The Divine Lamp

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

Archive for March, 2014

This Week’s Commentaries and Posts: Sunday, March 30–Sunday, April 6, 2014

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 29, 2014

SUNDAY, MARCH 30, 2014
FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A

COMMENTARIES AND POSTS FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A.

MONDAY, MARCH 31, 2014
MONDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 65:17-21. Readings from the RSVCE and the JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 30.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 30.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 30.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 30.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 4:43-54.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiltic Commentary on John 4:43-54.

Podcast Study of John 4.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 4:43-54.

TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2014
TUESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 47:1-9, 12. Readings from RSVCE and JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 46.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 46.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on John 5:1-16.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 5:1-16. On 1-18.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 5:1-16.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014
WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 49:8-15. Readings from the RSVCE and the JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 145.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 145.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 145. Attributed to St Albert.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 145.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 5:17-30.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on John 5:17-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 5:17-30.

THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2014
THURSDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Exodus 32:7-14. Readings from RSVCE and JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 106.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 106.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 106:19-23. Covers today’s verses.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 5:31-47.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 5:31-47.

FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014
FRIDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Wisdom 2:1, 12-22.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Wisdom 2:1, 12-22. Readings from RSVCE and JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 34.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 34.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on Psalm 34.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30.

Father McIntyre’s Commentary on John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30.

SATURDAY, APRIL 5, 2014
SATURDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Jeremiah 11:18-20. Readings from RSVCE and JB followed by commentary.

Pending: Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 7.

Pending: St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 7.

My Notes on Psalm 7.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 7.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 7:40-53.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on John 7:40-53.Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 7:40-53.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 7:40-53.

SUNDAY, APRIL 6, 2014
FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A

COMMENTARIES AND RESOURCES FOR THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A. Some resources still pending.

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Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Ephesians 5:8-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 27, 2014

8 For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light.
9 For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth:
10 Proving what is well pleasing to God.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness: but rather reprove them.
12 For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.

(8) You were once in the darkness of Gentile error, and so far might have found some excuse; but you are now enlightened by the faith and grace of Christ. Walk therefore as sons of light, making it your object to study, examine, cherish, and carry out in practice, that which is the will of God concerning you. (9) For the fruit of light, the outcome of the faith of Christ, is goodness, justice, truth, in opposition to the fruit of darkness, wrath, fraud, or avarice, and lies, referred to above (Eph 4:31). The fruit of the sunshine is the ripened grape, the growth of the dark dungeon the poisonous fungus. The Greek text has, the fruit of the Spirit.  (11) Hold no communication with the fruitless works of darkness. Do not do them, do not praise them, do not approve them, do not consent to others doing them, do not jest at them, do not speak of them, do not think of them. Fruitless, because they have no fruit of life eternal; their fruit is death. Rather reprove them, by taking no part in them, or, if necessary, protesting in words. For it is not sufficient to do well, if we tolerate and encourage, by flattery, complacence, or approval, the evil deeds of others. (12) What these people do in their secret assemblies, is execrable even to be said. So the Syriac. St. Epiphanius says that this refers to the heretical followers of Simon Magus.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for all that is made manifest is light.
14 Wherefore he saith: Rise, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee.

The Syriac of verse 13 has: All things are by light proved and revealed. The right way to reprove the darkness of evil, is by the light of good deeds; because it is the nature of light to illumine. The light of day brings into prominence all that had been hidden in the shades of night; so do good deeds bring out by contrast the evil deeds of others. As Christ, who is the Light of the world, illumines every man who comes into the world, so in proportion the Christian, who is a son of this Light, should illumine and enlighten his neighbour by his good deeds and his example. For a holy life is a light which is not only conspicuous in itself, but sheds its radiance on, and is reflected from, all the objects around. The quotation in verse 14, as St. Thomas thinks, is from Isaiah 60:1. Rise, be enlightened, Jerusalem, for thy light is come. Thy light is Christ. Other writers think the words are taken from some other canonical book, which has been lost: they do not occur in the Scriptures literally as the Apostle gives them.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Ephesians 5:8-14

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 27, 2014

This post opens with the bishop’s brief analysis of chapter 5 followed by his commentary on verses 8-14. Text in purple indicate his paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF EPHESIANS CHAPTER 5

In this chapter, the Apostle exhorts the Ephesians to love one another after the example of God (4:32), and also after the example of Christ, who sacrificed himself for us (1, 2). He exhorts them to shun all impurity both in word and deed, because wholly unsuited to the exalted state of sanctity to which they were called, and because it provokes the punishment of exclusion from God’s eternal inheritance (4, 5). He cautions them against listening to the false teachings of some men on this head (6). He dissuades them from all participation whatsoever, in the wicked conduct of their Pagan neighbours. He, on the contrary, adduces several motives of persuasion, to encourage them to set forth, by the pure and bright contrast of their holy lives, in darker and more hideous colours, the wicked deeds of the others (7–15).

He exhorts them to act with wise caution and circumspection in their intercourse with the Pagans, considering the perilous nature of the days upon which they had fallen (15–18). He cautions them against excessive indulgence in wine, and exhorts them to seek consolation from a different source—viz., the Spirit of God; and he points out how, in their different meetings, they are to express their joy in the Holy Ghost, by singing psalms, and other spiritual songs, and by expressing their thankfulness to God (19, 20).

He next lays down a general principle of Christian policy, relative to the duties of subjection and subordination, in the different states of life (21). Descending to particulars, he devotes the remainder of this chapter to the instruction of those engaged in the marriage state, as to the duties they mutually owe each other. In this state, the woman is the party on whom the duty of obedience devolves. He shows the relation of subjection which she bears her husband, to be similar to that which the Church bears to Christ; and hence, she should be subject to him, as the Church is to Christ (22–24), He, on the other hand, adduces the same analogy of relation, as a reason why husbands should love their wives. They hold in their regard a relation of headship, similar to that which Christ holds in regard to the Church (25–27). Another reason for this love is founded on the nature of the conjugal union between man and wife (28, 29). He, next, points out the ground of the comparison of the man and wife with Christ and his Church, by showing that the Church is a part of Christ, and for this purpose he quotes in a mystical sense, the passage in Genesis, where reference is made to the creation of the woman (30). He quotes more largely from the passage in Genesis, in order to develop more fully the motive referred to (in verse 28), and shows the union between man and wife to be a type of the indissoluble and mystic union between Christ and his Church (31, 32). He applies to the Ephesians the motives already adduced, and calls upon husbands and wives to attend to them (33).

8 For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light.
9 For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and justice and truth:

8. Such a partnership in crime is wholly at variance with your present calling. You were formerly, indeed, among the children of error and unbelief, but now you are enlightened in the principles of Christian faith and morality. Lead, therefore, the lives of men instructed in Christian virtue, and taught to hold in abhorrence the hideous crime of Paganism.
9. (For the fruits of Christian grace and faith are the works of goodness and benevolence, of justice and truth).

And that as children of light, they should perform works altogether different from those which they practised in Paganism, is clear from the circumstance, that the works of light, or of grace and Christian faith, are opposed to the works of darkness or Paganism. The fruit of grace and faith consists in works of “goodness” and benevolence towards our neighbour—opposed to the spirit of anger and ill will, denounced in the preceding chapter. “Of justice,” opposed to the thefts and injustices there referred to (verse 28). “And of truth,” i.e., works done in candour and openness—opposed to the lies referred to in the last chapter. “The fruit of the light.” In the common Greek, it is, καρπος τοῦ πνεῦματος, the fruit of the spirit. The Vulgate reading, is, however, best supported by the authority of the chief MSS. and Versions.

10 Proving what is well pleasing to God.

Live, like children of light, diligently examining what is the will of God, and faithfully complying with it.

The preceding verse is to be enclosed in a parenthesis (as in Paraphrase), and this verse to be immediately connected with verse 8. The first care of a Christian should be to discover the holy and adorable will of God; and the next, to endeavour to fulfil it. “Thy holy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” “To God.” In Greek, τῳκυρίω, to the Lord.

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness: but rather reprove them.

And hold no communication cither by act, approval, or consent, with the unfruitful works of darkness; but, on the contrary, reprove such works, and those who do them, by the contrast of your own bright example, and manifest by every means, your utter abhorrence of them.

“Unfruitful works of darkness.” They are called “unfruitful,” because, far from bringing any advantage, they may cause evil to the man who performs them—“Stipendium peccati, mors.”—Romans, 6:23.

12 For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.

Hold no communication with such persons; for, the things that they do in secret, are too disgraceful to be uttered.

He gives a reason for his injunction in the first part of verse 11, to hold no communication with these deeds or the perpetrators of them. “It is a shame to speak of.” He probably refers to the disgraceful deeds of the followers of Simon Magus, whose doctrines and deeds of lust were intolerable, and too shameful to mention.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for all that is made manifest is light.

Pursuing an opposite line of conduct, by the light of your good example, you should reprove them; for all the things that are brought forth to public gaze and reproved by the contrast, are made manifest by the light—it being the nature of light to enlighten—and it is the peculiar property of light—nothing else can do it—for, everything that manifests, is light.

In this verse he assigns a reason for the latter part of verse 11. “But rather reprove them.” Why? Because, it is the nature of light to enlighten. “All things that are reproved, are manifested by the light,” and nothing else can do it; for, this power to enlighten is the peculiar property of light, “for all that manifests is light.” In this interpretation, the verb, “that is made manifest,” which, in the Greek, is a participle, in the middle voice, φανερουμενον, admitting of either an active or passive signification, is taken actively to mean, that manifests; for, it is not easy to see, how it is universally true to say, that everything “that is manifested is light.” Are not sins oftentimes manifested?—and do they, by being made manifest, become light? Moreover, the Apostle is here condemning that against which he cautions them, with the view of inducing them to avoid it altogether. Now, he could not so zealously exhort them to avoid it, if it became light. Nor can it be said, that by being made manifest, sins shall be abandoned and commuted in the light of the gospel; for, in all probability, many of those referred to here by the Apostle never were converted.

14 Wherefore he saith: Rise, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee.

Hence, because it is the peculiar property of light to enlighten, the Scripture says:—Arise thou that sleepest (in sin), and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee.

Whence are these words taken? Some, with St. Jerome, think they were taken from some Apocryphal book; or, that the Apostle himself, under the influence of a prophetic spirit, now expresses them in the name of the Holy Ghost, as the prophets of old used to say—“hæc dicit Dominus.” Others, with St. Thomas (and this is the more probable opinion), refer them to the 60th chapter of Isaias, in which, addressing the mystic Jerusalem, or the Church, he says—“Surge, illuminare Jerusalem” &c., which is applied by St. Paul, with some change in the words, to his present subject, as they refer almost to the same subject of which he here treats. In this verse, is pointed out the concurrence of man’s free will with the preventing graces of God. These graces find a man in an absolute inability to rouse himself to supernatural acts; they rouse him from this spiritual lethargy; and, if he correspond with them, he shall receive further graces, co-operating graces, &c.

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This Week’s Posts: Sunday, March 23–Sunday, March 30, 2014

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 22, 2014

SUNDAY, MARCH 23, 2014
THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A

COMMENTARIES AND POSTS FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A.

MONDAY, MARCH 24, 2014
MONDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on 2 Kings 5:1-15. On 1-17 actually.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Kings 5:1-15. Readings from the RSVCE and the JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 42.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 42.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 42.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 4:24-30.

Pending: Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 4:24-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 4:24-30.

TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
SOLEMNITY OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 7:10-14, 8:10. Readings from the RSVCE and the JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 40.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 40.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:4-10.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:4-10.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of Hebrews 10. Click on the POD button or the direct download to listen.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 10:4-10.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Luke 1:26-38.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 1:26-38.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 1:26-38.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 1:26-38.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of Luke 1:26-38. Click on POD button or direct download to listen.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 26, 2014
WEDNESDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9. Readings from the RSVCE and the JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 147.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 147.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 147. On verses 12-20 covering today’s verses. Commentary attributed to St Albert.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 147. On verses 12-20 covering today’s verses.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:17-19.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Matthew 5:17-19.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:17-19.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 5:17-19.

Pending: Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 5:17-19.

Pending: Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 5:17-19.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:17-19.

THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2014
THURSDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Jeremiah 7:23-28. Readings from the RSVCE and the JB followed by commentary.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of Jeremiah 7. Actually on chapters 3-10. To listen click on POD button or direct download.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 95.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 95.

Father Tauton’s Commentary on Psalm 95.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 11:14-23.

St Bede the Venerable’s Homily on Luke 11:14-23. On 14-28.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Luke 11:14-23. On 14-28.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 11:14-23.

FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
FRIDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Hosea 14:2-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hosea 14:2-10. Reading from the RSVCE and the JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 81.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 81.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 81.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 12:28-34.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 12:28-34.

SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2014
SATURDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Hosea 6:1-6. Actually on 5:15-6:7.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hosea 6:1-6. Reading from the RSVCE and the JB followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St John Fisher’s Sermons on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51). Psalm 50 in Fisher’s translation. The Fourth Penitential Psalm. He treated of the Psalm in two parts, and at some length.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Luke 18:9-14.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 18:9-14.

St Augustine’s Homily on Luke 18:9-14.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 18:9-14.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Luke 18:9-14. Very basic notes.

SUNDAY, MARCH 30, 2014
FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A

COMMENTARIES AND POSTS FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A.

Next Week’s Commentaries and Posts.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 17, 2014

1 THEN Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples,

“Then,” after He had reduced to silence His adversaries, and had employed all possible remedies in vain, to effect the conversion of the Scribes and Pharisees; after He had adduced the most cogent reasons to prove the truth of His doctrine, and had sealed the Divinity of His Heavenly mission by incontestable miracles; after He had privately reprehended them for their wickedness; seeing them still incorrigible, and become more hardened and obdurate, “then,” in order to guard the multitude and His disciples against being seduced by their wicked example, He publicly upbraids them for their vices.

2 Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses.

Before doing so, however, He distinguishes between their public teaching, when interpreting the law of Moses, or their public authority, and their private errors, and personal vices; and guards against the charge of being the enemy of the law of Moses, and a subverter of constituted authority. In the former character, He wishes the people to respect and follow them, since they were the legitimate representatives of the authority Divinely constituted by Moses; and, as the New Law, which was to succeed the Old, and the Gospel ministry, which was to be substituted for that of Aaron and his sons, were not yet established, the people were still bound to obey the existing spiritual authority.

“Have sitten upon the chair of Moses.” By this “chair of Moses,” is meant, the authority Divinely instituted, and exercised by Moses, of teaching the people and expounding to them the law of God, and of ruling them in all things appertaining to the Divine worship; just as by the chair of Peter, cathedra Petri, is meant, the authority Divinely granted him to teach and rule the entire Church. To sit in the chair of Peter is to succeed to the fulness of his authority, that is, to “the full power of feeding, ruling, and governing the universal Church.” Hence, to “sit in the chair of Moses,” means, to exercise, by legitimate succession, the teaching and authority of Moses, in expounding the doctrine of God. The words are allusive to the posture which teachers were generally in the habit of assuming in authoritatively delivering instruction to their hearers; the custom, however, among the Jews in delivering instructions, or expounding the SS. Scripture, in their synagogues, was to do so in a standing posture (Luke 4:16; Acts 13:16). So also Ezra read the law in a standing posture (Ezra 8:4). The Greek for “sit” (εκαθισαν), means, have sitten, and do still sit (Beelen).

3 All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not. For they say, and do not.

“All things, therefore, whatsoever they shall say to you, do,” &c. The word, “therefore,” shows the source of the obligation here imposed by our Divine Redeemer. It is in virtue of their public ministerial character, as successors to the authority of Moses.

“All things whatsoever.” Some interpreters give these words a wide extension, so as to embrace not only the commandments and precepts contained in the law of Moses, and expounded by them from it; but also, all the ordinances and precepts, even of an indifferent nature, imposed by the Scribes and Pharisees, not opposed to the law of Moses, as those would be regarding the honour due to parents (15:4), and those regarding perjury (v. 16); also, their teaching, regarding our Redeemer, which was manifestly opposed to Moses. These, and all such, are clearly excepted from the words, “all things whatsoever,” Thus, when the Apostle commands children to obey their parents, “in all things,” he manifestly, from the very nature of things, excepts obedience when they command evil. The universal form of the words, “all things whatsoever,” with the limitation already assigned, is in favour of this interpretation. (Jansenius, &c.) Others, with Maldonatus, restrict the words to the precepts contained in the law of Moses, and taught from it, or to the doctrine of Moses; and this would seem to be implied in the words, “sit in the chair of Moses,” as if he said, all things, then, that they command, while expounding the law of Moses, or, rather, all things which the law of Moses prescribes, the Pharisees being its expounders, do and observe. In this interpretation, there is not even the appearance of contradiction between the commands of our Redeemer here, and the caution He gives (c. 16), “cavete a fermento Pharisærum,” as in this latter place, He means to guard them against the errors which the Pharisees taught, opposed to the law of Moses. In such circumstances, they did “not sit on the chair of Moses.”

Whether the Jewish Church was gifted with infallibility, or not, is a point not quite agreed upon. At all events, it seems to have never, as such, whatever might have been the perverse teachings of individuals, erred in faith, until the time it rejected and condemned Christ. Then, however, it had ceased; it was of merely temporary duration, and any promises made to it could only regard the time of its existence. But, in reference to the Christian Church, the gift of infallibility has been secured to it until the end of time, until the consummation of ages. (See Luke 22:32).

“But, according to their works do ye not.” Our Redeemer here carefully distinguishes their private doctrines, personal conduct, and, likely, also their private teaching, from their utterances in their public ministerial capacity. It was the more necessary to caution the people against being imitators of their wicked conduct, as men are apt to attend to, and imitate the practice, rather than the doctrine, of their teachers.

“For they say, and do not.” This is the first subject of reproach, on the part of our Lord, against the Scribes and Pharisees. Their conduct is not in accordance with their teaching. The man who delivers precepts, binding on all, and himself violates them, commits a threefold sin—1st. By transgressing the law, which he is bound to observe. 2ndly. By not correcting others, as he should. 3rdly. By rendering his teaching odious, thus injuring his hearers.

4 For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders: but with a finger of their own they will not move them.

“For, they bind,” i.e., collect into bundles, “heavy … burdens”—the second subject of reproach. These words are allusive to the practice, resorted to sometimes, of tying and binding up heavy loads, to be carried by beasts of burden. “Insupportable.” The Greek, δυσβάστακτα, means, hard to be carried. This has reference to the multiplied ceremonial precepts, which constituted a heavy burden, “which neither they, nor their fathers, have been able to bear” (Acts 15:10). To this, add the traditions of the ancients, and their own. St. Chrysostom, however, remarks, that, in this, our Redeemer does not refer to the Jewish Ceremonial Law, which Christ had not, as yet, abrogated; but, to the traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees, and the laws they imposed, contrary to Scripture. It may be, He refers, both to the heavy load of the Ceremonial Law, to which they superadded a great multiplicity of human traditions. To this, add their rigid interpretation of the letter of the Divine Law, the stern severity with which they enforced it. All this rendered their precepts “insupportable.” The rigour with which they enforced the observance of the Sabbath may serve as an example of the latter. The words, “lay them on men’s shoulders,” conveys an idea of the haughty, authoritative tone, assumed by these men.

“But with a finger of their own,” &c. A proverbial form of expression, common to both Greek and Latin writers, conveying, that one has no inclination or disposition whatever to take part in any labour one imposes on others. The word, “finger,” is opposed to “shoulder,” and the whole phrase conveys, that these men did not use the least exertion to render, by their own example, the observance of these ordinances light for those upon whom they imposed them.

Whether He refers here to the peculiar traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees, or to the multitude of the precepts of the Old Law, which they rendered still more intolerable by the excessive rigour with which they enforced their strict observance—and this latter seems more likely, as the Pharisees were most observant of their own traditions, while they neglected the law—St. Chrysostom observes, that our Redeemer prefers a twofold charge against the Pharisees: 1st. That of being too exacting, as regards others. 2ndly. Of being too indulgent in regard to themselves.

5 And all their works they do for to be seen of men. For they make their phylacteries broad and enlarge their fringes.

In the foregoing, our Redeemer cautions His followers against imitating the Pharisees, &c., in their violations of God’s law; here, He cautions them against imitating them, in the good they seem to do; since, even in this, their motives are corrupt. They perform all their external good works, such as prayer, fasting, alms-deeds, &c., from a vicious motive, for the purpose of gaining human applause, rather than of promoting the glory of God. In this, they are not to be imitated.

“For, they make their phylacteries broad.” These “phylacteries,” literally, preservatives, to remind them to keep the law; were strips or scrolls of parchment, on which were written the Ten Commandments, or some sentences from the law. These the Jews bound round their foreheads, their left wrist, or arm, while at prayer (Josephus Antiq. iv. 8–13), to remind them of their duty. St. Jerome assures us, that, up to his own time, the Jews wore them in India, and among the Persians and Babylonians. This custom took its rise from a too literal, instead of a spiritual, interpretation of the text (Deut. 6:8), “Thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand, and they shall be, and shall move as a sign between thy eyes.” What was commanded here, was, that the Jews should be always mindful of God’s Commandments, that they should make them the rule of their conduct, and meditate on them day and night. But the Jews took the words literally, and acted accordingly. It is not the use of them our Redeemer here condemns; but, the ostentatious display of them by the Pharisees, in order to appear more religious than others.

“And enlarge their fringes.” We read Numbers 15:38; Deut. 22:12), that Moses commanded the Jews “to make to themselves fringes,” or, to make strings in the them, at the four corners of their cloaks. These fringes, or tassels, which hung from the four corners of their cloaks, which were square in front and behind, had each a distinguishing thread of deep blue—the colour of the heavens—to remind them, of their obligation to observe God’s Commandments, and also to keep before their minds, that they were segregated from all other nations. St. Jerome informs us, that, in his time, some Jews inserted sharp-pointed thorns, whose puncture, when they either walked or sat down, would remind them of their duty. What our Redeemer here censures is, the ostentatious display of the Pharisees, who enlarged these tassels, in order to appear more religious than others. They affected all this external show of piety in their garments, while they denied its spirit, and despised its ordinances, in the regulation of their own lives.

6 And they love the first places at feasts and the first chairs in the synagogues,

“They love,” that is, inordinately and eagerly ambition. “The first places at feasts.” Among the Jews, the first place was at the top of the table; among the Greeks and Romans, the middle of the triclinium. Our Redeemer does not so much censure them for actually obtaining these places—since those placed in exalted station should get a preference; and God, whose representatives they are, is honoured in them—as for their ambitious and vainglorious anxiety in regard to such distinctions; and it was with a view of receiving those marks of honour and distinction, they affected the exterior sanctity of manners referred to in the preceding words.

“And the first chairs in the synagogues.” The most honourable seats in these places of public meeting, assigned to the seniors and the learned, with their backs to the desk of the reader, and their faces to the people. They would thus be in a position to exhibit the most profound humility and simplicity.

7 And salutations in the market place, and to be called by men, Rabbi.

“And salutations,” profound marks of reverence and respect due to them, as pre-eminently holy, and observant of the law, in places of public resort. This reverence, so much coveted by the Scribes, &c., was, probably, rendered by the people with uncovered head, and bended knee.

“And to be called by men, Rabbi.” The word, “Rabbi,” signifies, “my master.” It is repeated in the ordinary Greek, “Rabbi, Rabbi” (but not repeated so in the Vatican MS.) This was an epithet applied by Judas to our Lord (Matt. 26:49), and also to John the Baptist, by his disciples (John 3:26). It is not the title itself that our Redeemer censures, but the vainglorious assumption and pride of the Pharisees, who were delighted with the frequent repetition of the term.

8 But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master: and all you are brethren.

“Be you,” My followers and disciples, whom I wish to be altogether free from the vices and passions of these Scribes and Pharisees—“you”—whose morals I wish to be, in every respect, the opposite of theirs.

“Be not called Rabbi,” &c., that is, neither vaingloriously affect nor desire such titles of pre-eminence and distinction, nor take foolish complacency in them, should they be bestowed on you, nor on this account prefer yourselves to others. It is quite clear, that our Redeemer does not here condemn the use and bestowal of these titles; since, St. Paul calls himself the doctor of the Gentiles, and the father of the Galatians, in the faith; and we are all obliged to show honour and respect to our fathers and superiors, on earth. In order to see what our Redeemer here censures, we must look to the scope or end of His observations, and this clearly is, to inculcate humility and simplicity of life, on the part of His followers, so opposed to the pride and vain, ostentatious assumption of these titles by the Scribes, &c., thus despising all others.

“For one is your Master.” His disciples should acknowledge that there is but “One,” who is strictly entitled to the appellation of “Master;” that, although others may be “masters,” in an inferior degree, they are still but the ministers and instruments employed by that “one Master,” who alone can, by excellence be termed such. He alone, of Himself, possesses all knowledge; He alone can impart fruit to the teaching of others; He alone can speak to the heart, and interiorly communicate light and knowledge; compared with Him, none others can strictly be termed “masters.” From Him, they borrow all their knowledge. All they have, “is received” from Him, and all the glory of their labour should be referred to Him alone. Hence, those who affect to glory in this, or similar titles, assume what is not theirs, and derogate from what is due to Him. In this sense, our Redeemer tells us not to wish to be called “Rabbi,” as compared with God; as implying superiority in a prohibited sense, over others; “and, all you are brethren,” all, whether in an humble or exalted station, learned or unlearned, all, are one in Christ, all children of the same Heavenly Father, members of the same Christian family. No one should, therefore, assume superiority over others, in the sense that anyone has anything from himself, since all our gifts are received. This, however, does not interfere with due subordination, or with the relations which should exist between the governed and governing parties (1 Cor. 4:15), or with the gradation established by God, in His mystic body, so absolutely necessary for its well-being and existence (1 Cor. 12:14–27).

The words, then, mean: Do not vaingloriously aspire to the title of doctor or teacher, as if you had, of yourselves, any claim to this title; as if you were entitled to derive honour therefrom, as is done by the Pharisees. For, there is only One who can strictly be termed such, viz., Christ; or, as if you could, therefore, despise others, who may not be thus privileged; for, they are become your equals in Christianity. “You are all brethren.”

9 And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven.

“And call none your father upon earth,” in the sense, of referring all we possess to them, as the principal cause, viz., our existence, our possessions; or, all we hope for, by way of inheritance. In this sense, we have but “one Father, who is in heaven.” To Him alone are we are indebted for everything—our life, our persons, all our faculties and senses, our corporal and spiritual privileges, our claims to eternal happiness. It is the vainglorious affectation of this and the other titles, on the part of the Scribes, for the purpose of pride and ostentation, that our Redeemer here condemns, as opposed to the glory and honour of God, the great source of all good, “of whom is named all paternity, in heaven and earth” (Eph. 3:15). He, by no means, however, censures or prohibits Christians from bearing and bestowing, in a dependent and subordinate sense, these titles, which superiority of office, station, or talent, may confer, and which may contribute to the subordination due by others. “As there is, by nature, but one God, and one Son, yet others are called sons of God, by adoption; so, there is but one Father and Master; yet, others, in a less strict sense, are styled fathers and masters” (St. Jerome).

10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, Christ.

Most likely, our Redeemer here repeats what He inculcated (v. 8), to show His detestation of pride, and to eradicate it the more effectually from the minds of His Apostles, whom He had appointed to be teachers and doctors of the entire earth; or, it may be, that a different idea is conveyed here, tending, however, to the same end. “Rabbi”—derived from Rab, signifying, the multitude—may refer to the multiplied variety of learning one possesses for teaching others. “Master” (καθηγητης), may refer to the same, under a different relation, as “leader, guide, director;” and Christ is to be called so pre-eminently, as being alone, “the way, the truth, and the life.”

11 He that is the greatest among you shall be your servant.

This shows the scope of the preceding. Our Redeemer supposes that there is to be pre-eminence and superiority enjoyed in His Church, and authority exercised by some over others. This order and subordination is required in every well-regulated body, for its very continuance in existence. But, supposing this, our Redeemer points out the true and proper way of exercising this superiority. (See 20:27, &c.)

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

“Whosoever,” no matter who, “shall exalt himself,” through pride, and shall attribute to himself what he has not, or, shall glory in what he may have, as if it were not received, and shall thus usurp the glory of God’s gifts, and despise others, such a man shall be humbled, debased, and degraded, for all eternity. Man has a natural aversion to whatever debases him, and since he sinned, he only merits humiliation and debasement. But, God, who is goodness itself, and knows man’s weakness, obliges him to humble himself, only with a promise of solid and enduring elevation; and, in prohibiting him to exalt himself, it is with a threat of eternal humiliation. In thus addressing His disciples, our Lord traces an image of the folly of the Pharisees, who exalted themselves above others; since, the measure of their humiliation, at a future day, shall be that of their self-elevation at present. For this reason, He hurls against them the following woes and maledictions, to inspire others with a horror of their criminal conduct, and thus deter them from imitating their vicious example.

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Commentaries and Posts for the Second Week of Lent, Year A (Sunday, March 16–Sunday, March 23, 2014)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 16, 2014

SUNDAY, MARCH 16, 2014
SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

Commentaries and Resources for the Second Sunday of Lent.

MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2014
MONDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT
ST PATRICK

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Daniel 9:4b-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Daniel 9:4b-10. Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 79.

My Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (79:8, 9, 11, 13). Includes background to the entire psalm and a suggested reading list.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 6:36-38.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 6:36-38.

TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2014
TUESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Isaiah 1:10, 16-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 1:10, 16-20. Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 50.

St Augustine on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (Ps 50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23). This post is on the entire Psalm.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (50:8-9, 1bbc-17, 21 and 23). On the entire Psalm.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 23:1-12.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12.

Pending: Father Maas, Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2014
SOLEMNITY OF ST JOSEPH, SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily on Today’s Readings (Solemnity of St Joseph).

St Augustine’ City of God on Today’s First Reading and Psalm 89. Augustine’s brief treatment of Psalm 89 in this post differs from his notes (see next link).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s First Reading (2 Sam 7:4-5a, 12-14, 16). Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (89). Notes are to the entire Psalm.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22). This post is on verses 13-25.

Pending: Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Romans 4:13, 16-18, 22.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a.

THURSDAY, MARCH 20, 2014
THURSDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Jermiah 17:5-10).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Jeremiah 17:5-10. Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire psalm.

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

A Lectio Divina Reading of Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

My Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

St Hilary’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (1:1-2, 3, 4, 6). On the entire Psalm.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Two Homiletic Commentaries on Luke 16:19-31.

St John Chrysostom’s First Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

St John Chrysostom’s Second Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

St John Chrysostom’s Third Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

St John Chrysostom’s Fourth Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

Asterius of Amasea’s First Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 16:19-31.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 16:19-31.

FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014
FRIDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Genesis 37:3-4, 13a, 17b-28. Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Genesis 37:3-4, 13a, 17b-28).

Seeds Of Abraham: Joseph. EWTN podcast, listen to episodes 10-14 which focus on Joseph in Genesis.

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21). On the entire Psalm. I would suggest reading the whole thing but, for those pressed for time, read paragraph numbers 7-13 which give his notes on verses 12-22.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21). Please note this Commentary follows the Psalm numbering of the Vulgate and Septuagint in which Ps 104 corresponds to 105.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46.

Father Maas’ Commentary Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Matthew 21:33-43, 45-46).

St Irenaeus Podcast: Matthew’s Eschatology (20:20-22:14). Podcast study which includes today’s Gospel reading.

St William of York’s Pontifical Bible Study on Matthew (21:18-46). Includes study of today’s reading.

SATURDAY, MARCH 22, 2014
SATURDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Pending (maybe): My Notes on Micah 7:14-15, 18-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Micah 7:14-15, 18-20. Readings from the RSVCE and the Jerusalem Bible followed by the commentary.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Micah 7:14-15, 18-20).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12). Post on the entire Psalm.

A Practical Commentary on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

Father Leopold Fonck’s Commentary on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32. Actually, this post is on verses 1-32 inclusively.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32. Actually, this post is on verses 1-32.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 15:1-3, 11-32.

SUNDAY, MARCH 23, 2014
THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT

COMMENTARIES AND POSTS FOR THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A. Updated.

Next Week’s Posts.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Daily Catholic Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Commentaries and Posts for the First Week of Lent, Year A (Sunday, March 9-Sunday, March 16, 2014)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 8, 2014

SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2014
FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A

COMMENTARIES AND POSTS FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A.

Last Week’s Posts.

MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014
MONDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 19.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 19.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 19.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 25:31-46.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 25:31-46.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 25:31-46.

TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 2014
TUESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Isaiah 55:10-11. On 6-11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 34.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 34.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 34.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 6:7-15.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 6:7-15.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 6:7-15.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:7-15.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, 2014
WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Jonah 3:1-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Jonah 3:1-10. Scroll down to find the commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St John Fisher’s Sermons on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51). Psalm 50 in Fisher’s translation. The Fourth Penitential Psalm. He treated of the Psalm in two parts, and at some length.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 11:29-32.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 11:29-32.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 11:29-32.

THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2014
THURSDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Esther c:12, 14-16, 23-25. Scroll down to find the commentary.

Pending: Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 138.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 138.

Pseudo-St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 138.

Father Ronald Knox’s Meditation on Psalm 138.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 138.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 7:7-12.

Pending: Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 7:7-12.

Pending: Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 7:7-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 7:7-12.

FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2014
FRIDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 18:21-28. Scroll down to find the commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 130.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 130.

Pseudo-Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 130.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 130.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:20-26.

Pending: Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 5:20-26.

Pending: Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 5:20-26.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:20-26.

SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 2014
SATURDAY OF THE FIST WEEK OF LENT

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Deuteronomy 26:16-19.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 119.

Pending: St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 119:1-8.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Catechesis on Psalm 119.

Psallam Domino on Psalm 119:1-8. Follows the Greek/Vulgate numbering thus designating this Psalm as 118.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:43-48.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48. On 38-48.

Pending: Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48.

SUNDAY, MARCH 16, 2014
SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

Commentaries and Resources for the Second Sunday of Lent. Partially complete.

Next Week’s Posts.

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

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 4:1-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 7, 2014

1 THEN Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil.

“Then,” immediately after His baptism and the descent of the dove (c. 3:17). St. Mark says (1:12), “And immediately the Spirit drove Him,” &c.

“Jesus was led.” The Greek, ἀνηχθη means, led apart. St. Mark has (1:12), “the Spirit drove Him out.” The words “drive,” &c., denote the active energy of the Holy Ghost, and the alacrity with which our Redeemer freely yielded to His impulses, by whom He was guided from His infancy, and who now more and more manifests Himself in Him, making Him appear a new man.

“By the Spirit,” the holy Fathers (among them, Jerome, Chrysostom, Hilary, Gregory, &c.), commonly understood the Holy Ghost, the Spirit immediately spoken of, in the foregoing (3:16). This is the invariable meaning of “Spirit” in SS. Scriptures, when used absolutely and emphatically with the article. Here, we have τοῦ. πνεύματος. St. Luke says of Him, “plenus Spiritu sancto” (4:1). If “Spirit” referred to the devil, then, in the following words, the Evangelist should have written, not as he has done, “to be tempted by the devil,” which would be a mere repetition, but, “to be tempted BY HIM.”

“Into the desert.” The interior of the desert that lay close by, where John was baptizing. It was afterwards called “Quarantania,” from our Saviour’s fast of forty days there. It is said by writers on the Holy Land to be situated convenient to where the Jordan disembogues itself into the Dead Sea, a mountainous range north of the road between Jerusalem and Jericho St. Mark gives an idea of its desolateness (1:13), “He was with the beasts,” having no human habitation.

“To be tempted by the devil.” This is the chief reason of our Lord being impelled by the Holy Ghost to go into the desert, that as a consequence of it, the devil finding Him there would tempt Him, and entering into single combat, would receive a signal overthrow from our Lord, which, like all His public acts, was intended for our instruction, when placed in circumstances of temptation. There are several other reasons and motives besides, assignable for His having gone into the desert, encountering the devil, in solitude, while engaged in fasting and praying, intended for the instruction and guidance of the Church in general, and of each individual in particular, and also for the period of forty days’ fast which He had undergone before He was tempted. He, the Captain of our warfare, wished to show us the effectual means of overcoming our enemy, viz., fasting, solitude, prayer. He also wished to inspire us with courage for the combat, since He, our Head, had, unlike Eve, by these means manfully resisted the tempter’s suggestions and signally discomfited him.

“That He might be tempted,” &c. “That” signifies the consequence, or result, not the direct end. For there is question here not of temptation of trial merely, whereby the devil would find out if our Lord were the Son of God (although he had this also in view), but also of temptation of deceit, whereby the devil sought to induce Him to commit sin. It might be admitted, that our Lord meant to be tempted by the devil, whom He came to overthrow, knowing His own power and invincibility. This, however, would not warrant us, who are so weak and liable to sin, to expose ourselves unnecessarily to temptation. For, “he who loves the danger, shall perish in it.” Our Lord might have been privately tempted by the devil during His education at Nazareth. But whether tempted publicly (as here), or privately, all temptations must be external, from without, either from the devil or men, that is, the world. But, He could, by no means, be tempted inwardly, from His own flesh, any more than Adam could while in a state of innocence before he lost sanctifying grace. “All this diabolical temptation was from without; not, from within” (St. Greg. Hom. 16).

“The devil” (διαβολος), strictly means, a slanderer—the great enemy of the human race—“the accuser of his brethren” (Apoc. 12:10), whom he wishes to make hateful to God, by impelling them to sin. Probably, allusion is made to Lucifer; “the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41; Apoc. 12:9).

2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry.

“And when He had fasted forty days,” &c. In imitation of Moses before giving the Old Law, and of Elias before repairing or reforming it, our Redeemer wishes before explaining the New Law, to retire for forty days, and after fasting and prayer, to come forth to preach. The number, FORTY, in SS. Scripture, from the earliest history of the world, marks several events of the utmost importance to man, from the forty days of the deluge to the forty days’ fast of our Divine Redeemer. To His fast of “forty days” is also added, “and forty nights,” to distinguish it, from the Jewish fasts which were confined to the day only. At night, they could use food. His fast did not exceed forty natural days, including days and nights, lest He might not be be regarded as human; since no other human being, not even Moses or Elias, exceeded that term in fasting. In this forty days’ fast, our Lord left us an example of how we ought to prepare to overcome the devil, who, in some instances, is overcome only by “prayer and fasting” (Mark 9:28). He also wished to leave the Church an example of that Lent, which she was to institute, of forty days of Lent, as we are told by the holy Fathers. (St. Jerome Ep. ad Marcellum; St. Augustine ad Januarium; St. Ambrose Serm. 39, de Quadriges., &c.) It cannot be doubted that this fast of Lent was always regarded to be of Apostolical origin. Our Lord, no doubt, devoted those forty days to prayer and constant communing with His Heavenly Father.

“He was afterwards hungry.” Although the soul of Jesus enjoyed, without intermission, the beatific vision, and was supremely happy; still, He allowed the inferior faculties to suffer. As He voluntarily submitted to the other feelings and sensations of human nature, so He now allowed Himself to feel the pangs of hunger, to prove His humanity, and give the devil an opportunity of tempting Him, as he formerly tempted Eve. During these forty days His Divinity sustained His humanity against the consequences of this long fast. Possibly, our Lord may have Himself communicated to the devil, His state of suffering from the pangs of hunger, by some external act, such as seeking for food, or in some other way. St. Chrysostom says, it was the Son of God Himself that made known His hunger to the devil, to entice Him to the combat, and thus receive a signal overthrow. St. Jerome, in almost the same words, says (in hunc locum), Permittitur esurire corpus, ut Diabolo tentandi occasio prœbeatur.

3 And the tempter coming said to him: If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

“The tempter coming said to Him.” The same who is called the “devil”—the chief of the infernal hosts, Lucifer—is here, as well as 1 Thess. 3, called “the tempter,” by excellence, being the principal and chief enemy of salvation, who solicits man to evil. The world and the flesh also tempt us; but the devil ever uses these to solicit us to evil. Temptation has different meanings in SS. Scripture. 1st. Temptation of trial, which has for object, to try and find out a thing, and prove us. In this sense, God often tempts man, not that He wants to know anything; but, He wishes to let us see what we are. In this way, He tempted Abraham, &c. There is also temptation of deceit, which has for object, to induce us to commit sin. In this sense, “God tempts no one.” (St. James 1) In this latter sense, the devil is called “the tempter” (see 6:13) “coming,” most likely, in the shape of a man. This is the common opinion. He wishes to be adored, and if he came in any other form, the Evangelists would probably have said so. The word “coming” implies, in a sensible, visible form. Hence, like that of our first parents, who, being in original justice, could not be interiorly tempted, this temptation was exterior.

“Said to Him.” Many think that the devil had blandly addressed our Redeemer and spoke of His being so long in that frightful desert; of the sufferings He was now enduring; of the testimony lately rendered to Him, that He was the Son of God, &c.; and, then, proceeded to tempt Him, and try if He was really such as is here recorded by St. Matthew. From St. Mark (1) and St. Luke (4:2), it would seem, that the devil had frequently tempted Him during the forty days’ fast. But now, seeing Him suffer from hunger, and show the effects of human weakness, he makes his grand assault, “If Thou be the Son of God, command,” &c. It is the opinion of some theologians, that Lucifer’s fall arose from his jealousy at the dignity of the human nature, which was to be assumed in time by the eternal Word. Hence, aspiring after it himself, he refused to obey Christ and God. Hearing, then, the testimony borne lately to Christ by John the Baptist, and also the testimony from heaven, he may have suspected He was the Son of God, whose time for assuming human nature, according to the prophecies, had now arrived. On the other hand, seeing Him, like others among the crowd, poor, of humble, plebeian rank, and now suffering the pangs of hunger, he doubts if He be the natural Son of God, consubstantial and co-eternal with the Father. Hence, he is anxious to find it out, in order to mar as far as possible, His beneficent designs of redemption.

“If Thou be the Son of God.” as was lately testified regarding you, “command,” by the same Omnipotent Power, which “spoke and all things were made.” No need to have recourse to God by prayer—“command,” immediately, without the intervention of any other power (he does not say, do it; but, “command it”), that these stones which lie scattered about, be converted into bread, so as to appease your hunger, which you have no other means of relieving in this frightful solitude. St. Ambrose, commenting on the cunning of the devil, says, “He so tempts, as to explore; he so explores, as to tempt. While our Redeemer deludes him, so as to conquer; He so conquers, as to delude him.” The tempter assails our Redeemer in what he conceives to be His weak point, under the circumstances, viz., gluttony; not that it would be gluttony for a hungry man to appease his hunger by means of bread lawfully procured; but, it would be gluttony in our Divine Redeemer to appease His hunger by means of bread procured through illicit means; and He surely would have employed illicit means, were He to exert His Divine power, in procuring bread at the suggestion of Satan. He would commit a sin against religion, by holding communication with the fiend; and so He would procure bread by illicit means. He would, moreover, be partly guilty of a sin of vain glory, by a vain ostentation of His power, and distrust in God’s paternal providence. Similar was the successful temptation of our first parents. It would have boon an undoubted proof of Divine power to change the stones instantly into bread, by His more word; “dic ut hi lapides panes fiant.” “Thou art caught in thy own words, O haughty tempter,” cries St. Jerome. “For, if He have power to change the stones, in vain wouldst thou tempt such power; and if He have not the power, vain would it be for you to suspect and flatter Him, as Son of God.” Some understand “if” to mean since, whereas, Thou art the Son of God. Then, the devil would have attempted to flatter Him, and so induce Him to commit sin. Probably, his pride so blinded Lucifer, that he thought he could succeed in this. It seems, most likely, that Lucifer knew our Redeemer to be God. This would seem probable from many parts of the Gospel. Whether he knew it at this time for certain, before this temptation, may be doubted. That the issue of the temptation may have removed his doubts seems probable. But from other parts of the Gospel, subsequent to this, it seems most likely he afterwards knew our Lord to be the Son of God. “Art Thou come hither before the time to torment us?” (8:29). Nor are the words of St. Paul (1 Cor. 2:8) opposed to this. St. Paul does not say, the devil did not know Him to be “the Lord of Glory.” He only says, he did not know the wisdom of the mystery of Christ’s death. For, had he known it, he would never have instigated the Jews to crucify Him, because he was thus bringing about what he wished to prevent, viz., the redemption of man, through the death of Christ. It is to be borne in mind, that our Saviour could not be internally tempted, nor even externally, except under the control of His own will.

4 Who answered and said: It is written, Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.

“It is written,” in the Holy Scriptures, which are, by excellence, called the writing; and with the learned Jews the usual form of referring to the inspired Scriptures was to say, “It was written.” Here, our Redeemer opposes to the human prudence, which suggested the temptation of the devil, the Word of God, “the sword of the Spirit,” which, at once, without having recourse to subtle reasonings, helps us to dispel the attacks of our spiritual enemies. Our Lord so answers, that He neither asserts nor denies His Divinity; and, although He might, by the exercise of His Divine power, have at once put to flight His tempter, He prefers to do so, for our instruction in circumstances of temptation, by the power of His human nature, by meekness, humility, and constancy; and this also renders the humiliation of the demon the greater, when vanquished by weak man, rather than by an effort of Divine omnipotence.

“Not in bread alone,” &c. And if this be true of man in general, how much more so of the Son of God. Our Redeemer deludes the demon, who addressed Him as “Son of God,” by merely placing Himself on a level with other men, and quoting, in justification of His own mode of acting, and of His reliance on God’s providence, what is meant for man in general. “Bread” is used in Scripture to signify all kinds of aliment, which nourishes and sustains human life. The Greek for, “doth live” (ζησεται, shall live), is a Hebrew form of potential, denoting what is confined to no definite time, but is permanently such—will be able to live. Hence, lives, in the present tense, better expresses the meaning intended.

“But in every word that proceedeth,” &c. “Word” is not in the original Hebrew (of Deut. 8:3). But the Septuagint interpreters and the Vulgate translators have added it, as explanatory. The Hebrew is, “by every thing that proceeds from the mouth of God,” “omni egrediente de ore Dei.” The meaning is, that man’s corporal life is sustained, not merely by these elements in common use, denoted by “bread;” but, by whatever means God’s holy will and providence may appoint. He may, if He chooses, support them without any food, for any period He pleases, as He did Moses, &c., or He may render stones, iron, or any other substance nutritious for man’s support; and hence, it was sheer folly in the demon to ask of Him to work a useless miracle, when God’s providence, on which He placed such unhesitating reliance, had other means at its disposal to appease His hunger and prolong His life. The words, “not in bread alone doth man live,” are taken from Deut. 8:3, where Moses, recounting the benefits conferred by God on the Jews, tells them that when they were straitened from want, God sent them manna from heaven for their support, to teach them, that it was not on bread alone (which failed them in the desert) man’s life depended; but that God may adopt any means He may think proper to support man (as in the case of the manna), “sed, in omni egrediente de ore Dei.” Every thing proceeding from His mouth, means every thing God may wish or please to do, or command, for any purpose. Here, our Lord opposes the word of truth, to the seductive words and suggestions of the father of lies.

5 Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple,

“Took Him.” Most probably, carried Him in the air. It could be no more unbecoming in our Lord (as St. Gregory observes, Hom. 16), to submit to this, than it was to allow Himself voluntarily to be crucified by the members of the devil, viz., the Jews, and their instigators, “the world and the princes of this world.” (1 Cor. 2, &c.) Some (with Maldonatus), think the devil “led” Him (St. Luke 4:5). But the distance between the desert near Jericho and Jerusalem was too long a journey to be performed on foot in less than eight or nine hours. In that case, our Lord’s fast would exceed “forty days.” For, it was after He had fasted forty days, the devil came to tempt Him (v. 2), and He gave over fasting only after the threefold temptation, which must occupy, therefore, only a very small space of time. St. Thomas and St. Chrysostom observe, that although our Lord was taken bodily and visibly, still, He so baffled the devil, that without the latter knowing it, He was invisible in His passage, as He was on other occasions (Luke 4:30; John 8:59). The reasons given by Maldonatus against this opinion, viz., that by such an exercise of power, the devil would have discovered himself, when he should rather, on the occasion, have transformed himself “into an Angel of light,” proves nothing; as the carrying of a man through the air, would not exceed the powers of “an Angel of light,” any more than it did those of the angel of darkness.

“Then the devil took Him,” &c. Hence, most likely, the order of the temptations is given more accurately here than in St. Luke (4), who gives a different order; but, does not use “then,” “afterwards,” indicating order of time or occurrence. St. Luke, most probably, gives the substance, not the order of the temptations.

“Up into the Holy City,” Jerusalem (as is expressly said by St. Luke), called “holy,” on account of the holy temple, and its being the seat of true religion of God at the time.

“The pinnacle of the temple.” Some commentators say this referred to the part in front of the temple, over the Sanctum and Sanctum Sanctorum, which alone was covered—the rest of the temple had no covering or roof—and that this part culminated in a “pinnacle” which, however, had at its very summit a pretty large square or plain place, where workmen could stand for repairs and for cleaning the adjoining elevations. Others (among them Maldonatus), say that all the houses in Judea had flat roofs, where one could walk, sleep, &c., on which account it was prescribed (Deut. 22:8), there should be a bulwark of a certain height. Here, then, the word, “pinnacle,” refers to a lofty part of this protecting wall, more elevated, probably, than the adjoining parts. On this, the devil placed our Lord, so that He might precipitate Himself into the hall below, where the priests and pious worshippers there assembled could see Him, and have ocular demonstration of the Divine protection granted Him.

6 And said to him: If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written: That he hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone.

“If thou be the Son of God,” &c. Seeing himself baffled in the preceding temptation to gluttony, by our Lord’s unshaken reliance on God’s providence, which he proves from Holy Scripture, the devil has now recourse to the same Holy Scripture to tempt Him to presumption, to vain and excessive confidence, of which the sacred text here quoted would seem to be suggestive. The temptation to gluttony failing, he now tries vain glory. This temptation of ambition and vain glory often succeeds with those who have mastered the grosser passions; and although the preceding temptation involves vain glory indirectly, it is primarily and directly suggested here. If He be the Son of God, the promised Messiah of the Jews, lot Him now show it by precipitating Himself; and thus secure the homage of the assembled priests and people. It is observed by commentators that the words, “cast Thyself down,” are worthy of the devil, who, having by pride, cast himself down from his heavenly eminence, now wishes to cast men down from grace and God’s friendship, to the very depths of sin. “For it is written” (Psa. 91:11, 12). The devil here misquotes Scripture—a thing not unusual with his children, the heretics, in their attacks on the Church, which is His body. The words of the Psalmist had reference to those just men, who are, from necessity, thrown into circumstances of danger, out of which God’s providence, in His own good time, is pledged, if expedient, for their salvation, to rescue them. But the words were never intended to apply to the case of those who voluntarily throw themselves into manifest and certain danger, whether moral or physical, out of which it would require a miracle from God to rescue them. Such would have been the condition in which our Lord would have placed Himself, had He yielded to the temptation of the devil, in this instance.

“He hath given His Angels charge over Thee.” St. Luke adds, “that they keep Thee.” Even according to St. Luke’s account, the devil does not quote the whole text of the Psalm, which has, “that they may keep Thee in all Thy ways.” Probably, he omitted these latter words designedly; because, they indicate that it was to men who, acting prudently in the discharge of their ordinary duties, are cast into circumstances of danger, and not to the rash and presumptuous, who voluntarily cast themselves into the precipice, the Divine promise of protection, referred to by the Psalmist, is made. And hence, these words would in no way serve his purpose and designs against our Divine Redeemer.

“His Angels,” probably has reference to the Angel guardian whom God has placed to watch over and guard each of His faithful servants.

“In their hands,” &c., expresses great care and solicitude.

7 Jesus said to him: It is written again: Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

“It is written again.” “Again” may mean, on the contrary, on the other hand, as if in opposition to what the misquoted text of the devil suggested; or, it may mean, also, in the sense just given. SS. Scripture best explains itself, and our Lord points out to His Church, when assailed with corrupted and perverted quotations of Scripture by heretics, the course to be pursued, viz., to oppose true Scripture, properly applied, to Scripture perverted and misapplied.

“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” Without giving the devil any insight into His Divinity, our Lord baffling him, quotes SS. Scripture, as any just man might do. These words are taken from Deuteronomy (6:16). “Thou shall not,” &c. is written in the plural number in the Hebrew, “non tentabitis,” &c., “ye shall not tempt,” &c. However, the singular is included in the plural. Hence, the Septuagint and Vulgate versions have the singular. The words, “to tempt God,” have different significations in the SS. Scripture. Among the rest, it signifies to provoke to anger (Psa. 77:56; Acts 15:10). But, it more generally signifies, to make an unnecessary, useless trial of any of God’s attributes; to put, unnecessarily, to the test, His power, wisdom, mercy, &c.; to place oneself in such circumstances unnecessarily, either in the moral or physical order, as would require a miracle from God to rescue him from corporal or spiritual ruin. This forbidden trial of God’s attributes may arise from excessive vain confidence, as, in the natural order, in the case of a man who would, unnecessarily east himself down a precipice (as here) in the hope that God would work a miracle to deliver him; or, of a man who, neglecting study, would expect that God would extraordinarily endow him with knowledge, to be acquired only with care and labour; or, of a man who would neglect to sow, in the hope that crops would miraculously spring up. In the spiritual order, in the case of a man who would live in the immediate and certain external occasion, of sin, hoping to receive extraordinary grace from God.

It may also arise from diffidence, as in the case of those who, in their straits and necessities, would murmur against God’s will, and would expect an untimely manifestation of His providence, when such might neither contribute to His glory, nor to our ultimate good (Exod. 17; Psa. 77:17, 18). Such temptation of God is always a grievous sin, always prohibited. But, to hope that God would wonderfully exert His power and goodness in our favour, when we are involuntarily, through no fault of ours, placed in desperate circumstances, and to pray to Him to do so, if it be agreeable to His holy will, is no sin. Neither is it a sin to throw oneself into a lesser precipice to avoid a greater, as choosing the lesser of two necessary evils. Thus, some holy virgins, to avoid the greater evil of loss of chastity, precipitated themselves into the water. They regarded the loss of virginity a greater evil than the loss of life. Our Lord, by throwing Himself down, as suggested, would be doing what in other men would be a tempting of God; He would be making an unnecessary trial of His power and providence; and He did not choose to tell the tempter that He was God. He only answered according to the dictates of human prudence; and in reply to the text which the tempter applied to Him only as a just man, when He said, “Angelis suis mandavit de Te,” &c., He defeats him with his own weapons.

8 Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them,

“Again the devil took Him up.” By our Lord’s permission, the devil carried Him bodily through the air, from the pinnacle of the temple (as v. 5). The particles, “again,” “then” (v. 5), would show that St. Matthew gives the order of the temptations, which is neglected by St. Luke, who uses no such particles, denoting order or succession. The words, “Begone, Satan” (v. 10), also would indicate this to be the closing or last temptation.

“Into a very high mountain.” What this “mountain” was, the Gospel does not say; nor can we know for certain. Probably, it was some mountain not far from Jerusalem. Some say it was the mountain in the desert, Quarautania, where our Lord had fasted. It was afterwards called, Mons Diaboli.

“And showed Him all the kingdoms of the world,” &c. St. Luke adds (4:5), “in a moment of time.” There is a diversity of opinion as to how the tempter did this. It does not seem likely that our Lord permitted the demon to act on His imagination. Hence, it must be done externally. Neither does it seem likely that it was merely on a painted chart it was done, as this could be done, in the plain or desert, without the demon taking Him to “a high mountain,” which the Evangelists carefully record. Hence, it is paid, with great probability, by many expositors, that the tempter, “in a moment” (St. Luke), that is, in the shortest space of time, from the height of the mountain, pointed with his finger in the direction where most of the kingdoms of the world were situated. “There, lies Asia; there, Europe; there, Syria; there, Rome;” &c.

“All the kingdoms of the world,” most likely, refers to the greater part, or chief kingdoms among them.

“And the glory of them.” While with his finger he pointed to the situation of the thief kingdoms of the world, he, most likely, by word of mouth, described “their glory,” that is, their wealth, population, military powers, the attractive and seductive splendours of the palaces and retinue of their kings. As St. Luke pointedly states, that, he did this “in a moment of time;” hence, he probably refers to the exercise of some peculiar diabolical agency or power. It may be, that the devil painted in the surrounding air the several kingdoms, and exhibited a panoramic view of all their worldly splendour and resources.

9 And said to him: All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me.

“All these will I give Thee” &c. It is remarked by commentators, that the devil does not, in this third temptation, say, “If Thou he the Son of God,” because, in the two preceding temptations, he suggested, under the pretext of benevolence, what “the Son of God” might not feel it repugnant to do. Whereas, here, he proposes what “the Son of God” could not possibly do. In the first temptation, “the concupiscence of the flesh” had failed; so had “the pride of life,” in the second. The devil now tries “the concupiscence of the eyes,” that is, avarice, ambition, which prevail over many who are victorious over the two other principles which domineer in the world (1 John 2:16); he primarily and directly sought, in the two preceding temptations, to find out if He was “the Son of God,” and wished to obtain this knowledge, by inducing our Redeemer to do what was sinful; and hence, the Demon indirectly tempted Him to commit sin; in this, he primarily and directly wished Him to commit a most heinous crime, utterly opposed to the character of the Son of God, and thus indirectly wished to find out if He were “the Son of God.” He calculated, that, by making such a proposition to Him, if he were the Son of God, He would at once indignantly repel the temptation by a declaration of His Divine rights, so arrogantly invaded. As in the first temptation to gluttony, was included a temptation to vain glory; and in the second, with vain glory was united the tempting of God; so, in this third temptation to avarice and ambition is included that of idolatry.

“All these will I give Thee.” St. Luke (4:6), adds, “for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them.” The demon now once more arrogates these Divine rights which occasioned his original fall, when he aspired “to be like the Most High” (Isa. 14:14). As he could not elicit from our Lord whether He was the Son of God, now being rendered more insolent and haughty from our Saviour’s modesty and humility, he imagines Him to be a mere man, and feigns himself to be the Son of God, the view of whose glory in time to come was the source of envy and of his fall—that Son to whom “were given the nations for inheritance,” and the possession of “all power in heaven and on earth,” and as such, he claims supreme adoration.

The tempter lied in saying, “to me they are delivered,” &c. (Luke). For, to God alone, does it belong to bestow kingdoms on whom He wills—“Per me reges regnant,” &c. (Prov. 21); “Non est potestas nisi a Deo” (Rom. 13)—not to the demon, whose power is restricted in this world, as appears from the history of Job, and his asking permission to enter the herd of swine (c. 8:31). He is termed “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), and “the prince of this world;” because, of the power which, by Divine permission, he is allowed to exercise over the children of unbelief and sin, who are his slaves. But, he has no power to bestow kingdoms, as he falsely asserts here. He does not even mention the name of God. “They are given to me,” he don’t say, by God, this name being so hateful to him. It is remarked by Toletus, that this promise was mendacious, as he did not intend giving them; false, he could not; arrogant, they were not his; deceitful, he promises to give in future; “dabo,” for a present service which he could not repay. Similar are his delusions practised on youth, to indulge present pleasure with a prospect of penance in old age, which is uncertain and cannot be insured. Neither can he give or take away temporal goods save by Divine permission.

“If falling down,” in the attitude of adoration, “Thou wilt adore me,” as God, and pay me Divine honours, as the bestower of these kingdoms and honours. It is remarked by commentators that our Redeemer was tried with all kinds of temptations which influence men to abandon God. All are reduced to “the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life.” (1 John 2 &c.) Hence, St. Luke says of the close, “And when all the temptation was ended” (4:13). Our Redeemer by His example, teaches us that the first temptation—of the flesh and of hunger—is to be overcome by hope in God’s providence; the second—of pride and presumption—by the fear of God; the third—of avarice and ambition—by magnanimity and contempt of the world, its riches and honours. This triple temptation exhibited the three fountains of all vice—“the concupiscence of the flesh,” perfected in the flesh and its five senses; “of the eyes,” curiosity, perfected in the intellect; “pride of life,” in the will. Here we have an example what to do: “Resist the devil, and he will fly from you” (James 4:7).

10 Then Jesus saith to him: Begone, Satan: for it is written: The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve.

Our Lord had borne with patient meekness the contumely offered Himself in the preceding temptations, but now, on seeing His Father sacrilegiously and impiously assailed, He indignantly repels the offers and seductive promises of the tempter.

“Begone, Satan.” The evil one is, in this chapter, designated by a threefold epithet. “The tempter” (v. 1), whose whole wicked occupation is to tempt men. He is indefatigable; he never sleeps or rests in waging a fiendish war against them.

“The devil,” the accuser of his brethren. “Satan,” a Hebrew word, to mean adversary, hater, enemy. (1 Peter 5) He is the sworn enemy of the human race, whom, like a roaring lion, he is ever going about seeking to devour, and precipitate with himself into hell.

“It is written;” with the same weapons, “the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God,” which He had so successfully wielded in the preceding temptations, our Redeemer now finally put His enemy to flight.

“The Lord thy God thou shalt adore” (Deut. 6:13). For “adore,” the Hebrew has “fear.” But, with the Hebrews, “fear” denoted reverence, adoration, and every kind of worship due to God. From the context in Deuteronomy, it is clear that “fear” involved Divine worship. For, adoration is but the external sign of reverence and fear, and in SS. Scripture, under the fear of God, is contained all worship due to Him.

“And Him only shall thou serve.” “Only,” is not in the Hebrew, but it is implied. Hence, our Redeemer quoted the words according to their meaning, which the arrogant assumption of Satan suggested. From the prohibition contained in the verse (14), immediately following (Deut. 6:14), “You shall not go after strange gods,” it is clear “only” is implied in the words of the preceding verse (13), “and Him (only) shalt thou serve.”

The word, “serve” (λατρευσεις) although, according to etymology, applicable to all kinds of service and respect, as well that paid to men, princes, &c., as that paid to God, and employed in reference to creatures by the Septuagint and St. Paul—a servile work is called λατρεια (Lev. 23:7)—still, both the Septuagint and St. Paul commonly apply it to the service rendered to God; and we are informed by St. Augustine (Lib. x. de Civitate Dei, c. 1), that λατρεια is used by the holy Fathers to denote the service and worship due to God alone. Hence, the distinction commonly made by divines between the worship due to God alone, Latria, and that paid the saints, Dulia, and that paid the Queen of the saints, Hyperdulia.

In like manner the word, “adore,” (προσκυνησεις) although, of itself, only signifying veneration, accompanied with external prostration of the body, and hence applied in SS. Scripture to creatures (3 Kings 1:16. 23, 31), still, from usage, it is employed to denote interior veneration, accompanied with its exterior expression, due to God alone—the Supreme, the highest Majesty.

In the words, “Begone, Satan, thou shalt adore the Lord thy God,” our Lord still keeps the knowledge of His Divinity a secret from Satan. He does not say, thou shalt adore Me. But, like any other just man quoting Scripture, He says, “Adore God alone.” Neither does it seem that He banished him by His Divine power. Satan left Him freely, after being discomfited in the contest. Now, seeing, from his having been addressed as “Satan,” adversary, that he was discovered, he felt himself fully vanquished, and left more and more in perplexity and doubt as to the nature and Divinity of our Lord.

11 Then the devil left him; and behold angels came and ministered to him.

St. Luke says, he left Him (“for a time”), with the intention of returning at some befitting opportunity. He did return again at His Passion, “hæc est hora vestra et potestas tenebarum,” and by his instruments sought to destroy Him.

“And behold, Angels came;” not only one Angel, but many. This shows the superior dignity of Christ, “to whom the Angels ministered,” as servants to their Master; creatures to their Creator; messengers to Him, that commissioned them. They came visibly and supplied Him with food to appease His hunger. When we are engaged in the manly struggle with the devil, and gain the victory over him, aided by God’s grace, then, we cause to rejoice the Angels of God and the whole court, who will minister to our spiritual strength and aid us in our victory. But, as the devil only retires “for a time” from our Lord to return again, as he did, particularly at His Passion, which he instigated the world, i.e., wicked men, and “the princes of the world,” his own satellites, the devils, to inflict; so, we, too, must be always on the alert, and prepared to our last gasp for temptation, so as to be warranted with our Divine Redeemer in saying in the end, “The prince of this world has come, and in me he has found nothing” that he might call his own, deserving of reprehension. We must never cease praying each day fervently and perseveringly for the great and special gift of final perseverance, “magnum donum perseverantiæ usque in finem” (Council of Trent, §§ vi. Canon xvi.), so as finally to overcome the temptations of the devil. If we obtain this gift, our salvation is secure. If we fail to obtain it, our perdition is inevitable. This is a point of faith defined by the Council of Trent. (§§ vi. Can. xxii.) This great gift cannot be strictly merited. It can be obtained only by humble prayer, “suppliciter emereri potest” (St. Augustine). We should never cease to pray, “Lord, grant us the great gift of final perseverance.”

Posted in Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Christ, Devotional Resources, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 5:12-19

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 7, 2014

This post opens with Father MacEvilly’s brief analysis of Romans 5, followed by his commentary on verses 12-19. Text in purple indicates his paraphrasing of the scripture he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF ROMANS CHAPTER 5

The Apostle, having proved in the preceding chapters, that our justification comes from faith and not from the works performed by the sole aid of cither the natural law or the law of Moses, now points out the excellence if this justification from its effects and the fruits which it produces. The first effect is, peace and tranquillity of conscience (verse 1). The second is the adoption of us, as sons of God (2). The third is joy in our afflictions, which subserve as means to bring us to the enjoyment of our eternal inheritance (3, 4, 5). We have two most consoling and certain grounds for this hope, viz., the diffusion of the Holy Ghost in our hearts, and the death if Christ, than which God could not furnish a greater proof of his boundless love (6–10). The fourth effect of our justification is our glorying in God, as our Father, and in Jesus Christ, as our Mediator (11). In order to show the absolute necessity of this reconciliation on the part of Christ, the Apostle traces matters to the very root of all evil, viz., original sin, of which subject he treats in the remainder of the chapter.

12 Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world and by sin death: and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.

(Through Christ alone have we been reconciled to God, and we needed him to reconcile us). For, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into this world, and by sin death, thus death has passed into all men, since all sinned in Adam, as the principal and head of the human race. (So also through one man Christ—the principal and head of all who are spiritually regenerated—has justice entered into the world, and through justice, eternal life).

The Apostle, in order to show the necessity of reconciliation through Christ, traces matters back to the root of all evil, and propounds the mysterious doctrine of original sin. What it is that constitutes this sin, and what the particular mode is of contracting it, which we have inherited from Adam, and which has been transmitted to all who have been, by the natural course of generation, descended from him (the glorious Mother of God, alone, excepted, who, according to the doctrine of faith, “by a singular privilege and grace of Almighty God, has been preserved free from all stain of original sin in the first instant of Her conception, in view of the merits of Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the human race”), no way concerns us to inquire. This much we know and believe as an article of Catholic faith, that this sin has been transmitted to all men, not by imitation, but by carnal generation. “Hoc Adæ peccatum … propagatione non imitatione transfusum omnibus, inest unicuique proprium.”—(Concil. Trid. SS. 5. de Peccato Orig.) And this doctrine has been proved from this passage by several Councils against the Pelagians.

“Wherefore,” δια τουτο, may mean, for, with the connexion in Paraphrase, or it may be thus connected: “Since, then, Christ is the meritorious cause of our salvation, it is meet that we should, therefore, institute the following comparison. “As by one man,” i.e., Adam, who was by God constituted the head and representative of the whole mass of mankind, “sin entered into this world,” i.e., infected the whole human race, which thereby contracted the necessity of dying. By “sin,” is meant the guilt of original sin, and not its effects, death and bodily suffering, as defined by the Council of Trent—(SS. 5, Can. 2). It is opposed to justification, and moreover, if it referred to the effects of sin, it would be identified with “death.” “And so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.” “In whom,” regards the “one man,” δἰ ἑνὸς ἀνθρώπου, or Adam, as is clear from the Greek, ἐφʼ ᾧ. This is the interpretation of St. Augustine and St. Chrysostom. In this construction, the words intervening between “one man,” and “in whom.” are included in a parenthesis, “wherefore, as by one man (…) in whom all have sinned.” Others understand the words, ἐφʼ ῳ, causatively to mean inasmuch as, or because, and this is preferred by many (see Beelen). Some Commentators say the sense is suspended as far as verse 18—“therefore as by the offence,” &c.—others finish the sense as in Paraphrase. And this is the more probable; for in verse 18, it is a conclusion that is expressed, “therefore,” &c. Others, with Beelen, say the second member of the comparison which should correspond with the words, “as by one man,” &c., and should complete the sentence, is expressed, if not in words, at least in reality, wherein is conveyed the contrast between the first and second Adam, in verse 14, “who is a figure,” &c.

13 For until the law sin was in the world: but sin was not imputed, when the law was not.
14 But death reigned from Adam unto Moses, even over them also who have not sinned, after the similitude of the transgression of Adam, who is a figure of him who was to come.

And that this sin existed in the world at all times, even before the written law was given to Moses, although before the law, it was not so much attended to by mankind, following the bent of their corrupt passions, and having no positive law to point out the enormity and fix the special punishment of their crimes, is evident from the fact, that death, its consequence, reigned from Adam to Moses even over those (v.g., infants and mentally/intellectually impaired) who were incapable, by actual transgression, of sinning after the manner of Adam, who, as the head of a sinful race, was, by contraries, a type of the second Adam, Christ, through whom, as the head of a ransomed race, justice and life were to be introduced into this world.

In this verse (13), the Apostle anticipates and solves an objection which might be made against the universality of the preceding doctrine, namely, as sin is the violation of some law, how could there be any violation of a law before it was given? The Apostle says, that even before the law was given to Moses, this sin of Adam, as well in itself as in its effects, viz., actual sins, existed in this world; but these sins were not “imputed,” or attended to by mankind following their corrupt passions; because there was no particular positive enactment clearly to point out their enormity—so that “sin” in this verse embraces not only original but actual sins, of which the corruption we have inherited from Adam is the source and principle. “But sin,” under which are included original sin, and the actual sins flowing from it, superadded by our own wills—“was not imputed.” Some say was not imputed unto punishment, or as a transgression. The interpretation adopted in the Paraphrase is preferable; for, it is very hard to reconcile the other interpretation with the heavy chastisements always visited upon sin, even before the time of Moses; for, even then, death reigned as well as afterwards.

But as a proof that this sin existed, even during the interval that elapsed between Adam and Moses, the Apostle adduces the fact that death (verse 14), the consequence and punishment of sin, reigned over those who could not deserve any such punishment by actual positive guilt of their own. Such, for instance, were infants and idiots, who, unlike Adam, were incapable of actual sin.

“Who is a figure of him who was to come.” Adam was, by contraries, a type of the future or second Adam, Christ, who is the principle of spiritual life, as the first Adam was the principle of spiritual death. Some Commentators, and among them Beelen, are of opinion that the second member of the antithesis between Adam and Christ is insinuated here, although not clearly expressed, as has been done in Paraphrase of verse 12.

This passage had been adduced by St. Augustine and the early Fathers, to establish against the Pelagians the doctrine of original sin. The Apostle says, “all have sinned,” verse 12, and that this is not to be understood of actual sin, he shows in verse 14, since death, the consequence and punishment of sin, had been inflicted upon all, not even excepting those who were incapable of committing actual sin, viz., infants and idiots. Hence, it must be inflicted as a punishment of that sin, which by generation was transmitted to them from Adam, whom, in his infinite wisdom, God had constituted the head of all his descendants; so that his sin would be imputable to them, as would his fidelity have been accounted in their favour, had he persevered in justice.

15 But not as the offence, so also the gift. For if by the offence of one, many died: much more the grace of God and the gift, by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

We are not, however, to imagine, that the sin of the first Adam has been so detrimental in its effects, as the gift of the second Adam, by which these effects were removed, has been useful. For, if by the sin of the first Adam his many descendants were deprived of spiritual life and rendered subject to eternal death, far more numerous and precious were the gratuitous gifts of God, through the grace of one man Jesus Christ, conferred on the many (for, besides restoring spiritual life, he has bestowed many gifts of the Holy Ghost and immortality itself).

In the preceding verse, the Apostle had asserted, that Adam was a type or figure of him, “who is to come,” i.e., of Christ, who is often in SS. Scripture styled, the last Adam.—(1 Cor. 15:45). He was a figure by contraries, because, as the first Adam was the principle of death and sin, so the last was the principle of justice and of life, in all who were to be spiritually regenerated and born of him. This resemblance was not, in every respect, perfect. “Many died,” in Greek, οἱ πολλοὶ, “the many.” The first point of dissimilitude, even on contrary sides, was that the guilt of the one had only inflicted temporal and eternal death; whereas, “the grace of God and the gift,” i.e., the gratuitous gift of God furnished by the grace and merits of the man-God, Jesus Christ, “hath much more abounded,” not in point of extensive application, but in the comprehensive excellence and abundance of the benefits which it conferred; since it was not merely confined to the removal of the evil effects of the sin of Adam, but it also bestowed the gifts of the Holy Ghost and perseverance in grace, of which the sin of Adam did not deprive us; for, Adam had not these gifts in Paradise.

“Unto many,” or, as in the Greek, εἰς τους πολλους, “unto the many.” Of course, “the many” in this latter member of the sentence is not as extensive as in the former member, “by the offence of one many died;” for, the many in the former are called “all men,” verse 12; while in this latter part, there is question only of the many who are spiritually born or begotten of Christ, in the same way as treating of the descendants of Adam there is question of those carnally descended from him. It is not in the extent of their actual application that the Apostle compares “the gift” and “the sin,” but in their comprehensive or intrinsic effects where they are applied.

16 And not as it was by one sin, so also is the gift. For judgment indeed was by one unto condemnation: but grace is of many offences unto justification.

There is another point of difference besides; for, it was only for the one sin of Adam, that all have been subject to the sentence of condemnation; whereas, the gratuitous gift effected the justification of all, not only from that sin, but from all others, and so it rescued us from more evils than the sin of Adam had introduced.

There is another point of dissimilitude. For, the gift of the last Adam did more than remove the evil effects of which the transgression of the first was productive. For, by the transgression of Adam, all had been subject to the sentence of condemnation for only one sin; whereas, the gratuitous gift of Christ not only justified us from that one general sin, but from all our own actual sins, superadded by depraved and corrupt nature. “And not as it was by one sin,” the Greek is, καὶ ουχ ὡς δἰ ἑνος ἁμαρτησαντος, “and not as by one who sinned.” The Vulgate reading is, however, found in some of the principal Greek manuscripts, and in the Arabic version.

17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned through one; much more they who receive abundance of grace and of the gift and of justice shall reign in life through one, Jesus Christ.

For, if through the sin of one man (Adam), and as the consequence of his sin, death reigned over the entire human race; with far greater reason should we believe, that those who receive the abundance of divine grace, of justice, and of all supernatural favours, shall reign for endless ages, through the merits of the one man, Jesus Christ, which are boundless and infinite.

The Apostle repeats, with greater emphasis in this verse, the points of similitude and dissimilitude between Christ and Adam, as opposite principles of life and death. He represents life and death introduced by both, as reigning over the human race. Adam introduced the reign of death and sin; Christ, the reign of justice and life. He does not say, as In the preceding member, that “life shall reign,” but “they shall reign in life,” to point out the dignity of the sons of God, to whom the form, “they shall reign in life,” is more honourable than “life shall reign over them,” as is said of death in the preceding; “much more”—i.e., it is much more natural, considering the infinite power and boundless merits of the one man, Jesus Christ, the principle of spiritual and eternal life, to expect that his children shall reign for ever; the word “reign” expresses the height of happiness, together with the exalted honour they shall enjoy. “Abundance of grace” may mean the abundant, transcendant grace; “and of the gift, and of justice,” (in the common Greek, καὶ της δωρεας της δικαιοσυνης, “and of the gift of justice.”). In the Vatican MS. the word “gift” is wanting.

18 Therefore, as by the offence of one, unto all men to condemnation: so also by the justice of one, unto all men to justification of life.

Therefore, as by the sin of one man, Adam, the entire mass of mankind incurred the guilt through which they were subject to condemnation; so also, by the justice of one man, Christ, have all men born of him, obtained that justice which makes them sharers of eternal life.

In this verse, according to the interpretation adopted by many, the Apostle reverts to the preceding, for the purpose of completing the sense, and of filling up the comparison left incomplete at verse 12. The intervening verses are, according to this connexion, to be read as within a parenthesis, in which the sacred writer is hurried off from the main subject to note some points of similitude or dissimilitude that occurred to him in reference to the subject in question—a thing not at all unusual in the style of the Apostle. Against this connexion, however, it may be fairly objected, that in this verse the Apostle only draws a conclusion from the foregoing, in which the comparison is supposed to have been already instituted, and indeed, according to many (vide Beelen), the points of comparison are carried out in the words of verse 14, “who is a figure of him who was to come;” “Therefore,” i.e., so then, “as by the offence of one unto all men to condemnation,” the word judgment is understood (judgment passed), “unto all men to condemnation,” as in verse 16; “so also by the justice of one,” (grace or justice passed) “unto all men to justification of life;” “all men,” in this latter clause, regarding justification, are to be understood of all spiritually born of Christ, as in the preceding, reference is made to all carnally descended from the principle of death and condemnation—viz., Adam.

19 For as by the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners: so also by the obedience of one, many shall be made just.

For, as by the disobedience of one man, Adam, the many descended from him are made sinners; so also, by the obedience of Christ, shall the many, spiritually born of him, be constituted just.

On account of the great importance of the doctrine, the Apostle repeats in this verse the same thing conveyed in the preceding, “as by the disobedience of the one”—viz., Adam eating the forbidden fruit, “the many,” i.e., all his descendants, who are many (he calls them “all men,” verse 18), “are made sinners;” “so also by the obedience of the one, the many (descended of him) shall be,” &c.; “the many,” in this latter member is not co-extensive with “the many” in the preceding, according to the interpretation now given; or, if we take “the many” who shall be “made just,” to refer to the entire human race, then the words “made just” will not imply that they are actually justified, but only that the grace of justification is intended for all, and it is their own fault if they fail to obtain it; and that all who are rendered just, are made so by the grace of Christ. From this and the preceding verse is derived a convincing argument of the Catholic doctrine of inherent justice, as Beelen well observes. For, according to the teaching of the Apostle, we are constituted just, and even obtain the gift of justice, through the obedience of Christ, as we are constituted sinners through the disobedience of Adam. Now, in the latter case, we were really sinners, “by nature, children of wrath,” (Eph. 2:3) by the guilt of sin inherent in each of us, transmitted by carnal generation from him. Therefore, by the obedience of Christ, all who are spiritually born of him are constituted really just by justice really inherent in them, and not by the imputation of the justice of Christ, as it was not by the imputation of the sin of Adam that all are sinners. For, the spiritual regeneration in Christ corresponds with the carnal descent from Adam, in which guilt is not imputed but really contracted.

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This Week’s Commentaries and Posts: Sunday, March 2–Sunday, March 9 (Eighth Week in Ordinary Time and the Beginning of Lent)

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 1, 2014

SUNDAY MARCH 2, 2014
EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

COMMENTARIES AND RESOURCES FOR TODAY’S MASS.

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2014
MONDAY OF THE EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Peter 1:3-9.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Homily on 1 Peter 1:3-9.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Peter 1:3-9.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 111.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 111.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 10:17-27.

A Homily on Mark 10:17-27 by Pope Benedict XVI.

A Second Homily on Mark 10:17-27 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 10:17-27.

TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 2014
TUESDAY OF THE EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Peter 1:10-16.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Peter 1:10-16.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 98.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 98.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 98.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 98.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 10:28-31.

St Catherine of Siena on Mark 10:28-31.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 10:28-31.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 2014
ASH WEDNESDAY

ASH WEDNESDAY COMMENTARIES AND POSTS.

THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
THURSDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Deuteronomy 30:15-20.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 1.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 1.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 1.

St  Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 1.

Pseudo-St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 1.

A Lectio Divina Reading of Psalm 1.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 9:22-25.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Luke 9:22-25.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 9:22-25.

FRIDAY. MARCH 7, 2014
FRIDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Isaiah 58:1-9. Actually on verses 1-14, thus including tomorrow’s first reading as well.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St John Fisher’s Sermons on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51). Psalm 50 in Fisher’s translation. The Fourth Penitential Psalm. He treated of the Psalm in two parts, and at some length.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 51).

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Matt 9:14-15.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Matt 9:14-15).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 9:14-15).

Maldonado’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Matt 9:14-15).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Matt 9:14-15).

SATURDAY, MARCH 8, 2014
SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Isaiah 58:9b-14. Actually on verses 1-14, thus including yesterday’s first reading.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 86.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 86.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 86.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 5:27-32.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 5:27-32.

SUNDAY, MARCH 9, 2014
FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A

COMMENTARIES AND POSTS FOR THE FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT, YEAR A.

Next Week’s Posts: Second Week of Lent, Year A.

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