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

Father Callan’s Commentary on Colossians 1:9-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 15, 2010

THE APOSTLE’S PRAYER FOR THE COLOSSIANS: A Summary of Col 1:9-14~The report of the Colossians given to St. Paul by Epaphras has enabled the Apostle properly to direct his prayers for them. Accordingly he prays that they may receive a clearer knowledge of the divine will and purpose, to the end that they may lead lives more pleasing to God and more fruitful in good works, thus manifesting the results of the blessings of redemption they have received.

9. Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding:

Therefore, i.e., in view of the report given by Epaphras in the preceding verses 4-8.

We heard it, i.e., heard of their faith in Christ (ver. 4).

Cease not to pray, etc., means to pray frequently, as in Rom 1:9; 1 Thess 1:2, 2:13, 5:17; 2 Tim 1:3.

Wisdom is such an illumination of the mind as to enable the judgment to go back to the supreme cause of things, and, thus enlightened, to direct particular things to their proper ends (Cajetan).

Understanding is that perception of things which enables us rightly to grasp their nature and character, and thence to formulate rules for action. The term “spiritual” here qualifies both wisdom and understanding, showing the Spirit of God to be the source of both.

10. That you may walk worthy of the Lord in all things pleasing: being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God:

This verse gives the purpose of the gifts just requested for the Colossians.

The Deo of the Vulgate should be Domino, according to the Greek.

11. Strengthened with all might, according to the power of his glory, unto all patience and long-suffering with joy,

Besides a deeper knowledge of God’s will and divine mysteries, the Apostle asks that the Colossians may also be strengthened from on high, so as to be able to resist all their temptations and bear all their trials.

According to the power of his glory, i.e., in a manner worthy of His supreme nature as manifesting itself.

Unto all patience, etc., i.e., the effect of the divine power implored is to enable the faithful to bear their suffering and trials with a spirit of holy endurance and perseverance, and with a joyful heart. The phrase “with joy” more properly belongs to what immediately precedes than to what follows.

In the Vulgate we should read in omnem patientiam et longanimitatem, to agree with the Greek.

12. Giving thanks to the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light:

Giving thanks to the Father, etc., as becomes dutiful and grateful children whom the heavenly Father, the fountain and source of all blessings, has admitted to a share in the glorious inheritance of the saints, which is a life of grace here and eternal beatitude hereafter. This kingdom to which we are admitted in Baptism is “in light,” as opposed to the kingdom of darkness over which Satan presides (Eph 5:8, 6:12; 1 Thess 5:5; Rom 13:12).

The Deo of the Vulgate is not in the Greek.

13. Who delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,
14. In whom we have redemption, the remission of sins:

13-14. These verses show how the Father has made us Christians “worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light.” It was by delivering us from the power of sin and Satan and making us members of the kingdom of His beloved Son, through the redeeming blood of that same divine Son.

Power of darkness, i.e., the dominion of Satan who rules that part of the world which has not been regenerated by Christ.

Delivered . . . translated. These verbs are aorist in Greek, the first expressing the negative and the second the positive aspect of the one and same process of regeneration and sanctification.

Kingdom means the Church Militant.

Son of his love is a Hebraism meaning beloved Son.

Per sanguinem eius of the Vulgate is not according to the best Greek MSS.; it was perhaps introduced here from Eph 1:7, which see.

THE SUPREME DIGNITY OF CHRIST: A Summary of Col 1:15-23~In the preceding verses St. Paul has shown, against the false teachers who were trying to pervert the Colossians, what great blessings we owe to our Lord. And now in this section he goes further, and shows that Christ is the image of the invisible God, anterior to all creation; the Son in whom and by whom all things were created and are sustained. And not only is the Son the head of the universe, but He is also, in a very special manner, the head of the Church; in Him dwells the fullness of Divinity, and through His sacrificial death on the cross all things have been reconciled to the Father (ver. 18-20). The Colossians are included in this redemption, for they were formerly enemies of God, but have now been reconciled to the Father through the atoning death of the Son. The goal of this reconciliation was that they might be spotless before God here and now; and this they will continue to be, if only they hold fast to the faith which they have received, which is the same everywhere, and of which Paul is the minister (ver. 21-23) .

2 Responses to “Father Callan’s Commentary on Colossians 1:9-14”

  1. […] Father Callan on Colossians 1:9-14 for Sunday Mass, Nov 21 (Extraordinary Form). […]

  2. […] Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:9-14). […]

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