and defilement: Rev 1:5, “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His Own Blood.” Heb 13:12, “Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His Own Blood.”

(2) Our redemption: Rev 5:9,, “And hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood,”  1 Pet 1:18-19, “Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, &c.; but with the precious Blood of Christ.”

(3) Our peace-making with God and the angels: Col 1:20, “Having
made peace through the Blood of His Cross.”

(4) Confirmation of the testament of the eternal inheritance: 1 Cor 11:25, “This Cup is the New Testament in My Blood.”

(5) A drinking and inebriation to the consumers: S. Matt 26:27-28, “Drink ye all of it;  for this is My Blood of the New Testament,” &c. Deut. xxxii. 14, ” Thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.”

(6) The opening of the door of Heaven: Heb. x. 19, “Having boldness to enter
into the holiest by the Blood of Jesus” — i.e., His continual prayer to God for us; for His Blood cries daily for us to the Father. Heb. xii. 24, ” The Blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” The blood of Abel
calls for vengeance ; the Blood of Christ demands pardon.

(7) The deliverance of the saints from Hades: Zech 9:11, “By the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” From which, &c.

Passion Sunday, or Fifth Sunday in Lent. — (From the Gospel.)
He that is of God heareth God’s words.” — S. John TiiL 47.

In these words four things are noted. Firstly, the great glory of the saints: “He that is of God.” For what canbe more glorious than to be of God: John 1:12, “He gave power to become the sons of God.” Secondly, their great wisdom : ” Heareth God’s words.” Psalm 19:7, ” The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”  Thirdly, the foolishness of the reprobate: “therefore ye hear them not, because ye are not of God.”  For fools despise the wisdom of right dogma, and the doctrine of pure conversation, as the Pharisees did the words and works of Christ. Fourthly, their great misery: “are not of God.”

“What can be more unhappy than not to be of God ? Hosea 7:13, “Woe unto them! for they have fled from Me.”

I. On the first head it is to be noted, that in three ways the saints are to be of God.

(1) By creation, as an effect from a cause : Rom 11:36, “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things.”

(2) By justification, as the splendour from light : Ephes 5:8, ” Ye were sometimes darkness, but now light in the Lord.” 1 John 3:9, ” Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin.”

(3) By imitation or assimilation, as a copy from a pattern: 1 John 2:5,  “Whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: surely know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him, ought himself also to walk even as He walked.”

II. On the second head it is to be noted, that the Word of God which the saints willingly hear is threefold.

(1) Eternal: John 1:1, “In the beginning was the “Word.”

(2) Mental: Job 4:12, “A thing [word, Vulg.] was secretly brought to me.”

(3) Vocal: Matt 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread, &c, but by every word that proceedeth,” &c.

The first they hear by faith: 11:25, ” He that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.”

The second by inspiration: Ps 85:8, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak.”

The third, by preaching: Lk 8:8, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

III. On the third head it is to be noted, that they are foolish who do not hear the Word of God, chiefly for two reasons —

(1) Because from the hearing of the Word of God all evil is avoided.

(2) All good is gained. Of these two: Prov 1:33, “But whoso hearkeneth unto Me shall dwell safely” — i.e., because in this life they shall be terrified with no adversaries, and at death will be made joyful by the entering into eternal life; “and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” In the present, abundance of blessed works, all fear of those who can kill the body being removed; in the future, abundance of joys, fear being taken away of any defect or adversity.

IV. On the fourth head it is to be noted, that the great miseries which flow from the not ” being of God” arise from two causes —

(1) They who are without God have all evil: S. Augustine, ” Whence I know, that it is evil to me without Thee; not alone without, but also within myself ; and all abundance which is not God, is need.

(2) He who is of God has everything which is best : S Augustine, ” He who enters into the joy of his Lord, and is secure, will also find himself to have the best of the best.”


4 Responses to “Aquinas’ Sermon Notes for the 5th (Passion) Sunday of Lent (Extraordinary Form)”

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