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 June, 2014

My Notes on Psalm 5

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 30, 2014

Please note that the verse numbering follows that of the RSVCE. The first three verses are my own translation; the remainder of the verses are from the RSVCE which is under copyright: “The Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1965, 1966 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”.

We saw that Psalm 4 was characterized as an evening prayer. Psalm 5 is generally held to be a morning prayer on the basis of verse 4. Perhaps we are to see a connection between the two psalms (Note the similar openings: Psalm 4:1 = Psalm 5:1-3. Also, note that both close with the theme of God providing security: Ps 4:8 = Ps 5:11-12).

Ps 5:1. Bend your ear to my speaking, O Lord, consider my complaint.
Ps 5:2. Prick up your ears to the call of my cry, my king and my God, for to you do I pray.
Ps 5:3. O LORD, at the dawn hear my voice, at the dawn I lay down preparations and look up. (my translation).

The opening shows that this is a song of lament or, as it is sometimes termed, a song of complaint (see footnote 1, NAB). The Psalmist calls upon God with four imperatives: “bend you ear“, “consider“, and “prick up your ears“, “hear my voice“. The imperatives are closely connected with the psalmist’s actions (“to you do I pray,” I make preparations“), and his expectations (i.e., his watching). Such imperatives are typical of complaint psalms and serve to highlight the petitioners confidence in God. Such confidence is also seen in his referring to the Lord as “my King and my God.” This confidence and insistent prayer is typical of biblical prayers (see Luke 11:5-13; and 18:1-8. See also CCC 2610 and 2613).

Vs 2 My king and my God. Personalizes the prayer. In ancient Israel a king wasn’t just a ruler, he was also a judge and defender of those who were in the right regarding legal and religious laws (see 1 Kings 3:18-27; 2 Sam 14:4-24). It appears that the psalmist is engaged in some form of legal contention with his adversaries and expects God to judge the case (see notes on vs 3). My God is the more personal part of the address. It is followed by the words for to you do I pray. Why this emphasis? Are we to understand that his enemies are in the habit of praying to other Gods?.

The Hebrew word for pray in verse 2 is related to a word for “judge.” The psalmist is here portrayed as a humble servant of a mighty potentate from whom he is begging a hearing on a legal matter because he desires the king’s judgment.

O LORD, at the dawn hear my voice. Both the liturgy and legal proceedings were heard in the morning. Some scholars suggest that the psalmist is facing an unjust legal accustation but is confident that he will receive a favorable judgment and as a result will offer a morning sacrifice in the temple (see below).

At the dawn I make preparations.  The Hebrew ערך (‛ârak) has a wide range of meaning, including the preparation for making a sacrifice; a fact reflected in translations such as the RSV and ESV. But the word also has a legal sense, i.e., preparing a legal defense or presentation. This is reflected in various translations also (NIV, NLT). Many translations employ a reference to prayer (KJV, RV).

The Psalmist will look up to God for an answer (see Psalm 123). Again the psalmist expresses confidence that God will hear and answer him, because he knows that the Lord watches over the way of the just (see psalm 1:6. Also Psalm 121). This Looking up to God with confidence is based also on the Psalmist’s knowledge of the state of the wicked, they may not stand before God’s eyes. (see verse 6)

Ps 5:4. For thou art not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not sojourn with thee.  ‎
Ps 5:5. The boastful may not stand before thy eyes; thou hatest all evildoers.  ‎
Ps 5:6. Thou destroyest those who speak lies; the LORD abhors bloodthirsty and deceitful men.

Vs 4 For- acts as a conjunctive linking up what is said here about God with the confidence expressed by the Psalmist in verse 3. Wickedness- the Hebrew word is resha (reh-shah) which is often used in the Bible to describe those who pervert ethics or civil law.

Evil may not sojourn with thee.  This could mean that no evil dwells in God. However, since the word is also used for dwelling in God’s tent (Psalm 15:1; 61:4) the meaning could be that evil men will sooner or later be exposed and cast out from worshiping at the temple (contrast with verse 7).

Vs 5 The boastful may not stand before thy eyes.  Forms a nice contrast with the Psalmist’s attitude in verse 3. The Psalmist humbly lays down preparations before the Lord and watches (looks up) expectantly for a response; on the other hand, the boastful (those who make a spectacle of themselves in relation to God and men) cannot b stand in God’s sight.

thou hatest all evildoers. See3 Job 31:2-3–”For what is the portion from God above, and the heritage from the Almighty on high? Is it not calamity to the unrighteous, and disaster to the workers of iniquity?”

Vs 6 Thou destroyest those who speak lies. Again, this is probably referring to false accusers or witnesses in a legal (civil or religious) case. The prophets of the OT often condemned perjury and giving false witness, along with other perversions of the legal system (see Amos 5:7, 10; Isa 1:23; 5:18-24).

2476 False witness and perjury. When it is made publicly, a statement contrary to the truth takes on a particular gravity. In court it becomes false witness. 276 When it is under oath, it is perjury. Acts such as these contribute to condemnation of the innocent, exoneration of the guilty, or the increased punishment of the accused. 277 They gravely compromise the exercise of justice and the fairness of judicial decisions. (Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Ps 5:7. But I through the abundance of thy steadfast love will enter thy house, I will worship toward thy holy temple in the fear of thee.

But I. establishes a strong contrast with the preceding verses which described both the sinners state and God’s attitude towards sinners. Because of the Lord’s steadfast love the Psalmist will enter thy (God’s) house, unlike the wicked whom the God of steadfast love is said to take no delight in, for evil will not sojourn with God (4). Only those who, like the psalmist, whorship toward God’s holy temple (vs 7) can stand before God’s eyes (vs 5).

Ps 5:8. Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of my enemies; make thy way straight before me.  ‎
Ps 5:9. 9 For there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is destruction, their throat is an open sepulchre, they flatter with their tongue.  ‎
Ps 5:10 Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of their many transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against thee.  ‎

Vs 8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness. Having established God’s superiority and power over the unrighteous, the psalmist calls upon God to make his (God’s) way straight before him. The psalmist, in other words, is asking God to direct his moral/religious life (the way of God).

Vs 9. For. Supplies the reason for the petition in verse 8. The moral/religious way of  life of sinners is diametrically opposed to God’s way and leads to ruin (Psalm 1:1-6). Here we see the reason why.

There is no truth in their mouth, their heart is destruction, their throat is an open sepulchre. Everything about them is corruption and death. as the psalmist has previously mentioned, God has nothing to do with such people (Ps 5:4-6).

Vs 10 Let them fall by their own counsels…cast them out. That those who do evil trap themselves in their wickedness is a very common motif in the wisdom literature (see Ps 7:14-16). As we have seen, the wicked may not sojourn with God (4) and so it is fitting that the psalmist here asks that they be cast out. The boastful may not stand before God’s eyes (5) and so the psalmists pleads that they fall.

Ps 5:11 But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy; and do thou defend them, that those who love thy name may exult in thee.  ‎
Ps 5:12 For thou dost bless the righteous, O LORD; thou dost cover him with favor as with a shield.

Vs 11 But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice…and do thou defend them.  The opening word “but” establishes a contrast with verse 10. The fate of the rebel against God (he is cast out) is very different from the fate of the refugee who rejoices in, and is defended by, God. God’s favor covers the righteous like a protecting shield and is an effect of his (God’s) own righteousness (verse 8)

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My Notes on Amos 3:1-8, 4:11-12.

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 29, 2014

Here begins another major section of the Prophet’s Book (3:1-4:13). It is in the form of a sermon which has combined many elements. The basic point of the sermon is that punishment is coming necessarily, and this necessity is due to Israel’s sins. It opens with a “call to attention” formula typical of the prophetic literature. 

AMOS 3:1-2 Attention! Punishment is Coming!

Amos 3:1. Hear this word that the Lord has spoken concerning you, O sons of Israel, concerning the whole family which I brought up out of the land of Egypt: 
Amos 3:2. “Only you have I known among all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for your iniquities.”

“Hear this word” is a common biblical address meant to get an audience’s attention. It is found at the beginning of hymns of praise (Judges 5:3), it (or a similar formula) is also used in wisdom teaching (Prov 7:1, 24), and in military and political negotiations as well (2 Kings 18:28-29). But it was very common in prophetic speeches, especially those taking the form of a warning (Hosea 4:1; Isaiah 1:10; Ezekiel 6:3). 

The actual  word that the Lord has spoken concerning Israel is quoted beginning in verse 2: “only you have I known among all the families of the earth; therefore (i.e. for this reason, because of this) I will punish you for your iniquities.”

God chose to know Israel in a way not enjoyed by the other peoples of the world. Know, as used in Scripture, implies a special, intimate relationship of experience (see Gen 4:1; Jer1:5).

The wording of verses 1 and 2 would have called to the people’s minds the covenant of Moses which was itself a partial fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (also named Israel, Gen 35:10).

God had chosen Abraham so that in his descendents “all the families of the earth might find blessing (see Gen 12:3; 18:18;). A promise repeated after the near sacrifice of Isaac (Gen 22:18), and repeated again to Jacob (Israel) in Genesis 28:10-15.

In Exodus 19, as God prepares to make his covenant with the people under Moses, he says to Moses: “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you up on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all the peoples; for all the earth is mine.” (Ex 19:3-5, RSV). And as he makes the covenant he begins with these words: “I am the Lord, your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

The words then of Amos 3:1-2 would have reminded the people of their founding traditions and their privileges as the Chosen People. A privilege Paul describes memorably: “They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah.” (Rom 9:4-5, NAB). But with privilege and blessing comes responsibilities (see Luke 12:48) which the people had not fulfilled: Therefore, God says in Amos 3:2, I will punish you for your iniquities. In punishing the people God is showing himself to be what he was, the father of Israel, His firstborn son (Exodus 4:22-23); “for whom the Lord loves he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.” (see Hebrews 12:1-12). 

Background to Amos 3:3-8, 4:11-12

After calling the people to attention and announcing that punishment is coming for their failure to live as God’s covenanted children, God, through the prophet, asks a series of rhetorical questions which are meant to justify the action God is taking. Every effect [in this case the impending punishment from God] has a cause (Am 3:3-6). Then a reference is made to prophecy (Am 3:7-8). We are, I believe, to understand that Israel’s sins has caused God to send Amos to prophecy. Thus far the people have rejected God’s prophets and prophecies (Am 2:11-12), showing themselves unafraid (Am 3:8), and by this willful ignorance setting themselves up for great punishment (Am 3:9-15, 4:2-3). Only some will escape, and just barely at that (Am 3:12). The primary sin highlighted in this section is oppression of those without financial, social, political, or legal clout (Am 3:9-10, 4:1), increasing the pious fraud of their already tainted worship (Am 4:4-5). These are issues previously highlighted by the prophet (Am 2:6-8),and though God has already undertaken to punish them for it (Am 4:6-10), treating them as no better than Sodom and Gomorrah (Am 4:11), he will have to do more (Am 4:12).

Amos 3:3. Do two go about together unless they belong together? 

The answer to this and the following questions is, quite obviously, no. A lamb and a lion do not go about together. In Amos’ day people of differing social classes or sexes did not associate together unless there was some cause for them to do so.

Amos 3:4. Does a lion ROAR in the forest even though he is without prey. Does a young lion GIVE OUT HIS VOICE from his habitation if he has caught nothing?

Recall that Amos was a herdsman from the wilderness of Tekoa (Am1:1), he would certainly know that a lion’s roar is often caused by its pursuit or capture of prey. Notice that this verse calls to mind the keynote verse of the Book of Amos(i.e., Am 1:2)

“The Lord ROARS from Zion GIVES OUT HIS VOICE from Jerusalem…the height of Carmel withers.” The importance of this will be seen later. [note that the CAPITALIZED words refers to the sound/voice of God/lion; and the italicised words refer to where God/ a lion dwells]

Amos 3:5. Does a bird fall victim to a snare upon the earth if their is no bait to lure it? Does a snare spring up from the ground if there is no prey to capture? 

Again, the answer is no; effects have there causes.

Amos 3:6. Does a trumpet sound in a city and the people do not tremble? Does affliction come upon a city and the Lord has not been the cause of it?

Trumpet is a reference to the shofar, the rams horn that was blown to signal the approach of an enemy. Its sound would definitely cause the people to tremble.

God had warned the people as they were about to enter the promised land that if they refused to obey his covenant he would punish them by causing foreign armies to invade their land and sack their cities (see Deut 28:49-52).

Notice the progression of these verses. Verse 3 asked, very generically, “do two walk together?” The question was so vague that it could refer to animals or people. Verse 4 focused on the theme of animals against animals; a lion roars because it has captured its prey. Verse 5 focuses on the theme of man against animals, for only men lay snares. Verse 6a focuses upon the theme of men against men, for only men war with men. verse 6b focuses upon the theme of God against men; implicitly, the focus is upon his relationship with his people. Every effect in the world has its cause.

Amos 3:7.  Certainly the Lord God does nothing without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets.

In order to keep the people on the straight and narrow, and to ensure that they did not forget him and commit idolatry, God had, through Moses, promised the people that he would raise up prophets to guide and instruct them (see Deut 18:9-22). Recall, however, that the people of the Northern Kingdom had rejected the prophets sent to them (see Amos 2:11-12). The people therefore are without excuse: “for if any man will not listen to my words which the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will make him answer for it.” (Deut 18:19). 

Amos 3:8. A lion has roared-who does not fear? The Lord God has spoken-who does not prophecy? 

As previously noted the reference to a lion roaring recalls the keynote verse in Amos 1:2. There we saw that God, the shepherd of his flock, Israel, had become their worst nightmare. Like a lion with its prey he had roared (see Am3:4) and there was drought upon the land. Not only was he “roaring” through natural calamities, but also through his prophets-who will not be afraid? As will be seen in Amos 4:6-11, the people were apparently not afraid. As will be seen in Amos 7:12-13, they will seek to silence the prophecies of Amos, but to no avail.

Amos 4:11. “I have overturned you” (says God), as he overturned Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like an ember plucked from the inferno, “yet you have not returned unto me,” says the Lord.

God’s punishment of his rebellious people, which was narrated in Amos 4:6-10, is here compared to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, but with one important difference. The cities of the plain were completely destroyed by fire (Gen 19:24-25), becoming only a smoking ruin (Gen 19:28), but the people of Israel are here compared to an ember pulled from burning, saved, but barely. Their continued hypocrisy of worship and sinfulness demands and even greater response from God, as the ominous words of verse 12 indicate.

Amos 4:12. Therefore I will do more unto you, O Israel; and because this I will do unto thee, prepare to meet you God, O Israel.

The nature of the impending further punishment is left unstated. St Jerome: “When He has said, ‘This will I do to thee,’ He is silent as to what He will do, in order that, whilst Israel is left in uncertainty as to the particular kind of punishment (which is all the more terrible because all kinds of things are imagined), it may repent of its sins, and so avert the things which God threatens here”

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Commentaries and Posts for the Thirteenth Week in Orindary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 28, 2014

SUNDAY, JUNE 29, 2014
SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL

RESOURCES FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL.

Last Week’s Posts.

MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2014
MONDAY OF THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Amos 2:6-10, 13-16. On verses 6-16.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Amos 2:6-10, 13-16. readings from several versions followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 50.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 50.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 50.

Psalm 50 and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Greek, English, Latin text of Psalm hyperlinked with the C E.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 8:18-22.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 8:18-22.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 8:18-22.

John MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 8:18-22.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 8:18-22.

TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2014
TUESDAY OF THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Amos 3:1-8, 4:11-12.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 5.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 5.

My Notes on Psalm 5.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 8:23-27.

St Jerome’s Homily on Matthew 8:23-27.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 8:23-27.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 8:23-27.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 8:23-27.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 2, 2014
WEDNESDAY OF THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Amos 5:14-15, 21-24.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Amos 5:14-15, 21-24. Readings from several versions followed by the commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 50.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 50.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 50.

Psalm 50 and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Greek, English, Latin text of Psalm hyperlinked with the C E.

John MacEvily’s Commentary on Matthew  8:28-34.

Pending: Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 8:28-34.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 8:28-34.

THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2014
FEAST OF ST THOMAS THE APOSTLE

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Ephesians 2:19-22.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Ephesians 2:19-22. On 12-22.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ephesians 2:19-22. Readings in several versions followed by the commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm117.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 117.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 117.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 117.

Psalm 117 and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Greek, English, Latin text of the Psalm hyperlinked to the C E.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on John 20:24-29. On 19-31.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 20:24-29. On 19-31.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 20:24-29.

FRIDAY, JULY 4, 2014
FRIDAY OF THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Amos 8:4-6, 9-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Amos 8:4-6, 9-12. Readings in several versions followed by the commentary.

Fr. Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 119.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Catechesis on Psalm 119.

Pending (maybe): My Notes on Psalm 119:2, 10, 20, 30, 40, 131.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 9:9-13.

Fr. John MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 9:9-13.

Fr. Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 9:9-13.

Fr. Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 9:9-13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 9:9-13.

SATURDAY, JULY 6, 2014
SATURDAY OF THE THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

An Overview of Amos 7:1-9:15. Briefly sets the structure of the final chapters of Amos from which today’s first reading is taken.

My Notes on Amos 9:11-15.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Amos 9:11-15. Readings in several versions followed by commentary.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 85.

My Notes on Psalm 85. With introduction by Fr. Boylan.

Pending: St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 85.

Psalm 85 and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Greek, English and Latin text of the Psalm hyperlinked to the C E.

Fr. Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 9:14-17.

Fr. John MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 9:14-17.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 9:14-17.

Fr. Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 9:14-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 9:14-17.

SUNDAY, JULY 6, 2014
FOURTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

COMMENTARIES AND RESOURCES FOR THE 14TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME.

Next Week’s Posts.

 

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Some Brief Notes on Amos 5:1-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 28, 2014

PLEASE NOTE: placing your cursor on a scripture link (e.g., Gen 1:1) will cause the text to appear in a box on your screen. To read longer references (e.g., Gen 1:1-31) you will need to click on the link. The link will open a new window and the site will allow you to view the text in several different versions. The default setting is the RSVCE.

Building upon the sarcastic and ironic statements of Amos 4:4-14, a new section of the book opens in Amos 5:1-6:14. We will examine the section in three major blocks: Amos 5:1-15 (the subject of this current post); Amos 5:16-27; and Amos 6:1-14.

Basically, the text calls upon the people to seek God rather than the temples at Bethel and Gilgal. This stands in Marked contrast to the 4 where the people were told come to Gilgal and sin; to Bethel and sin even more. The Point there was that their false and formalistic worship was not a true “seeking after” God.

Read Amos 5:1.  The word hear is, as we have seen before, prophetic call to attention. What the people are called to attend to is the impending doom of their kingdom. This doom is announced in the form of lamentation; a funeral dirge or death song which is given in vs 2.

Read Amos 5:2.  Consists of the actual lamentation announced in the previous verse. It is, in the Hebrew text, written in the poetic “Qinah” meter, a term derived from the Hebrew word for lamentation. In other words, in verse 2 we are to understand that the prophet is singing the words: Fallen, no more to rise, is the virgin Israel; forsaken on her land, with none to raise her up. The lamentation is recorded in the present tense as if the state of affairs it concerns has already taken place. In fact, the event is still future, as verses 3-5 make clear. The present tense serves a two-fold purpose; (1) it highlights its function as a prediction and (2) it makes clear that what is predicted will come to pass. The Northern Kingdom, virgin Israel, will indeed fall, the only recourse the people have in the face of this impending calamnity is repentance, returning to the Lord (Amos 5:5-6), which includes living righteously (Amos 5:14-15). Their repentance, however, will not save the Northern Kingdom, for the kingdom is marked for destruction as a political/religious entity. As the prophet will make clear later, the people must not only return to the right worship of God, but they must also once again subject themselves to the leadship of the Davidic kings of Judah (Amos 9:8b-15).

Read Amos 5:3.  Notice the combination of past and future tenses here. What is being predicted will surely happen.

For. This word introduces the reason for the lamentation and its meaning. Virgin Israel will fall and be forsaken as the result of a terrible military defeat (see Amos 2:13-16). Her Armies will literally be decimated. A thousand will be reduced to a hundred; a hundred will be reduced to ten. The ancient Jewish military was arraigned in companies of tens, hundreds, thousands.

Read Amos 5:4. This is the only valid solution to their impending predicament.

Read Amos 5:5.  (see Amos 3:14-15) All three of these sites loom large in the history of the patriarchs who set up shrines and memorials to God at them. But during the time of David and Solomon God had chosen to dwell in Jerusalem and receive sacrifice there (Deut 12:1-14). Turning these other sites into rival places of sacrificial worship was an offense against God. Compounding this was the fact that the worship taking place was tainted with paganism. These places would indeed be destroyed and the people taken into exile by the Assyrian Empire in 722 BC.

Read Amos 5:6.  The beginning of the verse basically repeats the call to seek God made in vs 4. The rest of the verse again reiterates the impending doom of the Kingdom by military defeat. Notice that the language is similar to what was found in the oracles of Amos 1:3-25. In those oracles we saw that a number of nations, including Judah, and/or their cities were threatened with fire. In the oracle made against the Northern Kingdom of Israel in Amos 2:6-16 no such threat is given. Why was it delayed till here?

Read Amos 5:7. Reintroduces the theme of sins against righteousness and justice which are manifested in mistreatment of the poor (see Amos 2:6-8; 3:9-10; 4:1).

Wormwood is a small bush which lies close to the ground and has an extremely bitter taste to it. The people have made Justice and righteousness bitter and insignificant, like the wormwood plant.

Read Amos 5:8-9. These verses are a liturgical acclamation similar to the one found in Amos 4:13. As the true source of all that is made and happens in creation God cannot be mocked; for as he is the source of creation, he is also the source of righteousness and justice among men. He who has the power to control creation certainly has the power to bring judgement against those who turn justice into wormwood.

Read Amos 5:10. Legal cases were heard and legal decisions were made in public, usually at the city gate. As we saw in Amos 2:6-8, the wealthy were corrupting the legal system in order to cheat the poor. A Judge who reproves honestly, or a witness who speaks truthfully are hated by such people.

Read Amos 5:11. The wealthy in the kingdom who have increased their abundance wrongly will not enjoy the fruits of their wrongdoing (see Amos 3:15 and Amos 4:9).

Read Amos 5:12. As Amos 5:7-10 made clear, God is not ignorant of what is taking place, it is precisely his knowledge of what is happening which motivates the coming punishment.

Read Amos 5:13. The prudent man will remain silent concerning the evil being done because things have become so evil.

Read Amos 5:14. The Hebrew word used for seek is dirsu, the root of which is often used to denote seeking God thru prophetic oracles or worship. One can only seek good and worship according to God’s will which was manifested and made known thru the gift of prophecy (see Deut 18:9-20). Though the people were claiming God was with them their actions showed otherwise.

Read Amos 5:15. Ultimately, one can only have a right relationship with God if one has a right relationship with his fellow humans (or is trying to establish or maintain such relations). If the wealthy and pwerful want to escape the coming wrath they have to begin acting in an upright manner and not, for example, continue corrupting the courts.

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Commentaries and Posts for the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 21, 2014

SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 2014
SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
(Corpus Christi)

Commentaries and Resources for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2014
MONDAY OF THE TWELFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
VIGIL MASS FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST

Today’s Mass Readings. These readings and the following commentaries are for the Mass of the day. The readings and commentaries for the Vigil are included in the Resources for the Vigil link below.

Today’s Divine Office.

Haydock Bible Commentary on the First Reading (2 Kings 17:5-8, 13-15a, 18).

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 60.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Psalm 60:3, 4-5, 12-13.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 7:1-5.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 7:1-5.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew  7:1-5.

Resources for the Vigil: Vigil Mass For the Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist.

TUESDAY, JUNE 24, 2014
SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF ST JOHN THE BAPTIST

Resources for the Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25, 2014
WEDNESDAY OF THE TWELFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Kgs 22:8-13; 23:1-3. Readings from various translations followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 119.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Catechesis on Psalm 119.

Psallam Domino’s Commentary on Ps 119:33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40. On verses 33-40.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 7:15-20.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 7:15-20.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 7:15-20.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 7:15-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 7:15-20.

THURSDAY, JUNE 26, 2014
THURSDAY OF THE TWELFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Kings 24:8-17. Readings from various translations followed by commentary.

Background to Psalm 79.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 79.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 7:21-29.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 7:21-29.

John MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 7:21-29.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 7:21-29.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 7:21-29.

FRIDAY, JUNE 27, 2014
SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST SACRED HEART OF JESUS

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Deuteronomy 7:6-11. Readings from various trnaslations followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 103.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 103.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 103.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 4:7-16.

John MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 John 4:7-16.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 4:7-16.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 11:25-30.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 11:25-30.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 11:25-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 11:25-30.

SATURDAY, JUNE 28, 2014
MEMORIAL OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
VIGIL FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL

Today’s Mass Readings. These readings and the following commentaries are for the Mass of the day (Immaculate Heart). The readings and commentaries for the Vigil are included in the Resources for the Vigil link below.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Lamentations 2:2, 10-14, 18-19.

Pending: Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 74.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 74.

St Augustine On Luke 2:41-51. On 42-52.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 2:41-51. On 42-52.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 2:41-51.

Resources for Vigil: Vigil Mass For the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

SUNDAY, JUNE 29, 2014
SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL

RESOURCES FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL.

Next Week’s Posts.

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

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 11:25-30

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 21, 2014

Mat 11:25  At that time Jesus answered and said: I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones.
Mat 11:26  Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in thy sight.

At that time Jesus answered. 4. The citizens of the kingdom. In this section Jesus first describes the character of the citizens of the kingdom, and then their happiness even in this life. α. Character of the citizens. According to the third gospel [10:21 ff.], Jesus pronounced the following words after the return of the seventy disciples, surely a most suitable occasion for the discourse; but since it also fits most aptly into the present context of the first gospel, we may suppose either that our Lord uttered these words repeatedly, or that the seventy had returned before they were spoken, even according to the first gospel [cf. Schanz, who thinks that Mt. 12:1 supposes the return of the seventy]. The clause “Jesus answered” has been understood as implying a question arising out of the previous discourse [St Bruno, Alb. Thomas Aquinas], or manifesting the inner disposition of the hearers of our Lord [Paschasius], or again as indicating that our Lord took occasion to utter the following discourse from the circumstances in which he found himself [Jansenius, Lam. Schanz, Opus Imperfectum, Cajetan, Knabenbauer]. The whole discourse is more like our Lord’s words recorded in the fourth gospel [cf. Jn. 8:19; 10:15; 14:9; 16:5] than his speeches contained in the synoptic writings; but this shows that the writers of the first three gospels were acquainted with our Lord’s manner as depicted in the fourth gospel. “I confess” means either “I give thanks” [Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euthymius, Jerome, Bede, Paschasius, Alb. Thomas Aquinas, Faber Stapulensis, Dionysius,], or “I praise” [Augustine serm. 67; Sylveira, Arnoldi, Schegg, Schanz, Fillion], like the Hebrew הוֹדָה לְ or הִלֵּל, or again both meanings may be included [Toletanus, Jansenius, Lapide]. The address “Father, Lord of heaven and earth” is in perfect keeping with the sentiments of praise and gratitude; moreover, it shows that the resistance of the unbelieving cities was not owing to the weakness of Jesus Christ [Lapide, Sylveira], and that the dispensation of grace, implied in the foregoing passage, involves no injustice [Toletanus, Jansenius]. God’s “hiding” of the truth implies and presupposes the unwillingness of the creature to receive the same. The “wise and prudent” are, in general, those imbued with that worldly wisdom which is foolishness before God [1 Cor. 3:19], and which St. Paul so well describes [Rom. 2:17 ff.]; in particular, the Jews are designated by this term [Theodoret of Cyrus heracl. in cat.], or more Particularly still, the scribes and Pharisees [Chrysostom, Euthymius, Jerome, Opus Imperfectum, Bede, Dionynius, Jansenius, Maldonado, Lapide]. “The little ones” are the simple and sincere [Chrysostom, Euthymius], who are free from all malice [Hilary], humble, and open to conviction [Ambrose, Augustine, Rabanus, Alb. Dionysius, Jansenius], but not the rude and ignorant as such [Keim]. These little ones are recommended also in Ps. 18:20; Prov. 8:5; 9:4; Is. 55:1; Mt. 18:3. The object of the revelation is the knowledge of the Messiasship of Jesus, of his sonship of God [cf. Mt. 11:27; 16:17; Jn. 1:49; 11:27], and, moreover, of his sovereign mediatorship [Mt. 11:6, 13]. The manner of this revelation is more fully described in vv. 27–30, just as the manner of God’s concealing these truths from the wise and prudent may be gathered from Jn. 5:36 f; 3:19; Rom. 1:28; 10:3. The object, or the immediate motive, of the praise and thanksgiving may be either God’s revealing these truths to the little ones, though he conceals them from the wise and prudent [Chrysostom, Calmet; cf. Is. 12:1; Mt. 23:25], or it may be both the concealment of these truths from the wise and prudent and their revelation to the little ones; in other words, it may be both God’s justice and mercy [Thomas Aquinas, Faber Stapulensis, Dionysius, Jansenius, Sylveira, Toletanus in Lc. 10. annot. 35, Arnoldi, Bisping, Schegg, Reischl, Fillion, Knabenbauer]. The words “Yea, Father,” repeat what has been said before, so that Jesus shows here the greatest earnestness in his praise and thanksgiving. The reason of this repeated praise, “for so hath it seemed good in thy sight,” may be understood either subjectively, i. e. for so hast thou willed it [Chrysostom, Euthymius, Theophylact, Arnoldi, Bisping, Fillion], or objectively, i. e. for such is the outward condition of circumstances showing thy divine will [Schegg, Schanz, Knabenbauer, etc.]. This explanation is possible because the Hebrew word רָצוֹן has both the subjective [Ps. 5:13; Prov. 16:15; 19:20] and the objective meaning [Ps. 18:15; Is. 56:7; Jer. 6:20; Ex. 28:38; Lev. 1:3; 22:20; etc.]; it is very probable, because the evangelist adds “in thy sight” to “so it hath seemed good.”

Mat 11:27  All things are delivered to me by my Father. And no one knoweth the Son but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him.

All things are delivered to me. These words are not added in order to prevent the impression that our Lord had given praise and thanks to the Father for the Father’s performing what Jesus could not have done [cf. Chrysostom, Euthymius, Theophylact, Cyril, Hilary, Paschasius, Jansenius, Lapide, Calmet], but they rather contain the revelation that has been vouchsafed to the little ones [cf. Maldonado, Sylveira, Schanz, Knabenbauer]. “All things” must not be limited to what is necessary in order to perform the Messianic mission well [cf. Jerome, Maldonado, Toletanus]; but the perfect mutual knowledge of Father and Son as well as the solemnity of the occasion requires that it should be understood without any restriction [Ambrose, Euthymius, Jansenius, Lapide, Schanz, Knabenbauer]. This acceptation of the word is also suggested by many parallel passages: Mt. 28:18; Jn. 3:35; 13:3; 17:2; Heb. 2:8; 1 Cor. 15:24; etc. The “knoweth” in the phrase “and no one knoweth” renders a Greek verb meaning “to know accurately and adequately.” Since only Jesus can know the Father adequately, and since the Father alone can know our Lord adequately, it follows that the Son [our Lord] is equal to the Father, and by a further inference that the Son is of the same substance as the Father [cf. Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euthymius, Hilary, Jerome, Paschasius, Thomas Aquinas, Knabenbauer etc.].

On the other hand, we need not ask why the Holy Ghost has been omitted, since there is no question of the relation of the third person to either the first or the second [cf. Euthymius, Thomas Aquinas, Schanz]. Cf. Jn. 6:46; 7:28; 8:19; 10:15. The clauses “but the Father,” “but the Son,” exclude, therefore, all of a different nature, but not the Holy Ghost, who is of the same nature with the Father and the Son [cf. 1 Cor. 2:10 ff.]. Another argument for the equality of Father and Son may be drawn from the following clause, according to which the Son reveals the Father “to whom it shall please the Son,” not depending on the sovereign will of the Father; while, therefore, in other passages our Lord speaks according to his human nature [Mt. 20:23; Jn. 17:9; etc.], he here speaks according to the divine. And as in the divine nature there is only one will, we see how the revelation of the saving truth can be attributed to the Father in verse 25, and to the Son in verse 27.

Mat 11:28  Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you.
Mat 11:29  Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls.
Mat 11:30  For my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Come to me all you that labor. b. Happiness of the citizens even in this life. In this paragraph Jesus first determines more accurately who his little ones are; then he states in a general term the blessedness he will give them; thirdly, he describes the conditions of this blessedness more minutely; fourthly, he gives three reasons for conforming with these conditions, α. Christ’s little ones. In accordance with the prophecies [Is. 61:1, 3; Zeph 3:18 heb.; cf. Mt. 5:5], Christ calls especially all those that labor and are burdened, i. e., all those that are any way afflicted [Jansenius], or all those that are oppressed with work and suffering [Cajetan, Fillion], or all those oppressed by the Mosaic law and the sinfulness of the Gentile world [Hilary, Jerome, Cyril, Theophylact, Opus Imperfectum, Paschasius, Thomas Aquinas], or all those laboring under the miseries and the sinfulness of life and burdened with the Pharisaic traditions [Theodoret of Cyrus heracl. Or. in eat. Dionysius, Calmet, Arnoldi, Chrysologus serm. 105], or all those worried with care and oppressed with sin [Euthymius].

β. Blessedness of the citizens. Christ describes this in the general promise, “I will refresh you.” It consists, therefore, not merely in freedom from labor and burdens, but in positive refreshment of all that toil and bear heavy burdens [Chrysostom, Euthymius]. Our Lord’s doctrine contains the remedy against the ills of life, his sacraments remove the burden of sin and the pain of an evil conscience, his New Law abolishes the heavy burdens of the Mosaic legislation [cf. Jansenius].

γ. Condition of blessedness. The sole condition under which we can expect relief from all labor and pain is expressed in the words “take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me.” The second clause explains the first, showing that the first must be taken in the Rabbinic [Schöttgen, 1. p. 115; Wünsche, p. 147] and Hebrew sense [Jer. 5:5; Sirach 51:34] of law or precept. The yoke of Christ consists, therefore, in his teaching, whether strictly preceptive or instructive [cf. Euthymius, Hilary, Bede, Thomas Aquinas, Cajetan, Jansenius, Maldonado, Lapide, Calmet, Schanz, Fillion], and implies on our part a total surrender to his rule and management [cf. Arnoldi, Bisping, Keil, Weiss, Knabenbauer etc.].

δ. Three reasons for conforming with the foregoing condition, [1] On the part of the teacher, we shall find meekness and humility. Though several writers [Augustine, Opus Imperfectum, Paschasius, Alb. Thomas Aquinas, Faber Stapulensis, Dionysius, Cajetan, Calmet] understand the words “learn of me, because I am meek and humble of heart,” as if we were to learn the virtues of meekness towards men [Cajetan] and humility towards God [Cajetan] in a special manner of our Lord, the greater number of commentators prefer the explanation “learn of me, because,” according to which the meekness and humility of the teacher are held out as motives for becoming his disciples [Hilary, Maldonado, Jansenius, Sylveira, Lapide, Sa, Men. Lam. Arnoldi, Bisping, Schegg, Grimm, 4. p. 217; Reischl, Schanz, Fillion, Knabenbauer]. The second view is based first, on the Greek text, where we have the casual particle ὅτι; secondly, on the context, according to which we must learn not only the virtues of meekness and humility, but all that are implied in the “yoke” of Christ; thirdly, on the logical thread of thought which leads us to believe that our Lord did not introduce a new topic, but developed the idea of his yoke and doctrine; fourthly, on the inconsistency of the first view, according to which we must learn the two virtues of meekness and humility, while according to the gospel, thus interpreted, we ought to learn that Jesus is meek and humble. Our own obligation to be meek and humble is, then, only a consequent or inferential meaning of the passage in either the first or the second view. The author of op. imp. has well understood this, since, according to him, we must learn, by bearing the very yoke of Christ, that he is meek and humble of heart. It must be noted also that the preposition “of” in the clause “of me” renders the Greek preposition ἀπό, so that properly we ought to render “learn on me,” or “learn from me onwards” [Buttmann, p. 279]; but ἀπὸ stands also for the common παρὰ or ἐκ [Krüger, 68, 34, 1; cf. Col. 1:7], so that the rendering “of me” is based on good authority.

[2] On our own part, a compliance with the foregoing condition shall bring that peace and rest after which all living creatures long so ardently. The clause “to your souls” must not be understood as if the yoke of Christ contained contentment for the soul of man to the exclusion of his body [cf. Opus Imperfectum, Paschasius, Cajetan], but it means “for yourselves,” as soul is often used in Hebrew to express one’s self [cf. Jer. 6:16; Ps. 78:18; Is. 46:2; etc.].

[3] On the part of the service of Christ, his “yoke is sweet” and his “burden light”; the Greek word expressing “sweet” applies mostly to persons, so that it alludes to the character of the Master himself. The sweetness [properly “softness”] of the yoke is mentioned, because animals working under the yoke suffer more from its roughness or unfitness than from their labor [Knabenbauer]. The yoke of Christ is sweet for several reasons: first, he has abrogated the hard Mosaic legislation [cf. Acts 15:10]; secondly, he has commanded only what is more or less contained in the natural law, so that his commands can be comprised in the one injunction to do to our neighbor what we would wish our neighbor to do to us [Maldonado]; thirdly, he has merited for us abundant grace and the strength of the Holy Ghost, so that we need not perform our duties by our own strength [Augustine serm. 70, n. 2]; fourthly, he inspires us with his own love, and where one loves the command, there is no difficulty in obeying [Augustine, l. c. n. 3; Lam. Cajetan]; fifthly, he has abrogated the many hard punishments that threatened the transgressor in the Old Testament, and he has given us easy means to obtain forgiveness for our transgressions [Cyril]; he has proposed to us a most abundant reward for all our labor and toil undertaken for his sake [Chrysostom; cf. 2 Cor. 4:17]; finally, the precept of Jesus concerning the narrow gate and the bearing of the cross [Mt. 7:13, 14; 10:38] is rendered most easy by the foregoing aids, present and future, as is evident from the example of innumerable saints and martyrs who have gloried in the cross of Christ [cf. Opus Imperfectum]. These words of our Lord, which manifest a more than human attractiveness in his person and character, must have made a most powerful impression on the Jewish hearers, burdened with the heavy load of Pharisaic traditions [Mt. 23:4] and galled by the sovereign contempt of their scribes [Jn. 7:49].

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

John MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 John 4:7-16

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 21, 2014

This post includes the Bishop’s paraphrase of the verses he is commenting on. These paraphrases are in purple text. Text in red are mine.

1 Jn 4:7 Dearly beloved, let us love one another: for charity is of God. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God.

Dearly beloved brethren, let us love one another, for this fraternal charity is of God—it is a singular gift emanating from his grace; it has God for author, who unites in one common bond of charity all the members of the Church, militant and triumphant, and is a work singularly pleasing to him; every one that loveth his neighbour is a son of God and co-heir of Christ, and has that affective knowledge of God, which is the fruit of his adoption.

The Apostle now resumes his favourite subject of fraternal charity, of which he had been treating (1 Jn 3:23), and from which he had digressed at the commencement of this. “Let us love one another, for charity is of God;” fraternal charity is of God—(vide Paraphrase). “And every one that loveth is born of God,” is a son of God, and co-heir of Christ—absolutely so, if he be already in sanctifying grace, but only remotely and so far as this love of his neighbour, under the influence of actual grace, disposes for justification, if he be not already justified. “And knoweth God” practically, with the affective knowledge joined to love.

1 Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God: for God is charity.

And he that loveth not his neighbor has not the affective or practical saving knowledge of God; for, God is the increated fountain of charity from which all created charity in creatures, like so many rivulets, flows.

He that loveth not” his neighbour—for there is question of the love of our
neighbour—” knoweth not God,” has not the affective, saving knowledge of God, joined with the divine love; although such a person may have true and divine faith.—”For God is charity.” He is that increated charity, the source of charity in us—the fountain from which all created charity flows.

From this, it by no means follows, as Peter Lombard, commonly called “The Master of Sentences,” maintains, that charity is not a created habit, but the increated love of God residing in the soul, as in his temple; because he resides there through the medium of created charity, expressed in the clearest terms by St. Paul (Rom 5:5): “ caritas Dei diffusa est in cordibus nostris per Spiritum Sanctum qui datus est nobis” (“the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost who is given to us”). Hence, it is distinct from the Holy Ghost.

1 Jn 4:9  By this hath the charity of God appeared towards us, because God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we may live by him.

In this, has the boundless charity of God the Father been singularly conspicuous towards mankind, viz., in his having sent his consubstantial and only begotten Son into the world, that we, who were in a state of spiritual death, might live through him.

The greatest proof of his boundless charity for man, that “God who is charity”
(verse 8), has given us, is, “his having sent his only begotten Son into the world.” It is thought by many interpreters, that the Apostle here gives Christ the title of “Only Begotten Son,” in refutation of the errors of Ebion and Cerinthus, who held that Christ was not the natural, but, like other good men, the adoptive Son of God.

“That we may live by him”—we who before were dead in sin, and liable to eternal death, might receive through him spiritual life, and a title to an eternal inheritance. The words of this verse are similar to those addressed by our Redeemer to Nicodemus, “God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son,” &c.—(John 3:16).

1 Jn 4:10  In this is charity: not as though we had loved God, but because he hath first loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins.

His charity also has another distinguishing quality, viz., it gratuitousness. In this also is his charity much commended, that he did not love us by way of return for our having loved him; for, it was he who first loved us, and, in consequence thereof, sent his Son into the world to be a victim of propitiation for our sins.

Another distinguishing feature of God’s love for us, whereby it is most commended, is, its gratuitousness; he did not love us by any way of return for a love beforehand shown him, thus challenging him to love us in turn.

“Not as though,” might be more clearly rendered from the Greek, ουχ οτι, not that.

“Because he hath first loved us,” even when we were his enemies by sin; “and sent his Son to be a propitiation,” may either mean, a victim of propitiation, or a propitiator “for our sins,” these sins, so many rebellions against himself. By them we hurled defiance at him in Heaven. Oh! blessed be bis boundless goodness and charity for ever. Similar is the idea conveyed in the words of St. Paul (Rom 5:8-9): “God commenddh his charity towards us, because when as yet we were sinners Christ diedfor us.”  “When we were enemies., we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.”

1 Jn 4:11  My dearest, if God hath so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

If, then, my dearest children, God loved us even when we were his enemies, to the extent of delivering up his Son for us; we ought, in imitation of him, love one another, not even excepting our enemies.

In this verse, is drawn a conclusion and exhortation, founded on the preceding verses: If God loved us to the extent of dying for us when we were his enemies, we ought, after his example, love one another, not excepting our enemies. Similar is the exhortation (Eph 5:1): “Be ye imitators of God, and walk in love,” &c.

1 Jn 4:12  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abideth in us: and his charity is perfected in us.

No one has ever in this life seen God, nor his adorable perfections as they are, and as they merit our love; hence, no one can have the motives of sensible presence and familiarity to excite him to love God, as he has in reference to his fellow- creatures; but if we love one another from the proper motive of charity, God abides in us by the communication of his grace, and makes us his dwelling place, and the charity by which we love him is fully and perfectly accomplished in us.

No man hath seen God at any time. The connection of this with the preceding appears to be, no mortal has ever, in this life, seen God ”’facie ad faciem,” such as he is in himself; and so, has not seen his adorable perfections, which would force men to make a return of love in the most exalted degree; nor has any man the motive of sensible presence and familiarity to excite him to love God, as he has in reference to the love of his neighbour. Hence, no one can love God as he deserves to be loved, or make a return of love to him in this life. The inference from which is, that he should be loved, and a return made to him in our brethren, whom we see, as is
expressed (verse 20).

If we love one another, God abideth in us—that is, if we make to one another a return of the love which we owe, and of which we cannot, in this life, make a return, t0 the invisible God, He will abide in us as intimately by sanctifying grace, as if we felt him palpably present.

And his charity, or the charity we owe him, “is perfected in us;” because, unless we loved our neighbour, our love would be imperfect, and would not fully extend to all the objects contemplated by the precepts of charity. Again, by loving our neighbour, we perfect the love of God; for, by loving our neighbour supernaturally, we wish for him the greatest spiritual goods; and hence, we wish him to enjoy the knowledge and love of God, the greatest of spiritual advantages; and we, thereby, wish that God would be loved and known by his creatures, which is nothing else than an act of the love of God on our part. Hence, the love of God, and the love of our neighbour, have the same formal motive; the former is perfected by the latter.

No man hath seen God at any time. It is disputed whether Moses, or St. Paul saw him in the sense of these words of the Apostle; and if they did, we can only say that their case was an exception to the general assertion here made. Similar are the words of the Apostle in the ist chapter of his Gospel (verse 18), “no man hath seen God at any time;” but in the Gospel, his words have reference to the perfect knowledge of God; here, they have reference to the perfect love of him.

1 Jn 4:13  In this we know that we abide in him, and he in us: because he hath given us of his spirit.

And by this we know that we abide in God by the close union of charity and love, and he in us, by  sanctifying grace, viz., by the abundance of spiritual gifts which he has poured forth on the Church to which we belong—or by the spirit of charity for one another, which can only be the fruit of his grace and Holy Spirit.

Because he hath given us of his spirit, is referred by some, among the rest by Estius, to the spiritual gifts, or gratiæ gratis datæ (v.g.) miracles, tongues, &c., abundantly poured forth on the first Christians—which is a proof, that they belonged to God’s Church, and that his sanctifying spirit resided in some of them—or, on the Apostles themselves. Others understand the words of the spirit, which he imparted to them, whereby they were enabled to love one another. This opinion is very much in accordance with the context, as it contains an encomium on the excellence of fraternal charity, which is a proof of the presence of God’s Spirit.

1 Jn 4:14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father hath sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.

And we, Apostles, have seen it with our eyes and bear testimony to the fact, that God the Father hath sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

This has reference to verse 9. St. John here proves what might be questioned, regarding God’s sending his Son to save the world, from the very evidence of the senses on the part of the Apostles themselves. The words, “we have seen,” &c., are the same as those of 1 John 1:1-2. He insists on this point particularly, because it was called in question by the early heretics; and besides, it is the basis and foundation of all Christian faith and charity.

1 Jn 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God.

Whosoever, then, shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and the Savior sent by him into this world, such a person abides in God, is united to him in friendship, and God abides in  him by sanctifying grace.

Abideth in God, and God in him.  Of course, the Apostle speaks of that faith and confession of Jesus Christ, which is animated by charity and has the other conditions accompanying it. In the same way, St. Paul says, “Christ dwells by faith in your hearts.”—(Eph 3:17). In these and other such affirmative propositions, it is supposed, that all the other requisites are not wanting, the attribute of an affirmative proposition proposition being always employed particularly.

1 Jn 4:16  And we have known and have believed the charity which God hath to us. God is charity: and he that abideth in charity abideth in God, and God in him.

And we have all known, from undoubted proofs, and we have believed in, the great charity of God, Manifested towards us in sending his Son to redeem us. God is the essential uncreated charity, from whom, as from its fountain, all created charity flows; and he who abides in created charity, and through it, adheres to uncreated charity, abides in God, and God in turn abides in him, through the medium of sanctifying grace and in the bonds of mutual friendship.

And we have known, and have believed the charity, which God hath to us. The Apostle again repeats what he had said in the preceding verses. The. charity of God, or, “the charity which God hath to us,” regards the exhibition of his charity in sending his Son to redeem us. The Apostle is not tired of repeating the great charity of God for us, in order to induce, us, after his example, to love one another. Some say that in the words, “we have known,” &c., he speaks in the person of all the faithful in general, who, from the preaching and testimony of the Apostle, and the abundant gifts of the Holy Ghost, have known of the great love of God in sending his Son. “God is charity,” the uncreated fountain, from which all created charity flows, “and he that abideth in charity,” that is, adheres to uncreated charity, through the bond of created charity, which is a gift “poured by the Holy Ghost into our hearts” (Rom 5:5), “abideth in God,” is united to him by sanctifying grace and friendship, “and God in him,” making his soul his habitation and the dwelling place of his Spirit.

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Haydock Commentary on Psalm 60:3, 4-5, 12-13

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 21, 2014

Ps 60:3 O God, thou hast cast us off, and hast destroyed us; thou hast been angry, and hast had mercy on us.

Thou hast cast us off. Chastising thy people frequently under Moses, &c.

Have mercy on us. Redeeming mankind, which thou hadst condemned, for the fault of Adam, and giving us a more abundant grace. Rom. 5:9. S. Hilary—Thou hast treated us like a good physician, (Deut. 32:39) chastising us for our sins, that we might improve in virtue.

Ps 60:4 Thou hast moved the earth, and hast troubled it: heal thou the breaches thereof, for it has been moved.

Thou hast moved the earth. He personifies the earth, which had fallen into the hands of the Chaldees, (Calmet) or had experienced various commotions under Saul, &c. (Haydock) which he denotes by the mention of an earthquake. (Menochius).

Ps 60:5 Thou hast shewn thy people hard things; thou hast made us drink the wine of sorrow.

The wine of sorrow. Heb. “muddy,” such as is given to slaves or malefactors, (S. Matt. 27:34) mixed with myrrh, or venom. Lit. “wine of trembling,” (Calmet) or soporiferous. S. Jerome, Haydock—All these expressions give the idea of something disagreeable. The people became penitent, or were astonished. (Menochius)

Ps 60:12 Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go out with our armies?‎
Ps 60:13 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the salvation of man.

Wilt not thou, O God, who has cast us off? God punishes and rewards.

And wilt not thou; or, “yet thou wilt not,” &c. Thou wilt not depend on our efforts for victory. How can we expect to make such conquests, being in so forlorn a condition, when thou dost not lead forth our armies, as formerly? All that man can do is vain, but thou wilt look down upon us, and through God we shall do mightily.

 

 

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Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 60

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 21, 2014

HELP US, O LORD, ACCORDING TO THY PROMISE!

THE general meaning of this difficult psalm is probably best seen when it is regarded as consisting of paits assigned to several different speakers or singers. The translation below suggests a possible and likely arrangement of the sections assigned to the various singers or speakers. The poem is introduced by a complaint that God has abandoned His people in battle; from which we infer that the nation has recently met with serious military reverses. The defeat of Israel has been dreadful, like an earthquake, and the people have reeled from the shock of it like men who have drunk of a staggering wine. In verses 6-7 another set of singers hymns the hope that the Lord will again be the Leader of His people, and save them from their foes. Then, in verses 8-10, a voice sings an oracle which promises victory to Juda and Ephraim, and, apparently, defeat to Sichem, and the Valley of Tents, and to Moab, Edom, and Philisthia. Sichem symbolises the country west of the Jordan, and the Vale of Tents (=Sukkoth) the land east of the river. Juda and Ephraim are thus promised victory over the land on both sides of the river, and over the ancient foes on their frontiers. The king, or the general, of the Israelites speaks in verses 11, 12. He is about to go forth on a military expedition. The fortress-city is, apparently, the goal of the expedition, and the context suggests that it may be one of the chief cities of Edom. The expedition may not hope for success unless the “Lord of the Battle Hosts” goes forth, as of old, with the army. The two concluding verses are the confident cry of the people. In God alone they hope, but they are confident that He will be with their armies.

It is to be noted that verses 8-14 of this psalm appear again as the second part of Psalm 108. They are, perhaps, a portion of an ancient oracle dealing with the military victories of Israel during the early part of the reign of David. There is no real ground for refusing to ascribe such an oracle to David, and the connection of the poem with the Aramean and Edomite campaigns of David, suggested by the title, is, thus, to a certain extent reasonable. But the general situation of Israel at the time of David’s Aramean wars was not that of a people recently defeated heavily in war (vid. 2 Sam 8; 1 Chron 18). Possibly, however, while David was engaged against the Arameans in the north, the Edomites may have made a victorious incursion into Juda from the south ; but this is only a conjecture to explain the inscription of this psalm.

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This Week’s Commentaries and Posts for the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 14, 2014

SUNDAY, JUNE 15, 2014
THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

COMMENTARIES AND RESOURCES FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY.

Last Week’s Commentaries and Posts.

MONDAY, JUNE 16, 2014
MONDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Haydock Bible Commentary on 1 Kings 21:1-16.

My Notes on Psalm 5.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 5.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 5.

Psalm 5 and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Greek, English & Latin text hyperlinked to the C E.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42.

St Augustine’s Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42.

St John Chrysostom’s Commentary Matthew 5:38-42.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:38-42.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42.

TUESDAY, JUNE 17, 2014
TUESDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 51.

Part 1 of St John Fisher’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

Part 2 of St John Fisher’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

Psalm 51 and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Greek, English & Latin text hyperlinked to the C E.

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

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

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

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18, 2014
WEDNESDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 31.

Pending (maybe) My Notes on Psalm 31:20, 21, 24).

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 31.

Psalm 31 and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Greek, English and Latin text hyerlinked to the C E.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.

John MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.

My Notes on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. Originally posted for Ash Wednesday.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.

THURSDAY, JUNE 19, 2014
THURSDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Readings.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 97.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 97.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 97.

Psalm 97 and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Greek, English & Latin text hyperlinked to the C E.

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

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

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:7-15.

FRIDAY, JUNE 29, 2014
FRIDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 132.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 132.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 132.

Pope Benedict XVI”s Commentary on Psalm 132. You can scroll down to part two which deals with the verses used today.

Psalm 132 and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Greek, English & Latin text hyperlinked to the C E.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 6:19-23.

John MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 6:19-23.

Pending: Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 6:19-23.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:19-23.

SATURDAY, JUNE 21, 2014
MEMORIAL OF ST ALOYSIUS GONZAGA, RELIGIOUS

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 89.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 89.

Psalm 89 and the Catholic Encyclopedia. Greek, English & Latin text hyperlinked to the C E.

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Matthew 6:24-34.

John MacEvily’s Commentary on Matthew 6:24-34.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 6:24-34.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 6:24-34.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:24-34.

SUNDAY, JUNE 22, 2014
SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
(Corpus Christi)

Commentaries and Resources for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.

Next Week’s Posts.

 

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