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 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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2 Responses to “Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 14:7-9”

  1. […] UPDATE: Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 14:7-9 for Next Sunday, Sept 11. […]

  2. […] UPDATE: Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 14:7-9 for Next Sunday, Sept 11. […]

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