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

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 11:28-30

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 9, 2011

Ver 28. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Chrys.: By what He had said, He brought His disciples to have a desire towards Him, shewing them His unspeakable excellence; and now He invites them to Him, saying, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden.”

Aug., Serm., 69, 1: Whence do we all thus labour, but that we are mortal men, bearing vessels of clay which cause us much difficulty. But if the vessels of flesh are straitened, the regions of love will be enlarged. To what end then does He say, “Come unto me,” all ye that labour, but that ye should not labour?

Hilary: He calls to Him those that were labouring under the hardships of the Law, and those who are burdened with the sins of this world.

Jerome: That the burden of sin is heavy the Prophet Zachariah bears witness, saying, that wickedness sitteth upon a talent of lead. [margin note: Zec_5:7] And the Psalmist fills it up, “Thy iniquities are grown heavy upon me.” [Psa_38:4]

Greg.: For a cruel yoke and hard weight of servitude it is to be subject to the things of time, to be ambitious of the things of earth, to cling to falling things, to seek to stand in things that stand not, to desire things that pass away, but to be unwilling to pass away with them. For while all things fly away against our wish, those things which had first harassed the mind in desire of gaining them, now oppress it with fear of losing them.

Chrys.: He said not, Come ye, this man and that man, but All whosoever are in trouble, in sorrow, or in sin, not that I may exact punishment of you, but that I may remit your sins. Come ye, not that I have need of your glory, but that I seek your salvation. “And I will refresh you;” not, I will save you, only; but that is much greater, “I will refresh you,” that is, I will set you in all quietness.

Raban.: I will not only take from you your burden, but will satisfy you with inward refreshment.

Remig.: “Come,” He says, not with the feet, but with the life, not in the body, but in faith. For that is a spiritual approach by which any man approaches God; and therefore it follows, “Take my yoke upon you.”

Raban.: The yoke of Christ is Christ’s Gospel, which joins and yokes together Jews and Gentiles in the unity of the faith. This we are commanded to take upon us, that is, to have in honour; lest perchance setting it beneath us, that is wrongly despising it, we should trample upon it with the miry feet of unholiness; wherefore He adds, “Learn of me.”

Aug., Serm., 69, 1: Not to create a world, or to do miracles in that world; but that “I am meek and lowly in heart.” Wouldest thou be great? Begin with the least. Wouldest thou build up a mighty fabric of greatness? First think of the foundation of humility; for the mightier building any seeks to raise, the deeper let him dig for his foundation. Whither is the summit of our building to rise? To the sight of God.

Raban.: We must learn then from our Saviour to be meek in temper, and lowly in mind; let us hurt none, let us despise none, and the virtues which we have shewn in deed let us retain in our heart.

Chrys.: And therefore in beginning the Divine Law He begins with humility, and sets before us a great reward, saying, “And ye shall find rest for your souls.” This is the highest reward, you shall not only be made useful to others, but shall make yourself to have peace; and He gives you the promise of it before it comes, but when it is come, you shall rejoice in perpetual rest. And that they might not be afraid because He had spoken of a burden, tberefore He adds, “For my yoke is pleasant, and my burden light.”

Hilary: He holds forth the inducements of a pleasant yoke, and a light burden, that to them that believe He may afford the knowledge of that good which He alone knoweth in the Father.

Greg., Mor., iv, 33: What burden is it to put upon the neck of our mind that He bids us shun all desire that disturbs, and turn from the toilsome paths of this world!

Hilary: And what is more pleasant than that yoke, what lighter than that burden? To be made better, to abstain from wickedness, to choose the good, and refuse the evil, to love all men, to hate none, to gain eternal things, not to be taken with things present, to be unwilling to do that to another which yourself would be pained to suffer.

Raban.: But how is Christ’s yoke pleasant, seeing it was said above, “Narrow is the way which leadeth unto life?” [Mat_7:14] That which is entered upon by a narrow entrance is in process of time made broad by the unspeakable sweetness of love.

Aug., Serm., 70, 1: So then they who with unfearing neck have submitted to the yoke of the Lord endure such hardships and dangers, that they seem to be called not from labour to rest, but from rest to labour.

But the Holy Spirit was there who, as the outward man decayed, renewed the inward man day by day, and giving a foretaste of spiritual rest in the rich pleasures of God in the hope of blessedness to come, smoothed all that seemed rough, lightened all that was heavy. Men suffer amputations and burnings, that at the price of sharper pain they may be delivered from torments less but more lasting, as boils or swellinga.

What storms and dangers will not merchants undergo that they may acquire perishing riches? Even those who love not riches endure the same hardships; but those that love them endure the same, but to them they are not hardships. For love makes right easy, and almost nought all things however dreadful and monstrous.

How much more easily then does love do that for true happiness, which avarice does for misery as far as it can?

Jerome: And how is the Gospel lighter than the Law, seeing in the Law murder and adultery, but under the Gospel anger and concupiscence also, are punished? Because by the Law many things are commanded which the Apostle fully teaches as cannot be fulfilled; by the Law works are required, by the Gospel the will is sought for, which even if it goes not into act, yet does not lose its reward.

The Gospel commands what we can do, as that we lust not; this is in our own power; the Law punishes not the will but the act, as adultery. Suppose a virgin to have been violated in time of persecution; as here was not the will she is held as a virgin under the Gospel; under the Law she is cast out as defiled.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 11:28-30”

  1. […] Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 11:28-30). […]

  2. […] Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 11:28-30). […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: