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Archive for March 30th, 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.

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