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Archive for December 15th, 2010

Dec 15: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 7:18-23)

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 15, 2010

Ver  18. And the disciples of John showed him of all these things.19. And John calling to him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Are you he that should come? or look we for another?20. When the men were come to him, they said, John Baptist has sent us to you, saying, Are you he that should come? or look we for another?21. And in the same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and to many that were blind he gave sight.22. Then Jesus answering said to them, Go your way, and tell John what things you have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the Gospel is preached.23. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

CYRIL; Certain of His disciples relate to the holy Baptist the miracle which was as known to all the inhabitants of Judea and Galilee, as it follows, And they told John, &c.

THEOPHYL; Not, as it seems to me, in simpleness of heart, but provoked by envy. For in another place also they complain, Rabbi, he that was with you beyond Jordan, behold the same baptizes, and all men come to him.

CHRYS. But we are then most raised up to Him when we are fallen into straits. John therefore, being cast into prison, takes the opportunity, when his disciples were most in need of Jesus, to send them to Christ. For it follows, And John calling two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Are you he that should come, &c.

THEOPHYL; He says not, Are you He that have come, but, Are you he that should come. The sense is, Tell me who am to be slain by Herod, and about to descend into hell, whether I should announce You to the souls below as I have announced You to those above? or is this not befitting the Son of God, and you are going to send another for these sacraments?

CYRIL; But we must altogether disallow such an opinion. For no where do we find the Holy Scriptures stating that John the Baptist foretold to those souls in hell the coming of our Savior. It is also true to say, that the Baptist was not ignorant of the wonderful mystery of the incarnation of the Only-Begotten, and so also along with the other things had known this, that our Lord was about to preach the Gospel to those who were in hell, after He had tasted death for all living as well as dead. But since the word of holy Scripture indeed declared that Christ would come as the Lord and Chief, but the others were sent as servants before Him, therefore was the Lord and Savior of all called by the prophets, He who comes, or Who is to come; according to that, Blessed, is he who comes in the name of the Lord, and, A little while, and, he who is to come shall come, and, will not tarry. The blessed Baptist therefore, receiving as it were this name from Holy Scripture, sent certain of his disciples to seek whether it was indeed He who comes, or, Who is to come.

AMBROSE; But how could it come to pass, that Him of whom he said, Behold, him who takes away the sins of the world, he should still not believe to be the Son of God? For either it is presumption to attribute to Christ a divine action ignorantly, or it is unbelief to have doubted concerning the Son of God. But some suppose of John himself that he was indeed so great a prophet as to acknowledge Christ, but still as not a doubting, but pious, prophet disbelieved that He would die, whom he believed was about to come. Not therefore in his faith but in his piety, he doubted; as Peter also, when he said, Be it far from you, Lord; this shall not be to you.

CYRIL; Or he asks the question by economy. For as the forerunner he knew the mystery of Christ’s passion, but that his disciples might be convinced how great was the excellence of the Savior, he sent the more understanding of them, instructing them to inquire and learn from the very words of the Savior, whether it was He who was expected; as it is added, But when the men were come to him, they said, John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, Are you He, &c.

But He knowing as God with what intention John had sent them, and the cause of their coming, was at the time performing many miracles, as it follows, And in the same hour he healed many of their infirmities, &c. He said not positively to them I am he, but rather leads them to the certainty of the fact, in order that receiving their faith in Him, with their reason agreeing thereto, they might return to him who sent them.

Hence He made not answer to the words, but to the intention of him who sent them; as it follows, And Jesus answering said, to them, Go your way, and tell John what things you have seen and, heard: as if He said, Go and tell John the things which you have heard indeed through the Prophets, but have seen accomplished by Me. For He was then performing those things which the Prophets prophesied He would do; that is of which it is added, For the blind see, the lame walk.

AMBROSE; An ample testimony surely that the Prophets acknowledged the Lord. For of the Lord Himself it was prophesied, that the Lord gives food to the hungry, raises up them that are bowed down, looses the prisoners, opens the eyes of the blind, and that he who does these things shall reign for ever. Such then are not the tokens of human, but divine power. But these are found seldom or not at all before the Gospel. Tobias alone received sight, and this was the cure of an Angel, not of a man. Elias raised the dead, but he prayed and wept, and then commended. Elisha caused the cleansing of a leper: yet then the cause was not so much in the authority of the command as in the figure of the mystery.

THEOPHYL. These are also the words of Elias, saying, The Lord himself shall come and save us. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart.

THEOPHYL; And what is not less than these, the poor have the Gospel preached to them, that is, the poor are enlightened by the Spirit, or hidden treasures, that there might be no difference between the rich and the poor. These things prove the faith of the Master, when all who can be saved by Him are equal.

AMBROSE; But still these are but slight examples of the testimony to the Lord. The full assurance of faith is the cross of the Lord, His death and burial. Hence He adds, And blessed is he who shall not be offended in me. For the cross may cause offense, even to the elect. but there is no greater testimony than this of a divine person. For there is nothing which seems to be more surpassing the nature of man than that one should offer Himself for the whole world.

CYRIL; Or else, He wished by this to show that whatever was passing in their hearts, could not be hid from His sight. For they were those who were offended at Him.

AMBROSE; But we have before said, that mystically John was the type of the Law, which was the forerunner of Christ. John then sends his disciples to Christ, that they might obtain the filling up of their knowledge, for Christ is the fulfilling of the Law. And perhaps those disciples are the two nations, of whom the one of the Jews believed, the other of the Gentiles believed because they heard. They wished then to see, because blessed are the eyes that see. But when they shall have come to the Gospel, and found that the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, then shall they say, “We have seen with out eyes,” for we seem to ourselves to see Him whom we read of. Or perhaps through the instrumentality of a certain part of our Body we all seem to have traced out the course of our Lord’s passion; for faith comes through the few to the many. The Law then announces that Christ will come, the writings of the Gospel prove that He has come.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | 1 Comment »

 
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