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

St Thomas Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Romans 12:13 for the Second Sunday After Epiphany

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 12, 2012

The reader may find the following useful for homily suggestions or for points of meditation or further study. These notes were probably not produced by St Thomas himself, rather, they were probably produced by a student as he sat listening to the preaching. Aquinas’ Lectures on the Epistle to the Romans has been translated into English and can be read here.

Given to hospitality
Rom 12:13.

IN this Epistle, which is altogether full of moral precepts, we are exhorted to great hospitality, to which four motives ought chiefly to move us. Firstly, the command of the Lord. Secondly, the example of the saints. Thirdly, the loss which is sustained by not exercising hospitality. Fourthly, the manifold advantage in its exercise.

I. On the first head it is to be noted that the Lord enjoined hospitality by a threefold law-the law of nature, the old and the new law.

  • (1) He commanded, by the law of nature, that as we desire to receive hospitality from others, so we should shew it to others S. Matt 7:12, “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.”
  • (2) By the old law Isa 58:7, “Is it not to deal My bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house ?” Deut 26:12, “The stranger, the fatherless, the widow, that they may eat within thy gates and be filled.”
  • (3) By the new law Heb 13:2, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers.”

II. On the second head it is to be noted that the example of the saints teach us three things about hospitality

  • (1) That we should constrain strangers to ” come in unto us.” S. Luke 24:29, “They constrained them, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.”
  • (2) That we should protect our guests from harm Gen 19:7, 8, “I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly; with these men do nothing, for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof;” whence we may learn that it was a patriarchal custom to protect guests from violence
  • (3) That with joy and gladness we should minister abundantly to their necessities Gen 18:3, 6, 7, “Pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. And Abraham said, Make ready quickly these measures of fine meal; and Abraham ran unto the herd:” this history teaches us how with joy and gladness we ought abundantly to minister unto strangers.

III. On the third head it is to be noted that three evils are incurred by those who are unwilling to exercise hospitality.

  • (1) They are here punished by the Lord Wisdom 19:13-16, “Others, indeed, received not strangers unknown to them, but these brought their guests into bondage that had deserved well of them. And not only so, but in another respect also they were wise; for the others against their will received strangers, but these grievously afflicted them whom they had received with joy. But they were struck with blindness.”
  • (2) They shall be confounded in the judgment S. Matt 25:43, “I was a stranger, and ye took me not in.”
  • (3) They shall be shut up in an evil habitation S. Matt 25:4, “Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”

IV. On the fourth head it is to be noted that for three reasons we ought to be given to hospitality.

  • (1) By doing this we gain grace, as the woman of Samaria who talked with Christ.
  • (2) By doing this we frequently entertain saints and angels Heb 13:1, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
  • (3) By doing this, we shall be received into an eternal, heavenly, and glorious habitation S. Matt 25:33, 34, “I was a stranger, and ye took me in Come, ye blessed children of My Father, inherit the Kingdom,” &c.

2 Responses to “St Thomas Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Romans 12:13 for the Second Sunday After Epiphany”

  1. […] Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Romans 12:13. Romans 12:6-16 is the Epistle reading for this Sunday’s Mass in the Extraordinary Form of […]

  2. […] Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Romans 12:13~The Law of Hospitality. […]

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