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

Archive for August 7th, 2010

Resources for Sunday Mass, August 8

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 7, 2010

Note: This post contains resources (mostly biblical) for this Sunday’s Mass.  These resources are for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite.  Several resources listed below were posted on this site over the past week. To view all my posts from this past week go here (Link has been fixed. No, really, this time it’s true!!!)

Ordinary Form of the Rite: 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The Readings From the NAB.

Bishop MacEvily on Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 for Sunday Mass (August 8).

Father Callan on Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-11 for Sunday Mass (August 8).

St John Chrysostom on Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19:

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 12: 32-48 for Sunday Mass (August 8).

Cornelius a Lpaide on Luke 12:32-48 for Sunday Mass (August 8).

Haydock Bible CommentaryReadings from the Douay -Rheims followed by notes from the old Haydock Commentary.

Word Sunday:

  • First Reading. Sets the context, very brief.
  • Psalm. Brief notes on the entire Psalm.
  • Second Reading. Popular & Literal translation followed by notes and commentary.
  • Gospel Reading. Popular & Literal translation with notes, commentary & Catechism excerpts.
  • Childrens Reading. Includes brief story and some questions to help children understand.

Faith of our Fathers. Brief podcast by Dr. Scott Hahn. Text also available.

Word on Fire. Audio homily by Father Robert Barron.

Lector Notes. Helpful notes giving theological and historical background.

Thoughts from the Early Church. Brief excerpt from St Gregory of Nyssa on the Gospel.

Scripture In Depth. Usually very good at presenting the major theme(s).

Prepare for Mass. A series of musical and meditative videos related to the readings.

Extraordinary Form of the Rite:
11th Sunday after Pentecost.

Latin Mass: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 7:31-37 for Sunday Mass, August 8.

Latin Mass: Cornelius a Lapide on 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 for Sunday Mass, August 8.

Latin Mass: Bernardin de Piconio on 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 for Sunday Mass, August 8.

Note: The following links are to online books. Use the site’s zoom feature to increase text size for easier reading.

Devout Instructions on the Epistle and Gospel.

Abuse of Speech. Homily on the Gospel by Fr. Agustine Wirth, O. S.B., a famed preacher of his day.

On Conformity to the Will of God. Gospel homily by Fr. Wirth.

Homily on the Epistle. By Bishop Bonomelli, a famed preacher of his day.

Homily on the Gospel. By Bishop Bonomelli.

Sermon Notes: The first 2 are on the Epistle, the other 2 on the Gospel.  These can provide excellent points for meditations, further study, and, of course, sermons.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 1 Corinthians, Notes on Hebrews, Notes on Mark, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bernardin de Piconion on Romans 9:1-13

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 7, 2010

Note: Text in red, if any, represent by additions. For more notes by de Piconio and others see here.

1. I say the truth in Christ, I do not he, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost:
2. That I have great sorrow, and continual grief in my heart.
3. For I wished to be myself an anathema from Christ for my brethren, who are my kindred after the flesh:
4. Who are Israelites, whose is the adoption of sons, and the glory, and the testament, and the giving of the law, and the worship, and the promises:
5. Of whom are the fathers, and to whom Christ belongs after the flesh, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen

Ch 9.  In this chapter the Apostle, while expressing himself with great consideration and courtesy for the nation of the Jews, shows that not they, but the believers in Christ, both from among Jews and Gentiles, are the real inheritors of the promises made to the Patriarchs.

1. I say the truth in Christ. There is something striking in the solemnity of this opening. The Apostle begins with an oath, calling Christ to witness, and his conscience in the Holy Ghost. What he swears is, that there is in his heart a deep and continual sorrow, the cause of which, however, he does not explain in direct terms, but leaves to be implied in what follows. It is, doubtless, the alienation of the Jewish nation from God.

3. I wished to he an anathema from Christ. I used to wish. So the Vulgate and the Greek text, which also bears the meaning, I used to pray. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions, Saint Chrysostom and Theophylact, all read I could wish, or would choose, that is, if it were God’s will. I, whom neither death nor life can separate from the charity of Christ, would choose to be an anathema
from him. The word anathema means something separated; either a thing consecrated to the service of God, and set apart from profane and common use; or with regard to a person, one who is cut off from the communion of the Church, and in this sense the Apostle uses it here. Not from the charity of Christ, but from the enjoyment of his glory, says Theophylact. From his presence and eternal glory, Saint Chrysostom. For my brethren; if my
exclusion from Christ would procure their salvation. The prayer could not be effectual as regards its object, which the Apostle knew not to be in conformity with the will of God. As regards himself, it was effectual and pious, for the salvation of so large a number, would be more to God’s glory than that of one individual. See Cornelius a Lapide. This prayer, Saint Chrysostom says, is founded in a charity of which the breadth and intensity is wider than the ocean, more vehement than flame. Why, he asks the Apostle, do you pray to be separated from Christ? Because again and again, I ardently love him. But how far are we from such affection, which we cannot even comprehend! St. Chrys. Hom. 50, 16, pag. 224, 228. All we can say is, that the Apostle had such love for God, and such zeal for souls, as to wish for separation from Christ, if thereby the Jews would believe in him.

4. Who are Israelites. In order still further to remove all prejudice from himself, he proceeds to enumerate eight special privileges conferred upon the Jewish people, which distinguished them above other nations, and were undoubtedly highly honourable to them, as Israelites; children of the Prince who wrestled with God and prevailed. First, the adoption: Israel is my first-born, Exod. iv. 22. Secondly, the glory, the Shechina, or visible indication of the presence of the Almighty, dwelling among them. Thirdly, the testament, or covenant, which God made with them. The Greek text has testaments, in the plural, possibly referring to the two tables of stone on
which the law was inscribed. Fourthly, the giving of the law, not the ten commandments only, but all the national legislation, by the ministry of Moses. Fifthly, the worship or ritual of divine service. Sixthly, the promises of the possession of the land of Canaan; and the coming of the Messias, in whom all nations were to be blessed. Seventhly of who are the fathers, who have Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for their patriarchs. And lastly, from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came.

5. Who is over all, God blessed for ever. The Greek text, the Vulgate, and all the versions. without exception, have these words, punctuated in our manner. There is, therefore, absolutely no ground whatever for the omission of the word God, as proposed by some of the heretics, or for introducing a period before it, to alter the plain sense of the words.

This controversy is still going on today.  The Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture states: “A second characteristic feature of this paragraph is the statement of the divinity of Christ in 5. This text is discussed at length in every commentary. The different opinions as to its historical meaning are shown in the different punctuations of the text, cf. SH 233-8. The first explanation punctuates: ‘Christ according to the flesh, who is over all things, God blessed for ever, Amen’, DV. In this form the meaning of the passage is clear and the sequence of thought natural. Besides being the most natural this explanation has also the support of Christian antiquity, cf. J. B. Franzelin, De verbo incarnato, 1874, 71-82; A. Durand, RB 12 ( 1903) 550-70. In dogma v 5 holds an established place among the Scripture proofs for the divinity of Christ, cf. Tanquerey II 634. For other doxologies addressed to Christ, cf. 16:27; 2Ti_4:18; 1Ti_3:16; Eph_5:14, Eph_5:19; Prat II 130. The second explanation argues that the explicit use of the name ‘God’ for Christ is without a parallel in St Paul’s letters and that this makes it necessary to avoid such a usage here if that is at all grammatically possible. Those who accept this argument find a corresponding interpretation by inserting a full stop after ‘flesh’ or after ‘all things’. The remainder of the sentence (5c) then becomes a praise (doxology) not of Christ but of God: ‘God, who is above all, be blessed for ever’; or ‘God blessed for ever, Amen’. This is the exegesis among others of Wetstein, Tischendorf ( 1869), Jülicher, Lietzmann, cf. also RV margin. Its main weakness is its artificiality which betrays itself in the far-fetched arguments necessary to make it appear plausible. More specific reasons which can be urged against it are: (a) 5c has not the recognized form of a Biblical doxology which is: ‘Blessed (be) God’, and not ‘God (be) blessed’, cf.Luk_1:68; 2Co_1:3; Eph_1:3. (b) It is against I Pauline usage to begin a doxology with a new sentence cf. 1:25; 2Co_11:31; Gal_1:5; 2Ti_4:18, etc.; Lagrange. (c) What is ultimately gained by this exegesis is less than the extent of the controversy suggests. For the first explanation remains at least equally possible and the doctrine of the divinity of Christ remains unimpaired because it is clear from other texts of St Paul, cf.Phi_2:5-11; Col_2:9, etc.; Cornely; Prat II 124-31”.

6. Not that the word of God has failed; for not all who are from Israel are Israelites:
7. Nor are those who are the seed of Abraham, all sons: but in Isaac there shall a seed be called to thee:
8. That is, not those who are sons of the flesh, not these are sons of God; but those who are sons of promise, are counted for the seed

6. Not that the word of God has failed. I acknowledge, and deeply lament, the falling away of the people of the Jews, endowed with so many privileges, from the true faith of God. This the Apostle does not say, out of his extreme consideration for the feelings of his Jewish readers, but it is understood, and he proceeds, in the text, to reply to the objection that if this is the case, the promises of God must be considered to have failed, or fallen through. He does not admit that the word of God has failed. The Greek text has, it is impossible the word of God should have failed: and the Syriac: the word of God has not entirely failed. It has not failed: because in the contemplation of God, all descendants of Israel after the flesh are not necessarily true Israelites, any more than all the descendants of Abraham, who was the ancestor of many nations to whom, confessedly and notoriously, the promise did not extend. In Isaac shall thy seed be called, Gen 21:12. Which in figure signifies that the true sons of God are not the sons of a particular nation according to the flesh, but those who, like Isaac, are the fruit of promise, and of a supernatural birth, and are the genuine children of him to whom it was said, in thee shall all nations be blessed; namely, Christian people, who are born again by grace through faith in baptism.

9. For the word of promise is this: According to this time I will come, and there shall be a son to Sara.
10. And not she only: but Rebecca also having conceived by one, our father Isaac;
11. For when as yet they were not born, or had done anything good or evil (that according to elect’on the purpose of God might remain),
12. Not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said to her:
13. That the elder shall serve the younger, as it is written; Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have held in hatred

9. There shall be a son to Sara. If the merely material descent from Abraham had been sufficient to constitute his descendants inheritors of the promises of God, the issue of that patriarch by Agar and Cetura would have been entitled to be so considered. But the inheritance was expressly reserved for the children of promise and of miracle. At this time next year I will return; and Sara shall have a son, Gen 18:10o. According to Saint Chrysostom, the sterile womb of Sara prefigures the cold element of water, in which the Christian, the true child of Abraham is baptized; and the promise, or word of God, corresponds with the words in which the Christian is baptized, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Theophylact says nearly the same. The word of God formed Isaac; and the word of God forms
us in the womb of the baptismal font, in which we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God. The true children of Abraham are born of promise and the word.

10. And not she only. The Jew might reply 1. That Ishmael was rejected as of illegitimate birth, and Isaac preferred as son of the lawful wife, the mistress of the household. To this the Apostle answers by adducing the instance of Jacob and Esau, sons of the same father and the same mother, and born at the same time, but of whom nevertheless the younger was chosen and the elder rejected. 2. That the promise was assured to Isaac: and they are the descendants of Isaac. It is replied to this, that descent from Isaac does not constitute them inheritors of the promise. Isaac and Rebecca were the
parents of two great nations, both celebrated in antiquity, the Israelites and the Idumeans; but of these the Israelites only, who were descendants of the younger brother, and not the Idumeans, inherited the promise.

11. When they were not yet born. We are told (Gen 15:22, 23) that Rebecca consulted God, who said to her: Two nations are in thy womb, and two people shall he divided from thy bowels, and people shall overcome people, and the greater shall serve the less, or, the elder the younger. This prophecy was fulfilled when, after an interval of eight hundred years, the Idumeans (i.e, the Edomites) were conquered by King David, 2 Sam 8:14, and remained
tributary until the reign of Joram, the son of Josaphat, 2 Kings 8:22, a period of about a hundred and fifty years. These events were further predicted by Isaac in his blessing of Esau, Gen 27:40. Thou shalt live by the sword, and serve thy brother; and the time shall come when thou shalt shake off and remove his yoke from thy neck. Lastly, the Apostle makes a further reference to Malachi 1:1, 2. I have loved Jacob, and Esau have I held in hatred: that is neglected. In Gen 29:31, Jacob is said to have despised Lia, when he preferred Rachel to her: and in Luke 14:26, our Lord says: If any man come to me and hate not his father and mother, he cannot be my disciple. The inference to be drawn from the case of Esau and Jacob is that though the Jews are descended from Isaac, they are not necessarily heirs of the promise, for God might reject them, as he rejected Esau, the elder-born of Isaac. The true sons are those on whom God calls and elects to faith in Christ, according to his purpose.

The Apostle adds that the preference of Jacob to Esau was first proclaimed at a time when neither of them had done good or evil, namely before their birth, for the following reason: that according to election the purpose of God might remain, not of works, but of him that calleth. That God’s will might evidently be free, not depending on merit, but of gratuitous election. The meaning is
apparently, that as God preferred Jacob, though the younger, to Esau the elder, without any regard to any merit on the part of either, because no such merit existed: so he preferred the behevers to the non-believers, and conferred upon the latter the grace of regeneration, and the glorious privileges and hopes accompanying it, without the smallest reference to any supposed obedience on the part of the Jews to the law given to Moses, or to the idolatry and criminality of the Gentile (or had done anything good or evil) but on account of his purpose to confer justification freely and gratuitously upon all, whatever their nationality or their antecedents, who believed in Jesus Christ.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Notes on Romans, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

St John Chysostom on Romans 1:8-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 7, 2010

ROM. I. 8.-“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.”

An exordium worthy of this blessed spirit, and able to teach all men to offer unto God the firstlings of their good deeds and words, and to render thanks not only for their own, but also for others’ well-doings: which also maketh the soul pure from envy and grudging, and draweth God in a greater measure towards the loving spirit of them that so render thanks. Wherefore also elsewhere he says, “Blessed be God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessing.” (Eph. i. 3.) And it is fitting that we render thanks not only when rich, but also when poor, not when in health only, but also when sick, not when we thrive only, but also when we have to bear the reverse. For when our affairs are borne onward with a fair wind, to be thankful is not matter of wonder. But when no small tempests be upon us, and the vessel veers about and is in jeopardy, then is the great time for displaying patience and goodness of heart. For this cause Job also gained a crown from hence, and the shameless mouth of the devil did he stop, and show clearly that not even when he saw good days was it through his wealth that he was thankful, but through his much love toward God. And see too what things he is thankful for: not for things earthly and perishing, as power and authority and glory (for these things are of no account), but for real blessings, faith and boldness of speech. And with how much feeling1 he gives thanks: for he saith not “to God,” but “to my God,” which also the Prophets do, so making that which is common to all their own. And what is there wonderful in the Prophets doing so? For God himself plainly does it continually to His servants, calling Himself the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, as peculiarly theirs. “That your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” What then, had the whole world heard of the faith of the Romans? Yes, the whole, according to him. (Or, since that time, pasa ez ekeinou). And it is not a thing unlikely. For the city was not one of no note, but as being upon a sort of eminence it was on every account conspicuous. But consider, I pray, the power of the preaching, how in a short time by means of publicans and fishermen it took hold upon the very head of all cities, and Syrians became the teachers and guides of Romans. He attests then two excellencies in them, both that they believed, and that they believed with boldness, and that so great as that the fame of them reached into all the world. “For your faith,” he says “is spoken of throughout the whole world. Your faith,” not your verbal disputations, nor your questionings, nor your syllogisms. And yet there were there many hindrances to the teaching. For having recently acquired the empire of the world they were elated, and lived in riches and luxury, and fishermen brought the preaching there, and they Jews and of the Jews, a nation hated and had in abomination among all men; and they were bidden to worship the Crucified, Who was brought up in Judea. And with the doctrine the teachers proclaimed also an austere life to men who were practised in softness, and were agitated about things present. And they that proclaimed it were poor and common men, of no family, and born of men of no family. But none of these things hindered the course of the word. So great was the power of the Crucified as to carry the word round everywhere. “For it is spoken of,” he says, “in all the world.” He says not, it is manifested, but, is spoken of, as if all men had them in their mouths. And indeed when he bears witness of this in the Thessalonians, he adds another thing also. For after saying, “from you sounded out the word of God,” he adds, “so that we need not to speak anything.” (1 Thess. i. 8.) For the disciples had come into the place of teachers, by their boldness of speech instructing all, and drawing them to themselves. For the preaching came not anywhere to a stand, but went over the whole world more rapidly than fire. But here there is only thus much-“it is spoken of.” He well says that “it is spoken of,” showing that there was no need to add aught to what was said, or to take away. For a messenger’s business is this, to convey from one to another only what is told him. For which cause also the priest is called a “messenger” (Mal. ii. 7), because he speaks not his own words, but those of Him that sent him. And yet Peter had preached there. But he reckons what was his, to be his own as well. In such degree, as I said before, was he beyond measure clear of all grudging!

Ver. 9. “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son.”

Words these of an Apostle’s bowels of affection, the showing forth this of fatherly concernment!2 And what is it which he says, and why does he call God to witness? He had to declare his feeling toward them. Since then he had not as yet ever seen them, he therefore called no man to witness, but Him Who entereth in the hearts. For since he was saying, “I love you,” and as a token thereof alleged his praying continually for them, and wishing to come to them, and neither was this self-evident, he betakes himself to the trustworthy testimony. Will then any one of you be able to boast that he remembers, when praying at his house (epi thj oikiaj) the entire body of the Church? I think not. But Paul drew near to God in behalf not of one city only, but of the whole world, and this not once, or twice, or thrice, but continually. But if the continually bearing any one about in one’s memory would not happen without much love; to have any in one’s prayers, and to have them there continually, think what great affection and friendship that implies. But when he says, “Whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of His Son,” he shows us at once the grace of God, and also his own humble-mindedness; the grace of God because He entrusted to him so great a matter; but his own humility, because he imputes it all not to his own zeal, but to the assistance of the Spirit. But the addition of “the Gospel,” shows the kind of ministry. For there are many and diverse modes of service. And as under kings all are ranged under one that beareth kingly power, and all have not to minister (diakonountai) about the same thing, but to one belongeth the ministry of ruling armies and to another that of ordering cities and to another again that of keeping treasures in the storehouses, thus also in spiritual things, one serveth God and laboreth (latreuei kaidouleuei) in believing and ordering his own life well, and another in undertaking the care of strangers, and another in taking in hand the patronship of them that be in need. As even during the Apostle’s own tithe, they of Stephen’s company served God in the guardianship of the widows, others (alloi 2 mss., all wn) in the teaching of the word, of whom also Paul was, serving in the preaching of the Gospel. And this was the fashion of his service: for it was to this that he was appointed. On this account, he not only calls God to witness, but also says what he was entrusted with, to show that having so great things put into his hands, he would not have called Him Who trusted them to him to witness what was false. And therewith he wished to make another point out also, viz. that he could not but have this love and care for them. For that they might not say “who art thou? and, from whence? that thou sayest that thou art anxious over a city so great, and most imperial,” he shows that he must needs have this care,3 if at least the sort of service that was committed to him, was to declare the Gospel: for he that hath this put into his hands, must needs have continually upon his mind them that are to receive the word. And he shows another thing besides this by saying, “in my spirit;” that this service is much higher than either the Gentile or the Jewish. For the Gentile is both fleshly and in error, and the Jewish is true indeed, yet even this is fleshly. But that of the Church is the opposite of the Gentile, but more lofty than the Jewish by a great deal. For the mode of our service is not with sheep and oxen and smoke and fat, but by a spiritual soul, which Christ also shows in saying that “God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John iv. 24.)

“In the Gospel of His Son.” Having said above that it was the Father’s Gospel, here he says it is the Son’s. So indifferent is it to say the Father’s or the Son’s! For he had learnt from that blessed voice that the things of the Father are the Son’s, and the things of the Son are the Father’s. For “all Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine.” (John xvii. 10.)

“That without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.” This is the part of genuine love, and he seems indeed to be saying some one thing, yet states four things even here. Both that he remembers, and that he does so continually, and that it is in his prayers, and that it is to ask great things for them.

Ver. 10, 11. “Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come untoyou.”
You see him painfully desiring to see them, and yet not enduring to see them contrary to what seemed good unto God, but having his longing mingled with the fear of God. For he loved them, and was eager to come to them. Yet he did not, because he loved them, desire to see them, contrary to what seemed good unto God. This is true love not as we love who err on both sides from the laws of love: for either we love no one, or if we ever do love, we love contrary to what seemeth good unto God, acting in both against the Divine law. And if these things be grievous (fortika) when spoken of, they are more grievous when done. And how do we love contrary to what seems good to God? (you will say.) When we neglect Christ pining with hunger, and provide our children and friends and relations above their needs. Or rather what need to carry the subject further. For if any one will examine his own conscience, he will find that this takes place in many things. But such was not that blessed person, but he knew both how to love and to love as he ought (3 mss. omit “as he ought”), and as was fitting, and though exceeding all men in loving, he transgressed not the measures of love. See then two things thrive extremely in him, fear of God, and also longing towards the Romans. For to be praying continually, and not to desist when he obtained not, shows exceeding love. But while loving, thus to continue yielding to the will of God, shows intense reverence. In another place, however, having “thrice besought the Lord” (2 Cor. xii. 8), he not only did not receive, but on the contrary, when he did not receive, he was very thankful for nothaving been heard. So, in all things did he look to God. But here he received, though not when he asked, but after delay, and neither hereat was he discontented. And these things I mention that we may not repine at not being heard, or at being heard slowly. For we are not better than Paul, who confesses his thankfulness for both, and with good ground. For when he had once given himself up to the all-governing Hand, and put himself with as much subjection under it, as clay under the potter, he followed wheresoever God led. Having then said that he desired to see them, he mentioned also the cause of his desire; and what is it?

Ver. 11. “That I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established.”

For it was not merely as many now go travelling in a needless and profitless way that he also went, but for necessary and very urgent ends. And he does not tell them his meaning openly, but by way of hints, for be does not say that I may teach you, that I may instruct you, that I may fill up that which is wanting; but, “that I may impart;” showing, that it is not his own things which he is giving them, but that he was imparting to them what he had received. And here again he is unassuming, in saying “some,” he means, a small one, and suited to my powers. And what may this small one be which thou art now going to impart? This it is, he says, “to the end that ye may be established.” This then also cometh of grace, namely, the being unwavering and standing fast. But when you hear of grace, think not that the reward of resolve on our part is thereby cast aside; for he speaks of grace, not to disparage the labor of resolve on our part, but to undermine (upotemnomenoj, as piercing a thing inflated) the haughtiness of an insolent spirit (aponoiaj). Do not thou then, because that Paul hath called this a gift of grace, grow supine. For he knows how, in his great candor, to call even well doings, graces; because even in these we need much influence from above. But in saying, “to the end that ye may be established,” he covertly shows that they needed much correction: for what he would say is this: Of a “long time I have bothdesired” and prayed to see you, for no other reason than that I may “stablish, strengthen, fix” you thoroughly in the word of God, so that ye be not continually wavering. But he does not express himself so (for he would have shocked them), but in another way he hints to them the same thing, though in a subdued tone. For when he says, “to the end that ye may be established,” he makes this plain. Then since this also was very irksome, see how he softens it by the sequel. For that they may not say, are we wavering, and carried about? and need we speech of yours in order to stand fast? he anticipates and does away any gainsaying of the kind, by saying as follows.

Ver. 12. “That is, that I maybe comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”

As if he said, Do not suspect that I spoke to accuse you. It was not with this feeling that I said what I did. But what may it be that I wished to say? Ye are undergoing many tribulations, being drenched on every side (by those who persecute you periantloumenoi. 3 mss. parenokloumenoi, harassed). I desired then to see you, that I might comfort you, or rather, not that I might comfort you only, but that I might myself receive comfort. See the wisdom of the teacher. He said, to the end that “ye may be strengthened; he knew that what he had said would be heavy and irksome to the disciples. He says, “to the end that ye may be comforted.” But this again is heavy, not indeed to such a degree as the former, still it is heavy. He then pares down what is galling in this also, smoothing his speech on every side, and rendering it easy of acceptance. For he does not say barely, “to be comforted,” but, “to be comforted together with you;” nor was he content with this but he puts in a further lenitive, when he says, “by the mutual faith both of you and me.”4 Oh how great was his humble-mindedness! He showed himself also to be in need of them, and not them only of him. And he puts the disciples in the position of teachers, not letting any superiority remain upon his own side, but pointing out their full equality. For the gain is mutual, he means, and I need the comfort from you, and you that from me. And how comes this to pass? “Through the mutual faith both of you and me.” For as inthe case of fire, if any one gather together many lights, it is a bright flame that he kindles, thus also does it naturally happen with the faithful. For when we be by ourselves, torn away from others, we are somehow in worse spirits. But when we see one another, and are entwined5 with the members of our own selves, great is the comfort we receive. You must not look to the present time, during which, by God’s grace, both in city and in the desert itself, there be many hosts of believers, and all impiety hath been driven out; but consider, in that time, how great a good it was both for disciples to see their master, and for brethren who had come from another city to be seen of brethren. But that I may make what I am saying plainer, let me bring the matter to an example. For if it should even happen and come to pass (may it never do so!) that we had been carried away to the land of the Persians or Scythians or other barbarians, and had been scattered (7 mss.”torn asunder”) by twos and threes in their cities, and were then suddenly to see any one of those here coming to us, reflect what a harvest of comfort we should reap of it! See ye not those too who are in the prisons, it they see any of their acquaintance, how they revive, and are quite fluttering with the pleasure? But if I compare those days with captivity and imprisonment, count it no wonder. For these suffered far harder things than those, scattered as they were, and driven about, and dwelling in the midst of famine and of wars, and tremblingly expecting daily death, and suspecting friends and kindred and relatives, and dwelling in the world as in a strange land, aye, and in far harder plight than they who live in another’s country. This is why he says, “to the end that ye may be established and comforted with us by our mutual faith.” And this he says, not as though himself needed any assistance from them (far from it; for how should the pillar of the Church, who was stronger than iron and the rock, the spiritual adamant, who was equal to the charge of countless cities), but that he should not make his language impetuous and his reproof vehement, he says, that he himself also needs their consolation. But if any one here should say, that the comfort was his gladness at the increase of their faith, and that Paul needed this, he would not be mistaking his meaning in this way either. If then thou desire, one might say, and pray, and wilt gain comfort and give comfort by it, what is there to hinder thy coming? By way of dissipating this suspicion then, he proceeds.

Ver. 13. “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I desired to come unto you (but was let hitherto).”

Here is a compliance great as that of slaves, and a plain exhibition of his excellent temper (eugnwmosunhj)! For, that he was let, he says, but why, he does not go on to say. For he does not pry into the command of his Master, but only obeys. And yet one might expect a person to start questions, as to why God hindered a city so conspicuous and great, and towards which the whole world was looking, from enjoying such a teacher, and that for so long a time. For he that had overcome the governing city, could easily go on to the subjects of it. But he that let alone the more royal one, and lay in wait about the dependents, had the main point left neglected. But none of these things does he busy himself with, but yields to the incomprehensibleness of Providence, thereby both showing the right tone of his soul, and instructing us all never to call God to account for what happens, even though what is done seem to trouble the minds of many. For the Master’s part it is alone to enjoin, the servants’ to obey. And this is why he says, that he was let, but not for what cause; for he means, even I do not know; ask not then of me the counsel or mind of God. For neither “shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” For why, tell me, do you even seek to learn it? do you not know that all things are under His care, that He is wise, that He doeth nothing at a mere hazard, that He loveth thee more than they who begat thee, and goes exceeding far beyond a father’s yearnings of affection to thee, and a mother’s anxiousness. Seek then no more, and go not a step further; for this is sufficient consolation for thee: since even then it was well ordered for the Romans. And if thou knowest not the manner, take it not to heart: for this is a main feature of faith, even when in ignorance fo the manner of the dispensation, to receive what is told us of His Providence.

Paul then having succeeded in what he was earnest about (and what was this? to show that it was not as slighting them that he did not come to them, but because, though greatly desiring it, he was hindered), and having divested himself of the accusation of remissness, and having persuaded them that he was not less desirous to see them than themselves, further shows his love to them by other things. For even when I was hindered he means, I did not stand aloof from the attempt, but I kept attempting always yet was always hindered, yet never did I stand aloof thus, without falling out with the will of God, still keeping my love. For by his purposing it to himself and not standing aloof from it, he showed his affection; but through his being hindered and yet not struggling against it, all his love to God. “That I might have some fruit among you also.” Yet he had told them the cause of his longing before, and shown that it was becoming him; but still here also, he states it, clearing away all their suspicion. For since the city was conspicuous, and in the whole extent of sea and land had no equal to many even the mere desire of becoming acquainted with it became a reason (profasij) for a journey to it; that they might not think anything of the sort about Paul, orsuspect that, merely with a view to glory inclaiming them to himself he desired to bepresent there, he repeatedly lays down theground of his desire, and before he says, it was that “I may impart to you some spiritualgift,” that I desired to see you;but heremore clearly, “that I might have some fruit among you also even as among other Gentiles.” The rulers he puts with the subjects,and after the countless triumphs and victories and the glory of the consuls, he puts them with the barbarians, and with good reason too. For where the nobility of faith is, there is none barbarian, none Grecian, none stranger, none citizen, but all mount up to one height of dignity. And see him here also unassuming, for he does not say, that I may teach and instruct, but what? “that I might have some fruit.” And not fruit, simply, but “some fruit.” Again, depreciating his own share therein just as he had said above, “that I may impart some gift.” And then to repress them too, as I said also before, he says, “even as among other Gentiles.”6 For, I do not, because you are rich, and have the advantage of others, show less concern about the others. For it is not the rich that we are seeking, but the faithful. Where now are the wise of the Greeks, they that wear long beards and that are clad in open dress,7 and puff forth great words (ta megala fuswntej)? All Greece and all barbarian lands has the tentmaker converted. But Plato, who is so cried up and carried about8 among them, coming a third time to Sicily with the bombast of those words of his, with his brilliant reputation (upslhyewj), did not even get the better of a single king, but came off so wretchedly, as even to have lost his liberty. But this tentmaker ran over not Sicily alone or Italy, but the whole world; and while preaching too he desisted not from his art, but even then sewed skins, and superintended the workshop. And even this did not give offence to those who were born of consuls, and with very good reason, for it is not their trades and occupations, but falsehood and forged doctrines, which usually render teachers easy subjects of contempt. And for this reason, even Athenians still laugh at the former. But this man even barbarians attend to, and even foolish and ignorant men. For his preaching is set forth to all alike, it knows no distinction of rank, no preëminence of nation, no other thing of the sort; for faith alone does it require, and not reasonings. Wherefore it is most worthy of admiration, not only because it is profitable and saving, but that it is readily admissible and easy (Say. “lovable),” and comprehensible to all: which is a main object in the Providence of God, who setteth forth His blessings to all in common.

For what He did in respect of the sun and the moon and the earth and the sea and other things, not giving the rich and the wise a greater share of the benefits of these, and a less to the poor, but setting forth the enjoyment of them to all alike, this also did He with regard to the preaching, and even in a much greater degree, by how much this is more indispensable than they. Wherefore Paul repeatedly says, “among all the Gentiles,” to show that he in no respect favors them, but is fulfilling his Master’s command, and sending them away to thanksgiving to the God of all, he says;

Ver. 14. “I am a debtor to the Greeks and to the Barbarians, both to the wise and to the unwise.”

Which also he said when writing to the Corinthians. And he says it, to ascribe the whole to God. (1 Cor. ix. 16.)

Ver. 15. “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome also.”

Oh, noble soul! having taken on him a task laden of so great dangers, a voyage across the sea, temptations, plottings, risings-for it was likely, that one who was going to address so great a city which was under the tyrannic sway of impiety, should undergo temptations thick as snowflakes; and it was in this way that he lost his life in this city, being cut off by the tyrant of it-yet still expecting to undergo so great troubles, for none of these did he become less energetic, but was in haste and was in travail and was ready-minded. Wherefore he says, “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome also.”

Ver. 16. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel.”

“What sayest thou, O, Paul? When it were fitting to say, that I boast, and am proud, and luxuriate in it; thou sayest not this, but what is less than this, that thou art “not ashamed,” which is not what we usually say of things very glorious. What then is this which he says, and why does he thus speak? while yet he exults over it more than over heaven. At least, in writing to the Galatians, he said, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Gal. vi. 14.) How then comes he here to say, not that I even glory, but that “I am not ashamed?” The Romans were most anxiously eager about the things of the world, owing to their riches, their empire, their victories; and their kings they reckoned to be equal to the gods, and so they even called them. And for this cause too, they worshipped them with temples and with altars and with sacrifices. Since then they were thus puffed up, but Paul was going to preach Jesus, who was thought to be the carpenter’s son, who was brought up in Judea, and that in the house of a mean woman, who had no body guards, who was not encircled in wealth, but even died as a culprit with robbers, and endured many other inglorious things; and it was likely that they were concealing themselves as not as yet knowing any of the unspeakable and great things: for this reason he says, “I am not ashamed,” having still to teach them not to be ashamed. For he knew that if they succeeded in this, they would speedily go on and come to glorying also: and do you then, if you hear any one saying, Dost thou worship the Crucified? be not ashamed, and do not look down, but luxuriate in it, be bright-faced at it, and with the eyes of a free man, and with uplifted look, take up your confession; and if he say again, Dost thou worship the Crucified? say in reply to him, Yes! and not the adulterer, not the insulter of his father, not the murderer of his children (for such be all the gods they have9 ), but Him who by the Cross stopped the mouths of devils, and did away with their countless juggleries. For the Cross is for our sakes, being the work of unspeakable Love towards man, the sign of His great concern for us. And in addition to what has been said, since they were puffed up with great pomposity of speech and with their cloak of external wisdom, I, he means to say, bidding an entire farewell to these reasonings, come to preach the Cross, and am not ashamed because of it: “for it is the power of God to salvation.” For since there is a power of God to chastisement also (for when He chastised the Egyptians, He said, “This is My great power,10 “) (Joel ii. 25) and a power to destruction, (for, “fear Him,” He says, “that is able to destroy both body and soul in hell”), (Matt. x. 28) for this cause he says, it is not these that I come to bring, the powers of chastisement and punishment, but those of salvation. What then? Did not the Gospel tell of these things also, namely, the account of hell, and that of the outer darkness, and of the venomous worm? And yet we know of these from no other source than the Gospel. In what sense then does he say, “the power of God unto salvation?” Attend only to what follows. “To every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”

For it is not to all absolutely, but to them that receive it. For though thou be a Grecian (i.e. Heathen), and even one that has run into every kind of vice, though a Scythian, though a barbarian, though a very brute, and full of all irrationality, and burdened with the weights of endless sins, no sooner hast thou received the word concerning the Cross, and been baptized, than thou hast blotted out all these; and why says he here, “to the Jew first, and also to the Greek?” What meaneth this difference? and yet he has often said, “Neither circumcision is anything, nor uncircumcision” (1 Cor. vii. 19. see Gal. v. 6 and vi. 15); how then doth he here discriminate, setting the Jew before the Greek? Now why is this? seeing that by being first he does not therefore receive any more of the grace (for the same gift is bestowed both on this person and that,) but the “first” is an honor in order of time only. For he has no such advantage as that of receiving greater righteousness, but is only honored in respect of his receiving it first. Since in the case of those that are enlightened (you that are initiated know what is meant,) all run11 to the baptism, yet not all at the same hour, but one first and another second. Yet the first doth not receive more than the second, nor he than the person after him, but all enjoy the same gifts. The “first” then here is an honor in word, not a superiority in grace. Then after saying, “unto salvation,” he enhances the gift further, by showing that it stayeth not at the present point, but proceedeth farther.12 For this is what he sets forth, when he says,

Ver. 17. “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed.”

But he who hath become just shall live, not for the present life only, but for that which is to come. And he hints not only this, but also another thing along with this, namely, the brightness and gloriousness of such a life. For since it is possible to be saved, yet not without shame (as many are saved of those, who by the royal humanity are released from punishment), that no one may suspect this upon hearing of safety, he adds also righteousness; and righteousness, not thine own, but that of God; hinting also the abundance of it and the facility.13 For you do not achieve it by toilings and labors, but you receive it by a gift from above, contributing one thing only from your own store, “believing.” Then since his statement did not seem credible, if the adulterer and effeminate person, and robber of graves, and magician, is not only to be suddenly freed from punishment but to become just, and just too with the highest righteousness; he confirms his assertion from the Old Testament. And first with a short sentence, he lays open a vast sea of histories to one who has a capacity for seeing them. For after having said, “from faith to faith.” he sends the hearer back to the dispensations of God, which took place thus in the Old Testament, which, when writing to the Hebrews, he explains with his usual great wisdom, showing that both the just and the sinners were justified in that way even then, wherefore also he made mention both of the harlot and of Abraham. But then here, after having just hinted at it (for he was running on to another and a pressing subject), he again confirms what he had said from the Prophets, bringing in Habakkuk before them, crying, and saying, that it is not in the nature of things for him who is to live, to live otherwise save by faith; for “the just,” he says, “shall live by faith” (Hab. ii. 4), speaking about the life to come. For since what God giveth transcends reasoning entirely, it is but reason that we need faith. But the man that thinks meanly of it, and is contemptuous and vainglorious, will not effect anything at all. Let heretics hearken to the voice of the Spirit, for such is the nature of reasonings. They are like some labyrinth or puzzles which have no end to them anywhere, and do not let the reason stand upon the rock, and have their very origin in vanity. For being ashamed to allow of faith, and to seem ignorant of heavenly things, they involve themselves in the dust-cloud of countless reasonings. Then oh miserable and painful man, fit object for endless tears, should any one ask thee, how the heaven was made, and how the earth,-and why do I say the heaven and the earth? how thou wert thyself born,14 how nourished, and how thou grewest, art thou then not ashamed of thine ignorance? But if anything be said about the Only-begotten, dost thou thrust thyself through shame into a pit of destruction, thinking that it is unworthy of thee not to know everything? And yet disputatiousness is an unworthy thing, and so is ill-timed curiosity. And why do I speak of doctrines? for even from the corruption in our present life we have escaped by no other means than through the faith. Thus shone also all those aforetime, thus Abraham, thus Isaac, thus Jacob, thus too the harlot was saved, the one in the Old Testament, and likewise the one in the New. For, “by faith,” he says, “the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not when she had received the spies.” (Heb. xi. 31.) For if she had said to herself, “and how can they that are captives and exiles, and refugees, and live the life of vagabond tribes, get the better of us who have a city, and walls, and towers?” she would have destroyed both herself and them. Which also the forefathers of those who were then saved did suffer. For when, upon the sight of men great and tall, they questioned the manner of victory, they perished, without battle or array, all of them. Seest thou what a pit is that of unbelief! what a wall that of faith! For the one carried down endless thousands, the other not only saved a harlot, but made her the patroness of so numerous a people!

Now since we know of these and more than these, never let us call God to account for what is done, but whatsoever He may lay on us, that let us take up with, and let us not run into niceties and curious questions, though to human reasoning the thing commanded appears even amiss. For what, let me ask, looks more amiss than for a father to slay with his own hands his only and legitimate son? (Gen. xxii. 3.) But still when the righteous man was bid do it, he raised no nice scruples about it, but owing to the dignity of the bidder, he merely accepted the injunction. And another too that was bidden of God to strike a prophet, when he raised nice scruples about the seeming unreasonableness of the injunction, and did not simply obey, he was punished to the extreme. (1 Kings xx. 35, 36.) But he that struck, gained a good report. And Saul too, when he saved men contrary to the decree of God, fell from the kingdom, and was irretrievably punished. And one might find other instances beside these: by all which we learn, never to require a reason for God’s injunctions,15 but to yield and obey only. But if it be dangerous to raise nice scruples about aught that He may enjoin, and extreme punishment is appointed for those who are curious questioners, what possible excuse shall they have who curiously question things far more secret and awful than these, as for instance, how He begat the Son, and in what fashion, and what His Essence is? Now as we know this, let us with all kindliness receive the mother of all blessings, faith; that sailing as it were in a still harbor, we may at once keep our doctrines orthodox, and by steering our life safely in a straight course, may attain those eternal blessings by the grace and love toward man of our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom and with Whom be glory unto the Father, with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Notes on Romans, Quotes, Scripture, St John Chrysostom | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

This Weeks Posts: Sunday August 1-Saturday August 7

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 7, 2010

Some posts are prepared in advance and will become available only at the time indicated.  All time references are to Eastern Standard Time.

Sunday August 1:

Last weeks posts. In case you missed anything.

Resources for Sunday Mass, August 1. Some posts listed here are also found in the above link.

Catholic Scripture Forum.

The Divine Office for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Evening Prayer 1). Sets the major theme(s) of the Psalms, Canticle, and Scripture reading. Provides commentary.

Bishop MacEvily on Colossians 1:2b-6aThese notes are linked to in the above post on the Divine Office.  The numbering of the Douay-Rheims translation is a bit different from that of the NAB.  In the former translation the reference is 1:3-6a.

My 2,000 Post! WOO HOO!!!Save your accolades, send cash.  Oh, wait, accolades are probably worth more these days.

The Divine Office for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Morning Prayer). With some commentary.

The Divine Office, Midmorning Reading with Commentary.

The Divine Office for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Evening Prayer). With some commentary.

The Divine Office for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (office of readings). With some commentary.

Monday August 2:

Bishop MacEvily on Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 1:10 AM.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 12: 32-48 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 1:20 AM.

Office of Readings for Monday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time. 1:25 AM.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 14:13-21). 5:05 AM.

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (Matt 14:13-21). 5:45 AM.

Juan de Maldonado on Today’s Gospel (Matt 14:13-21) 10:30 AM.

Tuesday August 3: More updates coming (mostly political).

Post 1. St John Chrysostom on Hebrews 11:1-2 for Sunday Mass (August 8) 1:15 AM. This is the first of four homilies encompassing the second reading, Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19.  See next link for today and the first two links under Wednesday.

Post 2. St John Chrysostom on Hebrews 11:8-12 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 1:20 AM.  I’ve included the Saint’s comments on verse 7.

Cornelius a Lpaide on Luke 12:32-48 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 1:30 AM.

Commentary on the Office of Readings for the Day. 5:00 AM.

Father Callan on Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-11 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 5:10 AM.

The Obama/Democrat Policy of Blame Bush Has Run It Course.

Busting Media Myth: The Bush Tax Cuts Did Work.

Wednesday August 4: More updates coming.

Post 3. St John Chrysostom on Hebrews 11:13-17 for Sunday Mass (August 8) 1:45 AM.

Post 4. St John Chrysostom on Hebrews 11:18-19 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 2:00 AM.

Aquinas Catena Aurea for Today’s Gospel (Matt 15:21-28).

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (Matt 15:21-28).

Latin Mass: Cornelius a Lapide on 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 for Sunday Mass, August 8. 12:05 AM.

Latin Mass: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 7:31-37 for Sunday Mass, August 8. 12:20 AM.

Latin Mass: Bernardin de Piconio on 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 for Sunday Mass, August 8. 2:30 AM.

Thursday August 5:


Aquinas Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 16:13-23). 1:10 AM.

Juan de Maldonado on Today’s Gospel (Matt 16:13-23). 1:20 AM.

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 8:18-27. 5:30 AM.

Feast of the Transfiguration: Bishop MacEvily on 2 Peter 1:16-19. I’ve posted Friday’s readings for the transfiguration early for those who may wish to prepare for the Feast early, or who are attending the vigil.

Juan de Maldonado on the Transfiguration. See previous note.

Divine Office: The Office of Readings for the Feast of the Transfiguration . Contains links to the Psalms used, commentary on the Psalms by Pope John Paul II, a commentary on the first reading (2 Cor 3:7-4:6) and the text of the second reading by St Anastasius.

Rosary Saves Soldier’s Life, Just As It Did His Great Grandfather’s Life In WW II.

Friday August 6: If you’re looking for commentary on the readings for the Feast of the Transfiguration please see under Thursday.

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 8:28-39.

Saturday August 7:

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 9:1-13.




Posted in BENEDICT XVI CATECHESIS, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Divine Office, Documents of Benedict XVI, Eucharist, fathers of the church, John Paul II Catechesis, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 1 Corinthians, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on Mark, Notes on Matthew, Notes on Romans, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, PAPAL COMMENTARY ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, St Cyril's catechesis, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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