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 Acts 13:26-33

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 19, 2011

Text in red indicate my notes.

26. Men, brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you fear God, to you the word of this salvation is sent.

The word of this salvation; i.e., the announcement of the salvation whose author is Jesus the Saviour, spoken of in verse 23.

27. For they that inhabited Jerusalem, and the rulers thereof, not knowing him, nor the voices of the prophets, which are read every sabbath, judging him have fulfilled them.
28. And finding no cause of death in him, they desired of Pilate, that they might kill him.

The Jews every Sabbath listened to the reading of the prophecies, many of which foretold the Passion and death of Jesus; but they did not understand them, although some among them even fulfilled them later by persecuting and condemning the Saviour to death. Paul thus shows that the Passion and death of Jesus were preordained and foretold by God, and that, ther-efore, the scandal of the cross ought not to be an obstacle to their conversion.

29. And when they had fulfilled all things that were written of him, taking him down from the tree, they laid him in a sepulchre.

See on Matthew 27:57–60. It was, indeed, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus who took down the body of our Lord and buried it, but these two disciples were dwelling in Jerusalem and were leaders of the people and members of the Sanhedrim.

30. But God raised him up from the dead the third day:

God raised him up, etc. It was true that our Lord, as God, raised Himself from the dead; but St. Paul is here trying only to show that our. Lord was the Messiah, and that God has taken away the scandal of the cross; he does not wish now to prove the further truth that Christ was God.

31. Who was seen for many days, by them who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who to this present are his witnesses to the people.

See Acts 1:3, 13-22; 10:41.

32. And we declare unto you, that the promise which was made to our fathers,
33. This same God hath fulfilled to our children, raising up Jesus, as in the second psalm also is written: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.

The meaning here is that God has kept the promise He made regarding a Saviour by sending Jesus Christ and manifesting Him to the world, especially at our Lord’s Baptism, at the Transfiguration and the Resurrection, as the Messiah and His Son.

The promise which was made to our fathers. See the Canticle of Mary in Luke 1:46-55 (Esp. verses 54-55).  Se also the Canticle of Zechariah in Luke 1:68-79 (esp. verses 69-73). The promises to Abraham and David loom large in Luke/Acts. Here the focus is on David.

As in the second psalm. Some MSS. have, ” in the first psalm.” This difference is due either to the mistake of a copyist or to the fact that the first and second psalms were considered as one in ancient times, the first being regarded as the preface to the whole Psalter. The psalm cited is Messianic. In it the Messiah is described as a king chosen by God to whom the nations are often subjected, who scatters his enemies, but makes blessed those who believe in him, and who, moreover, is styled the true Son of God. The psalm is a description of our Lord’s triumph over His enemies. The Gentiles and peoples rose up against Him to kill Him, but He was the Son of God, and through the merits of His Passion and death He triumphed over them all. And because He was the Son of God, bom before all ages, identical in nature with the Father, it was not possible that He should remain in the sepulchre abandoned by His Father. Hence the Resurrection is a proof of our Lord’s divinity. This day expresses eternity, in which there is no past or future, but only the abiding present.

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3 Responses to “Father Callan’s Commentary on Acts 13:26-33”

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