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 December 19th, 2011

St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Titus 2:11-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 19, 2011

The following post contains the saint’s teaching on Titus 2:11-15, it has been excerpted from a much longer instruction (on 2:11-3:6) which can be read in full here.

The Saint begins with a reference to verses 9-10 in order to introduce the subject of the current instruction. Those verses read: Exhort servants to be obedient to their masters: in all things pleasing, not gainsaying: Not defrauding, but in all things shewing good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

Having demanded from servants so great virtue, for it is great virtue to adorn the doctrine of our God and Saviour in all things, and charged them to give no occasion of offense to their masters, even in common matters, he adds the just cause, why servants should be such: “For the grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men:.” Those who have God for their Teacher, may well be such as I have described, seeing their numberless sins have been forgiven to them. For you know that in addition to other considerations, this in no common degree awes and humbles the soul, that when it had innumerable sins to answer for, it received not punishment, but obtained pardon, and infinite favors. For if one, whose servant had committed many offenses, instead of scourging him with thongs, should grant him a pardon for all those, but should require an account of his future conduct, and bid him beware of falling into the same faults again, and should bestow high favors upon him, who do you think would not be overcome at hearing of such kindness? But do not think that grace stops at the pardon of former sins—it secures us against them in future, for this also is of grace. Since if He were never to punish those who still do amiss, this would not be so much grace, as encouragement to evil and wickedness.

For the grace of God our Saviour, he says,  hath appeared to all men: Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly and justly and godly in this world,  Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. See, how together with the rewards he places the virtue. And this is of grace, to deliver us from worldly things, and to lead us to Heaven. He speaks here of two appearings; for there are two; the first of grace, the second of retribution and justice.

Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness, he says, and worldly desires. See here the foundation of all virtue. He has not said “avoiding,” but “denying.” Denying implies the greatest distance, the greatest hatred and aversion. With as much resolution and zeal as they turned from idols, with so much let them turn from vice itself, and worldly lusts. For these too are idols, that is, worldly lusts, and covetousness, and this he names idolatry. Whatever things are useful for the present life are worldly lusts, whatever things perish with the present life are worldly lusts. Let us then have nothing to do with these. Christ came, that we should deny ungodliness. Ungodliness relates to doctrines, worldly lusts to a wicked life.

We should live soberly and justly and godly in this world. Dost thou see, what I always affirm, that it is not sobriety only to abstain from fornication, but that we must be free from other passions. So then he who loves wealth is not sober. For as the fornicator loves women, so the other loves money, and even more inordinately, for he is not impelled by so strong a passion. And he is certainly a more powerless charioteer who cannot manage a gentle horse, than he who cannot restrain a wild and unruly one. What then? says he, is the love of wealth weaker than the love of women? This is manifest from many reasons. In the first place, lust springs from the necessity of nature, and what arises from this necessity must be difficult to restrain, since it is implanted in our nature. Secondly, because the ancients had no regard for wealth, but for women they had great regard, in respect of their chastity. And no one blamed him who cohabited with his wife according to law, even to old age, but all blamed him who hoarded money. And many of the Heathen philosophers despised money, but none of them were indifferent to women, so that this passion is more imperious than the other. But since we are addressing the Church, let us not take our examples from the Heathens, but from the Scriptures. This then the blessed Paul places almost in the rank of a command. “Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.” (1 Tim 6:8). But concerning women he says, “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent”—and “come together again.” (1 Cor 7:5). And you see him often laying down rules for a lawful intercourse, and he permits the enjoyment of this desire, and allows of a second marriage, and bestows much consideration upon the matter, and never punishes on account of it. But he everywhere condemns him that is fond of money. Concerning wealth also Christ often commanded that we should avoid the corruption of it, but He says nothing about abstaining from a wife. For hear what He says concerning money; “Whosoever forsaketh not all that he hath” (Luke 14:33); but he nowhere says, “Whosoever forsaketh not his wife”; for he knew how imperious that passion is. And the blessed Paul says, “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled” (Heb 13:4); but he has nowhere said that the care of riches is honorable, but the reverse. Thus he says to Timothy, “They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts.” (1 Tim 6:9). He says not, they that will be covetous, but, they that will be rich.

And that you may learn from the common, notions the true state of this matter, it must be set before you generally. If a man were once for all deprived of money, he would no longer be tormented with the desire of it, for nothing so much causes the desire of wealth, as the possession of it. But it is not so with respect to lust, but many who have been made eunuchs have not been freed from the flame that burned within them, for the desire resides in other organs, being seated inwardly in our nature. To what purpose then is this said? Because the covetous is more intemperate than the fornicator, inasmuch as the former gives way to a weaker passion. Indeed it proceeds less from passion than from baseness of mind. But lust is natural, so that if a man does not approach a woman, nature performs her part and operation. But there is nothing of this sort in the case of avarice).

We should live soberly and justly and godly in this world. And what is this hope? what the reward of our labors?

Looking for the blessed hope and coming. For nothing is more blessed and more desirable than that appearing. Words are not able to represent it, the blessings thereof surpass our understanding. 

Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Where are those who say that the Son is inferior to the Father?  The great God and Saviour, he say,  He who saved us when we were enemies. What will He not do then when He has us approved?

The great God. When he says great with respect to God, he says it not comparatively but absolutely, after Whom no one is great, since it is relative. For if it is relative, He is great by comparison, not great by nature. But now He is incomparably great.

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable. “Acceptable,” that is, selected from the rest, and having nothing in common with them.

A pursuer of good works. Dost thou see that our part is necessary, not merely works, but “zealous”; we should with all alacrity, with a becoming earnestness, go forward in virtue. For when we were weighed down with evils, and incurably diseased, it was of His lovingkindness that we were delivered. But what follows after this is our part as well as His.

Tit 2:14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works.

A people acceptable. That is, selected from the rest, and having nothing in common with them.

A pursuer of good works. Dost thou see that our part is necessary, not merely working good works, but pursuing them; we should with all alacrity, with a becoming earnestness, go forward in virtue. For when we were weighed down with evils, and incurably diseased, it was of His loving-kindness that we were delivered. But what follows after this is our part as well as His.

Tit 2:15  These things speak and exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

These things speak and exhort. Do you see how he charges Timothy? “Reprove, rebuke, exhort” (see 2 Tim 4:2) But here, “Rebuke with all authority.” For the manners of this people were more stubborn (see Titus 1:12-13), wherefore he orders them to be rebuked more roughly, and with all authority. For there are some sins, which ought to be prevented by command. We may with persuasion advise men to despise riches, to be meek, and the like. But the adulterer, the fornicator, the defrauder, ought to be brought to a better course by command. And those who are addicted to augury and divination, and the like, should be corrected “with all authority.” Observe how he would have him insist on these things with independence, and with entire freedom.

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St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Titus 3:4-7

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 19, 2011

Tit 3:4  But when the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared:
Tit 3:5  Not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Ghost.

But after that (i.e., the situation of humanity mentioned in verse 3)  the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared. How “Not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost.

Strange! How were we drowned in wickedness, so that we could not be purified, but needed a new birth? For this is implied by regeneration. For as when a house is in a ruinous state no one places props under it, nor makes any addition to the old building, but pulls it down to its foundations, and rebuilds it anew; so in our case, God has not repaired us, but has made us anew. For this is the renovation of the Holy Ghost. He has made us new men. How? “By His Spirit”; and to show this further, he adds,

Tit 3:6  Whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour:

 

Thus we need the Spirit abundantly.

Tit 3:7  That, being justified by his grace, we may be heirs according to hope of life everlasting.

That being justified by His grace —again by grace and not by debt—we may be heirs according to the hope of life everlasting.

At the same time there is an incitement to humility, and a hope for the future. For if when we were so abandoned, as to require to be born again, to be saved by grace, to have no good in us, if then He saved us, much more will He save us in the world to come.

For nothing was worse than the brutality of mankind before the coming of Christ. They were all affected towards each other as if enemies and at war. Fathers slew their own sons, and mothers were mad against their children. There was no order settled, no natural, no written law; everything was subverted. There were adulteries continually, and murders, and things if possible worse than murders, and thefts; indeed we are told by one of the heathen, that this practice was esteemed a point of virtue. And naturally, since they worshiped a god of such character. Their oracles frequently required them to put such and such men to death. Let me tell you one of the stories of that time. One Androgeus, the son of Minos, coming to Athens, obtained a victory in wrestling, for which he was punished and put to death. Apollo therefore, remedying one evil by another, ordered twice seven youths to be executed on his account. What could be more savage than this tyrannical command? And it was executed too. A man undertook to atone the mad rage of the demon, and slew these young men, because the deceit of the oracle prevailed with them. But afterwards, when the young men resisted and stood upon their defense, it was no longer done. If now it had been just, it ought not to have been prevented, but if unjust, as undoubtedly it was, it ought not to have been commanded at all. Then they worshiped boxers and wrestlers. They waged constant wars in perpetual succession, city by city, village by village, house by house. They were addicted to the love of boys, and one of their wise men made a law that Paedrasty, as well as anointing for wrestling, should not be allowed to slaves, as if it was an honorable thing; and they had houses for this purpose, in which it was openly practiced. And if all that was done among them was related, it would be seen that they openly outraged nature, and there was none to restrain them. Then their dramas were replete with adultery, lewdness, and corruption of every sort. In their indecent nocturnal assemblies, women were admitted to the spectacle. There was seen the abomination of a virgin sitting in the theater during the night, amidst a drunken multitude of young men madly reveling. The very festival was the darkness, and the abominable deeds practiced by them. On this account he says, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures.” One man loved his stepmother, a woman her step-son, and in consequence hung herself. For as to their passion for boys, whom they called their “Paedica,” it is not fit to be named. And would you see a son married to his mother? This too happened among them, and what is horrible, though it was done in ignorance, the god whom they worshiped did not prevent it, but permitted this outrage to nature to be committed, and that though she was a person of distinction. And if those, who, if for no other reason, yet for the sake of their reputation with the multitude, might have been expected to adhere to virtue; if they rushed thus headlong into vice, what is it likely was the conduct of the greater part, who lived in obscurity? What is more diversified than this pleasure? The wife of a certain one fell in love with another man, and with the help of her adulterer, slew her husband upon his return. The greater part of you probably know the story. The son of the murdered man killed the adulterer, and after him his mother, then he himself became mad, and was haunted by furies. After this the madman himself slew another man, and took his wife. What can be worse than such calamities as these? But I mention these instances taken from the Heathens, with this view, that I may convince the Gentiles, what evils then prevailed in the world. But we may show the same from our own writings. For it is said, “They sacrificed their sons and daughters unto devils.” (Ps 106:37). Again, the Sodomites were destroyed for no other cause than their unnatural appetites. Soon after the coming of Christ, did not a king’s daughter dance at a banquet in the presence of drunken men, and did she not ask as the reward of her dancing the murder and the head of a Prophet? “Who can utter the mighty acts of the Lord?” (Ps 6:2).

“Hateful,” he says (in verse 3), “and hating one another.” For it must necessarily happen, when we let loose every pleasure on the soul, that there should be much hatred. For where love is, with virtue, no man overreacheth another in any matter. Mc also what Paul says, “Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you.” (1 Cor 6:9-10). Dost thou see how every species of wickedness prevailed? It was a state of gross darkness, and the corruption of all that was right. For if those who had the advantage of prophecies, and who saw so many evils inflicted upon their enemies, and even upon themselves, nevertheless did not restrain themselves, but committed numberless foolish crimes, what would be the case with others? One of their lawgivers ordered that virgins should wrestle naked in the presence of men. Many blessings on you! that ye cannot endure the mention of it; but their philosophers were not ashamed of the actual practice. Another, the chief of their philosophers, approves of their going out to the war, and of their being common, as if he were a pimp and pander to their lusts.

“Living in malice and envy” (verse 3).  For if those who professed philosophy among them made such laws, what shall we say of those who were not philosophers? If such were the maxims of those who word a long beard, and assumed the grave cloak, what can be said of others? Woman was not made for this, O man, to be prostituted as common. O ye subverters of all decency, who use men, as if they were women, and lead out women to war, as if they were men! This is the work of the devil, to subvert and confound all things, to overleap the boundaries that have been appointed from the beginning, and remove those which God has set to nature. For God assigned to woman the care of the house only, to man the conduct of public affairs. But you reduce the head to the feet, and raise the feet to the head. You suffer women to bear arms, and are not ashamed. But why do I mention these things? They introduce on the stage a woman that murders her own children, nor are they ashamed to stuff the ears of men with such abominable stories.

(Quoting verses 4-7 in full)~ “But when the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared: Not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Ghost.  Whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour: That, being justified by his grace, we may be heirs according to hope of life everlasting.”

What means, “according to the hope”? That, as we have hoped, so we shall enjoy eternal life, or because ye are even already heirs.

It is a faithful saying (verse 8). Because he had been speaking of things future and not of the present, therefore he adds, that it is worthy of credit. These things are true, he says, and this is manifest from what has gone before. For He who has delivered us from such a state of iniquity, and from so many evils, will assuredly impart to us the good things to come, if we abide in grace. For all proceeds from the same kind concern.

Moral (referring to those people mentioned in 2:15-3:2). Let us then give thanks to God, and not revile them; nor accuse them, but rather let us beseech them, pray for them, counsel and advise them, though they should insult and spurn us. For such is the nature of those who are diseased. But those who are concerned for the health of such persons do all things and bear all things, though it may not avail, that they may not have themselves to accuse of negligence. Know ye not that often, when a physician despairs of a sick man, some relative standing by addresses him, “Bestow further attendance, leave nothing undone, that I may not have to accuse myself, that I may incur no blame, no self-reproach.” Do you not see the great care that near kinsmen take of their relations, how much they do for them, both entreating the physicians to cure them, and sitting perseveringly beside them? Let us at least imitate them. And yet there is no comparison between the objects of our concern. For if any one had a son diseased in his body, he could not refuse to take a long journey to free him from his disease. But when the soul is in a bad state, no one concerns himself about it, but we all are indolent, all careless, all negligent, and overlook our wives, our children, and ourselves, when attacked by this dangerous disease. But when it is too late, we become sensible of it. Consider how disgraceful and absurd it is to say afterwards, “we never looked for it, we never expected that this would be the event.” And it is no less dangerous than disgraceful. For if in the present life it is the part of foolish men to make no provision for the future, much more must it be so with respect to the next life, when we hear many counseling us, and informing us what is to be done, and what not to be done. Let us then hold fast that hope. Let us be careful of our salvation, let us in all things call upon God, that He may stretch forth His hand to us. How long will you be slothful? How long negligent? How long shall we be careless of ourselves and of our fellow-servants? He hath shed richly upon us the grace of His Spirit. Let us therefore consider how great is the grace he has bestowed upon us, and let us show as great earnestness ourselves, or, since this is not possible, some, although it be less. For if after this grace we are insensible, the heavier will be our punishment. “For if I,” He says, “had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin.” (Jn 15:22). But God forbid that this should be said of us, and grant that we may all be thought worthy of the blessings promised to those who have loved Him, in Jesus Christ our Lord, &c.

 

 

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on Hebrews, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, SERMONS, St John Chrysostom | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Father Callan’s Commentary on Luke 2:1-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 19, 2011

1. And it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that the whole world should be enrolled.

And it came to pass, etc.; i.e., it happened in accordance with the decrees of Divine Providence, that, soon after the birth and circumcision of John the Baptist, a decree emanated from the Roman Emperor that the census of the whole Roman Empire should be taken. The object of this census was most probably for the sake of increasing the tax income.

Caesar Augustus, who was the first Roman Emperor, and grand nephew of Julius Caesar. Augustus reigned forty-three years. Christ was born around the 25th year of his reign.

2. This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, the governor of Syria.

This enrolling was first made by Cyrinus, etc. This verse causes a difficulty, because Tertullian (Adv. Marc. iv. 7, 19) tells us that the census was taken by Sentius Saturninus. The difficulty is first explained by saying that the census was taken by S. Saturninus (then Governor of Syria), but under the direction of Cyrinus, who was especially appointed for this purpose by the Emperor, and who, ten years later, became Governor of Syria. St. Luke therefore speaks of Cyrinus as the Governor of Syria, most probably, because he was later appointed to that office. Another good explanation is that this particular census was begun by Saturninus and Quintilius Varus, but was brought to a close by their successor, Cyrinus, who, consequently, gave his name to it. According to Mommsen (Res gestae divi Augusti) and Zumt (De Syria Romana Provinncia) Cyrinus was twice governor of Syria, — first from 750- 753 of Rome, when this “first” census was completed; and a second time from 759-765, when another, or second census was taken, which caused a great revolt in Galilee. The second census is mentioned by St. Luke in Acts 5:37, and by Josephus in Jewish Ant. xviii. I.

3. And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city.

Everyone into his own city; i.e., into the city from which the head of his family had sprung. Bethlehem was the City of David, and this is why Joseph and Mary, who were of the family of David, went thither. The Jewish custom required that each one should be enrolled in the place where his ancestors were born, and this census seems to have been taken by the local authorities and according to the custom of the Jews.

4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem: because he was of the house and family of David,

Bethlehem means “house of bread.” It was situated on a ridge of hills about seven miles south of Jerusalem, and eighty miles from Nazareth.

5. To be enrolled with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child.

With Mary. Both Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to be enrolled, because women, as well as men, had to be enrolled when there was a question —as most likely in the present instance—of capitation-tax. Women were inscribed upon the public registers only when, having no brothers, they inherited the paternal property. Hence Mary, who seems to have had no brothers, went to be enrolled most likely under the title of heiress. Some say that the obligation of enrollment was imposed upon all the women of Israel. At any rate the law made subject to personal tax all women between the ages of twelve and sixty years. Cf. Ulpianus, D. L. XV. De Censibus.

6. And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered.

When they were there, etc. It is the opinion of some that our Lord was born immediately after Joseph and Mary reached Bethlehem; others think the nativity occurred during a few days which they spent there, either before or after the enrollment.

7. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And she brought forth, etc. The Blessed Virgin gave birth to our Lord, not only without detriment to her virginity, but also without the pain, labor, and fatigue which are experienced by ordinary mothers.

Her first-born son. He is called the “first-born,” because special rights and duties fell to the lot of the first-born. According to the almost universal tradition of the Church our Lord was born on December 25.

And laid him in a manger. These words show that our Lord was born in a stable; both tradition and modern research are agreed that this stable was a cave hewn out of a rock, into which animals, especially sheep, were driven during storms, and for shelter at night. The inns at Bethlehem were all filled with the multitudes who had come there for enrollment.

8. And there were in the same country shepherds watching, and keeping the night watches over their flock.

In the same country; i.e., in the neighborhood of Bethlehem.

Shepherds watching, etc. The Greek word for watching is αγραυλουντες, which literally means, “dwelling in the fields.” It was not extraordinary that shepherds with their flocks should be in the fields at this season of the year. Experienced travelers tell us that the end of December in Palestine is often the most agreeable time of the year. Even to-day, after the December rains, the Arabs leave their dwellings about the middle of the month and go down into the plains with their flocks.

9. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness of God shone round about them; and they feared with a great fear.

Stood by them, — rather, “came upon them” (επεστη). And they feared, etc., because the Jews believed that whoever saw an angel must die (Judges 6:22-23; Judges 13:22).

10. And the angel said to them: Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people:

That shall be to all the people; i.e., to all the Jewish people. Our Lord was to be in reality the Saviour of all men, both Jews and Gentiles, but the angels perhaps did not know that He was to be the Saviour of the Gentiles also.

11. For, this day, is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in the city of David.

Christ the Lord; i.e., the Anointed, the Messiah.

12. And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and laid in a manger.

And laid in a manger. The stable and manger here referred to were doubtless well known to all the shepherds of that neighborhood; otherwise the angel would have designated more definitely the manger in which our Lord lay.

13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying:

A multitude of the heavenly army; i.e., a great number of angels who, because of their number, power, and obedience to the commands of God, are spoken of as belonging to an “army.”

14. Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.

Peace to men of good will; i.e., peace and tranquility of mind and soul to all men, who, through the gracious mystery of the Incarnation, are shown to be objects of God’s good-will and pleasure. The word, ευδοκιας, here translated “good-will” is used in the New Testament to signify God’s good-pleasure in saving men through Christ.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on Luke 2:15-21

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 19, 2011

15. And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem, and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.

This word that is come to pass. The term “word” here, as in other places, simply means thing, i.e., this event which the angels had announced. Cf. on Luke 1:37.

Which the Lord hath showed to us; i.e., hath “revealed” to us. These words indicate that the shepherds had received an interior revelation from God to know the importance of the angelic announcement.

16. And they came with haste ; and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.

They came with haste. The shepherds were perhaps some little distance from the stable, some say about a mile.

17. And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child.

They understood of the word; i.e., they understood the meaning of the announcement.

18. And all that heard, wondered; and at those things that were told them by the shepherds.

And at those things, etc. The “and” at the beginning of this clause is not found in the Greek and Syriac texts of St. Luke; hence there should be no stop after “wondered.” And all that heard wondered at those things & c.

19. But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.

Pondered them in her heart. While others wondered and talked about the marvellous things that had occurred in connection with the birth of our Lord, Mary remained silent, quietly revolving in her mind the great mystery of the Redemption, and the ancient prophecies, which had foretold it.

20. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God, for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Father Callan offers not notes on this verse.

21. And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called Jesus, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb.

After eight days; i.e., on the eighth day, when it was required, according to the Law, that the child should be circumcised.

Circumcised. Our Lord submitted to this painful operation, not because He stood in any need of it, since He was spotless; but in order: (a) to show respect and obedience to the existing Law; (b) in order that the Jews might have no pretext for accusing and rejecting Him; (c) to give sanction to the rite of circumcision. The ceremony of circumcision was performed, according to Jewish custom, not in the Temple, but at the home of the family, — in the case of our Lord— in the cave. It was ordinarily performed by the father, or head of the family, and in the presence of ten witnesses, who attested the child’s enrollment among the theocratic people.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | 5 Comments »

FOURTH UPDATE: Resources for the Christmas Masses (Biblical and Homiletic)

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 19, 2011

This post will stay at the top of this blog until Christmas Evening and may be updated again. If this happens I’ll change the title of the post to read SECOND UPDATE. At the end of this post you will find a number of Christmas sermons by Church Fathers and others.  To see all of this weeks posts, please go here.

VIGIL MASS:
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Note: The Gospel reading for the Vigil Mass is Matt 1:1-25, but there is also a shorter reading, Matt 1:18-25. The reading has already been used in the liturgy (4th Sunday of Advent)  so don’t let the title’s of the post fool you.

Readings.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Acts 13:16-17, 22-25.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matt 1:1-17. Part 1 of the longer reading, part 2 below.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matt 1:18-25. Part 2 of longer reading, or used as shorter reading.

Cornelius a Lapide’s commentary on Matt 1:18-25.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 1:18-25.

Word Sunday: Translation and commentary

Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological background.

UPDATE~Navarre Bible Commentary:

icon for podpress Fr. Guilbeau’s Homily – Christmas Vigil: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

MASS AT MIDNIGHT
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Readings.

4th UPDATE: A Sermon on Isaiah 9:6. By Father Augustine Wirth, O.S.B., a famed preacher of his day (died 1901). Some sermons from Church Fathers and saints can be found at the end of this post.

4th UPDATE: Isaiah 9:6~The Birth of Jesus Christ. Another sermon on Isaiah 9:6 by Fr. Augustine Wirth.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 96 (95).

Father Callan’s Commentary on Titus 2:11-14.

2nd UPDATE: St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Titus 2:11-14.

Aquinas’s Catena Aurea on Luke 2:1-14.

2nd UPDATE: Father Callan’s Commentary on Luke 2:1-14.

3rd UPDATE: Pope St Gregory the Great’s Sermon on Luke 2:1-14. More sermons from saints and fathers of the Church at end of post.

4th UPDATE: Sermon on Luke 2:10-11. By Fr. Augustine Wirth, O.S.B. A famed preacher of his day (died 1901).

Sunday Gospel Scripture Study. Excellent. Audio/video study on Luke 2:1-18.  May take 10 or more seconds for video to activate.

Word Sunday: Translation and commentary

Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological background.

UPDATE~Navarre Bible Commentary:

Scripture in Depth.

Bible Study. St Charles Borromeo Parish.

Religious Joy. Sermon by St John Henry Newman (on Luke 2:10-11).

icon for podpress Fr. Jones’s Homily – Midnight Mass: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

MASS AT DAWN
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Readings.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 97 (96).

3rd UPDATE: St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 97 (96).

Father Callan’s Commentary on Titus 3:4-7.

2nd UPDATE: St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Titus 3:4-7.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 2:15-20.

2nd UPDATE: Father Callan’s Commentary on Luke 2:15-20.

4th UPDATE: God’s Gift to Man-Man’s Gift to God. A Sermon on Luke 2:15 by Fr. Augustine Wirth, O.S.B., a famed preacher of his day (died 1901).

Word Sunday: Translation and commentary

Bible Study. St Charles Borromeo Parish.

UPDATE~Navarre Bible Commentary:

MASS DURING THE DAY
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Readings.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 98 (97).

3rd UPDATE: St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 98 (97).

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Hebrews 1:1-6.

2nd UPDATE: Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 1:1-6.

2nd UPDATE: St John Chrysostom on Hebrews 1:1-6.

Father Callan’s Commentary on the Prologue of John’s Gospel (1:1-18).

Fathers Nolan and Brown’s Commentary on the Prologue of John’s Gospel (1:1-18).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on the Prologue of John’s Gospel (1:1-18).

St Augustine’s Commentary on John 1:1-5.

St Augustine’s Commentary on John 1:6-14.

UPDATE~Navarre Bible Commentary:

Christ Hidden From the World. Sermon by St J.H. Newman (on Jn 1:5).

The Incarnation. Sermon by St John Henry Newman (on John 1:14).

4th UPDATE: A Sermon on John 1:14. By Fr. Augustine Wirth, O.S.B., a famed preacher of his day (died 1901).

icon for podpress Fr. Guilbeau’s Homily – Christmas Day: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Today’s Good News. Brief reflection on the Gospel.

A Lectio Divina reading of the Gospel. Prayer, meditation, reflection on the text in the Carmelite tradition.

Word Sunday: Translation and comentary

Bible Study. St Charles Borromeo Parish.

SERMONS
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Christmas Sermon by St. Isaac the Syrian This brief sermon calls us to not only celebrate Christmas/Nativity, but to remember the ethical implications of the feast. This is a classic.

Nativity Sermon I by Pope St. Leo

Nativity Sermon II by Pope St. Leo

Nativity Sermon III by Pope St. Leo

Nativity Sermon IV by Pope St. Leo

Nativity Sermon VI by Pope St. Leo

Nativity Sermon VII by Pope St. Leo

Nativity Sermon VIII by Pope St. Leo

A Christmas Sermon by St. Gregory of Nazianzus

4th UPDATE: The Spiritual Christmas Tree. A sermon on Ps 1:3 by Fr. Augustine Wirth, O.S.B.

4th UPDATE: The Moral of the Incarnation. A sermon on Luke 2:10-11 by Fr. Augustine Wirth, O.S.B.

icon for podpress Fr. Keitz’s Homily – Christmas Day: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

In The Beginning Was The Word. Audio homily by Fr. Robert Barron.

Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, John Paul II Catechesis, liturgy, Meditations, Notes on Acts of Apostles, Notes on Hebrews, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Gospel of John, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, Notes on Titus, PAPAL COMMENTARY ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

 
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