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

Archive for September 5th, 2011

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 18:21-19:1

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 5, 2011

Mat 18:21  Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22  Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.

Here we have first a statement of doctrine, vv. 21, 22; secondly, its illustration by means of a parable, vv.23-35.

Doctrine on forgiveness. This is not merely the addition of a new topic of instruction [first fraternal correction, next fraternal forgiveness ; cf. Schegg]; nor is it a mere explanation of the degree of forgiveness the necessity of which is taught in the foregoing passage; nor is it a mere supplement to the preceding doctrine on fraternal correction; nor can the proper nexus between the preceding passage and the present be found in Luke 17:4 (Maldonado, Lapide); but we have here, as it were, a third step in our duties to our neighbor: first, he must be kept from erring; secondly, he must be corrected after erring; thirdly, he must be kindly received and forgiven on his return.

Then came Peter unto him and said, as the mouthpiece of the apostles [cf. Euthymius]. Till seven times is selected by Peter, either because it is a holy number [cf. Gen 4:15 ; Lev 26:21; Prov 24:16], or because it is about double what the scribes allowed; for according to the Rabbis it is dangerous to forgive twice, and not allowed to forgive four times [Yoma fol. 86, 2; Schottgen, Wunsche, p. 219; Ed. ii. p. 125; cf. Amos 2:1; Job 33:29], so that Peter must have considered seven times as something most liberal [cf. Chrysostom,  Euthymius]. The rendering seventy times seven times  [Theophilus, Jerome, Bede Baberi, Albert, etc)is more faithful to the original text and more mindful of the Hebrew manner of using multiples [cf. Dan 7:10; Rev 5:11 ; etc.] than the rendering “seventy-seven times ” [Origen,  Augustine serm. 83, 3; Bisping Ewald, etc], which seems to be based on symbolic considerations and on Gen 4:24.

Mat 18:23  Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants.
Mat 18:24  And when he had begun to take the account, one as brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents.

Parable: Therefore denotes that on account of its doctrine on forgiveness the kingdom of heaven is illustrated by the following parable [cf. Euthymius, Jerome]. Literally the Greek text  may be translated “royal man” or “human king” instead of king, because the Hebrews denoted an earthly king by “king of flesh and blood” so as to distinguish him from the king of heaven and earth fcf. Wunsche, p. 219]. Servants are not slaves, but all -the royal officers filling places of trust, and according to Oriental terminology they include all the subjects of the king, even the ministers of state . At the time of our Lord the Jews calculated according to the Attic talent, so that ” ten thousand talents ” were equivalent to about $12,000,000, or sixty million francs. or 2,250,000 pounds. If the Hebrew talent had been in use, the amount would have been nearly twice as great. The enormous debt serves to impress one with the grievousness of guilt contracted by sin.

Mat 18:25  And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Mat 18:26  But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:27  And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt.

His lord commanded that he should be sold, as was allowed by the old Roman law, by the custom of Oriental despots [cf. Herod, iii. 119], and probably also by Jewish law [cf. 2 Kings 4:1; Job 24:9], though Ex 22:2 treats of thieves, and Lev 25:39, 47 of one’s selling one’s self either to an Israelite or a stranger in case of need. The threatened punishment was the utmost that could be inflicted [Maldonado], and the lord probably intended only to induce the servant to have recourse to supplication [Chrysostom]. That servant falling down acknowledges his indebtedness, and in his affliction promises more than he can hope to accomplish; he is forgiven, not because there is hope that he can gain the sum of money he owes [cf. Orig.], but on account of his good will [Chrysostom]. The lord . . . forgave him the debt, thus granting more than the servant had dared to ask for, just as God acts with us [cf. Chrysostom, Theopylact]; such a donation was not wholly against the custom of Oriental princes whose prodigality is well known; even Roman emperors were at times guilty of extravagance: Nero, e. g., allowed the Persian prince Tiridates during his visit to Rome daily 200,000 drachmas, and on his departure the emperor gave him a present of fifty million drachmas [Dio Chrysostom 63, 2, 6 ; Suetonius  Nero, 60; Tacitus, h. i. 20].

Mat 18:28  But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow-servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, he throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest.
Mat 18:29  And his fellow-servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:30  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.
Mat 18:31  Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came, and told their lord all that was done.
Mat 18:32  Then his lord called him: and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me:
Mat 18:33  Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee?
Mat 18:34  And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt.

An hundred pence is equivalent to about $16-20, or 3-4 pounds; his fellow-servant’s debt amounts, therefore, to about the 600,000th part of his own. He throttled him  does not mean “he dragged him before the judge”, but he ill- treated him.”   His fellow-servant falling down, besought him ” so as to recall his own wretched condition from which he had escaped [verse 26, cf. Origen]. His fellowservants, the fellows of both servants, seeing what was [being] done, were very much grieved . . . and told their lord [exactly] all that was [had been] done. Chrysostom and Euthymius develop the guilt of the servant; for though there was great inequality between his own and his fellow-servant’s indebtedness, and great equality between his and his friend’s supplication, there was the greatest difference between his cruelty and his lord’s mercy. The lord first rebukes the servant for his wickedness; secondly, he recalls the benefit bestowed on him; thirdly, he infers the duty of the servant towards his fellow-servant [Thomas], a duty not indeed to forgive the debt, but at least to have compassion also on thy fellow-servant [Cajetan], a duty not springing from justice, but from equity [Dionysius Cajetan Sylveri; cf. Lapide]; fourthly, his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturer, not merely to the prison, but to the place in which according to Roman custom the debtors were subjected to corporal chastisement [cf. Livius ii. 23 ; Gellius, noct. att. xx. 1] in order to extort their hidden treasures or to move their friends to compassion and to payment in their stead. Since neither of these events could be expected according to the text of the parable, and since the servant himself could not hope ever to pay his debt, the clause  until he paid all his debt does not state a mere condition, nor does it prescind from the future payment or non-payment [cf. Keil], nor does it imply that the payment was made, but it denotes simply endless torture for the ungrateful debtor [Chrysostom, Euthymius, Theophylact, Paschasius, Thomas, Maldonado, Lapide, Baronius, Calmet, Bisping].

Mat 18:35  So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts  or in all sincerity [cf. Jerome; Matt 6:12-15]. In this authentic explanation of the parable we are taught, first, that our sins against God are infinitely greater and more numerous than our neighbors’ offences against us; secondly, that God will not extend his mercy to us, if we are not merciful to our neighbor [Euthymius]; thirdly, that we must always be ready to forgive our neighbor. The other details of the parable, the selling of wife and children [verse 25], the sadness of the fellow-servants [verse 31], and the recall on the part of the king of his former benefit [verse 34] are mere embellishments; the text does not therefore show either that on our committing a grievous sin of inclemency towards our neighbor, our former sins, already forgiven, revive as to their guilt and their punishment [cf. Origen, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Aug. serm. 83, 6, 7 ; de bapt. c. Donat. i. 12, n. 20 ; iii. 13 ; Gregory dial, lib. iv. c. 60; Bede, Rabanus, Paschasius], or that the former sins revive at least improperly in the new sin, since its malice is increased by the ingratitude we show for our own forgiveness [Thomas. 3 p. qu. 88 a. 2; Cajetan, Maldonado, Lapide]. The irrevocability of God’s favors is therefore not touched in the parable [cf. Thomas. 3 p. qu. 88, a. 1,3; Suarez. in 3 p. qu. 88, disp. 13].

 

 

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Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 14:7-9

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 5, 2011

This post includes Father Callan’s brief summary of Romans 14:1-23 to help provide context.

THE ROMAN CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT CRITICIZE AND CONDEMN ONE ANOTHER ON ACCOUNT OF DIFFERENCES OF OPINION; THE STRONG MUST HAVE REGARD FOR THE WEAK

In the Roman Church there was a Jewish, as well as a larger Gentile element. The Jewish Christians there, as elsewhere, naturally retained, to a greater or less extent, their love for the Law and the Mosaic observances. It was likely, therefore, that some of these converts in Rome should carry their inherited practices and prejudices so far as to observe some of the Mosaic feasts, and so distinguish between different foods as entirely to abstain from certain meats and drinks. This some of the Gentile Christians would doubtless imitate; and thus there was danger of uncharitable divisions in the Church,—those who were given to these scrupulous and obsolete customs, and those of stronger and more enlightened consciences, who might look down upon and despise their weaker brethren, morally forcing them perhaps to act against their own conscience.

St. Paul, therefore, thought it well to treat this subject in writing to the Romans, and to urge all to abstain from unfavorable judgment of one another, leaving all judgment to God (Romans 1:1-13a). He then counsels the strong to bear with the
weak, and not to do anything that could scandalize the latter (Romans 1:13b-2323).

7. For none of us liveth to himself; and no man dieth to himself.
8. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Therefore, whether we live, or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

A proof that each Christian is following his conviction and conscience in all he does is this, that each one is living, not for himself, but for his Lord. The Christian who lives up to his calling consecrates his whole life and actions, together with his death, to God. Having been purchased at a great price (1 Cor 6:19-20), by the very blood of his Master, the true Christian knows that both in life and in death he is the property of his Lord Jesus Christ.

9. For to this end Christ died and rose again; that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Christ died and rose again to establish the relationship described in the preceding verses. By His death and Resurrection He acquired universal dominion over all men, He conquered death and opened the gates of life to all.

The Vulgate, mortuus est et resurrexit (died and rose again) follows the Greek και απεθανεν και ανεστη. A better reading has: απεθανεν και εζησεν, mortuus est et revixit (died and lived).

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My Background Notes on Micah 5:1-4a

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 5, 2011

Please note that the biblical references and links follow the verse numbering of the NRSV which on occasion differs from that of the NAB in its various editions. For example, Micah 5:1-4a in the NAB is Micah 5:2-5 in the NRSV.

The name Micah was employed in various forms (Micaiah, Michael) and means “who is like unto God?” In its various forms it is found applied to at least a dozen individuals in the OT.

The superscription (i.e., Micah 1:1 see also Jer 26:18) dates Micah’s ministry to the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, establishing a time period (roughly) between 759 BC (the beginning of Jotham’s reign) and 698 BC (the end of Hezekiah’s reign).  When exactly the prophet’s ministry began or ended is uncertain. Some scholars doubt the superscription’s dating of Micah’s ministry to the reign of Jotham because none of the contents of the book can be related to his reign. Such doubt presupposes that the book itself contains the sum total of Micah’s prophetic activity; an assumed “fact” on the part of these scholars which itself cannot be established from the book.

According to the superscription to the Book of Micah, the prophet was a native of Moresheth, apparently a reference to Moresheth-Gath (Mic 1:14), a small village in the Shephelah (i.e., foothill) region of Judah. It was located about 25 miles southwest of Jerusalem, stood on an elevation some 1,200 feet above sea level, and looked out over the coastal plain. The plain was an important commercial and travel route and, therefore, a prime target for an invading army.

The united monarchy consisting of the Twelve Tribes of  Israel had disintegrated after the death of Solomon (circa 926 BC) as a punishment for his sins (see 1 Kings 11:1-13:34). Ten of the twelve tribes formed a new nation which retained the name Israel, and Samaria eventually became its capitol. This new entity is often called the “Northern Kingdom” by modern scholars. The “Southern Kingdom” became known as Judah and remained under the rule of the Davidic kings.

The end of the united monarchy seriously weakened both states, but especially the Kingdom of Judah. This necessitated the establishment of military fortifications in the Shephelah (2 Chron 11:7-11) to protect Jerusalem lest the Philistines who lived along the coastal plain rose up against their political overlords (they had been subjugated by David, see 2 Sam 8:1; and ruled over by Solomon, see 1 Kings 5:1). The Philistines did on occasion represent a threat to both the Northern Kingdom of Israel (1 Kings 15:17, 1 Kings 16:15), and the Southern Kingdom of Judah (2 Chron 21:16, s Chron 28:18), but in Micah’s day the looming threat was the mighty Assyrian Empire.

“Because of her geographical position in north-central Mesopotamia, without natural frontiers and surrounded by enemies on every side, Assyria developed naturally into a nation of warriors. By the beginning of the ninth century she had become the first purely military empire in history. The speed of her armies, the efficiency of her siege machinery, and the frightful cruelty of her soldiers made her the scourge of the Fertile Crescent for the best part of the ninth to seventh centuries.” (Peter F. Ellis, THE MEN AND MESSAGE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, pg. 277).

In 842 BC Assyria subjugated many of her western neighbors, including Syria (also called Damascus or Aram) and  the Northern Kingdom of Israel, turning them into vassal or tributary states. But it wasn’t long before internal political intrigues and attempted usurpations of the throne put and kept Assyria in a somewhat weakened state until Tiglath-pilesar III came to power in 745 BC.  During his reign Assyria began to rise again and to trouble the western nations anew.

Israel, Syria, and a number of other states planned to form a military coalition against Assyria and they wanted the Kingdom of Judah to join them, however, King Ahaz of Jerusalem refused. Syria and Israel them decided to attack Judah, remove Ahaz from the throne and set up a puppet king. a frightened and desperate King Ahaz, acting against the advice of the Prophet Isaiah (Isa 7:1-8:20), appealed to Assyria for aid. Tiglath-pilesar moved quickly, he destroyed Damascus and conquered Israel, annexing its territories of Galilee and Gilead into his kingdom and forcing Israel to pay a heavy annual tribute tax. But he also took the opportunity to invade the Southern Kingdom of Judah, turning it into a vassal state and demanding a tribute tax (2 Chron 28:16-21).

Tiglath-pilesar III was succeeded by Shalamaneser in 727 BC and for some reason the Northern Kingdom of Israel allied itself with Egypt and once again rebelled against Assyria, forcing the new monarch to act. He imprisoned King Hoshea of Israel but this didn’t stop the rebellion which lasted another three years (see 2 Kings 17:4-5). In 722 (or 721) Samaria, capitol of the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed and the nation conquered, and a large part of its population deported, never to return (2 Kings 18:9-12). For Micah, the disaster which fell upon the Northern Kingdom was a warning of the impending doom of Judah(Micah 1:2-16).

The well-to-do have been oppressing the poor and powerless (Micah 2:1-2). Confident in their wealth they demand that the prophet not speak (Micah 2:7). They are more apt to listen to the “prophesying” of drunkards (Micah 2:11). Though they are members of God’s people they are portrayed as enemies of that people because they rob the poor even of their clothing (Micah 2:8. See Exodus 22:26; Deut 24:12-17; Amos 2:8; Ezek 18:12); and they drive women and children from their homes on the basis of “crippling” pledges (Micah 2:9-10). This was a violation of the Law of Moses (see Exodus 22:24-26; Deut 24:6; Deut 24:10-13).

Because the wealthy have taken land from their own people, showing themselves to be enemies of their people, they will lose their land to “captors” (Micah 2:4-5). Having violated the covenant law they are now subject to the covenant punishments (see Deut 28:36-57).  Many in the Kingdom of Judah will be taken into exile, just as had the people of Israel. But in a future time the dispersed people of God will be gathered back together under a King according to the messianic prophecy of Micah 2:12-13. (Note: the terms “Jacob” and “Israel”, though often used for the Northern Kingdom after the division of the monarchy, are also often used to designate the people as a whole, i.e., the twelve tribes; such is the case here in Micah 2:12. In chapter 3 the terms are clearly used in reference to the Kingdom of Judah. See Micah 3:9-10).

But it is not just the wealthy who are indicted by the prophet; the leaders of the people are condemned as well. It was their duty to know what was right but by their actions they showed that they loved evil and hated justice. They are portrayed as butchering and devouring the people, an image of oppression (Micah 3:1-3. See also Psalm 14:4; Psalm 27:2; Prov 30:14; Zephaniah 3:3). A day will come when they will pray to the Lord and he will ignore them for what they have done (Micah 3:4. See Isaiah 1:15-17). One cannot ignore the wise counsel of God for long without retribution (Prov 1:20-33).

Greedy prophets too are condemned. Note that it is not a question of their being false prophets; rather, they are real prophets who are abusing their gifts. They  prophesied peace to the one who gave them a morsel of food; but they  prophesied war against anyone who failed to pamper their paunches (Micah 3:5). Their visions, said the prophet, shall become as nightfall, and their divination will be turned to darkness, and they will be put to shame (Micah 3:6-7).

In contrast Micah is and will remain filled with power, the spirit of the Lord and authority to do what the other prophets should have also been doing: declaring “unto Jacob his wickedness and to Israel his sin”, and foretelling the coming doom of Jerusalem and the devastation of the temple mount, Zion (Micah 3:9-12).

Micah, as a righteous prophet who refused to abuse his office, could both prophesy war and peace. The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple mount was not the final word. A time will come when Zion, “the mount of the Lord’s house”, shall be exulted, and many peoples from many nations will stream to it to be instructed by “the God of Jacob” (Micah 4:1-4).  Jesus’, who died and rose again in order to draw all men to himself (John 12:32) is the new Temple (John 2:19-21), and the Church is his Body (Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 12:12-13; Ephesians 1:22-23) and, therefore, his temple (1 Cor 3:16-17).

A time will come when God will gather the lame, the outcast, and the afflicted; all those most easily subject to oppression and bring them to Jerusalem, called symbolically “Magdal-eder” (tower of the flock), and “hillock of daughter Zion” (Micah 4:6-8), and there he will rule over them (see Rev 21:9-27). These symbolic names are pastoral, providing a link with the shepherd imagery of Micah 5:4.

All this is in the future and Micah had closer pending realities to deal with. Whatever the distant future might bring couldn’t obscure the problems facing Jerusalem and the people of Judah. In less than a century and a half the neo-Babylonian empire would replace Assyria as the dominant power in the near east and that power would remove the rightful Davidic heir (Jehoichin) from his throne, replacing him with his uncle (2 Kings 24:10-17). It is this event that Micah alludes to in Micah 4:9, and which foreshadowed the Babylonian exile (Micah 4:10).

The problems with Babylon which were to come are portrayed by the prophet as foreshadowing a much more dire future event: the great eschatological (end time) assault of evil against God and his people which will culminate in victory over evil (Micah 4:11-13).

Before this end-time battle takes place a Davidic king must first be smitten (Micah 4:14, or Micah 5:1 in some translations). That king will be born in Bethlehem and his rule shall reach to the ends of the earth (Micah 5:1-4a). See Matt 2:6; Luke 2:4; John 7:42.

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A Brief Summary of the Readings for Today

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 5, 2011

In the readings for today we learn that wrath and anger are hateful things that sinners cling to (Sirach 27:30). If we act in such fashion God will cling to what we have done by remembering our sins of wrath and anger in detail (Sirach 28:1). It is imperative that we forgive others so that we ourselves may be heard and forgiven when we pray (Sirach 28:2; see Matt 6:12 and the Gospel for today, Matt 18:21-35). We have a master willing to forgive our debts (Psalm 103:2-4), but only if we forgive others (Matt 18:32-33). We are but flesh, subject to decay and death (Sirach 28:5-6). The Most High has given us commandments and a covenant (Sirach 28:7), and he is Master and judge over both life and death (Matt 18:32-35), and he has deemed that none of us should live and die for ourselves but for Jesus Christ, the Lord of the living and the dead (Romans 14:7-9).

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 14:7-9

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 5, 2011

This post contains Fr. MacEvily’s brief analysis of chapter 14 of Romans followed by his notes on today’s reading. It also includes his paraphrase of the verses he is commenting on. These paraphrases are in purple text.

ANALYSIS: The Apostle devotes this chapter to the removal of a practical cause of some differences that existed between the Jewish and Gentile converts. Many among the former, not fully instructed in the faith, were inordinately attached to certain portions of the ceremonial law of Moses; and among the rest they could not be brought to give up the distinction which the law made between clean and unclean meats, and thus abstained from partaking of the latter description of food. These observances were tolerated in the CONVERTED JEWS, until such time as they should be more fully instructed, in accommodation to their weakness, and for the purpose “of burying the Synagogue with honour.” (St. Augustine). The same indulgence was never extended to the converts from PAGANISM (as is seen, Epistle to Galatians). The tolerated observance of these ceremonial ordinances was made the occasion of differences among the early converts. The Gentile despised the Jew for so doing, and had no regard to his weak conscience; while the Jew censured the other party as violating the law. In order to effect a reconciliation, the Apostle first recommends the Gentiles to instruct the Jews (Rom 14:1); and, after stating the cause of difference (Rom 14:2), he recommends them to abstain from despising or condemning one another (Rom 14:3); to leave such judgments to God (Rom 14:4). And after giving another example of a cause of difference (Rom 14:5), he shows, that both may follow whatever opinion they please on the subject; that neither should be judged, since both intend the glory of God, as well in this point (Rom 14:6-7), as in all the other actions of their lives (Rom 14:8-9); and that all judgment belongs to Christ, to whom, therefore, it should be left (Rom 14:10-13). Having, in the preceding part of the chapter, cautioned the weak against unjust judgments, he now cautions the better instructed against giving scandal; he tells them to respect the consciences of their weaker brethren, and not induce them to commit sin, and violate conscience, by their example (Rom 14:13-22). He, finally, exhorts the weak not to act contrary to conscience, but in all their actions to have an undoubted conviction of the lawfulness of what they were about doing.

Rom 14:7  For none of us liveth to himself: and no man dieth to himself.

Both of them bless God and give him thanks; for, none of us, after our call to Christianity, is to live or die for his own advantage or glory, but for the glory of the Lord, whose servants we are become.

The Apostle proves that they both refer their actions, in each case, to God; no wonder, he says, that particular actions should have reference to God, when our entire life, and death itself, are subservient to his glory, and should be referred to this end by all Christians, who, by their very profession, are become the servants of God.

Rom 14:8  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord: or whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

For, whether we live, we live for the glory of the Lord, or whether we die, we die for the glory of the Lord, and in obedience to his will. Whether, therefore, we are living or dead, we are the Lord’s, who ransomed us by the effusion of his most precious blood.

We live and die unto the Lord, who made us his, and to whom, therefore, we
should consocrate our life, death, and all that we have. Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s, who paid the heavy price of his own most precious blood for us. As slaves, therefore, have nothing of their own, all they possess belongs to their master  so we, the servants, and purchased slaves of God, have nothing of our own; our life, death, and entire being, all belong to Christ.

Rom 14:9  For to this end Christ died and rose again: that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

For, unto this end has Christ died, and thus paid the price of our ransom, and risen from the dead to lead a glorious and immortal life, that he should exercise dominion over the living and the dead.

He assigns a reason, why we should live and die unto Christ, and refer our all
to his glory. For, unto this end Christ died, and rose again. In the Greek it is, Christ died, and rose again, and has lived again. In some readings, as in the one from which our Vulgate is taken, this latter clause is omitted. In others (v.g.), in theCodex Vaticanus, the middle member of the sentence, and rose again, is omitted; it runs thus,  και απεθανεν και εζησεν, died and lived. The sense is, however, fully expressed in ours. That he might be Lord both of the living and of the dead. Christ, from the instant of his incarnation, had this dominion. To him was given all power in heaven and on earth, i.e., over the whole Church, militant and triumphant; but, it was only after his death and resurrection, that he was to exercise this dominion (Matt 28:18), that he might be Lord of the dead and the living, i.e., of us while in this world and in the next. The Apostle places the living after the dead, to show that this perfect dominion is to regard such as live a life of glory in the future world; for, it is in the elect, that his reign of glory will be conspicuous.

 

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