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 de Piconio’s Commentary on Colossians 3:12-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 1, 2011

12. Put you on, therefore, as elect of God holy and beloved bowels of mercy, kindness, humility, modesty, patience;
13. Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if any against any has complaint; as the Lord forgave you, so also do you.

(12) Your real nationality, whatever it was originally, and your real state and condition, whatever it may be by the provisions of human law, is now the elect people of God, holy, and beloved of God, of angels, and of saints. Therefore put on, or exhibit in your life and conversation, the characteristics
of this condition, mercy and kindliness, humility and patience, bearing with and forgiving the faults and imperfections of one another (13), since you have so many of your own. Forgive, as the Lord (the Greek has, Christ) forgave you.

14. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection,

Above all, have charity. The Greek has no verb, supplying put on from the previous sentence. Above all, because it is the highest grace. Charity is the love of God, and of man for God’s sake, and this is the highest motive for affection, for kindness, and well doing. The bond of perfection is a Hebraism for the most perfect bond, that which binds the souls of men together by the noblest and truest bond, the relation they bear to their Creator. And let the peace of Christ exult in your hearts.

15. And let the peace of Christ exult in your hearts, in which also you were called in one body: and be grateful.

The Greek verb (βραβευετω) might either mean, as the Vulgate understands it, carry off the prize of victory, be victorious over anger, or dissension, or cupidity, or pride. Or it may mean, adjudge the prize of victory, that is, preside, moderate, and rule. And if between you there arise controversy or difference, let the peace of Christ, not anger, or pride, or passorr, determine it. In this sense the word is understood by Saint Chrysostom and Theodoret, and this is the sense of the Syriac: Let the peace of Christ govern your hearts. For you all form one body, and the portions of one and the same body do not fight one with another. In peace, therefore, you are called. And be grateful, in the Syriac, give thanks to God. Saint Jerome, however, as quoted by Erasmus, understands it gracious, amiable, kind and easy, for this contributes to peace.

16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, in grace singing in your hearts to God.

Let the word of Christ, that is the teaching of Christ, which you have received from Epaphras and other instructors, dwell in your minds and hearts liabitually and abundantly  so as to make you rich in all wisdom, often
speaking of it to one another. The words with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs may perhaps be more fitly taken with the participle cantantes which follows them. For the distinction between these see on Eph 5:19, 20. Singing in grace, that is, in thanksgiving, or otherwise, with sweetness, care, and correctness, so as to give pleasure to yourselves and those who hear you. In your hearts, that is, with your hearts, heartily, sincerely, not with the voice only, and the heart not in harmony with what you sing.

17. All you do in word or work, all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to the God and Father through him.

In all you say or do, in word or work, invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, not the names of angels, like the followers of Simon; and through him, and not through angels, give thanks to God the Father. So Theodoret and Saint Chrysostom understand it. Saint Thomas says that the precept is also to be taken in a directly affirmative sense, but that to fulfil it, it is not necessary that everything should be formally and in act referred to God, but in the habit of the mind, and is satisfied when our words and deeds are such as to promote God’s glory. Whoever acts or speaks against the glory or the commands of God, acts in opposition to this precept of the Apostle. The perfection of charity is when all things are actually, or at least effectually, referred to God’s glory in the name and power of Christ. For then all we do will be God,s praise, and pious and meritorious in his sight. Do all through Christ, as your mediator and pontiff; with Christ, as your head; in Christ, in his spirit, motive, and intention.

One Response to “Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Colossians 3:12-17”

  1. […] Bernardin de Piconio on Colossians 3:12-17 for Sunday Mass, Feb 6 (Extraordinary Form, 5th Sunday Af…. 12:15 AM EST. […]

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