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

Jan 7: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 5:12-16)

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 7, 2011

Ver  12. And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.13. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be you clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.14. And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and show yourself to the Priest, and offer for your cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.15. But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.16. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

AMBROSE; The fourth miracle after Jesus came to Capernaum was the healing of a leprous man. But since He illumined the fourth day with the sun, and made it more glorious than the rest, we ought to think this work more glorious than those that went before; of which it is said, And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy. Rightly no definite place is mentioned where the leprous man was healed, to signify that not one people of any particular city, but all nations were healed.

ATHAN. Now the leper worshipped the Lord God in His bodily form, and thought not the Word of God to be a creature because of His flesh, nor because He was the Word did he think lightly of the flesh which He put on; nay rather in a created temple he adored the Creator of all things, falling down on his face, as it follows, And when he saw Jesus he fell on his face, and besought him.

AMBROSE; In falling upon his face he marked his humility and modesty, for every one should blush at the stains of his life, but his reverence kept not back his confession, he shows his wound, and asks for a remedy, saying, If you will, you can make me clean. Of the will of the Lord he doubted, not from distrust of His mercy, but checked by the consciousness of his own unworthiness. But the confession is one full of devotion and faith, placing all power in the will of the Lord.

CYRIL; For he knew that leprosy yields not to the skill of physicians, but he saw the devils cast out by the Divine authority, and multitudes cured of divers diseases, all which he conceived was the work of the Divine arm.

TITUS BOST. Let us learn from the words of the leper not to go about seeking the cure of our bodily infirmities, but to commit the whole to the will of God, Who knows what is best for us, and disposes all things as He will.

AMBROSE; He heals in the same manner in which He had been entreated to heal, as it follows, And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, &c. The law forbids to touch the leprous man, but He who is the Lord of the law submits not to the law, but makes the law; He did not touch because without touching He was unable to make him clean, but to show that he was neither subject to the law, nor feared the contagion as man; for He could not be contaminated Who delivered others from the pollution. On the other hand, He touched also, that the leprosy might be expelled by the touch of the Lord, which was wont to contaminate him that touched.

THEOPHYL. For His sacred flesh has a healing, and life-giving power, as being indeed the flesh of the Word of God.

AMBROSE; In the words which follow, I will, be you clean, you have the will, you have also the result of His mercy.

CYRIL; From majesty alone proceeds the royal command, how then is the Only-begotten counted among the servants, who by His mere will can do all things? We read of God the Father, that He has done all things whatsoever He pleased. But He who exercises the power of His Father, how can He differ from Him in nature? Besides, whatsoever things are of the same power, are wont to be of the same substance. Again; let us then admire in these things Christ working both divinely and bodily. For it is of God so to will that all things are done accordingly, but of man to stretch forth the hand. From two natures therefore is perfected one Christ, for that the Word was made flesh.

GREG. NYSS. And because the Deity is united with each portion of man, i.e. both soul and body, in each are evident the signs of a heavenly nature. For the body declared the Deity hidden in it, when hen by touching it afforded a remedy, but the soul, by the mighty power of its will, marked the Divine strength. For as the sense of touch is the property of the body, so the motion of the will of the soul. The soul wills, the body touches.

AMBROSE; He says then, I will, for Photinus, He commands, for Arius, He touches, for Manichaeus. But there is nothing intervening between God’s work and His command, that we may see in the inclination of the healer the power of the work. Hence it follows, And immediately the leprosy departed from him. But lest leprosy should become rife among us, let each avoid boasting after the example of our Lord’s humility.

For it follows, And he commanded him that he should tell it to no one, that in truth he might teach us that our good deeds are not to be made public, but to be rather concealed, that we should abstain not only from gaining money, but even favor. Or perhaps the cause of His commanding silence was that He thought those to be preferred, who had rather believed of their own accord than from the hope of benefit.

CYRIL; Though the leper was silent, the voice of the transaction itself was sufficient to publish it to all who acknowledged through him the power of the Curer.

CHRYS. And since frequently men, when they are sick, remember God, but when they recover, wax dull, He bids him to always keep God before his eyes, giving glory to God. Hence it follows, But go and show yourself to the Priest, in order that the leprous man being cleansed might submit himself to the inspection of the Priest, and so by his sanction be counted as healed.

AMBROSE; And that the Priest also should know that not by the order of the law but by the grace of God above the law, he was cured. And since a sacrifice is commanded by the regulation of Moses, the Lord shows that He does not abrogate the law, but fulfill it. As it follows, And offer for your cleansing according as Moses commanded.

AUG. He seems here to approve of the sacrifice which had been commanded through Moses though the Church does not require it. It may therefore be understood to have been commanded, because not as yet had commenced that most holy sacrifice which is His body. For it was not fitting that typical sacrifices should be taken away before that which was typified should be confirmed by the witness of the Apostles’ preaching, and the faith of believers.

AMBROSE; Or because the law is spiritual He seems to have commanded a spiritual sacrifice. Hence he said, As Moses commanded. Lastly, he adds, for a testimony to them. The heretics understand this erroneously, saying, that it was meant as a reproach to the law. But how would he order an offering for cleansing, according to Moses’ commandments, if he meant this against the law?

CYRIL; He says then, for a testimony to them, because this deed makes manifest that Christ in His incomparable excellence is far above Moses. For when Moses could not rid his sister of the leprosy, he prayed the Lord to deliver her. But the Savior, in His divine power, declared, I will, be you clean.

CHRYS. Or, for a testimony against them, i.e. as a reproof of them, and a testimony that I respect the law. For now too that I have cured you, I send you for the examination of the priests, that you should bear me witness that I have not played false to the law. And although the Lord in giving out remedies advised telling them to no one, instructing us to avoid pride; yet His fame flew about every where, instilling the miracle into the ears of every one, as it follows, But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him.

THEOPHYL; Now the perfect healing of one brings many multitudes to the Lord, as it follows, And great multitudes came together that they should be healed. For the leprous man that he might show both his outward and inward cure, even though forbid ceases not, as Mark says, to tell of the benefit he had received.

GREG. Our Redeemer performs His miracles by day, and passes the night in prayer, as it follows, And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed, hinting, as it were, to perfect preachers, that as neither they should entirely desert the active life from love of contemplation, so neither should they despise the joys of contemplation from an excess of activity, but in silent thought imbibe that which they might afterwards give back in words to their neighbors.

THEOPHYL; Now that He retired to pray, you would not ascribe to that nature which says, I will, be you clean, but to that which putting forth the hand touched the leprous man, not that according to Nestorius there is a double person of the Son, but of the same person, as there are two natures, so are there two operations.

GREG. NAZ. And His works He indeed performed among the people, but He prayed for the most part in the wilderness, sanctioning the liberty of resting a while from labor to hold converse with God with a pure heart. For He needed no change or retirement, since there was nothing which could be relaxed in Him, nor any place in which He might confine Himself, for He was God, but it was that we might clearly know that there is a time for action, a time for each higher occupation.

THEOPHYL; How typically the leprous man represents the whole race of man, languishing with sins full of leprosy, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; that so by the hand put forth, i.e. the word of God partaking of human nature, they might be cleansed from the vanity of their old errors, and offer for cleansing their bodies as a living sacrifice.

AMBROSE; But if the word is the healing of leprosy, the contempt of the word is the leprosy of the mind.

THEOPHYL. But mark, that after a man has been cleansed he is then worthy to offer this gift, namely, the body and blood of the Lord, which is united to the Divine nature.

One Response to “Jan 7: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 5:12-16)”

  1. […] Jan 2~Solemnity of the Epiphany of the LordPope Benedict XVI on Psalm 121 for Sunday Mass, Oct 17Jan 7: Aquinas' Catena Aurea on Today's Gospel (Luke 5:12-16)Pope Leo XIII On Capital And Labor (articles 3-11) « Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt […]

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