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The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for August, 2013

This Week’s Posts and Commentaries: Sunday, September 1-Sunday, September 8, 2013

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 31, 2013

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
FIFTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Dominica XV Post Pentecosten I. Septembris ~ II. classis

RESOURCES FOR SUNDAY MASS (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms).

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2013
MONDAY OF THE TWENTY-SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Bishop MacEvilly’s Notes on Today’s 1st Reading (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s 1st Reading (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). On 13-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

My Notes on Today’s 1st Reading (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 96).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 96).

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 96).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:16-30).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:16-30).

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:16-30).

Update: Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:16-30). St Joe of O Blog. On Luke and the parallels in the other gospels.

Update: St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:16-30). Begins at 14.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2013
MEMORIAL OF POPE ST GREGORY THE GREAT, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11). On 1-11.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11). On 1-11.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s 1st Reading (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11). On 1-13.

My Notes on Today’s 1st Reading (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6). Verses 9-11 pending.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6, 9-11).

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Respnsorial (Psalm 27).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 27).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 27).

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 27).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:31-37).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:31-37).

Update: Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:31-37). St Joe of O Blog. On 31-44 and the parallels in Mark & Matthew.

Update: St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:31-37).

Update: Online Books By And About Pope St Gregory the Great.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2013
WEDNESDAY OF THE TWENTY-SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:1-8).

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:1-8).

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:1-8).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:1-8). Read lectures 1-1 & 1-2.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:1-8).

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 52).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 52).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 52).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:38-44).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:38-44).

Update: St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 4:38-44).

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2013
THURSDAY OF THE TWENTY-SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:9-14).

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:9-14).

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:9-14).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:9-14).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:9-14).

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 98).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 98).

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 98).

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 98).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 5:1-11).

My Notes on Today’s Gospel (Luke 5:1-11).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 5:1-11).

Update: St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 5:1-11).

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2013
FRIDAY OF THE TWENTY-SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:15-20).

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:15-20).

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:15-20).

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:15-20).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s 1s Reading (Colossians 1:15-20). Lectures 4 & 5 of chapter 1.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:15-20).

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 100).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 100).

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 100).

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 100).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 5:33-39).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 5:33-39).

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
SATURDAY OF THE TWENTY-SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:21-23).

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:21-23). On 21-25.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:21-23).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:21-23).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s 1st Reading (Colossians 1:21-23).

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 54).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 54).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 54).

My Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Psalm 54:3-4, 6, 8). On verses 3-9.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 6:1-5).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 6:1-5).

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2013
TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
SIXTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Dominica XVI Post Pentecosten II. Septembris ~ II. classis

RESOURCES FOR SUNDAY MASS (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms). Quite a number of resources are still pending.

Next Week’s Posts. Friday-Sunday are still pending.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Colossians 1:9-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 31, 2013

Text in red, if any, are my additions. Text in purple indicates the Bishop’s paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on. To read the Bishop’s brief introductory analysis of Colossians chapter 1, go here.

Col 1:9  Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding:

 Therefore, as soon as we heard of your faith and charity, we ceased not praying to God for you, and supplicating him to fill you with a more perfect knowledge of his holy will, by bestowing upon you the gifts of all knowledge and spiritual understanding.

“With the knowledge of his will,” may mean, the general will of God, regarding them, the great rule to which they should conform their lives; or “the will of God,” in reference to the mode in which he has been pleased to save man, viz., by the death of his Son, and not by angels. And this extended knowledge they will acquire more perfectly by “spiritual wisdom,” i.e., by knowing the mysteries of faith on principles of faith, and “understanding,” knowing them by human illustrations; or “wisdom,” may mean the speculative knowledge of the truths of faith, and “understanding,” the knowledge of applying these truths and principles to the practical detail of their lives.

Col 1:10  That you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God:

That you may live in a manner becoming sons of God and followers of Christ, so as to please God in all things, producing the fruit of every kind of good works, and advancing and progressing more and more in the knowledge of God.

“Worthy of God.” In Greek, worthy of the Lord. “In all things pleasing,” in Greek, unto all pleasing. He explains in the following words, how they will walk worthy of God and please him; it is by omitting no opportunity of performing good works, which he calls “fruitful,” because as the fruits of the earth preserve our temporal life, so do good works ensure our eternal life.

Col 1:11  Strengthened with all might according to the power of his glory, in all patience and longsuffering with joy,

 That strengthened with perfect power, which came from the operation of his glorious omnipotence alone, you may endure all crosses with patience, with long-suffering, and with joy.

He also prays without ceasing, that fortified with perfect spiritual strength, through the glorious power of God, they would be patient and forbearing in adversity, and even receive it with joy, “according to the power of his glory,” i.e., his glorious power. God’s omnipotence is never so glorious as in rendering those omnipotent who hope in him, says St. Bernard. “Patience” is exercised in bearing those afflictions which we cannot revenge; “longanimity,” in bearing with those which we can punish. “With joy.” The patient endurance of crosses is more magnanimous than the performance of the most heroic actions. “Romanorum est fortia facere, Christianorum fortia pati,” out to bear severe trials, not only with patience but with joy, is peculiarly Christian. The basic meaning and intent of the Latin phrase seems to be: it is Roman to do brave deed, Christian to suffer bravely. The first part of the phrase probably originated in reference to Roman soldiers.

Col 1:12  Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light:

We give thanks to God the Father, who, of his pure mercy and grace, has vouchsafed to make us sharers by the light of faith in the inheritance of the saints, which consists in light, or the beatific vision of God.

“Giving thanks to God the Father.” The Greek omits, God. Some persons connects this verse with verse 9, thus: “we cease not praying God to grant you this grace also of thanking him for having called you,” &c. According to the connexion in the Paraphrase, a new sentence is commenced, and St. Paul having concluded his petitions in the preceding verse, now thanks God for the benefits here enumerated. “The lot of the saints,” τοῦ κληρου τῶν ἁγ ων. Eternal life is called a “lot,” to express its gratuitousness, and the absence of strict claim on our part signified by the absence of a claim on the part of those who gain a thing by casting lots. And though we merit eternal life; still, it is primarily founded on grace. In crowning our merits, he only crowns his own gifts.—St. Augustine (from his Treatise ON GRACE AND FREE WILL). “In light.” The light of faith here, or the light of glory hereafter, by which we shall see God, face to face. “It may, however, denote both, as in Paraphrase.”

Col 1:13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,

Who has rescued us from the power of darkness, i.e., of demons and infidels, and translated us to the kingdom, i.e., the Church of his beloved Son here, which is the portal to the kingdom of heaven hereafter.

“Darkness,” taken in a moral sense in SS. Scripture, denotes evil; hence, it means here, the power of the devil, the prince of darkness. “The Son of his love,” a Hebraism, for his most beloved Son.

Col 1:14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins:

 Through whom we have obtained redemption, which consists in the remission of our sins, and which he effected by giving his blood by way of ransom or price for us.

In the following verses the Apostle claims for Christ, the titles of Creator and Redeemer, the two grand prerogatives of which the Simonians attempted to deprive him, and which they wished to transfer to angels. In this verse, he claims for Him the title of Redeemer, upon which he dilates more fully at verse 20—after claiming for him the title of Creator in the intervening verses, 16, 17, 18, 19. The words “through his blood,” are not in the Douay-Rheims Version, made from the Sixtine Edition of the Vulgate, nor in the Codex Vaticanus, nor in MSS. or Versions generally.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Christ, Devotional Resources, Notes on Colossians, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Father Callan’s Commentary on Colossians 1:1-8

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 31, 2013

GREETINGS AND THANKSGIVING

A Summary of Colossians 1:1-8. Following his customary form, St. Paul, in company with Timothy, salutes the faithful of Colossae, assuring them of his constant prayers of thanksgiving to God in their behalf on account of their faith in Christ, their charity towards one another, and the consequent reward awaiting them hereafter. This hope of future blessedness came to them with the preaching of the Gospel truth; and with them as elsewhere, from the time of its first preaching, this worldwide message of salvation has yielded a great spiritual harvest. It was Epaphras, Paul’s beloved comrade, who preached the Gospel to the Colossians, and who has now brought news of them to him in Rome.

Col 1:1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy the
brother,
Col 1:2. To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ, who are at Colossae.

For a nearly identical greeting see Eph 1:1. Father Callan translates that verse as follows: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.

Father Callan goes on to give the following commentary on the following words and themes that the two passages share:

Paul. It is to be noted that, whereas in the other Captivity Epistles Timothy’s name is associated with Paul’s, here, as in Rom., Gal., and the Pastoral letters, only the name of Paul is mentioned. As Timothy had been with Paul at Ephesus and was therefore well known to the Ephesians, the omission of his name in the greeting of this Epistle is taken as an argument that the letter was not directed to the Church of Ephesus (see Introduction, No. IV).
 
Apostle, that is, a legate to whom is committed a mission with power and authority. Hence, the term implies more than messenger and it is applied in the New Testament to those who have been designated to preach the Gospel. By this title, therefore, Paul claims to be Christ’s legate, sent and commissioned by Christ to preach the Gospel. Thus, our Lord said : “As thou hast sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John 17:18).

By the will of God, that is, Paul’s mission is both gratuitous and divine, and not the result of his own merits or choice. He has not taken the honor to himself, but has been called by God, as Aaron was (cf. Heb 5:4).

To all the Saints. The omnibus of the Vulgate is not represented in the Greek. “Saints,” that is, those who by Baptism have been consecrated to God and live in union with Jesus Christ.

Timothy. See Introduction to 1 Tim., number I. Timothy was associated with Paul at this time in Rome, and probably he wrote down this letter as the Apostle dictated it.

Faithful brethren, i.e., fellow-Christians, who were full of active, living faith. Concerning the term faithful Father Callan wrote this in his Commentary on Epehsians 1:1~Faithful. This is a term frequently used by St. Paul. It designates those who with mind and heart have freely embraced the faith of Christ, subjecting themselves to His will and service.

Colossae. See Introduction, number I. Here is what Father Callan wrote concerning Colossae in his Introduction:

I. Colossae. Colossae was an ancient city of southwestern Phrygia in the Roman Province of Asia. It was situated in the valley of the Lycus River about one hundred and twenty miles east from Ephesus and on the great highway of trade between the East and the West of the ancient world. At one time it enjoyed considerable importance, but declined with the foundation and growth of Laodicea, some ten miles to the west, about the middle of the third century B.C. Besides the wealth and prosperity which developed in the closely adjacent Laodicea, other factors which contributed to the decline and ruin of Colossse were the earthquakes that repeatedly shook it and the fame and attractiveness of Hierapolis, the Sacred City, situated only thirteen miles to the northwest. Hierapolis, the birthplace of the Stoic philosopher Epictetus and the later residence of the Apostle Philip of Bethsaida, was a pleasure and health resort and a centre of pagan worship.

In the time of St. Paul Colossae was but a small town or mere village, lacking any special industry or commercial importance. Its inhabitants, therefore (largely Phrygian, intermingled with Greeks and some Jews), had more leisure time than was wholesome for their spiritual welfare: they talked and speculated too much, and so developed some erroneous doctrines by attempting to express Christian ideas in the terms and forms of philosophic and religious thought then current in Phrygia and in Asia Minor generally. Repeated raids and devastations by the Saracens during the seventh and eighth centuries completed the destruction of Colossae and the town became a heap of ruins. Nothing remains of it now. The Lycus still flows through the valley, but the city once overhanging it on the upper part of its course, and forever distinguished by the letter of St. Paul, has long ago ceased to exist.

In the Vulgate of verse 2 Jesu should be omitted, as in the Greek.

Col 1:3. Grace be to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

Grace be to you and peace, etc. See on the same sentence in Eph 1:2.

And from the Lord Jesus Christ. There is nearly equal MSS. evidence for the omission or the retention of this phrase here, which is found in Eph 1:2,

We give thanks, etc. The meaning is that, as often as he and Timothy prayed, they gave thanks to God for the Colossians’ life of faith and love; or that, as often as they prayed for the Colossians, they thanked God for the spiritual benefits the latter enjoyed.

Col 1:4. Hearing your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love which you have towards
all the saints
,

The reason for his prayer of thanksgiving is now assigned, namely, the Colossians’ faith in Christ and their charity to their brethren.

Hearing, from Epaphras (see Col 1:8).

Col 1:5. For the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard
in the word of the truth of the gospel, 

Col 1:6. Which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world, and bringeth
forth fruit and groweth, even as it doth in you, since the day you heard and
knew the grace of God in truth
.

For the hope, etc., i.e., on account of the hope, etc. There is question here, not of hope, but of the object of hope, of the thing hoped for, the reward awaiting the faithful life hereafter; and so it is disputed whether St. Paul is thanking God for the reward in store for the virtues and good works of the Colossians, as well as for their faith and love, or whether this hoped-for reward is the basis and motive of their active faith and love. The former explanation seems to be the meaning here (cf. Knabenhauer, hoc loco).

Which you have heard, etc. Better, “whereof you have heard, etc.”

In the word, etc., i.e., in the announcement or preaching of the Gospel which was given them (Col 1:6), and which everywhere in the whole Roman world is a growing and fruit-bearing seed, as it has been with them ever since they first “heard and knew” (i.e., understood and recognized) “the grace of God” (i.e., the contents of the Gospel) “in truth” (i.e., as it is in reality).

Col 1:7. As you learned of Epaphras, our beloved fellow-servant, who is for
you a faithful minister of Christ,
Col 1:8. Who also hath manifested to us your love in the Spirit
.

Epaphras, a resident and perhaps also a native of Colossa; and, if not the founder of the Church there, at least one of the chief workers in it. He is mentioned below in Col 4:12 and in Phm 23. Tradition makes him the first Bishop of Colossae. It is unlikely that he is to be identified with Epaphroditus, spoken of in Philippians 2:25, 4:18, though his name is an abbreviation of the latter’s.

Fellow-servant, i.e., companion in the service of Christ, who preached the Gospel at Colossae, and who now has brought to Paul and his companions in Rome a report of the love the Colossians have for them.

The Jesus of the Vulgate (ver. 7) is not in the Greek.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Colossians 1:1-8

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 31, 2013

This post opens with the Bishop’s brief paraphrase of Colossians 1:1-29, followed by his comments on Colossians 1:1-8. Text in purple represents his paraphrasing of the text he is commenting on. Text in red, if any, are my additions.

ANALYSIS OF COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 1

The Apostle commences this Epistle with the usual form of Apostolical salutation (Col 1:1, 2). In the next place, he gives thanks to God for the gifts of grace and the divine virtues of faith, hope, and charity, bestowed on the Colossians (Col 1:3–5). These gifts and virtues were to terminate in the enjoyment of the future blessings promised in the Gospel. From the mention of the Gospel, he takes occasion to confirm the doctrine preached to them by Epaphras, as a faithful minister of the Gospel. He prays that the Lord would grant, them a more perfect knowledge of his holy will, and strength and power to lead lives worthy of God, in the performance of good works, and the patient endurance of sufferings for his sake (Col 1:6–12).

The Apostle then renders thanks to God for the grace of faith, and the other blessings of redemption bestowed on all Christians; and from this, takes occasion to point out the attributes of Christ, and his superior excellence over the angels. He claims for him in a special way, the prerogatives of Creator and Redeemer, of which the heretics wishes to deprive him, by transferring them to the angels. The apostle, therefore, asserts, that he is the image of the invisible God—the Creator of all things, the angels included—the preserver, by his Providence, of all things created—the Redeemer of all men, Jews and Gentiles—the head of the Church—the reconciler of offended heaven with sinful man—the very fulness of the Divinity (Col 1:12–21).

He says that the Colossians will be partakers of the blessings of Redemption, provided they persevere in the faith announced to them, which is the same with that preached throughout the rest of the world. He declares himself to be appointed by the will of God a minister of the Gospel, in order to announce to the Gentiles a mystery hitherto concealed from them—a mystery for the fulfilment or accomplishment of which among the Gentiles, he cheerfully submits to suffering and privations of every kind (Col 1:22-29).

Col 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy, a brother:

Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will and authority of God, and Timothy a brother:

“By the will of God.” At the very outset, the Apostle asserts his divine commission, in opposition to the false teachers, who usurped the office of preaching without any divine mission or warranty whatever from God. Concerning the false teachers and their teaching see Col 2:4-8, 16-23.

“And Timothy.” He mentions him, because known to the Colossians and beloved by them.

Col 1:2  To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ Jesus who are at Colossa.

(Salute) the Christians of Colossæ, who are sanctified in Christ Jesus: who believe in him and faithfully serve him.

The three words, “saints,” “faithful,” “brethren,” denote the same, viz., the Christians of Colossæ. They are termed “Saints,” because called to a state of sanctity, and also, because they were sanctified in baptism, having been incorporated with Christ and engrafted on him; “faithful,” true sons of the faithful Abraham, and heirs of his promises; “brethren,” both of Christ and of one another. Hence, the necessity of brotherly union. These three are distinctive epithets of all Christians. “In Christ Jesus.” The word “Jesus,” is not in the Greek, but it is found in several MSS.

Col 1:3  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.

May you enjoy the abundance of all spiritual gifts from their efficient cause, Got the Father, and their meritorious cause, our Lord Jesus Christ.  We always gives thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and always pray for you.

“Grace,” &c., the ordinary Apostolic form of salutation. The words, “and the Lord Jesus Christ,” are wanting in many MSS. and rejected by modern critics. They are found in the Armenian and Coptic versions. “We give thanks to God,” &c. The Apostle usually commences his Epistles with acts of thanksgiving and prayer. He gives thanks for past favours, and prays for their future continuance. “To God and the Father.” For this St. Chrysostom reads, To God the Father, &c.

When used in the salutations of NT letters, the words grace and peace denote the fullness of God’s salvific bounty (i.e., his covenant blessings).  St Thomas Aquinas, in his lecture on Colossians 1:1-2 two says of grace and peace: “he wishes them all good things that lie between these two.”  Some of the graces St Paul would like to see the Colossians grow in are mentioned in verses 9ff (knowledge, wisdom, understanding, endurance, patience in joy, thanksgiving, perseverance, etc.).

Peace reflects the Hebrew word shalom, a word which means much more than just the absence of strife: a total state of well-being.  This state is the product of God’s grace.  In 3:15 St Paul will exhort the Colossians to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”  The verses which precede this passage (12-14) indicate what makes for peace, while the verses that follow (16-17) indicate how peace manifests itself among believers.

Col 1:4  Hearing your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have towards all the saints.

After we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the charity which you exercise towards all the faithful.

Their faith and love is what motivates Paul’s thanksgiving.

St Thomas Aquinas: “Our blessings or goods consist especially in faith, hope, and the love of charity: for by faith we have a knowledge of God; by hope we are raised up to him; but by the love of charity we are united to him. As we read: “So faith, hope, love, abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13). So he gives thanks for these three. First, that they have the faith; although he was not the one who preached to them, but rather a disciple by the name of Epaphras, and later Archippus. Thus he says, we have heard of your faith, which is the beginning of the spiritual life: “The righteous shall live by his faith” (Hab 2:4); “For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6).

“But this faith is dead without an active love, as James says (2:26), and so an active love must also be present: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” (Gal 6:15). And so he continues, and of the love which you have for all the saints….

Col 1:5  For the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard in the word of the truth of the gospel.

In the hope of securing these future blessings, treasured up for you in heaven; these blessings of the life to come, you have heard announced and promised to you, by the preaching of the gospel of truth.

Here St Paul moves from what has motivated his prayer, to what has motivated the Colossians’ response to the Gospel.

This love of their brethren they exercised in the hope of the future rewards, &c. “In the word of the truth of the gospel,” i.e., in the word of the most true gospel in which there is contained no falsehood. Hence, it is a laudable thing, to propose the rewards of the life to come, as the motive of our good works.

St Thomas Aquinas: “Further, the fruit of worldly love is obtained in this world; but the fruit of the love of charity is in eternal life. This leads him to mention hope: because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, that is, because of your eternal glory, which is called hope because it is considered as certain: “This hope has been put in my heart,” as we read in Job (19:27) [Vulgate].” (source)

Col 1:6  Which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world and bringeth forth fruit and groweth, even as it doth in you, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.

Which gospel has come to you, as it was preached all over the earth, where it fructifies and is become extended, as it has fructified and extended among you, from the day you heard it, and knew the true doctrine regarding the gratuitous goodness of God in reference to man’s redemption.

The words “and groweth,” are not in the Greek, Their genuineness is now admitted, being found in the ancient MSS., in that used by St. Chrysostom among the rest. ” Knew the grace of God in truth,” may also mean, have known the grace of God truly and without any admixture of error. In this verse, the Apostle wishes to remove any erroneous impressions, which the false teachers might endeavour to create in their minds, regarding the imperfection of the gospel preached to them, compared with that preached by the Apostles, probably with the view of making their own erroneous doctrine, the complement of the gospel preached to the Colossians.

Col 1:7  As you learned of Epaphras, our most beloved fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ Jesus;

According as you learned it from Epaphras, my fellow-servant and co-operator in preaching the gospel, who is most dear to me, as he is also the faithful and sincere minister of Christ Jesus for our good.

This gospel which has been preached by the Apostles throughout the earth, has been preached to you without any error by Epaphras. This the Apostle adds, to guard them against the wiles of the false teachers, who endeavoured to persuade them, that the gospel preached by Epaphras was defective, and that this defect could be supplied only by admitting the points of doctrine preached by themselves. From this it is commonly inferred, that St. Paul was never at Colossæ; otherwise, he should have referred to the doctrines which he himself preached. Hence, he advances the full weight of his Apostolic authority in support of the truth of the gospel preached to them by Epaphras. Epapnras is generally supposed to have been the first teacher of the Colossians; most probably sent to them by St. Paul while visiting the other cities of Phrygia; they, now, in turn, deputed him to visit the Apostle and minister to him in prison.

Col 1:8  Who also hath manifested your love in the spirit.

Who has made known to us your spiritual and pure love, not only for us, but also for all the saints (see Col 1:4).

This Epaphras, who had been ministering to him in his chains, made known to him their love for him. “In the spirit,” means spiritual, unlike the carnal love of the Gnostics; or, it may mean, proceeding from the Holy Ghost.

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St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 27

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 31, 2013

This post has not yet been edited (i.e., the adding of the footnotes).

OF DAVID HIMSELF, BEFORE HE WAS ANOINTED7

1. Christ’s young soldier speaketh, on his coming to the faith. “The Lord is my light, and my salvation: whom shall I fear?” (ver. 1). The Lord will give me both knowledge of Himself, and salvation: who shall take me from Him? “The Lord is the Protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid?” The Lord will repel all the assaults and snares of mine enemy: of no man shall I be afraid.

2. “Whilst the guilty approach unto me to eat up my flesh” (ver. 2). Whilst the guilty come near to recognise and insult me, that they may exalt themselves above me in my change for the better; that with their reviling tooth they may consume not me, but rather my fleshly desires. “Mine enemies who trouble me.” Not they only who trouble me, blaming me with a friendly intent, and wishing to recall me from my purpose, but mine enemies also. “They became weak, and fell.”8 Whilst then they do this with the desire of defending their own opinion, they became weak to believe better things, and began to hate the word of salvation, whereby I do what displeases them.

3. “If camps stand together against me, my heart will not fear.” But if the multitude of gain sayers conspire to stand together against me, my heart will not fear, so as to go over to their side. “If war rise up against me, in this will I trust” (ver. 3). If the persecution of this world arise against me, in this petition, which I am pondering, will I place my hope.

4. “One have I asked of the Lord, this will I require.” For one petition have I asked the Lord, this will I require. “That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life” (ver. 4). That as long as I am in this life, no adversities may exclude me from the number of them who hold the unity and the truth of the Lord’s faith throughout the world. “That I may contemplate the delight of the Lord.” With this end, namely, that persevering in the faith, the delightsome vision may appear to me, which I may contemplate face to face. “And I shall be protected, His temple.” And death being swallowed up in victory, I shall be clothed with immortality, being made His temple.9

5. “For He hath hidden me in His tabernacle in the day of my evils” (ver. 5). For He hath hidden me in the dispensation of His Incarnate Word in the time of temptations, to which my mortal life is exposed. “He hath protected me in the secret place of His tabernacle.” He hath protected me, with the heart believing unto righteousness.

6. “On a rock hath He exalted me.” And that what I believed might be made manifest for salvation, He hath made my confession to be conspicuous in His own strength. “And now, lo! He hath exalted mine head above mine enemies” (ver. 6). What doth He reserve for me at the last, when even now the body is dead because of sin, lo! I feel that my mind serves the law of God, and is not led captive under the rebellious law of sin? “I have gone about, and have sacrificed in His tabernacle the sacrifice of rejoicing.” I have considered the circuit of the world, believing on Christ; and in that for us God was humbled in time, I have praised Him with rejoicing: for with such sacrifice He is well pleased. “I will sing and give praises to the Lord.” In heart and in deed I will be glad in the Lord.

7. “Hear my voice, O Lord, wherewith I have cried unto Thee” (ver. 7). Hear, Lord, my interior voice, which with a strong intention I have addressed to Thy ears. “Have mercy upon me, and hear me.” Have mercy upon me, and hear me therein.

8. “My heart hath said to Thee, I have sought Thy countenance” (ver. 8). For I have not exhibited myself to men; but in secret, where Thou alone hearest, my heart hath said to Thee; I have not sought from Thee aught without Thee as a reward, but Thy countenance. “Thy countenance, O Lord, will I seek.” In thus search will I perseveringly persist: for not aught that is common, but Thy countenance, O Lord, will I seek, that I may love Thee freely, since nothing more precious do I find.

9. “Turn not away Thy face from me” (ver. 9): that I may find what I seek. “Turn not aside in anger from Thy servant:” lest, while seeking Thee, I fall in with somewhat else. For what is more grievous than this punishment to one who loveth and seeketh the truth of Thy countenance? “Be Thou my Helper.” How shall I find it, if Thou help me not? “Leave me not, neither despise me, O God my Saviour.” Scorn not that a mortal dares to seek the Eternal; for Thou, God, dost heal the wound of my sin.

10. “For my father and my mother have left me” (ver. 10). For the kingdom of this world and the city of this world, of which I was born in time and mortality, have left me seeking Thee, and despising what they promised, since they could not give what I seek. “But the Lord took me up.” But the Lord, who can give me Himself, took me up.

11. “Appoint me a law, O Lord, in Thy way” (ver. 11). For me then who am setting out toward Thee, and commenting so great a profession, of arriving at wisdom, from fear, appoint, O Lord, a law in Thy way, lest in my wandering Thy rule abandon me. “And direct me in the right path because of mine enemies.” And direct me in the right way of its straits. For it is not enough to begin, since enemies cease not until the end is attained.

12. “Deliver me not up unto the souls of them that trouble me” (ver. 12). Suffer not them that trouble me to be satiated with my evils. “For unrighteous witnesses have risen up against me.” For there have risen up against me they that speak falsely of me, to remove and call me back from Thee, as if I seek glory of men. “And iniquity hath lied unto itself.” Therefore iniquity hath been pleased with its own lie. For me it hath not moved, to whom because of this there hath been promised a greater reward in heaven.

13. “I believe to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living” (ver. 13). And since my Lord hath first suffered these things, if I too despise the tongues of the dying (“for the mouth that lieth slayeth the soul”1), I believe to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living, where there is no place for falsity.

14. “Wait on the Lord, quit thyself like a man: and let thy heart be strong, yea wait on the Lord” (ver. 14). But when shall this be? It is arduous for a mortal, it is flow to a lover: but listen to the voice, that deceiveth not, of him that saith, “Wait on the Lord.” Endure the burning of the reins manfully, and the burning of the heart stoutly. Think not that what thou dost not as yet receive is denied thee. That thou faint not in despair, see how it is said, “Wait on the Lord.”2

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 31, 2013

This post opens with the Bishop’s brief analysis of 1 Thessalonians 5:1-28, followed by his comments on 1 Thess 5:1-11. Text in purple indicates the Bishop’s paraphrasing of the Scripture he is commenting on. Text in red, if any, are my additions.

ANALYSIS OF 1 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 5

After having pointed out in the foregoing chapter, the order and several other circumstances of the Resurrection, the Apostle tells the Thessalonians in this, that there is one circumstance of the General Resurrection, which it is neither necessary nor possible for them to know at present; that circumstance is, the precise time at which it will occur (1 Th 5:1). They know from faith, that it will come unexpectedly, and will bring sudden destruction on the wicked; but it will not surprise, nor will it come unawares upon, the just, so as to find them unprepared, since, as children of light, they are always on the alert, always employed in the works of light, in hopes of the Lord’s coming (1 Th 5:2–8). He exhorts them to correspond with the designs of God in their regard, putting on the breast-plate of faith and charity, and the helmet of hope—to live in the expectation of salvation from the goodness of God, who gave us his Son for Saviour (1 Th 5:9, 10, 11).

He inculcates, with regard to the people, the necessity of discharging certain duties towards their Pastors; while, to the latter, he points out the duties which they in turn owe their people (1 Th 5:12–15).

He enjoins on all the faithful to cultivate and exhibit spiritual joy—to practise assiduous prayer—to employ the gifts of the Holy Ghost with profit and discernment, and to abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Th 5:16–22).

Finally, he beseeches God to grant them the gift of perfect sanctity both of soul and body, and recommends himself to their prayers; he salutes them all, and adjures them to have this Epistle read to all the brethren. He concludes with the usual form of Apostolical benediction (1 Th 5:23-8).

1Th 5:1  But of the times and moments, brethren, you need not, that we should write to you:

But as to the periods of time or precise moments at which this great event shall take place, it is not necessary (nor indeed is it possible) that I should write to you.

The word “times,” denotes longer periods, such as years; “moments,” shorter terms, such as months, days, hours.

“You need not that we should write to you,” as if to say, it was necessary for your consolation, that we should explain to you the order and the other circumstances of the Resurrection referred to already; but the time you need not, nay, you cannot know.

1Th 5:2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord shall so come as a thief in the night.

 For you know yourselves full well, from the principles of your faith, that the day of the Lord shall come suddenly and unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.

He shall come unexpectedly. This is true of the death of each one, when the day of judgment for him shall have virtually arrived; and, although Antichrist will precede it, this, however, shall not be a sign so much of the precise time of Christ’s coming, as of the approaching end of the world; and so far as the signs in the sun and in the moon, &c., are concerned, these may occur, probably on the very day of Judgment.

1Th 5:3  For when they shall say: Peace and security; then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape.

For when the impious shall say, peace and security, i.e., all things are quite secure; then, shall sudden and unexpected destruction come upon them, as the throes of child-birth come upon a woman with child, from which they will not be able to escape.

“For when they,” the impious, “shall say peace,” &c., because as it happened in the days of Noe, so shall men be eating and drinking, &c., at the coming of the Lord.—(Matthew, 24:37).

“For,” is omitted in the Greek. The example of the woman with child is frequent in the SS. Scripture. As she knows that she is to bring forth, but knows not the moment in which she may be suddenly seized with the throes of child-birth, so neither will the wicked know when the final destruction shall come upon them.

1Th 5:4  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you as a thief.

But although this day may come unexpectedly, like the approach of the nightly thief, still, it will not surprise you unawares, who are not unprepared for it, having been enlightened by faith, and free from the darkness of infidelity and sin.

“Overtake,” i.e. catch by surprise, so as to be unprepared for it.

1Th 5:5  For all you are the children of light and children of the day: we are not of the night nor of darkness.

For, how could you be in darkness, you, who are the sons of light and the sons of day? For, we Christians, are not the children of night nor of darkness.

“Children of Light,” i.e., called to perform good works, suited to appear in open light, and not followers of the works of darkness. “Light” and “darkness” are frequently used in the SS. Scripture, to signify good and evil. Christians are called “children of light,” in allusion to the light of faith which they received, and because they are called to good works, forsaking the darkness of infidelity and sin.

1Th 5:6  Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do: but let us watch, and be sober.

Let us, therefore correspond with our calling, and not be, like the infidels, engaged in the works of darkness, regardless of the coming of our Lord but, like men who are called to the works of light, let us be on the alert, and let us be sober.

From the metaphors of light and darkness, the Apostle takes occasion to exhort them to good works, to live up to their Christian profession, which will avail them nothing, but rather deepen their damnation, if, like Pagans, they indulge in the works of darkness. “Sleep as others do.” The Vulgate has sicut et ceteri, “even as others do.”

1Th 5:7  For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that are drunk, are drunk in the night.

For the time suited for sleep and drunkenness is the night; hence, those who indulge in sleep and those who indulge in drunkenness, do so in the night (we should, therefore, not indulge in sleep or drunkenness, which are unsuited to our vocation, or to the time of our actions, i.e., the day).

We should watch and be sober, in consequence of being children of light, because the opposite characteristics—viz., sleep and drunkenness—are peculiar to the night. On this account it is that men select the night for indulging in sleep and drunkenness. Hence, as these deeds are unsuited to our calling, or to the time of our action, we should wholly abstain from the works signified by them.

1Th 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, having on the breast plate of faith and charity and, for a helmet, the hope of salvation.

Let us, therefore, who belong to the day (abstaining from these deeds which are signified by sleep and drunkenness), be vigilant and sober, putting on faith enlivened by charity, as a breast-plate, and the hope of salvation, for a helmet.

We should, therefore, as children of the day, perform the works represented, or signified, by vigilance and soberness; but, in order to do so, we should be cased in the Christian panoply; for otherwise, although sober and vigilant, we will not be able to make a stand against the powerful enemies with whom we have to contend. “The breast-plate of faith and charity.” In the panoply of the Christian soldier (Ephes. 6:10-17). The Apostle calls “justice” the “breast-plate,” but it does not differ from this—for, faith animated by charity is “justice.” “And hope of salvation for helmet;” since hope will raise and elevate our thoughts on high. Three things are necessary for us—vigilance, sobriety, and armour. St. Chrysostom excites to vigilance in the narrow way of salvation, which is beset on all sides with dangers and precipices, by the example of rope-dancers, and of those who walk on the brink of precipices, all whose senses are awake and on the alert; so ought it be with us in the way of salvation. We ought to be sober, free from all vicious affections; and for armour we should have faith, hope, but especially active, operative charity towards our neighbour.

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us unto wrath: but unto the purchasing of salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

I say, we should put on the helmet of hope. For, God has not destined us for damnation, but for eternal salvation, to be acquired through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“God hath not appointed us unto wrath.”  The word translated here as “appointed” is εθετο, one of several words used by St Paul to speak of our election, a theme which appears several times in this epistle (1Th 1:4, 2:12, 4:7, 5:9, 5:24).

1Th 5:10  Who died for us: that, whether we watch or sleep, we may live together with him.

Who died for us, in order that, whether living or dead, we may live with him here a life of grace, and hereafter a life of eternal glory.

“Watch,” in this verse, means to be in this life, and “sleep,” to be dead; hence, they have a signification different from that which they have in the preceding verses.

1Th 5:11  For which cause comfort one another and edify one another, as you also do.

In consequence, then, of these cheering motives of your hope—viz., the death of Christ to bestow on us eternal life, continue to console one another, to edify one another, by word and deed, as indeed, you are already doing.

“Edify one another;” for the meaning of this word, see 1 Cor. 8:1. “As you also do,” he adds these words of well-timed praise with a view of rendering his exhortation more agreeable.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 31, 2013

This post opens with Fr. MacEvilly’s brief analysis of 1 Thessalonians 4:1-18, followed by his notes on 1 Thess 4:13-18. Text in purple indicates his paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF 1 THESSALONIANS CHAPTER 4

 

In this chapter, the Apostle encourages the Thessalonians to perseverance (1 Th 4:1); he delivers a precept regarding the practice of purity, and the avoidance of adultery, and he adduces several motives to stimulate them to fidelity in this matter (1 Th 4:3–8). He praises their charity, and encourages the poor to engage in some honest employment, so that by this means they would not abuse the liberality of the rich (1 Th 4:9-12). Finally, he assuages their excessive grief for their departed friends, by propounding the doctrine of the general resurrection, the order and manner of which he describes (1 Th 4:13-18).

 

This and the following chapters are employed in such subjects of morality, as the Thessalonians, according to the information furnished by Timothy, needed instruction in. 

1Th 4:13 (4:12) And we will not have you ignorant brethren, concerning them that are asleep, that you be not sorrowful, even as others who have no hope. Because the verse numbering of some translations of this chapter differ from verse 11 on, I’ve included the alternate references in parentheses (…).

In reference to the dead, brethren, I will not that you should be ignorant of their condition, in order that you may cease from indulging in the immoderate excessive grief, in which the Pagans, who have no hope of a future resurrection, are wont to indulge.

It appears that the Thessalonians had indulged in immoderate and excessive grief at the death of their near relations, and deplored it as bitterly as they had done when in a state of Paganism, and when they regarded them as lost for ever. The Apostle proposes as a remedy for this abusive practice, the doctrine of the future resurrection of the dead—a doctrine already propounded to them, as appears from his referring to it at the end of the 2nd and 3rd chapters of this Epistle; but they practically forgot it; and hence, he takes occasion here to inculcate it anew and propound it more fully. The Apostle is by no means to be understood as censuring all grief for the dead, as had been done by the Stoic philosophers. Our Redeemer wept for his friend Lazarus, and among the crimes of the Pagans (Romans, 1) the Apostle reckons the want of “affection;” and he himself would have sorrowed for the death of Epaphroditus (Philippians, 2:27). He only censures that excessive grief which would argue ignorance, at least practical ignorance, of the doctrine of the resurrection. “We will not.” In Greek, I will not. The Codex Vaticanus has “we.”

1Th 4:14 (4:13) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again: even so them who have slept through Jesus, will God bring with him.

For, if we believe (as we really do) that Christ has died and risen from the dead, so (ought we likewise believe) that he will resuscitate with him, and evoke from their graves, those who have died in the faith, and bring them to eternal life.

The connexion between the resurrection of Christ, and the general resurrection of all, is clearly pointed out by the Apostle (chapter 15 of his 1st Epistle to the Corinthians). It is worthy of remark, that in speaking of the death of Christ, he says, “Jesus died,” lest there might be any mistake about the reality of his death, as if it were merely apparent; whereas, speaking of our death, he says, “those who have slept,” to console those in sorrow, whose friends were not lost to them for ever, but were merely in the condition of persons asleep, to be again roused and resuscitated; and in SS. Scripture, death is frequently termed “sleep.”—(Daniel, 12:2; St. John, 11:11). Hence, the usual form among Christians of saying, he slept in the Lord, to express, that a person died, because death is but a mere protracted sleep, as sleep is but a short death. For the same reason, churchyards are termed cemeteries, or sleeping places.

1Th 4:15 (4:14) For this we say unto you in the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them who have slept.

For, this I tell you, on the authority of the word of God, or of divine revelation, that such of us as will be left in life, or shall be alive at the coming of the Lord, will not anticipate in the glory of the resurrection, those who died before us.

“We who live.” He speaks in the person of those who are to be alive at the day of judgment. In this verse, the Apostle meets an error existing in the minds of the Thessalonians regarding the manner of the resurrection; they did not imagine that it would occur “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.”—(1 Cor. 15) They thought there would be in it a succession of time, and that those whose bodies were corrupted would be resuscitated more slowly; and hence, that they would see their deceased friends more tardily in glory. He removes this erroneous impression in this verse. He says, “we who are alive,” not but he knew well, that he would not live till the day of judgment; but, he wishes to teach us by his own example, always to keep in view and prepare for this great day, which virtually happens at our death.

1Th 4:16 (4:15) For the Lord himself shall come down from heaven with commandment and with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God: and the dead who are in Christ shall rise first.

For the Lord himself (and not an angel, as on Sinai), after issuing his order to the angels to attend his descent, and after the archangel, in a voice louder than the loudest trumpet, shall have evoked the dead from their tombs, shall descend from heaven; and those who died in the faith shall rise in the first place.

He now describes the glorious coming of the Judge, and mentions some circumstances calculated to give us an exalted idea of the glory and majesty that will attend him. “With commandment.” The Greek word, κελεύσματι, properly signifies the shout of sailors or soldiers rushing in concert to battle, or of labourers encouraging each other to some common exertion. The Greeks retain the idea of command, and say, it refers to the command of God, ordering all the angels to be ready. “The trumpet of God,” by a Hebrew phrase, means the loudest trumpet (v.g.) “The cedars of God,” mean, the tallest cedars. It refers to the same thing with the “voice of the archangel.” Whether the archangel shall use a trumpet or not is disputed. The more probable opinion is, that by the agitation or commotion of the air, he will cause a tremendous sound louder than thunder, like that caused by the loudest trumpet, which shall reach the dead in their graves; this by the power of God, they shall hear. Hence, it is called in the gospel, “the voice of the Son of God.” St. Thomas says it shall have an instrumental efficacy in resuscitating by its very announcement. It is commonly supposed, after St. Jerome, that it shall distinctly sound forth these words: surgite mortui et venite ad judicium (see the final phrase in the note at the end of this paragraph). “And the dead who are in Christ will rise first.” All the dead will rise at the same time, but the Apostle omits all mention of the resurrection of the reprobate, as it would not serve to console those who were in mourning. “First” does not mean that there will be any priority of time in the resurrection of the dead among themselves; it only means, as the Greek word, πρῶτον, shows, in the first place. This event of their resuscitation shall take place before that mentioned in the next verse, that is, before they are drawn into the clouds.

Note: St Jerome wrote~”As often as I consider the day of judgment, I tremble; that trumpet appears always to sound in my ears, Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment (surgite mortui et venite ad judicium).

1Th 4:17 (4:16) Then we who are alive, who are left, shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air: and so shall we be always with the Lord.

And after that, such of us as shall live till then, shall be instantaneously drawn up with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air, and thus we shall be always with the Lord (and enjoying his glory).

“Then,” i.e., after the resurrection. The order which shall take place in the resurrection, though instantaneous, is conceived in the following way:—The Lord Jesus, accompanied with all his angels, whom he shall command to be ready, will descend from Heaven. He shall issue his command to the archangel, who, with a loud voice, like that of a trumpet, shall sound the signal of the resurrection. At this sound, all the dead shall arise—those who are then alive shall be changed—all the just shall be caught up into the air to meet the Judge, while the reprobate shall be at his left hand on the earth. The other circumstances are more fully recorded in the 1st Epistle to Cor. 15, and by our Redeemer—Matthew, 24:29 ff; Matthew 25:31 ff. From this verse, some persons infer that the men living at the day of judgment will be changed into a state of immortality, without suffering death. This is the opinion of the Greeks, who understand the words of the Apostles’ creed, to judge the living and the dead, in the same sense. Others say, that their death will take place in raptu, or, while they are being caught up into the clouds. The more common opinion, however, is, that they shall die on the earth, probably, by the agency of the fire of conflagration, and that after death, which shall be only momentary, they shall, in common with those, whose bodies were long before corrupted and for ages mouldering in their graves, and who now have come forth from heaven or purgatory to resume them, be caught up into the air, to meet Christ in the clouds. This he says in order to show that the living will not be glorified in their bodies before the dead, and that this shall occur to all at once, “in the twinkling of an eye.”—(1st Epistle to Cor. 15) They shall all, in the first place, arise; after that, they shall be taken up into the air to meet the Judge: he says, “they shall be taken up;” for, although they can go there of themselves by the quality of agility, with which they shall be clothed; still, they shall go thither, owing to a kind of draw or moral attraction to meet their Lord.

1Th 4:18 (4:17) Wherefore, comfort ye one another with these words.

Wherefore, console each other in your grief for departed friends by this announcement regarding the resurrection.

The paraphrase is the only comment the Bishop offers on this verse.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Galatians 5:25-26, 6:1-10

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 30, 2013

This post opens with the Bishop’s brief summary analysis of all of Galatians chapter 5, followed by his notes on Gal 5:25-26. After this comes the Bishop’s brief summary analysis of Galatians chapter 6, followed by his notes on Gal 6:1-10. Text in purple represents the Bishop’s paraphrase of the scripture he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF GALATIANS CHAPTER 5

 

The Apostle commences this chapter, by exhorting the Galatians to persevere in the Gospel liberty, into which Christ had asserted them (Gal 5:1)—and adduces several motives for deterring them from submitting to the bondage of the Mosaic law. First, if they submit to circumcision, their Christian profession will prove of no avail to them (Gal 5:2); secondly, they would be bound to the entire law by receiving circumcision (Gal 5:3); thirdly, they would forfeit all the blessings of Christianity (Gal 5:4); fourthly, because it is by faith, animated by charity, and not by any carnal means, justification is obtained (Gal 5:5, 6). He deplores the interruption that happened the Galatians in their onward course of Christian perfection; their deviation from the straight path he ascribes to their intercourse with false teachers, whom the father of lies employed to corrupt their faith, as a little leaven corrupts the entire mass (Gal 5:7–9). He expresses his firm hope that, through God’s grace they will repent, and denounces a merited sentence of judgment against the men, who were instrumental in unsettling their faith (Gal 5:10). He refutes the calumny circulated regarding himself by his enemies—viz., that he observed the legal ceremonies, by referring to the notoriety of his persecution for having insisted on the abolition of these ceremonies (Gal 5:11). He expresses a wish, that these false teachers would be not only circumcised, but altogether cut off from the Church (Gal 5:12). He exhorts the Galatians to the practice of the Christian virtues, especially of charity, to which the whole law is reduced (Gal 5:13, 14). He animadverts on the deplorable absence of charity for one another from among them (Gal 5:15). He assigns one general means of observing charity, which is, to walk according to the impulse of God’s spirit, the motions of which are diametrically opposed to those of the flesh (Gal 5:16, 17, 18). In order to guard them against all error on a subject which so vitally concerns their salvation, he recounts the works of the flesh, and the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:23). He next points out the obligations imposed upon them by the very nature of their Christian professions, to mortify the deeds of the flesh, and live according to the Spirit.

Gal 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 

But if we are interiorily animated by the Spirit, let us express this in our exterior conduct, in our actions.

Our lives, the whole tenor of our actions, should be strictly conformable to the dictates of the spirit by which we are animated.

Gal 5:26  Let us not be made desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Let us lay aside all desires of vain glory, which causes us to provoke one another, and if unsuccessful to envy one another.

Spiritual sins, such as the desire of empty glory arising from the repute of learning, eloquence, and other acquirements, are by no means uncommon among such as are perfectly free from the dominion of carnal sins. They are the more dangerous because rarely perceived; and therefore, but rarely scrupled, as they should; for, spiritual pride, arising from the possession of virtues, with which others are not equally favoured, is generally so latent in its approach, and so subtle in its operation, that even among persons devoted to God, it works great mischief in the soul, before it is thought of, and, not unfrequently, is the root of great disorders. How deep and solid should be the humility of those whom God favours with his graces, and stimulates to enter on his divine service. They should always bear in mind, that of themselves they are nothing; that all they possess is received; that left to themselves, there is no crime, however grievous or shameful, they are not capable of committing, as perhaps a sad experience of the past may but too clearly prove to them. How many have entered on God’s service with the most generous dispositions, and laboured well for some time; a latent pride, however, insensibly insinuated itself. They gloried in their good actions, as if coming from themselves. In the pride of their heart they said, “ascendam.” They fell away and became reprobates. Hence, we should unceasingly cry out with the Psalmist: “Create in me, O God, a clean heart, and renew a right spirit, within my bowels.” “From my hidden sins cleanse me.” “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to thy name give glory.” This is particularly important for those who have been consecrated to the service of God.

ANALYSIS OF GALATIANS CHAPTER 6

In this chapter, the Apostle inculcates, in particular cases, the exercise of charity, the necessity of which he had shown in a general way, in the foregoing (Gal 5:14). He exhorts those who are well instructed in the faith, to discharge the duty of charitable correction with regard to their weaker brethren. This, however, was to be done in a spirit of compassionate meekness and clemency, which the consideration of their own frailty would easily suggest to them (Gal 6:1). They should sympathize with their weak brethren, and, far from growing proud at the contrast between their own works and the frailties of others, should rather be humbled at the prospect of the account they are to render before a just Judge for their own transgressions (Gal 6:2–5). He exhorts them to the performance of good works, particularly the good work of supporting their teachers (Gal 6:6). He exhorts them to persevere in sowing the seeds of virtue, from a consideration of the rich harvest of glory which they were to reap. They should exhibit benevolence towards all men, but, in a special manner, towards the faithful members of the Church (Gal 6:5–10). He derives a final argument against the doctrine of the false teachers respecting the legal ceremonies, from the corrupt morals of these men, and the base motives by which they were actuated, in urging the Galatians to receive circumcision (Gal 6:11–13). Their motive was, first, to please the Jews, and thus avoid persecution (Gal 6:12); and, secondly, to have matter for glorying in the circumcision of the Galatians as brought about by themselves (Gal 6:13). The Apostle shows how different are the objects he has in view. He glories only in the cross of Christ; and, secondly, far from seeking human applause, by this cross he is become an object of aversion to the world (Gal 6:14). He assigns reasons for glorying only in the cross and passion of Christ (Gal 6:15, 16); and, finally, furnishes the Galatians, when tempted, or constrained to be circumcised (Gal 6:12), with a general answer which they were to give to those who were molesting them (Gal 6:17). The words of this verse are spoken by the Apostle in the name of the Galatians.
Gal 6:1  Brethren, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you, who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Brethren, should any one, owing either to the seduction of the false teachers, or, the strength of temptation, chance to be surprised in any of the above mentioned faults, particularly heresy or apostacy: let these amongst you, who are strong and well instructed in the faith, and live according to the dictates of God’s Holy Spirit, instruct and restore him to spiritual health, but with all mildness and humility, keeping before your eyes your own weakness, which renders you liable to commit sin and yield to temptation.

“Overtaken,” i.e., suddenly surprised, “in any fault.” i.e., in any of the faults termed in the preceding chapter, “works of the flesh.” He particularly refers to the sin of yielding to the teaching of the false teachers respecting the legal ceremonies. “Spiritual,” refers to the better instructed in the faith amongst them. “Instruct!” the Greek word, καταρτιζετε, means to restore such a person to sound faith, and to grace; the idea is borrowed from restoring a disjointed limb to its proper place in the body. In the present instance, this is to be done by timely instruction and correction. “Considering thyself;” he employs the singular number in order to bring the matter home to the conscience of each one; it is less harsh to admonish them individually, than to address the entire body. “In the spirit of mildness.” This regards not the correction of such sinners, as are obstinate in sin; for, these latter should be treated with rigour, as the Apostle himself wished that Titus would treat the Cretans.—(Titus, 1).

Gal 6:2  Bear ye one another’s burdens: and so you shall fulfil the law of Christ.

With compassionate sympathy, correct those who have fallen, in such a way as if their sins and infirmities were your own and borne by yourselves, and thus you will accomplish the Law of Christ, viz., his peculiar precept of charity.

“Burdens” refer to sins of every description, especially to the sin of apostacy. “They bear one another’s burdens” by the true spirit of sympathy, by compassionating each other, and instructing each other in the spirit of meekness. “Bear,” βασταζετε, means, to bear a burden placed on one. “And so you shall fulfil.” The common Greek text has, αναπληρωσατε, so fulfil. The future, ανεπληρωσετε, is found in the chief MSS.

 Gal 6:3  For if any man think himself to be some thing, whereas he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

For, if any person form a high idea of his own excellence—to which his harsh treatment of his infirm brother may be traced—such a person, in truth, seduces himself, since, in reality, he is of himself but nothing.

He points out the source of the harsh treatment of our weaker brethren; it is pride, or the false opinion of our own superior excellence. The Apostle assails this vice, and asserts, that left to themselves, and unaided by God’s grace, the firmest amongst them could be nothing in the order of salvation. “Deceiveth,” φρεναπατᾶ, deceives his own mind.

Gal 6:4  But let every one prove his own work: and so he shall have glory in himself only and not in another.
Let each one try and examine his life and actions according to the rules of faith and morality, and not mind comparing them with the works of his neighbour, and thus he will have cause for glorying in his own work, on account of its real merit, and not from the contrast with the failings and imperfections of others
Gal 6:5  For every one shall bear his own burden
.
For in the just judgment of God, each one shall have to bear the full weight of his own sins, without any extenuation from a contrast with others.

In this verse, he alludes to a certain class of men who, like the Pharisee in the Gospel, boasted of their own good works, from the contrast with their weaker brethren. Non sum sicut ceteri.—(Luke, 18:11). In this passage, we are furnished with most excellent instructions regarding the mode of administering correction to our infirm brethren. We should, as much as possible, excuse them. Their fault may have been the result of sudden passion or violent temptation. They may have been “overtaken” in it. We should “instruct” them and restore them to grace with the greatest meekness. Correction being of itself bitter and repugnant to our corrupt nature, should be rendered as sweet as possible, both in word and manner. It should merely insinuate the fault and extenuate it as much as possible. It should carry with it a due consideration of our own frailty, both as regards the past—did we ever do so ourselves? the present—are we subject to the same failing? and the future—what shall become of ourselves hereafter, in the same circumstances? This is the neighbour’s day for sinning, to-morrow shall be mine, said an ancient Father. How many are permitted by God to fall into sin, in punishment of their undue severity towards the fallen? Cassian (Collat. 2, chap. 13), mentions a frightful instance of this, in the lives of the ancient Fathers. We should so sympathize with our sinning brethren, as if we were bearing their sins on ourselves. We should guard against pride, like the Pharisee, on account of the misdeeds of others; and in judging of our own actions, we should only think of the just and tremendous judgment of God, in which they shall be examined.

Gal 6:6  And let him that is instructed in the word communicate to him that instructeth him, in all good things.

Let him who receives instruction in the doctrine of faith, share with his spiritual teacher, all his tem poral substance.

“Let him that is instructed,” &c. In the Greek it runs literally thus: κοινωνειτω δὲ ὁ κατηχούμενος τὸν λόγον τῷ κατηχοῦντι, let him who is catechised in the word, communicate, to his catechist, &c., i.e., make his spiritual instructor a sharer in all his temporal substance. The Apostle prescribes this, lest his reproof of the “spiritual” men, among whom were to be reckoned their instructors, should alienate from them the affections of their disciples, and thus cause them to be deprived of the necessary support. Catechetical, or viva voce instruction, was the method of imparting religious knowledge adopted by the Apostles. It is the fittest and most efficacious. Woe to the pastor of souls, who neglects it!

Gal 6:7  Be not deceived: God is not mocked.

Be not deceived in alleging vain excuses of in ability to comply with this natural precept of supporting your teachers. God, who is to judge you in such matters, will not be mocked.

Some interpreters connect this with verse 4, thus: “Be not deceived,” in judging of yourselves by the defects of others; for, “God is not mocked,” and this latter connexion well accords with the following verse.

Gal 6:8  For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit of the spirit shall reap life everlasting.

For whatsoever things a man shall have sown, the same shall he reap. For, whosoever shall indulge in forbidden pleasures, which he shall have cast as seed into the flesh, shall reap of this same flesh the harvest of death and corruption. But whosoever shall have performed spiritual works, of which the grace of God’s spirit is the principle, and thus shall have sown in the spirit, shall reap of the same spirit the harvest of eternal and incorruptible life.

After having exhorted those, who received instruction in religion, to contribute liberally towards the support of their teachers, he, in this verse, exhorts all Christians to the performance of good works. In this manner he employs the familiar metaphors of the seed and the harvest. He looks upon the “flesh” and “the Spirit,” or the Holy Ghost, as fields in which seeds of a different kind are deposited, from which a crop of the same kind shall spring. “In the flesh … in the spirit,” are read in the Greek, εὶς τὴν σάρκα … εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα, into the flesh … into the spirit.

Gal 6:9  And in doing good, let us not fail. For in due time we shall reap, not failing.

But in performing good works, let us unceasingly persevere; for, we shall reap the fruit of our good works, in due time, provided we cease not, but persevere.

According to the Vulgate, we are exhorted in this verse to persevere in the performance of good works. “Let us not fail.” We are told, that perseverance is a necessary condition for eternal life. According to the Greek, we are recommended to perform good works with cheerful alacrity, not becoming faint-hearted; because we shall in due time reap the fruit of our good works for a never-ending duration. “Not failing,” may mean in the Greek, “not relaxing” (from fatigue).

Gal 6:10  Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Wherefore, whilst the present life, the seed-time for good works, lasts, let us do good towards all mankind, but let us make the faithful fellow-members of the Church, the special objects of our benevolence.

“Whilst we have time,” i.e., during the present life; for “the night shall come, when no man can work.”—(John, 9:4).

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 7:11-16

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 28, 2013

Luk 7:11 And it came to pass afterwards that he went into a city that is called Naim: and there went with him his disciples and a great multitude.

“And it came to pass afterwards.” Maldonatus holds that the following miracle, which St. Luke alone records—we have no mention of it by the other Evangelists—did not occur immediately after the cure of the Centurion’s servant, recorded in the preceding verses. He thinks, that the occurrences mentioned in chaps. 8, 9, 10 of St. Matthew, took place between the two miracles narrated here. For, he remarks, all the Evangelist says is, that this miracle of the resuscitation of the young man of Naim occurred “afterwards,” and St. Matthew (chap. 11) says, that after directing and instructing His disciples, our Lord proceeded to preach and teach in their cities; in Naim, where this miracle occurred, among the rest. It is, however, commonly held that the word, “afterwards,” in Latin, “deinceps,” means the following day, as the Syriac version has it. And, indeed, the progressive description of still increasing wonders was very natural on the part of St. Luke. It was wonderful, that a man, who was present, should be cured by our Lord at once, of a loathsome leprosy; and that, by a single word; more wonderful still, to cure an absent man, at the point of death; but most wonderful, to raise to life a man, undoubtedly dead, and carried out to be buried. For, some might say that the Centurion’s servant might have naturally recovered, even though our Lord had not interposed. But, in the last miracle, no evasion or denial could be admitted.

“Naim,” in Greek, Nain, was not far from Capharnaun about two miles from Thabor (St. Jerome, in loc. Hebracis). St. Luke is the only Evangelist that records this miracle.

“His disciples.” The ordinary Greek has ικανοι (many of) “His disciples.” The word is not found in the Vulgate version or Vatican MS.

Luk 7:12  And when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother: and she was a widow. And a great multitude of the city was with her.

“And a great multitude,” who accompanied Him, owing to His teaching and miracles.

“The gate of the city,” generally a crowded place. “A dead man was carried out,” to be buried. The Jews had their cemeteries outside the towns and villages, for sanitary purposes. “The only son.” The Greek means, “the only-begotten child,” which, naturally, made the grief of his bereaved mother more intense. “And she was a widow,” another circumstance, that made her condition more pitiable, as she lost her only prop and support.

“And a great multitude of the city,” who testified their respect and sympathy, “were with her.” These, together with the crowd who accompanied our Lord, bore ample testimony to the truth of the miracle. Humanly speaking, our Lord’s going to Naim, and meeting the funeral procession, under such circumstances, might seem casual or fortuitous; but, it was all arranged by the over-ruling providence of God, to give His Son an opportunity of performing this great miracle on so public an occasion.

Luk 7:13  Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, he said to her: Weep not.

Our Lord was moved with compassion at the sad condition of this desolate widow; and, to leave us an example of how we are to treat the afflicted, He consoles her, not only by words—“weep not”—which might afford a cheap and barren sympathy; but, by act.

Luk 7:14  And he came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it stood still. And he said: Young man, I say to thee, arise.

He shows His sympathy by act. “He touched the bier, and they that carried it stood still,” and our Lord at once, by the sole exercise of His power, by His word alone, without any prayers, any ceremony, such as were resorted to by Elias, Eliseus, and St. Peter, to show His omnipotence, perfectly restores to life the young man, who was undoubtedly dead.

Luk 7:15  And he that was dead sat up and begun to speak. And he gave him to his mother.

“Rose up and began to speak.” Our Lord, to show that it was pity and compassion for his mother that induced Him to perform the miracle, “gave him to his mother.” The consequence of this wonderful miracle was, that the people were seized with “fear,” a feeling of awe at so wonderful and unusual an event.

Luk 7:16  And there came a fear upon them all: and they glorified God saying: A great prophet is risen up among us: and, God hath visited his people.

“They glorified God,” for having sent so great a Prophet among them, and for having “visited His people,” by sending the great Prophet, promised them of old, by Moses (Deut. 18:15). For a long time, no prophet appeared among them; and now God shows His ancient love for His people, by sending this great Prophet, who wrought more brilliant miracles than ever were performed before. Most likely, they did not regard Him as the Messiah, but only as a great Prophet. Zachary used the words, “visited His people,” in his canticle, but, probably in a higher sense than was meant here; for, he spoke under the influence of inspiration; and he adds, as if referring to the Incarnation of the Son of God, “and wrought the redemption of His people” (Lk 1:68).

The resuscitation of the young man of Naim has also an allegorical and moral meaning. The bereaved widow represents the Church, who bewails over each of her sons, by mortal sin dead to God, as if he were an only child. She weeps over them, and employs the multitude of her children to intercede for them. Jesus touched with compassion for the wailing of this bereaved spouse, at once speaks to their hearts. He employs the power and unction of His heavenly grace, He raises them mercifully to life and restores them to their now rejoicing mother to care them, and save them from wandering any more in the ways of sin and death. The three miracles now recorded, represent three classes of sinners; some not altogether abandoned, or so sunk in sin, as not to be able themselves to approach our Lord by prayer, and obtain remission and cure, as did the leper; others, the entire faculties of whose souls are so utterly benumbed from habits of sin, that, like the paralytic servant of the Centurion, they must employ intercessors; and, a third class so utterly abandoned and insensible, that it will require still greater efforts, still greater miracles of divine grace to rouse and restore them. St. Ambrose says, the three dead persons raised by our Lord to life, represent three classes of sinners—the daughter of Jairus lying dead at home, represents those who grievously sin inwardly; the young man here publicly carried out, those who commit external grievous sins; and Lazarus, three days dead and corrupting, those, who are the slaves of evil habits and are buried in sin.

 

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Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Luke 7:11-16

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 28, 2013

Luk 7:11  And it came to pass afterwards that he went into a city that is called Nain: and there went with him his disciples and a great multitude.

And it came to pass afterwards that he went into a city that is called Naim. A city of Galilee two miles distant from Mount Tabor, situated on the river Kison, and called Naim, from the Hebrew word which denotes beauty. Thus Naomi says, “Call me not Naomi,” i.e. fair or beautiful, “call me Mara; for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me” (Ruth1:20)—words which the widow of Naim, mourning the loss of her only son, might well make her own. So also Psa 133:1., “Behold how good and how pleasant (Nain) it is for brethren to dwell together in unity,” and therefore how sad and sorrowful for brother to be separated from brother, mother from son, by the hand of death.

The place is specially mentioned for the confirmation of the miracle, and also because “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (S. Matt 9:35); and to show the bitterness of the mother’s grief, for the death of her son at Naim was a greater trial to the mother than if they had been living in some country place. Just as it seems more hard for a man to be cut off in youth than in age, in health than in sickness, in prosperity than in adversity, in the spring tide rather than in the winter of life, as it is written (Sir 41:1), “0 Death, how bitter is the remembrance of thee to a man that liveth at rest in his possessions, unto the man that bath nothing to vex him, and that hath prosperity in all things. 0 Death, acceptable is thy sentence unto the needy and unto him whose strength faileth, to whom everything is a care.”

Luk 7:12  And when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother: and she was a widow. And a great multitude of the city was with her.

And when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out. “Behold,” i.e. by accident, humanly speaking, Christ met the bier; but the meeting was foreseen and fore-ordained of Christ, that He might raise the dead to life. He willed, however, that it should seem accidental and not designed, in order that it might be the more esteemed; for as the proverb runs, “that is of little value which is voluntarily offered for sale.”

A dead man carried out, i.e., without the city. Because, for sanitary and other reasons, the Jews had their burial places outside the walls of their towns and cities.

So the sepulchre of Joseph of Arimathæa, in which the body of Christ lay, was without Jerusalem. So also the valley of Jehoshaphat, the scene of the judgment to come and the general resurrection, is the common burial-place of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with the exception of the kings, for whom David had provided a sepulchre in Zion. 1 Kings 2:10. For similar reasons the Romans, who were forbidden by the twelve tables to bury their dead within the city, used the Campus Martius as a place of sepulture, until Theodoric revoked the law; and there is abundant evidence to show that the Christians also, in the time of the persecution, used the crypts which they had excavated without the city for purposes of interment, but afterward, when peace was given to the Christians, they consecrated burial places within the walls near the temples in which they were wont to worship:

1. That the remembrance of death might be continually presented to the faithful as an incentive to a holy life. Like as the Spartans were commanded by Lycurgus to bury their dead within the city, in order to teach their young men that death was to be honoured and, not to be feared.

2. That by their consecration they might be secure against the wiles of the devils, who are wont to dwell in the tombs and possess the bodies of those departed. S. Luke 8:27.

3. And also that the faithful when on their way to worship might be led to pray that those who lay buried around might be released from purgatory, and counted worthy of a glorious resurrection at the last day, and also that they might be partakers in the holy sacrifices offered in the temples and might benefit by the merits and by the prayers of those Saints who either lie buried, or are in some way especially commemorated therein. Thus Constantine the Great wished to be buried in the porch of the Church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople, and Theodosius in the Church of S. Peter at Rome. And so, as most of the churches at Rome show the Christians built altars over the tombs of the martyrs, for reasons which I have given in my comments on the text, “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain.” Rev 7:9.

The only son, μονογενὴς, i.e. the only child of his mother, and therefore the sole object of her love. For he was to her her hope and her future, the support of her declining years, and the light of her eyes. Hence the mother’s grief was of the bitterest kind, like to that which the prophets tell of: “They shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son,” Zech 12:10. And again, “0 daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth and wallow thyself in ashes: make thee mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation.” Jer 6:26.

And a great multitude of the city was with her. This widow seems to have been a woman highly esteemed by her fellow-citizens, “out of respect for whom they joined in the funeral procession.”  S. Ambrose. Furthermore, there is generally at the gate of a city a great crowd of people going in and coming out, particularly as formerly the gate was not only the market-place, but also the seat of judgment.  Hence God willed that the miracle should be thus publicly wrought, that many being witnesses of it, many might be led to give praise to Him. Bede.

Luk 7:13  Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, he said to her: Weep not.

He said to her: weep not. Nay, rather begin to rejoice, for I will restore your son to life again, mourn not as dead one whom thou shalt soon see brought back again to life. Bede. He forbids her to weep for him, who was, about to rise from the dead, S. Ambrose.
Luk 7:14  And he came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it stood still. And he said: Young man, I say to thee, arise.

And he came near and touched the bier. An open bier surely, as is common amongst the Jews.

Arise. Elijah, Elisha, and others restored the dead to life by means of prayer to God, but Christ at a word, as Lord of life and death, and therefore very God. He touched the bier, says Cyril, to show that his body was effectual for the salvation of men, for as iron heated in the fire does the work of fire, and kindles the chaff, so the flesh united to the Word gives life to mankind.

Luk 7:15  And he that was dead sat up and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.

And he that was dead sat up and began to speak. Sat up, raised himself up into a sitting posture, and so returned to life; for to sit up and to begin to speak are sure signs of returning animation.

And he gave him to his mother, i.e. He took him by the hand and placed him on his feet, then led him to his mother. Behold thy son! Take him home with thee, that thou mayest rejoice over him, and that he may render thee true filial obedience.

Luk 7:16  And there came a fear upon them all: and they glorified God saying: A great prophet is risen up among us: and, God hath visited his people.

And their came fear upon them all, i.e. reverence, and a sacred awe, mixed with admiration and joy.

A great prophet. The Messiah, of whose coming all were in anxious expectation.

Allegorically: The widow is the Church who mourns her sons—those who have fallen into mortal sin and forfeited the grace of God—as dead, and seeks by her tears for their restoration; and in answer to her prayers, Christ—1. Causes the bearers to stand still, checks those evil passions which gain the mastery over the young, and breaks their power. 2. Touches the bier, i.e. the wood of the Cross, and by it raises the dead to life. For by virtue of Christ sinners are moved to repentance, and restored to favour with God. Hence, 3. The dead man sits up and begins to speak, begins to lead a new life and give praise unto God, so that those who are witnesses of this marvellous change are filled with admiration and are led to give glory unto God. So S. Ambrose and others.

Of this we have a living example in S. Monica, for she mourned unceasingly for her son, who was dead in trespasses and sins, but recalled by her prayers to such holiness of life that he afterwards became a chief doctor of the Church. S. Augustine, Confessions.

Again, more particularly, the widow is the Church, the son the people of the Gentiles enclosed in the bier of concupiscence, and borne along to hell as to a sepulchre. By touch of the bier, i.e. by the wood of the Cross, Christ gave life to the world.

Figuratively: By the example of the widow we see how a priest or director should act when any of his spiritual children have fallen into mortal sin and are being borne to the grave of everlasting misery. He should follow the bier with weeping and much lamentation, for thus he will receive comfort from the Lord who—(1.) Touching the bier will cause the bearers to stand still, i.e. cause evil lusts and passions to cease; (2.) will recall the dead to life; and (3.) will raise him up to the performance of good works, so as to confess his sins and tell of the loving kindness of God.

Thus at last he is restored to the Church, his mother, whose past sorrow will be eclipsed by her present joy, and thus also many will be led to extol the goodness of God.

Again, the widow represents the soul, her son the understanding, inactive and dead. When such a soul laments her spiritual death, especially if others also join in her mourning, Christ will grant an awakening. The bier is a conscience in a state of false security. The bearers, the evil enticements and flatteries of companions which stand still, i.e. are restrained at the touch of Christ. Bede. Or, as Theophylact interprets it, the widow is the soul which has lost its husband, i.e. the word of life; the son is the understanding; the body, the coffin or bier.

To sum up. We read that Christ on three occasions recalled the dead to life.

1. The daughter of the ruler of the synagogue in the house, i.e. one who sins in thought and intention.

2. The son of the widow at the gate, i.e. one who sins openly, and imparts his guilt to others.

3. Lazarus in the tomb, the habitual sinner who lies as it were buried in sin without hope of recovery or release.

The first, Christ raised to life by secret prayer apart from others; the second by a word; the third by crying with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. Hence different degrees of sin have different remedies, but to rescue the habitual sinner from the death of sin there needs no less than the voice of Christ speaking loudly to the sinner’s heart.

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