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 November 1st, 2012

Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Philippians 3:20 for the Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 1, 2012

These notes can be used for homily suggestions, points for meditation, or for further study.

“For our conversation is in heaven”~Philip 3:20

THE Apostle in these words teaches that the conversation of the just is in heaven; so that if we wish to be like them we must not have our conversation about the miseries of this present life, but “in heaven.” The Apostle here lays down three things in regard to the conversation in heaven. Firstly, the reason why we should have our conversation there. Secondly, the nature of that conversation. Thirdly, the similitude between the conversation of the saints and of the angels.

I. The Reason Why We Should Have Our Conversation in Heaven:  It is to be noted, that the saints have their conversation in heaven for three reasons.

(1) For security, for he who has his conversation in heaven is secure from the dangers of this troublesome life: “Lay me down now, and put me in a surety with Thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?” Job 17:3. S. Augustine says that he who enters into the joy of his Lord is secure, and will experience the best condition in the best place.

(2) On account of delight; for he who has his conversation in heaven will have a continuous joy and delight: “For her conversation hath no bitterness, nor her company any tediousness, but joy and gladness,” Wisdom 8:16. Seneca compares the mind of the wise to a world above the moon, which is ever calm.

(3) On account of the necessity that there is for all earthly things to pass away. The saints know that all the earthly things here quickly are about to pass away: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall meet with fervent heat Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness,” 2 Pet 3:10, 14.

II. The Nature Of That Conversation:  It is to be noted, that the saints have in heaven a three- fold conversation.

(1) In ever thinking over the good things of heaven.

(2) In desiring to be ever in heaven. Of these two it is said, such an holy one is held worthily in the memory of man; he has passed ever to the joy of angels, since in the body only he is placed in the present conversation, his true conversation being in that heavenly country.

(3) The conversation of the saints in heaven consists in their living after the manner of heaven. The Gloss, on the text being, that our conversation is in heaven while we live on earth; because we have our hope there, and because we are like to the angels both in living and knowing.

III. the Similitude Between The Conversation Of The Saints And The Conversation Of The Angels: It is to be noted, that the conversation of the saints is like that of the angels in three ways.

(1) In purity.

(2) In simplicity without guile.

(3) In charity.

These three are chiefly seen in the angels: simplicity in essence, purity in nature, charity in grace. The conversation of the saints is also in these three: “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world,” 2 Cor 1:12.


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St Jerome’s Homily on Matthew 9:18-26 for the Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 1, 2012

I. This is the eighth miracle wrought by Jesus, when a certain ruler, desiring not to be kept out of the true circumcision, besought Him to recall his daughter to life. The ceremony of circumcision, which usually took place on the eighth day after the birth, seems to be indicated by this miracle. Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue, certainly deserved the preference; but a woman, diseased with an issue of blood, thrust herself in, and her own cure occupies the eighth place, so that the resurrection of the ruler’s daughter is postponed, and made the ninth in the enumeration. Indeed, it seems that by this case our Saviour wished to call our attention to the vocation of the Gentiles; for we read in the Psalms: Ambassadors shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God (Ps 68:32). A great mystery, spoken of by the Apostle, saying: Blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles should come in. And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion He that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Rom 11:25-26).

II. And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment. Now, compare these two miracles in this Gospel: the first, a woman troubled with her disease for twelve years; the second, the resurrection of the daughter of Jairus who, according to St. Luke (Lk 8:42), was twelve years old; and you will come to the conclusion that the woman, a type of the Gentiles, had been diseased for the same time that the Jewish nation, typified by the ruler’s daughter, had been living in faith. It is only by comparing good with evil that is, idolatry that we see the hideousness of the latter. Note also that this woman with the issue of blood came to our Lord, not in a house nor in a city, for such as she were by the law banished out of cities (Lev 15:25), but in the way, as He walked. Thus our Lord healed one even whilst He was on the road to heal another. Whence the Apostles said: To you it behooved us first to speak the word of God; but because you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us: I have set thee to be the light of the Gentiles, that thou mayest be for salvation unto the utmost parts of the earth (Acts 13:46-47).

III. According to the Law, whosoever touched a woman with an issue of blood was declared unclean. Here, how ever, we see a woman touch Jesus to be cured of that issue by which she seemed to be unclean. Be of good heart, daughter, said Jesus; thy faith hath made thee whole. Our Saviour calls her daughter, and justly, on account of her faith, by which she was cured. Note, again, our Lord did not say to the woman that her faith would make her whole that is, clean but thy faith hath made thee whole. It was to give her to understand that, as soon as she believed, she was cured. And when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw the minstrels and the multitude making a rout, He said. The deceased daughter of Jairus was the type of the Jewish nation, even now, after so many years, in a state of death. The Rabbis, entrusted with the instruction of that nation, may be compared to the minstrels playing a mournful and useless tune. The Jewish leaders, as we know, were only a noisy society of infidels, not of believers; and when Jesus said, Give place, for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth, He wished to teach us that every being, under the dominion of the living God, is alive. And when the multitude was put forth, He went in. Indeed, these people, laughing to scorn the One Who had power to give life, were not worthy to assist at the miraculous resurrection of this maiden.

IV. Finally, consider the last point of likeness between the Jewish nation and the ruler’s daughter who, being dead, received life. He took her by the hand. And the maid arose. And the fame thereof went abroad into all the country. The unbelieving synagogue, typified by this daughter, is dead; for her sinful hands are covered with the prophet’s blood shed by them and their fathers (Matt 23:29-36). To rise from that death her stained hands must be washed in the same innocent Blood of Jesus Christ, the Author of all life.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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