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Archive for March, 2013

Sunday Gospel Scripture Study for the Easter Vigil, Year C (Luke 24:1-12)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 30, 2013

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

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on John 20:11-18

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 30, 2013

Joh 20:11  But Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down and looked into the sepulchre,

But Mary stood at the sepulchre without (i.e., outside), weeping. Because she anxiously looked about on every side for the Body of Jesus, as glowing in love for Him, and was beside herself; and not finding Him, wept for grief. “The eyes (says S. Augustine in loc.) who sought, but found Him not, had leisure to weep, and sorrowed more for His being taken from the tomb than that He had died on the Cross, because not even a memorial remained of so great a Teacher, whose life had been taken away.”

Now as she was weeping, she stooped down and looked into the sepulchre. Though she looked in before and saw that the sepulchre was empty. For, as says S. Gregory (in loc.), “A single look suffices not one who loves. The power of love increases the earnestness of the inquiry: she persevered in seeking, and accordingly she found. And so it was that her desires expanded and increased, and could thus take in that which they found.”

Joh 20:12  And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid.

And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. All these were tokens of His glorious Resurrection, and prepared the mind of the Magdalene to believe it. One sat at the head and the other at the feet, to signify that the whole Body of Christ had risen, and that, by assuming the immortal form and glory of angels, He had entered into their company, and had left these two angels, as guardians of the tomb, to announce the fact to the Magdalene.

Origen says that, mystically, the angel at the feet represented the active, the angel at the head the contemplative, life. For they are both of them from Jesus, about Jesus, through Jesus, and on account of Jesus.

Joh 20:13  They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord: and I know not where they have laid him.

They say to her, Woman, why weepest thou? This is no place for weeping, but rather for rejoicing, and being glad. Because thou seest not here the dead Body of thy Beloved One, thou oughtest to infer that Jesus has risen, and is no longer among the dead, but among the living; and more than this, that He is passing a blessed and heavenly life among the glorious angels, such as we are ourselves.

She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord: and I know not where they have laid him. I weep for three reasons. (1.) Because of the ignominious death of my Lord. (2.) Because His Body has been taken away, for if I saw It, I should kiss It, lament over It, and anoint It. (3.) Because I do not know where to look for It. For did I know, I should haste to the spot, embrace It, and overwhelm It with kisses. See here how Jesus suffers the souls of those that love Him to remain in ignorance for a while, in order to sharpen and enkindle their desire for Him; and when it is thus sharpened and enkindled, to comfort and make them glad with the full revelation of Himself.

Joh 20:14  When she had thus said, she turned herself back and saw Jesus standing: and she knew not that it was Jesus.

When she had thus said, she turned herself back and saw Jesus standing: and she knew not that it was Jesus. Christ appeared behind the Magdalene, so that the angels who beheld Him rose up and bowed their heads, and exhibited other tokens of reverence and adoration towards Him. And this was why she turned about, viz., to see who it was whom the angels saluted so reverently. So S, Chrysostom (Hom. 85), and the author of the Quæst. ad Antioch (Quest. lxxviii.), [Pseudo-Athanasian]. Some think that Christ made a noise with His feet to attract her attention. I would suggest that she turned back to the tomb, it being the focal point of her mourning since it was the last place she had seen her Lord (DB).

And saw Jesus. “The first to share the joy: as loving more than all.”

She knew not that it was Jesus. As appearing in the form of the gardener. Just as He appeared in the form of a stranger at Emmaus. For glorified bodies can put on any appearance they please, not by changing their own appearance, but by presenting only a refracted appearance to the sight of others. Christ did this, in order that she should not be startled. He appeared to her in consequence of her intense love to Him. But because she did not believe that He was alive, He veiled Himself from her, and presented Himself to her outward sight as the person she fancied Him to be. So S. Gregory (Hom. xxiii.), speaking of the disciples at Emmaus. John had previously mentioned that there was in the place where he was crucified a garden: and in the garden a new sepulchre (Jn 19:41). This fact, coupled with Mary’s assumption that he was the “gardener” suggests to some commentators a connection with Adam (DB).

Joh 20:15  Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She, thinking that it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him: and I will take him away.

Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? S. Ambrose (Lib. iii. de Virg.) explains the whole passage minutely: “Woman, why weepest thou? He who believeth not is a woman; for he that believes rises up into the ‘perfect man, into the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.’ It is a reproach not on her sex, but on her slowness of belief. It is well said a woman hesitated, though a virgin had already believed. Why weepest thou? Thou thyself art in fault, as being incredulous. Dost thou weep because thou seest not Christ? Believe, and thou wilt see Him. Christ is close by thee, He never fails those that seek Him. Thou shouldest not weep, but have ready faith, as God requires. Think not of mortal things, and thou wilt not sorrow; think not of perishing things, and thou wilt have no cause for weeping. Thou weepest for that, at which others are glad. Whom seekest thou? seest thou not that Christ is at thy side?”

Origen wrote a striking Homily, and one full of devout feelings, respecting the Magdalene,** in which he says, among other things, “Love made her stand there, and sorrow caused her to weep. She stood and looked around, if perchance she could see Him whom she loved. She wept, as thinking that He whom she was looking for, had been taken away. Her grief was renewed, because at first she sorrowed for Him as dead, and now she was sorrowing for Him as having been taken away. And this last sorrow was the greater because she had no consolation.” And then he proceeds to lay open the sources of her sorrow, saying, “Peter and John were afraid, and therefore did not remain. But Mary feared not, because she felt that there was nothing left for her to fear. She had lost her Master, whom she loved with such singular affection, that she could not love or set her hopes on anything but Him. She had lost the life of her soul, and now she thought it would be better for her to die than to live, for she might perchance thus find Him when dead, whom she could not find while she lived. ‘Love is strong as death.’ What else could death do in her case? She was lifeless, she was insensible: feeling she felt not, seeing she saw not, hearing she heard not. And she was not really there, even where she seemed to be. Her whole thoughts were with her Master, and yet she knew not where He was. I seek not for the angels, who do but increase, and not remove my grief, but I seek my own Lord, and the Lord of angels.” And after a few more bursts of glowing and holy affections, he adds, “I am straitened on every side, I know not what to choose. If I remain by the tomb, I find Him not; if I retire from it, I know not where to go, or where to seek for Him: hapless that I am. To leave the tomb is death to me, to remain by it is irremediable sorrow. But it is better for me to keep watch over His tomb, than to go far away from it. For perhaps when I return, I shall find that He has been taken away, and His sepulchre destroyed. I will therefore remain here and die, that at least I may be buried by the sepulchre of my Lord. Return, my beloved one,—return, the loved one of my vows.” He then adds, “Why, Beloved Master, dost Thou trouble the spirit of this woman? Why dost Thou distress her mind? She depends entirely on Thee, she abides entirely on Thee, she hopes solely on Thee, and utterly despairs of herself. She seeks Thee, as seeking or thinking of no one besides. And perhaps she does not recognise Thee because she is not in her right mind, but quite beside herself for Thy sake. Why then dost Thou say, ‘Why weepest thou-whom seekest thou?'”

She, supposing Him to be the gardener, saith unto Him. Because, as Theophylact and Euthymius say, “He was meanly dressed, and because He seemed from His dress to be at home there. She knew that Joseph of Arimathæa did not live there, and supposed that He was the person left in charge of the garden. So F. Lucas. [Pseudo]-Origen proceeds, “0 Mary, if thou art seeking for Jesus, why dost thou not recognise Him? And if thou dost recognise Him, why art thou seeking for Him? Behold Jesus cometh to thee, and He whom thou seekest asketh of thee, ‘Woman, why weepest thou?’ And thou supposest Him to be the gardener, as not knowing Him. For indeed Jesus is also the Gardener, as sowing the good seed in the garden of thy heart, and in the hearts of His faithful servants.” Whence S. Gregory (in loc.), “Is He not the Gardener who planted in her breast, through His love, the flourishing seeds of virtues?”

Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him: and I will take him away. She does not say “Whom,” but means Jesus, of Whom her heart was full.  S. Thomas and others say, that this is the feeling of those who are deeply in love. They suppose that others are thinking about the same person as themselves. Although she might have thought that He knew the answer she had already given to the angels, They have taken away my Lord, &c., as S. Chrysostom seems to indicate. [Pseudo]-Origen remarks, “Such great grief for Thy death had overwhelmed her, that she could not think of Thy resurrection. Joseph placed Thy body in the tomb, and Mary also buried her spirit there, and so indissolubly united it as it were to Thy body, that she could more easily separate her soul from the body which it animated, than she could separate her soul from Thy dead body, for which she was seeking. For the spirit of Mary was more in Thy body than in her own; and in seeking for Thy body she was at the same time seeking for her own spirit, and where she lost Thy body she lost also her own spirit. What wonder then she had no sense, since she had lost her spirit? What wonder if she knew Thee not, as not having the spirit wherewith to know Thee? Give her back then her spirit, I mean Thy body, and she will then regain her senses and abandon her error.”

And I will take Him away—”What if He is in the High Priest’s palace? What if He is in Pilate’s house? Yes, I will take Him away. Love conquers everything. It counts impossibilities as possible, nay, as easy.” So [Pseudo]-Origen and S. Chrysostom. Though S. Jerome (Quæst. v. ad Hedib.) regards them as the words of ignorance and want of consideration.

Joh 20:16  Jesus saith to her: Mary. She turning, saith to him: Rabboni (which is to say, Master).

He called her not merely by her own name, but with that tone of voice, that sweetness, grace, and efficacy, with which He used to speak to her; and she at once recognised Him. Whence [Pseudo]-Origen, wondering at the condescension of Christ, exclaims, “0 the change of this right hand of the most High (Ps 77:10). My great grief is turned into great joy; the tears of sorrow are changed into the tears of love. When she beard the word ‘Mary’ (for thus He used to address her), she perceived a wondrous sweetness in the name, and knew that He who called her was her Master. Her spirit then revived and her senses returned, and when He wished to add something more, she could not wait, but from excess of joy she interrupted Him, saying, Rabboni. For she thought that having found the ‘Word’ she did not require a single word more, and she deemed it more profitable to touch the ‘Word’ than to hear any words whatever. 0 vehement and impatient love! It was not enough for her to see Jesus and to talk with Him; unless she also touched Him, for she knew that virtue went out from Him, and healed all.”

She turning. For when He was slow in answering, she had looked away from Him towards the angels, as if to ask them who was this gardener who was talking with her, and why they stood up and greeted Him with such reverence? But when she heard Jesus addressing her by name, and recognised His voice, she was enraptured with joy, and at once looked straight towards Him. The voice of the Shepherd reaching the ears of the lamb, at once opened her eyes, and soothed all her senses with its secret power and wonted sweetness; and so carried her away out of herself, that she at once was carried away with unhoped-for and inexplicable joy, and cried out “Rabboni,” my Master. I, as Thy disciple, Thy spiritual daughter, give myself wholly to Thee. In Thee who hast risen, I myself live again, I exult and rejoice. So S. Cyril, Chrysostom, and others. And accordingly she fell down at His knees, and wished, as she was wont, reverently to touch His head and His feet, and cover them with kisses. Just as the Shunammite embraces the feet of Eliseus the prophet (2 Kings 4:27). This is plain from Christ’s instant prohibition.

Rabboni. This was a word of greater reverence than Rabbi, and was used by the Magdalene only after His Resurrection. [But see Mark 10:51.]

Joh 20:17  Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me: for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and to your God.

 Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me: for I am not yet ascended to my Father, &c. This is a difficult passage, and the connection between the two parts is even more difficult. (1.)  S. Augustine explains the connection thus, “Touch Me not, for as yet thou art not worthy to touch Me; for in thy thoughts regarding Me, I have not as yet ascended to My Father, for as yet thou dost not perfectly believe that I am the Son of God, and that I ascend to My Father.” And S. Jerome (Quæst. v. ad Hedibiam) explains it much in the same way. But this is a mystical rather than a literal explanation. As also is that of S. Leontius (Serm. ii. de Ascens.), “I do not wish you to approach Me bodily, or recognise Me with thy bodily senses. I reserve thee for higher things. I am preparing for thee greater things. When I shall have ascended to My Father, then wilt thou touch Me more perfectly and truly, for thou wilt comprehend that which thou touchest not, and believe that which thou seest not.” (2.) S. Cyril (Lib. xii. cap. i.) says, ” He forbade her to touch Him, to signify that no one ought to approach His glorified Body, which was soon to be touched and received in the Eucharist, before receiving the Holy Spirit, which He had not yet sent.” But, on this ground neither would the other women, or Thomas, or the rest have been able to touch Him—which yet they did. (3.) S. Chrysostom (in loc.), Theophylact, and Euthymius say that He forbade her to touch Him, because He wished to be touched with greater reverence than heretofore: since He would not henceforth hold converse with men, but with angels and blessed spirits. But it does not appear that the Magdalene failed in reverence. And after all, what connection has this with the reason given, “I have not yet ascended to My Father”? (4.) [Pseudo]-Justin (Quæst. a Gentibus, propos. xlvii.), and after him Toletus and others, explain it thus: Touch Me not: for I am shortly about to ascend to heaven, and I wish to withdraw you gradually from My accustomed presence. Therefore, says [Pseudo]-Justin, “He did not constantly show Himself to His disciples after His Resurrection, nor yet withdraw Himself entirely from their sight, so that He was seen, and yet not seen.” But this explanation is not clear, and requires many things to be supplied, besides misinterpreting the reason given. (5.) The best explanation is this, “Do not waste any more time in thus touching Me. Go and bear the glad tidings of My Resurrection to My disciples at once. I do not just yet ascend into heaven. You will have ample time before then to touch and converse with Me.” (See Suarez, par. iii. Disput. xlix. § 3, Ribera (in loc.), and others.) Christ afterwards allowed Himself to be touched by her and the other women, because they were then on their way to tell the Apostles that He had risen. (Matt28:9.)

1. It is said that Christ when speaking these words touched the forehead of the Magdalene, and that Sylvester Prieras saw those marks when her tomb was opened in 1497 (see Surius, in Vita S. M. Magdalenæ). 2.  S. Epiphanius (Her. xxvi) gives a moral reason, viz., that Christ did not wish to be touched by any woman, except in the presence of others; an example followed by SS. Augustine and Ambrose, S. Martin, S. Chrysostom, S. Charles Borromeo, and others. 3. Rupertus gives an allegorical reason. Mary, he says, here represented the Gentile Church which was to come to Christ, not by corporal but by spiritual contact, after His Ascension. See also Chrysostom, Serm. lxxv

It is most probable, as S. Augustine (de Consen. Evang. iii. 24), Theophylact, and Euthymius (in cap. ult. Matt.), and S. Jerome (Epist. ad Hedibiam, Quæst. v.) say, that Mary hastened away, and came up with the other women who went away with Peter and John, and that she then saw Christ again when He appeared to them all; that she then touched His feet, and adored Him (see Matt 28:9). But Toletus says it was not so.

Tropologically: Hence learn that it is more acceptable to Christ to comfort those who are in any affliction, than to look only to one’s self. So that when necessity, or piety or charity require it, it is allowable to postpone the Sermon, or even Mass, on a Feast day, for the purpose of aiding the sick and suffering. See notes on Matt 9:13.

Symbolically: S. Bernard (Serm. v. in Fest. Omn. Sanct.) says, “This is a word of glory, ‘A wise son is the glory of his father.’ Touch Me not then, says the Glory. Seek not glory as yet, rather avoid it. And touch Me not till we come to the Father, where all our glorying is secure.”

But go to My brethren. He calls them “Brethren” out of His wondrous condescension, being, as He is, not only as God but also as man, the Head and Lord of all. For all men are brethren as descended from Adam, and as the sons of God by grace. But the term properly applies to them as Apostles. And Christ was an Apostle, as being sent by God, and He associated with Him in His office Peter and the rest. The Pontiff calls in like manner the Cardinals and Bishops his brethren, though he is their superior. Christ speaks of them in this way to inspire them with courage, as though He said, Though they have forsaken Me, yet I do not forsake them; and by taking on Me the nature of man on rising again, I will show Myself to be their Brother.

And say to them, I ascend to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God. Remind them of what I said to them before My Passion, that after a few days I should ascend to God the Father.

He says, “My Father and your Father,” Mine by nature, yours by grace, as S. Augustine says, to show that they had in common God as their Father. He as His Father by nature, they by adoption. So S.. Ambrose (de Virginitate). Moreover, S. Hilary (de Trinit., Book xi.), “He is His Father, as of all others, in respect of His human nature; and God, as He is the God of all men, in that nature in which He is a servant for God the Only Begotten is without brethren.” But it is simpler to say that He called Him “My Father,” to designate His own Divine Nature, and “My God” to set forth the human nature He had assumed, and that thus He was Very God, and very man. So S. Ambrose (ut supra), referring to Heb 2:11.

It means then, Tell the Apostles to banish their fear and sorrow, for I have risen from the dead, and love them as brethren, and therefore shall soon ascend to heaven, to prepare a place for them, that they may follow Me thither, and that I may send them the Holy Spirit from thence, to make them resolute preachers of My Gospel.

Joh 20:18  Mary Magdalen cometh and telleth the disciples: I have seen the Lord; and these things he said to me.

She thus became an apostle and evangelist to the Apostles. And accordingly, when she was driven into exile by the Jews, and arrived at Marseilles, she preached the gospel to the people there. And she fully deserved this honour, by her glowing love to Christ, her faith and constancy, which led her to the sepulchre by herself at early dawn, where she waited patiently till she saw her Jesus.

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Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 28:5-18

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 30, 2013

Mat 28:8  And they (Mary Magdalene and the other Mary) went out quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples.

And they went out quickly, &c., with fear. That is, with a sacred trembling, which was caused by the sepulchre of Christ and the angels, and the resurrection of Christ announced by the angels to them, which came upon them in their sorrow for the death of Christ, and in their thoughts about anointing Him, as a thing not only unexpected but well-nigh incredible; wherefore a new fear was added, lest this vision of angels was only a phantom which deceived them, and lest the body of Jesus had been stolen.

And  great joy. Because they had seen the angels, and had received from them the joyful news of His resurrection. Their minds, therefore, were alternating between joy and fear. So S. Jerome says, “A twofold feeling possessed the minds of the women, fear and joy; fear at the greatness of the miracle, joy in their desire for Him that was risen.”

Tell His disciples. Matthew does not mention what they told; but John and Luke explain it, but in different ways. For John says that Magdalene only said to Peter, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre: and we know not where they have laid him (Jn 20:2). But Luke says that they related to the Apostles all the things they had seen and heard.

You will say, Whence this difference? I answer, It arises from the women being possessed with fear and doubt, and therefore they told no one anything by the way. And because they did not firmly and certainly believe that Christ had risen, they spoke alternating words, in accordance with the alternations of their thoughts; for at one time they speak of the vision of angels, at another they declare their opinion that the body of the Lord had been taken away.

At this point we must bring into the history what S. John relates (Jn 20:2-19).

Magdalene, then, was the first to see Christ, as Mark says. Afterwards, at the command of Christ, she hastened after the other women, and overtook them, and then with them again saw Christ, and heard His salutation. So SS. Chrysostom, Jerome, and others.

Mat 28:9  And behold, Jesus met them, saying: All hail. But they came up and took hold of his feet and adored him.

And, behold, Jesus met them, &c. As after the courtiers follows the king, as after the priests the High Priest, so here after the angels follows Christ, and confirms His resurrection by showing Himself alive to the pious women. For it was His will that the angels should prepare the way for Him, to this end, both that they might more easily believe that He had risen, and that they might not be terrified, as they would have been if, without warning, He had unexpectedly shown Himself to them.

Met them. Because they were seeking Him with greater affection and desire than the men. For he who seeks Jesus with fervour finds Jesus lovingly coming to meet him, according to that saying, Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find (Matt 7:7). So S. Jerome says, “They who thus desired, and who thus ran, merited to have their risen Lord come to meet them, and first to hear the word ‘Hail,’ that the curse of the woman Eve might be removed in these women.”

Tropologically: Rabanus says, “Jesus sometimes meets those who are entering on the path of virtue by helping them.” Moreover, Eve is to us the mother of perdition and of sorrow. But these women, instead of the word “Eva,” bear the word “Ave,” because they are the messengers of resurrection, salvation, and joy. Hence we sing to the Blessed Virgin, the mother of Christ, the queen of these women, the hymn “Ave Maris Stella,” &c.

Hail. In the Greek χαίζετε—that is, rejoice; in the Syriac, Peace be to you. For this is the proper salutation of the Hebrews, in which, under the name of peace, they pray for every blessing and every felicity. In the Arabic, Rejoice, because ye see your Master now alive again. So, after the example of Christ, blessed souls and angels, when they appear to men, cause joy; but demons, and the souls of the damned, cause sorrow, fear, and despair.

They came up and took hold of his feet. That is, with reverence and love for His majesty, and with joy at His glorious resurrection, they embraced and kissed His feet. So the Shunamite laid hold of Elisha’s feet, praying him to raise her dead son to life again. So the faithful embrace and kiss the feet of the Pope, and of men illustrious for their sanctity. Christ on this occasion allows Himself to be touched by the women, that He may prove to them that He is really risen, and make them witnesses and heralds of His resurrection. Whence S. Chrysostom says, “When with great joy they had hastened towards, they by touching Him received a certain proof of His resurrection.”

And adored him. With the worship of latria, as the true Messiah or Christ the Son of God, who by the power of His Deity had raised His humanity from death, as He Himself had predicted when alive. The vision, therefore, of Christ risen confirmed and increased their faith in His Divinity, and in the other mysteries which they had been taught by Him when He was alive, but had not fully understood; so that with Thomas they said, if not with the mouth, yet certainly with the heart, My Lord and my God (Jn 20:28).

Mat 28:10  Then Jesus said to them: Fear not. Go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee. There they shall see me.

Then said Jesus to them, Fear not, &c. The vision of what is supernatural and celestial, as was the resurrection of Christ strikes and alarms the nature of the beholders; whence S. Jerome says, “This may be always observed both in the Old and New Testament, that when there is an appearance of any majestic person, the first thing done is to banish fear, that the mind being tranquillised may receive the things that are said.”

Go, tell My brethren. Christ now made glorious, in order to give us an example of humility, calls His disciples brethren, so as to console them and raise them up from their sorrow. As if He had said, Tell the Apostles, who are the sons of one and the same God and Father with Me; but adopted sons through grace, whereas I am His Son by nature through the Deity which I have received from Him as God, and through the hypostatic union with the Deity which I have received from Him as man. S. Chrysostom says, “Because a woman was made the cause of sorrow to man, now women are made the ministers of joy to men.” Luther wrongly concludes from these words of Christ that women may preach; for it is one thing to tell, another to preach. But if Christ had said to Magdalene preach, she might and ought to have preached.

There they shall see Me. In Galilee they shall see Me frequently and openly, and talk with Me face to face, but not so in Judæa, although even there I shall appear to them sometimes. For in Judæa on the day of His resurrection Christ appeared six times. First, He appeared to His mother, as S. Ambrose, S. Anselm, and others teach, and this is the common opinion of the Doctors and of the faithful. Secondly, He appeared to the Magdalene at the sepulchre (Mark 16:9). Thirdly, He appeared to her again with the other women as they returned to Jerusalem (Matt 28:9). Fourthly, He appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34). Fifthly, to the two disciples as they went to Emmaus (Luke 24:13). Sixthly, to all—that is, to ten of the Apostles, for Thomas was not with them, and Judas had hanged himself. After the day of the resurrection He appeared, first, to the eleven Apostles, when Thomas was with them, on the eighth day (John 20:26). Secondly, He appeared to eleven disciples, among whom were Peter and John, as they were fishing in the Sea of Galilee (John xxi.). Thirdly, He appeared on a mountain in Galilee to many—that is, to more than five hundred (Mat 28:10; 1 Cor 15:6). Fourthly, He appeared to James the brother of the Lord in the same place. Fifthly, He appeared to all the Apostles, and to others of the faithful, on the Mount of Olives, when He was going to ascend into Heaven (Acts 1:9). Sixthly, He appeared to Saul when He made him Paul. Christ appeared often on other occasions, which are not mentioned by the Evangelists.

Mat 28:11  Who when they were departed, behold, some of the guards came into the city and told the chief priests all things that had been done.

When they were departed, behold, some of the guards came into the city, &c. We may conclude from this, that when the soldiers saw the angel rolling away the stone they fled and hid themselves behind the hedges, and there remained half dead with fear, so that they could not and dared not stir from the place; and this was according to the purpose of God, that they might, from their hiding-places, see and hear all that the angels said to the women about the resurrection of Jesus, so that they might report the same things to the Chief Priests, and so become messengers of the resurrection of Christ. Wherefore neither the women, nor Peter and John, saw the soldiers, who were lying hid in the hedges. But after the vision of angels had disappeared, and when the women had departed from the sepulchre, the soldiers, coming to themselves, approached the sepulchre, and seeing it empty, they formed a plan, and sent some of their number to the Chief Priests to tell them all they had seen and heard, and to show that it was not through their carelessness that the body of Christ had left the sepulchre.

Mat 28:12  And they being assembled together with the ancients, taking counsel, gave a great sum of money to the soldiers,

And they being assembled together with the ancients, &c. See here the perversity of the priests and elders, who, not content with having put Christ to death, persecute Him after His death, and try to do away with His resurrection, so as to cover their crime, and lest any one should rise against them as the slayers of Christ, and avenge His death. This was the design of the devil, who was attempting to destroy the Church and all Christians in Christ. The priests corrupt the soldiers with money, who were witnesses of the truth, that they might become witnesses of a lie. S. Jerome says that they took this money from the treasury of the Temple, and therefore were guilty of sacrilege. “The money,” he says, “which was given for the use of the Temple they convert for the purchase of a lie, as before they had given thirty pieces of silver to the traitor Judas.”

Mat 28:13  Saying: Say you, His disciples came by night and stole him away when we were asleep.

Say you, His disciples came by night, &c By their perversity, says S. Chrysostom, the High Priests increased the faith which they endeavoured to extinguish, for they speak things impossible and incredible. For first, says Remigius, “If the soldiers slept, how could they see the theft?”

Secondly, The disciples were afraid and had fled; how, then, would they have dared to steal the body of Christ, which they knew to be guarded by so many soldiers?

Thirdly, It is incredible that Roman soldiers, who were so faithful and watchful, should all have slept at the sepulchre of Christ, especially when they knew that their own lives were in danger. And let it be granted that they all slept, they would certainly have been awakened by the noise caused by the removal of the stone. So S. Chrysostom says, “How should the disciples carry Him away by stealth, who did not dare to show themselves? They fled when they saw Him alive; how, when He was dead, would they not have feared the soldiers? And why did they not rather steal the body on the first night, when there was no one there? Truly they confirm the truth of the resurrection, for they confess that the body was not in the sepulchre.”

Mat 28:14  And if the governor shall hear of this, we will persuade him and secure you.

And if the governor shall hear of this, &c. That is, we will persuade Pilate that your sleep and negligence in guarding the body of Christ was a light matter, and that no harm can happen from it; for he knows that this business does not concern himself, but us, and so he, to please us and against his own conscience, condemned Jesus to be crucified; for if he was so yielding when he unjustly condemned Jesus, in compliance with our urgent request, he will be much more yielding in absolving you at our request. But the soldiers secretly disclosed the whole matter to Pilate, and confirmed the truth of Christ’s resurrection, and Pilate wrote the account to Tiberius, who forthwith was desirous of enrolling Christ among the gods. So Hegesippus relates from the acts of Pilate himself. “The chief of the Jews,” Pilate says, “falsely asserted to me that Jesus was a sorcerer, and had broken their law. And I believed that it was so, and delivered Him to be scourged, according to their will; but they crucified Him, and set a watch at the sepulchre. But He rose again on the third day, while my soldiers were keeping watch. But the wickedness of the Jews was inflamed to such a pitch that they gave money to the watch, and said, Say ye that His disciples stole away His body. But when they had received the money they were not able to be silent about what had been done; for they testified that they had seen Him rise, and that they had received money from the Jews. I have therefore made a statement of these things, that no one may falsely allege otherwise, and suppose that credit ought to be given to the falsehoods of the Jews,”

Mat 28:15  So they taking the money, did as they were taught: and this word was spread abroad among the Jews even unto this day.

So they taking the money, did as they were taught: and this word was spread abroad among the Jews even unto this day.  That is, among the common people and those of little sense; for the wiser men easily saw through the deceit, and found out the whole matter in secret from the soldiers. Moreover, Longinus, the centurion, asserted that Christ had risen, and on that account died as a martyr for Him. But this false story was chiefly confuted by the Apostles, who affirmed that Christ had appeared alive again to them, and who confirmed the same by many miracles. It is also confuted by Josephus, although he was of the nation and sect of the Jews. Let the Jews then listen to him, and believe one of their own nation, though they will not believe Christ. For thus he writes (Antiq., book 18, ch. 4), “At the same time lived Jesus, a wise man—if it is right to speak of Him as a man. For He was a performer of wonderful works, and a Teacher of those who willingly received Him, and had very many followers both from among the Jews and the Greeks. This was Christ whom, on His being accused by the chiefs of our nation, Pilate had sentenced to the Cross; yet those who had begun to love Him from the first, did not cease to do so. For He appeared to them on the third day alive, for the Prophets had foretold this and many other wonderful things concerning Him. And to this very day the body of Christians, so called from Him, still continue.”


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St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 16 (15 in Vulgate and LXX)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 30, 2013

The following lecture on Psalm 16 (15 in Aquinas’ version) appears here courtesy on the Aquinas Translation Project and in accordance with their copyright policy. The English translation (in the right-hand column) was done by Steve Perkins.

 Psalm 15

a.Tituli incriptio, ipsi David.Conserva me Domine, quoniam speravi in te: dixi Domino, Deus meus es tu, quoniam bonorum meorum non eges. The inscription of a title to David himself.Preserve me, O Lord, for I have put my trust in thee. I have said to the Lord, thou art my God, for thou hast no need of my goods.
b. Sanctis qui sunt in terra ejus: mirificavit omnes voluntates meas in eis.  To the saints, who are in his land, he hath made wonderful all my desires in them. 
c. Multiplicatae sunt infirmitates eorum; postea acceleraverunt.  Their infirmities were multiplied: afterwards they made haste. 
d. Non congregabo conventicula eorum de sanguinibus, nec memor ero nominum eorum per labia mea.  I will not gather together their meetings for blood offerings: nor will I be mindful of their names by my lips 
e. Dominus pars haereditatis meae, et calicis mei; tu es qui restitues haereditatem meam mihi. Funes ceciderunt mihi in praeclaris; etenim haereditas mea praeclara est mihi.  The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: it is thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me. The lines are fallen unto me in goodly places: for my inheritance is goodly to me. 
f. Benedicam Dominum, qui tribuit mihi intellectum; insuper et usque ad noctem increpuerunt me renes mei. Providebam Dominum in conspectu meo semper, quoniam a dextris est mihi ne commovear. Propter hoc laetatum est cor meum, et exsultavit lingua mea.  I will bless the Lord, who hath given me understanding: moreover my reins also have corrected me even till night. I set the Lord always in my sight: for he is at my right hand, that I be not moved. Therefore my heart hath been glad, and my tongue hath rejoiced: 
g. Insuper et caro mea requiescet in spe. Quoniam non derelinques animam meam in inferno; nec dabis sanctum tuum videre corruptionem. Notas mihi fecisti vias vitae; adimplebis me laetitia cum vultu tuo, delectationes in dextera tua usque in finem.  moreover my flesh also shall rest in hope. Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; nor wilt thou give thy holy one to see corruption. 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. 


a. In praecedenti Psalmo enumeravit justitias quas Deus requirit ab homine; hic autem ostendit quomodo justitiam sequebatur. Titulus talis est: inscriptio tituli ipsius David. Et quantum ad litteram significat quod editus est specialiter de his quae pertinent ad personam David. Sed quia David gerebat etiam personam Christi ex ejus semine nascituri, ideo quaedam hic de David, quaedam de Christo ponuntur. Et ideo Petrus Act. 2: providebam dominum et cetera. De resurrectione Christi dicit proprie dictum esse, et non de David. Et secundum hoc tangit historiam in Psalmo isto de novo testamento, secundum quod dicitur Joan. 18, quod Christo crucifixo imposuit Pilatus titulum super caput ejus hic est Jesus Nazarenus rex Judaeorum: et hic est quasi titulus regni ejus. Triplex titulus consuevit describi. Aliquando in sepulcro alicujus: hoc est sepulcrum talis. Aliquando in domo: haec est domus talis. Aliquando pro triumpho, sicut Romae fiebat: et hic titulus Christi est, qui triumphavit per crucem: Col. 2: palam triumphans illos in seipso, expolians principatus et potestates. Signatur ergo hic, quod in Psalmo specialiter de regno Christi agitur.  In the preceding Psalm he (the psalmist) enumerated the precepts that God requires of a person. Here, however, he shows how he followed that precept. The title is this: The inscription of a title to David himself. And with respect to the literal sense it indicates what has been proclaimed specifically about the matters that pertain to the person of David. But because David also bore the person of Christ, who was to be born of his seed, certain things are therefore put forth about David and about Christ. And so Peter in Acts 2:25: I foresaw the Lord, etc. He appropriately says that what has been said was about the resurrection of Christ, not of David. And with respect to this he touches upon history in this Psalm concerning the New Testament, with respect to which it is said in John 18 that Pilate placed on the crucified Christ a title above His head, This is Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,1 and this is a sort of title of his kingdom. The title has usually been represented in three ways. Sometimes on the tomb of someone, and this is a sort of tomb; sometimes in a home, and this is a sort of home; sometimes at the front of a triumph as used to occur in Rome. And this is the title of Christ, who triumphed through the cross. Colossians 2:15: And despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open shew, triumphing over them in himself. Therefore he indicates here specifically in the psalm what is done regarding the kingdom of Christ. 
Titulus Hieronymi talis est, humilis et simplicis Psalmus David. Et signatur quod agitur in Psalmo illo de simplicitate et humilitate David, sive singularis, sive figurati, scilicet Christi. Dividitur ergo Psalmus iste in duas partes. In prima ostendit sive ex parte sua, sive ex parte Christi loquens, se soli Deo inhaerere. Secundo commemorat beneficia quae a Deo recepit, ibi, benedicam dominum qui et cetera. Primum ad simplicitatem, secundum ad humilitatem pertinet. Circa primum duo facit. Primo ostendit quod soli Deo inhaeret. Secundo rationem assignat, ibi, dominus pars et cetera. Circa primum tria facit. Primo ostendit quomodo se habeat ad Deum. Secundo, quomodo se habeat ad sanctos Dei. Tertio, quomodo se habeat ad inimicos Dei. Secundum, ibi, sanctis. Tertium, ibi, multiplicate et cetera. Ad Deum se habet ut sibi soli inhaerens: et hoc dupliciter: per spem et fidem, ibi, dixi domino. Circa primum duo proponit: scilicet signum spei, et ipsam spem. Signum spei, ibi, conserva me domine: quasi: non confido per me servari posse: sed tu, domine, conserva me, vel in se, vel in membris suis: Joan. 17: pater, serva eos in nomine tuo, quos dedisti mihi. Et hoc, quoniam speravi in te. Sed numquid speravit Christus? Dicendum est quod sic: speravit quidem pro aliis vitam aeternam, pro se autem claritatem corporis. Claritatem autem animae habuit in instanti suae conceptionis.  The title of Jerome’s version is this: A psalm of the humble and simple David. And this indicates what is done in the psalm regarding the simplicity and humility of David, whether of him per se or figuratively, namely of Christ. Therefore this Psalm is divided into two parts. In the first he shows, whether speaking of himself or on the part of Christ, that he clings to God alone. Secondly he recalls the blessings that he has received from God at I will bless the Lord who, etc. The first pertains to simplicity, the second to humility. Concerning the first he does two things. First he shows that he clings to God alone. Second he gives a reason at the Lord is the portion, etc. Concerning the first he does three things. First he shows how he is related to God, second how he is related to the saints of God, and third how he is related to the enemies of God. He treats of the second at to the saints and the third at their infirmities were multiplied, etc. He is related to God as he clings to him alone, and this he does in two ways, by hope and faith at I have said to the Lord. Concerning the first he sets forth two things: namely a sign of hope and hope itself. [He sets forth] a sign of hope at preserve me, O Lord, as if to say, “I have no confidence that I can be saved in and of myself, but you, Lord, save me, either in yourself or in your members.” John 17:11: Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me, and this, for I have put my trust in thee. (Psalm 15:1) But surely Christ has not placed his hope [in anything]? It should be said like this: he indeed has placed his hope in eternal life for others, but for himself the glory of his body. He had, however, the glory of his spirit in the instance of his conception. 
Dixi et cetera. Hic primo ponit actum fidei. Secundo rationem assignat, ibi, quoniam bonorum et cetera. Actus fidei est confiteri Deo, vel in corde credendo, vel exterius laudando, factis approbando: Roman. 10: corde creditur ad justitiam, ore autem confessio fit ad salutem; et ideo, dixi, corde, ore, et opere, quia Deus meus es: Gen. 28: erit mihi dominus in Deum. Et ideo est, quia bonorum meorum non eges. Et hoc est proprium Dei: quia infinitae bonitatis est, et nihil ei addi potest, quia est substantiale bonum ad omnia extendens bonitatem sicut sol lumen, non per participationem, sed per ipsum esse illuminans omnia. Cuilibet autem alii creaturae potest addi, etiam sanctis, et propter hoc aliquid eis accrescit, et ideo aliquo modo indigent nobis: sed Deus solus non indiget bonis nostris: Job 33: porro si juste egeris, quid donabis ei, aut quid de manu tua accipiet? Hieronymus habet, quoniam bene non est nobis sine te: quasi, ex hoc apparet quia tu es Deus meus, quia tu es bonitas, nec mihi bene est sine te.  I said, etc. Here he first puts forth the act of faith, second he gives a reason for it, at for thou hast no need of my goods, etc. The act of faith is to confess God, either by believing in the heart or outwardly by praising and by establishing it [faith] in deeds. Romans 10:10: For, with the heart, we believe unto justice; but, with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. And so I said in heart, mouth, and deed, that you are my God. Genesis 28:21: the Lord shall be my God. And so it is, for thou hast no need of my goods. And this is appropriate for God, because he is of infinite goodness and nothing can be added to him, because he is the substantial good, extending goodness to all things just as the sun extends light, not through participation, but by itself illuminating all things that exist. For any other creature, however, something can be added, even to the saints, and because of this something increases for them, and therefore in some way we are in need. But God alone does not need our goods. Job 33: And if thou do justly, what shalt thou give him, or what shall he receive of thy hand?2 Jerome has, since it cannot go well with us without you, as if to say, “From this it is clear that you are my God, that you are goodness, and it cannot go well with me without you.” 
b. Sanctis. Hic ostendit quomodo se habet ad sanctos, etiam ut legitur ex persona Christi. Et sciendum, quod voluntas patris sicut voluntas Christi est, et inquantum homo, ut impleat voluntatem patris: Ps. 39: ut faciam voluntatem tuam, Deus meus volui: Thess. 4: haec est voluntas Dei sanctificatio vestra: Jo. 6: descendi de caelo non ut faciam voluntatem meam, sed voluntatem ejus qui misit me, patris, ut omne quod dedit mihi, non perdam, sed resuscitem illud in novissimo die. Christus autem multa voluit: et hoc propter nostram utilitatem. Sed quid voluit? Pati, mori, resurgere, ut nos vivificaret. Dicit ergo: Deus pater, omnes voluntates meas mirificavit, idest mirifice adimplevit, in eis, in quibus? Eis, in sanctis qui sunt in terra ejus, idest in Ecclesia militante et triumphante. Hieronymus habet sic, sanctis qui sunt in terra et magnificis, omnis voluntas mea in eis. Alia littera habet, robusti. Et dato quod aliquis terrenus confidat in potestate robusti exercitus, sed David dicit, ego speravi in te: Eccl. 2: nullus speravit in domino, et confusus est. Et robusti mei sunt sancti tui, qui magna faciunt: Ps. 100: oculi mei ad fideles, dicit Christus, ut sedeant mecum. Quod ipse Christus diligat sanctos, patet: Prov. 8: ego diligentes me diligo.  To the saints. Here he shows how he is related to the saints, as he is understood in the person of Christ. And it must be known that what the will of the father is, so is the will of Christ, and insomuch as he was a man, that he fulfills the will of the father. Psalm 39:9: that I should do thy will: O my God, I have desired it. 1 Thessalonians 4:3: for this is the will of God, your sanctification. John 6:38-39: because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hath given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day. Christ, however, wanted many things, and this was for the sake of our benefit. But what did he want? To suffer, to die, to rise again, so that we might live. Therefore he says, “God the Father, he hath made wonderful all my desires, that is has wonderfully fulfilled my desires, in them.” In whom? Them, in the saints who are on his land, that is, in the Church militant and triumphant. Jerome has it thus, in the saints and glorious ones on the earth, all my will is in them. Another version has, the strong. And although there had been given to him what anyone on earth may hope for in the power of a strong army, yet David says, I have put trust in thee. Ecclesiasticus 2:11: no one hath hoped in the Lord, and hath been confounded. And my strong ones are your saints, who do great things.3 Psalm 100:6: “My eyes were upon the faithful,” says Christ, “so that they may be with me.” Because if Christ himself loves his saints, he reveals himself. Proverbs 8:17: I love them that love me. 
c. Multiplicatae. Hic ostendit quomodo se habeat ad adversarios Dei, sive ad peccatores. Et primo ponit eorum conversionem; secundo conversionis modum, ibi, non congregabo. Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit statum praecedentis culpae; secundo ponit statum subsequentis gratiae, ibi, postea acceleraverunt. Dicit ergo, multiplicatae sunt infirmitates eorum, idest diversa peccata. Vel infirmitates, idest poenalitates ex peccato consequentes. Thren. 1: multi gemitus mei. Et ex hoc sequitur, postea acceleraverunt, idest conati sunt ad curandum vitam, ut redimerent tempus perditum. Et signanter hoc faciunt, quia, ubi abundat delictum superabundat gratia: ut dicitur Rom. 5. Item post tribulationes homo currit ad Deum. Osee 6: in tribulatione sua mane consurgent ad me, venite, revertamur ad dominum. Ps. 82: imple facies eorum ignominia, et quaerent nomen tuum, domine.  Were multiplied. Here he shows how he is related to the enemies of God, or to sinners. First he sets out their conversion, second the manner of conversion at, I will not gather together. Concerning the first he does two things. First he sets forth the state of their preceding sin, second he sets out the state of their subsequent grace, at afterwards they made haste. Therefore he says, Their infirmities were multiplied, that is their different sins, or infirmities, as in the penalties following from sin. Lamentations 1:22: my sighs are many. And because of this it follows that, afterwards they made haste, that is, they tried to manage their life so that they might redeem lost time. And they do this clearly because, where sin abounded, grace did more abound, as it says in Romans 5:20.4 In the same way, after afflictions man runs to God. Osee 6:1: In their affliction they will rise early to me: Come, and let us return to the Lord. Psalm 82:17: Fill their faces with shame; and they shall seek thy name, O Lord.
d. Non. Hic ponit modum conversionis. Et primo ostendit ad quem ritum convertantur; secundo, quomodo perfecte, ibi, nec memor ero et cetera. Dicit ergo, acceleraverunt. Sed quomodo convertentur? In veteri lege illi qui convertebantur, offerebant diversa sacrificia. Sed ego adunabo ex diversis partibus ad fidem; sed non ut effundant sanguinem: quia, ut apostolus dicit Hebr. 10, impossibile est per sanguinem taurorum aut hircorum, auferri peccata. Non congregabo conventicula eorum de sanguinibus, idest de ritu legis: sed haec congregatio est de sanguine novo, idest Christi. Hebr. 9: Christus semel oblatus est ad multorum exhaurienda peccata. Heb. 10: una oblatione consummavit in aeternum sanctificatos et cetera. Zach. 9: tu autem in sanguine testamenti tui eruisti vinctos tuos de lacu in quo non est aqua et cetera. Sed quomodo perfecta erit ista congregatio? Quia non ero memor nominis illorum, quod habebant in statu peccati, quia unus dicebatur fornicator, alius latro. Sed nullus post conversionem debet sic nominari, quia hujusmodi nomina sunt deleta. Vel, non ero memor peccatorum in judicio, cum congregabo justos, venite benedicti, Matth. 25. Et hoc per labia mea, vel per praedicatores meos. Sed dicetur eis, ite maledicti et cetera. Hier. 15: si separaveris pretiosum a vili, quasi os meum eris. Hieronymus habet: multiplicata sunt idola eorum: post tergum sequentium non libabo libamina eorum de sanguine, neque assumam nomina eorum in labiis meis; quasi dicat, te colo, non idola. Sed illorum idola multa sunt. Oseae 8: multiplicavi post dorsum recedentes a te. Hierem. 2: verterunt ad me tergum et faciem, nec ero particeps libaminum eorum. Deut. 33: de quorum victimis comedebant adipes, et bibebant vinum libaminum. Nec jurabo per illa idola.  Not. Here he sets out the manner of conversion. First he shows to what rite they are converted, second how it happens completely at nor will I be mindful, etc. Therefore he says, they made haste. But how will they be converted? In the Old Law those who were converted offered different sacrifices. But I shall bring them together from different parts to faith, but not that they may sacrifice blood, because as the apostle says in Hebrews 10:4: it is impossible that with the blood of oxen and goats sin should be taken away. [Therefore David says in the Psalm] I will not gather together their meetings for blood offerings, that is, concerning the rite of the law. But this is a congregation from the new blood, that is, of Christ. Hebrews 9:28: Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many. Hebrews 10:14: For by one oblation he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Zacharias 9:11: Thou also by the blood of thy testament hast sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water, etc.5 But how will that congregation be perfected? Because nor will I be mindful of their names, which they had in their state of sin, because one was called fornicator, another thief. But no one after his conversion ought to be so named, because names of this type have been destroyed. Or, I will not be mindful of their sins in judgment, when I shall gather together the just, Come, ye blessed Matthew 25:34. And this happens by my lips, or by my prophets. But it will be said to them, Depart from me, you cursed, etc.6 Jeremiah 15:19: if thou wilt separate the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth. Jerome has, Their idols were multiplied. I shall not pour forth drink offerings of their blood behind the back of those that follow, nor shall I take their names upon my lips, as if to say, “I worship you, not idols.” But their idols are many. Osee 8: I have multiplied those retreating from you behind your back.7 Jeremiah 2:27: they have turned their back and face to me,8 and I shall not be a participant in their drink offerings.9 Deuteronomy 33:38: Of whose victims they ate the fat, and drank the wine of their drink offerings.10 Nor shall I swear by those idols. 
e. Dominus. Hic assignat rationem suae inhaesionis soli Deo, quia scilicet ipse solus est hereditas sua; quasi dicat: ideo solum huic inhaereo, quia haec est hereditas mea. Primo dicit Deum esse suam hereditatem. Secundo commendat eam, quod est contentus de ea, ibi, etenim hereditas mea et cetera. Ipsa est bonum nostrum quo fruimur: homines in mundo isto quaerunt possessiones et usus earum, sed possessio sua est Deus; unde dominus, pars hereditatis meae, intransitive, idest hereditas quae venit mihi in partem. Quidam habent pro hereditate delectationes carnis. Sap. 2: haec est pars et haec sors nostra. Alii autem alia delectabilia mundi; sed Deus est sors mea. Thren. 3: pars mea dominus, dixit anima mea. Sed non solum est hereditas mea, sed, pars calicis mei, idest calix meus veniens mihi in sortem; quia tota delectatio mea et potus est Deus. Ps. 22: calix meus inebrians quam praeclarus est. Vel Christus habet hereditatem fideles; et hujusmodi hereditatis, scilicet fidelium, Deus est pars, sicut dictum est, dominus pars calicis mei, quia passio mea ordinatur ad Deum. Ipse etiam est dator hujus hereditatis: tu es qui restitues hereditatem meam mihi, scilicet aeternae gloriae. Et sic Christus loquitur ex persona suorum, qui eam perdiderunt peccante primo parente. Vel, hereditatem, idest claritatem corporis, quam perdidit homo peccando. Funes extenderunt mihi in praeclaris. Divites terram mensurant fune. Deut. 32: Jacob funiculus hereditatis ejus. Et ideo portio dicitur quasi funiculus funis, idest portio mea cedit mihi in rebus optimis, quia nihil melius ipso Deo. Hier. 3: tribuam tibi terram desiderabilem, praeclaram hereditatem. Secundo ostendit quod sit ea contentus: etenim hereditas mea praeclara est mihi; quasi dicat: non solum hereditas mea in se praeclara est; sed est ita praeclara mihi, quod nullo modo mutarem eam. Ps. 131: haec requies mea in saeculum saeculi: hic habitabo, quoniam elegi eam.  The Lord. Here he gives the reason for his clinging to God alone, because (God) himself alone is his inheritance, as if to say, “I therefore cling only to him, because this is my inheritance.” First he says that God is his inheritance. Second he praises it [i.e. his inheritance] because he is content concerning it, at for my inheritance, etc. [Psalm 15:6.] This itself is our good, which we enjoy. Men in this world seek possessions and uses of them, but his own possession is God, whence The Lord is the portion of my inheritance, in a way that cannot be passed on to another, that is, it is the inheritance that comes as my own part. Some people have as their inheritance pleasures of the flesh. Wisdom 2:9: this is our portion, and this our lot. Others, however, have other delights of the world, but God is my lot. Lamentations 3:24: The Lord is my portion, said my soul. But not only is he my inheritance, but the portion of my cup, that is, my cup coming as my lot, because my whole pleasure and drink is God. Psalm 22:5: my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly is it. Or, Christ has as an inheritance the faithful; and of this sort of inheritance, namely of the faithful, God is the portion, as it has been said, The Lord is the portion of my cup, because My (i.e. Christ’s) suffering is ordained for God. For it is God Himself who is the giver of this inheritance: it is thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me, namely, of eternal glory. And thus Christ speaks through the persona of one of His own, who condemned Him through the sin of the first parent. Or, inheritance, that is, the glory of the body, which man has destroyed by sinning. The lines are fallen unto me in goodly places.11 The rich measure their land with a line. Deuteronomy 32:9: [But the Lord’s portion is his people:] Jacob the lot of his inheritance.12 And therefore his (i.e., Christ’s) portion is said to be, as it were, the lot of lots,13 that is, my portion yields to me the best things, because nothing is better than God. Jeremias 3:19: [How shall I] give thee a lovely land, the goodly inheritance. Secondly he shows that he is content in this: for my inheritance is goodly to me, as if to say, “Not only is my inheritance goodly in itself, but it is so goodly to me that in no way would I change it.” Psalm 131:14: This is my rest for ever and ever: here will I dwell, for I have chosen it. 
f. Benedicam. Supra Psalmista posuit rationem quare soli Deo inhaeret, quia scilicet ipse est pars hereditatis suae; hic recognoscit beneficia. Et primo proponit beneficia suscepta; secundo speranda, ibi, insuper et caro mea. Circa primum duo facit. Primo commemorat beneficia suscepta; secundo ostendit gaudium quod habet ex eis, ibi, propter hoc laetatum est cor meum. Commemorat ergo duplex beneficium: unum in adeptione boni, aliud conservando contra mala. Quantum ad primum dicit, benedicam dominum etc. ut intelligam quam praeclara sit illa hereditas aeterna. Ps. 118: da mihi intellectum, et scrutabor et cetera. Ps. 31: intellectum tibi dabo, et instruam te. Eccl. ult.: danti mihi sapientiam dabo gloriam. Dedit autem dominus homini rationem ad sapientiam, sed non totaliter abstulit infirmitatem; sed hoc erit in gloria. Et primo proponit eam; secundo ponit auxilium contra eam, ibi, providebam dominum. Omnis homo habet a Deo secundum rationem lumen intellectus, et justus reformatur lumine gratiae. Sed adhuc infirmitas carnis restat; et ideo dicit, insuper adhuc increpuerunt me renes mei, idest infirmitates meae, scilicet culpae, vel peccata. Et hoc, usque ad noctem, idest usque ad mortem, increpuerunt me renes mei, idest reprehensibilem me ostenderunt. Alia littera, quia in renibus incentivum luxuriae sedem habet, et sic delectationem tentando molestat. 2 Cor. 12: ne magnitudo revelationum et cetera. Sed in Christo non sunt infirmitates culpae, vel infectionis, quia caro ejus non repugnat adversus spiritum; et ideo intelligitur solum de poena. Heb. 4: tentatum per omnia, quantum ad infirmitates corporales. Sed si de nobis intelligatur, dicendum quod homo qui donum intellectus habet, vel gratiam, dicat adhuc cum apostolo, Rom. 7: video aliam legem in membris meis repugnantem legi mentis meae. Vel renes, idest Judaei sibi conjuncti, usque ad noctem, idest usque ad passionem, sive usque ad passibilitatem carnis. Et quia caro timebat passionem, ego in illa passione, providebam dominum, erectis oculis in caelum, non in mundo. Providentia est praevisio rerum fiendarum in futuro; sed visio sive conspectus est rerum praesentium. Sed si adhuc tales renes impugnant, non est timendum, quia paratum habet auxilium Dei. Et ideo primo ponit recordationem auxilii, dicens, providebam dominum etc. quando scilicet increpuerunt me renes mei. Ps. 24: oculi mei semper ad dominum quoniam et cetera. Et hoc ideo quia a dextris est mihi ne commovear, non ad sinistram. Prov. 3: dominus erit in latere tuo, et custodiat pedem tuum ne capiaris. Isa. 50: stemus simul et cetera. Propter hoc laetatum est cor meum. 1 Reg. 2: exultavit cor meum in domino. Ps. 63: laetabitur justus in domino et cetera. Et exultavit lingua mea etc., exterius, cum exteriori gaudio prorumpit in laudem vocis. Isa. 12: cantate domino quoniam magnifice fecit. Psal. 80: exultate Deo et cetera.  I will bless. The Psalmist above set out the reason why he clings to God alone, namely because God himself is the portion of his inheritance. Here he recognizes the benefits. First he sets forth the benefits he has received, second the benefits he hopes for, at moreover my flesh. Concerning the first he does two things. First he recalls the benefits he has received, second he shows the joy that he has from them at, Therefore my heart hath been glad. He recalls, therefore, a two-fold benefit, one in the obtaining of good, the other in preservation against evil. With respect to the first he says, I will bless the Lord, etc., so that I may understand how goodly is that eternal inheritance. Psalm 118:34: Give me understanding, and I will search, etc. Psalm 31:8: I will give thee understanding, and I will instruct thee. Ecclesiasticus 51:23: To him that giveth me wisdom, will I give glory. The Lord, however, has given reason to mankind for wisdom, but he has not entirely taken away its weakness. But this will happen in glory. First he sets it [weakness] forth, second he sets out help against it at, I set the Lord always in my sight. Every person has from God, with respect to his reasoning powers, the light of understanding, and the just person is reformed by the light of grace. But still the weakness of the flesh remains, and therefore he says, moreover my reins also have corrected me, that is, my weaknesses, namely faults, or sins. And this even till night, that is even till death, my reins have corrected me, that is, they have shown me deserving of blame. Another version has, since the incentive/excitement to inordinate sensual pleasure has its seat in the loins, thus does it disturb (our spiritual) delight through temptation.14 2 Corinthians 12:7, lest the greatness of the revelations (should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan to buffet me. For which thing thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart me. And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity). But in Christ there are no weaknesses of fault, or of defect, because his flesh does not fight back against the spirit, and therefore this is understood only of the penalty (that the flesh endures). Hebrews 4:15: one tempted in all things, with respect to bodily weaknesses. But if this should be understood about us, it must be said that a person who has the gift of understanding, or the grace, would still say with the apostle in Romans 7:23: I see another law in my members, fighting against the law of my mind. Or reins, that is the Jews bound to him, even till night, that is even to his suffering, or even to the ability of his flesh to suffer. And because his flesh feared suffering, I, in that suffering, set the Lord always in my sight, with my eyes raised toward heaven and not on the earth. Providence is the provision of things to happen in the future, but vision or sight is of present things. But if still such reins oppose, this must not be feared, because (this opposition) has the help of God already prepared. And therefore he first sets out a recollection of help, saying, I set the Lord always in my sight, etc. when, namely, my reins have corrected me. Psalm 24:15: My eyes are ever towards the Lord, etc. And this, therefore, is because he is at my right hand, that I be not moved, not to the left. Proverbs 3:26: For the Lord will be at thy side, and will keep thy foot that thou be not taken.15 Isaiah 50:8: let us stand together, etc. Therefore my heart hath been glad. 1 Kings 2:1: My heart hath rejoiced in the Lord. Psalm 63:11: The just shall rejoice in the Lord, etc. And my tongue hath rejoiced, etc., outwardly he breaks forth with outward joy into the praise of his voice. Isaiah 12:5: Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath done great things. Psalm 80:2: Rejoice to God, etc. 
g. Insuper. Hic enumerat beneficia speranda. Primo quantum ad resurrectionem carnis; secundo quantum ad animam, ibi, notas. Prima in duo. Primo ponit spem resurrectionis; secundo modum, ibi, quoniam non derelinques. Dicit ergo, dedisti mihi intellectum, et astitisti mihi homini, sed insuper et caro mea requiescet in spe, resurrectionis. Ps. 3: ego dormivi, et soporatus sum, et resurrexi. Et etiam habebit caro mea spem in resurrectione. Sap. 3: spes illorum immortalitate plena est. Ratio, quia resurrectio requirit unionem corporis et animae; et ideo non debuit anima conjuncta divinitati remanere in Inferno; sed tamdiu debebat ibi stare, donec probaretur veritas humanitatis, et verae carnis: nec plus decebat relinqui in Inferno, ubi descenderat ad liberandum sanctos. Eccl. 24: penetrabo omnes inferiores partes terrae, et inspiciam omnes dormientes, et illuminabo omnes et cetera. Item ex parte corporis, quia nec dabis sanctum, idest corpus meum a te sanctificatum, videre corruptionem, idest putrefactionis, vel resolutionis, quam non est passus; sed mortis corruptionem passus est. Beneficia quae pertinent ad animam commemorat, cum dicit, notas. Hoc refertur ad Christum pro membris suis, et haec sunt documenta et praecepta, quae sunt via in beatitudinem. Prov. 7: serva mandata mea, et vives; et ideo dicit, notas mihi fecisti vias vitae. Secundo commemorat beneficium: ubi tria dicit. Primo plenam Dei visionem, adimplebis me laetitia cum vultu tuo, idest videbo vultum tuum. 2 Cor. 13: nunc cognosco ex parte, idest imperfecte, tunc cognoscam facie ad faciem. Plenam laetitiam: Joan. 16: ut gaudium vestrum plenum sit: quia delectationes indeficientes, quia, in dextera tua usque in finem. Isa. 51: laetitia sempiterna super capita eorum, gaudium et laetitiam obtinebunt: et fugiet ab eis dolor et gemitus. Prov. 3: longitudo dierum in dextera ejus, et in sinistra illius divitiae et gloria.  Moreover. Here he enumerates blessings to be hoped for, first with respect to the resurrection of the flesh, second with respect to the spirit at made known. The first he enumerates in two ways. First he sets out hope of resurrection, second the manner at Because thou wilt not leave. Therefore he says, “You have given me understanding, and you have stood by me, (I who am) a person, but moreover my flesh also shall rest in hope, of resurrection.” Psalm 3:6: I have slept and taken my rest: and I have risen up.16 And my flesh will also have hope in resurrection. Wisdom 3:4: their hope is full of immortality. The reason is that resurrection requires a union of body and soul, and therefore the soul joined to divinity ought not to remain in Hell, but it ought to stay there until the truth of humanity and of true flesh might be tested. Nor ought it be abandoned further in Hell where he had descended to free the saints. Ecclesiasticus 24:45: I will penetrate to all the lower parts of the earth, and will behold all that sleep, and will enlighten all, etc. Likewise from part of the body, because nor wilt then give thy holy one, that is my body sanctified by you, to see corruption, that is, of decay, or dissolution, which he (i.e. Christ) does not suffer; but he has suffered the corruption of death. He recalls the blessings that pertain to the soul when he says, known. In this he refers to Christ on behalf of his members, and these are the examples and precepts that are the way to blessedness. Proverbs 7:2: Keep my commandments, and thou shalt live; and therefore he says Thou hast made known to me the ways of life. Second he recalls the benefit where he says three things. First, the full vision of God, thou shalt fill me with joy with thy countenance, that is, I shall see your face. 2 Corinthians 13:12: Now I know in part,17 that is, imperfectly, then I shall know even as I am known. Full joy: John 16:24: that your joy may be full, for our pleasures are lacking, because at thy right hand are delights even to the end. Isaias 51:11: joy everlasting shall be upon their heads, they shall obtain joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning shall flee away.18 Proverbs 3:16: Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and glory.

© Steve Perkins

The Aquinas Translation Project


1 This line actually occurs in John 19:19, and then not exactly as Thomas cites it. He reads the phrase hic est into the text from Matthew 27:37 and Luke 23:38.


2 This is actually Job 35:7.


3 The last part of this quote from Ecclesiasticus is not found there, nor elsewhere in the vulgate.


4 Thomas uses the present tenses where the Vulgate uses the perfect.


5 Thomas cites this slightly differently. He cites, literally, “Thou, however, by the blood of thy testament hast rescued…”


6 Thomas appears to be citing Matthew 25:41, but the verb he uses is literally “go.”


7 The reference is not found in Osee.


8 The vulgate has “They have turned their back to me, and not their face.”


9 This last part is not at the referenced place.


10 Deuteronomy 32:38.


11 Thomas is citing Psalm 15:6, but mistakenly uses a verb from Psalm 139:6, whose phrasing funes extenderunt is rendered they have stretched out cords.


12 There is a play on words here missed in the English. The word translated “line” in Psalm 15:6 is funis. The word translated “lot” in Deuteronomy 32:9 is funiculus, the diminutive form of funis.


13 Thomas has funiculus funis.


14 I cannot find the source for Thomas’ citation here.


15 Thomas cites the subjunctive form of “keep” rather than the future that the Vulgate uses. His citation would translate literally, For the Lord will be at thy side, and may he keep thy foot that thou be not taken.


16 Thomas cites the verb exurrexi, which is a synonym for the Vulgate’s resurrexi.


17 Thomas incorrectly cites this as 2 Corinthians. It is 1 Corinthians.


18 Thomas cites this with a few differences. He uses obtinebunt for tenebunt, both meaning “they shall obtain.” He adds the phrase ab eis in the final clause, meaning “from them.”

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Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 24:1-12

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 30, 2013

Ver 1. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.2. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.3. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.4. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:5. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said to them, Why seek you the living among the dead?6. He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spoke to you when he was yet in Galilee,7. Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.8. And they remembered his words,9. And returned from the se sepulcher, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest.10. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna; and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things to the apostles.11. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.12. Then arose Peter, and ran to the sepulcher; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

BEDE; Devout women not only on the day of preparation, but also when the sabbath was passed, that is, at sun-set, as soon as the liberty of working returned, bought spices that they might come and anoint the body of Jesus, as Mark testifies. Still as long as night time restrained them, they came not to the sepulcher. And therefore it is said, On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, &c. One of the Sabbath, or the first of the Sabbath, is the first day from the Sabbath; which Christians are wont to call “the Lord s day”, because of our Lord’s resurrection. But by the women coming to the sepulcher very early in the morning, is manifested their great zeal and fervent love of seeking and finding the Lord.

AMBROSE; Now this place has caused great perplexity to many, because while St. Luke says, Very early in the morning, Matthew says that it was in the evening of the sabbath that the women came to the sepulcher. But you may suppose that the Evangelists spoke of different occasions, so as to understand both different parties of women, and different appearances. Because however it was written, that in the evening of the sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, our Lord rose, we must so take it, as that neither on the morning of the Lord’s day, which is the first after the sabbath, nor on the sabbath, the resurrection should be thought to have taken place. For how are the three days fulfilled; Not then as the day grew towards evening, but in the evening of the night He rose. Lastly, in the Greek it is “late;” but late signifies both the hour at the end of the day, and the slowness of any thing; as we say, “I have been lately told.” Late then is also the dead of the night. And thus also the women had the opportunity of coming to the sepulcher when the guards were asleep. And that you may know it was in the night time, some of the women are ignorant of it. They know who watch night and day, they know not who have gone back. According to John, one Mary Magdalene knows not, for the same person could not first know and then afterwards be ignorant. Therefore if there are several Marys, perhaps also there are several Mary Magdalenes, since the former is the name of a person, the second is derived from a place.

AUG. Or Matthew by the first part of the night, which is the evening, wished to represent the night itself, at the end of which night they came to the sepulcher, and for this reason, because they had been now preparing since the evening, and it was lawful to bring spices because the sabbath was over.

EUSEB. The Instrument of the Word lay dead, but a great stone enclosed the sepulcher, as if death had led Him captive. But three days had not yet elapsed, when life again puts itself forth after a sufficient proof of death, as it follows, And they found the stone rolled away.

THEOPHYL. An angel had rolled it away, as Matthew declares.

CHRYS. But the stone was rolled away after the resurrection, on account of the women, that they might believe that the Lord had risen again, seeing indeed the grave without the body. Hence it follows, And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus

CYRIL; When then they found not the body of Christ which was risen, they were distracted by various thoughts, and for their love of Christ and the tender care they had shown Him, were thought worthy of the vision of angels. For it follows, And it came to pass as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.

EUSEB. The messengers of the health-bearing resurrection and their shining garments stand for tokens of pleasantness and rejoicing. For Moses preparing plagues against the Egyptians, perceived an angel in the flame of fire. But not such were those who appeared to the women at the sepulcher, but calm and joyful as became them to be seen in the kingdom and joy of the Lord. And as at the Passion the sun was darkened, holding forth signs of sorrow and woe to the crucifiers of our Lord, so the angels, heralds of life and resurrection, marked by their white garments the character of the health-bearing feast day.

AMBROSE; But how is it that Mark has mentioned one young man sitting in white garments, and Matthew one, but John and Luke relate that there were seen two angels sitting in white garments.

AUG. We may understand that one Angel was seen by the women, as both Mark and Matthew say, so as supposing them to have entered into the sepulcher, that is, into a certain space which was fenced off by a kind of wall in front of the stone sepulcher; and that there they saw an Angel sitting on the right hand, which Mark says, but that afterwards when they looked into the place where our Lord was lying, they saw within two other Angels standing, (as Luke says,) who spoke to encourage their minds, and build up their faith. Hence it follows, And as they were afraid,.

BEDE; The holy women, when the Angels stood beside them, are reported not to have fallen to the ground, but to have bowed their faces to the earth; nor do we read that any of the saints, at the time of our Lord’s resurrection, worshipped with prostration to the ground either our Lord Himself, or the Angels who appeared to them. Hence has arisen the ecclesiastical custom, either in memory of our Lord’s resurrection, or in the hope of our own, of praying on every Lord’s day, and through the whole season of Pentecost, not with bended knees, but with our faces bowed to the earth. But not in the sepulcher, which is the place of the dead, was He to be sought, who rose from the dead to life. And therefore it is added, They said to them, that is, the Angels to the women, Why seek you the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. On the third day then, as He Himself foretold to the women, together with the rest of His disciples, He celebrated the triumph of His resurrection.

Hence it follows, Remember how he spoke to you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again, &c. For on the day of the preparation at the ninth hour giving up the ghost, buried in the evening, early on the morning of the first day of the week He rose again.

ATHAN. He might indeed at once have raised His body from the dead. But some one would have said that He was never dead, or that death plainly had never existed in Him. And perhaps if the resurrection of our Lord had been delayed beyond the third day, the glory of incorruption had been concealed. In order therefore to show His body to be dead, He suffered the interval of one day, and on the third day manifested His body to be without corruption.

BEDE; One day and two nights also He lay in the sepulcher, because He joined the light of His single death to the darkness of our double death.

CYRIL; Now the women, when they had received the sayings of the Angels, hastened to tell them to the disciples; as it follows,And they remembered his words, and returned from the sepulcher, and told all these things to the eleven, and to all the rest. For woman who was once the minister of death, is now the first to receive and tell the awful mystery of the resurrection. The female race has obtained therefore both deliverance from reproach, and the withdrawal of the curse.

AMBROSE; It is not allowed to women to teach in the church, but they shall ask their husbands at home. To those then who are at home is the woman sent. But who these women were he explains, adding, It was Mary Magdalene,

BEDE; (who was also the sister of Lazarus,) and Joanna, (the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward,) and Mary the mother of James, (that is, the mother of James the less, and Joseph.) And it is added generally of the others, and other women that were with them, which told these things to the Apostles.

BEDE; For that the woman might not endure the everlasting reproach of guilt from men, she who had transfused sin into the man, now also transfuses grace.

THEOPHYL. Now the miracle of the resurrection is naturally incredible to mankind. Hence it follows, And their words seemed to them as idle tales.

BEDE; Which was not so much their weakness, as so to speak our strength. For the resurrection itself was demonstrated to those who doubted by many proofs, which while we read and acknowledge we are through their doubts confirmed in the truth.

THEOPHYL. Peter, as soon as he heard this, delays not, but runs to the sepulcher; for fire when applied to matter knows no delay; as it follows, Then arose Peter, and ran to the sepulcher.

EUSEB. For he alone believed the women saying that they had seen Angels; and as he was of more ardent feelings than the rest, he anxiously put himself foremost, looking every where for the Lord; as it follows, And stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves.

THEOPHYL. But now when he was at the tomb, he first of all obtained that he should marvel at those things which had before been derided by himself or the others; as it is said, And departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass; that is, wondering in himself at the way in which it had happened, how the linen clothes had been left behind, since the body was anointed with myrrh; or what opportunity the thief had obtained, that putting away the clothes wrapped up by themselves, he should take away the body with the soldiers standing round.

AUG. Luke is supposed to have mentioned this concerning Peter, recapitulating. For Peter ran to the sepulcher at the same time that John also went, as soon as it had been told to them alone by the women, (especially Mary Magdalene,) that the body was taken away. But the vision of Angels took place afterwards. Luke therefore mentioned Peter only, because to him Mary first told it. It may also strike one, that Luke says that Peter, not entering but stooping down, saw the linen clothes by themselves, and departed wondering, whereas John says, that he himself saw the linen clothes in the same position, and that he entered after Peter. We must understand then that Peter first saw them stooping down, which Luke mentions, John omits, but that he afterwards entered before John came in.

BEDE; According to the mystical meaning, by the women coming early in the morning to the sepulcher, we have an example given us, that having cast away the darkness of our vices, we should come to the Body of the Lord. For that sepulcher also bore the figure of the Altar of the Lord, wherein herein the mysteries of Christ’s Body, not in silk or purple cloth, but in pure white linen, like that in which Joseph wrapped it, ought to be consecrated, that as He offered up to death for us the true substance of His earthly nature, so we also in commemoration of Him should place on the Altar the flax, pure from the plant of the earth, and white, and in many ways refined by a kind of crushing to death. But the spices which the women bring, signify the odor of virtue, and the sweetness of prayers by which we ought to approach the Altar. The rolling back of the stone alludes to the unclosing of the Sacraments which were concealed by the veil of the letter of the law which was written on stone, the covering of which being taken away, the dead body of the Lord is not found, but the living body is preached; for although we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. But as when the Body of our Lord lay in the sepulcher, Angels are said to have stood by, so also at the time of consecration are they to be believed to stand by the mysteries of Christ. Let us then after the example of the devout women, whenever we approach the heavenly mysteries because of the presence of the Angels, or from reverence to the Sacred Offering, with all humility, bow our faces to the earth, recollecting that we are but dust and ashes.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Catholic lectionary, 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 »

This Week’s Posts: Sunday, March 31–Sunday, April 7 2013 (Easter Sunday–Divine Mercy Sunday)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 29, 2013

Dominica Resurrectionis ~ I. classis
Let us sing to the Lord: for he is gloriously magnified…Despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open shew, triumphing over them in himself  ~Ex 15:1, Col 2:15.

Link fixedEaster Sunday Mass Resources (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Rite).

Last Week’s Resources (i.e., Holy Week~Ordinary & Extraordinary Forms).

Suggested Books, Podcasts and Resources for the Easter Season. Books, podcasts, etc.

Die II infra octavam Paschae ~ Dies Octavae I classis (EF)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy hath regenerated us unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead:  Unto an inheritance, incorruptible, and undefiled and that cannot fade, reserved in heaven for you~1 Pt 1:3-4




Die III infra octavam Paschae ~ Dies Octavae I classis (EF)
Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him: and on them that hope in his mercy. To deliver their souls from death; and feed them in famine~Ps 33:18-19


  • Pending: St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 2:36-41).



Die IV infra octavam Paschae ~ Dies Octavae I classis (EF)
In the fulness of time it was His will to become what we are, so that we might inherit the eternity He promised and live with Him forever~Office of Readings, from an ancient homily



Die V infra octavam Paschae ~ Dies Octavae I classis (EF)
Christ is not a sovereign who makes himself be served, but who serves and consecrates himself for others~Pope John Paul II.



Die VI infra octavam Paschae ~ Dies Octavae I classis
O praise ye the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever~Psalm 118.



Sabbato in Albis ~ Dies Octavae I classis



Dominica in Albis in Octava Paschae ~ I. classis (EF)

 RESOURCES FOR SUNDAY MASS (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms). Usually posted on Tues., Wed., or Thurs. evening.

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Resources for Holy Thursday (Chrism Mass and Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Including Extraordinary Form)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 28, 2013

This post contains resources for the Holy Thursday Masses, including the Extraordinary Form of the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Resources for other days in the Triduum can be found here:

Resources for Good Friday (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms).

Resources for Holy Saturday~Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter Ordinary Form).

Extraordinary From: Resources for Holy Saturday.

Easter Sunday Mass Resources (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms).

Feria Quinta in Coena Domini ~ I. classis

ORDINARY FORM: Included below are resources for the Chrism Mass and the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper.


Chrism Mass Readings.

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

The Last Supper and the Forgiveness of Sins. Blog post by Catholic biblical scholar Dr. Michael Barber.

Update:  Audio/Video~Roots of the Mass: A Study of Jewish Influence on the Divine Liturgy. Scroll down for audio and video players.

Update: Audio~Meaning of the Mass. From the Institute of Catholic Culture.

Update: The Easter Triduum: Entering Into the Paschal Mystery. Carl Olson, Ignatius Press Blog.

  • CHRISM MASS: Commentaries, Podcasts, Homilies.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 61:1-3a, 6a, 8b-9.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 89.

My Notes on the Responsorial (Ps 89:21-22, 25, 27). Includes notes on 20 & 26 also.

Bede the Venerable on Revelation 1:5-8.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Revelation 1:5-8.

Update: St Martha’s Parish Podcast Study on Revelation 1. Begins with some introductory material. Power Point handout here.

Update: The Apocalypse of St John: A Study of the Book of Revelation. Listen to part one.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 4:16-21. This was previously published and includes commentary on verse 14, 15, 22.

Cornelius a Lapide on Luke 4:16-21.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 4:16-21.

Update: St Cyril of Alexandria on Luke 4:16-21.

Update: St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of Luke chapters 3 & 4. Click on the POD icon or direct download link.

Update: Pope Francis’ Homily at Holy Thursday Chrism Mass.

  • EVENING MASS OF THE LORD’S SUPPER: Commentaries, Podcasts.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14.

Update: EWTN’s Study of Exodus. Listen to episode 5.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 116.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Cor 11:23-26.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Cor 11:23-26.

Update: EWTN’s In the Footsteps of St Paul. Listen to episode 8.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 13:1-15.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 13:1-15.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 13:1-15.

Update: St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast on John: The Last Supper.

Update: Christians Leadership Center on John 13.


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St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Luke 4:16-21

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 26, 2013

4:16. And He came to Nazareth: and entered into the synagogue.

Since therefore it was now necessary that He should manifest Himself to the Israelites, and that the mystery of His incarnation should now shine forth to those who knew Him not, and inasmuch as He was now anointed of God the Father for the salvation of the world, He very wisely orders this also, [viz. that His fame should now spread abroad.] And this favour He grants first to the people of Nazareth, because, humanly speaking, He had been brought up among them. Having entered, therefore, the synagogue, He takes the book to read: and having opened it, selected a passage in the prophets, which declares the mystery concerning Him. And by these words He most plainly Himself tells us by the voice of the prophet, that He both would be made man, and come to save the world. For we affirm, that the Son was anointed in no other way than by having become according to the flesh |59 such as we are, and taken our nature. For being at once God and man, He both gives the Spirit to the creation in His divine nature, and receives it from God the Father in His human nature; while it is He Who sanctifies the whole creation, both as having shone forth from the Holy Father, and as bestowing the Spirit, Which He Himself pours 6 forth, both upon the powers above as That Which is His own, and upon those moreover who recognised His appearing.

4:18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; therefore He hath anointed Me: He hath sent Me to preach the Gospel to the poor.

He plainly shews by these words that He took upon Him the humiliation and submission to the emptying (of His glory), and both the very name of Christ and the reality for our sakes: for the Spirit, He says, which by nature is in Me by the sameness of Our substance and deity, also descended upon Me from without. And so also in the Jordan It came upon Me in the form of a dove, not because It was not in Me, but for the reason for which He anointed Me. And what was the reason for which He chose to be anointed? It was our being destitute of the Spirit by that denunciation of old, “My Spirit shall not abide in these men, because they are flesh.” |60

These words the incarnate Word of God speaks: for being very God of very God the Father, and having become for our sakes man without undergoing change, with us He is anointed with the oil of gladness, the Spirit having descended upon Him at the Jordan in the form of a dove. For in old time both kings and priests were anointed symbolically, gaining thereby a certain measure of sanctification: but He Who for our sakes became incarnate, was anointed with the spiritual oil of sanctification, and the actual descent of the Spirit, receiving It not for Himself, but for us. For inasmuch as the Spirit had taken its flight, and not made His abode in us because of our being flesh, the earth was full of grief, being deprived of the participation of God.

And He proclaimed also deliverance to captives, which also He accomplished by having bound the strong one, Satan, who in tyrant fashion lorded it over our race, and having torn away from Him us his goods.

As the words “He anointed Me” befit the manhood: for it is not the divine nature which is anointed, but that which is akin to us: so also the words “He sent Me” are to be referred to that which is human.

Those also whose heart was of old obscured by the darkness of the devil, He has illuminated by rising as some Sun of Righteousness, and making them the children no longer of night and darkness, but of light and day, according to Paul’s word, And those who were blind,—–for the Apostate had blinded their hearts,—-have recovered their sight, and acknowledged the truth; and, as Isaiah says, “Their darkness has become light:” that is, the ignorant have become wise: those that once were in error, have known the paths of righteousness. And the Father also says somewhere unto the Son Himself, “I have given Thee for a covenant of kindred, for a light of the Gentiles, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out the prisoners from their bonds, and from the guard-house those that sit in darkness.” For the Only-begotten came into this world and gave a new covenant to His kindred, the Israelites, of whom He was sprung according to the flesh, even the covenant long before announced by the voice of the prophets. But the divine and heavenly light shone also upon the Gentiles: and He went and preached to the spirits in |61 Hades, and showed Himself to those who were shut up in the guard-house, and freed all from their bonds and violence. And how do not these things plainly prove that Christ is both God, and of God by nature?

And what means the sending away the broken in freedom? It is the letting those go free whom Satan had broken by the rod of spiritual violence. And what means the preaching the acceptable year of the Lord? It signifies the joyful tidings of His own advent, that the time of the Lord, even the Son, had arrived. For that was the acceptable year in which Christ was crucified in our behalf, because we then were made acceptable unto God the Father, as the fruit borne by Him. Wherefore He said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all men unto Myself.” And verily He returned to life the third day, having trampled upon the power of death: after which He said to His disciples, “All power has been given Me, &c.” That too is in every respect an acceptable year in which, being received into His family, we were admitted unto Him, having washed away sin by holy baptism, and been made partakers of His divine nature by the communion of the Holy Ghost. That too is an acceptable year, in which He manifested His glory by ineffable miracles: for with joy have we accepted the season of His salvation, which also the very wise Paul referred to, saying, “Behold, now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation:” the day, when the poor who erewhile were sick by the absence of every blessing, having no hope and being without God in the world, such as were the gentiles, were made rich by faith in Him, gaining the divine and heavenly treasure of the Gospel message of salvation; by which they have been made partakers of the kingdom of heaven, copartners with the saints, and heirs of blessings such as neither the mind can conceive nor language tell. “For eye, it saith, hath not seen, and car hath not heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him.” Though it may also be true, that the text here speaks of the abundant supply of graces bestowed by Christ upon the poor in spirit,

But by the bruised in heart, He means, those who have a weak and yielding mind, unable to resist the attacks of their |62 passions, and so carried along by them, as to seem to be captives: to these He promises both healing and forgiveness.

And to those who are blind, He gives the recovering of sight. For those who serve the creature instead of the Creator, “and say to the wood, Thou art my father, and to the stone, Thou hast begotten me,” without recognising Him Who is by nature and in truth God, how can they be ought else than blind, seeing they have a heart devoid of the light that is divine and spiritual? And on these the Father bestows the light of the true knowledge of God: for they are called through faith, and acknowledge Him, or rather are acknowledged of Him, and whereas they were children of night and darkness, they have been made children of light. For the day has shone upon them, and the sun of righteousness has arisen, and the bright morning star has dawned.

There is no objection, however, to any one’s referring all these declarations to the Israelites. For they were poor, and crushed in heart, and, so to speak, prisoners, and in darkness. “For there was not upon earth that was doing good, not even one. But all had turned aside, together they had become unprofitable.” But Christ came, preaching to the Israelites before all others, the glories of His advent. And like to their maladies were those of the Gentiles; but they have been redeemed by Him, having been enriched with His wisdom, and endowed with understanding, and no longer is their mind weak and broken, but healthy and strong, and ready to receive and practise every good and saving work. For in their error they had need of wisdom and understanding, who in their great folly worshipped the creature instead of the Creator, and inscribed stocks and stones with the name of Gods. But those who long ago lived in gloom and darkness, because they knew not Christ, now acknowledge Him as their God.

These words having been read to the assembled people, He drew upon Himself the eyes of all, wondering perhaps how He knew letters Who had not learnt. For it was the wont of the Israelites to say, that the prophecies concerning Christ were fullilled, either in the persons of some of their more glorious kings, or, at all events, in the holy prophets. For not correctly understanding what was written of Him, they missed the |63 true direction, and travelled on another path. But that they might not again thus misinterpret the present prophecy, He carefully guards against error by saying, “This day is this prophecy fulfilled in your ears,” expressly setting Himself before them in these words, as the person spoken of in the prophecy. For it was He Who preached the kingdom of heaven to the heathen, who were poor, having nothing, neither God, nor law, nor prophets; or rather, He preached it unto all who were destitute of spiritual riches: the captives He set free, having overthrown the apostate tyrant Satan, and Himself shed the divine and spiritual light on those whose heart was darkened; for which reason He said, “I am come a light into this world:” it was He Who unbound the chains of sin from those whose heart was crushed thereby: Who clearly shewed that there is a life to come, and denounced the just judgment. Finally, it was He Who preached the acceptable year of the Lord, even that in which the Saviour’s proclamation was made: for by the acceptable year I think is meant His first coming; and by the day of restitution the day of judgment.

4:21. And all bare Him witness and wondered.

For not understanding Him Who had been anointed and sent, and Who was the Author of works so wonderful, they returned to their usual ways, and talk foolishly and vainly concerning Him. For although they had wondered at the words of grace that proceeded out of His mouth, yet their wish was to treat them as valueless: for they said, “Is not this the son of Joseph?” But what does this diminish from the glory of the Worker of the miracles? What prevents Him from being both to be venerated and admired, even had He been, as was supposed, the son of Joseph? Seest thou not the miracles? Satan fallen, the herds of devils vanquished, multitudes set free from various kinds of maladies? Thou praisest the grace that was present in His teachings; and then dost thou, in Jewish fashion, think lightly of Him, because He accounted Joseph for His father? O great senselessness! True is it to say of them, “Lo! a people foolish, and without understanding: they have eyes and see not, ears, and hear not.” |64

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Pope St Leo the Great’s Homily for Wednesday of Holy Week (Spy Wednesday)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 25, 2013

I. The Difference Between the Penitence and Blasphemy of the Two Robbers is a Type of the Human Race.

That which we owe to your expectations, dearly-beloved, must be paid through the Lord’s bountiful answer to your prayers that He Who has made you eager in the demanding would make us fit for the performing.

In speaking but lately of the Lord’s Passion we reached the point in the Gospel story, where Pilate is said to have yielded to the Jews’ wicked shouts that Jesus should be crucified. And so when all things had been accomplished, which the Godhead veiled in frail flesh permitted, Jesus Christ the Son of God was fixed to the cross which He had also been carrying, two robbers being similarly crucified, one on His right hand, and the other on the left: so that even in the incidents of the cross might be displayed that difference which in His judgment must be made in the case of all men; for the believing robber’s faith was a type of those who are to be saved, and the blasphemer’s wickedness prefigured those who are to be damned. Christ’s Passion, therefore, contains the mystery of our salvation, and of the instrument which the iniquity of the Jews prepared for His punishment, the Redeemer’s power has made for us the stepping-stone to glory: and that Passion the Lord Jesus so underwent for the salvation of all men that, while hanging there nailed to the wood, He entreated the Father’s mercy for His murderers, and said, “Father, forgive them, for they know’ not what they do” (Lk 23:34).

II. The Chief Priests Showed Utter Ignorance of Scripture in Their Taunts.

But the chief priests, for whom the Saviour sought forgiveness, rendered the torture of the cross yet worse by the barbs of railery; and at Him, on Whom they could vent no more fury with their hands, they hurled the weapons of their tongues, saying, “He saved others; Himself he cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we believe Him” (Matt 27:42). From what spring of error, from what pool of hatred, O ye Jews, do ye drink such poisonous blasphemies? What master informed you, what teaching convinced you that you ought to believe Him to be King of Israel and Son Of God, who should either not allow Himself to be crucified, or should shake Himself free from the binding nails. The mysteries of the Law, the sacred observances of the Passover, the mouths of the Prophets never told you this: whereas you did find truly and oft-times written that which applies to your abominable wicked-doing and to the Lord’s voluntary suffering. For He Himself says by Isaiah, “I gave My back to the scourges, My cheeks to the palms of the hand, I turned not My face from the shame of spitting” (Isa 50:6). He Himself says by David, “They gave Me gall for My food, and in My thirst they supplied Me with vinegar” (Ps 69:21). and again, “Many dogs came about Me, the council of evil-doers beset Me. They pierced My hands and My feet, they counted all My bones. But they themselves watched and gazed on Me, they parted My raiment among them, and for My robe they cast lots” (Ps 22:16-17). And lest the course of your own evil doings should seem to have been foretold, and no power in the Crucified predicted, ye read not, indeed, that the Lord descended from the cross, but ye did read, “The Lord reigned on the tree”. See Psalm 96:10. St Justin the Martyr in his Dialogue With Trypho quotes this as follows:  Ειπατε εν τοις εθνεσι, ὁ Κυριος εβασιλευσε απο του ξυλου, “Say to the nations, ‘the Lord rules by the wood'” (i.e., the cross). Such a rendering may have appeared in ancient versions of the Septuagint and a number of the Latin Fathers seem to have been familiar with the rendering ( Tertullian, Lactantius, Arnobius, Augustine, Cassiodorus, Pope Leo, Gregory of Tours).

III. The Triumph of the Cross is Immediate and Effective.

The Cross of Christ, therefore, symbolizes the true altar of prophecy, on which the oblation of man’s nature should be celebrated by means of a salvation-bringing Victim. There the blood of the spotless Lamb blotted out the consequences of the ancient trespass: there the whole tyranny of the devil’s hatred was crushed, and humiliation triumphed gloriously over the lifting up of pride: for so swift was the effect of Faith that of the robbers crucified with Christ, the one who believed in Christ as the Son of God entered paradise justified. Who can unfold the mystery of so great a boon? who can state the power of so wondrous a change? In a moment of thee the guilt of long evil-doing is done away; clinging to the cross, amid the cruel tortures of his struggling soul, he passes over to Christ; and to him, on whom his own wickedness had brought punishment, Christ’s grace now gives a crown.

IV. When the Last Act in the Tragedy Was Over How Must the Jews Have Felt?

And then, having now tasted the vinegar, the produce of that vineyard which had degenerated in spite of its Divine Planter, and had turned to the sourness of a foreign vine, (Isa 5:1-4), the Lord says, “it is finished;” that is, the Scriptures are fulfilled: there is no more for Me to abide from the fury of the raging people: I have endured all that I foretold I should suffer. The mysteries of weakness are completed, let the proofs of power be produced. And so He bowed the head and yielded up His Spirit and gave that Body, Which should be raised again on the third day, the rest of peaceful slumber. And when the Author of Life was undergoing this mysterious phase, and at so great a condescension of God’s Majesty, the foundations of the whole world were shaken, when all creation condemned their wicked crime by its upheaval, and the very elements of the world delivered a plain verdict against the criminals, what thoughts, what heart-searchings had ye, O Jews, when the judgment of the universe went against you, and your wickedness could not be recalled, the crime having been done? what confusion covered you? what torment seized your hearts?

V. Chastity, and Charity are the Two Things Most Needful in Preparing for Easter Communion.

Seeing therefore, dearly-beloved, that God’s Mercy is so great, that He has deigned to justify. by faith many even from among such a nation, and had adopted into the company of the patriarchs and into the number of the chosen people us who were once perishing in the deep darkness of our old ignorance, let us mount to the summit of our hopes not sluggishly nor in sloth; but prudently and faithfully reflecting from what captivity and from how miserable a bondage, with what ransom we were purchased, by how strong an arm led out, let us glorify God in our body: that we may show Him dwelling in us, even by the uprightness of our manner of life: And because no virtues are worthier or more excellent than merciful loving-kindness and unblemished chastity, let us more especially equip ourselves with these weapons, so that, raised from the earth, as it were on the two wings of active charity and shining purity, we may win a place in heaven. And whosoever, aided by God’s grace, is filled with this desire and glories not in himself, but in the Lord, over his progress, pays due honour to the Easter mystery. His threshold the angel of destruction does not cross, for it is marked with the Lamb’s blood and the sign of the cross (Exodus 12:23; 1 Cor 5:8, Rom 8:35). He fears not the plagues of Egypt, and leaves his foes overwhelmed by the same waters by which he himself was saved. And so, dearly-beloved, with minds and bodies purified let us embrace the wondrous mystery of our salvation, and, cleansed from all “the leaven of our old wickedness, let us keep” the Lord’s Passover with due observance: so that, the Holy Spirit guiding us, we may be “separated” by no temptations “from the love of Christ” (again see Exodus 12:23; 1 Cor 5:8, Rom 8:35). Who bringing peace by His blood to all things, has returned to the loftiness of the Father’s glory, and yet not forsaken the lowliness of those who serve Him to Whom is the honour and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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Pope St Leo the Great’s Homily on the Sunday Before Easter (Passion Sunday)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 25, 2013

A little late, but you can still enjoy it. Several more of St Leo’s Holy Week Homilies will be posted today (March 25, 2013).

The Two-Fold Nature of Christ Set Forth.

Among all the works of God’s mercy, dearly-beloved, which from the beginning have been bestowed upon men’s salvation, none is more wondrous, and none more sublime, than that Christ was crucified for the world. For to this mystery all the mysteries of the ages preceding led up, and every variation which the will of God ordained in sacrifices, in prophetic signs, and in the observances of the Law, foretold that this was fixed, and promised its fulfilment: so that now types and figures are at an end, and we find our profit in believing that accomplished which before we found our profit in looking forward to. In all things, therefore, dearly-beloved, which pertain to the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Catholic Faith maintains and demands that we acknowledge the two Natures to have met in our Redeemer, and while their properties remained, such a union of both Natures to have been effected that, from the thee when, as the cause of mankind required, in the blessed Virgin’s womb, “the Word became flesh,” we may not think of Him as God without that which is man, nor as man without that which is God. Each Nature does indeed express its real existence by actions that distinguish it, but neither separates itself from connexion with the other. Nothing is wanting there on either side; in the majesty the humility is complete, in the humility the majesty is complete: and the unity does not introduce confusion, nor does the distinctiveness destroy the unity. The one is passible,the other inviolable; and yet the degradation belongs to the same Person, as does the glory. He is present at once in weakness and in power; at once capable of death and the vanquisher of it. Therefore, God took on Him whole Manhood, and so blended the two Natures together by means of His mercy and power, that each Nature was present in the other, and neither passed out of its own properties into the other.

II. The Two Natures Acted Conjointly, and the Human Sufferings Were Not Compulsory, But in Accordance with the Divine Will.

But because the design of that mystery which was ordained for our restoration before the eternal ages, was not to be carried out without human weakness and without Divine power, both “form” does that which is proper to it in common with the other, the Word, that is, performing that which is the Word’s and the flesh that which is of the flesh. One of them gleams bright with miracles, the other i succumbs to injuries. The one departs not from equality with the Father’s glory, the other leaves not the nature of our race. But nevertheless even His very endurance of sufferings does not so far expose Him to a participation in our humility as to separate Him from the power of the Godhead. All the mockery and insults, all the persecution and pain which the madness of the wicked inflicted on the Lord, was not endured of necessity, but undertaken of free-will: “for the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which had perished” (Lk 19:10): and He used the wickedness of His persecutors for the redemption of all men in such a way that in the mystery of His Death and Resurrection even His murderers could have been saved, if they had believed.

III Judas’ Infamy Has Never Been Exceeded.

And hence, Judas, thou art proved more criminal and unhappier than all; for when repentance should have called thee back to the Lord, despair dragged thee to the halter. Thou shouldest have awaited the completion of thy crime, and have put off thy ghastly death by hanging, until Christ’s Blood was shed for all sinners. And among the many miracles and gifts of the Lords which might have aroused thy conscience, those holy mysteries, at least, might have rescued thee from thy headlong fall, which at the Paschal supper thou hadst received, being even then detected in thy treachery by the sign of Divine knowledge. Why dost thou distrust the goodness of Him, Who did not repel thee from the communion of His body and blood, Who did not deny thee the kiss of peace when thou camest with crowds and a band of armed men to seize Him. But O man that nothing could convert, O “spirit going and not returning” (Ps 78:39); thou didst follow thy heart’s rage, and, the devil standing at thy right hand, didst turn the wickedness, which thou hadst prepared against the life of all the saints, to thine own destruction, so that, because thy crime had exceeded all measure of punishment, thy wickedness might make thee thine own judge, thy punishment allow thee to be thine own hangman.

IV. Christ Voluntarily Bartered His Glory for Our Weakness.

When, therefore, “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Cor 5:19), and the Creator Himself was wearing the creature which was to be restored to the image of its Creator; and after the Divinely-miraculous works had been performed, the performance of which the spirit of prophecy had once predicted, “then shall the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf shall hear; then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be plain” (Isa 35:5-6); Jesus knowing that the thee was now come for the fulfilment of His glorious Passion, said, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death” (Matt 26:38-39); and again, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me” (Matt 26:38-39). And these words, expressing a certain fear, show His desire to heal the affection of our weakness by sharing them, and to check our fear of enduring pain by undergoing it. In our Nature, therefore, the Lord trembled with our fear, that He might fully clothe our weakness and our frailty with the completeness of His own strength. For He had come into this world a rich and merciful Merchant from the skies, and by a wondrous exchange had entered into a bargain of salvation with us, receiving ours and giving His, honour for insults, salvation for pain, life for death: and He Whom more than 12,000 of the angel-hosts might have served (cf. Matt 26:53) for the annihilation of His persecutors, preferred to entertain our fears, rather than employ His own power.

V.  St Peter Was the First To’ Benefit by His Master’s Humiliation.

And how much this humiliation conferred upon all the faithful, the most blessed Apostle Peter was the first to prove, who, after the fierce blast of threatening cruelty had dismayed him, quickly changed, and was restored to vigour, finding remedy from the great Pattern, so that the suddenly-shaken member returned to the firmness of the Head. For the bond-servant could not be “greater than the Lord, nor the disciple greater than the master” (Matt 10:24), and he could not have vanquished the trembling of human frailty had not the Vanquisher of Death first feared. The Lord, therefore, “looked back upon Peter” (Luke 22:61), and amid the calumnies of priests, the falsehoods of witnesses, the injuries of those that scourged and spat upon Him, met His dismayed disciple with those eyes wherewith He had foreseen his dismay: and the gaze of the Truth entered into him, on whose heart correction must be wrought, as if the Lord’s voice were making itself heard there, and saying, Whither goest thou, Peter? why retirest thou upon thyself? turn thou to Me, put thy trust in Me, follow Me: this is the thee of My Passion, the hour of thy suffering is not yet come. Why dost thou fear what thou, too, shalt overcome?Let not the weakness, in which I share, confound thee. I was fearful for thee; do thou be confident of Me.

VI. The Mad Counsel of the Jews Was Turned to Their Own Destruction.

“And when morning was come all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death” (Matt 27:1). This morning, O ye Jews, was for you not the rising, but the setting of the sun, nor did the wonted daylight visit your eyes, but a night of blackest darkness brooded on your naughty hearts. This morning overthrew for you the temple and its altars, did away with the Law and the Prophets, destroyed the Kingdom and the priesthood, turned all your feasts into eternal mourning. For ye resolved on a mad and bloody counsel, ye “fat bulls,” ye “many oxen,” ye “roaring” wild beasts, ye rabid “dogs” (cf. Ps 22:12-16) to give up to death the Author of life and the Lord of glory; and, as if the enormity of your fury could be palliated by employing the verdict of him, who ruled your province, you lead Jesus bound to Pilate’s judgment, that the terror-stricken judge being overcome by your persistent shouts, you might choose a man that was a murderer for pardon, and demand the crucifixion of the Saviour of the world. After this condemnation of Christ, brought about more by the cowardice than the power of Pilate, who with washed hands but polluted mouth sent Jesus to the cross with the very lips that had pronounced Him innocent, the licence of the people, obedient to the looks of the priests, heaped many insults on the Lord, and the frenzied mob wreaked its rage on Him, Who meekly and voluntarily endured it all. But because, dearly-beloved, the whole story is too long to go through to-day, let us put off the rest till Wednesday, when the reading of the Lord’s Passion will be repeated. For the Lord will grant to your prayers, that of His own free gift we may fulfil our promise: through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who liveth and reigneth for ever and ever. Amen.

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