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 January, 2015

Commentaries for the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 31, 2015

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2015
FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B

Commentaries for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.

Last Week’s Commentaries.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2015
THE FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD

Commentaries for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2015
TUESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:1-4.

Navarre Commentary on Hebrews 12:1-4.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Psalm 22.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 22.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 22.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 22.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 5:21-43.

Navarre Commentary on Mark 5:21-43.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2015
WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15.

Navarre Commentary on Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 103.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 103.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 103.

My Notes on Mark 6:1-6.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 6:1-6.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 6:1-6.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2015
MEMORIAL OF ST AGATHA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 48.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 48.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 48.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 6:7-13.

Navarre Commentary on Mark 6:7-13.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2015
MEMORIAL OF ST PAUL MIKI AND COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 13:1-8.

Navarre Commentary on Hebrews 13:1-8.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 27.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 27.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 27.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 27.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 6:14-29.

Navarre Commentary on Mark 6:14-29.

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2015
SATURDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21.

Navarre Commentary on Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 23.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 23.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 23.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 23.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 23.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 6:30-34.

Navarre Commentary on Mark 6:30-34.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2015
FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME,YEAR B

Commentaries for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Next Week’s Posts.

 

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Commentaries for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 22, 2015

READINGS AND OFFICE:

Today’s Mass Readings in the NABRE. The version used in the USA.

Today’s Mass Reading in the NJB. Most other English speaking countries.

Today’s Divine Office.

Anglican Use Office. ”Briefly, it is a provision for an “Anglican style” liturgy similar to the Book of Common Prayer as an ecclesiastically approved variant on the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.” More info.

COMMENTARIES OF THE FIRST READING: Deuteronomy 18:15-20.

Haydock Commentary on Deuteronomy 18:15-20. Actually, these notes are on the entire chapter.

Word-Sunday Notes on Deuteronomy 18:15-20.

Pope Benedict XVI on Deuteronomy 18:15-20. The introduction to JESUS OF NAZARETH, Vol. 1.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Deuteronomy 18:15-20.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 95.

Father Tauton’s Commentary on Psalm 95.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 95. Entire Psalm.

Word-Sunday Notes on Psalm 95.

Haydock Commentary on Psalm 95. Entire Psalm .

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:32-35. This post is actually on verses 25-40.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.

Word-Sunday Notes on 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:32-35.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of 1 Corinthians 6-7. Audio. SIM’s podcast archive can be found here.

Haydock Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:32-35. On all of chapter 7.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Mark 1:21-28.

My Notes on Mark 1:21-28.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 1:21-28.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:21-28.

Word-Sunday Notes on Mark 1:21-28.

Haydock Commentary on Mark 1:21-28. All of chapter 1.

Hearing the Voice of the Ultimate Prophet. Catholic biblical Scholar Dr. John Bergsma’s blog post on the readings.

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Catholic Scripture Manual on Mark 3:1-6

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 20, 2015

THE HEALING OF THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND
(ON A SABBATH)

1. And he entered again into the synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand.

He entered again. St Luke tells us this took place on another Sabbath (v. 7), not the Sabbath on which the disciples plucked the ears of corn.

the synagogue of Capharnaum, where the Pharisees, whom He had recently rebuked, worshipped habitually.

withered hand. It was his right hand (St Luke 6:6), the hand was dried up; such a disease was beyond medical skill.

2. And they watched him whether he would heal on the sabbath-days; that they might accuse him.

they watched him i.e. the Scribes and Pharisees of Galilee, together with those who had come from Judea and Jerusalem to find some accusation against Him.

watched. The word implies here, spying with malevolence, that they might accuse him.

3. And he said to the man who had the withered hand: Stand up in the midst.

Stand up: that the sad condition of the man might be seen, perhaps to induce pity in the hearts of the Pharisees, also to render the miracle visible to all present.

4. And he saith to them: Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy? But they held their peace.

He saith. Jesus replied to their question, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days? (St Matt. 12:10), by the counter- question, Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath day?

do evil. To inflict some bodily injury, as opposed to saving a life. Not to deliver a person from suffering, when we can, is equivalent to inflicting the suffering. Sins of omission may be as grievous as sins of commission.

held their peace. To have answered that it was right to heal on the Sabbath, would have justified our Lord’s merciful deed. To have denied the right, would have been contradicting their own traditions, which allowed medical aid to be given on the Sabbath when life was at stake.

5. And looking round about on them with anger, being grieved for the blindness of their hearts, he saith to the man: Stretch forth thy hand. And he stretched it forth: and his hand was restored unto him.

looking round. Gazing on them with mingled feelings of anger and grief (or compassion) for their blindness. His divine regard fell on each as He looked round.

his hand was restored; “even as the other” (St Matt. 12:13). Jesus cured the man without any exterior signs or words, and thus gave His accusers no ground for bringing a legal accusation against Him, since the miracle was performed by a volition which could not desecrate the Sabbath. This is one of the seven miracles worked on the Sabbath day.

6. And the Pharisees going out, immediately made a consultation with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

made a consultation with the Herodians: “they were filled with madness, and they talked one with another, what they might do to Jesus” (St Luke 6:11),

Herodians.  It is generally supposed that the “Herodians” were the admirers and partisans of Herod, and hence their name. They constituted a political, rather than a religious, sect, and were generally bitterly opposed to the Pharisees. In joining with the Pharisees against our Lord (see St Mark 3:6) they were animated by the hatred of His Divine Person, which they had in common with them. The Herodians adopted certain tenets of the Sadducees. They looked to Herod for deliverance from the Roman yoke, and also for positions of wealth and independence. They again made common cause with the Pharisees during Holy Week, when questioning our Lord with regard to the tribute to Caesar (St Mark 12:13). They were self-indulgent, worldly men, and Jesus warned His disciples against them e.g., Beware of the leaven of Herod. As Galilee was Herod s tetrarchy, it was naturally full of his adherents. Jesus probably referred to them, when He said, “behold, they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings” (St Matt. 11:8), for Jewish historians tell us that those scribes who attached themselves to Herod the Great’s party laid aside the garments distinctive of their profession, and adopted the gorgeous apparel of Herod’s courtiers. The later Herodians probably did the same, and Christ’s reference to “the houses of kings” may refer to the palace of Herod Antipas. St Mark only mentions the Herodians on the two occasions referred to above.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 6:10-20

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 19, 2015

This post opens with Fr. MacEvilly’s brief analysis of Hebrews chapter 6 followed by his comments on the reading (Heb 6:10-20). Text in purple indicates McEvilly’s paraphrasing of the verses he is commenting on.

AN ANALYSIS OF HEBREWS CHAPTER 6

Having said, in the preceding chapter, that the Hebrews, considering the length of time they had professed the faith, should be teachers of Christianity, the Apostle expresses his resolve in this, to pass over, in consequence, these points of Christian doctrine, which formed the subject of instruction for adults, before their admission to baptism. The baptism, to which these matters subserve as a preparation, cannot be again repeated; and hence, the inutility of treating of them (Heb 6:1–6).

He endeavours to terrify the Hebrews, against apostatizing from the faith, by the example of the accursed land (Heb 6:7-8). He disclaims, however, the idea of applying to them the example, in its full extent (Heb 6:9), and he assigns a reason of congruity for hoping, in their behalf, for the gift of perseverance (Heb 6:10).

He introduces the example referred to, solely with the view of animating them to fervent faith and to patient endurance, by which means alone, they could arrive at the inheritance, promised to the faithful and patient Abraham (Heb 6:11-14). He shows, that faith and patient endurance are necessary, in order to gain the promises of eternal life; for, it was by means of these, Abraham, the model of true believers, obtained them (Heb 6:15). And, from the absolute, unconditional nature of the promises made to Abraham, confirmed by the solemn sanction of an oath, on the part of God, he shows that these promises cannot be rescinded, and are to extend to his faithful followers (Heb 6:13, 14).

He next assigns a reason why God swore by himself, and why he swore at all, in the case of Abraham; he swore by himself, because he had no greater to swear by (Heb 6:16-17); and the reason of his swearing at all was, to mark more strongly the absolute, unchangeable nature of his decree, regarding the transmission of Abraham’s inheritance to his children and thus to confirm our hope—to which we fly in our afflictions—of entering the true Holy of Holies in heaven, whither our great Hight Priest, according to the order of Melchisedech, has preceded us (Heb 6:18-20).

Heb 6:10 For God is not unjust, that he should forget your work and the  (labour of) love which you have shewn in his name, you who have ministered and do minister to the saints. ‎

This hope and confidence is grounded on the justice of God. For, God is not unjust that he should forget your good works, and especially the charity which you have shown in his name to the saints, to whose wants you have heretofore ministered, and do minister even to the present day.

This confidence he grounds on the divine justice, which requires that God would reward their works of merit. He particularizes that of charity, towards the faithful poor in distress.

OBJECTION.—According to the Catholic doctrine of merit (Council of Trent, SS. vi. Can. 32), there are only three things which fall under strict merit, or, which a man can merit, as they say, de condigno, viz., an increase of sanctifying grace, eternal life, and the attainment of eternal life, if he die in grace; and although eternal life may, hic et nunc, be merited, it may still be lost, for want of final perseverance—for, although Catholics hold that if a man were to die instantly after performing a work meritorious of eternal life, he would have a right to eternal life, in virtue of the gracious promise and goodness of God; still, they admit, that it is no way against the justice of God, that a man, hic et nunc, meriting eternal life, would afterwards fall away and not obtain it is the end; because without any injustice whatever on his part, God can withhold the great and singular gift of final perseverance, which, strictly speaking, cannot be merited. Since, therefore, a man, who merited eternal life at some particular moment, can afterwards fall away, and be damned for want of final perseverance, which no man can strictly merit, and which, without injustice, God can withhold; how can the Apostle say that, in the present instance, God would be unjust, if the Hebrews were not partakers of salvation?

ANSWER.—In reply to the foregoing objection, it may be said, that St. Paul does not assert that God would be unjust if the Hebrews were not saved. He only expresses a firm hope and confidence (verse 9) that the case of the Hebrews is unlike that of the accursed land; and this hope he grounds on the rewards which God, in his justice, is bound to bestow on their charity (verse 10). Now, among the things which God, in justice, is bound to give, is an increase of sanctifying grace, by which they can the more easily persevere, and thus obtain de congruo, i.e., by persevering prayer, the great gift of final perseverance; hence, the ground of the Apostle’s confidence (verse 9); which is founded ultimately (verse 1), on God’s justice, in bestowing an increase of sanctifying grace. If the Apostle were to argue directly (verse 10), from the strict justice of God, he would not only say, “we trust better,” &c., but we are altogether certain (verse 9). “And the love,” the Greek has, καὶ τοῦ κόπου τῆς ἀγάπης, and the labour of love; but the word, labour, is now generally rejected by critics; it was probably introduced from 1 Thess. 1:3.

Heb 6:11 And we desire that every one of you shew forth the same carefulness to the accomplishing of hope unto the end: ‎

But, in order that you may securely avoid the fate of the accursed land, we anxiously desire that you exhibit the same fervour of charity unto the end of your lives, until hope is filled up and is succeeded by its term, fruition.

The Apostle in this verse points out the condition, upon which they may have a claim on the strict justice of God, viz., perseverance to the end, in the performance of the same good works of charity.

Heb 6:12 That you become not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience shall inherit the promises. ‎

And that you become not remiss nor indolent, but imitators of those who, by faith and patient long-suffering, and endurance, inherit the promises of eternal life.

He anxiously desires and wishes that they would not become remiss, but rather, by faith in the promises of God, and the patient endurance of adversity (the Greek for “patience,” μακροθυμιας, means, long suffering), become faithful imitators of the saints of old—as well as of those to whose wants they were ministering—who, by these very same means, i.e., faith and patience, were heirs of the promises of eternal life.

Heb 6:13 For God making promises to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom he might swear, swore by himself,

And as a proof that it is by faith and patience the promises are to be obtained, I will instance the case of Abraham, the father of all believers who had faith, as all know, and who by patience obtained the promise. And that this promise made to Abraham was absolute and unconditional, is clear, from the fact of God swearing by himself—he had no greater by whom to swear—

He adduces the example of Abraham, to prove that it is by faith and patience, the promises of God regarding eternal life, to which he refers, were to be obtained. That Abraham had faith, was a matter so well known to the Hebrews, that the Apostle supposes it here, and merely asserts (verse 15), that he obtained the promises by patient endurance and long suffering. Hence, as Abraham is our model, we must obtain the promises on the same conditions on which he obtained them, viz., by faith and patience. The Apostle, in this reasoning, supposes that the promises to which he refers were of such an absolute nature, as that they were to be transmitted to us, and not merely conditional, liable to be rescinded. Hence it is that he refers to the mode in which God made this promise, viz., by interposing the solemn sanction of an oath, swearing by himself for want of a greater by whom to swear.

‎Heb 6:14 Saying: Unless blessing I shall bless thee and multiplying I shall multiply thee. ‎

That he would surely bestow on him the abundance of his benediction, and would multiply his seed exceedingly.

Saying (Genesis, 22:16): “By myself have I sworn … I will bless and multiply thy seed—and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” “Unless blessing I will bless thee,” i.e., certainly, “blessing I will bless thee,” he repeats the words “blessing” and “multiplying” to express the abundance of his benedictions—or, “unless I bless thee,” &c., may I not be God, or the like, and then the imprecation is suppressed from reverence for the name of God. However, the former meaning of “unless” is more conformable to the Greek, ἡ μην, and to the Septuagint version of Genesis; and it is from the Septuagint version of the Old Testament that St. Paul takes his quotations in this Epistle.

Heb 6:15 And so patiently enduring he obtained the promise. ‎

The sense of the passage may, perhaps, be more clearly conveyed by transposing this verse and placing it a little in advance, in immediate connexion with the first words of verse 13 (as in Paraphrase). The Apostle adduces the example of Abraham to prove that it is by faith and patience we are to inherit the promises; and before he asserted that it was by faith and patience (6:15), Abraham obtained them, he anticipates a difficulty which might at once be started, viz.:—What has the promise made to Abraham, or his mode of obtaining it, to do with us? The Apostle refers to the oath of God to prove that it has reference to us. For, the promise itself regards the multiplication of his posterity (Gen. 22), and the benediction of all the tribes of the earth in his seed, which the Apostle interprets (Gal. 3), to refer to Christ. It, therefore, regards us, and the oath on the part of God proves it to be absolute and not liable to be rescinded.

“And so patiently enduring he obtained the promise;” he obtained it in himself and in his carnal descendants, but especially the spiritual part of it is fulfilled now in the blessings bestowed on his spiritual children; and, in order to obtain this blessing, Abraham had to endure patiently many hardships.

Heb 5:16 For men swear by one greater than themselves: and an oath for confirmation is the end of all their controversy. ‎

God swore by himself, because he had no greater to swear by, as men have, when they invoke God as a witness, and the reason why he swore at all, was to accommodate himself to the ways of men, among whom an oath is used to confirm the truth and terminate every controversy.

The Apostle, in this verse, assigns a reason why God swore by himself, and secondly, why he swore at all. Properly speaking, it could not be called an oath on the part of God. For, an oath supposes the calling to witness of a greater, and God having no greater to call to witness, could not, therefore, strictly speaking, be said to swear.

Heb 6:17 Wherein God, meaning more abundantly to shew to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed an oath: ‎

Therefore, wishing to mark more strongly the absolute and unchangeable nature of the decree in question, regarding the transmission of the promise to the sons of Abraham, who were to be its inheritors, God interposed, and added to the promise the solemn sanction of an oath.

Some decrees of God have a conditional object; and may, therefore, be rescinded and may never come to pass. But the promise in the present case is absolute, which the Apostle is showing all along from verse 13, by pointing to the solemn sanction of an oath on the part of God confirming it, and therefore, it will be fulfilled and obtained by those in whose favour it was made i.e., by “the heirs of the promise.”

Heb 6:18 That by two immutable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have the strongest comfort, we who have fled for refuge to hold fast the hope set before us. ‎

This he did in order that by two immovable things, viz., his absolute promise and oath, neither of which is it possible for God to belie, neither one nor the other of which he can fail to fulfil, we would feel the greatest consolation and encouragement when (knowing that the promise is not rescinded) we fly from the difficulties and crosses of life, to grasp and lay hold on the hope of future blessings, in store for us.

To his promise God added the sanction of an oath, which proves it to be of a nature absolute and unconditional, “that by two immovable things,” &c. (vide Paraphrase). If the promise were only conditional and not absolute, it might be rescinded for want of compliance with the required conditions on the part of men; and we would, therefore, have no such consolation in our hope.

Heb 6:19 Which we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, and which entereth in even within the veil: ‎

Which hope is the sure anchor of the soul to keep it fixed and firm amidst the adversities of life; nor will it part with us until it leads us to fruition, in the kingdom of heaven,

“Hope is the sure and firm anchor of the soul,” because it keeps the soul firm and unmoved, and preserves her from being tossed about or sunk into despair, by the storms and tempests of adversity.

“And which entereth in even within the veil;” hope, though retaining the soul unmoved against the influence of adversity, still retards not her progress towards her destined haven of rest, the true Holy of Holies of heaven, of which the Jewish Holy of Holies, divided from the sanctum, or Holy, by a veil, was a mere figure. And the Apostle alludes to this veil of the Holy of Holies, to show us in what capacity Christ entered heaven, viz., as high priest, for the high priest alone could enter the sanctum sanctorum.

OBJECTION.—If hope be a certain anchor, may not all be certain of salvation? Hope is certain, in regard to God, uncertain, in regard to us, because no one, short of a revelation, can be absolutely certain, that he will comply with the required conditions; and this is conformable to the providence of God in the present order of things, according to which, “no one can know whether he is deserving of love or hatred,” and all are commanded to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling.”

Besides, supposing, that hope carried with it the certainty of perseverance, who can be certain that he has that hope?—and, without this certainty, a man is always uncertain of salvation.

Heb 6:20 Where the forerunner Jesus is entered for us, made a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. 

Whither Christ has gone before us as precursor; and this, in quality of eternal High Priest, according to the order of Melchisedech.

Fr. McEvilly offers no comment on this verse which provides a link between subject matter brought up in chapters 5 & 6 and the extended treatment of Melchisedech in chapter 7. The significance of the present verse has been adequately dealt with in the final paragraph of the opening analysis and in the paraphrase.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 8:6-13

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 18, 2015

This post begins with Fr. MacEvilly’s brief analysis of Hebrews  chapter 8 followed by his comments on verses 6-13. Text in purple indicates his paraphrasing of the Scripture he is commenting on. Texts in red, if any, are my additions.

In this chapter, the Apostle, raises Christ above Aaron, and thus evidently raises his Priesthood above that of Aaron, and his successors. The superior excellence of Christ, as Priest, is shown from the exalted place he holds in heaven (Heb 8:1), and from the superior excellence of the heavenly tabernacle, of which he is the ministering Pontiff (Heb 8:2). From the very nature of his Priestly office is shown that he is a ministering Pontiff (Heb 8:3), and the superior excellence of the victim which he offers, clearly proves his exalted dignity (Heb 8:4-5). His superiority over Aaron is also shown from the superior excellence of the Testament, of which he is Mediator (Heb 8:6).

The Apostle, finally, proves the translation not only of the Jewish Priesthood, but of the entire ancient Testament. For, this Testament was not faultless; there was room, therefore, for a better (Heb 8:7). The translation of the ancient Testament, on this ground, he proves from the Prophet Jeremias (Heb 8:8–12). The Apostle grounds another argument in proof of the translation and abrogation of the Old Testament, on the word “new”—the epithet, with which Jeremias designates the Second Testament—and from the meaning of this word, he infers that the Old Testament must now have ceased (Heb 8:13). (Or at the time of the writing the Old Testament-here meaning the Old Covenant- was on the verge of ceasing).

‎‎Heb 8:6 But now he hath obtained a better ministry, by how much also he is a mediator of a better testament which is established on better promises. ‎‎

But now, in his heavenly sanctuary, Christ has obtained a priestly ministry as far exceeding in superior excellence the priesthood of Aaron, as the covenant, of which he is mediator, surpasses the covenant of Moses and as the promises, with which this new testament is promulgated, exceed the promises of the old.

The Apostle having already clearly proved the translation of the Aaronic priesthood, is preparing, in this verse, while adducing a further argument in favour of the superior excellence of Christ’s priesthood, to show us, that the entire Mosaic law or covenant is to make way for, and to be abolished by, a more excellent one introduced by Christ.

Heb 8:7 For if that former had been faultless, there should not indeed a place have been sought for a second.

But if the former covenant were free from imperfection, so that nothing were wanting to it, there would be no room for a second, nor would a second and better covenant have been sought for

“If that former had been faultless,” i.e., free from all imperfection—it contained nothing positively bad, being “holy, just, and good” (Rom. 7:12); but, it was imperfect, for remitting sin and imparting justification. “There should not, indeed, a place have been sought for a second;” i.e., a second and better covenant would have no place, as there would have been no use or occasion for it; and consequently, it would not have been sought for.

Heb 8:8 For, finding fault with them, he saith: Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord: and I will perfect, unto the house of Israel and unto the house of Juda, a new testament: ‎‎

(Now, there was room and necessity for a second), for, finding fault with the Jews themselves, and indirectly with their testament, God says—(Jeremias, 31:31)—“Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will perfect unto the house of Israel and unto the house of Juda, a new testament.”

“For, finding fault with them;” as if he said: but, a place for another and better testament was to be found, “for, finding fault with them he saith,” or, “finding fault” (with the covenant), he saith to them, i.e., the Jews. The Greek, μεμφόμενος γὰρ αὐτοῖς λέγει (memphomenos garautos legei), will admit either construction; the former is, however, the more probable. “Finding fault” with the Jews, implies, finding fault with the old testament, which did not of itself supply them with the means of observing its laws, in a manner pleasing to God and meritorious or eternal life; for, all the graces attached to the old testament, and justifying its children, were, properly speaking, derived from the new. The words are taken from the 31st chapter of the Prophet Jeremias, and are quoted by the Apostle from the Septuagint version; the Jews themselves admit that, in its literal sense, this passage refers to the Messiah. The Prophet is speaking of a new testament, which the Lord promises to make “with the house of Israel and the house of Juda,” i.e., with the faithful of the Christian Church.

Heb 8:9 Not according to the testament which I made to their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt: because they continued not in my testament: and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

“Not like the testament which I made to their fathers, the time I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt.” Because they violated my covenant, I in turn, slighted and neglected them, saith the Lord.

And he says, it will not be like the covenant or testament which he made with their fathers, the Israelites, on the fiftieth day after their deliverance from the Egyptian bondage. They violated his covenant, and on this account, he in turn forsook them, withdrawing his special care and protection from them.

Heb 8:10 For this is the testament which I will make to the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my laws into their mind: and in their heart will I write them. And I will be their God: and they shall be my people. ‎‎

“But this is the testament which I shall make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord. I shall give my laws into their minds, and in their hearts will I write them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

And then he declares what this testament shall be, as contrasted with the old:—“I will give my laws unto their minds, and in their hearts will I write them,” which is evidently allusive to the manner in which the Old Law was given; for, God gave his laws (the decalogue) to the Jews, written on the tables of stone. The same laws he gives to the Christians of the new testament, written on their hearts and minds, by grace and love.

Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord. For all shall know me, from the least to the greatest of them.

Nor will there be any further necessity for each one to teach his neighbour, or his brother, to know the Lord (by a practical knowledge consisting in loving him and keeping his commandments); because all, who, properly speaking, belong to this new testament, will have this knowledge impressed on their minds and written on their hearts by grace.

Another thing peculiar to the new testament, and an effect of the laws being written on their hearts is, that “they shall not teach every man his neighbour, … know the Lord,” &c. It is by no means easy to see how these words are verified in the new testament; hence, the variety of interpretations given, all of which render the passage difficult and perplexing. Whatever may be the true meaning of the words, it can be clearly shown from several passages of the Gospel and the Epistles, particularly Ephesians (chap. 4) that they cannot exclude the external ministry of teaching, in the Church. The same clearly follows from the Apostle’s writing this Epistle. If the external ministry of teaching were excluded, why should the Apostle write this Epistle to instruct the Hebrews? Some Expositors say the Prophet refers to the crime of idolatry, to which the Jews were particularly prone, and against which they required to be constantly cautioned, by proposing the knowledge of the true God. “Know the Lord:” but amongst Christians, no such danger was to be apprehended; and therefore, no necessity for reminding them of the true God. The words are, most probably, to be understood of instruction, not in mere speculative knowledge; but, in the practical knowledge and love of God. In the old testament, each one was obliged to put his neighbour in mind of God, and instruct him in that practical knowledge which consisted in knowing the Jewish law and observing it, not merely externally, so as to avoid the penalties of its infraction, but in observing it through grace, and in a manner, meritorious of eternal life. The reason why this was required in the Old Law arose from its being necessarily imperfect. To the Old Law, as such, the grace referred to here had not been attached, nor could it beget that practical love and knowledge, of which there is question in the words of the Prophet. God had promised the Jewish people temporal blessings—under the figure of which he promised eternal blessings also—and as a condition for securing these, he required the observance of his law; but the greater part of the Jews did not observe the law in a proper way, “they continued not in my testament” (9). In the New Law spiritual blessings, viz., the inheritance of God’s kingdom, are promised to such as observe the gospel.

Another great difference is, that in the Old Law, God left the Jews in a great measure to themselves, to observe the conditions necessary for arriving at the promised goods. Whereas, in the New Law, he not only promises the kingdom of heaven, but as a part of the testament, he gives the graces necessary for fulfilling his law, and for observing the conditions, necessary for arriving at this kingdom. That Jeremias or St. Paul speaks of this practical knowledge or love of God, which consists in fulfilling his law, is confirmed by the following verse.

Heb 8:12 Because I will be merciful to their iniquities: and their sins I will remember no more.

Because I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will no longer remember their sins (and consequently will give them grace to fulfil my law).

Here the prophet assigns the reason why it will not be necessary for every man to be teaching his neighbour; because God will “no longer remember their sins” he will fully pardon them, and give the grace necessary to fulfil his law—a grace peculiar to the new testament; it did not belong to the old testament, as such. But how is it, that in the new testament “all from the least to the greatest of them,” will have this knowledge; surely, all do not love God? The Apostle here refers to such as were, properly speaking, children of the new testament—viz., the just of the Church; for, these have received a portion of the inheritance here below, in the remission of their sins, grace, &c.; and, by persevering, they will obtain the whole hereafter. There are, doubtless, many sinners under the New Law, who might be called children of the Old; as, on the other hand, there were many just under the old, who were sanctified by the graces belonging to the new testament, and could, therefore, be justly called children of the new testament. Such appears to be a probable interpretation of the passage so perplexing to Commentators, and presenting under every view, very grave difficulties.

Heb 8:13 Now in saying a new, he hath made the former old. And that which decayeth and groweth old is near its end.

Now, in promising a new testament by the mouth of Jeremias, God has represented the former as old and antiquated. But what is grown old and antiquated, is approaching dissolution: consequently, the testament grown old in the days of Jeremias, must, by this time, have perished.

The Apostle, having proved from the prophetic testimony, that the first testament was not faultless, and that there was room for a second and better (7); now, grounds a new argument in proof of the abrogation of the Mosaic law, and of the old testament, on the word “new,” by which the prophet designates this second testament. By calling it “new,” he represents the former testament as antiquated. Now, whatever is grown old and antiquated, and consequently weak and useless (as in the ordinary affairs of nature), is approaching dissolution; and hence, the testament, grown old in the days of Jeremias, must now have altogether ceased.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 8:6-13

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 18, 2015

CHRIST THE MEDIATOR OF A NEW AND BETTER COVENANT

A Summary of Hebrews 8:6-13. The superiority of the priesthood of Christ to that of the Old Dispensation is again manifest in the greater excellence of the Covenant of which He is the minister and mediator. The New Covenant is superior to the Old because it is based on superior divine promises. That the Old Testament was faulty, God Himself bore witness when through Jeremias He pronounced judgment upon it and promised the new and better one which has been fulfilled in the new relationship established between God and man by Jesus Christ. The Old Law was external, written on tables of
stone; the New Law is inscribed on the heart. The Old Law was given to the nation as a whole; the New Law speaks to the individual, instructing every man in the knowledge of God and leading to the forgiveness of men’s sins. Thus, by speaking of a “new” Covenant God implied the transient character and the ultimate disappearance of the old order, which was to be superseded by a new and better one.

He 8:6. But now he hath obtained a better ministry, by how much also he is a mediator of a better testament, which is established on better promises.

But now, etc., i.e., as things are actually, the priesthood of Christ is as far superior to that of the Levitical system as the new relationship which He has established between God and man is superior to the one that existed under the Old Law.

A Mediator. Christ is to the New Law what Moses was to the Old, and more; for, like Aaron, He is also a High Priest. Through the revelation He gave to the world, and through His sufferings, oblation on Calvary, and His death, He is both the Mediator and the High Priest of the New Dispensation.

Better promises. The Levitical system was based on material
promises of the Land of Canaan (Deut. 28:1 ff.), whereas the New Covenant rests on spiritual promises, such as grace, the remission of sins, life everlasting, and the like, as described in the quotation that follows from Jeremias.

Heb 8:7. For if that former had been faultless, there should not indeed a place have been sought for a second.

The Old Law did not lead men to perfection and salvation; it was defective, as God’s words to Jeremias clearly prove. Hence it had to be superseded by a new and better one.

Heb 8:8. For finding fault with them, he saith: Behold, the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will perfect unto the house of Israel, and unto the house of Juda, a new testament;

In verses 8-12 the author now proves by a quotation from Jeremias (Jer. 31:31-34) that on God’s own testimony the Old Covenant established through Moses on Mount Sinai was unsatisfactory, and that it was to be superseded by a new and perfect one. The quotation from the prophet, being according to the LXX, differs slightly from the Hebrew.

Finding fault, etc., i.e., God reproaches the people of Israel for their failure to fulfill their part of the Old Covenant, and promises to establish a new alliance with the nation.

The days shall come refers to the Messianic era.

Heb 8:9. Not according to the testament which I made to their fathers, on the day when I took they by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, because they continued not in my testament, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

The New Covenant will differ in character from that established on Mount Sinai after the release of the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt, for the latter was set aside because of the failure of the people to fulfill their part of the agreement.

Heb 8:10. For this is the testament which I will make to the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my laws into their mind, and in their heart will I write them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people;

The author begins now to describe the positive character of the New Covenant which God promised to establish in Messianic times: it will be internal, written on the hearts of the people, and the relation which it will effect between God and His people will be far more intimate than before ; God will enrich them with His benefits and lead them to salvation, while they will render Him a service worthy of Him.

Heb 8:11. And they shall not teach every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for all shall know me from the least to the greatest of them,

Under the New Covenant the knowledge of God will become universal, not confined to any one people or class, as was the case under the Old Law. This does not mean that there will be no need of a teaching authority in the Church, for otherwise the teaching of this very letter would be superfluous, and St. Paul could not have so often insisted elsewhere on the necessity of teaching and of sound doctrine (cf. Eph. 4:11 ff.; Gal. 1:18 ff.; 1 Tim. 3:15, 4:11, 13, 16; 2 Tim. 2:2, 4:2, 5; Titus 1. 5, 9, 2:1, etc.). The meaning, therefore, here is that under the New Covenant there will be a much greater outpouring of grace on the teacher and the hearer, that the law will be far simpler to understand, that it will not be confined to the Jews but will be extended to all peoples, etc.

Neighbor is “fellow-citizen” in the Greek.

Heb 8:12. Because I will be merciful to their iniquities, and their sins I will remember no more.

In consequence of this new relationship between God and His people, and of the grace which the New Law will confer, God will remit the sins and blot out the transgressions of His people. The Old Law had no power to forgive sins, because it did not confer grace; and hence it could not remove the principal obstacle to union between God and His people.

Heb 8:13. Now in saying a new, he hath made the former old. And that which decayeth and groweth old is near its end.

When God through Jeremias spoke of the future Covenant as “new,” He indicated that the Old Law was already in decay and near its end. Hence the Old Testament itself contains a prophecy of its supersession by a new and better alliance.

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Commentaries for the Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 10, 2015

SUNDAY, JANUARY 25, 2015
THIRD SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B

Commentaries for the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B.

MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2015
MEMORIAL OF SAINTS TIMOTHY AND TITUS, BISHOPS

Today’s Mass Readings. Note the first reading allows for an alternate.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Timothy 1:1-8.

Navarre Commentary on 2 Timothy 1:1-8.

Alternate: Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Titus 1:1-5.

Alternate: Father Callan’s Commentary on Titus 1:1-5.

Alternate: Navarre Commentary on Titus 1:1-5.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:20-21.

Navarre Commentary on Mark 3:20-21.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 27, 2015
TUESDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:1-10.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:1-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 10:1-10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 40.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 40.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:31-35.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:31-35.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28, 2015
MEMORIAL OF ST THOMAS AQUINAS, PRIEST AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:11-18.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:11-18.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 10:11-18.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 110.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 110.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 4:1-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:1-20.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 29, 2015
THURSDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:19-25.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 10:19-25.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 24. Entire psalm.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 24. 1-6.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 24. Entire psalm.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 24. Entire psalm.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 4:21-25.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:21-25.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 30, 2015
FRIDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 10:32-39.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 10:32-39.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 37.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 37.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 4:26-34.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:26-34.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 31, 2015
MEMORIAL OF ST JOHN BOSCO, PRIEST

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19.

Father MacEvilly on the Responsorial: Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75. On 67-79.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75. On 68-79.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 4:35-41.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:35-41.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2015
FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B

Commentaries for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.

Next Week’s Commentaries.

 

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Commentaries for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 10, 2015

COMMENTARIES OF THE FIRST READING: Jonah 3:1-5, 10.

My Notes on Jonah 3:1-5, 10. These notes were previously posted and are on verses 1-10.

Word-Sunday Notes on Jonah 3:1-5, 10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Jonah 3:1-5, 10.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 25.

Father E.S. Berry’s Introduction and Notes on Psalm 25.

St Augustine’s Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9). Contains notes on verses 1-9.

A Lectio Divina Reading of Psalm 25. On the entire Psalm.

Word-Sunday Notes on Psalm 25.

My Notes on 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9. This post is actually on verses 1-9.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on 1 Corinthians 7:29-31. Sorry, to the best of my knowledge only the Latin text of this section of the letter is currently available online. Most of the lectures on 1 Corinthians are available in English here (actually, Latin and English side by side).

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:29-31.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:29-31.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:29-31.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:29-31.

Word-Sunday Notes on 1 Corinthians 7:29-31.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of First Corinthians chapters 6 & 7. Audio, very good.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READINGS: Mark 1:14-20.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 1:14-20.

My Notes on Mark 1:14-20.

Some More Notes of Mine on Mark 1:14-20.

Word-Sunday Notes on Mark 1:14-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:14-20.

A Lectio Divina Meditation on Mark 1:14-20. Prayer, meditation, reflection in the Carmelite tradition.

OTHER RESOURCES: On one or more of the readings.

(1) The Sacred Page Blog: Drop What You Are Doing and Come Now!. Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma reflects and comments upon the readings.

(2) The Sacred Page Blog: Why “Fishers of Men?” A post and a podcast by Catholic biblical scholar Dr. Michael Barber on the Gospel reading.

(3) The Sacred Page Blog: Leaving Behind the Nets. Dr. John Bergsma looks at the readings.

Sacerdos. Gives theme of the reading, doctrinal message, pastoral application.

Living Spaces. Reflection and commentary.

Doctrinal Homily Outlines. This week focuses on contrition.

First Impressions. A preacher’s reflection on the readings.

Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological background to the first and second readings.

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Commentaries for the Second Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 1, 2015

SUNDAY, JANUARY 18, 2015
SECOND SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B

Commentaries for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B.

Last Week’s Posts.

MONDAY, JANUARY 19, 2015
MONDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 5:1-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 5:1-10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 110.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary Psalm 110. On 1-5, 7.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 2:18-22.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 2:18-22.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2015
TUESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan on Hebrews 6:10-20.

Update: Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 6:10-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 6:10-20.

Pope Benedict’s Commentary on Psalm 111.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 2:22-28.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 2:22-28.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2015
MEMORIAL OF ST AGNES, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:1-6.

Update: Catholic Scripture Manual on Mark 3:1-6.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:1-6.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 22, 2015
DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE LEGAL PROTECTION OF UNBORN CHILDREN

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Hebrews 7:25-8:6.

Link fixed. Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 7:25-8:6.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 40.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 40.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:7-12.

Linked fixed. Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:7-12.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 23, 2015
FRIDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 8:6-13.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 8:6-13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 8:6-13.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 85.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 85.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:13-19.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:13-19.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 24, 2-15
MEMORIAL OF ST FRANCIS DE SALES, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 9:2-3, 11-14.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 47.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 47.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 47.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:20-21.

Navarre Commentary on Mark 3:20-21.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 25, 2015
THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR B

Commentaries for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B.

Next Week’s Commentaries.

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