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 February 12th, 2013

Sunday, February 17: Resources for the First Sunday of Lent, Year C (Partially Complete)

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 12, 2013

FURTHER UPDATES WILL BE ADDED BEFORE FRIDAY, as will entries marked as “Pending”.

This post contains resources (mostly biblical and homiletic) for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite.



  • 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 (with some occasional specialty studies). Commentaries on individual readings are listed further below.

  • Word Sunday. The readings in both and literal translation, notes on the text, podcast, children’s reading.
  • The Unofficial Lectionary. Previously posted. Readings from the Douay-Rheims Challoner version followed by notes from the old Haydock Commentary.
  • Sacerdos Gives 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. Hasn’t been updated in a while.
  • 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 WordIt’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.


COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15.

  • Pending (maybe). My Notes on Psalm 91:1-2, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15.



UPDATE: CHILDREN’S RESOURCES: If you know of any other children’s resource sites please let me know in the comment box.

  • Catholic Mom. Scroll down to this Sunday. Resources appear oriented towards 7-14 years of age.
  • We Believe. Activities geared towards Kindergarten through 8th grade. Also has resources for catechists, clergy, etc.


Fr. Jones’s Homily – February 21, 2010 Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download
Fr. Keitz’s Homily – February 21, 2010 Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download
Fr. Guilbeau’s Homily – February 21, 2010 Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download
Fr. Azaro’s Homily – February 21, 2010 Hide Player | Play in Popup | Download

Dominica I in Quadragesima ~ I. classis


COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10.



Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

My Notes on Luke 4:1-13 For the First Sunday Of Lent

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 12, 2013

Liturgical Background:  In the readings on Ash Wednesday we saw that God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and rich in kindness, affording us an opportunity to repent should we fall into temptation (Joel 2:12-18).  This has been manifested most fully and completely through the Church which has a ministry of reconciliation in Christ who, though he knew no sin was made to be sin by the Father so that we might become the righteousness of God(2 Cor 5:20-6:2).  We are thus empowered to avoid testing God through hypercritical acts of piety (Matt 6:1-6, 16-18).  On the Thursday after Ash Wednesday we learned that every test is a choice between obedience and disobedience, life and death (Deut 30:15-20), and we are called upon to embrace the cross of self-denial in the face of the world and its temptations, as our Blessed Lord did (Luke 9:22-25).  On the Friday after Ash Wednesday it was reiterated that this self denial must be just that, real self-denial which has meaning for our life with God and our fellow man (Isa 58:1-9), and this is to be our attitude as we await the return of the Church’s bridegroom (Matt 9:14-15).  Yesterday we saw that a true fast means being committed to the poor and the marginalized for the sake of both their temporal/bodily needs (Isa 58:9-14), and their spiritual needs (Luke 5:27-32).

Notes On Luke 4:1-13.

Luk 4:1  And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from the Jordan and was led the by the spirit into the desert.

According to Luke, the Holy Spirit came down upon our Lord as he prayed after the baptism.  “The Spirit is the creative source of Jesus’ mission just as it had been the source of his very life [1:35]” (Eugene Laerdiere, LUKE New Testament Message, vol 5).  Latter, at Nazareth, Jesus will speak of himself as anointed by the Spirit and why it happened (4:16-30).

The anointing of Jesus calls to mind a couple of OT texts, the first being Isaiah 11:2 which speaks of a messianic King who will help the poor and afflicted (see Isa 11:1-5).  The second is Isaiah 42:1-9.  This is the first “Servant of the Lord Songs” and describes the servant as one on whom God has put his Spirit to teach and to establish justice, and to aid the sick and oppressed.   Sickness, oppression, injustice are all effects of Adam’s fall to the serpent’s testing, Jesus, as Son of Adam (Luke 3:38) began his ministry (Lk 3:23) to rectify this situation.

“Filled with the Spirit” is a common expression in Luke (Lk 1:41, Lk 1:67; Acts 2:4; Acts 4:8, Acts 4:31; Acts 9:17; Acts 13:9).

Led by the Spirit into the desert.  The Greek literally reads: “Was being led about in the Spirit.”   The Greek word translated as “being led” is a perfect passive indicative, indicating that Jesus was subject to the Spirit continually.The underlying idea is not all that different from St Mark: “Mark has the Spirit driveth him, where the word drive denotes the power, efficacy and alacrity of the Spirit which was in Christ, and which was to be in the Apostles and all other Christians, and which was to drive or impel them to heroic acts of virtue, according to the words As many as are driven by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (Rom 8:14, Vulg.).  Christ then was led by the spirit, not rapt through the air, but through the impulse of the Spirit, going with the utmost alacrity upon His feet, to the scene of His contest with the devil.” (Lapide).

Desert.  Would call to mind the desert wanderings of Israel at the Exodus.  Might also call to mind the prophecy of Hosea 2:16-17, which spoke of a time when God would lead Israel back into the wilderness.  But the desert was also a place of danger, the dwelling of beasts and demons (Lev 16:10; Isa 13:21; Isa 34:14; Tob 8:3).

Lapide: The desert was Christs wrestling ground of prayer, fasting and an angelic life, where He entered upon His duel with Lucifer and vanquished him.

St Ambrose: Let us too, follow Christ. far from luxury, far from lasciviousness, living as it were in the arid soil of His life of fasting.  Not in the marketplace, not in the broad streets is Christ found.  So let us not seek for Christ where he cannot be found.  Christ is not in the courts of law, for Christ is peace; in the court are lawsuits, Christ is justice; in the forum is iniquity, Christ is charity; in the forum is detraction, Christ is fidelity.

Luk 4:2  For the space of forty days, and was tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing in those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry.

According to Father Joseph Fitzmyer, S.J. the forty days is applicable only to his eating nothing, not his tempting by the devil, which seems to have taken place near the end of his fast.  However, the Phrase was tempted by the devil (should be translated being tempted by the devil, for the Greek participle suggests a “the simultaneity of the temptations and the Spirit’s escort” (Fitzmyer, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE I-IX, The Anchor Bible).  Concerning this Lapide writes: “And the Spirit is here put in opposition to the devil, who follows as the adversary of Christ and the Holy Ghost, that Christ’s Own Spirit might lead Him where the evil spirit might find Him to tempt Him, says St Gregory.”

Forty days.  Given the importance of texts from Deuteronomy in this account the phrase is certainly meant to call to mind the forty years of wandering in the wilderness after the Exodus (Deut 8:2-4; see also Ex 16:35).  It also calls to mind two great Old Covenant figure, Moses (Ex 24:18-34), through whom the covenant was delivered to the people, and Elijah (1 Kings 19:8), the great defender of the covenant.  The devil will leave Jesus at the end of this tempting, but he will return on the night Christ institutes the New Covenant.

Was tempted by the devil. Why should Christ be so tempted?  Lapide lists 6 reasons:

1.  “The holy Spirit intended by this temptation to afford to Christians, baptized and converted to God, an ideal of religious life, whereby they should know they must fortify themselves against the temptations which are sure to attack them.  So Sts Chrysostom and Hilary.

2.  The Holy Ghost would show that there is no temptation which may not be overcome by grace, by prayer and fasting, by repeating the sords of Scripture, the precepts and promises of God.

3. Christ, who was often tempted by Satan, thus showed Himself to be like unto all other men, His brethren, as the Apostle teaches (Heb 4:15).

4.  That He might show that those who are about to become doctors, preachers, prelates, apostles, must needs be first proved by temptations and be strengthened by prayer and meditation in solitary retreats, and there drink in a large supply of the Spirit,which they may afterwards pours forth upon others.  They who be wise, first go apart with Christ into the wilderness of prayer ad meditation.

5.  That challenging Lucifer to battle, He might vanquish him, and his whole army of demons with him.  This duel between Christ and the devil is as when the sun struggles with the surrounding clouds, with this motto, “Splendor is from me.”  “For the sun, as St Ambrose says, “is the eye of the world, the pleasantness of day, the beauty of the heaven, the measure of the seasons, the strength and vigor of all the stars.  As the sun dissipates the clouds, so does Christ all the temptations of the devil.”  And again, “As the sun makes brilliant the darkest clouds, so does Christ, by the splendor of His grace, convert desolation into consolation, temptations into victories, war into triumph.”

6.  That by His temptation as an example, He might overcome our temptations, and might teach us to fight with and overcome the same antagonist.  For although the faithful, conscious of their own infirmity, ought to avoid temptations as far as they can, according to the words of Christ, “Lead us not into temptation,” yet when temptations do come, they must, relying upon Christ, valiantly resists them, remembering His words: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  Whence St Augustine on Psalm 91 says, “Therefore was Christ tempted, that the Christian might not be overcome by the tempter.”  And elsewhere he says, “He has won the victory, that we too might triumph.”  For as St Ambrose says, When thou art tempted, recognize that a crown is being prepared for you.  Take away the contests of the martyrs, you take away their crowns.  Take away their torments, you take away their beatitudes.  Is not the temptation of Joseph the celebration of virtue?  Is not the wrong of his prison the crown of his chastity?

And when they were ended (i.e., the forty days) He was hungry. Maldonatus: He (Christ) entered the arena hungry, and challenged His opponent; not like other, by boasting of His strength, but by the display of His weakness.

Lapide gives six reasons why Christ fasted:

1.  That by prayer and fasting He might prepare Himself for His work of preaching, and teach us to do the same.

2.  Objectively, that by the hunger consequent upon His fasting, He might afford the devil an opportunity of tempting Him; and by the same fasting might arm Himself, and teach us to arm ourselves against temptations, so states St Basil.

3.  That by macerating His flesh, He might make satisfaction for Adam’s eating the forbidden fruit, and for all the gluttony of his posterity.

4.  That He might dispose Himself for holy contemplation, and show that fasting is a wings, whereby the soul is carried upward to celestial things.

5.  That He might teach us to despise corporal for the sake of spiritual delights; and that by the contemplation of divine things, and the joy which arises from that contemplation, the longing for carnal pleasures is quenched, and the thought of food and drink taken away.  Whence the Abbot John, as Cassain testifies, was so fed with the pleasures of contemplation, that he could not remember whether he had eaten the day before or not.

6.  And chiefly, that He might inaugurate the Lenten Fast, observed by Christians according to Apostolic tradition; that He might sanction, and, as it were, consecrate this fast by His example, so Ignatius (epist. 7) and other Fathers, passim.  The reason was so that first we might give a tithe of all the days of the year to God.  “From this day until the gladness of Easter are six weeks, or forty-two days, from which, as six Sundays not to be given to fasting must be deducted, there remain only thirty-six days.  Thus do we deny ourselves for six-and-thirty days, as giving the tenth of 365 days of the year to God, that we, who have lived by the gift which we have received for ourselves, might, for the sake of our Maker, mortify ourselves by fasting in His own tithe of time.


Luk 4:3  And the devil said to him: If thou be the Son of God, say to this stone that it be made bread.

The term “Son of God” recalls the heavenly voice at the baptism (Lk 3:22), but reminds us also that the term was used of Christ in the infancy narrative as well (Lk 1:32-35).

If thou be the Son of God.  “Satan had perhaps heard the voice from heaven…It is to be believed that the devil said this, not as one who doubts, or denies, or derides, like his agents when they said, “If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross” (Mt 26:42); but as believing, and declaring, and wishing to counsel Christ in a seemingly well manner.  As if we were to say, “As Thou art assuredly the Son of God, suffer not hunger, but, as Thou art able, and food is not to be procured otherwise, command that these stones be made bread.”  It was more in craft with the serpent so to tempt, as appearing not to tempt, but to advise Christ well and for His advantage.

Say to this stone that it be made bread. This is the first of three temptations which draw upon Deuteronomy’s re-telling of three testings Israel underwent at the Exodus.  The testing in the desert was God’s doing (Deut 8:2-3) in order to teach them obedience to His word.  As the text of Deuteronomy goes on to indicate, this testing was in anticipation of their entering the holy land and forgetting God (Deut 8:6-13), it was supposed to be something they were to remember in order to avoid failing (Deut 8:14-20).

Luk 4:4  And Jesus answered him: is written that Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word of God.

The New American Bible places Deut 8:1-5 under the title “God’s care,” and the remained of the chapter under the heading “Danger in prosperity.”  The danger for the Israelites was that once they were in the land they would begin to think of themselves as self-sufficient, (Deut 8:17), no longer recognizing the power of God behind their existence, but this Jesus refuses to do.

Lapide: Every faithful Christian lives by every word of God: (1) By receiving Christ, who is God’s Eternal Word, and who, being made man, nourishes us by His doctrine, His grace, and His example.  And we, by receiving Himself, by receiving His Flesh, receive His Godhead in the Eucharist.  (2) God gives the words of sacred Scripture, which feed by illuminating and inflaming the mind.  (3) He feeds us by prayers and holy inspiration.

St Gregory: Consider how great is the patience of God, and how great our impatience.  If we be injured, or provoked by any wrong, we are moved with wrath, and either avenge ourselves as far as we can, or threaten when we are not able.  Behold, the Lord endured the onset of the devil, and answered nothing save words of meekness.  He endures him shom He might have punished.”


In the second temptation (quoted and commented on below) we see that Luke’s ordering of the temptations differs from Matthew’s.  Luke’s second temptation is Matthew’s third, while Matthew’s third is Luke’s second.  Both had theological reasons for structuring their accounts the way they did.

Matthew has his temptation account end on a mountain with his refusal to worship Satan so that he might gain all the nations of the world.  This points forward to the end of the Gospel where Jesus, having remained faithful to the Father, is on a mountain as the Son of Man who was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed (Dan 7:14).  For this reason He tells His apostles  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”  What Jesus never could have really gained by worship of Satan He did gain by fidelity to His Father.

But Luke has placed this temptation second in his Gospel for reason which will be pointed out below in the comments on Luke’s third temptation.

Luk 4:5  And the devil led him into a high mountain and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Luk 4:6  And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power and the glory of them. For to me they are delivered: and to whom I will, I give them.
Luk 4:7  If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine.
Luk 4:8  And Jesus answering said to him. It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

In His response our Blessed Lord quotes Deut 6:13, but as was the case in the first temptation, the context is important.  This part of Deuteronomy (4:44-28:69) is often referred to as “Moses second address” (discourse), and the opening of the address refers to an event that took place at Beth-Peor, the site of an infamous apostasy by the people (see Deut 4:46, and the narration of the event in Num 25).

The people had won victories over Sihon and Og (Deut 4:46, see Num 21:21-35) but had fallen into idol worship soon after at Beth-Peor.  Moses, by prefacing the Decalogue  in Deut 5 with these references lays the groundwork for his exhortations to fidelity in Deut 6, which includes the word’s our Lord spoke to Satan (quoting Deut 6:13).  One of the major themes of Deuteronomy is that Israel will only be successful over its enemies if it remains completely faithful to the worship of God, indeed, this is the primary theme of chapters 6-11.  Since fidelity to God is required for victory over one’s enemies, one can hardly worship Satan to gain political power.

Father Callan: To thee I will give all this authority,and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it.  The demon now once more arrogates these Divine rights which occasioned his original fall, when he aspired  to be like the Most High (Isa 14:14) see note below.  As he could not elicit from the Lord whether He was the Son of God, now being rendered more insolent and haughty from our Savior’s modesty and humility, he imagines Him to be a mere man, and feigns himself to be the Son of God, the view of whose glory in time to come was the source of envy and of his fall-that Son to whom were given the nations for inheritance, and the possession of all power in heaven and on earth, and as such, he claims supreme adoration.

Note:  Fr Callan is referring to a theological opinion held by some that Satan’s fall was the result of a test by God in which he was shown the future glory bestowed on man via the Incarnation.  The thought that a creature lower than himself led to his proud rebellion.  For more see the Catholic Encyclopedia.

The tempter lied in saying for it (authority and glory) hath been delivered unto me.  For, to God alone, does it belong to bestow kingdoms on whom He wills-The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD as the watercourses: he turneth it whithersoever he will (Prov 21:1); no authority except from God (Rom 13:1)-not to the demon, whose power is restricted in this world, as appears from the history of Job.  He is termed the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), and the prince of this world; because, of the power which, by Divine permission, he is allowed to exercise over the children of unbelief and sin, who are his slaves.  But he has no power to bestow kingdoms, as he falsely asserts here.

Luk 4:9  And he led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
Luk 4:10  for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, to guard thee:
Luk 4:11  and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Luk 4:12  And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

As noted above, Luke, in comparison to Matthew, has reversed the final two temptations.  Luke has the temptations end at the temple in Jerusalem, the city where the Christ was destined to die (Lk 18:31-34), like the prophets before him (Lk 13:34-35).

It appears that Satan is here trying to take advantage of the Lord’s last response concerning worship and service of God by taking Him to the center of Hebrew worship and tempting him to demand that God serve him!

He will give his angels charge concerning thee, to guard thee: and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone. Satan here appeals to Psalm 91:11-12, according to the Septuagint, a Psalm which the New American Bible entitles “Security Under God’s Protection.”  The Psalmist has taken refuge in the Temple and is expressing his confidence that the presence of God will protect him.  Jesus responds with a quote from Deut 6:16, which alludes to the people’s tempting God in the wilderness at Meribah and Massah as narrated in Exodus 17:1-7.

The devil’s temptation here calls to mind the mocking of the Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers on Calvary (Lk 23:35-36).

Concerning this temptation Lapide writes: The devil, who fell down from heaven to Tratarus, strives to cast or drag others down with him.  Wherefore when he persuades anyone to sin, he causes him to cast himself down.  As Christ saith to the unfaithful: “Ye are from beneath, I am from above (Jn 8:23).  Again, Christ, studiously concealing from the devil that He was the Son of God, eluded all his arts and devices, and kept him in doubt and suspense, so that he should not know in what way he might tempt Him.  Wherefore learn not to make known to every one the secrets of thy soul, lest thou be hindered by the devil.  In battles, the crown of victory is his who can conceal his own plans, and discover those of the enemy.  A Christian learns by frequent experience that heroic acts of virtue are easily accomplished, if the determination of them be kept secret in the mind, and they are suddenly brought out into the sphere of action, before the demon has been able to get scent of them and oppose them.  This is the art of deluding the demon.

Again Lapide writes: Learn here that the devil in the same way that he tempted Christ to cast Himself headlong, tempts Christians by raising the fancy, the blood, black bile, so that they may have sad, horrible, sanguinary, despairing, blasphemous thoughts, such as had never come into their minds before.  Let them comfort themselves by the example of Christ, how God permitted His temptation for His greater virtue and merit.  The advice which Scipio Nasica gave the Romans not to destroy Carthage when it was conquered, lest the Roman youth should become enervated by ease, for that Carthage, raising war, would be a perpetual spur to their courage, you might apply to the struggle which the saints endure through frequent temptations.  Thus St Paul, though almost an angel upon earth, said: “Lest the abundance of the revelations should puff me up there was given me a thorn in the flesh-the messenger of Satan to buffet me.”  The remedy is constancy of mind, fortitude, and firm confidence in God, by which you will manfully overcome temptations of every sort, however dreadful and abominable they may be.  Yea, you will despise them, and proceed with a great heart in the course of virtue in which you have entered.

Luk 4:13  And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season.

The devil would return at the dawn of the Passion (Lk 22:3-5)

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Lent, liturgy, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 4:1-13

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 12, 2013

Ver 1. And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,2. Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.3. And the devil said to him, If you be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.4. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

THEOPHYL. Christ is tempted after His baptism, showing us that after we are baptized, temptations await us. Hence it is said, But Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit it, &c.

CYRIL. God said in times past, My Spirit shall not always abide in men, for that they are flesh. But now that we have been enriched with the gift of regeneration by water and the Spirit, we are become partakers of the Divine nature by participation of the Holy Spirit. But the first-born among many brethren first received the Spirit, who Himself also is the giver of the Spirit, that we through Him might also receive the grace of the Holy Spirit.

ORIGEN; When therefore you read that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, and it is written in the Acts concerning the Apostles, that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, you must not suppose that the Apostles were equal to the Savior. For as if you should say, These vessels are full of wine or oil, you would not thereby affirm them to be equally full, so Jesus and Paul were full of the Holy Spirit, but Paul’s vessel was far less than that of Jesus, and yet each was filled according to its own measure. Having then received baptism, the Savior, being full of the Holy Spirit, which came upon Him from heaven in the form of a dove, was led by the Spirit, because, as many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God, but He was above all, especially the Son of God.

THEOPHYL; That there might be no doubt by what Spirit He was led, while the other Evangelists say, into the wilderness, Luke has purposely added, And he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days. That no unclean spirit should be thought to have prevailed against Him, who being full of the Holy Spirit did whatever He wished.

GREEK EX. But if we order our lives according to our own will, how was He led about unwillingly? Those words then, He was led by the Spirit, have some meaning of this kind: He led of His own accord that kind of life, that He might present an opportunity to the tempter.

BASIL; For not by word provoking the enemy, but by His actions rousing him, He seeks the wilderness. For the devil delights in the wilderness, he is not wont to go into the cities, the harmony of the citizens troubles him.

AMBROSE; He was led therefore into the wilderness, to the intent that He might provoke the devil, for if the one had not contended, the other it seems had not conquered. In a mystery, it was to deliver that Adam from exile who was cast out of Paradise into the wilderness. By way of example, it was to show us that the devil envies us, whenever we strive after better things; and that then we must use caution, lest the weakness of our minds should lose us the grace of the mystery. Hence it follows: And he was tempted of the devil.

CYRIL; Behold, He is among the wrestlers, who as God awards the prizes. He is among the crowned, who crowns the heads of the saints.

GREG. Our enemy was however unable to shake the purpose of the Mediator between God and men. For He condescended to be tempted outwardly, yet so that His soul inwardly, resting in its divinity, remained unshaken.

ORIGEN; But Jesus is tempted by the devil forty days, and what the temptations were we know not. They were perhaps omitted, as being greater than could be committed to writing.

BASIL; Or, the Lord remained for forty days untempted, for the devil knew that He fasted, yet hungered not, and dared not therefore approach Him. Hence it follows: And he eat nothing in those days. He fasted indeed, to show that He who would gird Himself for struggles against temptation must be temperate and sober.

AMBROSE; There are three things which united together conduce to the salvation of man; The Sacrament, The Wilderness, Fasting. No one who has not rightly contended receives a crown, but no one is admitted to the contest of virtue, except first being washed from the stains of all his sins, he is consecrated with the gift of heavenly grace.

GREG. NAZ. He fasted in truth forty days, eating nothing. (For He was God.) But we regulate our fasting according to our strength, although the zeal of some persuades them to fast beyond what they are able.

BASIL; But we must not however so use the flesh, that through want of food our strength should waste away, nor that by excess of mortification our understandings wax dull and heavy. Our Lord therefore once performed this work, but during this whole succeeding time He governed His body with due order, and so in like manner did Moses and Elias.

CHRYS. But very wisely, He exceeded not their number of days, lest indeed He should be thought to have come in appearance only, and not to have really received the flesh, or lest the flesh should seem to be something beyond human nature.

AMBROSE; But mark the mystical number of days. For you remember that for forty days the waters of the deep were poured forth, and by sanctifying a fast of that number of days, He brings before us the returning mercies of a calmer sky. By a fast of so many days also, Moses earned for himself the understanding of the law. Our fathers being for so many days settled in the wilderness, obtained the food of Angels.

AUG. Now that number is a sacrament of our time and labor, in which under Christ’s discipline we contend against the devil, for it signifies our temporal life. For the periods of years run in courses of four, but forty contains four tens. Again, those ten are completed by the number one successively advancing on to four more. This plainly shows that the fast of forty days, i.e. the humiliation of the soul, the Law and the Prophets have consecrated by Moses and Elias, the Gospel by the fast of our Lord Himself.

BASIL; But because not to suffer hunger is above the nature of man, our Lord took upon Himself the feeling of hunger, and submitted Himself as it pleased Him to human nature, both to do and to suffer those things which were His own. Hence it follows: And those days being ended, he was as a hungered. Not forced to that necessity which overpowers nature, but as if provoking the devil to the conflict. For the devil, knowing that wherever hunger is there is weakness, sets about to tempt Him, and as the deviser or inventor of temptations, Christ permitting him tries to persuade Him to satisfy His appetite with the stones. As it follows; But the devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, command these stones that they be made bread.

AMBROSE; There are three especial weapons which we are taught the devil is wont to arm himself with, that he may wound the soul of man. One is of the appetite, another of boasting, the third ambition. He began with that wherewith he had already conquered, namely, Adam. Let us then beware of the appetite, let us beware of luxury, for it is a weapon of the devil. But what mean his words, If you are the Son of God, unless he had known that the Son would come, but supposed Him not to have come from the weakness of His body. He first endeavors to find Him out, then to tempt Him. He professes to trust Him as God, then tries to deceive Him as man.

ORIGEN; When a father is asked by his son for bread, he does not give him a stone for bread, but the devil like a crafty and deceitful foe gives stones for bread.

BASIL; He tried to persuades Christ to satisfy His appetite with stones, i.e. to shift his desire from the natural food to that which was beyond nature or unnatural.

ORIGEN; I suppose also that even now at this very time the devil shows a stone to men that he may tempt them to speak, saying to them, Command this stone to be made bread. If you see the heretics devouring their lying doctrines as if they were bread, know that their teaching is a stone which the devil shows them.

BASIL; But Christ while He vanquishes temptation, banishes not hunger from our nature, as though that were the cause of evils, (which is rather the preservative of life, but confining nature within its proper bounds, shows of what kind its nourishment is, as follows; And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone.

THEOPHYL. As if He said, Not by bread alone is human nature sustained, but the word of God is sufficient to support the whole nature of man. Such was the food of the Israelites when they gathered manna during the space of forty, years, and when they delighted in the taking of quails. By the Divine counsel Elias had the crows to entertain him; Elisha feel his companions on the herbs of the field.

CYRIL; Or, our earthly body is nourished by earthly food, but the reasonable soul is strengthened by the Divine Word, to the right ordering of the spirit.

GREG. NAZ. For the body nourishes not our immaterial nature.

GREG. NYSS. Virtue then is not sustained by bread, nor by flesh does the soul keep itself in health and vigor, but by other banquets than these is the heavenly life fostered, and increased. The nourishment of tile good man is chastity, his bread, wisdom, his herbs, justice, his drink, freedom from passion, his delight, to be rightly wise.

AMBROSE; You see then what kind of arms He uses to defend man against the assaults of spiritual wickedness, and the allurements of the appetite. He does not exert His power as God, (for how had that profited me,) but as man He summons to Himself a common aid, that while intent upon the food of divine reading He may neglect the hunger of the body, and gain the nourishment of the word. For he who seeks after the word cannot feel the want of earthly bread for divine things doubtless make up for the loss of human. At the same time by saying, Man lives not by bread alone, He shows that man was tempted, that is, our flesh which He assumed, not His own divinity.

Ver 5. And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.6. And the devil said to him, All this power will I give you, and the glory of them: for that is delivered to me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.7. If you therefore will worship me, all shall be yours.8. And Jesus answered and said to him, Get you behind me, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.

THEOPHYL. The enemy had first assailed Christ by the temptation of the appetite, as also he did Adam. He next tempts Him with the desire of gain or covetousness, showing Him all the kingdoms of the world. Hence it follows, And the devil taking him up.

GREG. What marvel that He permitted Himself to be led by the devil into the mountains, who even in endured to be crucified in His own body?

THEOPHYL. But how did the devil show Him all the kingdoms of the world? Some say that he presented them to Him in imagination, but I hold that he brought them before Him in visible form and appearance.

TITUS BOS. Or, the devil described the world in language, and as he thought brought it vividly before our Lord’s mind as though it were a certain house.

AMBROSE;; Truly in a moment of time, the kingdoms of this world are described. For here it is not so much the rapid glance of sight which is signified as is declared the frailty of mortal power. For in a moment all this passes by, and oftentimes the glory of this world has vanished before it has arrived. It follows, And he said to him, I will give you all this power.

TITUS; He lied in two respects. For he neither had to give nor could he give that which he had not; he gains possession of nothing, but is an enemy reduced to fight.

AMBROSE; For it is elsewhere said, that all power is from God. Therefore from God’s hands comes the disposal of power, the lust of power is from the evil one; power is not itself evil, but he who evilly uses it. What then; is it good to exercise power, to desire honor? Good if it is bestowed upon us, not if it is seized. We must distinguish however in this good itself. There is one good use of the world, another of perfect virtue. It is good to seek God; it is a good thing that the desire of becoming acquainted with God should be hindered by no worldly business. But if he who seeks God, is from the weakness of the flesh, and the narrowness of his mind, often tempted, how much more is he exposed who seeks the world? We are taught then to despise ambition, because it is subject to the power of the devil. But honor abroad is followed by danger at home, and in order to rule others a man is first their servant, and prostrates himself in obedience that he may be rewarded with honors, and the higher he aspires the lower he bends with feigned humility; whence he adds, If you will fall down and worship me.

CYRIL; And do you, whose lot is the unquenchable fire, promise to the Lord of all that which is His own? Did you think to have Him for your worshiper, from dread of whom the whole creation trembles?ORIGEN; Or, to view the whole in another light. Two kings are earnestly contending for a kingdom; The king of sin who reigns over sinners, that is, the devil; The king of righteousness who rules the righteous, that is, Christ. The devil, knowing that Christ had come to take away his kingdom, shows Him all the kingdoms of the world; not the kingdoms of the Persians and of the Medes, but his own kingdom whereby he reigned in the world, whereby some are under the dominion of fornication, others of covetousness. And he shows Him them in a moment of time, that is, in the present course of time, which is but a moment in comparison of eternity. For the Savior needed not to be shown for any longer time the affairs of this world, but as soon as He turned His eyes to look, He beheld sins reigning, and men made slaves to vice. The devil therefore says to Him, Came You to contend with me for dominion? Worship me, and behold I give You the kingdom I hold. Now the Lord would indeed reign, but being Righteousness itself, would reign without sin; and would have all nations subject to Him, that they might obey the truth, but would not so reign over others as that He Himself should be subject to the devil. Hence it follows, And Jesus answering said to him, It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God.

THEOPHYL, The devil saying to our Savior, If you will fall down and worship me, receives answer that he himself ought rather to worship Christ as his Lord and God.

CYRIL; But how comes it that the Son (if as the heretics say a created being) is worshipped? What charge can be brought against those who served the creature and not the Creator, if the Son (according to them a created being) we are to worship as God?

ORIGEN; Or else, All these, he says, I would have subject to me, that they might worship the Lord God, and serve Him alone. But do you wish sin to begin from Me, which I came hither to destroy?

CYRIL; This command touched him to the quick; for before Christ’s coming he was every where worshipped. But the law of God casting him down from his usurped dominion, establishes the worship of Him alone who is really God.

THEOPHYL; But someone may ask how this injunction agrees with the word of the Apostle, which says, Beloved, serve one another. In the Greek, signifies a common service, (i.e. given either to God or man,) according to which we are bid to serve one another; but is the service due to the worship of the Deity, with which we are bid to serve God alone.

Ver  9. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down from hence:10. For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you:11. And in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.12. And Jesus answering said to him, It is said, You shall not tempt the Lord thy God.13. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

AMBROSE; The next weapon he uses is that of boasting, which always causes the offender to fall down; for they who love to boast of the glory of their virtue descend from the stand and vantage ground of their good deeds. Hence it is said, And he led him to Jerusalem.

ORIGEN; He followed evidently as a wrestler, gladly setting out to meet the temptation, and saying, as it were, Lead me where you will, and you will find me the stronger in every thing.

AMBROSE; It is the fate of boasting, that while a man thinks he is climbing higher, he is by his pretension to lofty deeds brought low. Hence it follows, And he said, to him, you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.

ATHAN. The devil entered not into a contest with God, (for he durst not, and therefore said, you are the Son of God,) but he contended with man whom once he had power to deceive.

AMBROSE; That is truly the devil’s language, which seeks to cast down the soul of man from the high ground of its good deeds, while he shows at the same time both his weakness and malice, for he can injure no one that does not first cast himself down. For he who forsaking heavenly things pursues earthly, rushes as it were willfully down the self-sought precipice of a falling life. As soon then as the devil perceived his dart blunted, he who had subdued all men to his own power, began to think he had to deal with more than man. But Satan transforms himself into an angel of light, and often from the Holy Scriptures weaves his mesh for the faithful: hence it follows, It is written, He shall give, &c.

ORIGEN; Whence know you, Satan, that those things are written? Have you read the Prophets, or the oracles of God? You have read them indeed, but not that yourself might be the better for the reading, but that from the mere letter you might slay them who are friends to the letter. You know that if you were to speak from His other books, you would not deceive.

AMBROSE; Let not the heretic entrap you by bringing examples from the Scriptures. The devil makes use of the testimony of the Scriptures not to teach but to deceive.

ORIGEN; But mark how wily he is even in this testimony. For he would fain throw a slur upon the glory of the Savior, as though He needed the assistance of angels, and would stumble were He not supported by their hands. But this was said not of Christ, but of the saints generally; He needs not the aid of angels, Who is greater than angels. But let this teach you, Satan, that the angels would stumble did not God sustain them; and you stumble because you refuse to believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God. But why are you silent as to what follows, You shall walk upon the asp and the basilisk, except that you are the basilisk, you are the dragon and the lion?

AMBROSE; But the Lord, to prevent the thought that those things which had been prophesied of Him were fulfilled according to the devil’s will, and not by the authority of His own divine power, again so foils his cunning, that he who had alleged the testimony of Scripture, should by Scripture himself be overthrown. Hence it follows, And Jesus answering said, It is said, You shall not tempt the Lord thy God.

CHRYS For it is of the devil to cast one’s self into dangers, and try whether God will rescue us.

CYRIL; God gives not help to those who tempt Him, but to those who believe on Him. Christ therefore did not show ills miracles to them that tempted Him, but said to them, An evil generation seeks a sign, and no sign shall be given to them.

CHRYS. But mark how the Lord, instead of being troubled, condescends to dispute from the Scriptures with the wicked one, that you, as far as you are able, might become like Christ. The devil knew the arms of Christ, beneath which he sunk. Christ took him captive by meekness, He overcame him by humility. Do you also, when you see a man who has become a devil coming to meet you, subdue him in like manner. Teach your soul to conform its words to those of Christ. For as a Roman judge, who on the bench refuses to hear the reply of one who knows not how to speak as he does; so also Christ, except you speak after His manner, will neither hear you nor protect you.

GREG. NYSS. In lawful contests the battle is terminated either when the adversary surrenders of his own accord to the conqueror, or is defeated in three falls, according to the rules of the art of fighting. Hence it follows, And all the temptation being completed, &c.

AMBROSE; He would not have said that all the temptation was ended, had there not been in the three temptations which have been described the materials for every crime; for the causes of temptations are the causes of desire, namely, the delight of the flesh, the pomp of vain-glory, greediness of power.

ATHAN. The enemy came to Him as, man, but not finding in Him the marks of his ancient seed, he departed.

AMBROSE; You see then that the devil is not obstinate on the field, is wont to give way to true virtue; and if he ceases not to hate, he yet dreads to advance, for so he escapes a more frequent defeat. As soon then as he heard the name of God, he retired (it is said) for a season, for afterwards he comes not to tempt, but to fight openly.

THEOPHYL. Or, having tempted Him in the desert with pleasure, he retires from Him until the crucifixion, when he was about to tempt Him with sorrow.

MAXIMUS; Or the devil had prompted Christ in the desert to prefer the things of the world to the love of God. The Lord commanded him to leave Him, (which itself was a mark of Divine love.) It was afterwards then enough to make Christ appear the false advocate of love to His neighbors, and therefore while He was teaching the paths of life, the devil stirred up the Gentiles and Pharisees to lay traps for Him that He might be brought to hate them. But the Lord, from the feeling of love which He had towards them, exhorted, reproved, ceased not to bestow mercy upon them.

AUG. The whole of this narrative Matthew relates in a similar manner, but not in the same order. It is uncertain therefore which took place first, whether the kingdoms of the earth were first shown to Him, and He was afterwards taken up to the pinnacle of the temple; or whether this came first, and the other afterwards. It matters little however which, as long as it is clear that they all took place.

MAXIMUS; But the reason why one Evangelist places this event first, and another that, is because vain-glory and covetousness give birth in turn to one another.

ORIGEN; But John, who had commenced his Gospel from God, saying, In the beginning was the Word, did not describe the temptation of the Lord, because God can not be tempted, of whom he wrote. But because in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke the human generations are given, and in Mark it is man who is tempted, therefore Matthew, Luke, and Mark have described the temptation of the Lord.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Lent, liturgy, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 10:5-13

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 12, 2013


A Summary of Romans 10:5-13~The Apostle speaks in these verses, first of the justice of the Law, as contrasted with the justice of faith; he then shows that this latter is also necessary for the salvation of the Jews; there is no distinction, both Jew and Gentile must be saved by faith.

5. For Moses wrote, that the justice which is of the law, the man that shall do it, shall live by it.

The Apostle quotes Moses (Lev 18:5, according to the LXX) to show the difference between the justice of the Law and that of faith. If a man is able to obtain the justice of the Law, he will have as his reward, temporal, and even eternal life; but this justice is very difficult, being beyond man’s natural strength.

The justice … of the law, i.e., the justice which resulted from an observance of all the precepts of the Mosaic Law.

The man that shall do it, etc., i.e., the man that is able to do such a difficult thing.

Shall live by it. To the observers of the Law there was promised a life of temporal blessings (Deut 28:2-13; Deut 30:9-10), and also life eternal (Matt 19:17; Luke 10:25-28). But to obtain this latter it was necessary to observe, not only externally, but also internally, all the precepts of the Law; and, in particular, to love God and have faith in Christ to come (Deut 6:5; Matt 22:36; Rom 2:13; Rom 4:11)—a task utterly beyond the powers of fallen human nature unaided by grace (Rom 7:22-25). This grace, however, which the Law could not provide, would be given by God in virtue of faith in Christ to come. The Jews erroneously thought they could keep the Law by their own mere natural strength, and thereby obtain the rewards promised.

Wrote should be “writeth,” and scripsit of the Vulgate should be scribit, to conform to the Greek.

6. But the justice which is of faith, speaketh thus: Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? that is, to bring Christ down;
7. Or who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.

To show that the justice of faith, unlike that of the Law, is not difficult to obtain St. Paul here personifies it, and makes it address man in the words of Deut 30:11-14. These words, in their primary and literal meaning, refer to the Law of Moses, the precepts of which were not difficult to understand; but in their accommodated sense, here made use of by the Apostle (Calmet, Beelen, Cornely, etc.), they relate to the justice of faith,—to Christian faith, which is comparatively easy to obtain, involving no such insurmountable difficulty as ascending into heaven, to bring Christ down, the object of faith; or descending into the deep, i.e., into the grave, to bring up Christ again from the dead, i.e., to believe that Christ, the object of our faith, descended there. As Moses told the Hebrews that it was not necessary “to ascend into heaven,” or “go over the sea” in search of the Law which was indeed very near to them; so here the Apostle, accommodating the words of the Prophet, says that, since Christ descended from heaven and became incarnate once, and likewise once died, was buried and rose again for our salvation, it is not necessary that we should try either to ascend into heaven or descend to the abode of the dead to work out the redemption which Christ already has wrought for us. Since, therefore, the two fundamental mysteries of our redemption, the Incarnation and the Resurrection, have already been accomplished for us, our justification is easy, provided we have proper faith in God through His incarnate and risen Son.

The words of Deut 30:13 (“which of us can cross the sea”) are here somewhat modified by St. Paul (“who shall ascend into the deep”), in order to render more vivid the contrast between heaven and the abyss, and better to accommodate the words of Moses to Christ’s burial and Resurrection from the dead.

8. But what saith the scripture? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart. This is the word of faith, which we preach.

The word scripture is wanting in Greek, and is considered a gloss. This verse is the positive complement of the thought of the preceding verses. Justice personified is still speaking. It is not necessary to seek salvation afar off, it is very near. It consists in a word which must be received by faith. As Moses said the word, i.e., the Law, was nigh and easy to understand; so, says St. Paul, it is with the word of faith, which we preach, i.e., the Gospel truths that are  necessary for salvation. These words, through the preaching of the Apostles,  are carried to all in such a way that all may have them in their mouth and in their heart, without the necessity of long journeys or grave fatigue.

In the Vulgate scriptura should be omitted; justitia, understood from verse 6, is the subject of dicit.

9. For if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

The Apostle explains yet more clearly what is required in order to have part in the salvation of Christ. Not only is it necessary to believe, but thou must also confess with thy mouth, i.e., make public confession that Jesus is Lord (the literal order) of the universe, and therefore truly God. This means a public confession of Christ’s Divinity, such as was required before Baptism (Acts 8:37; Acts 16:31). Further, besides believing and confessing the Incarnation of the Son of God, it is necessary to believe in His Resurrection from the dead. Paul mentions these two mysteries because they are the principal ones of Christianity, those on which all others depend. If he speaks first of external, and then of internal faith, it is only because he is following the order of Moses’ words, which speak of the mouth first, and secondly of the heart.

10. For, with the heart, we believe unto justice; but, with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.

St. Paul here returns to the natural order and speaks first of internal belief, and then of external profession of faith.

With the heart, etc., i.e., the internal act of faith is the beginning and foundation of justification.

We believe. More literally, Faith is formed (πιστευεται), i.e., a state of faith is formed on our part, as the present tense indicates. The phrase  εις δικαιοσυνην, and not εις δικαιωσιν, shows that one attains real justice, and not a mere declaration of it, just as salvation will be really possessed (Lagrange).

Confession . . . unto salvation, i.e., salvation will follow upon our faith and justification, provided we persevere to the end of life in the justification we have received, and do not fail to make at times external profession of our faith. Again the present tense, ομολογειται, marks a state of justice, and not a mere act, on man’s part. Of course, justification, if ever lost through mortal sin, can always be regained by a proper use of the Sacrament of Penance.

11. For the scripture saith: Whosoever believeth in him, shall not be confounded.

The New Dispensation is one of faith which gives to all the same rights to salvation. This doctrine of faith, however, is not new, having been already announced by the scripture, i.e., by Isaiah 28:16. St. Paul had previously (Rom 9:33) quoted these same words of the Prophet; but here he adds the word πας, whosoever, to the text of Isaiah, in order to express more clearly the universality of salvation through faith.

In him, in the context of Isaias, refers to the “corner-stone,” which was a figure of Christ.

Shall not be confounded, because through faith in Christ we are reconciled with God and have a firm hope of attaining salvation.

12. For there is no distinction of the Jew and the Greek: for the same is Lord oyer all, rich unto all that call upon him.

There is no distinction, etc. The Apostle had used the same argument, only more openly, to prove the universality of salvation in Rom 3:29. There he said God was the God of the Gentiles as well as the Jews; here he insists that both have the same Saviour.

Lord means Jesus Christ (Cornely, Lagrange, etc.), and not God the Creator, as some of the older commentators thought, because there is question here of faith in Christ. Jesus is the κυριος παντων, Lord over all, as in Acts 10:36; Philip 2:11.

Rich unto all, because by His death Christ has provided an infinite treasury of merits (Eph 3:8) which He holds at the disposition of all, on condition that they call upon him, i.e., that they believe in Him with their hearts and confess Him with their mouth (verse 10).

13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.

St. Paul appeals to the Prophet Joel 2:32 (3:2 in NAB and other translations) to prove that whosoever will call upon the name of Jesus shall be saved. The same text from Joel was quoted by St. Peter in his sermon to the faithful on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:21). The Apostle applies to Christ what Joel had said of Yahweh, which is a clear proof of the Divinity of Jesus.


Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Lent, liturgy, Notes on Romans, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 10:5-13

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 12, 2013

5. For Moses wrote, that the justice, which is of the law, the man that does shall live in it.
6. But the justice which is of faith, speaks thus: Who shall ascend to heaven? that is, to bring down Christ.
7. Or who shall descend into the abyss? that is, to bring up Christ from the dead.
8. But what saith the Scripture? The word is near thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart: this is the word of faith which we proclaim.
9. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and in thy heart believe that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10. For with the heart is belief to justice: but with the mouth confession is made to salvation

5. Moses wrote Lev 18:5, keep my laws and judgments, which the man who does shall live in them. The lawyer said to Christ, Luke 10:27, Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart. This was the summary of the law. Christ answered, Thou hast answered right: do this and thou shall live. He acknowledged that he was convicted from his own mouth : for who has ever done this? Perfect obedience to the law of God, such as will obtain justice in God’s sight, is unattainable by human nature. All stand in need of the remission of sin, the justice which is of faith (ver. 6). And this is not laborious or difficult. It is not necessary to ascend to heaven, or go down to hell (cross the seas) in search of it, Deut 30:12) . Christ will come down from heaven (ver. 6), re-ascend from hell (ver 7). What we have to do to obtain the justice which comes from faith, is to believe. This is the word faith which we proclaim (ver. 8); near thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart (ver. 8, Deut 30:14). With thy mouth confess the Lord Jesus Christ, with thy heart believe his incarnation, passion, resurrection—all which briefly are summed up in the belief that God has raised him from the dead—and thou shall be saved (ver. 9).

10. Confession is made unto salvation. Who shall confess me before men, him will I confess. Matt 10:32.

The facility of faith, and its reasonableness, are stated by Tertullian in the words: Credible, because incredible; not to be ashamed of, because shameful. That is, if the mysteries of God are far above our intelligence, this is what we should expect, and a reason for accepting them. And if they are ridiculed by a wicked and thoughtless world, this a reason to honour and reverence them. Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, Luke 9:26. Who is ashamed of Christ as unworthy to serve him, much less reign with him.

11. For the Scripture saith: Every one who beheveth in him, shall not be confounded.
12. For there is no distinction of Jew or Greek: for the same Lord of all, is rich to all who invoke him.
13. For every one, whosoever shall have called upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved

11. The Scripture saith: Is 28:16. Vulgate, who believes need not make haste. He who believes in Christ and perseveres in faith is sure of salvation, and need not be in solicitude and anxiety, for his hope will not be disappointed or confounded, as in ch. 5:5, Hope does not confound. The statement of the ancient Prophet is universal and comprehensive. He makes no limitations or distinctions (Ver. 12). Every one who believes, Jew or Greek. God is the Creator of all men, of all nations, and therefore is abundant in kindness and mercy to all the race of man, if they believe him, trust him, and invoke his mercy. God is rich as he is just; not only in himself, but in the communication to man of the true justice and the true riches.

13. Every one whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved. The words are quoted from Joel 2:32. Ask and you shall receive. It is, however, to be understood that the invocation of the name of God must be accompanied with real faith, hope, contrition, and charity. Turks, heretics, ungodly Christians, often call on the name of God, yet they are not thereby saved, because they have not these indispensable conditions. Prayer includes faith, hope, charity, and all religion. Faith prays, says Saint Augustine.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on Romans, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: