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 30th, 2011

Resources for Sunday Mass, October 2, 2011 (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Rite)

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 30, 2011

Sorry about this post being late. These days my dance card is pretty full and I’m finding it hard to maintain my blogging schedule.

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


Sunday Mass Readings.

Sunday’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Isaiah 5:1-7.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Psalm 80.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Philippians 4:6-9.

Sunday Gospel Scripture Study on Matthew 21:33-43. Video study, 63 minutes.

UPDATE: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 21:33-43.

UPDATE: Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 21:33-43.

UPDATE: Are We a Faithful Vineyard? Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma looks at all three readings and the responsorial Psalm.

Word Sunday:

  • MP3 PODCAST In this week’s audio podcast, we discuss the dark attitude of selfishness. What’s yours is mine. Too many times, this attitude becomes the way that the powerful treat the powerless. How should we respond?
  • FIRST READING The prophet Isaiah railed against the lax attitude in the royal court and the nation. The people slipped into idolatry and injustice. They were like the wild grapes of the vineyard in the prophet’s parable, sour and useless. As the people had abandoned God, God would turn his back on his people.
  • PSALM Psalm 80 is a hymn of desperation, but not despair. The singer cried out to God in time of crisis, but did not give up on the Lord to deliver his people.
  • SECOND READING In his letter to the Philippians, St. Paul encouraged his audience to live peace-filled, moral lives. He offered himself as an example to the community as the ideal Christian. Was Paul bragging? No, he earned his role as example and mentor through his dedication. Paul knew as well as anyone did of the power Christ had in life.
  • GOSPEL Matthew’s gospel presents a harsh parable about rebel tenants. The story Jesus told depicted the jealousy of the tenant farmers and their unlimited greed. Their fate foreshadowed the destruction of Jerusalem. It was also a warning to everyone who claims God’s will and power as their own.
  • CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, Edith loved her dolls and her doll house. But, but her cousin showed little respect for Edith’s beloved collection. The result was heartbreak, just as God hurts when his people are wild. In the story for the gospel, three different boys are best friends. When one of the boys faces painted words of prejudice, all three hurt. All resolve to remove the words so the hate won’t spread. Jesus told a story of prejudice and destruction as a warning.
  • FAMILY ACTIVITY The parable of the rebel tenants is a story of selfishness that grew into hatred. What would happen if the tenant farmers were giving people. Discuss alternate endings to the parable with your family members.

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

Bible WorkshopIncludes a few relevant links; guide for reading; comparison of the readings; suggested lessons.

Gospel Reading with Meditation.

Thoughts From the Early Church. Excerpt from St. Basil the Great.

Scripture in Depth.

Catholic Matters. The readings followed by brief explanations.

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

Lector NotesBrief historical and theological overview of the readings. Can be copied and used for bulletin insert.

Dr. Scott Hahn’s Podcast. Brief audio (test also available). Does good job of highlighting the major theme(s) of the writings.

Fr. Robert Barron’s Homily Podcast. Father Barron is a respected speaker and theologian.


Today’s Roman Missal. Latin and English text of the pre-Vatican II missal. Contains the readings, prayers, etc.

Instructions on the Epistle and Commentary. Contains the readings along with basic instructions concerning them.

A Devout Commentary on Ephesians 3:13-21. A popularized/simplified version of St Thomas Aquinas’ lectures on Ephesians (see below).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on Ephesians:

Aquinas Catena Aurea on Luke 14:1-11.

NOTE: The following links are to online books. Use the sites zoom feature to increase text size if necessary.

The Sanctification of Sundays and Holy Days. A sermon on the Gospel by Fr. Augustine Wirth, O.S.B.

Pride. Another sermon by Fr. Augustine Wirth.

Homily on the Epistle. By Bishop Bonomelli.

Homily on the Gospel. By Bishop Bonomelli.

St Paul Exhorts and Prays for the Ephesians. Homily on the Epistle by Father Johann Evangelist Zollner.

Christ Heals the Man With Dropsy, Counsels Humility. Homily on the Gospel by J.E. Zollner.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Dogmatic Homily on the Gospel by J.E. Zollner.

How We Are to Sanctify Sundays and Holy Days. Symbolic Homily on the Gospelby J.E. Zollner.

On Pride. Moral Homily on the Gospel by J.E. Zollner.

The Sanctification of Sundays and Holy Days. Moral homily on the Gospel by J.E. Zollner.

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Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Philippians 4:6-9

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 30, 2011

6. In nothing be solicitous : but in all prayer and entreaty, with thanksgiving, let your petitions become known before God.

In nothing he solicitous. For the Lord is near, and all the system of this mortal life is shortly to close and terminate. In a very short time you must leave everything you possess. The Saviour you look for from heaven will crown your patience and your toils. There is, therefore, no room for solicitude regarding temporal things. As we now know, the coming of the Lord was not near in the literal sense in which the Apostle seems to have expected it, for centuries have rolled by, and he is not yet come. This contingency is, however, provided for in the words that follow. In all, at all times, on all occasions, in every business, let your petitions become known in the presence of God, and rise before his throne. The word all should not be joined with prayer, the adjective and substantive being of different genders in the Greek; at all times by prayer. And with thanksgiving, because the omnipotence and the mercy of God render it certain that your prayers will be heard and granted, if not precisely in the terms of your petition, in some still better way. Saint Chrysostom observes that we are in reason and duty bound to give thanks to God for all things, even trouble and affliction, because we can be by faith firmly persuaded that all things will turn to our advantage and eternal profit, though we do not always understand how. Prayers, he adds, that are thus accompanied with thanksgiving, God accepts and recognises, and they become known before the presence of God, otherwise he will not always notice them.

The Greek word for thanksgiving is eucharist, and the Apostle’s words will bear the meaning, in union with the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

7. And may the peace of God, which exceeds all sense, keep your hearts and your understanding, in Jesus Christ.

The peace of God, the knowledge and conviction that you are at peace with God, which is a source of comfort and satisfaction greater than the intelligence can understand, keep your hearts and minds. The Greek text and the Syriac read shall keep. As a garrison keeps a fortress, safe from the assaults of despondency and sorrow, doubt or unbelief. In Christ Jesus, by the power of Christ, and by thje assurance of his divine compassion and human sympathy.

8. For the rest, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever modest, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovely, whatever of good fame; if there is any virtue, if any praise of discipline, think on these things.

For the rest, brethren. This is the second time the Apostle has begun anew with these words : In Philippians 3:1, he said, For the rest, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord, and then he proceeded to show how and why; because by standing firm in the faith of Christ and in the communion of his true Church, we are assured of sharing the glory of his resurrection. Now, in concluding, he still finds a few more words to say. He has told the Philippians what to believe, what to expect, what to do, and whom to imitate; now he tells them what to think of. For the direction of the mind, and choice of subjects of reflection, are to a great extent in our own power. The human mmd, in waking hours, is ceaselessly active, and many more thoughts pass through its wonderful mechanism than can be communicated in speech to others. It is a common remark that we could easily tell the character and disposition of any man if we knew what he habitually thinks of. What a Christian should habitually think of, St. Paul tells us in these well-known words. All things that are true. We know what is true about Almighty God, his power, his wisdom, his goodness, and providence. And we know what is true of ourselves. But about our neighbour we know not what is true, because we cannot see his heart, and our judgment of him will therefore most likely not be among the things that are true. All things that are modest, in the Greek σεμνα (semna) means worthy of respect, honour, and veneration. All things just, dwelling on the good we see, rather than the evil. All things holy; the present Greek text has pure, αγνα (agna). The translator of the Vulgate seems to have read αγια (agia=holy); but that which is holy is pure, and that which is pure is holy, and in the result it will be very much the same. All things lovely, or amiable; all things that are good and beautiful, as all God’s works are, as they came from his hands, and when they are not degraded by sin. All that is of good fame; held in honour and respect among men. For the human heart, in all its ruin, although it has lost the power of attaining and accomplishing what is truly good and noble, has never lost its appreciation of it, and admiration for it; and by this faculty the pagan world turned to Jesus Christ, when they knew him, and adored and acknowledged him as the ideal and crown of perfection, the embodiment of the divine in human nature. That which men acknowledge that they truly reverence and hold in honour, will not be an unfit subject of Christian meditation. If there be any virtue, if any praise of discipline, the subjugation of vice, the triumph of the spiritual over the lower nature, in any instances we know or hear of: think of these things. The words of discipline are not in the Greek, and are added by the Vulgate. But it is probable also that the Apostle says all this in a practical sense. Think on these things to do them, cogitate, habitually plan and purpose, to act with sincerity and honesty, with chastity
and modesty, truth and justice, as becomes believers in Jesus Christ, cultivating the manners and dispositions which give you favour with God and man, which will render your name and reputation an honour to the faith you profess. Imitate the holy examples of the Saints, who by the discipline of the Christian life have triumphed over sin. The religious life undoubtedly affords the fullest and fairest opportunity for cultivating such habits of thought as these; and they are happy whom God has called to lead thus on earth the life of angels. But to all Christians, even in the secular life, St. Paul has given, in these words, a standard to aim at, and a guide to follow. The lives of the Saints who have flourished in this mortal life, and entered Paradise, since the great Apostle lived on earth, and which have been so amply recorded for our devotion, afford an unfailing store of illustration of these beautiful words, of instances, multiplied and varied by every variety of human character and disposition, and of outward circumstances, of all that is lovely, and of good fame, of the victory of virtue, and the praise of discipline.

9. Those things also which you learned, and received, and heard, and saw in me, these do; and the God of peace will be with you.

What you learned from my teaching when I was at Philippi; what you have read in this Epistle; what you have heard of me during my absence from you; what you saw in me while I was with you; this do. Do what I have preached and written, said and done. This, St. Chrysostom observes, is the best way of teaching, namely by example. And we have in these words the three great rules of Christian belief and life; namely, the doctrine preached or written by the Apostles in their own words; Apostolic tradition; and the life and example of the Apostles. It is indeed not usual for a Christian teacher to hold himself forth as a model of perfect practice. What the Apostle means is that there were others professing to be Christian teachers who taught a very different doctrine and exhibited a very different example, and that systematically, and that these heretical guides were to be avoided and his own example followed.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on Philippians, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Psalm 80 (79)

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 30, 2011


Please note that the Psalm numbering of the meditation follows that of the Greek Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate. Psalm 80 in most modern bibles is Psalm 79 in the GS and LV.

1. The Psalm we just heard is a song of lament, a plea from the entire people of Israel.

The first part makes use of a famous biblical symbol, the shepherd. The Lord is invoked as “the shepherd of Israel”, who “leads Joseph like a flock” (Ps 79,2). From high above the Ark of the Covenant, enthroned among the cherubim, the Lord guides his flock, that is, his people, and protects them in danger.

He did this during the crossing of the desert. Now, however, he seems absent, as though asleep or indifferent. He feeds the flock he must lead and nourish (cf. Ps 22) only with the bread of tears (cf. Ps 79[80],6). Enemies scoff at this humiliated, despised people; yet God does not seem to be moved nor “to be stirred up” (v. 3), nor does he reveal his might, arrayed to defend the victims of violence and oppression. The repetition of the antiphonal invocation (cf. vv. 4.8), seeks virtually to rouse God from his detached attitude, so that he will return to be the shepherd and defender of his people.

2. In the second part of the prayer, full of tension and charged with trust, we find another symbol dear to the Bible:  the vine. It is an image easy to understand because it belongs to the vision of the Promised Land and is a sign of fruitfulness and joy.

As the Prophet Isaiah teaches in one of his most exalted poetic passages (cf. Is 5,1-7), the vine is the incarnation of Israel. It illustrates two fundamental aspects:  on the one hand, since it has been planted by God (cf. Is 5,2; Ps 79[80],9-10), it represents the gift, grace and love of God; on the other, it demands the labour of the farmer that enables it to produce grapes that yield wine, and thus symbolize the human response:  personal effort and the fruit of good deeds.

3. Through the imagery of the vine, the psalm recalls the major milestones of Hebrew history:  their roots, the experience of the Exodus from Egypt, their entry into the promised land. The vine attained its full level of extension, extending over the whole of Palestine and beyond, during Solomon’s reign. Indeed, it reached out from the northern mountains of Lebanon with their cedars as far as the Mediterranean Sea, almost to the great River Euphrates (cf. vv. 11-12).

But this splendid flourishing was shattered. The Psalm reminds us that a tempest struck God’s vineyard: in other words, Israel suffered a harsh trial, a brutal invasion that devastated the Promised Land. As though he were an invader, God himself broke down the walls surrounding the vineyard, letting the plunderers break in who are represented by the wild boar, held by an ancient tradition to be a fierce and impure animal. Associated with the ferocity of the boar are all wild beasts, the symbol of an enemy horde that ravages everything (cf. vv. 13-14).

4. The Psalmist then directs a pressing appeal to God to come back and defend the victims, to break his silence: “Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine” (v. 15). God will again be the defender of the vital stump of this vine, subjected to such a violent storm, and will scatter all those who have tried to tear it up or set fire to it (cf. vv. 16-17).

At this point, the Psalm opens to messianic hope. Indeed, in verse 18 the Psalmist prays:  “Let your hand be upon the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!”. Perhaps his first thought is of the Davidic king who, with the Lord’s help, will lead the uprising for freedom. But confidence in the future Messiah is implicit, that “Son of Man” who would be sung by the Prophet Daniel (cf. 7,13-14), a title Jesus would choose as his favorite to define his work and messianic being. Indeed, the Fathers of the Church were unanimous in pointing out that the vine that the psalm describes is a prophetic prefiguration of Christ “the true vine” (Jn 15,1), and of his Church.

5. Of course, if the face of the Lord is to shine once again, Israel must be converted through fidelity and prayer to God Our Saviour. This is what the Psalmist says, when he declares:  “Then we will never withdraw from you” (Ps 79[80],19).

So Psalm 79[80] is a song that is strongly marked by suffering but also by indestructible trust. God is always ready to “return” to his people, but his people must also “return” to him in fidelity. If we turn away from sin, the Lord will be “converted” from his intention to punish:  this is the Psalmist’s conviction that finds an echo in our hearts and opens them to hope. (source)

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

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