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

July 30: Auinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 13:54-58)

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 30, 2010

Note: Today’s Gospel is Matt 13:54-58, this post includes notes on verse 53 as well.

Ver 53. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.54. And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?55. Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?56. And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?57. And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, “A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.”58. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Jerome: After the parables which the Lord spake to the people, and which the Apostles only understand, He goes over into His own country that He may teach there also.

Aug., De Cons. Ev., ii, 42: From the foregoing discourse consisting of these parables, He passes to what follows without any very evident connexion between them. Besides which, Mark passes from these parables to a different event from what Matthew here gives; and Luke agrees with him, so continuing the thread of the story as to make it much more probable that that which they relate followed here, namely, about the ship in which Jesus slept, and the miracle of the daemons cast out; which Matthew has introduced above.

Chrys., Hom., xlviii: By “his own country” here, He means Nazareth; for it was not there but in Capharnaum that, as is said below, He wrought so many miracles; but to these He shews His doctrine, causing no less wonder than His miracles.

Remig.: He taught in their synagogues where great numbers were met, because it was for the salvation of the multitude that He came from heaven upon earth.

It follows; “So that they marvelled, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these many mighty works?” His wisdom is referred to His doctrine, His mighty works to His miracles

Jerome: Wonderful folly of the Nazarenes! They wonder whence Wisdom itself has wisdom, whence Power has mighty works! But the source of their error is at hand, because they regard Him as the Son of a carpenter; as they say, “Is not this the carpenter’s son?”

Chrys.: Therefore were they in all things insensate, seeing they lightly esteemed Him on account of him who was regarded as His father, notwithstanding the many instances in old times of sons illustrious sprung from ignoble fathers; as David was the son of a husbandman, Jesse; Amos the son of a shepherd, himself a shepherd.

And they ought to have given Him more abundant honour, because, that coming of such parents, He spake after such manner; clearly shewing that it came not of human industry, but of divine grace

Pseudo-Aug., non occ., cf. Serm. 135: For the Father of Christ is that Divine Workman who made all these works of nature, who set forth Noah’s ark, who ordained the tabernacle of Moses, and instituted the Ark of the covenant; that Workman who polishes the stubborn mind, and cuts down the proud thoughts.

Hilary: And this was the carpenter’s son who subdues iron by means of fire, who tries the virtue of this world in the judgment, and forms the rude mass to every work of human need; the figure of our bodies, for example, to the divers ministrations of the limbs, and all the actions of life eternal.

Jerome: And when they are mistaken in His Father, no wonder if they are also mistaken in His brethren. Whence it is added, “Is not his mother Mary, and his brethren, James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us?

Jerome, Hieron. in Helvid., 14: Those who are here called the Lord’s brethren, are the sons of a Mary, His Mother’s sister; she is the mother of this James and Joseph, that is to say, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and this is the Mary who is called the mother of James the Less.

Aug., Quaest. in Matt., q. 17: No wonder then that any kinsmen by the mother’s side should be called the Lord’s brethren, when even by their kindred to Joseph some are here called His brethren by those who thought Him the son of Joseph.

Hilary: Thus the Lord is held in no honour by His own; and though the wisdom of His teaching, and the power of His working raised their admiration, yet do they not believe that He did these things in the name of the Lord, and they cast His father’s trade in His teeth.

Amid all the wonderful works which He did they were moved with the contemplation of His Body, and hence they ask, “Whence hath this man these things? And thus they were offended in him.”

Jerome: This error of the Jews is our salvation, and the condemnation of the heretics, for they perceived Jesus Christ to be man so far as to think Him the son of a carpenter.

Chrys.: Observe Christ’s mercifulness; He is evil spoken of, yet He answers with mildness; “Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and in his own house.”

Remig.: He calls Himself a Prophet, as Moses also declares, when he says, “A Prophet shall God raise up unto you of your brethren. [Deu_18:18] And it should be known, that not Christ only, who is the Head of all the Prophets, but Jeremiah, Daniel, and the other lesser Prophets, had more honour and regard among strangers than among their own citizens.

Jerome: For it is almost natural for citizens to be jealous towards one another; for they do not look to the present works of the man, but remember the frailties of his childhood; as if they themselves had not passed through the very same stages of age to their maturity.

Hilary: Further, He makes this answer, that a Prophet is without honour in his own country, because it was in Judea that He was to be condemned to the sentence of the cross; and forasmuch as the power of God is for the faithful alone, He here abstained from worlds of divine power because of their unbelief.

Whence it follows, “And he did not there many mighty works because of their unbelief.”

Jerome: Not that because they did not believe He could not do His mighty works; but that He might not by doing them be condemning His fellow-citizens in their unbelief.

Chrys.: But if His miracles raised their wonder, why did He not work many? Because He looked not to display of Himself, but to what would profit others; and when that did not result, He despised what pertained only to Himself that He might not increase their punishment. Why then did He even these few miracles? That they should not say, We should have believed had any miracles been done among us.

Jerome: Or we may understand it otherwise, that Jesus is despised in His own house and country, signifies in the Jewish people; and therefore He did among them few miracles, that they might not be altogether without excuse; but among the Gentiles He does daily greater miracles by His Apostles, not so much in healing their bodies, as in saving their souls.

2 Responses to “July 30: Auinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 13:54-58)”

  1. […] Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 13:54-58. […]

  2. […] Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 13:54-58. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: