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 21st, 2011

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matt 21:28-32

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 21, 2011

Mat 21:28  But what think you? A certain man had two sons: and coming to the first, he said: Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

But what think you? Christ, by the following parable, convicted the Scribes and Pharisees—who said that they knew not whether the baptism of John were from heaven or of men—of the utmost dishonesty and obstinacy; because, although they wished to be accounted sons of God, yet refused to receive John who was sent by God, and would not believe His preaching, nor do penance. Moreover, Christ in this place, says S. Chrysostom, brings in guilty the judges themselves, with a great confidence in justice, where the cause is entrusted to the adversary. But He employs a parable, that they may not perceive how they are pronouncing sentence against themselves: “A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not; but afterwards he repented and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir; and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto Him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.” (Verses 28-32.)
Mat 21:29  And he answering, said: I will not. But afterwards, being moved with repentance, he went.
Mat 21:30  And coming to the other, he said in like manner. And he answering said: I go, Sir. And he went not.

This parable scarcely needs an explanation, because Christ applies and explains it. In truth, the first—being at the beginning unwilling to obey his father, but afterwards repenting and obeying, by going to work in the vineyard—denotes the publicans and harlots; who at first by their sins repelled the will and law of God, but afterwards by John’s preaching came to a better mind, and did penance, and lived chastely and justly, according to the law of God. The second son—who said to his father that he would go into the vineyard, but broke his word, and went not—denotes the Scribes and Pharisees; who always had the law of God in their mouths (as though they were most zealous and religious observers of it), but did not fulfil it in their deeds, but by lust, rapine, and usury acted contrary to it. Wherefore they provoked the heavy displeasure and anger of God against them, as well on account of their wickedness itself as because of their hypocrisy and feigned observance of the Law. For such hypocrisy and duplicity grievously provokes God.

Mat 21:31  Which of the two did the father’s will? They say to him: The first. Jesus saith to them: Amen I say to you that the publicans and the harlots shall go into the kingdom of God before you.

Go into the kingdom of God before you—Greek, προάγουσιν, in the present tense; future in Vulg. Meaning as follows: “The publicans and harlots precede you, 0 ye Scribes, i.e., they go before you in the way of God and of virtue, and advance to Heaven by the pattern of faith, repentance, and change of life; and therefore they will indeed precede and go before you into the kingdom of Heaven, into which ye wicked ones will never enter, although ye might enter if ye would repent and change your lives. Thus (Mat_5:19) the least in the kingdom of Heaven are the impious and the reprobate, who shall be shut out of it.

Mat 21:32  For John came to you in the way of justice: and you did not believe him. But the publicans and the harlots believed him: but you, seeing it, did not even afterwards repent, that you might believe him.

In the way of justice; the Syriac is, walking in the way of rectitude—i.e., leading a life perfectly just, right, holy and blameless.

Did not even afterwards repent—i.e., did not do penance. The Greek is ου̉ μετεμελήθητε, did not repent and amend.

Mystically: Publicans and harlots denote the Gentiles, who at first were slaves to idols and vices, and afterwards were converted by the preaching of the Apostles, and served God and virtue. The Pharisees and Scribes denote the Jews, who seemed to worship God, but really despised Him, since they despised Christ who was sent by Him, and hardened their hearts in this perfidy. Whence S. Jerome, S. Chrysostom, Origen, S. Athanasius, Bede, Euthymius, Maldonatus, Jansen, and others, passim, interpret the parable of them.

Tropologically: Christ shows, says S. Chrysostom, that the populace and plebeians, who some time or other are converted, are better than priests who are never converted.

Tropologically: Ordinary Christians and lay people who, from a desire of holiness, keep evangelical counsels, although they are not bound to them by vow or profession, are like the first son. Priests, monks, and religious, who have taken vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and afterwards break them, are like the second son.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sunday, September 25: Resources for Sunday Mass (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms)

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 21, 2011

This post contains resources for both Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite. The readings in the two forms differ.


Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Philippians 2:1-11.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Philippians 2:1-11.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Philippians 2:6-11.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matt 21:28-32.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 21:28-32.

Sunday Gospel Scripture Study on Matt 21:28-32. Video, 59 minutes.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matt 21:28-32.

UPDATE: Is God Fair? Round Two. This Sunday’s readings are thematically similar to last Sunday’s readings; a fact not lost on Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma; hence the second part of the title, “Round Two.”

Pending? Father Maas’ Commentary on Matt 21:28-32.

Word Sunday:

  • MP3 PODCAST In this week’s audio podcast, we will consider why people change plans and the depth of that change in their lives.
  • FIRST READING The prophet Ezekiel railed against the presumptive spirit of the people. These “good” people felt they were being treated unfairly, even as they judged sinner. Yet, as the prophet proclaimed, it was the people who were unfair, unfair in their pride and unfair in their judgment. God only cared for repentance, not self-righteousness.
  • PSALM Psalm 25 was a hymn of supplication, but it also extolled the virtue of faithfulness.
  • SECOND READING St. Paul wrote to the church in Philippia about the need for humility. Christians are to follow the Lord and do as he did. As he emptied himself and suffered, so must we be willing to do for the good of others and the glory of God.
  • GOSPEL Matthew presented a short parable about the choice of two sons. One refused his father’s request, then relented. The other agreed to his father’s request and did nothing. The point of the parable was not the moral character of the sons but their obedience to the father. Their choice was a question of doing the will of the Father and their place in his Kingdom.
  • CHILDREN’S READINGS In the poem with the first reading, we ask what would happen if no one said “I’m sorry.” In the story for the gospel, Eddie and his brother were playing at a family picnic. Eddie told his parents he would help them clean up, but kept playing until it was time to leave. His brother got in trouble for refusing to help, but then relented. How did Eddie feel about this situation? How was this like the parable of the two sons in Matthew’s gospel?
  • CATECHISM LINK In this week’s Catechism Link, we consider the place of God the Father in our lives, and how he continually calls us back to him.
  • FAMILY ACTIVITY Discuss the parable of the two sons with your family members. How do people change to help themselves feel better? Why do people lie and try to shift blame?

Haydock Bible Commentary. Originally posted in 2008. Contains readings from the Douay-Rheims translation followed by notes from the commentary.

Bible Workshop. Includes related links; guide for reading; comparison of the readings; suggested lessons.

Gospel Reading with Meditation.

Historical Cultural Context. Interesting insights in light of first century Mediterranean culture.

Thoughts from the Early Church. Excerpt from a homily by St Clement of Alexandria.

Scripture in Depth. Succinct summaries of the readings and Psalm.

Catholic Matters. Readings followed by brief explanations.

Parish Bible Study. Pdf document. Notes on the readings used in a parish bible study.

Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological overview of the readings. Can be printed out and used for bulletin insert.

Scott Hahn’s Podcast. Audio, very brief. Does good job of highlighting major theme(s) of the readings.


Today’s Roman Missal. Latin and English side by side.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Galatians 5:25-26; 6:1-10.

Aquinas Catena Aurea on Luke 7:11-16.

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

NOTE: The following links are to online books, use the site’s zoom feature to enlarge text size for easier reading.

Devout Instruction on the Epistle and Gospel.

The Miracle of Nain and its Lesson for Christian Souls. Homily on the Gospel.

The Necessity of Always Being Prepared for Death. Homily on the Gospel.

Homily on the Epistle.

Homily on the Gospel. Starts near bottom of the page.

Homily Notes: can be used for sermon suggestions, points for meditation or further study.

Bearing One Another’s Burdens. On Galatians 6:2.

Support of Pastors. On Galatians 6:6.

Three Kinds of Death. On the Gospel.

Human Life. On the Gospel.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy | 2 Comments »

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

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 21, 2011

The following is from a sermon which survives only in fragmentary fashion.

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,…

*         *         *         *         *         *         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.

[From the Syriac] * * *: 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. (source)

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

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