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 13th, 2012

COMPLETE: Sunday, November 18: Resources for Sunday Mass (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms)

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 13, 2012

Well, mostly complete. One or two things are pending. If I come upon other resources I will add them as well.



  • Mass Readings in the NJB TranslationUsed in most English speaking countries. Scroll down. I’ve seen conflicting reports concerning whether or not it is the JB, or the NJB that is currently used in most English speaking nations. If anyone knows of a Bishop’s Conference site that has a set up similar to the US Bishop’s site linked above (but using the JB or NJB), please let me know.
  • Anglican Use Daily Office. ”Briefly, it is a provision for an “Anglican style” liturgy similar to the Book of Common Prayer as an ecclesiastically approved variant on the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.” More info.

GENERAL RESOURCES: sites that usually deal with the readings as a whole. Commentaries on the individual readings further below.

  • Word Sunday. The readings in both and literal translation, notes on the text, podcast, children’s reading.
  • SacerdosGives the theme of the readings, the doctrinal message, and pastoral application.
  • Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological background on the readings. Can be printed out, copied, and used as bulletin insert.
  • Scripture Speaks. I’ve linked to the archive. This Sunday’s post not yet available.
  • The Bible Workshop. Links to several relevant articles, contains a reading guide to the gospel text, a comparison of the readings, suggestions for a lesson (i.e., homily).
  • The Wednesday Word It’s about the Sunday readings, but the document is posted on Wednesday, hence the name. Designed for prayer and reflection, the pdf document ends with Father Dom Henry Wansbrough’s reflections on the first and second readings. Fr. Wansbrough is General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible and contributed commentaries on Matt, Mark, and the Pastorals in A New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture.
  • Sacred Page Blog. Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma’s reflections on the readings and psalm.




  • Pending: Father Boylan’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:11-14, 18.



Dominica VI quae superfluit Post Epiphaniam IV. Novembris ~ II. classis


COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10.


HOMILIES AND HOMILY NOTES: Lesson and Gospel. Please Note: A number of the links below are to online books. You can use the site’s zoom feature at the bottom of the page to increase the text size for easier reading.

  • Pending: Sermon Plan: Parables.  Homily notes on Matthew 13:34 with some links.

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Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 13:21-37

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 13, 2012

Ver 21. “And then if any man shall say to you, ‘Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there;’ believe him not.:22. For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.23. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.24. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,25. And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.26. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.27. And then shall He send His angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Theophylact: After that the Lord had finished all that concerned Jerusalem, He now speaks of the coming of Antichrist, saying, “Then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, to, he is there; believe him not.” But when He says, “then,” think not that it means immediately after these things are fulfilled about Jerusalem; as Matthew also says after the birth of Christ, “In those days came John the Baptist;” [Mat_3:1] does he mean immediately after the birth of Christ? No, but he speaks indefinitely and without precision. So also here, “then” may be taken to mean not when Jerusalem shall be made desolate, but about the time of the coming of Antichrist.

It goes on: “For false Christs and false prophets shall arise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”  For many shall take upon them the name of Christ, so as to seduce even the faithful.

Augustine, de Civ. Dei, xx, 19: For then shall Satan be unchained, and work through Antichrist in all his power, wonderfully indeed, but falsely. But a doubt is often raised whether the Apostle said “signs and lying wonders,” because he is to deceive mortal sense, by phantoms, so as to appear to do what he does not, or because those wonders themselves, even though true, are to turn men aside to lies, because they will not believe that any power but a Divine power could do them, being ignorant of the power of Satan, especially when he shall have received such power as he never had before. But for whichever reason it is said, they shall be deceived by those signs and wonders who deserve to be deceived.

Greg., Hom in Ezech. i, 9: Why however is it said with a doubt “if it were possible,” when the Lord knows beforehand what is to be? One of two things is implied; that if they are elect, it is not possible; and if it is possible, they are not elect. This doubt therefore in our Lord’s discourse expresses the trembling in the mind of the elect. And He calls them elect, because He sees that they will persevere in faith and good works; for those who are chosen to remain firm are to be tempted to fall by the signs of the preachers of Antichrist.

Bede: Some however refer this to the time of the Jewish captivity, where many, declaring themselves to be Christs, drew after them crowds of deluded persons; but during the siege of the city there was no Christian to whom the Divine exhortation, not to follow false  teachers, could apply. Wherefore it is better to understand it of heretics, who, coming to oppose the Church, pretended to be Christs; the first of whom was Simon Magus, but that last one, greater than the rest, is Antichrist.  It goes on: “But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.”

Augustine, Epist., 78: For He did not only foretel to His disciples the good things which He would give to His saints and faithful ones, but also the woes in which this world was to abound, that we might look for our reward at the end of the world with more confidence, from feeling the woes in like manner announced as about to precede the end of the world.

Theophylact: But after the coming of Antichrist, the frame of the world shall be altered and changed, for the stars shall be obscured on account of the abundance of the brightness of Christ.

Wherefore it goes on: “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light; and the stars of heaven shall fall.”

Bede: For the stars in the day of judgment shall appear obscure, not by any lessening of their own light, but because of the brightness of the true light, that is, of the most high Judge coming upon them; although there is nothing to prevent its being taken to mean, that the sun and moon with all the other heavenly bodies then for a time are really to lose their light, just as we are told was the case with the sun at the time of our Lord’s Passion. But after the day of judgment, when there shall be a new sky and a new earth, then shall happen what Isaiah says: “Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold.” [Isa_30:26]  There follows: “And the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

Theophylact: That is, the Angelic virtues shall be astonished, seeing that such great things are done, and that their fellow-servants are judged.

Bede: What wonder is it that men should be troubled at this judgment, the sight of which makes the very Angelic powers to tremble? What will the stories of the house do when the pillars shake? What does the shrub of the wilderness undergo, when the cedar of paradise is moved?

Pseudo-Jerome: Or else, the sun shall be darkened, at the coldness of their hearts, as in the winter time. And the moon shall not give her light with serenity, in this time of quarrel, and the stars of heaven shall fail in their light, when the seed of Abraham shall all but disappear, for to it they are likened [Gen_22:17]. And the powers of heaven shall be stirred up to the wrath of vengeance, when they shall be sent by the Son of Man at His coming, of whose Advent it is said, “And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory,” He, that is, who first came down like rain into the fleece of Gideon in all lowliness.

Augustine, Epist., cxcix, 11: For since it was said by the Angels to the Apostles, “He shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven,” [Act_1:11] rightly do we believe that He will come not only in the same body, but on a cloud, since He is to come as He went away, and a cloud received Him as He was going.

Theophylact: But they shall see the Lord as the Son of Man, that is, in the body, for that which is seen is body.

Augustine, de Trin., i, 13: For the vision of the Son of Man is shewn even to the bad, but the vision of the form of God to the pure in heart alone, “for they shall see God.” [Mat_5:8] And because the wicked cannot see the Son of God, as He is in the form of God, equal to the Father, and at the same time both just and wicked are to see Him as Judge of the quick and dead, before Whom they shall be judged, it was necessary that the Son of Man should receive power to judge. Concerning the execution of which power, there is immediately added, “And then shall He send He angels.”

Theophylact: Observe that Christ sends the Angels as well as the Father; where then are they who say that He is not equal to the Father? For the Angels go forth to gather together the faithful, who are chosen, that they may be carried into the air to meet Jesus Christ.  Wherefore it goes on: “And gather together His elect from the four winds.”

Pseudo-Jerome: As corn winnowed from the threshing-floor of the whole earth.

Bede: By “the four winds,” He means the four parts of the world, the east, the west, the north, and the south. And lest any one should think that the elect are to be gathered together only from the four edges of the world, and not from the midland regions as well as the borders, He has fitly added, “From the uttermost part of earth, to the uttermost part of heaven,” that is, from the extremities of the earth to its utmost bounds, where the circle of the heavens appears to those who look from [p. 267] afar to rest upon the boundaries of the earth. No one therefore shall be elect in that day who remains behind and does not meet the Lord in the air, when He comes to judgment. The reprobate also shall come to judgment, that when it is finished they may be scattered abroad and perish from before the face of God.

Ver 28. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:29. So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.30. Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.31. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away.”

Bede: Under the example of a tree the Lord gave a pattern of the end, saying, “Now learn a parable of the fig tree, when her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near. So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.”

Theophylact: As if He had said, As when the fig tree puts forth its leaves, summer follows at once, so also after the woes of Antichrist, at once, without an interval, shall be the coming of Christ, who will be to the just as summer after winter, but to sinners, winter after summer.

Augustine, Epist., 119, 11: All that is said by the three Evangelists concerning the Advent of our Lord, if diligently compared together and examined, will perchance be found to belong to His daily coming in His body, that is, the Church, except those places where that last coming is so promised, as if it were approaching; for instance in the last part of the discourse according to Matthew, the coming itself is clearly expressed, where it is said, “When the Son of Man shall come in His glory,” [Mat_25:31] For what does He refer to in the words, “when ye shall see these things come to pass,” but those things which He has mentioned above, amongst which it is said, “And then ye shall see [p. 268] the Son of Man coming in the clouds.” The end therefore shall not be then, but then it shall be near at hand.

Or are we to say, that not all those things which are mentioned above are to be taken in, but only some of them, that is, leaving out these words, “Then shall ye see the Son of Man coming;” for that shall be the end itself, and not its approach only. But Matthew has declared that it is to be received without exception, saying, “When ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” That which is said above must therefore be taken thus; “And He shall send His angels, and gather together the elect from the four winds;” that is, He shall collect His elect from the four winds of heaven, which He does in the whole of the last hour, coming in His members as in clouds.

Bede: This fruitbearing of the fig tree may also be understood to mean the state of the synagogue, which was condemned to everlasting barrenness, because when the Lord came, it had no fruits of righteousness in those who were then unfaithful. But the Apostle has said that when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in [Rom_11:25], all Israel shall be saved. What means this, but that the tree, which has been long barren, shall then yield the fruit, which it had withheld? When this shall happen, doubt not that a summer of true peace is at hand.

Pseudo-Jerome: Or else, the leaves which come forth are words now spoken, the summer at hand is the day of Judgment, in which every tree shall shew what it had within it, deadness for burning, or greenness to be planted with the tree of life.

There follows: “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till these things be done.”

Bede: By generation He either means the whole race of mankind, or specially the Jews.

Theophylact: Or else, “This generation shall not pass away,” that is, the generation of Christians, “until all things be fulfilled,” which were spoken concerning Jerusalem and the coming of Antichrist; for He does not mean the generation of the Apostles, for the greater part of the Apostles did not live up to the destruction of Jerusalem. But He says this of the generation of Christians, wishing to console His disciples, lest they should believe that the faith should fail at that time; for the immoveable elements shall first fail, before the words of Christ fail; wherefore it is added, “Heaven and earth  shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”

Bede: The heaven which shall pass away is not the ethereal or starry heaven, but the heaven where is the air. For wheresoever the water of the judgment could reach, there also, according to the words of the blessed Peter, the fire of judgment shall reach [2Pe_3:10-12]. But the heaven and the earth shall pass away in that form which they now have, but in their essence they shall last without end.

Ver 32. “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.33. Take ye heed, watch and pray; for ye know not when the time is.34. For the Son of Man is a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.35. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:36. Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.37. And what I say unto you I say unto all – Watch.”

Theophylact: The Lord wishing to prevent His disciples from asking about that day and hour, says, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

For if He had said, I know, but I will not reveal it to you, He would have saddened them not a little; but He acted more wisely, and prevents their asking such a question, lest they should importune Him, by saying, neither the Angels, nor I.

Hilary, de Trin., ix: This ignorance of the day and hour is urged against the Only-Begotten God, as if, God born of God had not the same perfection of nature as God. But first, let common sense decide whether it is credible that He, who is the cause that all things are, and are to be, should be ignorant of any out of all these things. For how can it be beyond the knowledge of that nature, by which and in which that which is to be done is contained? And can He be ignorant of that day, which is the day of His own Advent? Human substances foreknow as far as they can what they intend to do, and the knowledge of what is to be done, follows upon the will to act. How then can the Lord of glory, from ignorance of the day of His coming, be believed to be of that imperfect nature, which has on it a necessity of coming, and has not attained to the knowledge of its own advent?

But again, how much more room for blasphemy will there be, if a feeling of envy is ascribed to God the Father, in that He has withheld the knowledge of His beatitude from Him to whom He gave a foreknowledge of His death. But if there are in Him all the treasures of knowledge, He is not ignorant of this day; rather we ought to remember that the treasures of wisdom in Him are hidden; His ignorance therefore must be connected with the hiding of the treasures of wisdom, which are in Him.

For in all cases, in which God declares Himself ignorant, He is not under the power of ignorance, but either it is not a fit time for speaking, or it is an economy of not acting.

But if God is said then to have known that Abraham loved Him, when He did not hide that His knowledge from Abraham, it follows, that the Father is said to know the day, because He did not hide it from the Son. If therefore the Son knew not the day, it is a Sacrament of His being silent, as on the contrary the Father alone is said to know, because He is not silent. But God forbid that any new and bodily changes should be ascribed to the Father or the Son.

Lastly, lest He should be said to be ignorant from weakness, He has immediately added, “Take ye heed, watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is.”

Pseudo-Jerome: For we must needs watch with our souls before the death of the body.

Theophylact: But He teach us two things, watching and prayer; for many of us watch, but watch only to pass the night in wickedness; He now follows this up with a parable, saying, “For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave his servants power over every work, and commanded the porter to watch.”

Bede: The man who taking a far journey left his house is Christ, who ascending as a conqueror to His Father after the Resurrection, left His Church, as to His bodily presence, but has never deprived her of the safeguard of His Divine presence.

Greg, Hom in Evan, 9: For the earth is properly the place for the flesh, which was as it were carried away to a far country, when it was placed by our Redeemer in the heavens. “And he gave his servants power over every work,” when, by giving to His faithful ones the grace of the Holy Ghost, He gave them the power of serving every good work.

He has also ordered the porter to watch, because He commanded the order of pastors to have a care over the Church committed to them. Not only, however, those of us who rule over Churches, but all are required to watch the doors of their hearts, lest the evil suggestions of the devil enter into them, and lest our Lord find us sleeping.

Wherefore concluding this parable He adds, “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.”

Pseudo-Jerome: For he who sleeps applies not his mind to real bodies, but to phantoms, and when he awakes, he possesses not what he had seen; so also are those, whom the love of this world seizes upon in this life; they quit after this life what they dreamed was real.

Theophylact: See again that He has not said, I know not when the time will be, but, “Ye know not.” For the reason why He concealed it was that it was better for us; for if, now that we know not the end, we are careless, what should we do if we knew it? We should keep on our wickedness even unto the end. Let us therefore attend to His words; for the end comes at even, when a man dies in old age; a midnight, when he dies in the midst of his youth; and at cockcrow, when our reason is perfect within us; for when a child begins to live according to his reason, then the cock cries loud within him, rousing him from the sleep of sense; but the age of childhood is the morning. Now all these ages must look out for the end; for even a child must be watched, lest he die unbaptized.

Pseudo-Jerome: He thus concludes His discourse, that the last should hear from those who come first this precept which is common to all; wherefore He adds, “But what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”

Augustine, Epist., 199, 3: For He not only speaks to those in whose hearing He then spake, but even to all who came after them, before our time, and even to us, and to all after us, even to His last coming. but shall that day find all living, or will any man say that He speaks also to the dead, when He says, “Watch, lest when he cometh he find you sleeping?”

Why then does He say to all, what only belongs to those who shall then be alive, if it be not that it belongs to all, as I have said? For that day comes to each man when his day comes for departing from this life such as he is to be, when judged in that day, and for this reason every Christian ought to watch, lest the Advent of the Lord find him unprepared; but that day shall find him unprepared, whom the last day of his life shall find unprepared.


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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:11-14, 18

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 13, 2012

This post includes Fr. MacEvilly’s summary analysis of Hebrews 11, followed by his notes on verses 11-14 and 18. I’ve included (in purple) his paraphrasing of the text he is commenting on.

The Apostle, having shown in the preceding chapter, that one bloody oblation of Christ had amply atoned for sin and answered all the ends of universal redemption, proceeds to show, in this, that Christ alone could redeem us and remit sin For, as to the law and the sacrifices of the Levitical priesthood, in which the Hebrews so much confided, he proves by several arguments, from verse 1 to 19, that they contained no efficacy whatever for the remission of sin. First, the law and the legal sacrifices were only the shadow of the future goods promised us by Christ; but not the reality promised. Secondly, the repetition of these sacrifices—and reference is directly made to the annual great sacrifice of expiation—for the self-same sins that were before remitted, proves their inefficacy for remitting sin. And thirdly, it was impossible for the blood of animals, of its own nature and intrinsic efficacy, to remit sin, as the Hebreivs vainly imagined (Heb 10:1-5).

The Apostle proves from Sacred Scripture, the inefficacy of the ancient sacrifices for the remission of sin. He introduces Christ addressing his Father, Psalm 40, “Sacrifices and oblations,” &c., andfrom this prophetic quotation, he draws a twofold conclusion—first, by saying “Sacrifices…thou wouldst not,” Christ has shown the abolition of the sacrifices referred to; and secondly, by saying, “Behold I come,” &c., the institution of the second description of sacrifice, which Christ offered according to the will of God (Heb 10:6-10).

Their repetition proved the inefficacy not only of the annual sacrifices, but also the inefficacy of the daily sacrifices, offered morning and evening among the Jews; whereas Christ, by one bloody oblation of himself, has made full atonement for sin, and purchased a treasure of grace for sanctifying men, at all times (Heb 10:11-14). The Apostle then proves, from the ProphetJeremias, the inefficacy of the ancient sacrificesfor remitting sin (Heb 10:15-19).

Having proved the abrogation of the legal sacrifices, and shown the superior excellence of the priesthood of Christ, and of his sacrifice over the Levitical priesthood and their offerings, he exhorts the Hebrews to constancy in the faith (Heb 10:19-21). He deters them from committing the dreadful crime of apostasy (Heb 10:24-31). He calms the fears which his words were calculated to inspire, by reminding them of their past good works of charity (Heb 10:32-34). Finally, he exhorts them to hold out for a short time, when they shall reap the full fruit of their past labours and sufferings.

Heb 10:11  And every priest indeed standeth daily ministering and often offering the same sacrifices which can never take away sins.

And not only does the high priest  annually repeat the sacrifice of expiation (making a commemoration of the same sins), but in the daily sacrifices, at which the priests minister in turn, the same victims are offered, the same repetition made—hence, they too, for a like reason, cannot take away sins.

In this verse he proceeds to show, that the circumstance of their repetition did not prove the inefficacy of the annual sacrifices of expiation only; that it also proved the same, for a like reason, in regard to the daily sacrifices, offered morning and evening, by the priests in their turn. “And every priest standeth,” in fear and awe; “daily ministering,” morning and evening (Numbers 28)  “Often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sin,” any more than could the annual sacrifice of expiation, offered by the high priest alone.

Heb 10:12  But this man, offering one sacrifice for sins, for ever sitteth on the right hand of God,

But Christ, after having offered one sacrifice, which satisfies for all sins, sitteth glorious at the right hand of God.

“But this man offering one sacrifice,” i.e., after having offered one sacrifice. The Greek for “offering,” προσενεγκας, means, having offered. “Sitteth” in glory and triumph. The Jewish priest “stood” with fear and awe; he “sitteth” in glory and majesty.

Heb 10:13  From henceforth expecting until his enemies be made his footstool.

Awaiting the time, when his enemies shall be made his footstool.

Nor will he leave this seat of glory until his enemies are prostrated, according to the promise of the Royal Prophet (Psalm 110:1)—”Sit at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” This subjection of all things to Christ will be manifested at the end of the world.

Heb 10:14  For by one oblation he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

For by one bloody oblation of himself-an oblation of infinite value, extending to all generations-he perfected those who are sanctified at all times; in other words, by this one bloody oblation of himself, he made atonement for all sin, and purchased the treasures of grace, whereby men are sanctified at all times.

He need not leave heaven to repeat, like the Jewish priest, the bloody oblation of himself; for, by one such oblation, he has compassed all the ends of Redemption, he has made perfect atonement for sin, and merited the graces, whereby men are, at all times, sanctified.

Objection.—Against the sacrifice of the Mass. In these two chapters, the Apostle allows only one oblation of Christ, therefore, he excludes the repeated oblation of him in the Mass, as opposed to the unity of his offering.

Answer.—The oblation of Christ referred to by the Apostle in these chapters, and the repetition of which he rejects, is the bloody oblation on the cross; for, there is question of the oblation, by which “he perfected” (or sanctified) “all;” i.e., redeemed mankind, and atoned for sin; the oblation wherein, if repeated, he should suffer death (Heb 9:26). But, from the fact that he cannot be offered up again, in a bloody manner, can it be inferred, that he cannot be offered, in an unbloody manner? As well might it be inferred from the fact of God having promised, that the world would not be again destroyed by water, that therefore, it is not to be destroyed in any other way, whether by water or by fire, which would be contrary to faith. Christ is offered up, in an unbloody manner, in the sacrifice of the Mass; and the Apostle, for reasons already assigned, does not refer to that oblation; it does not fall within his scope; nor, perhaps, would it be expedient at the time, to do so.

Objection-. But, by saying, he can be offered, only once, does he not exclude a second oblation or more; and hence, the oblation made of him, in the Mass?

Answer.—He excludes a second oblation of the same kind, and presented in the same way. The unity of Christ’s oblation is insisted on, in opposition to other reiterated oblations. Now, to any person attentively examining the reasoning of the Apostle, in these two chapters, it must appear quite clear, that the opposition instituted is, between the bloody oblation of Christ on the cross, and the annual and daily sacrifices of the Jews, the efficacious
and fruitful unity of the former being contrasted with the useless multiplicity of the latter. The objection, therefore, is quite inconclusive; Christ will not be offered up a second time—which, to be true, must mean—in a bloody manner. Therefore, he will not be offered up, in an unbloody manner. Just as conclusive would it be to say—The world will not be destroyed again by the waters of deluge. Therefore, it will be destroyed in no other way, and it shall be eternal. The Apostle excludes the repetition of the sacrifice of Christ in the Mass, as a redemptory sacrifice, as making atonement and offering
satisfaction for sin; in which respect only, the sacrifice of Christ is contrasted with the annual and daily sacrifices among the Jews; he never contemplates rejecting the repetition, or rather the continuation of the same, in an unbloody manner, as applicatory of the merits purchased on the cross. On the cross, an infinite treasure of merit was purchased; a satisfaction offered, adequate to make reparation for the sins of ten thousand worlds. But, no Christian can deny that by the institution of God himself, there are certain channels required for the application to our souls, in a limited degree, of this treasure of grace, in itself infinite. What else is the end of the sacrament of baptism, to which all Christians have recourse for the remission of original sin?—and Catholics regard the sacrifice of the Mass, as a channel through which are applied to us the merits and graces purchased on the cross. Surely, it cannot be alleged that the sins of the elect are directly remitted by the merits of Christ, the instant they are committed. Would this not be plainly opposed to the precept, inculcated in several passages of SS. Scripture, of recurring to baptism for the remission of sin? Would not be opposed to the words of our redeemer:—” He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that beheveth not, shall be condemned?”—(Mark 16:16). It is opposed to the manner in which the Jews converted after St. Peter’s first sermon were justified. They were told, “to do penance, and to be baptized, every one of them, for the remission of their sins” (Acts 2:28). Now, on their justification was to be modeled that of all the Gentiles, who at the preaching of the Apostles did penance, believed, were baptized, and their sins thus remitted.

Heb 10:18  Now, where there is a remission of these, there is no more an oblation for sin.

Now, where these are remitted, and a ransom adequate to make atonement for them offered, there is no further need for any such oblation for sin.

“Now where there is remission of sin,” &c. There is no necessity for repeating oblations for sins already remitted. This is quite clear, if there be question of actual remission. Nor can there be any difficulty about it either, if there be a question of potential remission, in the sense that there has been a ransom paid, and a redemptory sacrifice offered for them; because, one redemptory sacrifice, if efficacious, must be a sacrifice of infinite value; and hence, its repetition as such, would be useless; but neither signification of the words is opposed to the repeated offering of applicatory sacrifices for sins, not yet actually remitted; the Mass, therefore, as an applicatory sacrifice, is not excluded; if so, the other means of grace, faith, hope, contrition, sacraments, should be excluded as well, on the same principle.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:11-18

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 13, 2012


A Summary of Hebrews 10:1-18~The Apostle continues here the subject discussed in the preceding Chapter, adding new thoughts and illustrations to the arguments already given. First he contrasts the one sacrifice of Christ with the many Levitical sacrifices (Heb 1:1-10), and then speaks of the perfection of the New Covenant established by Christ, citing again, as in Heb 8:8-12, the famous passage of Jeremiah 31:31-34 to prove that in the New Dispensation there is union with God and complete reconciliation between man and his Creator (Heb 10:11-18).

Heb 10:11. And every priest indeed standeth daily ministering, and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
Heb 10:12. But this man offering one sacrifice for sins for ever sitteth on the right hand of God,
Heb 10:13. From henceforth waiting until his enemies be made his footstool.
Heb 10:14. For by one oblation he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

In these verses the writer institutes a comparison between Jesus and the ordinary Jewish priests, in order to show how far the sacrifice of the former surpasses the offerings of the latter. Every day those ancient priests stood at the altar of holocausts, offering the same sacrifices (Exodus 29:38 ff.), but to no avail, so far as the real forgiveness of men’s sins was concerned; but Christ offered one sacrifice for the sins of all the world, and then, as proof of the finality and completeness of His work, took His seat in triumph at the right hand of the Father in heaven, there continuing His priestly activity in the ideal Sanctuary and exercising His sovereign rule until the final victory, when all enemies shall be made subject to Him, as has been foretold in the Messianic Psalm 110:1 (Heb 10:11-13), and as St. Paul has written elsewhere (1 Cor 15:25). And the reason why Jesus now reposes in heaven, not needing to renew His sacrifice on earth, is that by the one oblation of Himself on the cross He has provided the means and merits of justification and sanctification for all mankind down to the end of the world; all that now remains for men to do is by faith and charity to apply these amassed merits and graces to their own souls. Of course, we cannot make use of Christ’s merits and graces without the special help of God, but that help is never wanting to anyone who is willing to co-operate with it.

Heb 10:15. And the Holy Ghost also doth testify this to us. For after having said:
Heb 10:16. And this is the testament which I will make unto them after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my laws in their hearts, and on their minds will I write them;
Heb 10:17. And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more.
Heb 10:18. Now where there is a remission of these, there is no more an oblation for sin.

The author now clinches his argument by a reference to Jeremiah’s prophecy regarding the New Covenant, which was previously cited in Heb 8:8-12.

(15) And the Holy Ghost also doth testify, etc., i.e., the Holy Spirit of God, speaking through the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 31:33-34), bears witness that the remission of sins which the Levitical sacrifices were unable to effect has been obtained under the New Covenant by the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The main point in citing the prophet’s words this time is not to show the establishment of a New Covenant, but to emphasize the fact that by the sacrifice of Christ, which is the heart of the New Covenant, sins have been remitted and the power of sin has been destroyed. Therefore, to seek now further means or other sacrifices for remitting sins is an injury to the sacrifice of Christ, as implying its insufficiency and incompleteness. Hence, all the Jewish sacrifices are out of date and useless, and it would be seriously wrong to return to them; they and their priesthood have been superseded for all time to come by the vastly more perfect priesthood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

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Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 16 (with notes)

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 13, 2012

Text in red are my additions.


THE psalmist has found in the Lord his true happiness, for the Lord gives peace to His faithful ones in Israel. From idol-worship and its abominations he turns to the Lord, who alone is his allotted possession. He gives thanks for the prosperity of his lot, and is sure that in the protection of the Lord he can, at all times, despise all peril. The Lord will not suffer His loyal friends to fail; at the end He will give them the fulness of joy in the vision of Himself.

This poem seems to point to a time when many Israelites had begun to practise various forms of heathen worship. Indeed, it would almost seem as if the Sancti (holy or pious ones)—the loyal servants of the Lord, were few as compared with those who “ran after strange gods.” It is difficult to find a suitable occasion for such a poem in the life of David. But David could have composed it in his character as prophet, and perhaps, in his role as type of the Messias. The New Testament (Acts 2:22-31; Acts 13:35) takes the psalm as descriptive of the Messias, or rather, as composed by the Messias through the mouth of David, Modern critical writers are inclined to take the poem as a song of the Exilic period, during which many of the exiles in Babylon fell away from the worship of Yahweh. The psalm is of great religious importance, implying, as it does, a hope of a blessed immortality to be attained in the vision of God.

Psa 16:1  The inscription of a title to David himself. Preserve me, O Lord, for I have put my trust in thee.

tituli inscriptio ipsi David conserva me Domine quoniam in te speravi

The Latin title, Tituli inscriptio, is not more or less clear than the Hebrew Mikhtam. Tituli inscriptio translates the Greek stelographia, i.e. an inscription on a pillar. The word titulus would by itself, perhaps, express this idea of a conspicuous inscription; inscriptio makes this sense of titulus more obvious. The two words might be translated, “an inscribed (or engraved) text.” The name of the psalm suggests, perhaps, its abiding worth. Containing prophecy and unusually deep theology it deserved to be carved, like a royal inscription, on a stela. The Hebrew Mikhtam cannot be explained. Jerome has “Humilis et simplicis” as if mikhtam were really two words, makh= lowly, and tam= perfect. Even today the meaning of the Hebrew term מכתם (Mikhtam) is unknown. Most understand it to be based upon the word מכתּב (miktâb =something written, see Isa 38:9), from the root כּתב (kâthab). This last word refers to a socket (recess) in a stone or mortar wall, used to receive a wooden beam. when one inscribes something onto stone, ostrica, etc., one is causing a recess, hence the connection with writing, or inscribing.

Psa 16:2  I have said to the Lord, thou art my God, for thou hast no need of my goods.

dixi Domino Dominus meus es tu quoniam bonorum meorum non eges

Thou dost not need them, for Thou hast them already. But the Hebrew seems to mean: “I have no good thing that goes beyond Thee,”  i.e. “Thou art my chiefest good.”  Jerome translates: Bene mihi non est sine te. Verses 2-4  (esp. 3 & 4) are full of problems as any major commentary will note.

Psa 16:3  To the saints, who are in his land, he hath made wonderful all my desires in them.

sanctis qui sunt in terra eius mirificavit mihi; omnes voluntates meas in eis

The Latin here differs from the Greek, the latter being somewhat closer to the Hebrew. The Latin speaks of the Lord as fulfilling wondrously (mirificare) his (the psalmist’s) own wishes towards the pious of Israel. The Greek says that God carried out wondrously His own kind designs for the pious ones. As in the early Christian period the faithful were called “Sancti,” so, in the psalms, the loyal friends of the Law often get this title.

Psa 16:4  Their infirmities were multiplied: afterwards they made haste. I will not gather together their meetings for bloodofferings: nor will I be mindful of their names by my lips.

multiplicatae sunt infirmitates eorum postea adceleraverunt non congregabo conventicula eorum de sanguinibus nec memor ero nominum eorum per labia mea

This text describes the lot of those who have gone aside from the worship of the Lord. Their troubles have increased because they have run after stranger gods (postea, i.e. idola). The Hebrew puts the thought clearly: “Many are the woes of those who run after Another” (i.e. another god). The psalmist goes on to say that he will have nothing to do with their false worship. He will not summon (or, possibly, “join “) their cult-gatherings because of the deeds of blood done by the idolaters, or, perhaps, because of the bloody offerings (such, possibly, as human sacrifices) which are presented by the idolaters to their divinities. He will not even so much as mention the names of the apostates. It is possible, however, to take de sanguinibus directly with conventicula, and understand the combination to mean conventicula cruenta, i.e. assemblies at which libations of blood were poured: so in Hebrew: “I will not pour their libations
of blood.” Here also there may be suggested the idea of human sacrifices, and libations of human blood.

Psa 16:5  The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: it is thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me.

 Dominus pars hereditatis meae et calicis mei tu es qui restitues hereditatem meam mihi

In contrast with the idolaters, the psalmist looks on the Lord as his sole portion and possession. As the Hebrew paterfamilias (father, head, patron of the house) poured into the cup of each guest at table the portion appointed to each one, so has the Lord been apportioned to the psalmist. The Lord is also the peculiar possession, the special portion, as it were, of a farm left by will, which has been assigned to the poet. The renegade Israelites serve foreign gods; the Lord is the possession of the faithful. The picture of the cup may have been suggested here by the libations of blood in the preceding verse. The Lord is, in a sense, the well-filled cup of Israel.

Restitues (“restore”), “establish”—so that it cannot be interfered with.

Psa 16:6  The lines are fallen unto me in goodly places: for my inheritance is goodly to me.

funes ceciderunt mihi in praeclaris etenim hereditas mea praeclara est mihi

The thought of an inheritance suggests the idea of the measuring out of portions of land. For the measuring, measuring-ropes were needed; the portion which the measuring-lines of the psalmist have enclosed is pleasant. In præclaris for in prælara: funis (or funiculus), is equated by metonymy with the space measured. Cf. Ps 105:11:  funiculum hereditatis vestræ, “the inheritance measured out to you.” The “pleasant inheritance” may be the land of Chanaan (Canaan).

Psa 16:7  I will bless the Lord, who hath given me understanding: moreover, my reins also have corrected me even till night.

benedicam Domino qui tribuit mihi intellectum insuper et usque ad noctem increpaverunt me renes mei

The reins are often regarded as the seat of perception. The Lord has advised the psalmist as to the path he should follow. The path has led to success, and so the singer thanks the Lord. Usque ad noctem, “even in the night.” God’s inspiration was at all times urgent.

Psa 16:8  I set the Lord always in my sight: for he is at my right hand, that I be not moved.

providebam Dominum in conspectu meo semper quoniam a dextris est mihi ne commovear

He has determined to keep the Lord before his eyes. When the Lord stands at his right hand, he has no fear of any danger.

Psa 16:9  Therefore my heart hath been glad, and my tongue hath rejoiced: moreover, my flesh also shall rest in hope.

propter hoc laetatum est cor meum et exultavit lingua mea insuper et caro mea requiescet in spe

His mind and body (caro mea) are in perfect security. He is untroubled in mind, and secure from bodily peril.

Psa 16:10  Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; nor wilt thou give thy holy one to see corruption.

quoniam non derelinques animam meam in inferno non dabis sanctum tuum videre corruptionem

The ground o his hope and confidence is that the Lord will not give up to destruction His faithful worshipper. Infernus and corruptio are made equivalent by the parallelism. Infernus is the Hebrew Sheol, the dwelling-place of the dead. The idea is that God will not permit His loyal friends (a possible reading of Hebrew would give here the plural, sanctos) to see death—a lasting destruction. It is clear that this hope in the full sense, was not realised in any one but Christ, so that the New Testament reference of this passage to Our Lord is fully justified (Acts 2:24-32; Acts 13:34-37). But, on the other hand, in a wider sense, as implying the continuance of the higher life of the spirit and, therefore, the immortality of the soul, it has a general application.

Psa 16:11  Thou hast made known to me the ways of life, thou shalt fill me with joy with thy countenance: at thy right hand are delights even to the end.

notas mihi fecisti vias vitae adimplebis me laetitia cum vultu tuo delectatio in dextera tua usque in finem

The hope of an immortality in the light of God’s face seems to be here also implied. God has taught the psalmist the genuine path to life—the life which will be spent with God Himself. Cum vultu tuo, “by Thy countenance,” i.e. by the vision of Thy face. The Hebrew says: “Fulness of joys is with (i.e. united with) thy face” (=presence); or, possibly, “Fulness of joys is before Thy face.” Jerome has, plenitudinem lætitiarum ante vultum tuum. The Lord holds delights ever (usque in finem) ready in His right hand, to distribute them to His friends.

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