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St Thomas Aquinas’ Homily Notes on John 2:1 for the Second Sunday After Epiphany

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 12, 2012

These notes were probably not produced by St Thomas himself. It was common in his day for students to produce outlines of the books they read, and talks and sermons they heard, as basic exercises. An ability to discern the structure of both written texts and lectures was considered essential for aspiring scholars. Outlining sermons was probably the most  basic of these exercises.

(FROM THE GOSPEL, St John 2:1)
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the Mother of Jesus was there

FOUR marriages are spoken of in Holy Scripture the first, historical; the second, allegorical; the third, tropological; the fourth, anagogical. (1) The literal marriage is the carnal union between the man and the woman:  “The King made a great feast with all his princes and servants” on the occasion of his marriage with Esther (2:18).

(2) the allegorical is between Christ and His Church: “The Kingdom of Heaven is
like unto a certain King which made a marriage for his son” (St Matt 22:2).

(3) the tropological between God and the soul: “I will betroth thee unto me in
righteousness” (Hos 2:19).

(4) the anagogical between God and the Church Triumphant: “They
that were ready went in with Him to the marriage” (St Matt 25:10).

We now treat of the literal marriage, which, firstly, God sanctionecl in three ways; which, secondly, implies three conditions.

I. On the first head it is to be noted that the literal marriage

  • (1) God ordained in Paradise Gen 1:28, “God blessed them and said, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.”
  • (2) He confirmed it by His Word, “What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder (St Matt 19:6).
  • (3) He honoured it by His presence “Both Jesus was called,” &c (St John 2:2).
  • (4) He magnified it by a miracle “The ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine” (St John 2:9).

II. On the second head it is to be noted that in literal marriages there should be present three good qualities.

(1) Faith, that the marriage bed be not violated “The husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife” (1 Cor 7:4). This first good despoils the adulterers, of whom we read: “Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Heb 13:4).

(2) Offspring, that children may be generated for the Lord “She shall be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith” (1 St Tim 2:15).  This second good despoils those who either procure barrenness, or bring up their children not to worship and serve God.

(3) An oath, that neither can be separated the one from the other: “This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the Church” (Eph 5:32).  This third good despoils those who commit adultery, or marry two wives at the same time If while her husband liveth she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress” (Rom 7:3).  So we learn what are the hindrances to unlawful marriage.

3 Responses to “St Thomas Aquinas’ Homily Notes on John 2:1 for the Second Sunday After Epiphany”

  1. […] Aquinas’ Homily Notes on John 2:1. John 2:1-11 is the Gospel Reading for this Sunday’s Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the […]

  2. […] Aquinas’ Homily Notes on John 2:1~The Duties of Marriage. […]

  3. […] Aquinas’ Homily Notes on the Gospel. […]

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