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 11th, 2011

Father Callan’s Commentary on Philippians 1:20c-24, 27a

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2011

This post contains commentary on verses 20-27 and is prefaced by Fr. Callan’s brief summary of Phil 1:12-26 in order to help provide context.


A Summary of Philippians 1:12-26~It seems the Philippians had made known to Paul their anxiety regarding the welfare of the Gospel, as a result of his imprisonment; they feared the Gospel was suffering while he was enchained. But the Apostle informs them here that the contrary is the case, inasmuch as the success of his preaching in prison has excited the jealousy of other preachers and thus stimulated them to greater efforts. This is a cause of great rejoicing on his part. As for his own prospects of release, he is confident that all will turn out for the best. Personally he is torn between the alternatives of dying and being with Christ, on the one hand, and living for the sake of the Philippians, on the other hand. He seems to be confident of the latter; he will again be with them to assist them and give them joy in Christ Jesus.

20. According to my expectation and hope ; that in nothing I shall be confounded, but with all confidence, as always, so now also shall Christ be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

Through the prayers of the faithful and the grace of Christ the Apostle is ardently hoping (such is the meaning of the Greek) for eternal salvation, but on his own part he is going to see that in nothing shall he be found wanting, that he will continue in the future as in the past to preach the Gospel “with all confidence” (i.e., freely and fearlessly), so that the glory of Christ shall continue to be manifested “in my body, etc.” (i.e., by spending his body and his energies for Christ, if he lives, or by the sacrifice of his life in the cause of Christ if he is put to death). Why he will not “be confounded” (i.e., disappointed), whether he lives or dies, he explains in the following verses.

21. For to me, to live is Christ: and to die is gain.

St. Paul had already told the Galatians: “I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me” (Gal 2:20). He was totally identified with Christ; Christ was the soul and centre of his life, the prime mover in all his actions, the goal and term of all his aspirations; to the Apostle “to live” was to labor for Christ and in union with Christ, and thus augment his merits for heaven, while “to die” was to be with Christ in glory and to enjoy his eternal reward.

22. But if to live in the flesh, this is to me the fruit of labor, and which I shall choose I know not.
23. But I am straitened between two: having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ, a thing by far the better:
24. But to abide still in the flesh, is more needful for you.

The Apostle is confronted by the alternatives of dying and being with Christ in glory, on the one hand, and of remaining in this earthly life for a time and thus serving the interests of the Gospel and the Church, on the other hand ; and he knows not which to choose, as there is great profit in either choice. So he is torn
between conflicting emotions, desiring the former, knowing that it would be far better “to be dissolved” (or better, “to depart”), and thus be forever with Christ in paradise, but feeling that the Philippians need him, and that consequently he ought to remain on earth a while longer.

(vs 22) This is to me the fruit of labor. The Greek is concise and therefore somewhat difficult, but the meaning is clear: To continue in this life would mean to the Apostle an occasion of fruitful labor (καρπος εργου) for the cause of Christ on earth.

(vs 23) Far the better, literally, “much more better,” a phrase indicative of St. Paul’s strong preference to die and be with Christ. From verse 23 it is evident that the souls of the saints are admitted to the presence of God immediately after death.

The necessarium of the Vulgate (verse 24) is a comparative in Greek, more necessary.

25. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide, and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith:
26. That your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus in me by my coming to you again.

And having this confidence (vs 25). The Greek means that the Apostle is firmly persuaded, that he enjoys a feeling of personal certainty. But with regard to what? That he is going to live and see the Philippians again? If this is the meaning, it would seem to be out of harmony with the uncertainty expressed just above in verses 20-23, and also with what he says below in Phil 2:17. The best explanation seems to be that of St. Chrysostom and others, who say that St. Paul is speaking above about the uncertainty of life or death in his case, whereas here he is stressing the utility and profit of the event, whichever it turns out to be: if he dies, he will be with Christ in glory; if he lives, he will be a help and a source of joy to the Philippians ; in any case the result will certainly be good, of this he is firmly persuaded. In this explanation verse 25 is to be understood, in the light of the whole context, as conditional. “This confidence” refers to what follows: if he continues to live, he knows that he will be of great spiritual profit to the Philippians, and will thus give joy to their faith.

27. Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ; that, whether I come and see you, or, being absent, may hear of you, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind laboring together for the faith of the gospel.

Just above the Apostle has spoken of his own condition and prospects. Now he turns to the Philippians and tells them there is only one thing that will trouble him, and that is if he should hear something bad about them and their conduct. Wherefore he says: “Let your conduct be worthy, etc.,”—literally, “let your citizenship be worthy, etc.,” i.e., conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ, as citizens of heaven (Phil 3:20).

In one spirit, i.e., in unity of mind, heart, and way of acting, as a result of the grace of the one Holy Spirit dwelling within you. Some take “spirit” here to mean the Holy Ghost directly, and refer to 1 Cor 12:13, Eph 2:18, where the identical phrase here used is doubtless to be understood of the Holy Spirit. The effect will be the same in either opinion, as St. Paul is speaking of religious conduct.

Laboring, better, “striving” or “contending.” The metaphor is drawn from the prize-seeking contests in the amphitheatre.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on Philippians, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 20:1-16

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2011

Ver 1. “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.2. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.3. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the market-place,4. And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.5. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.6. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?7. They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.8. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.9. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.10. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.11. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,12. Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.13. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?14. Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.15. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?16. So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.”

Remig.: To establish the truth of this saying, “There are many first that shall be last, and last first,” the Lord subjoins a similitude.

Pseudo-Chrys.: The Master of the household is Christ, whose house are the heavens and the earth; and the creatures of the heavens, and the earth, and beneath the earth, His family. His vineyard is righteousness, in which are set divers sorts of righteousness as vines, as meekness, chastity, patience, and the other virtues; all of which are called by one common name righteousness.

Men are the cultivators of this vineyard, whence it is said, “Who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.” For God placed His righteousness in our senses, not for His own but for our benefit. Know then that we are the hired labourers. But as no man gives wages to a labourer, to the end he should do nothing save only to eat, so likewise we were not thereto called by Christ, that we should labour such things only as pertain to our own good, but to the glory of God. And like as the hired labourer looks first to his task, and after to his daily food, so ought we to mind first those things which concern the glory of God, then those which concern our own profit. Also as the hired labourer occupies the whole day in his Lord’s work, and takes but a single hour for his own meal; so ought we to occupy our whole life in the glory of God, taking but a very small portion of it for the uses of this world. And as the hired labourer when he has done no work is ashamed that day to enter the house, and ask his food, how should not you be ashamed to enter the church, and stand before the face of God, when you have done nothing good in the sight of God?

Greg., Hom. in Ev., xix, 1: Or; The Master of the household, that is, our Maker, has a vineyard, that is, the Church universal, which has borne so many stocks, as many saints as it has put forth from righteous Abel to the very last saint who shall be born in the end of the world. To instruct this His people as for the dressing of a vineyard, the Lord has never ceased to send out His labourers; first by the Patriarchs, next by the teachers of the Law, then by the Prophets, and at the last by the Apostles, He has toiled in the cultivation of His vineyard; though every man, in whatsoever measure or degree he has joined good action with right faith, has been a labourer in the vineyard.

Origen: For the whole of this present life may be called one day, long to us, short compared to the existence of God.

Greg.: The morning is that age of the world which was from Adam and Noah, and therefore it is said, “Who went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.” The terms of their hiring He adds, “And when he had agreed with the labourers for a denarius a day.”

Origen: The denarius I suppose here to mean salvation.

Remig.: A denarius was a coin anciently equal to ten sesterces, and bearing the king’s image. Well therefore does the denarius represent the reward of the keeping of the decalogue. And that, “Having agreed with them for a denarius a day,” is well said, to shew that every man labours in the field of the holy Church in hope of the future reward.

Greg.: The third hour is the period from Noah to Abraham; of which it is said, “And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing in the market-place idle.”

Origen: The market-place is all that is without the vineyard, that is, without the Church of Christ.

Pseudo-Chrys.: For in this world men live by buying and selling, and gain their support by defrauding each other.

Greg.: He that lives to himself, and feeds on the delights of the flesh, is rightly accused as  idle, forasmuch as he does not seek the fruit of godly labour.

Pseudo-Chrys.: Or; The “idle” are not sinners, for they are called dead. But he is idle who works not the work of God. Do you desire to be not idle? Take not that which is another’s; and give of that which is your own, and you have laboured in the Lord’s vineyard, cultivating the vine of mercy. It follows, “And he said unto them, Go ye also into my vineyard.” Observe that it is with the first alone that He agrees upon the sum to be given, a denarius; the others are hired on no express stipulation, but “What is right I will give you.” For the Lord knowing that Adam would fall, and that all should hereafter perish in the deluge, made conditions for him, that he should never say that he therefore neglected righteousness, because he knew not what reward he should have. But with the rest He made no contract, seeing He was prepared to give more than the labourers could hope.

Origen: Or; He did not call upon the labourers of the third hour for a complete task, but left to their own choice, how much they should work. For they might perform in the vineyard work equal to that of those who had wrought since the morning, if they chose to put forth upon their task an operative energy, such as had not yet been exerted.

Greg.: The sixth hour is that from Abraham to Moses, the ninth that from Moses to the coming of the Lord.

Pseudo-Chrys.: These two hours are coupled together, because in the sixth and ninth it was that He called the generation of the Jews, and multiplied to publish His testaments among men, whereas the appointed time of salvation now drew nigh.

Greg.: The eleventh hour is that from the coming of the Lord to the end of the world. The labourer in the morning, at the third, sixth, and ninth hours, denotes the ancient Hebrew people, which in its elect from the very beginning of the world, while it zealously and with right faith served the Lord, ceased not to labour in the husbandry of the vineyard. But at the eleventh the Gentiles are called. For they who through so many ages of the world had neglected to labour for their living, were they who had stood the whole day idle.

But consider their answer; “They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us;” for neither Patriarch nor Prophet had come to them. And what is it to say, “No man hath hired us,” but to say, None has preached to us the way of life.

Pseudo-Chrys.: For what is our hiring, and the wages of that hiring? The promise of eternal life; for the Gentiles knew neither God, nor God’s promises.

Hilary: These then are sent into the vineyard, “Go ye also into my vineyard.”

Raban.: But when they had rendered their day’s task, at the fitting time for payment, “When even was come,” that is, when the day of this world was drawing to its close.

Pseudo-Chrys.: Consider, He gives the reward not the next morning, but in the evening. Thus the judgment shall take place while this world is still standing, and each man shall receive that which is due to him. This is on two accounts. First, because the happiness of the world to come is to be itself the reward of righteousness; so the award is made before, and not in that world. Secondly, that sinners may not behold the blessedness of that day, “The Lord saith unto his steward,” that is, the Son to the Holy Spirit.

Gloss., non. occ., sed vid. Raban.: Or, if you choose, the Father saith unto the Son; for the Father wrought by the Son, and the Son by the Holy Spirit, not that there is any difference of substance, or majesty.

Origen: Or; “The Lord said to his steward,” that is, to one of the Angels who was set over the payment of the labourers; or to one of those many guardians, according to what is written, that “The heir as long as he is a child is under tutors and governors.” [Gal 4:2]

Remig.: Or, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the master of the household, and also the steward, like as He is the door, and also the keeper of the door. For He Himself will come to judgment, to render to each man according to that he has done. He therefore calls His labourers, and renders to them their wages, so that when they shall be gathered together in the judgment, each man shall receive according to his works.

Origen, Heb 11, 40: But the first labourers having the witness through faith have not received the promise of God, the lord of the household providing some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. And because we have obtained mercy, we hope to receive the reward first, we, that is, who are Christ’s, and after us they that wrought before us; wherefore it is said, “Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.”

Pseudo-Chrys.: For we always give more willingly, where we give without return, seeing it is for our own honour that we give. Therefore God in giving reward to all the saints shews himself just; in giving to us, merciful; as the Apostle speaks, “That the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy;” [Rom 16:9] and thence it is said, “Beginning from the last even unto the first.”

Or surely that God may shew His inestimable mercy, He first rewards the last and more unworthy, and afterwards the first; for of His great mercy He regarded not order of merit.

Aug., de Spir. et Lit. 24: Or; The lesser are therefore taken as first, because the lesser are to be made rich.

Greg.: They get alike a denarius who have wrought since the eleventh hour, (for they sought it with their whole soul,) and who have wrought since the first. They, that is, who were called from the beginning of the world have alike received the reward of eternal happiness, with those who come to the Lord in the end of the world.

Pseudo-Chrys.: And this not with injustice. For he who was born in the first period of the world, lived no longer than the determined time of his life, and what harm was it to him, though the world continued after his leaving it? And they that shall be born towards its close will not live less than the days that are numbered to them. And how does it cut their labour shorter, that the world is speedily ended, when they have accomplished their thread of life before?

Moreover it is not of man to be born sooner or later, but of the power of God. Therefore he that is born first cannot claim to himself a higher place, nor ought he to be held in contempt that was born later. “And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying.” But if this we have said be true, that both first and last have lived their own time, and neither more nor less; and that each man’s death is his consummation, what means this that they say, “We have borne the burden and heat of the day?” Because to know that the end of the world is at hand is of great force to make us do righteousness. Wherefore Christ in His love to us said, “The kingdom of heaven shall draw nigh.” [Matt 4:2]

Whereas it was a weakening of them to know that the duration of the world was to be yet long. So that though they did not indeed live through the whole of time, they seem in a manner to have borne its weight. Or, by the burden of the day is meant the burdensome precepts of the Law; and the  heat may be that consuming temptation to error which evil spirits contrived for them, stirring them to imitate the Gentiles; from all which things the Gentiles were exempt, believing on Christ, and by compendiousness of grace being saved completely. Greg.: Or; To bear the burden and heat of the day, is to be weaned through a life of long duration with the heats of the flesh. But it may be asked, How can they be said to murmur, when they are called to the kingdom of heaven? For none who murmurs shall receive the kingdom, and none who receives that can murmur.

Chrys.: But we ought not to pursue through every particular the circumstances of a parable; but enter into its general scope, and seek nothing further. This then is not introduced in order to represent some as moved with envy, but to exhibit the honour that shall be given us as so great as that it might stir the jealousy of others.

Greg.: Or because the old fathers down to the Lord’s coming, notwithstanding their righteous lives, were not brought to the kingdom, this murmur is theirs. But we who have come at the eleventh hour, do not murmur after our labours, forasmuch as having come into this world after the coming of the Mediator, we are brought to the kingdom as soon as ever we depart out of the body.

Jerome: Or, all that were called of old envy the Gentiles, and are pained at the grace of the Gospel.

Hilary: And this murmur of the labourers corresponds with the frowardness of this nation, which even in the time of Moses were stiff-necked.

Remig.: By this one to whom his answer is given, may be understood all the believing Jews, whom he calls friends because of their faith.

Pseudo-Chrys.: Their complaint was not that they were defrauded of their rightful recompense, but that the others had received more than they deserved. For the envious have as much pain at others’ success as at their own loss.

From which it is clear, that envy flows from vain glory. A man is grieved to be second, because he wishes to be first. He removes this feeling of envy by saying, “Didst thou not agree with me for a denarius?”

Jerome: A denarius bears the figure of the king. You have therefore received the reward which I promised you, that is, my image and likeness; what desirest thou more? And yet, it is not that [p. 685] thou shouldest have more, but that another should have less that thou seekest. “Take that is thine, and go thy way.”

Remig.: That is, take thy reward, and enter into glory. “I will give to this last,” that is, to the gentile people, according to their deserts, as to thee.

Origen: Perhaps it is to Adam He says, “Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst thou not agree with me for a denarius? Take that thine is, and go thy way.” Salvation is thine, that is, the denarius. “I will give unto this last also as unto thee.” A person might not improbably suppose, that this last was the Apostle Paul, who wrought but one hour, and was made equal with all who had been before him.

Aug., de Sanc. Virg., 26: Because that life eternal shall be equal to all the saints, a denarius is given to all; but forasmuch as in that life eternal the light of merits shall shine diversely, there are with the Father many mansions; so that under this same denarius bestowed unequally one shall not live longer than another, but in the many mansions one shall shine with more splendour than another.Greg.: And because the attainment of this kingdom is of the goodness of His will, it is added, “It is not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?” For it is a foolish complaint of man to murmur against the goodness of God. For complaint is not when a man gives not what he is not bound to give, but if he gives not what he is bound to give; whence it is added, “Is thine eye evil because I am good?”

Remig.: By the eye is understood his purpose. The Jews had an evil eye, that is, an evil purpose, seeing they were grieved at the salvation of the Gentiles. Whereto this parable pointed, He shews by adding, “So the first shall be last, and the last first;” and so the Jews of the head are become the tail, and we of the tail are become the head.

Pseudo-Chrys.: Or; He says the first shall be last, and the last first, not that the last are to be exalted before the first, but that they should be put on an equality, so that the difference of time should make no difference in their station. That He says, “For many are called, but few chosen,” is not to be taken of the elder saints, but of the Gentiles; for of the Gentiles who were called being many, but few were chosen.

Greg.: There be very many come to the faith, yet but few arrive at the heavenly kingdom; many follow God in words, but shun Him in their lives. Whereof spring two things to be thought upon. The first, that none should presume ought concerning himself; for though he be called to the faith, he knows not whether he shall be chosen to the kingdom.

Secondly, that none should despair of his neighbour, even though he see him lying in vices; because he knows not the riches of the Divine mercy.

Or otherwise. The morning is our childhood; the third hour may be understood as our youth, the sun as it were mounting to his height is the advance of the heat of age; the sixth hour is manhood, when the sun is steady in his meridian height, representing as it were the maturity of strength; by the ninth is understood old age, in which the sun descends from his vertical height, as our age falls away from the fervour of youth; the eleventh hour is that age which is called decrepit, and doting.

Chrys.: That He called not all of them at once, but some in the morning, some at the third hour, and so forth, proceeded from the difference of their minds He then called them when they would obey; as He also called the thief when he would obey. Whereas they say, “Because no man hath hired us,” we ought not to force a sense out of every particular in a parable. Further, it is the labourers and not the Lord who speak thus; for that He, as far as it pertains to Him, calls all men from their earliest years, is shewn in this, “He went out early in the morning to hire labourers.”

Greg.: They then who have neglected till extreme old age to live unto God, have stood idle to the eleventh hour, yet even these the master of the household calls, and oftentimes gives them their reward before other, inasmuch as they depart out of the body into the kingdom before those that seemed to be called in their childhood.

Origen: But this, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” is not said to such as having “begun, in the spirit,” [Gal 3:3] have been “made perfect by the flesh,” as inviting them to return again, and to live in the Spirit. This we speak not to dissuade prodigal sons, who have consumed their substance of evangelic doctrine in riotous living, from returning to their father’s house; but because they are not like those who sinned in their youth, before they had learnt the things of the faith.

Chrys.: When He says, The first shall be last, and the last first,” He alludes secretly to such as were at the first eminent, and afterwards set at nought virtue; and to others who have been reclaimed from wickedness, and have surpassed many. So that this parable was made to quicken the zeal of those who are converted in extreme old age, that they should not suppose that they shall have less than others.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

This Week’s Posts: Sunday, September 11-Saturday, September 17

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2011

From the 911 Memorial in 2004~A Tribute In Light


. Today’s Mass Resources (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms). A weekly feature of this blog. The resources for next Sunday’s Mass will be posted on Wednesday evening.

Today’s Divine Office.

Last Week’s Posts: Sunday, Sept 4-Saturday, Sept 10.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (1 Tim 2:1-8).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 7:1-10).

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 7:1-10).

UPDATE: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on the Gospel for Sunday, Sept 18 (Matt 20:1-16).

UPDATE: Father Callan’s Commentary on the First Reading for Sunday, Sept 18 (Phil 1:20c-24, 27a).


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

UPDATE: Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (1 Timothy 3:1-13).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 7:11-17).

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 7:11-17).

UPDATE: My Summary of the Readings for Sunday Mass, Sept 18.

UPDATE: The Scripture Homilies of St John Chrysostom:

UPDATE:  Pope Benedict XVI on St John Chrysostom:


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

UPDATE: Sunday, Sept 18: Resources for Sunday Mass (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms).

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Today’s Second Reading (Phil 2:6-11).

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s Second Reading (Phil 2:6-11).

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Today’s Second Reading (Phil 2:6-11).

St John Chrysostom’s Homily #1 on Today’s Second Reading (Phil 2:6-11).

St John Chrysostom’s Homily #2 on Today’s Second Reading (Phil 2:6-11).

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 3:13-17).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 3:13-17).


Today’s Mass Readings. Two possible Gospel readings are supplied, John 19:25-27 or Luke 2:33-35. Commentary for both appear below.

Today’s Divine Office.

UPDATE: Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (1 Tim 4:12-16).

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary/Meditation on Today’s Psalm (111).

Commentaries on John 19:25-27~

Commentary on Luke 2:33-35~


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Tim 6:2c-12. Pending.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Psalm 49~

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Psalm (49).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 8:1-3).


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s First Reading (1 Tim 6:13-16). Pending.

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Psalm (100).

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Today’s Psalm (100).

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 8:4-15, Parable of the Sower).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 8:4-15, Parable of the Sower).

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 8:1-3

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2011

Ver  1. And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,2. And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,3. And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered to him of their substance.

THEOPHYL. He who descended from heaven, for our example and imitation, gives us a lesson not to be slothful in teaching. Hence it is said, And it came to pass afterward that he went, &c.

GREG. NAZ. For He passes from place to place, that He may not only gain many, but may consecrate many places. He sleeps and labors, that He may sanctify sleep and labor. He weeps, that He may give a value to tears. He preaches heavenly things, that He may exalt His hearers.

TIT BOST. For He who descends from heaven to earth, brings tidings to them that dwell on earth of a heavenly kingdom But who ought to preach the kingdom of heaven? Many prophets came, yet preached not the kingdom of heaven, for how could they pretend to speak of things which they perceived not?

ISID. PELEUS. Now this kingdom of God some think to be higher and better than the heavenly kingdom, but some think it to be one and the same in reality but called by different names; at one time the kingdom of God from Him who reigns, but at another the kingdom of heaven from the Angels and Saints, His subjects, who are said to be of heaven.

THEOPHYL; But like the eagle, enticing its young ones to fly, our Lord, step by step, raises up His disciples to heavenly things. He first of all teaches in the synagogues, and performs miracles. He next chooses twelve whom He names Apostles; He afterwards takes them alone with Him, as He preached throughout the cities and villages, as it follows, And the twelve were with him.

THEOPHYL. Not teaching or preaching, but to be instructed by Him. But lest it should seem that the women were hindered from following Christ, it is added, And certain women which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils.

THEOPHYL; Mary Magdalene is the same of whose repentance, without mention of her name, we have just read. For the Evangelist, when he relates her going with our Lord, rightly distinguishes her by her known name, but when describing the sinner but penitent, He speaks of her generally as a woman; lest the mark of her former guilt should blacken a name of so great report. Out of whom seven devils are reported to have gone, that it might be shown that she was full of all vices.

GREG. For what is understood by the seven devils, but all vices? For since all time is comprehended by seven days, rightly by the number seven is universality represented: Mary therefore had seven devils, for she was full of every kind of vice. It follows, And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who ministered to him of their substance.

JEROME; It was a Jewish custom, nor was it thought blamable, according to the ancient manners of that nation, that women should afford of their substance food and clothing to their teachers. This custom, as it might cause offense to the Gentiles, St. Paul relates he had cast off. But these ministered to the Lord of their substance, that He might reap their carnal things, from whom they had reaped spiritual things. Not that the Lord needed the food of His creatures, but that He might set an example to masters, that they ought to be content with food and clothing from their disciples.

THEOPHYL; But Mary is by interpretation, “bitter sea,” because of the loud wailing of her penitence; Magdalene, “a tower, or rather belonging to a tower,” from the tower of which it is said, you art become my hope, my strong tower from the face of my enemy. Joanna is by interpretation “the Lord her grace,” or “the merciful Lord,” for from Him comes every thing that we dive upon. But if Mary, cleansed from the corruption of her sins, points to the Church of the Gentiles, why does not Joanna represent the same Church formerly subject to the worship of idols?

For every evil spirit whilst he acts for the devil’s kingdom, is as it were Herod’s steward. Susanna is interpreted, “a lily,” or its grace, because of the fragrance and whiteness of the heavenly life, and the golden heat of inward love.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 49 (48 in some translations)

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2011

St Thomas Aquinas followed the Psalm numbering as given in the Greek Septuagint (also called the LXX) and the Latin Vulgate. What most modern translations identify as Psalm 49 was to him psalm 48.  Here is a handy conversion table.

The following post contains St Thomas lecture on Psalm 49 (48) in the original Latin side by side with an English translation. The translation was done by Stephen Loughlin who holds the translation’s copyright. It appears here courtesy of the Aquinas Translation Project and in accordance with their copyright policy.

Psalm 48

In finem pro filiis Core. a. Audite haec omnes gentes: auribus percipite omnes qui habitatis orbem. Quique terrigenae, et filii hominum, simul in unum dives, et pauper. Unto the end, a psalm for the sons of Core. Hear these things, all ye nations: give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world. All you that are earthborn, and you sons of men: both rich and poor together.
b. Os meum loquetur sapientiam: et meditatio cordis mei prudentiam. Inclinabo in parabolam aurem meam: aperiam in psalterio propositionem meam. My mouth shall speak wisdom: and the meditation of my heart prudence. I will incline my ear to a parable; I will open my proposition on the psaltery.
c. Cur timebo in die mala? iniquitas calcanei mei circumdabit me. Qui confidunt in virtute sua, et in multitudine divitiarum suarum gloriantur. Frater non redimit, redimet homo? non dabit Deo plactionem suam. Et pretium redemptionis animae suae: et laborabit in aeternum, et vivet adhuc in finem. Why shall I fear in the evil day? the iniquity of my heel shall encompass me. They that trust in their own strength, and glory in the multitude of their riches, no brother can redeem, nor shall man redeem: he shall not give to God his ransom, Nor the price of the redemption of his soul: and shall labor for ever, and shall still live unto the end.
d. Non videbit interitum, cum viderit sapientes morientes: simul insipiens, et stultus peribunt. He shall not see destruction, when he shall see the wise dying: the senseless and the fool shall perish together:
e. Et relinquent alienis divitias suas: et sepulcra eorum domus illorum in aeternum. Tabernacula eorum in progenie, et progenie: vocaverunt nomina sua in terris suis. And they shall leave their riches to strangers: and their sepulchres shall be their houses for ever. Their dwelling places to all generations: they have called their lands by their names.
f. Et homo cum in honore esset, non intellexit; comparatus est iumentis insipientibus, et similis factus est illis. And man when he was in honor did not understand; he is compared to senseless beasts, and is become like to them.
g. Haec via illorum scandalum ipsis: et postea in ore suo complacebunt. This way of theirs is a stumbling block to them: and afterwards they shall delight in their mouth.
h. Sicut oves in inferno positi sunt, mors depascet eos. Et dominabuntur eorum iusti in matutino: et auxilium eorum veterascet in inferno a gloria eorum. Veruntamen Deus redimet animam meam de manu inferi, cum acceperit me. They are laid in hell like sheep: death shall feed upon them. And the just shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their help shall decay in hell from their glory. But God will redeem my soul from the hand of hell, when he shall receive me.
i. Ne timueris cum dives factus fuerit homo, et cum multiplicata fuerit gloria domus eius. Quoniam cum interierit, non sumet omnia: neque descendet cum eo gloria eius. Be not thou afraid, when a man shall be made rich, and when the glory of his house shall be increased. For when he shall die he shall take nothing away; nor shall his glory descend with him.
k. Quia anima eius in vita ipsius benedicetur: confitebitur tibi cum benefeceris ei. Introibit usque in progenies patrum suorum, et usque in aeternum non videbit lumen. Homo cum in honore esset non intellexit: comparatus est iumentis insipientibus, et similis factus est illis. For in his lifetime his soul will be blessed: and he will praise thee when thou shalt do well to him. He shall go in to the generations of his fathers: and he shall never see light. Man when he was in honor did not understand: he hath been compared to senseless beasts, and made like to them.
a. Supra psalmista invitavit gentes ad gaudium et gratiarum actionem pro beneficiis populo Dei datis; hic autem monet eas ut confidant de Deo: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo excitat attentionem. Secundo prosequitur propositum. Previously, the psalmist invited the nations to gladness and thanksgiving for the gifts given to the people of God. In this psalm, he advises them to trust in God. Concerning this he does two thing. First, he rouses (their) attention, and second, he pursues (his) intention.
Titulus non est novus. Secundum autem titulum homo dupliciter redditur attentus. Uno modo dicitur attentus reddi aliquis ex parte auditorum, alio modo ex parte dicendorum, cum promittit se dicturum aliqua magna: Prover. 8: Audite me, quia de rebus magnis locutura sum. Et hoc modo loquitur hic. Primo ergo reddit eos attentos ex parte eorum quibus loquebatur. Secundo ex parte dicendorum, ibi, os meum. The title (of this psalm) is not new. According to it, a man is made attentive in two ways, namely on the part of those listening, or on the part of the things that are about to be said, when one promises that one is about to say some great things – Proverb 8: “Hear, for I will speak of great things.” And it is in this latter sense that the psalmist speaks here. Thus, he first makes them attentive on the part of those to whom he was speaking, and secondly, on the part of the things about to be said, at My mouth.
Dicit ergo, quod ad omnem differentiam hominum et ad omnes pertinent, quae dicturus est. Et tangit quatuor differentias hominum. Unam ex diversitate populorum: quia alius erat populus Iudaeorum, et alius gentium. Aliam ex parte locorum. Aliam ex parte originis. Quidam enim erant nobiles et insignes, quidam non. Aliam ex parte fortunae: quia quidam divites, quidam non. Thus he says that what he is about to say pertains to every difference between men and to all (people). He mentions four differences between men. One concerns the diversity of peoples, since some were Jewish, while others were gentiles. Another difference concerns (their) location. Another, (their) origin, for some were noble and distinguished, while others were not. The last difference concerns (their) fortunes, since some were rich, while others were not.
Primam ponit cum dicit, audite haec omnes gentes, non solum Iudaeorum, quia haec ad omnes pertinet audire: et est hoc necessarium: Proverb. 1: Audiens sapiens etc. He considers the first when he says, Hear these things, all ye nations, and not just of the Jews, since to hear this belongs to all. And this is necessary – Proverbs 1: “A wise man shall hear…”
Secundam ponit cum dicit, auribus percipite qui habitatis orbem, idest quacumque parte orbis: et dicit, auribus percipite, quia oportet audire et percipere: Matth. 13: Qui habet aures audiendi audiat, idest attendat. He considers the second when he says, Give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world, that is, in whatever part of the world (they may be). He says, Give ear, because it is necessary to hear and understand – Matthew 13: “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear”, that is, let him attend.
Hieronymus habet, habitatores occidentis. Quasi sit quaedam prophetia: quia fides Christi praecipue viget in populo occidentis: quia in aquilonari sunt adhuc multi gentiles, et in orientalibus sunt multi schismatici et infideles. Jerome has “The inhabitants of the west,” as if this were a kind of prophecy. For the faith of Christ especially thrives in the people of the west, while in the northern (regions) there are still many gentiles, and in the eastern (parts) there are many schismatics and infidels.
Vel, audite haec omnes gentes, refertur ad malos; qui habitatis orbem, ad bonos qui dominantur terrae. Or, Hear these things, all ye nations, is referred to evil (people, while) All ye inhabitants of the world is referred to the good who govern the earth.
Tertiam ponit cum dicit, quique terrigenae, idest ignobiles, et filii hominum, idest nobiles. He considers the third when he says, All you that are earthborn, that is, those who are ignoble, and you sons of men, namely the noble.
Hieronymus habet, tam filii adam quam filii singulorum, quia quidam nihil habent insigne ex parentibus. Jerome has, As much the sons of Adam as the sons of individuals, since some have no idea of who their ancestors were.
Mystice terrigenae dicuntur peccatores, qui terrae adhaerent per affectum; unde serpenti comparantur: Isa. 65: Serpenti (idest terrenis) pulvis panis eius. Filii hominum dicuntur boni, qui imaginem Dei et Christi, qui est filius hominis, habent. In the mystical sense, the Earthborn are sinners who cling to the earth through (their) desires. Hence they are compared to the serpent – Isaiah 65: “The dust shall be the serpent’s (that is, the earthly person’s) food.” The sons of men are called good who are the image of God and of Christ, who is the Son of man.
Quartam ponit cum dicit, simul in unum dives et pauper; quasi dicat: omnes audiatis haec documenta: quia omnibus sunt utilia. Et quae sunt? Matth. 5: Beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum: Eccl. 31: Beatus dives qui inventus est sine macula etc. Tamen aliquis est dives actu, sed non affectu: et hic potest esse sanctus, sicut Abraham et Ludovicus rex franciae. Alius est dives actu et affectu: et hic non est sanctus. De hoc dicitur Matth. 19: Facilius est camelum intrare etc. quia sicut est contra naturam intrare camelum per foramen acus; ita intrare divitem in regnum caelorum est contra iustitiam divinam. Et tales sunt terrigenae; sed primi sunt filii hominum. He considers the fourth when he says, Both rich and poor together, as if to say, “Everyone, heed these teachings” since they are useful to all. And what are these teachings? Matthew 5: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”; Ecclesiasticus 31: “Blessed is the rich man that is found without blemish.” However, some are rich in actuality, but not in (their) desires. And this can be a holy (one), like Abraham, and Ludovic, the king of France. Others are rich in actuality and in their desires. And this does not describe a holy (one). Concerning this, Matthew 19 says “It is easier for a camel to pass…” etc., because just as it is contrary to nature for the camel to pass through the eye of a needle, so too is it contrary to divine justice for the rich (in this latter sense) to pass into the kingdom of heaven. And such are the earthborn, but the former are the sons of men.
b. Os meum. Hic reddit attentos ex promissione dicendorum. My mouth. Here, he makes them attentive through the promise of things that are about to be said.
Quicumque docet, aut docet res aut docet verba. Quando praedicamus fidem et mores, docemus res; quando exponimus scripturam, docemus verba. Primo ergo dicit de prima doctrina. Secundo de secunda, ibi, inclinabo. Whoever teaches, teaches either human affairs or words. When we proclaim faith and morals, we teach human affairs; when we expound upon Scripture, we teach words. And so, first he speaks about first teaching, and then he speaks about the second at, I will incline.
Rerum autem cognitio necessaria est ad duo: scilicet ad cognitionem veritatis, et ad usum operationis. Omnis ergo cognitio veritatis, quae nobis necessaria est de aliis rebus, referenda est ad cognitionem veritatis divinorum. Unde Augustinus dicit: Qui scrutatur haec, non referens ad aeterna, est otiosus. Et ideo omnis cognitio veritatis pertinet ad sapientiam; et ideo dicit, os meum loquetur sapientiam: 1 Cor. 2: Sapientiam loquimur inter perfectos. The knowledge of human affairs is necessary for two reasons, namely for the knowledge of truth, and for the purpose of acting. Thus all knowledge of truth, which is necessary for us concerning other affairs, must be referred to the knowledge of the truth of divine affairs. Consequently, Augustine says, “He who examines this thoroughly, but not referring it to the eternal, is lazy.” In this way, every knowledge of truth belongs to wisdom, and, consequently, the psalmist says, My mouth shall speak wisdom – 1 Cor. 2: “We speak wisdom among the perfect.”
Id autem quod est necessarium quantum ad usum operationis, pertinet ad prudentiam, qua habetur directio rerum humanarum; et ideo dicit, et meditatio cordis mei prudentiam, scilicet loquetur: Prov. 10: Sapientia est viro prudentia, quia sapientia comparata ad res humanas et materiales est prudentia. However, that which is necessary with respect to the purpose of acting belongs to prudence by which the direction of human affairs is accomplished. And thus, the psalmist says, And the meditation of my heart shall speak prudence – Proverbs 10: “Wisdom is prudence in man”, because wisdom brought to bear upon human and corporal affairs is prudence.
Inclinabo. Hic agit de secunda doctrina, scilicet verborum obscurorum: et sunt circa ea duo necessaria. Primo, ut studeat intelligere. Secundo, ut studeat ea exponere aliis. I will incline. Here he speaks about the second kind of teaching, namely of obscure words. These (obscure words) are necessary in two ways. First, that one might be eager to understand them, and second, that one might be eager to explain them to others.
Quantum ad primum dicit, inclinabo in parabolam aurem meam. Parabola est sententia aliqua, quando habet obscuram similitudinem; quasi dicat: dabo studium ad intelligendum aliorum dicta: Prov. 1: Animadvertet parabolam et interpretationem eius; verba sapientium et aenigmata eorum. With respect to the first, he says, I will incline my ear to a parable. A parable is a teaching when it has an obscure image or representation. It is as if he were saying, ” I will study so as to understand the sayings of other people” – Proverbs 1: “He shall attend to a parable and its interpretation; the words of the wise, and their mysterious sayings.”
Vel, inclinabo aurem meam in parabolam, quam loquitur Deus: quia aenigmatice loquitur; quasi dicat: inclinabo intellectum meum ad vocem Domini, qui loquitur parabolice. Or, I will incline my ear to a parable, which God speaks, because He speaks enigmatically, as if to say, “I will incline my intellect to the Lord’s voice who speaks parabolically.
Aperiam in psalterio propositionem meam. Propositio dicitur dupliciter. Uno modo id, quod prae aliis opto, et est illud quod magis desidero, illud, aperiam in psalterio, idest in mea operatione, quia hic est optimus modus aperiendi propositum suum: quia si tu proponis intrare vitam aeternam, non manifestas propositum tuum, si non habes bonam operationem. I will open my proposition on the psaltery. Proposition is said in a twofold way. In one way, (it is) that which I wish for in preference to other things, that which I desire more – that (very thing) will I open on the psaltery, that is, in my activity, because here is the best way of opening his proposition. For if you propose to enter life eternal, you do not clearly show your proposition if you do not practice good activity.
Vel propositio est sermo obscurus, vel propositus causa tentationis; sic Samson, Iudic. 14, proposuit problema: unde dicit: si non arassetis in vitula mea: et sic accipitur hic propositio. Et ideo Hieronymus dicit quod est sermo obscurus. Or (in the second way), proposition is (understood as) obscure speech, or (as) the cause of temptation; thus Samson, in Judges 14, proposed problems: whence he says “If you had not ploughed with my heifer”; and in this way is this proposition understood. And for this reason, Jerome says that it is obscure speech.
Hebraei habent, divinationem meam, quod idem est. The Hebrew version has My divination, which amounts to the same thing.
c. Cur timebo. Proposito prooemio psalmi in quo populi incitavit attentionem; hic procedit ad propositum principale, quod est inducere homines ad non timendum mala praesentia, ne confidant de bonis praesentibus; sed eius timor et fiducia sit in Deo solo: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo ostendit de quo sit timendum. Secundo ostendit de quo non debeant timere, ibi, ne timueris. Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit intentum. Secundo probat propositum, ibi, qui confidunt. Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit quaestionem. Secundo ponit conclusionem. Why shall I fear evil? Having set forth the psalm’s introduction, in which he rouses the people’s attention, he now proceeds to (his) main purpose which is to lead men not to fear evil at hand, nor to trust in goods of the present time. Rather, his fear and trust is in God alone. Concerning this he does two things. First, he shows what is to be feared, and second, what they ought not to fear, at Be not thou afraid. Concerning the former, he does two things. First, he sets forth (his) intent, and second, he proves his proposition, at, They that trust. Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he sets forth a question, and second, he offers a conclusion.
Quaestio est, cur timebo in die mala? Ubi primo videndum est, quae sit ista dies mala: quia omnes dies sunt a Deo. Sed dicuntur mali propter mala quae in eis contingunt: Eph. 5: Redimentes tempus, quoniam dies mali sunt. Potest ergo dies mala dici in qua aliquod periculum evenit; et praecipue in qua imminet periculum aeternae damnationis, et haec est dies iudicii: Soph. 1: Vox diei domini amara: tribulabitur ibi fortis. Ergo, cur timebo in die mala? Idest quid faciet me timere in die illa? Et respondet, iniquitas calcanei mei circumdabit me. Nihil enim timendum est, nisi peccatum: quia nulla nocebit adversitas, si nulla dominetur iniquitas: Prov. 28: Fugit impius nemine persequente: Eccl. 34: Qui timet Deum nihil trepidabit; et ideo dicit, iniquitas calcanei. The question is, Why shall I fear in the evil day? First it must be discerned what this evil day is, for all days are from God. They are called evil on account of the evils that happen on them – Ephesians 5: “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Therefore, a day can be called evil on which some danger happens, especially (that day) on which the danger of eternal damnation overtakes one. This is the day of judgment – Sophonias 1: “The voice of the day of the Lord is bitter, the mighty man shall there meet with tribulation.” Therefore, (the question) Why shall I fear in the evil day? that is, “What will cause me to fear on that day?” And the psalmist responds, The iniquity of my heel shall encompass me. For nothing is to be feared except sin, since no misfortune will be suffered if no iniquity governs one – Proverbs 28: “The wicked man fleeth, when no man pursueth (but the just, bold as a lion, shall be without dread)”; Ecclesiasticus 34: “He that feareth the Lord shall tremble at nothing”; and thus he says, The iniquity of the heel.
Per calcaneum possunt tria intelligi. Primo, quia est extrema pars corporis. Et ideo iniquitas calcanei mei est iniquitas quae perseverat usque ad finem vitae; et hoc modo accipitur calcaneum: Gen. 3: Ipsa (scilicet mulier) conteret caput tuum, scilicet ratio superior; sed ipsa conteret caput serpentis: et tu insidiaberis calcaneo eius, idest insidiaberis ei usque ad finem vitae. Three things can be understood by the word “heel”. First, that it is an extreme part of the body. And in this way, The iniquity of my heel is that iniquity which lasts until the end of (one’s) life, in which fashion it is understood as heel – Genesis 3: “She (namely the woman) shall crush thy head”, namely the higher reason; but she shall crush the serpent’s head: and “thou shall lie in wait for her heel”, that is, you will lie in wait for it until the end of (your) life.
Item per calcaneum potest intelligi infirmitas carnis: quia quando homo deficit, calcaneus labitur. Et sic iniquitas calcanei, idest peccatum procedens ex infirmitate carnis, circumdabit me. Secondly, “heel” can be understood as the weakness of the flesh. For when a man falls, his heel slips away. And so, The iniquity of the heel, that is, the sin coming from the weakness of the flesh, shall encompass me.
Tertio persecutio iniusta, quam quis movet contra alium; secundum illud Ioan. 13: Qui manducat panem meum, levabit contra me calcaneum. Et sic iniquitas calcanei, idest persecutio iniusta, retorquetur contra persequentem, Prov. 5: Iniquitates suae capiunt impium. Thirdly, (“heel” can be understood as) unjust persecution which someone brings against another. With respect to this there is John 13: “He that eateth bread with me, shall lift up his heel against me.” And so, The iniquity of the heel, that is, unjust persecution, will be cast back against the persecutor – Proverbs 5: “His own iniquities catch the wicked (and he is fast bound with the ropes of his own sin).”
Qui confidunt in virtute sua. Hic ponitur ratio quare sit timendum; quia propter peccatum. Et est duplex ratio quare sit timendum peccatum. Primo, propter impossibilitatem evadendi poenam peccati: Iob 11: Peribit ab eis refugium, et spes eorum abominatio animae. Alia ratio est propter mala quae malis imminent. Primo ergo ponit impossibilitatem evadendi poenam. Secundo ostendit mala imminentia malis, ibi, non videbit. They that trust in their own strength. Here, he sets down the reason why (this evil day) is to be feared, namely because of sin. There is a two-fold reason that sin is to be feared. First, on account of the impossibility of avoiding the punishment of sin – Job 11: “…the way to escape shall fail them, and their hope the abomination of the soul.” Secondly, on account of the evils that befall the evil. Therefore, he sets down, first, the impossibility of evading punishment, and secondly, shows the evils that befall the evil, at, He shall not see.
Aliquis evadit poenas primo per auxilium extrinsecum. Secundo per propriam solicitudinem. Tertio propter defectum subiecti, ut quando moritur. Et ostendit quod nullo istorum modorum evadere potest. Primo propter auxilium. Secundo, quod nec per remedium a se exhibitum. Tertio, quod nec per defectum subiecti. Someone evades punishment, first, through outside help, secondly, through one’s own solicitude, and third, on account of a lacking in the subject, as when he is dead. And he shows that in no one of these ways can one evade (punishment), first on account of help, nor, secondly, through the assistance provided by oneself, nor, thirdly, through a lacking in the subject.
Qui vult liberari per auxilium, quandoque liberatur ex potentia sui exercitus: Ioan. 18: Si regnum meum esset de hoc mundo, ministri mei etc. Quandoque per divitias: Prov. 6: Omnem substantiam domus suae tradet, et liberabit se. Quandoque per amicos. Et ostendit quod nullum istorum potest a poena peccati liberare. Et licet secundum glossam legatur aliter, tamen secundum hebraeos legitur, quia Deus confidentes de se liberat. He who desires to be freed through (outside) help, is freed sometimes by the power of his own army – John 18: “If my kingdom were of this world, my servants (would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews…). At other times, (one is freed) through riches – Proverbs 6: “…he shall give up all the substance of his house” and shall free himself. Sometimes, (one is freed) by (one’s) friends. And he shows that none of these can free one from the punishment of sin. And although, according to the Gloss, it could be read otherwise, nevertheless according to the Hebrew version, it is read that God frees those who trust in him.
Frater non redimet; quasi dicat, Frater non redimet eos qui confidunt in eo. Et ideo primo ostendit quod per auxilium amicorum non iuvatur a poena peccati, quia virtus amicorum modica est. Et ideo in virtute corporali amicorum non est confidendum. Ideo dicit, qui confidunt in virtute sua, scilicet amicorum suorum, vel in virtute propria speciali: quia, est via quae videtur homini recta, novissima autem illius ducunt ad mortem, Prov. 14. No brother can redeem, as if to say, “No brother can redeem those who trust in (their own strength or riches).” Thus in this way he first shows that through the help of (one’s) friends, one is not helped with respect to the punishment of sin. For the strength of friends is slight. On this account, then, one should not trust in the bodily strength of (one’s) friends. And so he says, They that trust in their own strength, namely of their friends, or (for that matter) in their own particular power, since “There is a way which seemeth just to a man: but the ends thereof lead to death” as Proverbs 14 states.
Item qui confidunt in virtute divitiarum suarum, non liberantur per ista omnia a peccati poena: quia Prov. 11: Qui confidunt in divitiis suis, corruent. Non enim confidendum est in divitiis corporalibus vel spiritualibus, sed quaerat homo prout potest salutem suam: Ier. 9: Non glorietur sapiens in sapientia sua, et non glorietur fortis in fortitudine sua, et non glorietur dives in divitiis suis. Nec persona coniuncta sibi quantumcumque potest eum redimere, idest liberare a peccato, sive a poena: Ezech. 14: Si fuerint tres viri in medio eius Noe, Daniel et Iob, ipsi iustitia sua liberabunt animas suas. Again, They that glory in the multitude of their riches, are not freed by them all from the punishment of sin, because Proverbs 11 states: “Those who trust in their riches shall fall.” Man should not trust in bodily or spiritual riches, but should seek, insofar as he can, his salvation – Jeremiah 9: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the strong man glory in his strength, and let not the rich man glory in his riches”. No person composited in his very being can, in any way, redeem himself, that is to say, free himself from sin or punishment – Ezechial 14: “If…these three men be in the midst thereof…Noe, Daniel and Job…they shall deliver their own souls by their justice.”
Sed postquam frater non potest redimere quantumcumque sibi propinquum, numquid redimet homo? Non, quia homo non potest aliquem eripere de manu Dei, sed solus Deus redimet eos. Et homo, scilicet Christus: homo, ut pretium, idest mors locum in eo habere possit, et Deus ut habeat virtutem redimendi, But since a brother, no matter how great he is, cannot redeem his neighbor through his own power, Shall man redeem? No, because man cannot take someone away from God’s hand; only God redeems them. And Man, namely Christ, as the Price, namely, so that (his) death may have a place in (man’s redemption), and God, that he have the power of redeeming.
vel aliter, frater, idest Christus, qui est verus frater noster: Ps. 21: Narrabo nomen tuum fratribus meis: Can. 8: Quis mihi det te fratrem meum etc. Si non redimet iste, quis alius redimet? Quasi dicat, nullus. Or otherwise, Brother, that is, Christ, who is our true brother – Psalm 21: “I will declare thy name to my brethren”; Song of Songs 8: “Who shall give thee to me for my brother” etc. If that one will not redeem, who else will? As if to say “No one”.
Non dabit Deo placationem suam. Hic ostendit quod non evadunt poenam propter aliquid quod faciunt dum sunt in peccato: quia duplici remedio indigent peccatores propter duplex malum quod incurrunt, scilicet offensam Dei, et reatum poenae. Et ideo indigent placare Deum: quod ipsi facere non possunt, quia ex quo ipsi non placent Deo, et sunt inimici Dei, nec eorum munera accipit: unde dicit, non dabit Deo placationem suam, quia non placent exteriora Deo, nisi sit interior gratia, quam non potest purus homo dare. He shall not give to God his ransom. Here, he shows that they do not avoid punishment on account of something they do while they are in sin. The reason for this is that sinners stand in need of a two-fold remedy because of a two-fold evil which they have incurred, namely God’s displeasure, and punishment’s debt. And for this reason they need to satisfy God, which they themselves cannot do, since, by the very fact that they themselves are not pleasing to God and are His enemies, he does not accept their gifts. Thus he says, He shall not give to God his ransom, because external things do not satisfy God, unless they be interior graces which the pure man cannot give.
Item indigent absolvi a poena: et hoc etiam homo facere non potest; unde dicit, nec pretium redemptionis animae suae, scilicet purus homo potest dare; et ideo non potest liberare a poena: Ps. 88: Quis est homo qui vivit et non videbit mortem, eruet animam suam de manu inferi? Sed Christus qui est Deus et homo, dedit placationem pro nobis: Rom. 5: Cum inimici essemus, reconciliati sumus Deo etc. Furthermore, they need to be absolved from punishment. And this also man cannot do. Whence he says, Nor the price of the redemption of his soul, namely (that which) the pure man can give. For this reason he cannot free (himself) from punishment – Psalm 88: “Who is the man that shall live, and not see death: that shall deliver his soul from the hand of hell?” But Christ, who is God and man, gave satisfaction on our behalf – Romans 5: “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God (by the death of his Son).”
Item solum pretium redemptionis: 1 Pet. 1: Redempti estis de vana vestra conversatione etc. Again, only The price of the redemption – 1 Peter 1: “…you were..redeemed…from your vain conversations…(with the precious blood of Christ).”
Vel, non dabit, idest non curabit dare placationem, et pretium redemptionis animae suae, ille scilicet qui confidit in divitiis. Et secundum hoc potest continuari alia littera, quae dicit, frater, Christus scilicet, non redimit, quia illi non curant placare Deum per poenitentiam, quia Christus non iuvat eos qui nolunt se iuvare. Or, He shall not give, that is, he shall not care to give satisfaction, and, The price of the redemption of his soul, namely of that one who trusts in (his) riches. And according to this (interpretation), another version can be linked (with the one here) which says, “brother”, namely Christ, “cannot redeem”, because these very people do not care to satisfy God through penance, and Christ does not help those who do not wish to help themselves.
Et laborabit. Hic ostendit quod non evadet per defectum sui, quia semper punitur; unde dicit, laborabit in aeternum, idest punietur supplicio aeterno: Matth. 25: Ibunt hi in supplicium aeternum, quia noluerunt hic laborare: Ps. 72: In labore hominum non sunt. Et quia quantum in se fuit, in aeternum peccaverunt, quia praeferunt peccatum legi Dei; et ideo non timent poenam, sed semper vellent facere peccatum. Et vivet adhuc in finem, idest vita eius non deficiet in poenis: Iob 20: Luet quae fecit omnia, nec tamen consumetur. And shall labor. Here he shows that he does not escape through his own lacking, because it is always punished. Hence he says, He shall labor for ever, that is, he shall be punished with eternal suffering – Matthew 25: “These shall go into everlasting punishment”, because they do not wish to labor now – Psalm 72: “They are not in the labor of men”. For whenever someone is in himself (that is to say, making himself into the end), he sins in eternity, because he prefers sin to God’s law. And for this reason, they do not fear punishment, but always want to sin. And shall still live unto the end, that is, his life shall not be lacking in punishments – Job 20: “He shall be punished for all that he did, and yet shall not be consumed.”
d. Non videbit. Supra ostendit psalmista, quod timendum est propter peccatum, quia nullum remedium est ad evadendum poenam; hic autem agit de malis quae imminent eis propter improvidentiam eorum: et circa hoc tria facit. Primo commemorat improvidentiam eorum de malis futuris. Secundo commemorat mala quae imminent, ibi, relinquent alienis. Tertio ponit spem de Deo qua sperat liberari ab his malis, ibi, verumtamen. Circa primum duo facit. Primo ostendit eorum improvidentiam. Secundo ignorantiae causam, ibi, cum viderit. He shall not see. Previously, the psalmist showed what is to be feared on account of sin, that there is no way of avoiding punishment. Here, he treats of those evils which threaten them on account of their lack of foresight. Concerning this latter, he does three things. He recalls, first, their lack of foresight concerning future evils, and second, those evils which threaten (them), at, They shall leave…to strangers. Lastly, he describes (his) hope of God through which he hopes to be freed from these evils, at, But (God). Concerning the first he does two things. First, he shows their lack of foresight, and second, the cause of (their) ignorance, at, When he shall see.
Dicit ergo iste talis cui imminent tot mala: non videbit, idest non considerabit interitum, idest damnationem suam. Iustorum enim est novissima memorari, Eccl. 7. And so, he says that so many evils threaten that kind of person (that) He shall not see, that is, he will not consider, his Destruction, that is, his damnation. Ecclesiaasticus 7: “For it is of the just to remember (their) last end.” [ed. perhaps Ecclesiasticus 7:40: “in omnibus operibus tuis memorare novissima tua et in aeternum non peccabis – “In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.”]
Sed de istis dicitur Deut. 32: Gens absque prudentia et sine consilio. Et quare iniusti non praevident sibi? Redditur ratio Eccl. 9: Hoc est pessimum inter omnia quae sub sole fiunt: quia eadem cunctis eveniunt. Et ideo non considerant quid eis possit evenire in futurum. Et ideo, cum viderit etiam sapientes morientes: sed videntes mortem corporalem non considerant eorum gloriam: Sapien. 4: Videbunt finem sapientis, et non intelligent quid cogitaverit de illo Deus. Deuteronomy 32 speaks of these people: “They are a people without counsel, and without wisdom.” And why do the unjust not anticipate (these things) for themselves? The reason is given at Ecclesiastes 9: “This is a very great evil among all things that are under the sun, that the same things happen to all men.” Thus, they do not consider what might happen to them in the future. And so even when they see wise men dying, they do not consider their glory, seeing the death of the body – Wisdom 4: “They shall see the end of the wise man, and shall not understand what God hath designed for him.”
Differentia est inter insipientem et stultum. Insipiens est qui habet scientiam humanam, et non considerat aeterna; stultus est qui non considerat etiam praesentia. There is a difference between the senseless and the foolish. The senseless person is he who has human knowledge, and does not consider the eternal, while the foolish person is he who does not even consider (the knowledge of) the present.
Vel insipiens est qui non attendit mala praesentia, sed futura; stultus est qui attendit et non vitat; unde dicit, simul insipiens et stultus peribunt. Or, the senseless person is he who does not attend to present evils, but (rather concerns himself with) future evils, while the foolish person is he who attends (to present evils) and does not avoid (future ones). Hence he says, The senseless and the fool shall perish together.
Secundum Hieronymum, duplex est causa contemptus iniustorum: diuturnitas vitae, et quia vident simul sapientes et insipientes mori. According to Jerome, the contempt of the unjust has a two-fold cause, namely length of life, and that they see the wise and the senseless to die together.
e. Et relinquent. Hic ponit mala quae contingunt peccatoribus. Et primo ponit mala quae contingunt in praesenti. Secundo ponit mala quae evenient in futuro, ibi, sicut oves. Circa primum duo facit. Primo ponit mala quae eveniunt in praesenti, quantum ad bona extrinseca. Secundo quantum ad bona intrinseca, ibi, cum in honore. Et ostendit primo quid perdit malus per mortem. And they shall leave. Here, he sets down the evils that happen to sinners. First, he describes those evils which belong to the present, and second, those which will happen in the future, at, Like sheep. Concerning the former, he does two things. First, he describes those evils which happen in the present as far as concerns extrinsic goods, and second, (those which regard) intrinsic goods, at, When he was in honor. And he shows first that evil destroys by means of death.
Dicit quod perdit divitias; unde dicit, relinquent alienis divitias suas: Hier. 17: Fecit divitias, et non in iudicio, in dimidio dierum suorum relinquet eas. Et dicit, suas, quasi a se possessas; vel quia non usus est eis ad utilitatem aliorum: Phil. 2: Omnes quae sua sunt quaerunt. Et dicit, alienis, quia saepe alieni, idest extranei secundum carnem, accipiunt divitias suas: Ps. 38: Thesaurizat, et ignorat cui congregabit ea. He says that Their riches destroy. So, he says, They shall leave their riches to strangers – Jeremiah 17: “(As the partridge hath hatched eggs which she did not lay: so) is he that hath gathered riches, and not by right: in the midst of his days he shall leave them.” He says, Theirs, possessed, as it were, by them, or that they are not used by them for the benefit of others – Philippians 2: “All seek the things that are their own.” He says, To strangers, because frequently strangers, that is, those who are not blood relatives, receive their riches – Psalm 38: “He storeth up: and he knoweth not for whom he shall gather these things.”
Quod si aliquando, etiam filiis dimittat divitias, tamen alieni sunt, ut dicitur Luc. 10: Ille proximus qui fecit misericordiam in illo. Et contingit quod filii et nepotes nihil boni faciunt mortuis; sed residua sunt eis duo de rebus mundi, sepulcrum et fama hominum. Secundum, ibi, tabernacula. Even if at times he releases his riches to his sons, nevertheless they are strangers, as Luke 10 indicates: “That one was a neighbor who showed mercy to him.” And it happens that sons and nephews do nothing of good to the dead; but two of this world’s things are left to them, namely the sepulchre and the man’s reputation. The second (is treated of) at, Their dwelling places.
Quantum ad primum dicit: habuerunt domos et vineas et currus et multa pretiosa. Sed quid habebunt in morte? Pro palatio habebunt sepulcrum, et hoc, in aeternum, idest usque in diem iudicii habitabunt in sepulcris. With respect to the first, he says: They have homes, vineyards, vehicles, and many valuable things. But what will they have in death? For their palace, they will have Their sepulchres, and this, Forever, that is, they will dwell in their sepulchres until the day of judgment.
Vel ex hoc quod faciunt curiosa sepulcra, credunt habitare in aeternum in eo; sed decipiuntur, quia et sepulcra destruentur. Unde licet secundum opinionem eorum illa sepulcra sint domus eorum in aeternum, tamen non est ita. Or for this (reason), that they make careful sepulchres, believing that they will dwell in them forever. But they are deceived because their sepulchres too will be destroyed. Hence although according to their opinion those sepulchres will be their dwelling place forever, nevertheless, it is not so.
Hieronymus tamen habet aliter: interiora eorum domus illorum in aeternum: quia homo habet duplicem domum: exteriorem scilicet; et haec non manet in aeternum; et interiorem, scilicet conscientiam, et haec manet: Isa. 38: Dispone domui tuae. Sive bona, sive mala, semper manet. Jerome(‘s version of this text, however, has it differently): Their interiors shall be their houses forever, because man has two houses, namely an exterior one, which does not stand forever, and an interior one, namely his consciousness, which does remain – Isaiah 38: “Take order with thy house.” Either good or evil, it stands forever.
Tabernacula. Hic ostendit, quod non remanet fama, seu memorabile hominis post mortem. Memorabilia hominis sunt aedificia fortia: ideo dicit, tabernacula eorum in progenie et progenie; quasi dicat, ita aedificantur ac si sint duratura usque in finem; sed decipiuntur, quia destruuntur: Iob 21: Ubi est domus principis, et ubi tabernacula impiorum? Marc. 13: Vides has magnas aedificationes? Non relinquetur etc. Et dicit, tabernacula, quia non diu manent in eis. Their dwelling places. Here he shows that neither fame nor a man’s achievements remain after his death. A man’s achievements are firm buildings. Hence he says, Their dwelling places to all generations, as if to say, “Thus they are built as if they are to last up to the end.” But they are deceived because they will be destroyed – Job 21: “Where is the house of the prince? and where are the dwelling places of the wicked?”; Mark 13: “Seest thou all these great buildings? There shall not be left (a stone upon a stone, that shall not be thrown down.”) And he says Their dwelling places, because they shall not remain in them for long.
Vocaverunt nomina sua in terris suis; quasi dicat: haec est intentio huius aedificationis, ut essent nominati in terris suis: Gen. 11: Venite, aedificemus civitatem et turrim, et celebremus etc. Eccl. 40: Aedificatio civitatis confirmavit nomen: unde vocant civitates ex nomine suo; et dicit, suis, quia nomen alicuius non multum extenditur extra terram suam. Et ideo stultum est quod homo celebret nomen suum in terris. They have called their lands by their names; as if to say, “This is the intention of their building, that they be celebrated in their lands” – Genesis 11: “Come, let us make a city and a tower…and let us make our name famous…”; Ecclesiasticus 40: “…the building of a city shall establish a name…”. Hence, they call cities by their name; and he says, Their (lands), because a name does not extend much outside of one’s own land. And so, the fool is that man who makes his own name famous in his land.
Vel, invocabunt nomina eorum, idest defunctorum, in terris suis, portando cibaria ad sepulcra. Or, They have called their names, that is, of the dead, in their lands, when carrying food to their sepulchres.
f. Et homo. Supra proposuit psalmista mala quae imminent malis, quantum ad amissionem exteriorum; hic autem ponit quae ex corruptione bonorum interiorum eis imminent: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo proponit malum interioris corruptionis. Secundo ostendit quid ex hoc malo sequitur, ibi, haec via illorum. And man. Previously, the psalmist set forth those evils which threaten the evil as far as concerns the loss of external (things). At this point, he describes those things which threaten them on account of the corruption of interior goods. Concerning this he does two things. First, he sets forth the evil of interior corruption, and second, he shows what follows because of this evil, at, This way of theirs.
Sciendum est autem quod homo est compositus ex natura rationali et sensitiva. Secundum naturam rationalem homo habet similitudinem cum Deo et angelis: Gen. 1: Faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram: Psal. 8: Minuisti eum paulo minus ab angelis. Secundum autem sensitivam naturam habet communicationem cum bestiis. Primo ergo ponit honorem hominis quantum ad hoc quod habet similitudinem cum angelis; unde dicit, homo cum in honore esset. Secundum Philosophum, honor est excellentius quid quam laus: quia laus ordinatur ad aliud; honor autem est per se et in se. One should note that man is a composite of a rational and a sensitive nature. With respect to the former, man has a likeness to God and the angels – Genesis 1: “Let us make man to our image and likeness” and Psalm 8: “Thou hast made him a little less than the angels.” However, with respect to his sensitive nature, man participates in (the nature of the other) animals. Therefore, the psalmist first describes the honor of man in so far as he has a likeness to the angels. Hence he says, And man when he was in honor. According to Aristotle, honor is something more excellent than praise, since praise is ordained to another, while honor is (pursued) for and in itself.
Et dicit, esset, scilicet similis ad Deum. Et ex hoc quod haec habet, praemittit tria: quia praemittit quod haec non considerat, scilicet quod sit similis Deo. Secundo, quod declinat in ignorantiam et ignobilitatem bestialem. Tertio quod consequitur actum bestialem. He says, Was, namely, similar to God. And because of this similarity, he puts forth three things. First, that he not consider this, namely, that he is similar to God, second, that he avoid bestial ignorance and ignobility, and third, that he follows after the bestial act.
Quantum ad primum dicit, non intellexit, scilicet quod ad imaginem Dei sit factus: et quod esset aptus ad possidenda caelestia: Sap. 2: Neque speraverunt mercedem iustitiae: nec iudicaverunt honorem animarum sanctarum. With respect to the first, he says, (He) did not understand, namely that he was made in God’s image, and that it was fitting (for him) to possess the heavens – Wisdom 2: “They hoped not for the wages of justice, nor esteemed the honor of holy souls.”
Quantum ad secundum dicit, comparatus est iumentis. Bruta animalia operantur ex passione; et hoc patet, quia canis statim cum irascitur, clamat, equus cum concupiscit, hinnit; sed non imputatur eis, quia carent ratione. Si ergo homo statim cum concupiscit, sequitur passionem, et iratus percutit, comparatus est in agendo iumentis insipientibus: Ps. 31: Nolite fieri sicut equus et mulus etc. With respect to the second, he says, He is compared to beasts. Brute animals function by way of (their) passions, which is clear (for example, with the) dog which immediately barks when angry, (or) the horse which whinnies when aroused. But this is not imputed to them, since they lack reason. Therefore, if a man immediately follows his passion when aroused, and strikes when angered, He is compared in his activities to the senseless beasts – Psalm 31: “Do not become like the horse and the mule (who have no understanding).”
Quantum ad tertium dicit, et similis factus est illis: nam quando natura brutorum inclinatur ad aliquid, sic utitur passione, et consuetudo vertitur in naturam. Quando homo ergo assuescat secundum passionem vivere, iam vertitur in naturam: et ideo, similis factus est illis, per habitum ex malis operibus aggravatum: Ier. 5: Equi amatores in feminas, et emissarii facti sunt; et ideo dicit Philosophus, quod peior est malus homo quam mala bestia; quia cum malitia habet intellectum, ut diversa mala adinveniat. With respect to the third, he says, And is become like to them. For when a brutes’ nature is inclined to something, it(s nature) is accustomed (to this thing) by a passion, and is turned to (this thing) in (its) nature through a habit. Therefore, when man becomes habituated to living according to (his) passions, henceforth he is turned to (them, namely his passions) in (his very) nature. And in this way, he is become like to them, through habit weighed down by evil deeds – Jeremiah 5: “They are become as amorous horses and stallions: (every one neighed after his neighbor’s wife)”. And thus Aristotle says that the evil man is worse than the evil beasts because when malice or badness possesses intellect, it devises diverse evils.
g. Haec via. Hic ostendit quid sequitur ex hoc malo quod incurrunt, scilicet quod facti sunt bestiales: nam posset aliquis dicere, quod nihil mali inde sequitur. Sed non est ita. Immo aliquid aliud sequitur. Et primo ostendit quid sequitur quantum ad eos. Secundo quantum ad alios. This way. Here, he shows what follows by reason of this evil which they incur, namely that they are made bestial. For someone could say that nothing of evil follows from that circumstance. But it is not so. On the contrary, the one thing follows from the other. First, he shows what follows with respect to them, and second, with respect to others.
Quantum ad eos dicit, haec via, quia scilicet sequitur passiones, est scandalum ipsis, quia interius conturbantur: Ps. 68: Fiat mensa eorum coram ipsis in scandalum. With respect to the former, he says, This way, namely that it follows the passions, is a stumbling block to them, that they are thrown into confusion within – Psalm 68: “Let their table become as a snare before them…a stumbling block.”
Item exterius etiam conturbantur, quia puniuntur et infamantur. Philosophus, poenitudine replentur pravi. In like manner, they are thrown into confusion externally, since they are punished and disgraced. (As) Aristotle (states), “The wicked are filled with repentance.”
Quantum ad alios sequitur, quod postea in ore suo complacebunt. Et exponitur dupliciter. With respect to (what) follows (with respect) to others, (the psalmist states) And afterwards they shall delight in their mouth. This is explained in two ways.
Uno modo sic. Postquam interius scandalizantur et faciunt mala, vellent quod alii sequerentur eos. Et ideo student aliis complacere, ut trahant eos ad peccandum: Prov. 1: Si te lactaverint peccatores etc. First, after they have been scandalized and have done evil, they desire that others follow them. And in this way, they are eager to be found pleasing to them, so that they might draw them to sinning – Proverbs 1: “(My son,) if sinners shall entice thee, (consent not to them.)”
Alio modo sic reprehendit simulationem: quasi dicat: postea quam iam sic conturbantur et sequuntur mala, in ore suo complacebunt, idest student loqui sancta et blanda: Matth. 23: Vae vobis Scribae et Pharisaei hypocritae, qui similes estis sepulcris dealbatis etc. Usque ad et iniquitatem. Second, (the psalmist) finds fault with (their) pretence. It is as if he were saying, “Afterwards, now that they are thrown into confusion and are following evil things, they shall delight in their mouth, that is, they are eager to speak holy and flattering things – Matthew 23: “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres (which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men’s bones, and of all filthiness.)” Even to wickedness.
Glossa, peiores sunt simulantes quam aperte mali. Sed numquid hoc verum est? Videtur quod non. Isa. 3: Peccatum suum sicut sodoma praedicaverunt. Glossa Hieronymi: Secunda tabula est occulte peccare. The Gloss states that pretenders are worse than the openly evil. But is this true? It would seem not – Isaiah 3: “They have proclaimed (abroad) their sin as Sodom (and they have not hid it).” Jerome’s Gloss states “Secunda tabula is to sin secretly.”
Dicendum, quod aliud est non publicare peccatum, et aliud est simulare innocentiam: nam publicare peccatum est malum, quia scandalizat alios; sed simulare innocentiam, ut alios trahat ad peccatum, maius malum est. Et de his loquitur hic. It must be said that it is one thing not to make one’s sin known, and another to feign innocence. For to make one’s sin known is evil, since it scandalizes others. But to feign innocence, so as to draw others to sin, is a worse evil. And it is of this that he speaks here.
Alia littera habet, et in ore suo benedicat Deum. Et exponitur sic. Quamvis interius sint bestiae, tamen labiis exterius benedicent Deum. Isa. 29: Populus hic labiis me honorat etc. Another version has, “He shall bless God in his mouth.” This is explained in the following way. Although they are bestial within, nevertheless they bless God externally with their lips – Isaiah 29: “…with their lips (they) glorify me (but their heart is far from me).”
Vel aliter. Benedicent Deum de malis quae fecerunt. Or one could say that they bless God concerning the evils which they have done.
Hieronymus habet: Post eos iustitiae eorum current: quasi dicat: non intellexit, et similis factus est bestiis, et inde scandalizantur, et ideo fit, quia voluerunt esse bestiae. Ideo, post eos, idest in finem comedentur a bestiis, idest a daemonibus; quasi dicat: current post daemones in inferno. Jerome has “Their justices run after them”, as if to say, “He did not understand, and became like unto the beasts, and from that moment on they were scandalized and thus it happens because they wanted to be bestial.” Thus, “After them”, that is, in the end they will be consumed by the beasts, that is, by the demons, as if to say, “They ran after the demons into hell.”
h. Sicut oves. Hic ponit mala quae evenient peccatoribus post hanc vitam. Et quia tria mala iam dixit: scilicet quod sunt similes bestiis, quod contemnunt sapientiam, tertium est quod confidunt in virtute. Like sheep. At this point, he describes those evils which will befall sinners after this life, and (this) because he has already stated that there are three evils, namely that they are like unto the beasts, that they despise wisdom, and that they trust in their own strength.
Et contra primum dicit: quia isti sunt sicut bestiae, dignum est quod sicut bestiae puniantur; unde dicit, sicut oves in inferno positi sunt. Oves non habent auxilium a natura ad se defendendum, et ideo expositae sunt ad caedem. Psal. 43: Aestimati sumus sicut oves occisionis. Quia ergo mali in inferno sunt omnino poenis expositi, ideo sunt sicut oves. Ierem. 12: Congrega eos sicut gregem ad victimam. Against the first (of these evils) he says that because they themselves are like beasts, it is appropriate that they be punished like beasts. Thus he say, They are laid in hell like sheep. Sheep are not naturally supplied by nature to defend themselves, and are thus exposed to slaughter – Psalm 43: “We are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” Therefore, since the evil in hell are wholly exposed to punishment, they are thus like sheep – Jeremiah 12: “Gather them together as sheep for a sacrifice.”
Item oves tonduntur, et tonsae occiduntur: ita prius tonduntur a lana mali, et privantur sive expoliantur exterioribus bonis, et postea occiduntur in inferno, mors depascet eos: Apocalyp. 21: Pars eorum est sulphur. Again, sheep are shorn and those shorn are killed. Thus, they are first shorn of the wool of evil, (that is, they) are deprived or stripped of their external goods, and after this they are killed in hell, Death shall feed upon them – Apocalypse 21: “They shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire (and brimstone, which is the second death).”
Hic depascet eos: et dicit, depascet, quia etsi mors inferat poenam, non tamen totaliter auferet; sed reservat semper ad poenam. This (death) shall feed upon them: and he says, Shall feed upon them, because although death inflicts punishment, nevertheless it does not completely remove it, but preserves it for the future.
Vel, mors, idest diabolus: Apoc. 6: Nomen illi mors: depascet eos, idest deducet de pascuis ad pascua, idest de poenis ad poenas. Iob 24: Ad calorem nimium transiet ab aquis nivium. Or, Death, that is the devil – Apocalypse 6: “(And behold a pale horse, and he that sat upon him) his name was Death (and hell followed after him) – Shall feed upon them, that is, he shall lead (them) from pasture to pasture, that is, from punishment to punishment – Job 24: “Let him pass from the snow waters to excessive heat (and his sin even to hell).”
Alia littera habet, mors pastor eorum erit. Et loquitur sic. In vita ista sunt sicut oves deputandi ad infernum; et diabolus est pastor eorum. Another version has, Death shall be their shepherd. And the psalmist speaks in this way. In this very life they are like the sheep deserving to be assigned to hell, and the devil is their shepherd.
Et dominabuntur. Hoc est contra illud quod dixit supra, quod videntur sapientes simul mori cum insipientibus; hic dicit quod iusti dominabuntur eorum, scilicet malorum. Vel sapientes, qui vocantur iusti in matutino, idest in die iudicii, quando accipient iudiciariam potestatem. Malach. 4: Calcabitis impios cum fuerint cinis sub planta pedum vestrorum. And they shall have dominion. This is contrary to that which he said previously, that the wise are seen to die along with the foolish. Here, he says that The just shall have dominion over them, namely the evil. Or, the wise, who are called The just…in the morning, that is, on the day of judgment, when they will take up judicial power – Malachai 4: “And you shall tread down the wicked when they shall be ashes under the sole of your feet.”
Et auxilium eorum. Hoc est illud quod dixit, et in multitudine divitiarum etc.: quasi dicat: auxilium eorum quod erat ab amicis et divitiis eorum, veterascet, idest peribit in inferno. Isa. 10: Ad cuius fugietis auxilium? Iob 6: Ecce non est auxilium mihi in me. And their help. This is that which he has said, And glory in the multitude of their riches. It is as if he were saying, “Their help, which was from their friends and their riches, shall decay,” that is, will perish in hell – Isaiah 10: “To whom will ye flee for help?” Job 6: “Behold there is no help for me.”
A gloria eorum, idest iuxta gloriam eorum. Apocalyps. 18: Quantum glorificavit se, tantum etc. From their glory, that is, along with their glory – Apocalypse 18: “As much as she hath glorified herself (and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her…)”
Verumtamen redimet animam meam; quasi dicat: mali ista habent; sed ego liberabor ab istis. Et per quid? Per effusionem sanguinis Christi. Redimet de manu inferi, idest de manu diaboli, sub qua erant homines ante adventum Christi. Oseae 13: De morte redimam eos. But (God) will redeem my soul, as if to say “The evil have those things, but I myself will be liberated from them.” And by what (means)? By the shedding of Christ’s blood. He shall redeem (my soul) from the hand of hell, that is, from the hand of the devil, under which men have been before Christ’s advent – Hosea 13: “I will redeem them from death.”
Cum acceperit me, idest cum acceperit animam meam. Hebr. 2: Nusquam angelos apprehendit, sed semen Abrahae. When he shall receive me, that is, when he shall receive my soul – Hebrews 2: “For no where doth he take hold of the angels: but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold.”
i. Ne timueris. Supra psalmista ostendit quid sit homini timendum in mundo; hic ostendit quid sit non timendum, scilicet prosperitas impiorum. Et primo monet ut non timeamus propter prosperitatem malorum; secundo assignat rationem, ibi, quoniam cum interierit. Be not thou afraid. Previously, the psalmist showed what should be feared by man in the world. Here, he shows what is not to be feared. First, he warns lest we should fear the prosperity of the wicked, and second, he assigns the reason, at, For when he shall die.
Prosperitas malorum duo habet: scilicet abundantiam divitiarum, et sublimitatem gloriae. Quantum ad primum dicit, ne timueris cum dives factus fuerit homo. Quantum ad secundum, et cum multiplicata fuerit gloria domus suae. The prosperity of the wicked has two meanings, namely the abundance of riches, and the loftiness of renown. With respect to the former, he says, Be not thou afraid, when a man shall be made rich, and with respect to the latter, he says, And when the glory of his house shall be increased.
Et dicit, homo. Homo constat ex duplici natura: scilicet animali et rationali. Et quandoque sumitur pro una, quandoque pro alia. Hic sumitur pro animalitate; quasi dicat: si homo animalis dives factus fuerit: tales enim saepe ditantur. Iob 21: Quare impii vivunt, sublimati sunt, confortati sunt divitiis? Item ibidem 12: Abundant tabernacula praedonum: si ista scilicet videris, ne timueris. He says, Man. Man is established (exists) by reason of a two-fold nature, namely animal and rational. And at times, he is understood with respect to the one, and at other times, with respect to the other. Here, he is understood with respect to his animality, as if the psalmist is saying, “If a bestial man should become rich (do not take this amiss, for) such men often will become rich” – Job 21: “Why then do the wicked live, are they advanced, and strengthened with riches?” Again, at Job 12: “The tabernacles of robbers abound” – if you see such, Be thou not afraid.
Duplex potest esse causa timoris. Una, ne desaeviant in homines: alia, ne ex hoc scandalizentur boni, et deficiant a spe, secundum illud Psalm. 72: Mei autem pene moti sunt pedes…. et dixi: ergo sine causa iustificavi cor meum; quasi dicat: ex quo tot bona Deus facit malis, videtur quod non curet de nobis, secundum illud Malach. 3: Vanus est qui servit Deo, et quod emolumentum habemus, quia custodivimus praecepta Domini? The cause of fear can be two-fold, namely, that they not rave furiously at men, and second, that by this (fear) they not scandalize the good, and deflect them from hope, according to Psalm 72: “But my feet were almost moved…And I said: Then have I in vain justified my heart,” as if to say, “on account of the fact that God does so much good for the evil, it would seem that he does not care for us,” according to Malachai 3: “He laboureth in vain that serveth God, and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinances, and that we have walked sorrowful before the Lord of hosts?”
Quantum ad secundum dicit, et cum multiplicata fuerit gloria domus eius. Eccl. 9: Non zeles gloriam et opus peccatoris. Psal. 36: Vidi impium etc. With respect to the other (way in which fear can be understood), he says, And when the glory of his house shall be increased – Ecclesiasticus 9: “Envy not the glory and riches of a sinner”; Psalm 36: “I have seen the wicked (highly exalted and lifted up like the cedars of Libanus).
Quoniam cum interierit. Hic assignatur ratio, quare non sunt timendi mali si divites fiant. Primo, quia quandoque omnibus exterioribus bonis privabuntur; secundo etiam omnibus interioribus bonis deficient. Secunda ibi, quia anima eius. For when he shall die. Here he assigns the reason why the evil, if they have become rich, are not to be feared. First, because at some point they will be stripped of all external goods, and second, that they will lose all interior goods as well. The latter (is discussed) at For…his soul.
Ideo dicit, non sunt timendi, quia Deus reservat tibi maiora. Haec autem quae dantur istis sunt transitoria. Et ostendit primo, quod divitiae transeunt; dicens, quoniam cum interierit, scilicet dives, non sumet omnia, idest nihil ex omnibus quae habuit, poterit habere. Iob 27: Dives cum dormierit, nihil secum auferet. 1 Tim. ultim.: Nihil intulimus in hunc mundum: haud dubium, quia nec auferre quid poterimus. Thus he says they are not to be feared since God reserves greater things for you. However, these things which are given to them are transitory. And he shows first that riches are passing, saying, For when he shall die, namely the rich man, He shall take nothing away, that is, from all the things that he possessed, he will be able to have not one thing. Job 27: “The rich man when he shall sleep shall take away nothing with him.” 1 Timothy 6: “For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out.”
Secundo ostendit defectum gloriae hominis peccatoris, neque descendet cum eo gloria eius; quia tunc gloria eius finitur cum carne, et reservatur ei ignominia in inferno. Oseae 4: Gloriam eorum in ignominiam commutabo. Apocal. 18: Glorificavit se etc. Secondly, he shows the sinner’s loss of man’s glory (at) Nor shall his glory descend with him. For at that time his glory is terminated with his body, and shame in hell is reserved for him. Hosea 4: “I will change their glory into shame.” Apocalypse 18: “(As much as) she hath glorified herself (and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her).”
k. Quia anima eius in vita ipsius benedicetur: confitebitur tibi cum benefeceris ei. Hic ponit primo defectum interiorum pertinentium ad corpus; secundo ad animam, ibi, et introibit. Primo ergo ostendit, quod post hanc vitam deficit eis bonum corporis; secundo ostendit quod finitur bonum virtutis, si quod habuerunt. For in his lifetime his soul will be blessed: and he will praise thee when thou shalt do well to him. Here, the psalmist describes, first, the interior loss pertaining to the body, and secondly, that which pertains to the soul, at, And he shall go. First, therefore, he shows that after this life, the good of the body is lost to them, and second, that whatever they have had of the good of virtue is ended.
Dicit ergo, quia anima eius. Sicut homo sumitur aliquando pro natura animali, aliquando pro rationali, ita anima sumitur dupliciter. Quandoque pro vita rationali, ut Deuteronom. 6, diliges dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo, ex tota anima tua. Quandoque pro animali vita. Luc. 12: Anima mea, habes bona etc. Thus, he says, For his soul. Just as man is sometimes understood with respect to his animal nature, and at other times, with respect to his rational nature, so too the soul is understood in a two-fold way. At times, with respect to the rational life, as (it is so understood at) Deuteronomy 6 (where it is said) “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” At other times, (it is understood) with respect to the animal (or sensitive) life: Luke 12: “(And I will say to) my soul: Soul, thou hast much goods (laid up for many years take thy rest; eat, drink, make good cheer).”
Dicit ergo secundum hoc, quia anima, idest animalis vita eius, in vita ipsius benedicetur; quasi dicat: quicquid habet de divitiis et gloria, totum est in hac vita; et cessante hac vita, deficit eius gloria: et ideo non potest vitae suae benedicere nisi dum vivit. Therefore according to this he says, For his soul, that is, his animal (or sensitive) life, In his lifetime will be blessed, as if to say “Whatever he has of riches and glory, this is entirely in this life.” And when this life ceases, he loses his glory; and in this way, in his own lifetime, he cannot benefit except while he is alive.
Item aliquando peccatores laudant Deum, vel faciunt opera de genere bonorum; sed si adversitas immineat, cessat eius laudatio, sive operatio bona. Et ideo convertit se ad Deum dicens: o Deus, iste talis, scilicet peccator, sive aliquis in prosperitate existens, confitebitur tibi, idest laudabit te, cum benefeceris ei, idest dederis sibi bona temporalia quae amat. Prov. 10: Benedictio Domini divites facit. Again, sometimes sinners praise God, or do works of the class of good (works). However, if adversity threatens, he ceases his praise or the doing of good works. And thus he turns himself toward God saying: O God, One of that sort, namely a sinner, or someone existing in prosperity, Will confess you, that is, will praise you, When thou shalt do well to him, that is, when you have given to him temporal goods which he loves – Proverbs 10: “The blessing of the Lord maketh men rich.”
Hieronymus: Laudabunt te cum bene sibi fuerit, idest homines laudant et serviunt divitibus, quamdiu suppetunt et prosperantur in divitiis; sed si mutetur fortuna, mutantur, necdum non laudant, sed detrahunt eis. Jerome has “They will praise you when they will have done well for themselves”, that is to say, men praise and serve riches as long as they are present to and prosper in riches. However, if their fortune is changed, they are changed, and they do not yet praise but disparage these (riches).
Introibit. Hic ponit defectum spiritualium. Et primo ostendit defectum; secundo ponit ordinem perveniendi ad ipsum defectum, ibi, homo. Et primo ponit defectum culpae; secundo poenae. He shall go. Here he states the loss of spiritual goods. And first he shows this loss, and second, describes the order of arriving at this very loss, at, Man. And first, he describes the loss as a result of guilt, and secondly, the punishment.
Quantum ad primum dicit, introibit, scilicet iste peccator sic dives, et quem laudant omnes, dum bene est ei, introibit dico, usque ad progeniem patrum suorum, scilicet per imitationem, dum omnia mala quae tota sua progenies facit, ipse operatur. Matth. 23: Et vos implete mensuram patrum vestrorum. Ier. 11: Reversi sunt ad iniquitates patrum suorum priores. With respect to the first he says, He shall go, namely, the sinner himself as a rich man, whom all praise while it is well with him, He shall go I say Into the generations of his fathers, namely, through imitation, when he engages himself (in) all of the evils that his descendants effect – Matthew 23: “Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.” Jeremiah 11: “They are returned to the former iniquities of their fathers (who refused to hear my words).”
Vel, introibit etc. Quia patres sui impii sunt in inferno, et iste ibit illuc. Or, He shall go etc. For his impious fathers are in hell, and he himself shall go there.
Quantum ad secundum dicit: et usque in aeternum non videbit lumen: quia quasi, scilicet hic in suo aeterno, scilicet in vita, noluit sequi lumen rationis, ideo, in aeternum non videbit lumen. Iob 15: Non credit quod reverti possit de tenebris ad lumen. Matth. 25: Inutilem servum mittite in tenebras exteriores etc. With respect to the second he says, And he shall never see light. For, as it were, here in his eternity, namely in this lifetime, he did not want to follow the light of reason, and thus will not see light eternal – Job 15: “He believeth not that he may return from darkness to light.” Matthew 25: “And the unprofitable servant cast ye out into the exterior darkness.”
Et quo ordine? Quia cum esset praeditus lumine rationis, sicut homo in honore constitutus, noluit illo lumine regi, assimilatus est iumentis insipientibus, et ideo facit sicut iumenta, debet deputari occisioni. For although he was endowed with the light of reason, as A man established in honor, he did not want to be ruled by that light, and was made like unto the senseless beasts, and thus as he acted as the beasts, he ought to be condemned to death.

© Stephen Loughlin

The Aquinas Translation Project


Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Sept 15: St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 2:33-35

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2011

Luk 2:33  And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him.
Luk 2:34  And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted.
Luk 2:35  And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed

And Symeon blesseth also the holy Virgin as the handmaid of the divine counsel, and the instrument of the birth that submitted not itself to the laws of human nature. For being a virgin she brought forth, and that not by man, but by the power of the Holy Ghost having come upon her.

29 And what does the prophet Symeon say of Christ? “Behold This child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign that shall be spoken against.” For the |27 Immanuel is set by God the Father for the foundations of Sion, “being a stone elect, chief of the corner, and honourable.” Those then that trusted in Him were not ashamed: but those who were unbelieving and ignorant, and unable to perceive the mystery regarding Him, fell, and were broken in pieces. For God the Father again has somewhere said, “Behold I lay in Sion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence, and He that believeth on It shall not be ashamed; but on whomsoever It shall fall, It will winnow him.” But the prophet bade the Israelites be secure, saying, “Sanctify the Lord Himself, and He shall be thy fear: and if thou trust upon Him, He shall be thy sanctification, nor shall ye strike against Him as on a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence.” Because however Israel did not sanctify the Emmanuel Who is Lord and God, nor was willing to trust in Him, having stumbled as upon a stone because of unbelief, it was broken in pieces and fell. But many rose again, those, namely, who embraced faith in Him. For they changed from a legal to a spiritual service: from having in them a slavish spirit, they were enriched with That Spirit Which maketh free, even the Holy Ghost: they were made partakers of the divine nature: they were counted worthy of the adoption of sons: and live in hope of gaining the city that is above, even the citizenship, to wit, the kingdom of heaven.

And by the sign that is spoken against, he means the precious Cross, for as the most wise Paul writes, “to the Jews it is a stumbling-block, and foolishness to the heathen.” And again, “To them that are perishing it is foolishness: but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God unto salvation.” The sign therefore is spoken against, if to those that perish it seem to be folly; while to those who acknowledge its power it is salvation and life.

And Symeon further said to the holy Virgin, “Yea, a sword shall go through thy own soul also,” meaning by the sword the pain which she suffered for Christ, in seeing Him |28 Whom she brought forth crucified; and not knowing at all that He would be more mighty than death, and rise again from the grave. Nor mayest thou wonder that the Virgin knew this not, when we shall find even the holy Apostles themselves with little faith thereupon: for verily the blessed Thomas, had he not thrust his hands into His side after the resurrection, and felt also the prints of the nails, would have disbelieved the other disciples telling him, that Christ was risen, and had shewed Himself unto them,

The very wise Evangelist therefore for our benefit teaches us all things whatsoever the Son, when He was made flesh, and consented to bear our poverty, endured for our sakes and in our behalf, that so we may glorify Him as our Redeemer, as our Lord, as our Saviour, and our God: 30 by Whom and with Whom to God the Father and the Holy Ghost be the glory and the power for over and ever, Amen.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Lectionary, Our Lady, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sept 15: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 2:33-35

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2011

Ver  33. And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.34. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;35. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

GREEK EX. The knowledge of supernatural things, as often as it is brought to the recollection, renews the miracle in the mind, and hence it is said, His father and mother marveled at those things which were said of him.

ORIGEN; Both by the angel and the multitude of the heavenly host, by the shepherds also, and Simeon.

THEOPHYL; Joseph is called the father of the Savior, not because he was (as the Photinians say) His real father, but because from regard to the reputation of Mary, all men considered him so.

AUG. He however might be called His father in that light in which, he is rightly regarded as the husband of Mary, that is, not from any carnal connection, but by reason of the very bond of wedlock, a far closer relationship than that of adoption. For that Joseph was not to be called Christ’s father was not, because he had not begotten Him by cohabitation, since in truth he might be a father to one whom he had not begotten from his wife, but had adopted from another.

ORIGEN; But they who look deeper into the matter may say, that since the genealogy is deduced from David to Joseph, therefore lest Joseph should seem to be mentioned for no purpose, as not being the father of the Savior, he was called His father, that the genealogy might maintain sup. its place.

GREEK EX. Having given praise to God, Simeon now turns to bless them that brought the Child, as it follows, And Simeon blessed them. He gave to each a blessing, but his presage of hidden things he imparts only to the mother, in order that in the common blessing He might not deprive Joseph of the likeness of a father, but in what he says to the mother apart from Joseph he might proclaim her to be the true mother.

AMBROSE; Behold what abundant grace is extended to all men by the birth of the Lord, and how prophecy is withheld from the unbelievers, not from the righteous. Simeon also prophesies that Christ Jesus has come for the fall and rising again of many.

ORIGEN; They who explain this simply, may say that He came for the fall of unbelievers, and the rising again of believers.

CHRYS. As the light though it may annoy weak eyes, is still light; in like manner the Savior endures, though many fall away, for His office is not to destroy; but their way is madness. Wherefore not only by the salvation of the good but by the scattering of the wicked, is His power shown. For the sun the brighter it shines, is the more trying to the weak sight.

GREG. NYSS. Mark the nice distinction here observed. Salvation is said to be prepared before the face of all people, but the falling and raising is of many; for the Divine purpose was the salvation and sanctification of every one whereas the falling and lifting up stands in the will of many believers and unbelievers. But that those who were lying in unbelief should be raised up again is not unreasonable

ORIGEN; The careful interpreter will say, that no one falls who was not before standing. Tell me then, who were they who stood, for whose fall Christ came?

GREG. NYSS. But by this he signifies a fall to the very lowest, as if the punishment before the mystery of the incarnation, fell far short of that after the giving and preaching of the Gospel dispensation And those spoken of are chiefly of Israel, who must of necessity forfeit their ancient privileges, and pay a heavier penalty than any other nation, because they were so unwilling to receive Him Who had long been prophesied among them, had been worshipped, and had come forth from them. In a most especial manner then he threatens them with not only a fall from spiritual freedom, but also the destruction of their city, and of those who dwelt among them. But a resurrection is promised to believers, partly indeed as subject to the law, and about to be delivered from its bondage, but partly as buried together with Christ, and rising with Him.

GREG. NYSS. Now from these words, you may perceive through the agreement of men’s minds on the word of prophecy, that one and the same God and lawgiver has spoken both in the Prophets and the New Testament. For the language of prophecy declared that there shall be a stone of falling, and a rock of offense, that they who believe on Him should not be confounded. The fall therefore is to them who are offended with the meanness of His coming in the flesh; the rising again to those who acknowledge the steadfastness of the Divine purpose.

ORIGEN; There is also a deeper meaning aimed against those who raise their voices against their Creator, saying, Behold the God of the Law and the Prophets of what sort He is! He says, I kill, and I make alive. If God then is a bloody judge and a cruel master, it is most plain that Jesus is His Son, since the same things here are written of Him, namely, that He comes for the fall and rising again of many.

AMBROSE; That is, to distinguish the merits of the just and the unjust, and according to the quality of our deeds, as a true and just Judge, to decree punishment or rewards.

ORIGEN; But we must take care lest by chance the Savior should not come to some equally for the fall and rising again; for when I stood in sin, it was first good for me to fall, and die to sin. Lastly, Prophets and Saints when they were designing some great thing, used to fall on their faces, that by their fall their sins should be the more fully blotted out. This it is that the Savior first grants to you. You were a sinner, let that which is sin fall in you, that you may thence rise again, and say, If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.

CHRYS. The resurrection is a new life and conversation. For when the sensual man becomes chaste, the covetous merciful, the cruel man gentle, a resurrection takes place. Sin being dead, righteousness rises again. It follows, And for a sign which shall be spoken against.

BASIL; The sign which is spoken against is called in Scripture, the cross. For Moses, it says, made a brazen serpent, and placed it for a sign.

GREG. NYSS. He has joined together honor and dishonor. For to us Christians this sign is a token of honor, but it is a sign of contradiction, inasmuch by some indeed it is received as absurd and monstrous, by others with the greatest veneration. Or perhaps Christ Himself is termed a sign, as having a supernatural existence, and as the author of signs.

BASIL; For a sign betokens something marvelous and mysterious, which is seen indeed by the simple minded.

ORIGEN; But all the things which history relates of Christ are spoken against, not that those who believe on Him speak against Him, (for we know that all the things which are written of Him are true,) but that every thing which has been written of Him is with the unbelievers a sign which is spoken against.

GREG. NYSS. Though these things are said of the Son, yet they have reference also to His mother, who takes each thing to herself, whether it be of danger or glory. He announces to her not only her prosperity, but her sorrows; for it follows, And a sword shall pierce through your own heart.

THEOPHYL; No history tells us that Mary departed this life by being slain with the sword, therefore since not the soul but the body is killed with iron, we are left to understand that sword which is mentioned, And a sword in their lips, that is, grief because of our Lord’s passion passed through her soul, who although she saw Christ the very Son of God die a voluntary death, and doubted not that He who was begotten of her flesh would overcome death, could not without grief see Him crucified.

AMBROSE; Or it shows the wisdom of Mary, that she was not ignorant of the heavenly Majesty For the word of God is living and strong, and sharper than the sharpest sword

AUG. Or by this is signified that Mary also, through whom was performed the mystery of the incarnation, looked with doubt and astonishment at the death of her Lord, seeing the Son of God so humbled as to come down even to death. And as a sword passing close by a man causes fear, though it does not strike him; so doubt also causes sorrow, yet does not kill; for it is not fastened to the mind, but passes through it as through a shadow.

GREG. NYSS. But it is not meant that she alone was concerned in that passion, for it is added, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. The word that marks the non event; it is not used causatively; for when all these events took place, there followed the discovery of many men’s intentions. For some confessed God on the cross, others even then ceased not from their blasphemies and revilings. Or this was said, meaning that at the time of the passion the thoughts of men’s hearts should be laid open, and be corrected by the resurrection. For doubts are quickly superseded by certainty. Or perhaps by revealing may be meant, the enlightening of the thoughts, as it is often used in Scripture.

THEOPHYL; But now even down to the close of the present time, the sword of the severest tribulation ceases not to go through the soul of the Church, when with bitter sorrow she experiences the evil speaking against the sign of faith, when hearing the word of God that many are raised with Christ, she finds still more falling from the faith, when at the revealing of the thoughts of many hearts, in which the good seed of the Gospel has been sown, she beholds the tares of vice overshooting it, spreading beyond it, or growing alone.

ORIGEN; But the evil thoughts of men were revealed, that He Who died for us might slay them; for while they were hidden, it was impossible to utterly destroy them. Hence also when we have sinned we ought to say, Mine iniquity have I not hid. For if we make known our sins not only to God, but to whoever can heal our wounds, our sins will be blotted out.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

St Cyril of Alexandria Homiletic Commentary on John 19:25-27

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2011

25 But there were standing by the Cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.

This also the inspired Evangelist mentions to our profit, showing herein also, that none of the words of Holy Writ fall to the ground. What do I mean by this? I will tell you. He represents, as standing by the Cross, His mother, and with her the rest, clearly weeping. For women are ever prone to tears, and very much inclined to lament, especially when they have abundant occasion for shedding tears. What, then, induced the blessed Evangelist to go so much into detail, as to make mention of the women as staying beside the Cross? His object was to teach us that, as was likely, the unexpected fate of our Lord was an offence unto His mother, and that His exceeding bitter death upon the Cross almost banished from her heart due reflection; and, besides the insults of the Jews, and the soldiers also, who probably stayed by the Cross and derided Him Who hung thereon, and who presumed, in His mother’s very sight, to divide His garments among themselves, had this effect. For, doubtless, some such train of thought as this passed through her mind: “I conceived Him That is mocked upon the Cross. He said, indeed, that He was the true Son of Almighty God, but it may be that He was deceived; He may have erred when He said: I am the Life. How did His crucifixion come to pass? and how was He entangled in the snares of His murderers? How |633 was it that He did not prevail over the conspiracy of His persecutors against Him? And why does He not come down from the Cross, though He bade Lazarus return to life, and struck all Judaea with amazement by His miracles?” The woman, as is likely, not exactly understanding the mystery, wandered astray into some such train of thought; for we shall do well to remember, that the character of these events was such as to awe and subdue the most sober mind. And no marvel if a woman fell into such an error, when even Peter himself, the elect of the holy disciples, was once offended, when Christ in plain words instructed him that He would be betrayed unto the hands of sinners, and would undergo crucifixion and death, so that he impetuously exclaimed: Be it far from Thee, Lord; this shall never be unto Thee. What wonder, then, if a woman’s frail mind was also plunged into thoughts which betrayed weakness? And when we thus speak, we are not shooting at a venture, as some may suppose, but are led to suspect this by what is written concerning the mother of our Lord. For we remember that the righteous Simeon, when he received the infant Lord into his arms, after having blessed Him, and said: Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart, O Lord, according to Thy Word, in peace; for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, he also said to the holy Virgin herself: Behold, this Child is set for the falling and rising up of many in Israel; and for a sign which is spoken against; yea, and a sword shall pierce through thine own soul, that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed. By a sword he meant the keen pang of suffering, which would divide the mind of the woman into strange thoughts; for temptations prove the hearts of those who are tempted, and leave them bare of the thoughts that filled them. |634

26, 27 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom He loved, He saith unto His mother, Woman, behold thy Son! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour the disciple took her unto his own home.

He took thought for His mother, paying no heed to His own bitter agony, for His sufferings affected Him not. He gave her into the charge of the beloved disciple (this was John, the writer of this book), and bade him take her home, and regard her as a mother; and enjoined His own mother to regard him as none other than her true son—-by his tenderness, that is, and affection, fulfilling and stepping into the place of Him, Who was her Son by nature.

But as some misguided men have thought that Christ, when He thus spake, gave way to mere fleshly affection —-away with such folly! to fall into so stupid an error is only worthy of a madman—-what good purpose, then, did Christ hereby fulfil? First, we reply, that He wished to confirm the command on which the Law lays so much stress. For what saith the Mosaic ordinance? Honour thy father and thy mother, that it may be well with thee. His commandment unto us did not cease with exhorting us to perform this duty, but threatened us with the extreme penalty of the Law, if we chose to disregard it, and has put sin against our parents after the flesh on a par with sin against God. For the Law which ordered that the blasphemer should undergo the sentence of death, saying: Let him that blasphemeth the Name of the Lord be put to death, also subjected to the same penalty the man who employs his licentious and unruly tongue against his parents: He that curseth father or mother shall surely be put to death. As, then, the Lawgiver hath ordained that we should pay such honour to our parents, surely it was right that the commandment thus proclaimed should be confirmed by the approval of the Saviour; and as the perfect form of every excellence and virtue through Him first came into the world, why should not this virtue be put on the same footing as the rest? For, surely, honour to parents is a |635 very precious kind of virtue. And how could we learn that we ought not to lightly regard love toward them,even when we are overwhelmed by a flood of intolerable calamities, save by the example of Christ first of all, and through Him? For best of all, surely, is he who is mindful of the holy commandments, and is not diverted from the pursuit of duty in stormy and troublous times, and not in peace and quietness alone.

Besides, also, was not the Lord, I say, right to take thought for His mother, when she had fallen on a rock of offence, and when her mind was in a turmoil of perplexity? For, as He was truly God, and looked into the motions of the heart, and knew its secrets, how could He fail to know the thoughts about His crucifixion, which were then throwing her into sore distress? Knowing, then, what was passing in her heart, He commended her to the disciple, the best of guides, who was able to explain fully and adequately the profound mystery. For wise and learned in the things of God was he who received and took her away gladly, to fulfil all the Saviour’s Will concerning her.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on the Gospel of John, Notes on the Lectionary, Our Lady, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 7:11-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2011


Note: the following post consists of a sermon on verses 11-16 which appears to be a bit fragmented. This is followed by an excerpt on verse 17.

7:11. And it came to pass the day after, He was going to a city called Nair, and His disciples were going with Him,…19

*  *   *         But observe how He joins miracle to miracle: and in the former instance, the healing of the centurion’s servant, He was present by invitation: but here He draws near without being invited. For no one summoned Him to restore the dead man to life, but He comes to do so of His own accord. And He seems to me to have purposely made this miracle also follow upon the former. For there was nothing improbable in supposing that at some time or other some one might rise up and say, in opposition to the Saviour’s glory, ‘What is the prodigy wrought in the case of the centurion’s son? For though he was ailing, he was in no danger of death, even though the Evangelist has so written, shaping his narrative rather with a view to what was pleasant, than to what was true.’ To stop therefore the intemperate tongue of such detractors, he says, that Christ met the dead young man, the only son of a widow. It was a pitiable calamity, able to arouse one’s lamentation, and make one’s tears gush forth; and the woman follows, stupified with her misfortune, and all but fainting, and many with her.

* * *: for that dead man was being buried, and many friends were conducting him to his tomb. But there meets him the Life and Resurrection, even Christ: for He is the |133 Destroyer of death and of corruption: He it is “in Whom we live and move and are:” He it is Who has restored the nature of man to that which it originally was; and has set free our death-fraught flesh from the bonds of death. He had mercy upon the woman, and that her tears might be stopped, He commanded, saying, “Weep not.” And immediately the cause of her weeping was done away: how, or by what method? He touched the bier, and by the utterance of his godlike word, made him who was lying thereon return again to life: for He said, “Young man, I say unto thee. Arise;” and immediately that which was commanded was done: the actual accomplishment attended upon the words, “And that dead man, it says, sat up, and began to speak, and He gave him to his mother.”

Observe here too, I pray you, the accuracy of the expression: for the divine Evangelist not only says, that the dead man sat up, but lest any one should by false arguments attack the miracle, saying,’ What wonder! if by means of some artifice or other the body was set upright! for it is not as yet clearly proved to be alive, or delivered from the bonds of death:’—-for this reason he very skilfully notes down two proofs one after the other, sufficient to produce the conviction that he did in very truth arise and was restored. “For he began, he says, to speak”—-but an inanimate body cannot speak—-“And He gave him to his mother:”—-but assuredly the woman would not have taken her son back to her house if he had boon dead, and had breathed his last.

Those persons therefore who were restored to life by the power of Christ, we take as a pledge of the hope prepared for us of a resurrection of the dead: and these were, this young man, and Lazarus of Bethany, and the daughter of the chief of the synagogue. And this truth the company of the holy prophets proclaimed before: for the blessed Isaiah said, “The dead shall arise, and those in the graves shall be restored to life: for the dew from Thee is healing to them.” And by dew he means the life-giving operation of Christ, which is by the instrumentality of the Holy Ghost. And the Psalmist bears witness, thus speaking concerning them in words addressed to God the Saviour of us all. “When Thou turnest away Thy face they are troubled, and return to their dust. |134 Thou sendest Thy Spirit, and they are created, and Thou renewest the face of the ground.” For it was by reason of Adam’s transgression of the commandment that we, having our faces turned away from God, returned to our dust: for the sentence of God upon human nature was, “Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return:” but at the time of the consummation of this world, the face of the earth shall be renewed: for God the Father by the Son in the Spirit will give life to all those who are laid within it.

It is death that has brought men to old age and corruption: death therefore has made old, that is to say, has corrupted: for “that which is made old, and is growing aged, is near corruption,” as Scripture saith: but Christ renews, in that He is “the Life.” For He Who in the beginning created, is able again to renew unto incorruption and life. For one may well affirm that it is the office of one and the same energy and power, to effect both the one and the other. As therefore the prophet Isaiah says, “‘He hath swallowed up death, having become mighty.” And again, “The Lord hath taken away all weeping from every countenance. He hath taken away the reproach of the people from all the earth.” By the reproach of the people he means sin, which disgraces and depraves men: and which, together with destruction, shall be slain, and sorrow and death shall perish, and the tears cease which are shed on its account.

Disbelieve not therefore the resurrection of the dead; for long ago Christ wrought it among us with a Godlike majesty. And let no man say, that He Who raised two, for instance, or three, and effected thus much, is not thoroughly sufficient for the life also of us all. Such words, foul with utter ignorance, are simply ridiculous. Right rather is it for us to understand, that He is the Life, and the Life-giver by nature. And how can the Life be insufficient for making all alive? It would be the same thing as to say in one’s excessive folly, that the Light also is sufficient indeed for little things, but not for the Universe.

He therefore arose who was descending to his grave. And the manner of his rising is plain to see; “for He touched, it says, the bier, and said, Young man, I say unto thee, arise.” And yet how was not a word enough for raising him who was lying there? For what is there difficult to it, or past |135 accomplishment? What is more powerful than the Word of God? Why then did He not effect the miracle by a word only, but also touched the bier? It was, my beloved, that thou mightest learn that the holy body of Christ is effectual for the salvation of man. For the flesh of the Almighty Word is the body of life, and was clothed with His might. For consider, that iron, when brought into contact with fire, produces the effects of lire, and fulfils its functions; so, because it became the flesh of the Word, Who gives life to all, it therefore also has the power of giving life, and annihilates the influence of death and corruption 20. May our Lord Jesus Christ also touch us, that delivering us from evil works, even from fleshly lusts, He may unite us to the assemblies of the saints; for He is the giver of all good, by Whom, and with Whom, to God the Father, be praise and dominion, with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever, Amen

7:17.  And this word concerning Him went forth in all Judaea, and in all the region round about. 

On the present occasion also the Word about to be addressed to you, and the investigation of the sacred doctrines cannot but be most certainly for your benefit. Come then, that together with the holy angels we may praise the universal Saviour: for He is worshipped, as in heaven so also in earth; and to Him every knee shall bow, as it is written. Be it therefore known to people everywhere, that the Lord is God, and even though He appeared in fashion like unto us, yet has He given us the indications of a godlike power and majesty on many occasions, and in a multitude of ways: by driving away diseases; by rebuking unclean spirits; by bestowing on the blind their sight; and finally, oven by expelling death itself from the bodies of men;—-death which cruelly and mercilessly had tyrannized from Adam even unto Moses, according to the expression of the divine Paul. That widow’s son then at Nain 21 |137 arose unexpectedly and wonderfully, and the miracle remained unknown to no one throughout the whole of Judaea, but was noised abroad as a divine sign, and admiration was upon every tongue (source).

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

St Cyril of Alexandria on Luke 7:1-10

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 11, 2011

7:1-10. And when He had ended all His words in the hearing of the people, He entered into Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant who was dear unto him was sick, and near to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto Him elders of the Jews, beseeching Him to come and save his servant. And when they came unto Jesus, they besought Him earnestly, saying, that he is worthy that Thou shouldst grant this unto him: for he loveth our nation, and hath also built us himself a synagogue. And Jesus went with them. And when He was now not far distant from the house, the centurion sent his friends unto Him, saying unto Him, Lord, trouble not Thyself; for I am not sufficient that Thou shouldest enter under my roof: therefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto Thee: but speak only with a word, and my child 17 will be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this one, Go, and he goeth: and to another, Come, and he cometh: and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. And when Jesus heard these things, He marvelled at him, and turned Himself, and said to the multitude that followed Him, I say unto you, that I have not found so great faith even in Israel. And when they who had been sent returned unto the house, they found the servant whole.

THE wise Evangelist filleth our minds with sacred lessons, and endeavours to throw abundant light upon whatever makes our faith assured: for this is the object of his tidings concerning Christ. Very appropriately therefore he introduces Him as at one time teaching the holy Apostles |128 things superior to the service enacted in the law, and pointing out to them a path new and untrodden by them of old time of the conversation that becometh saints: and at another, he very beautifully displays to us the manifestation of a godlike power, in order that in every way it may be known that the Only-begotten Word of the Father is very God even though He became flesh, that is, man,—-” and produces every thing by the word of his power:”—-as is proved unto us by the examination of what is written concerning Him.

When then, so to speak, he had satiated the holy Apostles with the most perfect doctrines, and had set before them a banquet of evangelical commands, and had mingled the wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and very clearly told them the means by which they would become triumphant and praiseworthy, He goes down to Capernaum. And there also He works a great and wonderful deed, worthy of the greatness of His majesty: there a glorious theatre was moved with astonishment, in which angels and men were spectators. For Israel is rebuked, and is dull of understanding, and unready for faith: while the multitude of the heathen, in mind at least, is ready thoroughly both to understand and believe: so that Christ is seen by just decree rejecting His servant Israel, while He accepts and honours and crowns by His grace those who of old served the creature apart from the Creator: who were in gloom and darkness, and without the knowledge of God: and had bowed the neck of their slavish mind to the wickedness of demons.

What, then, was that which was accomplished, or what was the miracle? There 18 was a pious man, distinguished for the excellence of his conduct, and the commander of a body of soldiers, who was a fellow inhabitant with the people of Capernaum. A faithful servant of his as it chanced fell sick, and, so to speak, had already reached the gates of death, and to all appearance was now at his last gasp. “And he was dear to him,” so that he was pierced with anguish. What remedy, then, can he find for what has happened, or what aid can he procure for him who is lying ill? “He heard, it says, the |129 things of Jesus;” and so he sends unto Him, asking of Him manifestly as of God things that exceed the nature and power of man. For his request was, that one who was laid prostrate in the last stage of sickness might be delivered from the bands of death. And whence, then, did he know Jesus, since he was not as yet of the number of those who believed on Him? for hitherto he had been one of the mass wandering in error. He heard, it says, the things concerning Him. And since certainly he had never heard His personal instruction, nor seen any of His miracles, nor had met with the writings of Moses, nor searched the divine Scriptures, he could only have attained to faith in Him from simple rumours and hearsays. But as being fully assured that by the mere act of His will He could accomplish his request, he sends as supplicants in his behalf the principal men of the Jews; and these wore the elders.

Upon their arrival they offer their request, saying, “that he is worthy that Thou shouldest grant this unto him.” O marvellous act! They who slandered Christ’s glory, request Him to work a miracle! Those who refused to believe in Him, ask Him to display before men who had not yet believed such acts as lead on to faith! Tell me in what character dost thou approach with thy request? Dost thou know and believe that He is able to perform things that are the prerogative of God? Art thou fully convinced that it belongs solely to the supreme Substance, Who is above all, to be able to make alive, and to deliver men from the snares of death? If so, how then didst thou say when thou sawest Jesus working miracles, “This man casteth not out devils but by Beelzebub, Prince of the devils?” And when that man who had been blind from his mother’s womb was wonderfully healed, and gained an unwonted light, thou advisedst him, saying, “Give God the glory, we know that this man is a sinner.” Dost thou then ask this sinner, as thou calledst Him, to perform an act of Deity? Is not this madness, and sheer stupidity? Are not those who hitherto had not believed far better than those who had been taught by the law and the prophets?

Wouldst thou see the fact that such is the case and such only? Observe what follows; The Saviour had now sot out upon His way to restore the sick man: but the centurion sent unto Him, saying, “Lord, trouble not Thyself; but speak |130 with a word, and my child will be healed.” Consider then, that these elders of the Jews begged Jesus to go to the house of him who requested His aid, as not being able in any other way to raise him up who was lying ill, except by going to his side: —-whereas the other believed that He could do it even at a distance, and effect it by the inclination of His will. He asked for the saving word, the loving assent, the all mighty utterance; and justly therefore did he win a sentence of surpassing worth: for Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, that not even in Israel have I found so great faith.” The proof then and demonstration, follows closely and immediately from what we have now said. Finally, He delivered that same hour from his sickness him who a little before had been the prey of death: for He Who willed the undoing of what had happened was God. As I said then at the beginning of this discourse, by God’s holy decree Israel fell from his relationship unto Him, and in his stead the heathen wore called and admitted, as having a heart better prepared for that faith in Him, which justly is required. And of this the divine Psalmist shall again be our proof, where he says concerning them; at one time, “Thou hast inclined Thine ear because of the preparation of their heart;” and at another, “Many were their infirmities, and afterwards they went quickly.” For many indeed were the offences laid to their charge, to which he gently gives the name of infirmities: for they were wandering in error, and guilty of abominable crimes, not merely in one way, but in many: but they went quickly to the faith, that is, they were not slow in accepting the commands of Christ, but very readily embraced the faith. For that they were to be caught in Christ’s net, He teacheth thee where He saith by one of the holy prophets, “For this wait for Me, saith the Lord, until the day of My rising up to bear witness, because My judgment is for the congregations of the heathen.” For when Christ rose from the dead, He bestowed on those that were in error that judgment which is for their happiness and salvation. For He even commanded the holy disciples, “Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: and teaching them to observe all those things that I have commanded you.” |131

By the holy decree therefore, and just sentence of our common Saviour Christ, the heathen were honoured; but Israel we see rejected from His love and affection. For what do we find the chief Shepherd of all saying to them by one of the holy prophets? “And I have declared, He says, that I will not feed you, and that which is dying shall die: and that which is fainting shall faint: and those that are left shall devour every one the flesh of his neighbour.” And again; “God hath rejected them, because they have not heard Him: and they shall be wanderers among the heathen.” And again by the voice of the prophet Ezechiel, “Thus saith my Lord, the Lord; that I will drive them among the heathen, and disperse them over the whole earth.” Take the actual result of facts for your persuasion and faith in what is here said. For they are vagabonds and strangers in every land and city, neither preserving in its purity the worship enjoined by the law, nor submitting to accept the gloriousness of the excellency of the Gospel life: while we, who have received the faith are fellow-citizens with the saints, and called the sons of the Jerusalem that is above, in heaven, by the grace of God which crowneth us. And Him we affirm to be the completion of the law and the prophets: we confess His glory; we admire Him as He worketh miracles; by Whom and with Whom, to God the Father be praise and dominion with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever, Amen. (source).

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

%d bloggers like this: