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, 2016

Commentaries for Quinquasgesima Sunday (Dominica in Quinquagesima) Extraordinary Form

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 31, 2016

Dominica in Quinquagesima

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: 1 Corinthians 13:1-13.

COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL: Luke 18:31-43.

HOMILIES AND HOMILY NOTES:

  • Our Motive. Homily on how and why charity must be our motive.
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Commentaries for the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C (Ordinary Form)

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 31, 2016

FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

READINGS AND OFFICE:

Today’s Mass Readings. Used in the USA.

Mass Readings in the NJB Translation. Scroll down. Used in most English speaking countries. For some reason the site has the Gospel reading before the second reading.

Divine Office.

Anglican Use Daily 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 ON THE FIRST READING: Isaiah 6:1-2a-3-8.

My Notes on Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8. On 1-8.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8.

Word-Sunday Notes on Isaiah 6:1-2a, 3-8.

Homilist’s Catechism on Isaiah 6:1-2, 3-8.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 138:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 7-8.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 138.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 138.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 138.

Father Ronald Knox’s Meditation on Psalm 138.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 138.

Word-Sunday Notes on Psalm 138.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. Note that a shorter reading (15:3-8, 11) can be used.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.

Word-Sunday Notes on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.

Homilist’s Catechism on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Luke 5:1-11.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 5:1-11.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 5:1-11.

Word-Sunday Notes on Luke 5:1-11.

My Notes on Luke 5:1-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 5:1-11.

Homilist’s Catechism on Luke 5:1-11.

GENERAL RESOURCES: sites that usually deal with the readings as a whole (with some occasional specialty studies).

Update: Video: The Call of Simon Peter Explained. By Dr. Brant Pitre.

Word Sunday. The readings in both and literal translation, notes on the text, podcast, children’s reading.

Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological background on the readings. Can be printed out, copied, and used as bulletin insert.

The Wednesday Word.  It’s about the Sunday readings, but the document is posted on Wednesday, hence the name. Designed for prayer and reflection, the pdf document ends with Father Dom Henry Wansbrough’s reflections on the first and second readings. Fr. Wansbrough is General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible and contributed commentaries on Matt, Mark, and the Pastorals in A New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture.

St Charles Borromeo Parish’s Bible Study Notes. Notes on all the readings, usually with some background info as well.

Sacred Page Blog: Put Out Into the Deep. reflection on the readings by Catholic biblical scholar Dr John Bergsma.

Christian Leadership Center: Preaching the Lectionary. Not available. An ecumenical site. The focus today is on the 2nd reading.

Glancing Thoughts. Reflections on the 1st reading from philosopher Eleanore Stump.

Thoughts From The Early Church. Excerpt from St Augustine.

Scripture In Depth. Succinct summary of the readings and their relation to one another.

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My Notes on Jeremiah 1:4-19

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 27, 2016

The Call of Jeremiah

Jer 1:4  And there is a word of LORD unto me, saying,

And there is a word of LORD unto me.  A stock prophetic phrase found throughout the prophetic books.

Jer 1:5  `Before I form thee in the belly, I have known thee; and before thou comest forth from the womb I have separated thee, a prophet to nations I have made thee.’

 Note the contrast in tenses: “Before I form thee…”, “before thou comest forth.”  Using the present tense of future events is typical of prophetic literature.  It commuicates the idea that what is being prophecied will come to pass (except when a prophecy is conditional, i.e., wont come to apss if the people repent).  Here, the contrast in tenses seems to emphasize the certainty of God’s foreknowledge of the prophet.  St Paul tells us that God chose him before his birth to proclaim the Gospel to the Gentiles (i.e., poeple of the nations) in Gal 1:15:16. See also Luke 1:13-17.

Jer 1:6  And I say, `Ah, Lord God! lo, I have not known–to speak, for I am a youth.’

And I say, `Ah, Lord God! lo, I have not known (how) to speak, for I am a youth.’ This reminds one of Moses’ initial response to his call in Exodus 4:10.  There Moses claimed to be a poor speaker, here Jeremiah appeals to his youth or inexperience in speaking to men concerning important subjects.

Jer 1:7  And the LORD saith unto me, `Do not say, I am a youth, for to all to whom I send thee thou goest, and all that I command thee thou speakest.

His youth and inexperience are irrelevant where God’s power is concerned.  The authority of the word, and, consequently the authority of the one preaching it, comes from the source of the word and the mission, namely God.

Jer 1:8  Be not afraid of their faces, for with thee am I to deliver thee, –an affirmation of the LORD.’

 Face is Hebrew idiom for presence, thus the meaning is: “Be not afraid in their presence.”

The phrase With thee I am is not merely a statement of the divine presence.  The promise of the divine presence when given in the context of a mission is a promise and guarrantee of divine help and power in the performance of that mission.  See God’s promise to deliver St Paul in Acts 26:17.

Jer 1:9  And the LORD putteth forth His hand, and striketh against my mouth, and the LORD saith unto me, `Lo, I have put my words in thy mouth.

God’s striking the mouth of the prophet calls to mind the fact that the angel touched Isaiah’s lips with an ember in Isaiah 6:7.  the words “I have put my words into thy mouth” recalls the commissioning of Moses in Exodus 4:10-17.

Words and themes found in verse 7-9 are typical of prophetic call narratives (see Exek 3:1-10; Matt 28:18-20; ect).

Jer 1:10  See, I have charged thee this day concerning the nations, and concerning the kingdoms, to pluck up, and to break down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.’

Jeremiah’s mission is for both Jew and Gentile; and his message is one of both weal and woe.  See 18:7-9; 25:15-38; chapters 30-31,  46-51; ect.

Jer 1:11 And the word of the Lord came unto me, asking, “What is it that you see, Jeremiah?”  I replied, “I see the staff of a watching tree.”

The word of the Lord came unto me is, as I noted in my previous post on this prophet, a stock prophetic phrase.  The prophet speaks on God’s authority, not his own (see 2 Pt 1:21).  Jeremiah will have some harsh, brutal words to say against false prophets (see 2:8; 8:10-12; 23:9-40).  The word can come to a prophet in a number of ways, sometimes the revelatory phenomenon is described in both oracular and optical terms (see Ezek 1).  It’s possible that what Jeremiah sees is a vision, but it is also possible that he is in the fields around his hometown during the blossoming of the watching tree (but see note verse 12). The word which I have translated as staff can refer to a stick or branch, but also a rod or staff.  Why I’ve translated it as I have will be noted below, under verse 12.  The watching tree is a reference to the almond tree.  Almond shaped eyes are a common physiological feature of near eastern peoples, hence the name.

Jer 1:12    And the Lord answered me, saying to me, “You see soundly: for I  watch without sleeping to do my word.

You see soundly: for &c. The Hebrew word translated as for serves as a causal conjunctive.  Jeremiah has seen correctly precisely BECAUSE the Lord is looking to bring about his word.  Had God not called him as a prophet he would not have seen soundly.  What Jeremiah saw was the branch (rod, staff) of a watching (almond) tree (vs 11).  God (so it seems) is here comparing himself to a rod or staff made from such a tree, and having its fruit (nuts) still on it.  In the Scripture, both watchfulness and a rod (staff) are associated with vigilance and readiness (see Ex 12:11. Note: several different Hebrew words are used for rod/staff in the OT).

I watch without sleeping. The Hebrew word  שׁקד  (shaqad=watching tree) and the word שׁקד  (shaqed=to be alert, wakefulness) are from the same root; my translation (adding the words “without sleeping”) has tried to convey the fulness of the latter word’s meaning.

To do my word. “To do” translates the Hebrew word לעשׂתו (asah),which can refer to both human action (or God’s action) or of a tree’s bearing seed or fruit (see Gen 1:11-12).  Just as a tree bears fruit (produce) a man produces action.  God is watching to do his word because of the evil the people have “done” (see 2:12-13, 17, 23, 28.  These verses all employ the word asah, which the NAB variously translates as “done,” “conduct,” “made”).

Jer 1:13 And the word of the Lord came unto me a second time, asking, “What is it you are seeing?” And I replied, “I see a a rapidly boiling cauldron which is turning towards us from the north.”

A rapidly boiling cauldron. “Rapidly boiling” translates a word which means “to seeth,” “snort,” “breath heavily.”  Steam rising from a boling pot of water is a fitting image of anger; even today we say “i was boiling,” to denote feelings of anger.

Which is turning towards us from the north. The Hebrew reads literally: “and the face thereof is from the face of the north.”  The sentence is somewhat convoluted but makes sense once the significance of the words are known and seen in relation to the image.  (1) The cauldron has just bee described as boiling (seething, snorting breathing heavily), hence its face is the open end (i.e., the mouth) of the pot from which its breath (steam) is issuing.  (2) The word “face” in Hebrew can mean “towards,” for one can only see another’s face if it is turned towards them.  We are to understand then the Jeremiah sees the “face” (mouth) of the cauldron because it is turning (tipping) towards him in the Holy Land.  (3) He sees this vision while turned toward (i.e., as he’s facing) the north and seeing the north’s “face.”

1:14  And the Lord said unto me, “from the north evil shall be opened wide upon all who sit in the land.”

The north was the proverbial place from which invasions came.  Evil shall be opened wide implies that the coming evil will be full and unrelenting.  The boiling cauldron of evil will not just trickle out its contents upon the land.  The boiling cauldron is an image of the Babylonian empire, which would invade and destroy the kingdom of Judah (see 4:5-31; 39:1-10).

Jer 1:15  “Because, look, I will beckon all the families of the kingdoms of the north,” says the Lord; “and they shall come, and every one shall set up his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and over against all the walls that surround her, and against all the encampments of Judah.

Because, look, I will beckon. What is about to befall Jerusalem and the entire kingdom of Judah is God’s doing, but he is not its cause (see vs 16).

All the families of the kingdoms of the north…and they shall come, and every one shall set up his throne. “Families of the kingdoms of the north” is probably a reference to the various royal tribes and clans (i.e., minor dynasties) which had joined or been subsumed under the king of Babylon.  Essentially, they were minor rulers under him, but as such they were entitled to a share in any booty gained by military victory.

Everyone shall set up his throne at the entrance of the gates. The entrance of the gates of a city was the place where officials conducted trials, heard peoples pleas/complaints, and issued their judgments.  In a capital city such as Jerusalem, this would have been done by the king, though he could delegate the authority to others.  The fact that foreign potentates are setting up their thrones at the entrances of the city implies that they are sitting in judgment; and indeed they are, for they are God’s instruments of judgment against his people.

Over against all the walls that surround her, and against all the encampments of Judah. The judgment against God’s people takes the form of a siege.  This is in accord with the covenant curses promised as punishment should the people of God (who had entered the covenant freely) ever break it (see Deut 28:49-57).   All the encampments of Judah probably refers to the many fortified cities which surrounded the capital as added protection against siege.

Jer 1:16  And I will proclaim my verdict against them on account of all their wickedness in forsaking me, and for burning incense to other gods, and for bending the knee to the work of their own hands.

I will prolaim my verdict. Continues the judgment theme mentioned earlier.

All their wickedness. The Herew word for wickedness used here is the same as that used for evil in verse 13.  The evil coming from the north is due to the wickedness of the people.

Forsaking me. The Hebrew word עזבוני (azab) means to leave, loosen, abandon, ect.  The word is often used in Jeremiah to denote apostasy from God (2:13, 17, 19; 5:7, 19, ect).

Burning incense to other gods. This could also read: “offering burn offerings to other gods.”  Other may have pejorative connotations.  The Hebrew word isאחרים (acher), which has the proper meaning of “hinder.”    It is derived from the Hebrew word achar, to loiter, to be a slacker.  When it comes to observing the covenant demands they have become slackers, and now seek after less morally demanding gods.

Bending the knee to the work of their own hands. They prostrate themselves before the idols they have made (see Jer 25:6-7, 14; 32:30).  The Hebrew word for work used here is  derived from the word לעשׂתו (asah), used by God in verse 12 when he said he was watching to do his word.  This work of the people in constructing and worshipping idols is what has led God to do his word (start the process of a reeb, a covenant lawsuit against them.

Jer 1:17  You, therefore, gird up your loins, rise up and speak unto them all that I command you.  Do not break down before their faces, lest I break thee down before their faces.

Gird up your loins. In the Bible this is a call to vigilance and action (see Ex 12:11; 1 Kings 18:46; Job 38:3).  Just as God is vigilante to do His word (see note under 1:12), so too must the prophet be ready and willing to fulfill his service to God’s word.

Speak unto them all that I have commanded. Recalls the end of Matthew’s Gospel.  The phrase or its equivalent is often used in prophetic commissioning texts (see Deut 18:15-20).

Do not break down before their faces, lest I break thee down before their faces. In performing his ministry, Jeremiah is not to fear his enemies, rather, he is to fear God.  “If Jeremiah appears before his adversaries in terror, then he will have cause to be terrified of them; only if by unshaken confidence in the power of the word he preaches in the name of the Lord, will he be able to accomplish anything. Such confidence he has reason to cherish, for God will furnish him with the strength necessary for making a stand, will make him strong and not to be vanquished” (Keil & Delitzsch).

Jer 1:18-19  For behold I have made thee this day a fortified city, and a pillar of iron, and a wall of brass, over all the land, to the kings of Juda, to the princes thereof, and to the priests, and to the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee, and shall not prevail: for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee. (Douay-Rheims Bible).

The image stands in marked contrast to that of Jerusalem sieged against in verse 15.  In the face of his enemies Jeremiah will be like a heavily fortified city.  The passage is reminiscient of Matt 16:16-18).

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Commentaries for the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 25, 2016

FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: We are in Year B

Year A: Commentaries for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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

Year C: Commentaries for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Last Week’s Posts.

MONDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 3.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 3.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 3.

Pseudo-Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 3.

St Robert Bellarmine’s Commentary on Psalm 3.

My Notes on Psalm 3.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 5:1-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 5:1-20.

Catholic Scripture Manual Notes on Mark 5:1-20.

TUESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 86.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 86.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 86.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 5:21-43.

Catholic Scripture Manual on Mark 5:21-43.

WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 24:2, 9-17.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 32.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 32.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 32.

St John Fisher’s Homiletic Commentary on Psalm 32. Begins near bottom of page.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 32.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 6:1-6.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 6:1-6.

My Notes on Mark 6:1-6.

Catholic Scripture Manual on Mark 6:1-6.

THURSDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Pending (maybe): My Notes on 1 Kings 2:1-4, 10-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Kings 2:1-4, 10-12.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on 1 Chronicles 29:10-12. On 10-13.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 6:7-13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 6:7-13.

Pending: Catholic Scripture Manual on Mark 6:7-13.

FRIDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
In 2018 this day falls on Feb. 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. The first link is to commentaries for that feast. The remaining links are to the normal readings.

2018: Commentaries for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on Sirach 47:2-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Sirach 47:2-11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 18.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 18.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 18.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 18.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 6:14-29.

Pending: Catholic Scripture Manual on Mark 6:14-29.

SATURDAY OF THE FOURTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on 1 Kings 3:4-13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Kings 3:4-13.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 119.

Psallam Domino on Psalm 119:9-16.

My Notes on Psalm 119:9-14.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 6:30-34.

Pending: Catholic Scripture Manual on Mark 6:30-34.

FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: we are in Year C

Year A: Commentaries for the Fifth Sunday.

Year B: Commentaries for the Fifth Sunday.

Year C: Commentaries for the Fifth Sunday.

Extraordinary Form~Quinquasgesima Sunday (Dominica in Quinquagesima).

Next Week’s Posts.

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Commentaries for the Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 25, 2016

Today’s Mass Readings. Please note that today’s Lectionary allows for an alternate first reading.

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

Navarre Commentary on 2 Tim 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.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 96.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 96.

St Robert Bellarmine’s Commentary on Psalm 96.

Pope St John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 96.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:21-25.

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Father Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:12-30

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 22, 2016

1Co 12:12 For as the body is one and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body: So also is Christ.

For as the body is one . . . so also is Christ. As an animal body is one, as a man has but one body, so also has Christ one body, the Church, the members of which are many, whose head He is.
1. But S. Augustine objects (de Peccat. Meritis, lib. i. c. 31) that if the Apostle had meant this he would have said, “So also is [the body] of Christ,” rather than, “So also is Christ.” In other words, he would have said that the body of Christ, the Church, has many members.

2. James Faber gathers from this that the body of Christ being indivisibly united to the whole Godhead, locally fills heaven and earth, which are, as it were, its place and His body. As Plato said that God was the soul of the world, and consequently was in a sense the whole world, so the body of Christ, from its intimate conjunction with Deity, is, like the Divine Spirit, diffused through the whole world, its parts and members are the several divisions of space and the bodies contained in it. But still in respect of the unity of the Deity, and of the body of Christ as its soul, they make up one body, viz., the universe. And hence it is that the Ubiquitarians are supposed to have obtained their false opinion that the body of Christ is everywhere. This absurd doctrine has been confuted by many, but most clearly of all by Gregory of Valentia, in five books written against the heresy of the Ubiquitarians.

3. I say, then, with S. Augustine that the meaning of this passage is simply this. So also is Christ one body, i.e., the Church. For Christ is both head and body to the Church, inasmuch as He sustains all her members and works in them all, teaches by the doctor, baptizes by the minister, believes through faith, and repents in the penitent. For in this sense Christ is not locally but mystically, and by way of operation and effectually, the body, hypostasis, soul, and spirit of the whole Church. As the Church is the body of Christ, its head, so in turn is Christ the body of the Church, because, through the operation of His grace, He transfers Himself into all the members of the Church. So the Apostle often says that we are one in Christ, that through baptism we are incorporated into Christ and made one plant with Him. And Christ said to Paul, “Why persecutest thou Me?” that is, the Christians, My members (Acts ix. 4). So Paul says again: “To me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” Therefore S. Francis in his words, “My God, my Love, my All,” was but echoing S. Paul.

1Co 12:13 For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free: and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink.

For in one Spirit we were all baptized. He proves that Christ is one body with many members from baptism, for by baptism we were regenerate, and incorporated into the one body of the Church, and therefore into Christ. In that body we live by the same Spirit, the Spirit of Christ; and on the same food, the Eucharist, we are fed, whether we are Jews or Gentiles, bond or free. Notice the phrase “into one body:” this body is the Church, and consequently we are baptized into Christ, who, as I have said, is in a sense the body of the Church.

And in one Spirit we have all been made to drink. In the Eucharistic chalice we have quaffed, together with Christ’s blood, His Spirit. Hence some Greek copies read, “We have all drunk of one draught.” Cf. Clemens Alex. Pædag. lib. i. c. 6. The meaning is that from it we all partake of one and the same Spirit of Christ, who, by abiding in all, quickens every member, and makes it perform duly its function. In other words, not only were we born and incorporated into the said body, but we all partake of the same food, viz., Christ’s body and blood, in the Eucharist. For one species of the Eucharist leads easily to the other, and by “the drink” we may well understand “the food;” just as on the other hand from the species of bread we understand that of wine in chap. x. 17. Cf. Chrysostom and Cajetan, whose comments here are noteworthy.

It appears from this that all the baptized, whether good or bad, are the body of Christ, that is, are of the Church, and that they have been grafted into Him as members by baptism; for the soul of this body, the Church, is the faith which all the faithful have, even though their life be evil. Cf. notes to Eph_5:27.

1Co 12:14 For the body also is not one member, but many.
1Co 12:15 If the foot should say: Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body: Is it therefore not of the Body?
1Co 12:16 And if the ear should say: Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body: Is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:17 If the whole body were the eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?
1Co 12:18 But now God hath set the members, every one of them, in the body as it hath pleased him.
1Co 12:19 And if they all were one member, where would be the body?
1Co 12:20 But now there are many members indeed, yet one body.
1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say to the hand: I need not thy help. Nor again the head to the feet: I have no need of you.
1Co 12:22 Yea, much, more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body are more necessary

Yea, much more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body are more necessary. S. Chrysostom and Theophylact think that this refers to the eyes, which are small and delicate but yet most necessary. But as the eyes have been included in the preceding verse amongst the nobler members which govern the body, it is better to refer it, as others do, to the internal parts of the body. For the belly is as the kitchen or the caterer for the whole of the body, and cooks and distributes the food for every part, and therefore is essential to the life of the body.

1Co 12:23 And such as we think to be the less houourable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honour: and those that are our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

Ver. 23.—And those members of the body, such as we think to be the less honorable….about these who put more abundant honor. The “less honourable” members are the feet, say Chrysostom, Theophylact, and Ambrose. We are more careful to cover them with shoes, or to bestow ornament upon them, lest they be hurt in walking, or catch cold or in some way convey illness to the stomach and head.

“Honour” here means either covering or the attention bestowed upon the feet in the way of decorated boots or leggings, such as many rich young men, and especially soldiers, wear. Homer, e.g., frequently speaks of the “well-greaved Achæans.”

Our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. Chrysostom, Ambrose, and Theophylact refer these to the pudenda. These, says S. Augustine (Retract. lib. ii. c. 7), are called uncomely, not because nature so made them, but because, since the Fall, lust reigns in them more than elsewhere, because lust is contrary to the law of reason, and therefore ought to be a cause of shame to man. For it puts man to shame when his member so casts off his authority. The more abundant honour that they receive is a more careful and comely covering, so that even if men anywhere discard clothing, they yet cover these parts, as Theophylact says. Moreover, these members are honoured in wedlock, as being necessary to the procreation of children and the perpetuation of the species, as Chrysostom says. Hence, under the Romans, any one who emasculated himself was severely punished, as an offender against the common good and a violent assailant of nature.

Others think that the “more feeble” and “less honourable members are identical, and are the belly and its subsidiary organs. But the Apostle makes a distinction between them, and connects them as distinct entities by the conjunction “and.” His meaning then is, that as we care for those members of the body which are more feeble and ignoble when compared to the rest, and treat them as if they were more useful, so, too, in the Church those who seem to be of less account, such as the infirm, the unknown, and the despised, are for that very reason of more use and should be the more carefully helped. So say Chrysostom, Theophylact, Anselm. For the use of beggars in the Church, see S. Chrysostom (Hom. 20 Moral, and also contra Invid. Hom. 31).

We have an illustration of this verse in the allegory of the belly deserted by the other members, by which Menenius Agrippa brought back the lower orders who had seceded from the senate of the Roman people, and settled on Mons Sacer (Livy, lib. ii. dec. 1). Menenius said: “At that time when men’s members were not so agreed as they are now, but each sought its own private ends, they say that the other parts of the body were indignant that the belly should get its wants supplied by their care, their toil, and their ministry, and itself rest quietly in the midst, and enjoy the pleasures they gave; so they agreed that the hand would lift no food to the mouth, that the mouth would not admit it if it were offered, nor the teeth chew it. Then while, as they thought, that they were reducing the belly by hunger, they found that each member and the whole body also were brought down to the last extremities. They saw then that the belly had, too, its active service, and was not more nourished by them than they gained from it. They saw that the blood, re-invigorated by the food that had been eaten, was impartially distributed through the veins into every part of the body, giving each its life and energy. Then, by drawing a comparison between the civil war in the body and the angry action of the lower orders against the Fathers, Menenius induced them to return.”

1Co 12:24 But our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, giving to that which wanted the more abundant honour.

But our comely parts have no need. The eyes, the face, and the hands, which are the more comely parts of the body, lack no ornament, but are comely enough in themselves.

Giving to that which wanted the more abundant honour. That is more careful guard, more clothing, and ornament. Cf. ver. 22.

1Co 12:25 That there might be no schism in the body: but the members might be mutually careful one for another.

That there should be no schism in the body: but the members might be mutually careful one for another. No schism, such as that related by Menenius, but that all should have the same care for the others as for themselves, or else it may mean that each member should be solicitous for the common good of the whole body.

1Co 12:26 And if one member suffer any thing, all the members suffer with it: or if one member glory, all the members rejoice with it.

And it one member suffer all the members suffer with it. “They suffer together” in such away that the suffering member’s grief is lightened, “not by communion in disaster, but by the solace afforded by charity,” says S. Augustine (Ep. 133). Hence S. Basil (Reg. Brevior. 175) says that the outward proof of love is twofold: (1.) rejoicing in the good of one’s neighbour and labouring for it; (2.) in grief and sorrow for his misfortune or his sin. He who has not this loves not.

Doctors infer from this verse that souls in bliss, burning with love for us, help us by their prayers in our troubles and dangers; and that we in our turn ought to help souls kept in purgatory, for they suffer the devouring flame, and therefore he must be cruel indeed who does not suffer with them, and do what he can to set them free.

Or one member be glory. Or as Ambrose takes it, “be glorified,” or, according to Ephrem, “whether one member rejoice.” Salmeron, after S. Chrysostom, beautifully says: “He who loves possesses whatever is in the body, the Church: take away envy and what I have is thine.” S. Chrysostom says again: “If the eye suffer, all the members will grieve, all will crease to act: the feet will not go, the hands will not work, the belly will take no pleasure in its wonted food, although it is the eye only that is suffering. Why, 0 eye, do you trouble the belly? why chain the feet? why bind the hands? Because all are knit together by nature, and suffer together in a “mysterious manner.”

1Co 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and members of member.

Members of the member” is how the Latin version reads. This is explained (1.) by S. Thomas: “You are members of the principal member, viz., Christ, for Christ is the head of the Church;” (2.) by S. Anselm, “You are members of Christ through the agency of another member, viz., Paul, by whom you were united to Christ, the head, and to the Church, the body.” But (3.) the Greek gives “members in part,” and this is the rendering of some Latin Fathers, or “members of each other.” S. Ambrose seems to understand it so. The Latin version also means “fellow-members,” brethren in the same society, of the same mystical body, the Church. So too S. Chrysostom and Ephrem, whose meaning may be paraphrased: “Each one, in his part and place, is a member of the Church.”

Notice here that, as in the body there is (1.) a unity and a union of soul and body; (2.) diversity of members; (3.) differences of function between the several members; (4.) an aptitude for its function given to each member; (5.) a community of interests in the members, so that each is bound to work, not for itself only but for the others also, just because they are members of the one body; (6.) harmony, inasmuch as each member is content with its rank and duty, does not seek another post or envy a more honoured member, so that there is the most perfect union and concord, the same share in sorrow and joy: so is it in the Church. There each one has from Christ, as if He were his soul, his proper gift, his proper talent, his office and rank, his functions to be discharged for others’ good, not his own, his limits fixed by God. If anyone disturbs this order and seeks after another post, he resists the ordinance and providence of God, and forgets that all his gifts have come from God. S. Paul therefore says: “You, 0 Corinthians are members of the same body of Christ, the Church: let there not be then any divisions among you, let no one despise, envy, grieve at another, but let him love him, help him, and rejoice with him. Let each be content with his place, his rank, and his duty, for so he will be a partaker, not only of his own good, but also of the good of others. Just as the foot walks for the benefit of the eye, the ear, the belly, so in their turn the eye sees, the ear hears, and the belly digests for the benefit of the foot. But if there is envy and unwillingness shown by the eye to see, by the ear to hear, and the belly to digest, then those members hurt themselves as much as any other; and, as Chrysostom says, it is just as if one hand were to cut off the other, for that hand would be dishonoured and weakened through receiving no help from the other hand. Moreover, if nature is at such pains to preserve such perfect concord between the different members of the body, and so sternly forbids any seditious discord, how much greater concord between men’s minds will the grace of God through its greater power effect, how little will it endure that any member should stand aloof from and be at variance with another in the same body! If the magistrate or the king severely punishes sedition in the state, what, think you, will Christ do to the schismatics who rend His Church?

1Co 12:28 And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors: after that miracles: then the graces of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches.

And God indeed hath set some in the church, &c. Apostles as the rulers, prophets as the eyes, teachers as the tongue. From this it follows that the princes of this world are not, as Brentius thinks, the rulers and the head of the Church, but the Apostles and their successors, the Pope and the bishops; “for God,” says S. Paul, “set the Apostles first.” After that come “powers,” i.e., workers of miracles, who are as the hands of the Church; then healers of diseases; then helps, or those who help others and perform works of mercy towards the sick, the poor, the unhappy, guests, and foreigners; then governments, or men who rule. and correct others, as parish priests, as S. Thomas says, or better still, with Theophylact and Cajetan, men who have the care of the temporal wealth which the faithful offer to the Church. These last are as the feet in the body of Christ, and of such were the deacons ordained by the Apostles to look after tables and the widows (Acts vi. 1-6).

Notice the abstract here put for the concrete: “powers” for workers of powers, “gifts of healing” for healers, “helps” for helpers, “governments” for governors, “diversities of tongues” for men skilled in different languages.  S. Paul knits all these, as other members of the Church, to Apostles, prophets, and teachers.

1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors?

Are all apostles? Certainly not. Let each, therefore, be content with the position in which God has placed him in the Church, and with the grace that he has freely received from God, and thank God for all, and use the grace given him to God’s glory and the good of the Church.

1Co 12:30 Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

Have all the grace of healing? S. Augustine says (Ep. 137) that “God, who divides to every man severally as He will, has not willed that miracles should be wrought in honour of every saint.” It is not wonderful then that God should work miracles in this place, in this temple, at this or that image of the Holy Mother, or again that He should give one grace to one saint, another to another. Those, e.g., who invoke S. Antony He sets free from the plague, those S. Apollonia from toothache, those S. Barbara from sudden death, and from dying without confession; for, as the Apostle says, “God divides to every man severally as He will.” So at the pool of Bethesda, and not elsewhere, God miraculously healed the impotent folk (S. John v. 2-4). So by the rod of Aaron, and of no one else, He worked miracles (Num. xvii. 8). So by the image of the brazen serpent, and of nothing else, He set free the Jews from the plague of fiery serpents (Num. xxi. 9).

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Commentaries for the Third Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 16, 2016

Next

THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: we are in Year B

Year A: Commentaries for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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

Year C: Commentaries for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

MONDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 5:1-7, 10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 89.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 89.

My Notes on Psalm 89:20, 21-22, 25-26. The verses used in today’s responsorial. Also includes notes on verses 27-28.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:22-30. On 20-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:22-30.

TUESDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 24.

Pending: St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 24.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 24:7-10. On today’s verses.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 24.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 24.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 6:12b-15, 17-19.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:31-35.

WEDNESDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

St Augustine on 2 Samuel 7:4-17. On verses 4-5, 12-14, 16. along with some stuff on Psalm 89, today’s responsorial.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:4-17.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 89.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 89. Different from his treatment of Ps 89 above.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 4:1-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:1-20.

THURSDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
In 2018 this day falls on Jan. 25, the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul. The first link below is to commentaries for that feast, the remaining links are to the normal readings of the day.

2018: Commentaries for the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul.

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 7:18-19, 24-29.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 132.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 132.

Pseudo-Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 132.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 132.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:21-25.

FRIDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
In 2018 this day falls on Jan 26, the memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus. The first link below is to commentaries for that memorial. The rest of the links are to the normal readings.

2018: Commentaries for the Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus.

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 51.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 51.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 51.

Pseudo-Alber the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St John Fisher’s Commentary on Psalm 51:1-10. Needs some editing.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:26-34.

SATURDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:1-7a, 10-17.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 51.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 51.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 51.

Pseudo-Alber the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St John Fisehr’s Commentary on Psalm 51:11-21. Online book.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 4:35-41.

FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: We are in Year B

Year A: Commentaries for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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

Year C: Commentaries for the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Next Week’s Posts.

 

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Commentaries for the Second Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 9, 2016

SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: we are in Year B

Year A: Commentaries for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year B: Commentaries for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year C: Commentaries for the Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.

MONDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Haydock Commentary on 1 Samuel 15:16-23.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 15:16-23.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 50.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 50.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 50.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 50.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 2:18-22.

TUESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Haydock Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:1-13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 16:1-13.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 89.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 89.

My Notes on Today’s Responsorial Psalm (89:20, 21-22, 27-28). Verses used today.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 2:23-28.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 2:23-28.

WEDNESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Haydock Commentary on 1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 17:32-33, 37, 40-51.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 144.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 144.

Pseudo-St Albert the Great on Psalm 144.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 144.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:1-6.

Catholic Scripture Manual on Mark 3:1-6.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:1-6.

THURSDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Haydock Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:6-9, 19:1-7.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:6-9, 19:1-7.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 56.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 56.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 3:7-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:7-12.

FRIDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Haydock Commentary on 1 Samuel 24:3-21.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 24:3-21.

Pending: Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 57.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 57.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 57.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:13-19.

SATURDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Samuel 1:1-4, 11-12, 19, 23-27.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 80.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 80.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 80.

My Notes on Psalm 80.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 3:20-21.

THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: we are in Year B

Year A: commentaries for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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

Year C: Commentaries for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Next Week’s Posts.

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Commentaries for the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 9, 2016

READINGS AND OFFICE:

Today’s Mass Readings.

Mass Readings in the NJB Translation. Scroll down. Used in most English speaking countries. For some reason the site has the Gospel reading before the second reading.

Today’s Divine Office.

Anglican Use Daily 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 ON THE FIRST READING: Nehemiah  8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Nehemiah 8:2-4a, 5-6, 8-10.

Update: St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Commentary on Nehemiah. Audio, 45 minutes. Looks at chapters 8, 9, & 10.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 19:8, 9. 10, 15.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 19.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19.

St Augustine on Psalm 19.

Pope John Paul II on Psalm 19.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 12:12-30.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:12-30.

Update: Father Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:12-30.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:12-30.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:12-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:12-30.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-22.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-22.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-22.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:12-30

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 9, 2016

This post contains Fr. MacEvilly’s summary analysis of all of 1 Cor 12, followed by his notes on the reading for the day (vss. 12-30). Print in purple represents his paraphrasing of the scripture text he is commenting on.

A SUMMARY ANALYSIS OF 1 CORINTHIANS 12

This and the two following chapters are employed by the Apostle in delivering instructions concerning the gifts of the Holy Ghost. In this chapter, he undertakes to remedy certain abuses of which these GRATIÆ GRATIS DATÆ, with which the Corinthian Church was abundantly favoured, were the occasion. It appears, that many among them, upon whom were conferred gifts of a more exalted and honourable description, had, in consequence, grown insolent, and despised their humbler and less favoured brethren. These, on the other hand, indulged feelings of jealousy and envy. Hence, schisms and divisions among them. To remedy this evil, the Apostle reminds them, in the first place, of their former degraded condition, when professing the errors of Paganism. As they, therefore, possessed no claim to these gifts, they should not make them serve as occasions of pride (1–4). In the next place, he shows that these gifts, although differing in number and quality, were one in their source and origin, viz., God, their author; and hence, they should serve rather to cement union, than cause divisions (4–6). He then reminds them that these gifts were given for the profit of the entire body of the faithful, as well those who were not favoured with them, as those who were (7). In the next place, he shows that in the distribution of the several gifts, which he enumerates and classes wider nine distinct heads, the Holy Ghost is influenced solely by his own gratuitous will; and, therefore, these gifts should neither prove the occasion of pride to one party, nor of envy to the other (8–12). By a beautiful illustration drawn from the unity of the natural body of man, although composed of different members, he points out the relative duties which the different members of the mystic body of Christ owe to each other. He shows, that, like the natural body, the mystic body of Christ is one (12–13). (Hence, the members of the Church should have but one soul), and composed of different members (14). (Hence, all cannot have the same gifts). He then points out, that the different members, all enjoy the honours of the body by incorporation (15, 16). And, that consistently with the nature of an organized body, all cannot have the same functions (17–20). Addressing the more highly gifted, he assigns reasons why they should treat the others with greater attention (21–27). He applies all that had been said of the natural body to the Church, and shows the variety of gifts and functions in it (27–30). He recommends charity (31).

1Co 12:12 For as the body is one and hath many members; and all the members of the body, whereas they are many, yet are one body: So also is Christ.

(And that the very difference of these gifts conferred on the several members of the Church should, far from creating disunion, on the contrary, secure harmony, is clear from the example of the human body and its several component members). For, as the human body is one, although composed of different members, nor does the difference or multitude of members make it cease to be one body; so it is also with the mystical body of which Christ is head. (It is one, although composed of several members.)

Under an expressive metaphor, derived from the mutual co-operation and dependence of the several members of the human body the Apostle points out the relation which the different members of the mystic body, of which Christ is head, hold towards each other, and inculcates cordial union in contributing mutually to the common advantage of the entire Church, without repining on one side, or pride on the other. “As the body,” i.e., the human body, “is one,” … “and all the members of the body,” (in the common Greek, of that one body, the chief MSS. omit “one,”) “so is also Christ;” i.e., the mystic body of which Christ is head. It is needless to remind the readers of Roman history how successfully this famous apologue of the human body was employed by Menenius Agrippa in reconciling the Roman Plebeians with the Patricians.—(Vide Livy, Book ii. c. xxii.)

1Co 12:13 For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether bond or free: and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink.

For that the mystic body of Christ is one, is clear from this fact, that in baptism we all, whether Jews or Gentiles, slaves or freemen, are by one Spirit, ingrafted on the one body of Christ. And besides baptism, we have another bond of union, in our having been made partakers of the sacred blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, and thus made into one Spirit.

He applies to the mystic body of Christ, the two qualities which he predicated of the natural body in the preceding verse—viz., that it is one; and, secondly, that it is composed of many and different members. Applying the first part in this verse, he proves that the mystic body of Christ is one. “Baptized into one body,” i.e., by baptism ingrafted on the mystic body of Christ. “And in one spirit we have been all made to drink.” The common Greek is, εἰς ἑν πνευμα, into one spirit. The interpretation of the Paraphrase, which refers this to the Adorable Eucharist, seems preferable to any other. In the first ages of the Church, the Eucharist was given to children under the species of wine; or it might have been the general practice to administer it under that species; because, the administering of it under the one species or the other, or under both, is a point of discipline which may vary at different times according to the will of the Church. In this interpretation, the words mean, that having been “made to drink” of the Eucharist, they are formed into one spirit, in the same way, as speaking of the participation of the Eucharist under the species of bread (10:17), he says they are made, “one body.” The words may also mean, that they were filled with and drank plentifully of the grace of the same holy Ghost, which was abundantly poured out upon them.

1Co 12:14 For the body also is not one member, but many.

And that this mystic body has many members follows from the very nature of a body, which is composed not of one, but of many members.

He proves that the Church must be composed of different members. This follows from the very fact of its being a body. The Apostle wishes the Corinthians to learn from the natural body the duties which they owe each other. In this verse, he shows that there must be a variety in the members of the mystic body, and that all, therefore, cannot have the same gifts.

1Co 12:15 If the foot should say: Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body: Is it therefore not of the Body?

And in the natural body were the foot to complain that it is not the hand, would it, therefore, cease to be of the body, or to partake of its honours?

In this verse, the Apostle undertakes to offer consolation to the less favoured members of the Church—“the foot”—and thereby to remove all ground for murmuring on their part. He consoles them by the assurance, that they partake of the honours of the mystic body, no less than the most highly gifted and exalted of their brethren.

1Co 12:16 And if the ear should say: Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body: Is it therefore not of the body?

The same holds for the several inferior members, should they murmur or repine at the place allotted to them respectively in the body—(v.g.), should the ear murmur for not being the eye, would it, therefore cease to belong to the entire body, or to partake of its honour and glory? By no means.

“The ear,” probably refers to the hearers, and to persons requiring instruction. “The eye,” to the learned, and to the teachers among them.

1Co 12:17 If the whole body were the eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?

And if the entire body were reduced to an eye, as the repining member would have it (for, the other members might just as well wish to be the eye as the repining one), where would be the ear?—where the sense of smelling?

He shows in this verse, that consistently with the nature of a body, which must be composed of a variety of members (verse 14), all can neither hold the same place, nor enjoy the same privileges. If, in the natural body, all were reduced to an eye, where would be the ear, or sense of hearing?—where the sense of smelling? So it is also with the mystical body of Christ, if all were teachers, where would be the disciples and hearers?

1Co 12:18 But now God hath set the members, every one of them, in the body as it hath pleased him.

But now God has so arranged the different members in the body, that each one should hold its proper place according as it has pleased him.

He shows the ordination of God to be in favour of this diversity of members, as well in the mystical as in the natural body, and to the supreme and adorable will of God all should at once humbly submit.

1Co 12:19 And if they all were one member, where would be the body?

And if, contrary to this ordination of God, all the members were reduced to one, where would be the harmony and order of a body regularly organized and composed of different parts?

In this verse he repeats, in an interrogatory form, the assertion which he already made (verse 14)—viz., that it is of the very nature of an organized body, to be composed, not of one, but of many members.

1Co 12:20 But now there are many members indeed, yet one body.

But now, there are many component members, and but one body, as has been asserted, verse 12.

Here he repeats his assertion (verse 12), to the proof of which the preceding verses are devoted.

1Co 12:21 And the eye cannot say to the hand: I need not thy help. Nor again the head to the feet: I have no need of you.

(And as the less favoured members should neither repine at their place in the body, nor envy the more highly favoured, so these latter should not in turn grow proud of their position, nor despise the less favoured members.) The eye cannot say to the hand, I require not your assistance; nor can the head say to the feet, you are not necessary for me.

After addressing himself in the foregoing passage to the less honourable members, the Apostle now points out to the more highly favoured, their duties in regard to the less honoured members—viz., that they should treat them with greater attention and respect in proportion to their wants; for they stand in mutual need of each other. By “the eye” and “head” are meant these who hold an exalted position, analogous to that which the eye and head occupy in the natural body. From this verse the Apostle wishes it to be inferred, that those who hold a more exalted position in the Church cannot dispense with the aid and assistance of their more humble brethren.

1Co 12:22 Yea, much, more those that seem to be the more feeble members of the body are more necessary

Far from undervaluing any member as useless, we should keep in mind, that the very members, which appear to be the most feeble, are the most necessary for the maintenance of life—(v.g.), the brains, intestines, &c.

Not only are the inferior members necessary for the more honourable, but they are indispensable for the existence of the entire body, and the most feeble are the most necessary (v.g.), the brains and intestines &c.

1Co 12:23 And such as we think to be the less houourable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honour: and those that are our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

And on the members which we regard as least honourable, we bestow the greatest honour, by more studiously covering them with raiment, and those that are called the uncomely parts are covered with greater care and decency.

“The less honourable members,” probably refer to the feet and the lower part of the trunk of the body, especially the ducts, by which nature empties herself and discharges what is redundant. “More abundant honour,” by more studiously covering them with raiment. “Our uncomely parts,” probably refer to the pudenda. In the moral body they refer to sinners, who should be particularly attended to; and hence, their failings cloaked and concealed, as much as possible.

1Co 12:24 But our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, giving to that which wanted the more abundant honour.

But our comely parts, viz., the hands, face, &c., require no particular care or honour in having them clothed. But God has so attempered the human body, and nicely balanced all things, as that men bestow more external honour and care on the members that require it.

“But our comely parts,” such as the face, eyes, hands, “have no need” of particular care in having them clothed. This he adds, to conciliate the more highly gifted members of the Church, who might take offence at the foregoing. “But God has tempered the body together.” This he has done by making compensation to the less honoured members for their native unworthiness by adding greater external care and culture, “giving more abundant honour to that which wanted it.”

1Co 12:25 That there might be no schism in the body: but the members might be mutually careful one for another.

In order that there should be no schism or division in the body in consequence of the less favoured members repining at the place allotted to them, but that all might mutually assist and anxiously co-operate with one another in promoting the welfare of the entire body.

The schism of which St. Paul here speaks, is, of course, to be dreaded only in the moral or mystical body. To it, the Apostle wishes to apply all that he has been saying regarding the relations, which the members of the natural body bear to each other.

1Co 12:26 And if one member suffer any thing, all the members suffer with it: or if one member glory, all the members rejoice with it.

And such is the concord and union established by God, that if one member suffer pain, all the others sympathize with it—if one member rejoice and feel pleasure, the others exult with it.

In the mystical body, the order of charity requires that all the others sympathize with the suffering, and exult with the delighted member.

1Co 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and members of member.

Now, you are the body of Christ, and fellow-members with each other. (As fellow-members, then, depending on each other, you should afford one another mutual aid and assistance).

In this verse, the Apostle tells the Corinthians and all Christians, that they should apply to themselves, as the mystical body of Christ, what he had been saying of the natural or human body; it was for the purpose of pointing out their relative duties towards one another, that he introduced the comparison between them and the natural body. “You are the body of Christ,” from which they should infer that all which has been said of the relations and duties of the several members of the natural body should be understood to apply to them, and fulfilled by them towards one another.

“And members of member,” i.e., fellow-members of the same body, mutually connected with, and depending on each other. The words are probably allusive to the passage in the Book of Genesis (2:23). “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh,” which is mystically understood of Christ and his Church. The words, as containing this allusion, might also mean, members of Christ, because they are members of the body of which he is head, or chief member—hence, “members of member,” μελη εκ μελους. The Greek reading runs thus: μελη εκ μερους, members in part. The Greek reading, followed by the Vulgate, and still found in the manuscripts of St. Germain and Clermont, was, εκ μελους. The meaning of the words, according to the present Greek, is, that they are particular members of Christ’s mystic body, and all, therefore, cannot have the same gifts. This interpretation accords well with the Syriac reading of the words—you are members in your proper places.

1Co 12:28 And God indeed hath set some in the church; first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly doctors: after that miracles: then the graces of healings, helps, governments, kinds of tongues, interpretations of speeches.

And as the natural body is composed of different members; so it is also the case with the mystical body, or Church of Christ: God has placed in it different members destined for different purposes. First, Apostles, his own legates. Secondly, Prophets, to explain the truths of faith by a sudden inspiration. Thirdly, Doctors, having the faculty of explaining the doctrines of faith in a plain, intelligible way to the people. After these, men gifted with the divine power of working miracles. Next, those gifted with the power of curing diseases. After them, those who have the gift of consoling the miserable, and such as are in pain and sorrow. Next, those who are gifted with peculiar prudence in managing the temporalities of the Church; then those who have the gift of strange and unknown tongues; and, finally, those who have the gift of interpreting those tongues in the vernacular of the country.

The Apostle adopts in this verse the similitude of the natural body to the Church; and by recounting part of the gifts and offices conferred on her, he shows that God has set the different members as he thought proper, conformably to what is said (verse 18). He places these gifts and offices in their order of dignity.

“First, Apostles.”—(See Gal. 1:1). These may be regarded as the visible head of the body, as being Christ’s representatives and vicegerents. “Secondly, Prophets.” They were gifted with the “words of wisdom” (verse 8). They may be regarded as the eyes of the body. “Thirdly, Teachers,” who had the faculty of explaining the truths of faith in a plain, simple way. They had the “word of knowledge” (verse 8); the tongue of the body. It is observed by Commentators, that these teachers of the gospel are preferred by the Apostle to those who had the gifts of miracles and of tongues, so much prized by the Corinthians. “After that, miracles.” The workers of miracles—the hands of the body. In the latter part of this verse, the Apostle employs the abstract for the concrete term. “Then, the graces of healings.” Those who are divinely endowed with the gift of healing bodily diseases. “Helps.” Those who assisted their brethren in distress, not by any miraculous operation, but by the performance of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. “Governments,” are understood by some to refer to the directors of souls. The interpretation of the Paraphrase seems preferable. “Kinds of tongues.”—(See verse 10). St. Chrysostom remarks, that almost the last place is given by the Apostle to this gift, so highly prized by the Corinthians. “Interpretation of speeches.” These words are wanting in the Greek copies. But as all Greek manuscripts give the same words in an interrogatory form, next verse—“do all interpret?” it is likely, that the Greek copy from which the Vulgate was taken, was the correct one. The Vulgate is preferred by Beza.

1Co 12:29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all doctors?
1Co 12:30 Are all workers of miracles? Have all the grace of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

29. Are all favoured with these gifts? Are all Apostles?—Prophets?—Doctors? as explained above.
30. Are all gifted with the faculty of working miracles?—or with the faculty of healing diseases?—or, with the faculty of speaking in unknown tongues?—or, with the faculty of explaining these tongues in the vernacular of the country? (By no means; for, if so, where would be the variety of members necessary to constitute an organized body?—verse 19. This diversity of gifts in the Church has been arranged by God for the greater beauty and harmony of the entire mystical body).

The several questions are equivalent to so many negations. By them the Apostle intends to assert, that in the mystical, as well as in the natural body, a variety of functions and offices is necessary, in order to consult for the beauty and harmony of the entire body. Each one, therefore, should rest content with whatever place it may please Providence to assign him in the Church.

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