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

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Acts 10:36-43 For Easter Monday Mass (Extrarodinary Form)

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 8, 2012

Text in red are my additions.

Act 10:36  God sent the word to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all).
Act 10:37  You know the word which hath been published through all Judea: for it began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached.

Act 10:38  Jesus of Nazareth: how God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

A summary of verses 36-38~God sent the word, &c (τον λογον ον απεστειλεν, &c). Commentators are perplexed about the construction of this and the following verses, chiefly on account of the Greek Text, wherein, after the word ( λογον), we have “ον”, which. In this constrution word is in the accusative case, and would seem to have no verb on which to depend. Some commentators (among them BloomfieUl) say τον λογον (the word) is governed by  οιδατε, you know (v. 37) and put it in apposition with its equivalent term, ρημα in v. 37, which they say, is repeated thus: the word, (ρημα), I say. The construction in the Greek should run thus: You know that He (viz., God) proclaiming peace through Jesus Christ (He is the Lord of all) sent (or caused to be announced) to the children of Israel, the word of the Gospel which had been announced through all Judea commencing with Galilee, after the Baptism, which John preached. You know,  I say, that the word was sent by God, viz., Jesus cf Nazareth anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power (with the power of the Holy Ghost) who went about doing good, healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him (Steenkiste).

The Bishop will now comment on these three verses individually, so I’ll reproduce them.

Act 10:36  God sent the word to the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all).

Commencing to catechize Cornelius and those present, St. Peter says God sent the word, that is, the message of pardon and reconciliation, conveyed in His Gospel. The term, God is not in the Greek, but is understood from the context.

Children of Israel, in the first instance.

Preaching peace. Pointing out the way of reconciliation with God, and union among themselves.

(For He is Lord of all.) All men are the work of His hands, Jew and Gentile, and he wishes all without distinction, to be saved.

Act 10:37  You know the word which hath been published through all Judea: for it began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached.

You know the word, the whole Gospel economy, the series of events, connected with the preaching of the Gospel.

Published, &c.  Galilee  was not far from Csesarea, so that Cornelius, a religious man, alive to all religious teachings, doubtless had heard of the fame of the Gospel teaching and miracles, which must have spread throughout Palestine and the neighbouring countries. Cornelius and his friends, though not fully instructed in the doctrine of Christ, must have heard of it.

Act 10:38  Jesus of Nazareth: how God anointed him with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Jesus of Nazareth depends on You know. How God, the entire Trinity, to whom is common every act, ad extra, anointed, poured out upon him the fulness of the graces of the Holy Spirit at his incarnation, when he was conceived of the Holy Ghost.

Jesus Christ, the man God, was, according to His human nature anointed by the whole Trinity with the plenitude of the graces of the Holy Ghost, in the Hypostatic union.

St. Cyril, of Alexandria, teaches regarding opera ad extra  “Quæ omnia sunt a Patre per Filium in Spiritu Sancto.”  St. Peter represents our Lord as going about doing good, and also as the conqueror of the devil, who held the Gentiles subject to his power.

Anointed him.  A ceremony employed in the inauguration of Kings, Prophets, &c. It points to our Lord as the Christ, or anointed, the expected Messiah.

The operation, whereby the Son of God assumed to himself human nature, though, in reality, common to the Three Persons of the Blecsed Trinity, was, however, by appropriation, attributed to the Holy Ghost, who on account of his procession from the Father and Son, is goodness and love itself.

Holy Ghost, and with power, that is, the power of the Holy Ghost, whereby he worked miracles of every degree.

For God was with him, which more clearly and emphatically expresses what is conveyed in the words anointed with the Holy Ghost, and with power, viz., that it was in virtue of the Divine power our Lord performed the great prodigies.

Act 10:39  And we are witnesses of all things that he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem: whom they killed, hanging him upon a tree.
Act 10:40  Him God raised up the third day and gave him to be made manifest,

Bishop MacEvily offers no comment on verse 39 and only a brief note on 40, so I’ve decided to add a few notes.

We are witnesses. An essential element in Luke’s 2 volume narrative of the Gospel and Acts of Apostles from the very start (see Luke 1:1-4, Acts 1:16-22. See also Luke 24:44-48; Acts 2:32, Acts 3:15, Acts 5:32).

That he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. What happened in Jerusalem was not meant to stay in Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:39).

Whom they killed, hanging him upon a tree. Him God raised up. The essential kerygma (proclamation) of the witnesses (Acts 2:23-24; Acts 3:13-15; Acts 4:10; Acts 5:30).

Made manifest, leaving no grounds for doubting it.

Act 10:41  Not to all the people, but to witnesses preordained by God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him, after he arose again from the dead.

Not to all the people, which, besides being almost impracticable, was unnecessary to establish the truth of His Resurrection.

Pre-ordained, i.e., elected beforehand, such as Peter himself and the other Apostles, who did eat and drink, c., thus showing the reality of his Resurrection. Though our Lord is said (Luke 24:43) to have eaten with the Apostles, nowhere is it said he drank. However, it is implied in the repast (John 21:13).

Act 10:42  And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that it is he who was appointed by God to be judge of the living and of the dead.

To be judge of the living, &c. The Greeks hold a peculiar opinion on this point. They maintain that such of the just as shall be alive at the approach of the day of judgment shall not die, but shall be changed without death. The common doctrine which is in accordance with the SS. Scriptures and the faith of the church at all times is that, all shall die. Hence the word living denotes those who shall be alive, immediately before the coming of the Judge, and shall be destroyed by the fire of conflagration which immediately precedes the judge (2 Peter 3:10). Dead such as have been already in their graves. He refers to the Judicial power of the Judge, to inspire them with salutary fear.

Act 10:43  To him all the prophets give testimony, that by his name all receive remission of sins, who believe in him.

All the Prophets, very many, such as Jeremiah 31:14 or all the Prophets, more or less, testify of Christ, directly or indirectly. Peter s discourse, likely, intended to be of longer duration (11:15), was interrupted by the descent of the Holy Ghost.

2 Responses to “Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Acts 10:36-43 For Easter Monday Mass (Extrarodinary Form)”

  1. […] Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Acts 10:37-43. Includes vs. […]

  2. […] Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Acts 10:37-43. Includes vs. […]

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