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

Nov 26: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 21:29-33)

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 26, 2010

The following post includes commentary on verse 28.

Ver 28. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh.29. And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;30. When they now shoot forth, you see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.31. So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know you that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.32. Verily I say to you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.33. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

GREG. Having in what has gone before spoken against the reprobate, He now turns His words to the consolation of the elect; for it is added, When these things begin to be, look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws nigh; as if he says, When the buffetings of the world multiply, lift up your heads, that is, rejoice your hearts, for when the world closes whose friends you are not, the redemption is near which you seek. For in holy Scripture the head is often put for the mind, for as the members are ruled by the head, so are the thoughts regulated by the mind. To lift up our heads then, is to raise up our minds to the joys of the heavenly country.

EUSEB. Or else, To those that have passed through the body and bodily things, shall be present spiritual and heavenly bodies: that is, they will have no more to pass the kingdom of the world, and then to those that are worthy shall be given the promises of salvation. For having received the promises of God which we look for, we who before were crooked shall be made upright, and we shall lift up our heads who were before bent low; because the redemption which we hoped for is at hand; that namely for which the whole creation waits.THEOPHYL. That is, perfect liberty of body and soul. For as the first coming of our Lord was for the restoration of our souls, so will the second be manifested to the restoration of our bodies.

EUSEB. He speaks these things to His disciples, not as to those who would continue in this life to the end of the world, but as if uniting in one body of believers in Christ both themselves and us and our posterity, even to the end of the world.

GREG. That the world ought to be trampled upon and despised, He proves by a wise comparison, adding, Behold the fig tree and all the trees, when they now put forth fruit, you know that summer is near. As if He says, as from the fruit of the tree the summer is perceived to be near, so from the fall of the world the kingdom of God is known to be at hand. Hereby is it manifested that the world’s fall is our fruit. For hereunto it puts forth buds, that whomever it has fostered in the bud it may consume in slaughter. But well is the kingdom of God compared to summer; for then the clouds of our sorrow flee away, and the days of life brighten up under the clear light of the Eternal Sun.

AMBROSE; Matthew speaks of the fig-tree only, Luke of all the trees. But the fig-tree shadows forth two things, either the ripening of what is hard, or the luxuriance of sin; that is, either that, when the fruit bursts forth in all trees and the fruitful fig-tree abounds, (that is, when every tongue confesses God, even the Jewish people confessing Him,) we ought to hope for our Lord’s coming, in which shall be gathered in as at summer the fruits of the resurrection. Or, when the man of sin shall clothe himself in his light and fickle boasting as it were the leaves of the synagogue, we must then suppose the judgment to be drawing near. For the Lord hastens to reward faith, and to bring an end of sinning.

AUG. But when He says, When you shall see these things to come to pass, what can we understand but those things which were mentioned above. But among them we read, And then shall they see the Son of man coming. When therefore this is seen, the kingdom of God is not yet, but nigh at hand. Or must we say that we are not to understand all the things before mentioned, when He says, When you shall see these things, &c. but only some of them; this for example being excepted, And then shall they see the Son of man. But Matthew would plainly have it taken with no exception, for he says, And so you, when you see all these things, among which is the seeing the coming of the Son of man; in order that it may be understood of that coming whereby He now comes in His members as in clouds, or in the Church as in a great cloud.

TIT. BOST. Or else, He says, the kingdom of God is at hand, meaning that when these things shall be not yet shall all things come to their last end, but they shall be already tending towards it. For the very coming of our Lord itself, casting out every principality and power, is the preparation for the kingdom of God.

EUSEB. For as in this life, when winter dies away, and spring succeeds, the sun sending forth its warm rays cherishes and quickens the seeds hid in the ground, just laying aside their first form, and the young plants sprout forth, having put on different shades of green; so also the glorious coming of the Only-begotten of God, illuminating the new world with His quickening rays shall bring forth into light from more excellent bodies than before the seeds that have long been hidden in the whole world, i.e. those who sleep in the dust of the earth. And having vanquished death, He shall reign from henceforth the life of the new world.

GREG. But all the things before mentioned are confirmed with greet certainly, when He adds, Verily I say to you, &c.

BEDE; He strongly commends that which he thus foretell. And, if one may so speak, his oath is this, Amen, I say to you. Amen is by interpretation “true.” Therefore the truth says, I tell you the truth, and though He spoke not thus, He could by no means lie. But by generation he means either the whole human race, or especially the Jews.

EUSEB. Or by generation He means the new generation of His holy Church, showing that the generation of the faithful would last up to that time, when it would see all things, and embrace with its eyes the fulfillment of our Savior’s words.

THEOPHYL. For because He had foretold that there should be commotions, and wars and changes, both of the elements and in other things, lest any one might suspect that Christianity itself also would perish, He adds, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away: as if He said, Though all things should be shaken, yet shall my faith fail not. Whereby He implies that He sets the Church before the whole creation. The creation shall suffer change, but the Church of the faithful and the words of the Gospel shall abide for ever.

GREG. Or else, The heaven and, earth shall pass away, &c. As if He says, All that with us seems lasting, does not abide to eternity without change, and all that with Me seems to pass away is held fixed and immovable, for My word which passes away utters sentences which remain unchangeable, and abide for ever.

BEDE; But by the heaven which shall pass away we must understand not the ethereal or the starry heaven, but the air from which the birds are named “of heaven.” But if the earth shall pass away, how does Ecclesiastes say, The earth stands for ever? Plainly then the heaven and earth in the fashion which they now have shall pass away, but in essence subsist eternally.

One Response to “Nov 26: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 21:29-33)”

  1. […] Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 21:29-33). Available 12:05 AM EST. […]

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