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 July, 2016

Catholic Scripture Manual on Mark 1:7-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 31, 2016

Text in red are my additions.

Mk 1:7 And he preached, saying: There cometh after me one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.

after me. St John the Baptist was born about six months before our Lord. As no Jew was allowed to preach before his thirtieth year, Jesus began His public life about six months later than St John. I doubt the phrase there cometh after me one, &c, has anything to do with age. More likely it’s picking up on the theme of “before” in verses 2~Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare the way before thee. John is prophesying the coming fulfillment of the foundational purpose of his ministry. Indeed, in Mk 1:9 Jesus will come to the already ministering  Baptist, be baptized by him and then start his own ministry for which the Baptist’s was a prelude.

mightier than I. Note the Baptist’s humility, Jesus is “the Mighty One.” The Greek word ισχυροτερος (ischyroteros) means mighty or powerful one. As the Mighty One Jesus has come to subdue “the strong man” (ισχυρου = ischyrou) Satan (see Mk 3:23-27).

to stoop down. A minute detail proper to St Mark.

and loose. To loose and carry the shoes was the work of the slave, who performed this office for his master, when the latter entered a temple or banqueting hall.

Mk 1:8 I have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

I have baptised you with water, etc. The Baptist exalts Christ’s baptism, which conferred the Holy Ghost, and regenerated the soul.

Mar 1:9 And it came to pass, in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in Jordan.

In those days. Either an indefinite formula referring to St John’s preaching, or more probably a reference to the days of our Lord’s hidden life at Nazareth, which ended when He attained His thirtieth year.

Nazareth. A small despised city on the southern slopes of Galilee. “Can any thing of good come from Nazareth?” (St John 1:46).

in the Jordan. One local tradition points out an ancient ford, near Succoth, as the spot where Jesus was baptized, another refers it to a ford near Jericho. The latter was easier of access.

Mar 1:10 And forthwith coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens open and the Spirit as a dove descending and remaining on him.

forthwith = immediately; both favourite words of St Mark. This adverb, as employed by St Mark, does not always express uninterrupted sequence. Mark’s repeated use of the various forms of the Greek word εὐθύς (= euthus), along with his chronic use of “and,” gives the narrative a fast paced feel and communicates a sense of urgency to it. 

He saw the heavens opened. “He” refers to Jesus Himself, but St John also saw the rent in the heavens, and probably the people present perceived the miracle.

Mar 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

a voice from heaven. During our Saviour s lifetime a miraculous voice was heard three times :

(a) At His Baptism: Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well pleased.
(b) At the Transfiguration: This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him.
(c) In the Temple during Holy Week: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

In verses 10 and 11 note the explicit mention of the three Persons of the Blessed
Trinity. God the Father spoke from Heaven. God the Son stood in the river. God
the Holy Ghost descended “in bodily shape as a dove.”

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

Background and Brief Notes on Wisdom 18:6-9

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 31, 2016

Background~The New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture entitles Wisdom 11:2-19:4 as a “Midrash on Pericope of Exodus,” (pericope is a Latin word meaning “selected text[s]”). The NABRE extends the section to the end of the book (i.e., 11:2-19:22) and entitles it the “Special Providence of God During the Exodus.”  The author takes as his starting point various events from the Exodus and presents a series of contrasts to highlight God’s special care of His people (For through the very things by which their enemies were punished, they themselves received benefit in their need~11″5). In my opinion (following the New Jerusalem Bible and the Anchor Bible Commentary on Wisdom), there are seven contrasts. These contrasts are as follows:

I. Wis 11:2-14. God used water to test and save His people (cf. Ex 17:1-7; Num 20:2-13) and to punish the Egyptians (Ex 7:17-21) who used water to kill the people of God (Ex 1:15-16).

II. Wis 16:1-4.  Animals [frogs?] brought hunger among the Egyptians (Ex 7:26-8:3); but God fed His people with quail (Ex 16:9-13; Num 11:10-32).

III. Wis 16:5-14. Though God sent biting serpents among his people to “trouble” them “for a little while,” He also healed them when they looked upon the bronze serpent (Num 21:4-9). The Egyptians on the other hand were punished by biting insects (locust and flies) with no remedy for them (Ex 8:16-20; 10:4-15).

IV. Wis 16:15-29. God sent destructive storms (hail) upon the Egyptians (Ex 9:13-35; Ps 78:47-49; 105:32), but rained down manna upon His people (Ex 16:1-36; Ps 78:25; 105:40).

V. Wis 17:1-18:4. God plagued the Egyptians with darkness (Ex 10:21-22) even as His own people had light (Ex 10:23). By means of a pillar of fire God preceded them out of Egypt (Ex 13:21-22).

VI. Wis 18:5-25. The Egyptians who had killed the children of Israel (Ex 1:15-16) suffered the loss of their firstborn sons (Ex 11:1-10; 12:29-30), even as the holy children of God offered the Passover sacrifice (Ex 12:1-28). As a result the Egyptians were forced to acknowledge Israel as the child of God (Wis 18:13).

VII. Wis 19:1-12. The Egyptians broke off mourning their dead and chased after God’s people, only to lose their lives in the Red Sea while the Israelites passed through it safely (Ex 14:1-31) and celebrated (Ex 15:1-21).

Notes~

Wis 18:6 That night was made known beforehand to our fathers, so that they might rejoice in sure knowledge of the oaths in which they trusted.  ‎

As the previous verse (Wis 18:5) makes clear, that night which was made known beforehand to our fathers is the night of the Passover and the tenth plague against Egypt (death of the firstborn. See Ex 11:1-12:36) whereby the people’s bondage was brought to an end. It was made known  to the fathers by Moses (Ex 6:6-7; 11:4-7). The reason for their being informed about it beforehand is that they might have a trusting faith in God’s oaths and rejoice in their fulfillment.

In some sense it could be said that father Abraham knew of that night in advance inasmuch as he was informed by God that his descendants would be held in bondage for 400 years and then freed by God’s judgement against the nation which so held them (Ge 15:13-14).

Wis 18:7 The deliverance of the righteous and the destruction of their enemies were expected by thy people.  ‎

The people’s expectation of their deliverance and the destruction of their enemies is due to the trust they put in God’s oaths.

Wis 18:8 For by the same means by which thou didst punish our enemies thou didst call us to thyself and glorify us. By the same means highlights the basic principle of the seven contrasts outlined above (see Wis 11:6). In the immediate context this verse prepares for the contrasting experiences of God’s people and their enemies on Passover night (see Wis 18:10-13).

Wis 18:‎9 For in secret the holy children of good men offered sacrifices, and with one accord agreed to the divine law, that the saints would share alike the same things, both blessings and dangers; and already they were singing the praises of the fathers.

Father James Reese comments: “The holy children of good men experienced the saving power of God’s word in their Passover sacrifices. This term implies that the meal sealed a special covenant for the generation of Moses by agreeing to the divine law.” (Reese, James M. “The Book of Wisdom, Son of Songs.” Old Testament Message: A Biblical-Theological Commentary. Vol. 20. Wilmington, Del: Michael Glazier Inc. 1983).

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Commentaries for the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 30, 2016

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: we are in Year C

Year A: Commentaries for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year B: Commentaries for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year C: Commentaries for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.

MONDAY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12.

My Notes on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12. Actually on verses1-12.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12. On verses 1-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 11-12.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 96.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 96.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 96.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 23:13-22.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 23:13-22.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 23:13-22.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 23:13-22.

TUESDAY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3a, 14-17.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 96.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 96.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 96.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 23:23-26.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 23:23-26.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 23:23-26.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 23:23-26.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 23:23-26.

WEDNESDAY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10, 16-18.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 128.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 128.

St Albert The Great’s Commentary on Psalm 128.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 23:27-32.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 23:27-32.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 23:27-32.

THURSDAY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.

My Notes on 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.

Father Rickaby’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:1-9.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 145.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 145.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 145.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 145. The site misidentifies this as Psalm 144.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 24:42-51.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 24:42-51.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 24:42-51.

FRIDAY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on1 Corinthians 1:17-25.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:17-25. On 17-31 actually, giving you tomorrow’s first reading also (26-31).

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:17-25.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:17-25.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 33.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 33.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 33.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 33.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 25:1-13.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 25:1-13.

Father Juan de Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 25:1-13.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Matthew 25:1-13.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 25:1-13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 25:1-13.

SATURDAY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

 Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:26-31.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 33.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 33.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 33.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 25:14-30.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 25:14-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 25:14-30.

TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: we are in Year C

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

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

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

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Commentaries for the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 30, 2016

TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

READINGS AND OFFICE:

Today’s Mass Readings (NABRE). Translation used in the USA.

Today’s Mass Readings (NJB). Scroll down slightly. The NJB is used in most other English speaking countries.

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING: Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29.

Word-Sunday Notes  on Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29.

Pending: Dr. Mark Giszczak on Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29. From the Catholic Exchange.

My Notes on Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29. Sorry, didn’t have a lot of time to work on it.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 68.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 68.

Word-Sunday Notes on Psalm 68.

Pending: A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 68:4-5, 6-7, 10-11.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:18-19-22-24a.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a. On 18-24.

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a. On 14-24.

Word-Sunday Notes on Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a.

Homilist’s Catechism on Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Luke 14:1, 7-14.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 14:1, 7-14.

Father Fonck’s Commentary on Luke 14:1, 7-14.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 14:1, 7-14.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Luke 14:1, 7-14.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 14:1, 7-14. On 7-14.

Word-Sunday Notes on Luke 14:1, 7-14.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 14:1, 7-14.

Homilist’s Catechism on Luke 14:1, 7-14.

GENERAL RESOURCES:

Sacred Page Blog: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?. Insightful reflections on the readings from Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma.

Doctrinal Homily Outlines. Gives theme of the readings, doctrinal message, suggested pastoral applications.

The Bible Workshop. Guide to the Gospel; review of the readings, suggestions for a lesson (i.e., homily).

Historical Cultural Context. The Gospel as seen in its 1st century Mediterranean context.

Scripture in Depth. Succinct summary of the readings.

Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological background

Thought From the Early Church: Bruno of Segni. Brief commentary.

The Wednesday Word. Time sensitive link. Reflections and commentary on the Sunday readings by Father Dom Henry Wansbrough, O.S.B. He is a world renowned biblical scholar who contributed four commentaries on the NT section of the New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (Matt, Mark, Acts, Pastorals), and was general editor of the New Jerusalem Bible.

PODCASTS:

Dr. Scott Hahn’s Sunday Bible Reflections. Very brief. Does good job of highlighting major theme(s). Text available.

Update: Video: The Wedding Banquet and the Resurrection of the Righteous. Catholic biblical scholar Dr. Brant Pitre examines the readings.

Father Robert Barron’s Podcast Homily. A noted theologian, author, speaker.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of the Final Chapters of Hebrews. Click on POD icon or the direct download link.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of Luke 12:13-chapter 14. Click on POD icon or the direct download link.

Father Francis Martin’s Reflections on the Sunday Readings In Four Parts: (each approx. 15 minutes).

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Commentaries for the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 30, 2016

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

Year A: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year B: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year C: Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

MONDAY OF THE NINETEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 1:2-5, 24-28c.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 148.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 148.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 148.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 17:22-27.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 17:22-27.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 17:22-27.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Matthew 17:22-27.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 17:22-27.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 17:22-27.

TUESDAY OF THE NINETEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 2:8-3:4.

Father Boylan’s Introduction on Psalm 119.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Catechsis on Psalm119. An overview.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14.

WEDNESDAY OF THE NINETEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: in 2016 this day falls on Aug. 10, the Feast of St Lawrence. The first link is for commentaries for that feast. Commentaries for the normal weekday follow.

2016. Commentareis for the Feast of St Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr.

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22.

Father Boylan’s Introduction and Notes on Psalm 113.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 113.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 113.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 18:15-20.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 18:15-20.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 18:15-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 18:15-20.

THURSDAY OF THE NINETEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 12:1-12.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 78.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 78.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 78.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary onMatthew 18:21-19:1.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 18:21-19:1.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 18:21-19:1.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 18:21-19:1.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 18:21-19:1.

FRIDAY OF THE NINETEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 16:1-15, 60, 63. Scroll down past the readings for the day.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Isaiah 12:1-6. Used as Responsorial.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 19:3-12.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 19:3-12. On 1-12.

Father Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 19:3-12.

SATURDAY OF THE NINETEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 18:1-10, 13b, 30-32.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 51.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 51.

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

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

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

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

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 19:13-15.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 19:13-15.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 19:13-15.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 19:13-15.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 19:13-15.

SUNDAY OF THE TWENTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: we are in Year C.

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

Year B. Commentaries for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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

Next Week’s Posts.

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Commentaries for the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 30, 2016

SUNDAY OF THE TWENTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: we are in Year C.

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

Year B. Commentaries for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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

MONDAY OF THE TWENTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: in 2016 this day falls on Aug. 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption The first two links are for commentaries for that feast (Vigil and Mass of the Day). Commentaries for the normal weekday follow.

2016: Commentaries for the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Assumption.

2016: Commentaries for the Solemnity of the Assumption.

Today’s Mass Readings.

My Notes on Ezekiel 24:15-23.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 24:15-23.

My Notes on Today’s Responsorial: Deuteronomy 32:18-19, 20, 21.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 19:16-22.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 19:16-22.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 19:16-22.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 19:16-22.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 19:16-22.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 19:16-22.

St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Matthew 19:16-22. On 16-29 actually.

TUESDAY OF THE TWENTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 28:1-10.

My Notes on Deuteronomy 32:26-27ab, 27cd-28, 30, 35cd-36ab.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 19:23-30.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 19:23-30.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 19:23-30.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 19:23-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 19:23-30.

WEDNESDAY OF THE TWENTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 34:1-11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 23.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 23.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 23.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 23.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 23.

Christ as Head and Chief Shepherd in Relation to the Ministry of the Church. The subject matter of the Chief Shepherd relates to the first reading and psalm.

Father Fonck’s Commentary on Matthew 20:1-16.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 20:1-16.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 20:1-16.

Father MacEvily’s Commentary on Matthew20:1-16.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 20:1-16.

St Augustine’s Homily on Matthew 20:1-16.

St Catherine of Siene on Matthew 20:1-16.

THURSDAY OF THE TWENTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 36:23-28.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 51.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 51.

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

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

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 51.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 51.

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

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 22:1-14.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 22:1-14.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 22:1-14.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 22:1-14.

Pope St Gregory the Great’s Sermon on Matthew 22:1-14.

St Augustine’s Sermon on Matthew 22:1-14.

St Cyril of Jerusalem on Matthew 22:1-14.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 22:1-14.

FRIDAY OF THE TWENTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 37:1-14.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 107.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 107.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 22:34-40.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 22:34-40.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 22:34-40.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 22:34-40.

SATURDAY OF THE TWENTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ezekiel 43:1-7ab.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 85.

My Notes on Psalm 85 With Father Boylan’s Introduction.

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

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

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12.

Pending: St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Matthew 23:1-12.

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Note: we are in Year C

Year A: Commentaries for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year B: Commentaries for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Year C: Commentaries for the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.

 

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Commentaries for the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 30, 2016

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

READINGS AND OFFICE:

Today’s Mass Readings (NABRE). Translation used in the USA.

Today’s Mass Readings (NJB). Scroll down slightly. The NJB is used in most other English speaking countries.

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING: Isaiah 66:18-21.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 66:18-21.

Word-Sunday Notes on Isaiah 66:18-21.

Dr. Mark Giszczak on Isaiah 66:18-21. From the Catholic Exchange.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL PSALM: 117:1-2.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 117.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 117.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 117.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 117.

Word-Sunday notes on Psalm 117.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13 for.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13.

Word-Sunday Notes on Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13. Read the 2nd and 3rd lectures on chapter 12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Luke 13:22-30.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 13:22-30.

My Notes on Luke 13:22-30.

Word-Sunday Notes on Luke 13:22-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 13:22-30.

St Augustine’s Homily on Luke 13:23. On verses 21 & 23. St Joe of O Blog.

GENERAL RESOURCES:

Sacred Page Blog: Will Many Be Saved?. Insightful reflections on the readings from Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma.

Sacerdos. Gives theme of the readings, doctrinal message, suggested pastoral applications.

The Bible Workshop. Guide to the Gospel; review of the readings, suggestions for a lesson (i.e., homily).

Historical Cultural Context. The Gospel as seen in its 1st century Mediterranean context.

Scripture in Depth. Succinct summary of the readings.

Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological background

Thought From the Early Church. Brief commentary from St Anselm of Canterbury.

The Wednesday Word. Time sensitive link. Reflections and commentary on the Sunday readings by Father Dom Henry Wansbrough, O.S.B. He is a world renowned biblical scholar who contributed four commentaries on the NT section of the New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (Matt, Mark, Acts, Pastorals), and was general editor of the New Jerusalem Bible.

PODCASTS:

Update: Video: How Many People Will Be Saved? Catholic biblical scholar Dr. Brant Pitre examines the readings.

Dr. Scott Hahn’s Sunday Bible Reflections. Brief. Does good job of highlighting major theme(s).

Father Robert Barron’s Podcast Homily. From the noted speaker, theologian and author.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of the Final Chapters of Hebrews. Click on POD icon or the direct download link.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of Luke 12:13-chapter 14. Click on POD icon or the direct download link.

Father Francis Martin’s Reflection on the Sunday Readings (in Four Parts): Each approx. 15 minutes.

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

Commentaries for the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 30, 2016

TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

READINGS AND OFFICE:

Today’s Mass Readings (NABRE). Translation used in the USA.

Today’s Mass Readings (NJB). Scroll down slightly. The NJB is used in most other English speaking countries.

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING: Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10.

Introduction to Jeremiah.  Brief, basic overview.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10. Includes verses 1 & 2.

Word-Sunday Notes on Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10.

Catholic Exchange on Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 40:2, 3, 4, 18.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 40.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 40:2, 3, 4, 18.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 40:2, 3, 4, 18.

Word-Sunday’s Notes on Psalm 40. Brief notes on entire psalm.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: Hebrews 12:1-4.

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

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

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

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Hebrews 12:1-4. Read homilies 28-29. I may post an excerpt below.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Hebrews 12:1-4.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 12:1-4.

Homilist’s Catechism on Hebrews 12:1-4.

Word-Sunday’s Notes on Hebrews 12:1-4.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Luke 12:49-53.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 12:49-53.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Luke 12:49-53.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Luke 12:49-53.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 12:49-53.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 12:49-53.

Homilist’s Catechism on Luke 12:49-53.

Word-Sunday Notes on Luke 12:49-53.

GENERAL RESOURCES:

Sacred Page Blog. Insightful reflections on the readings from Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma.

Doctrinal Homily Outlines. Gives theme of the readings, doctrinal message, suggested pastoral applications.

Not Available: The Bible Workshop. Guide to the Gospel; review of the readings, suggestions for a lesson (i.e., homily).

Historical Cultural Context. The Gospel as seen in its 1st century Mediterranean context.

Scripture in Depth. Succinct summary of the readings.

Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological background

Thought From the Early Church. Brief commentary from a homily by Denis the Carthusian.

The Wednesday Word. Reflections and commentary on the Sunday readings by Father Dom Henry Wansbrough, O.S.B. He is a world renowned biblical scholar who contributed four commentaries on the NT section of the New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture (Matt, Mark, Acts, Pastorals), and was general editor of the New Jerusalem Bible.

PODCASTS:

Update: Video: I Did Not Come To bring Peace but Division. Catholic biblical scholar Dr. Brant Pitre talks about the readings.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of Jeremiah 38. Click the POD icon or the direct download link to listen.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of the Final Chapters of Hebrews. Click on POD icon or the direct download link.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of Luke 12:13-chapter 14. Click on POD icon or the direct download link.

Father Francis Martin’s Reflections in Four Parts: Approx. 15 minutes each.

Father Robert Barron’s Homily Podcast. A noted author, speaker, theologian.

Dr Scott Hahn’s Sunday Bible Reflections. Brief. Does good job of highlighting major theme(s). Text available.

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

Father Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 19:3-12

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 30, 2016

Mat 19:3 And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

And there came to him the Pharisees, &c. They had no doubt (from Deut 24:1) that this was allowable for any grave cause. So Origen, SS. Jerome and Bede. Came, not when Jesus proceeded from the confines of Judea to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (see John 7:1), but after the feast was over, and He was returning to the borders of Judea and had again crossed the Jordan. This is plain from John 10:40; for Matthew passes over in silence both the going to Jerusalem and the return from thence. John’s words are as follow: Jesus and his disciples came into the land of Judea: and there he abode with them and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Ennon near Salim (John 3:23). This question, concerning the putting away a wife, seems to have been very hotly debated in the time of Christ, just as it is now. Therefore the Pharisees proposed it to Him, that they might tempt Him, and find an occasion for carping at Him. For if Christ should say, It is not lawful to put away a wife, He would incur the hatred of many rich and carnal men who made a practice of divorce. But if, on the other hand, He should assert that divorce is lawful, then they were ready to insinuate that His doctrine was imperfect and carnal—His doctrine, I say, Who professed to be the teacher of spiritual perfection, the Doctor sent from Heaven. The Abyssinians at the present day, like the Jews, frequently put away their wives, and marry others. Indeed, they sometimes take them only for a month, or a year.

Mat 19:4 Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, made them male and female? And he said:
Mat 19:5 For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.

Who answering, &c. Some think from this passage that Adam was created a hermaphrodite, and had in himself both sexes. But away with such puerilities. The meaning is as follows: Since Holy Scripture did not say in the case of other animals (Gen 1:27), that God made them male and female, but only as regards man, by this it is signified that it is only the marriage of the human race, and that of one male with one female, which was instituted by God. This union or marriage between Adam and Eve was so ordained that he could not put her away and marry another. So SS. Chrysostom, Jerome, Theophylact, Euthymius. Again, from the fact that of one Adam two persons were made, namely Adam and Eve, and because Eve was formed from Adam, it is shown that monogamy is right, viz., that a wife ought not to be separated from her husband, forasmuch as she is a part and a member of him. For as Plato says (Dial. de amore), “As it were of two imperfect parts one perfect man is formed.” As therefore a member, such as the head, cannot be separated from a man, as to its origin and formation, so ought the marriage of one man and one woman to be perpetual and indissoluble, so that it can only be dissolved by death, even as the head can only be separated from the body by death. Wherefore Our Lord adds by way of explanation, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife. Plato, and from him S. Basil (lib. de Virginit.), adds that this is the cause why a man seeks a wife, as it were a part cut off from himself; and as a magnet attracts iron, so does a woman a man.

And said, viz., God, by the mouth of Adam, as a prophet, instituting marriage with Adam and Eve. For this cause: Because the woman being formed out of the man becomes flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. Shall cleave, Greek, προσκολληθήσεται, i.e., shall be agglutinated, shall adhere closely and undividedly to his wife, by the most close and intimate bond of matrimony, and that leaving the society and often the home of his father and mother, he may dwell with his wife.

Mat 19:6 Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.

Now they are not two, but one flesh. (Vulg.) Greek, εὶς σάρκα μίαν, i.e., into one flesh. This is commonly expounded of corporeal union. But it is better to take it more simply and purely as a Hebraism, signifying one human being, one civil person. For, by synecdoche flesh denotes the whole man. As therefore such a part of the body as the heart ought not to be separated from the body, so ought not a man to be separated from his wife. From hence it follows, moraliter, that a man and his wife ought so to love one another as the heart and the soul love the body to which they belong, and the body loves them. (See Eph. 5:28.) Again, from hence it follows that there is a common power over either body, that a man should have the same power over his wife’s body that he has over his own, and, vice versa, as the Apostle teaches (1 Cor. 7:4). I have said more on this subject in Gen 2:24.

Mat 19:7 They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away?

They say, &c. The Pharisees object to Christ, Why then did Moses command? In order to make their objection the stronger, they use the word command, whereas Moses, as Christ observes in the following verse, only permitted the bill of divorce. It was only that sort of command which is conditional, not absolute. Moses had commanded that if the Jews would put away their wives, they could only do so by giving a writing of divorcement. I have fully entered into every thing connected with this bill of divorce on Deu_4:1. We must here supply from S. Mark 10:3-4, that when the Pharisees asked Christ whether it were lawful to put away a wife, He first answered and said unto them, “what did Moses command you? And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.” Thus Christ as Matthew here has it in the fourth verse unfolds the original institution of marriage by God, and its indissolubility. Then the Pharisees rejoined, Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put her away? Jesus answered, Moses permitted this because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not so from the beginning. Thus by prefixing the words in Mark, and affixing those in Matthew, we show the agreement of the two Evangelists.

Mat 19:8 He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Moses…permitted. He alters the Pharisees word, command, into suffered, or permitted. Moses suffered you to put away your wives, when you hated them, lest if you could not divorce them, you should kill them. For so great was the hardness and carnality of your hearts that ye would rather put them to death than be without the pleasure of a new and desired marriage.

From the beginning. When man’s nature had become corrupted by sin, man changed and corrupted this institution of God, and gave occasion for divorce and polygamy.

Mat 19:9 And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.

And I say, &c. Christ used those words upon two occasions. 1. Publicly in this place to the Jews and the Pharisees. When He here promulgated His new law, by which He revoked the power of giving a bill of divorce, and brought back marriage to its primeval institution and indissolubility. 2. Shortly afterwards He repeated the words in private to his disciples. (Mark 10:10-12.)

I say, i.e., I enact, and as the Lawgiver of the New Law, I ordain, and bring back marriage to its original rectitude and steadfastness. And I declare that whosoever shall put away his wife and shall marry another shall be accounted, and shall be in fact an adulterer.

Except it be for fornication. That is, except on account of adultery. For what in those who are free is fornication, in the married is adultery. And this dissolves marriage quoad thorum, though not quoad vinculum. For the adulterer does not keep the faith which he gave to his spouse. Whence he may be put away by his spouse, according to the saying, “With him who has broken troth, let troth be broken.”

From this exception, the Greeks, according to the testimony of Guido the Carmelite (Tract. de Hæresibus), and modern heretics gather and conclude that if whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery; then, on the contrary, whosoever shall put away his wife on account of fornication, and shall marry another, does not commit adultery. Whence they are of opinion that marriage is dissolved by adultery, not only quoad thorum, but quoad vinculum, that under such circumstances a man may contract another marriage. Thus Luther, Calvin, Erasmus, and speaking generally, the Lutherans, Calvinists, Anabaptists, and among Catholics, Catharinus, and Cajetan. And so in practice the Greeks and heretics act. But this is an error condemned by the perpetual tradition of the Church, and by S. Paul (Rom 7:1, and 1 Cor 7:10-11), and expressly by the Council of Trent (Sess. 24. Con. 6, 7). To the argument deduced à contrario, Paul of Burgos, on this passage, (additione 2. ad Lyran.) replies by admitting the consequence, but adds that Christ was speaking only of the Old Law, in which on account of fornication a bill of divorce was allowed to be given. But there is this difficulty in such a reply, that Christ both here and in the fifth of Matthew expressly opposes His own words, that is the evangelical Law, to Moses and the Old Law; in fact He repeals that bill of divorce which Moses had allowed. Verses 8 and 9. “He saith unto them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Observe how plainly Christ opposes His own word to the sanction which Moses had given to the bill of divorce, and how He condemns whosoever makes use of it, as guilty of adultery.

I say therefore that it is better with S. Augustine (lib. 1. de adult. conjug. c. 9.) to take the word except negatively, so that the expression, except for the cause of fornication, means the same thing as apart from the cause of fornication. This is supported by the Greek and Syriac which have, not an adulteress. As though Christ only intended to affirm that a chaste and faithful wife might not be put away, but intended to say nothing about an adulterous wife, in order to escape the hatred of the Pharisees and the people, who were at that time used to divorce.

The word except, can be taken in its proper, exceptive sense, but it should be referred not to the words which immediately follow, and marry another, but only to those which preceded, whosoever shall put away his wife, so as to make an exception in the case of fornication. Then the words would be taken as follows, Whosoever shall put away his wife, which is not lawful, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery. The Ethiopic favours this view, translating as follows, Whosoever, on account of any other cause than on account of fornication, shall put away his wife, and marry another, is an adulterer. Similarly the Persian, Every man who puts away his wife, and not on account of adultery, and marries another, is an adulterer.

3. Most clearly and aptly from Theophylact and Augustine (lib. cont. Adamant, c. 3), you may refer this exception to both what precedes and what follows. Thus, Whoso shall put away his wife, unless for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery. He commits adultery, I say, both by putting away his wife, as well as by marrying another. That is, he is twice an adulterer. Christ gives an answer to both the questions put to Him, for the Pharisees had asked two. And both answers are true. For even though a man should only divorce a chaste wife, without marrying another, he commits adultery, both because he breaks the law of marriage, by violating one of its conditions by putting away an innocent wife, as well as by causing her to commit adultery, as Christ explains in Matt 5:32. For verbs of the Hebrew conjugation Kal, often in Hiphil, signify the double action as above. This is well known to Hebrew scholars. Whence from the contrary you can only infer as follows, whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery. Therefore he who puts away his wife on account of fornication, and marries another, does not indeed commit adultery by divorcing the adulteress, but by marrying another. It is the same form of expression as if you should say, “He who breaks his fast without a dispensation, and gets drunk, commits sin. Therefore he who does not fast, having a dispensation, does not sin by eating, but sins by getting drunk.”

I say, 2. Christ here concedes divorce to a man on account of the fornication of his wife, quoad thorum, but not the dissolution of marriage, so that he may marry another. This appears, 1. because Mark and Luke lay down a general proposition, and omit this exception. This is what Luke says,  Luke 16:18: “Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.” For he does her a great wrong, breaking the troth which he had given her.

You will say, why then does Matthew add this exception? I answer, because the Pharisees had virtually proposed two questions to Christ. The first was, whether it was lawful for any cause to divorce a wife? The second, whether when a wife was put away by a bill of divorce, the marriage was dissolved, and another might be entered upon? For they put away their wives that they may marry again. Christ then replies to both questions; and as it seems by means of two propositions. 1. Whoso shall put away his wife except for fornication, commits adultery. 2. Whoso shall marry another, commits adultery. For together with the bill of divorce he abolishes polygamy, which had hitherto been allowed. The pronoun whosoever must be repeated. Matthew, here as elsewhere studying conciseness, throws two sentences of Christ, each with its whosoever, into one. Hence that saying is true, “I labour to be brief, I become obscure.” The same thing is proved, 2. by what precedes, when Christ by the original institution of marriage, which fornication does not annul, proves that matrimony is altogether indissoluble. 3. Because in what follows, this exception is not to be understood, as if it were said, “And he who shall marry her that is put away, except for fornication, commits adultery.” For so she that is put away on account of fornication would be in a better position, with respect to another contract of marriage, than an innocent woman who has been divorced. 4. Because S. Paul so teaches (1 Cor 7:10-11), and the Fathers passim. SS. Jerome, Chrysostom, Bede, in this passage, S. Augustine in his two Books on Adultery, Innocent I. (Epist. ad Exuper.) Concil. Milev. (Can. 17). Forojuliense (Canon 10), Nannetense (Can. 10), Florentin. (in instruct. Armeniens.) Trident. (Sess. 14, Can. 6). Origen, in this passage (Tract. 7), animadverts severely upon certain bishops of his time, for conceding with Tertullian (lib. 4, cont. Marc.) and Ambrosiaster (in Cor. vii.), second nuptials to wives on account of the adultery of their husbands, saying that it is lawful for.the innocent spouse to put away an adulterous partner, and to marry another. The same license is given by the Council of Illiberis. (31 quæst. 1 cap. Si qua mulier.) Also in Concil. Aurelian 1, cap. 10. But the decrees of those Councils are either apocryphal, or else are cited imperfectly by Gratian.

Mat 19:10 His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry.

His disciples say, &c. Case, i.e., matter, business. So the Syriac translates, If the case of those who are married be thus, if the indissolubility of marriage be so great, if a man be so strictly bound to his wife, that he cannot put her away for anything except fornication, but must live with her, though she be odious, quarrelsome, deformed, nasty, and so on, and must have close connection with her until death, it is better not to marry a wife, as the Syriac has it. For the Greek γαμη̃σαι applies both to men and women.

Mat 19:11 Who said to them: All men take not this word, but they to whom it is given.

To whom it is given: Arabic, those who are given, viz., to God and continence. So in Religious Orders those who are converted are called given, i.e., to religion.

Take not this word: Origen and Nazianzen (Orat. 31.) translate Χωρου̃σι are not capable. And by capacity they mean a natural inclination to celibacy, which all have not. But it is better to translate with the Vulgate do not receive, or contain. As it were, narrow vessels do not receive into them, do not embrace so arduous a counsel as that of celibacy, but only those to whom is given by God this great gift of continency. Where observe, although all the faithful may not have the gift of continency, so that they have continence in act, as all the just have not the gift of perseverance, by which they actually persevere in justice, yet all the just have the gift of perseverance in such sense, that they may, if they will, persevere in God’s grace. Thus in like manner all the faithful have the gift of continence in the first instance. And by it they may contain if they will; viz., if they assiduously beg of God the grace of continence, and if they co-operate with that grace by guarding their eyes, by fleeing from sloth, and so on. Thus SS. Chrysostom, Origen, Theophylact, Euthymius, Jerome in this place, S. Augustine (in Psalm 138), S. Ambrose (lib. 3, de Viduis), Tertullian (lib. de Monog.), and others. Christ in this place, as well as S. Paul (1Cor 7:7), gives the counsel of continence to every believer. For nothing is counselled except what is in man’s power and good pleasure with God’s grace, which truly He offers and provides for all who ask it. It is otherwise with the gifts of prophecy, tongues, healing, miracles. For the grace of these God does not offer to every one, but only to a few of His elect for the common good of the faithful. Listen to S. Jerome, “It is given to those who have wished, who have laboured that they may receive.” So, too, Euthymius says, “It is given to those who ask, but not for mere asking, but to those who ask fervently and perseveringly. What is meant is that virginity is a gift of God, given to those who ask for it as they ought to ask.” So also Auctor Imperfecti, “When He says, to whom it is given, it is not meant that it is given to some and not to others, but He shows that unless we receive the help of grace, we have no power at all of ourselves. But grace is not refused to those who desire, for the Lord says, Ask and ye shall have.” And S. Chrysostom, “If it is a work of election, wherefore is it that He immediately said, Take not this word, &c.? It is that you may learn thoroughly the peculiar nature of this warfare, that it is not like a kind of necessity bestowed as it were at random. It is given to those who freely choose it. He spoke as He did in order that He might show the necessity of grace from above—which grace is provided for all who seek it, if we would come forth victors in this warfare.” S. Chrysostom adds that we ought not to be slothful in our resolution of continence, because some may fall from continence. Since soldiers falling in battle do not discourage their comrades, but rather stir them up to fight more valiantly. Lastly, the same S. Chrysostom suggests a consideration, by means of which celibacy is shown to be not only possible but easy to every one. “Consider with thyself,” he says, “that if thou wert a eunuch, either by nature, or by the wrong-doing of man, thou wouldst be deprived of these pleasures, and wouldst obtain no reward by being deprived of them. Give thanks therefore to God, because thou wilt obtain great rewards and bright crowns, if thou livest thus as they do without any rewards at all. Yea, indeed thou mayest do it much more easily, safely and pleasantly than they can, both because thou art strengthened by the hope of recompense, and because thou rejoicest in the consciousness of thy virtue, and art not tossed by such vast billows of desire. For the cutting off a member is not like the bridle of reason. yea verily, it is reason alone which restrains such waves as these we are speaking of. For I should not say that this sting of desire proceeds from the brain, or from the loins but from a lascivious mind, and from neglecting to watch over the thoughts.”

Mat 19:12 For there are eunuchs, who were born so from their mothers womb: and there are eunuchs, who were made so by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. He that can take, let him take it.

There are eunuchs, &c. Who when they might be husbands, become eunuchs for Christ’s sake, says S. Jerome. Christ here speaks of three sorts of eunuchs. 1. Those who are such by nature. 2. Those who have been made eunuchs artificially, that they may guard queens and noble matrons. 3. Those who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of Heaven’s sake. Christ here alludes to Isaiah lvi. 3, 4, 5, where the prophet foretells that there should be such eunuchs in Christ’s church, and promises them a name better than of sons and daughters, yea an everlasting name.

Made themselves eunuchs: This expression has two meanings. 1. That it is in our power with God’s grace to make ourselves eunuchs, i.e., chaste and celibate, and to keep so by a perpetual vow. This is the force of the verb, have made themselves, signifying a moral inability to beget children. If it were not so, He would have said, There are who make themselves eunuchs, or who endeavour to do so. But he says, have made themselves, i.e., have taken from themselves the power of generating, that is to say by a vow of continence. So S. Epiphan. (Hæres. 53), S. Fulgentius (lib. de fide ad Pet.).

Origen took these words literally. He mutilated himself out of his love of chastity. But he was wrong in doing so, both because such self-mutilation is unlawful, as well as because lust is not thereby quenched but inflamed. Hear S. Chrysostom: “When He says, Have made themselves eunuchs, He does not speak of the cutting off of members, but of the suppression of evil thoughts. For he who mutilates himself renders himself liable to a curse. Neither is concupiscence thereby assuaged, but is made more troublesome.” For eunuchs sin in thought, through the desire of lust, grieving that they cannot fulfil it. See what I have said on Sir 20:2, and Sir 39:21.

For the kingdom of Heaven, that by continence they may merit it. So Origen, Hilary, Chrysostom, Euthymius, and S. Augustine (de Virgin. cap. 23). Falsely, therefore, do the heretics expound for the kingdom of Heaven to mean for the sake of preaching. As though it meant, There are some who abstain from marriage that they may be more free to preach the Gospel, or that they may be free from the anxieties which matrimony brings with it. For continence is not only to be praised and desired for such reasons as those, but for its own sake; because it is a great virtue, and because the victory over himself, by which a man overcomes lust, raises his mind to meditate upon and follow after heavenly things. Wherefore chastity makes men angels.

He that is able, &c. Arabic, He that is able to carry it, let him carry it. Note here the evangelical counsel of celibacy, proposed, yea counselled, by Christ to all men, though not commanded. For these words, he that is able, &c., are those of one exhorting and animating to celibacy, say SS. Jerome and Chrysostom. Moreover, it is signified that as Christ gives this counsel, it is in our power to fulfil it, if we will invoke the grace of God, and co-operate with grace. Nor does the expression he that is able do away with the force of this; for all that this means is, that continence is a difficult thing. And he who is willing to put constraint upon himself, generously to withstand lust, to mount up to the lofty pinnacle of continence; let such an one embrace the same, let him receive it. All the faithful, then, have the power of continence, not proximate, but remote. So the Fathers already cited on verse 11. Hear S. Chrysostom, speaking in the name of all: “All, therefore, cannot receive it, because all do not wish. The palm is set before them: he who desires glory does not think of the labour. No one would conquer if all were afraid of danger.” Hear, too, S. Jerome (lib. 1, cont. Jovinian). “The master of the games proposes the reward. He invites to the course. He holds in His hand the prize of virginity. He points to the most pure fountain, and chants, Whoso thirsteth, let him come unto Me and drink. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” From these things it appears how foolish and carnal is Calvin’s exposition, which is as follows: “You, 0 ye Apostles, think that it is a good thing to live without a wife; but I forbid any one to attempt so to do unless he is certain that he can live without a wife.” For Christ does not forbid celibacy, but exhorts to it. Neither can any one be certain that he has the gift, except either he have a revelation from God—which is given to very few—or else by experience has had proof of his own continence. And how can a man be certain about his continence before he has made the trial? Still worse is what Luther taught—that it is as impossible for a man to be without a wife as to be without food or drink. No doubt it is impossible for the heretics, but not for the orthodox, who are strengthened by faith and the grace of Christ.

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Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 19:3-12

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 30, 2016

Ver l. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;2. And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.3. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, “Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?”4. And he answered and said unto them, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”7. They say unto him, “Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?”8. He said unto them, “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.”

Chrys., Hom., lxii: The Lord had before left Judaea because of their jealousy, but now He keeps Himself more to it, because His passion was near at hand. Yet does He not go up to Judaea itself, but into the borders of Judaea; whence it is said, “And it came to pass when Jesus had ended all these sayings, he departed from Galilee.”

Raban.: Here then He begins to relate what He did, taught, or suffered in Judaea. At first beyond Jordan eastward, afterwards on this side Jordan when He came to Jericho, Bethphage, and Jerusalem; whence it follows, “And He came into the coasts of Judaea beyond the Jordan.”

Pseudo-Chrys., [ed. note: The Latin commentary that goes under the name of Chrysostom’s resumes again at the first verse of this chapter]: As the righteous Lord of all, who loves these servants so as not to despise those.

Raban.: It should be known, that the whole territory of the Israelites was called Judaea, to distinguish it from other nations. But its southern portion, inhabited by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, was called Judaea proper, to distinguish it from other districts in the same province as Samaria, Galilee, Decapolis, and the rest. It follows, “And great multitudes followed him.”

Pseudo-Chrys.: They were conducting Him forth, as the young children of a father going on a far journey. And He setting forth as a father, left them as pledges of His love the healing of their diseases, as it is said, “And he healed them.”

Chrys.: It should be also observed, that the Lord is not either ever delivering doctrine, or ever working miracles, but one while does this, and again turns to that; that by His miracles faith might be given to what He said, and by His teaching might be shewed the profit of those things which He wrought.

Origen: The Lord healed the multitudes beyond Jordan, where baptism was given. For all are truly healed from spiritual sickness in baptism; and many follow Christ as did these multitudes, but not rising up as Matthew, who arose and followed the Lord.

Hilary: Also He cures the Galileans on the borders of Judaea, that He might admit the sins of the Gentiles to that pardon which was prepared for the Jews.

Chrys.: For indeed Christ so healed men, as to do good both to themselves, and through them to many other. For these men’s healing was to others the occasion of their knowledge of God; but not to the Pharisees, who were only hardened by the miracles.

Whence it follows; “And the Pharisees cause to him, tempting him, and saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?”

Jerome: That they might have Him as it were between the horns of a syllogism, so that, whatever answer He should make, it would lie open to cavil. Should He allow a wife to be put away for any cause, and the marriage of another, he would seem to contradict Himself as a preacher of chastity. Should He answer that she may not be put away for any cause whatsoever, He will be judged to have spoken impiously, and to make against the teaching of Moses and of God.

Chrys.: Observe their wickedness even in the way of putting their question. The Lord had above disputed concerning this law, but they now ask Him as though He had spoken nothing thereof, supposing He had forgot what He had before delivered in this matter.

Pseudo-Chrys.: But, as when you see one much pursuing the acquaintance of physicians, you know that he is sick, so, when you see either man or woman enquiring concerning divorce, know that that man is lustful and that woman unchaste. For chastity has pleasure in wedlock, but desire is tormented as though under a slavish bondage therein. And knowing that they had no sufficient cause to allege for their putting away their wives, save their own lewdness, they feigned many divers causes. They feared to ask Him for what cause, lest they should be tied down within the limits of fixed and certain causes; and therefore they asked if it were lawful for every cause; for they knew that appetite knows no limits, and cannot hold itself within the bounds of one marriage, but the more it is indulged the more it is kindled.

Origen: Seeing the Lord thus tempted, let none of His disciples who is set to teach think it hard if he also be by some tempted. Howbeit, He replies to His tempters with the doctrines of piety.

Jerome: But He so frames His answer as to evade their snare. He brings in the testimony of Holy Writ, and the law of nature, and opposing God’s first sentence to this second, “He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female?”

This is written in the beginning of Genesis. This teaches that second marriages are to be avoided, for He said not male and females, which was what was sought by the putting away of the first, but, male and female, implying only one tie of wedlock.

Raban.: For by the wholesome design of God it was ordained that a man should have in the woman a part of his own body, and should not look upon as separate from himself that which he knew was formed out of himself.

Pseudo-Chrys.: If then God created the male and female out of one, to this end that they should be one, why then henceforth were not they born man and wife at one birth, as it is with certain insects? Because God created male and female for the continuance of the species, yet is He ever a lover of chastity, and promoter of continence. Therefore did He not follow this pattern in all kinds, to the end that, if any man choose to marry, he may know what is, according to the first disposition of the creation, the condition of man and wife; but if he choose not to marry, he shall not be under necessity to marry by the circumstances of his birth, lest he should by his continence be the destruction of the other who was not willing to be continent; for which same cause God forbids that after being joined in wedlock one should separate if the other be unwilling.Chrys.: But not by the law of creation only, but also by the practice of the law, He shews that they ought to be joined one and one, and never put asunder; “And he said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife.”

Jerome: In like manner He says “his wife,” and not wives, and adds expressly, “and they twain shall be one flesh.” For it is the reward of marriage that one flesh, namely in the offspring, is made of two.

Gloss. interlin.: Or, “one flesh,” that is in carnal connexion.

Pseudo-Chrys.: If then because the wife is made of the man, and both one of one flesh, a man shall leave his father and his mother, then there should be yet greater affection between brothers and sisters, for these come of the same parents, but man and wife of different. But this is saying too much, because the ordinance of God is of more force than the law of nature. For God’s precepts are not subject to the law of nature, but nature bends to the precepts of God. Also brethren are born of one, that they shouldst seek out different roads; but the man and the wife are born of different persons, that they should coalesce in one.

The order of nature also follows the appointment of God. For as is the sap in trees, so is affection in man. The sap ascends from the roots into the leaves, and passes forth into the seed. Therefore parents love their children, but are not so loved of them, for the desire of a man is not towards his parents, but towards the sons whom he has begot; and this is what, is said, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.”

Chrys.: See the wisdom of the Teacher. Being asked, “Is it lawful,” He said not straight, It is not lawful, lest they should be troubled, but establishes it through a proof. For God made them from the beginning male and female, and not merely joined them together, but bade them quit father and mother; and not bade the husband merely approach his wife, but be joined to her, shewing by this manner of speaking the inseparable bond. He even added a still closer union, saying, “And they twain, shall be one flesh.”

Aug., Gen. ad lit., ix. 19: Whereas Scripture witnesses that these words were said by the first man, and the Lord here declares that God spake them, hence we should understand that by reason of the ecstasy which had passed upon Adam, he was enabled to speak this as a prophecy.

Remig.: The Apostle says [margin note: Eph 5:32] that this is a mystery in Christ and the Church; for the Lord Jesus Christ left His Father when He came down from heaven to earth; and He left His mother, that is, the synagogue, because of its unbelief; and clave unto His wife, that is, the Holy Church, and they two are one flesh, that is, Christ and the Church are one body.

Chrys.: When He had brought forward the words and facts of the old law, He then interprets it with authority, and lays down a law, saying, “Therefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.” For as those who love one another spiritually are said to be one soul, “And all they that believed, had one heart and one soul,” [Acts 4:32] so husband and wife who love each other after the flesh, are said to be one flesh. And as it is a wretched thing to cut the flesh, so is it an unjust thing to put away a wife.

Aug., City of God, book xiv, ch. 22: For they are called one, either from their union, or from the derivation of the woman, who was taken out of the side of the man.

Chrys.: He brings in God yet again, saying, “What God has joined, let no man put asunder,” shewing that it is against both nature and God’s law to put away a wife; against nature, because one flesh is therein divided; against law, because God has joined and forbidden to sunder them.

Jerome: God has joined by making man and woman one flesh; this then man may not put asunder, but God only. Man puts asunder, when from desire of a second wife the first is put away; God puts asunder, who also had joined, when by consent for the service of God we so have our wives as though we had them not. [marg. note: 1 Cor 7:29]

Aug., Cont. Faust., xix, 29: Behold now out of the books of Moses it is proved to the Jews that a wife may not be put away. For they thought that they were doing according to the purport of Moses’ law when they did put them away. This also we learn hence by the testimony of Christ Himself, that it was God who made it thus, and joined them male and female; which when the Manichaeans deny, they are condemned, resisting the Gospel of Christ.

Pseudo-Chrys.: This sentence of chastity seemed hard to these adulterers; but they could not make answer to the argument. Howbeit, they will not submit to the truth, but betake themselves for shelter to Moses, as men having a bad cause fly to some powerful personage, that where justice is not, his countenance may prevail; “They say unto him, Why did Moses then command, to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?”

Jerome: Here they reveal the cavil which they had prepared; albeit the Lord had not given sentence of Himself, but had recalled to their minds ancient history, and the commands of God.

Chrys.: Had the Lord been opposed to the Old Testament, He would not thus have contended in Moses’ behalf, nor have gone about to shew that what was his was in agreement with the things of old. But the unspeakable wisdom of Christ made answer and excuse for these in this manner, “He saith unto them, Moses for the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives.” By this He clears Moses from their charge, and retorts it all upon their own head.

Aug.: For how great was that hardness? When not even the intervention of a bill of divorce, which gave room for just and prudent men to endeavour to dissuade, could move them to renew the conjugal affection. And with what wit do the Manichaeans blame Moses, as severing wedlock by a bill of divorce, and commend Christ as, on the contrary, confirming its force? Whereas according to their impious science they should have praised Moses for putting asunder what the devil had joined, and found fault with Christ who riveted the bonds of the devil.

Chrys.: At last, because what He had said was severe, He goes back to the old law, saying, “From the beginning it was not so.”

Jerome: What He says is to this purpose. Is it possible that God should so contradict Himself, as to command one thing at first, and after defeat His own ordinance by a new statute? Think not so; but, whereas Moses saw that through desire of second wives who should be richer, younger, or fairer, that the first were put to death, or treated. ill, he chose rather to suffer separation, than the continuance of hatred and assassination. Observe moreover that He said not God suffered you, but, Moses; shewing that it was, as the Apostle speaks, a counsel of man, not a command of God. [marg. note: 1 Cor 7:12]

Pseudo-Chrys.: Therefore said He well, Moses suffered, not commanded. For what we command, that we ever wish; but when we suffer, we yield against our will, because we have not the power to put full restraint upon the evil wills of men. He therefore suffered you to do evil that you might not do worse; thus in suffering this he was not enforcing the righteousness of God, but taking away its sinfulness from a sin; that while you did it according to His law, your sin should not appear sin.

Ver 9. And I say unto you, “Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.”

Chrys.: Having stopped their mouths, He now set forth the Law with authority, saying, “But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and marrieth another, committeth adultery.

Origen: Perhaps some one will say, that Jesus in thus speaking, suffered wives to be put away for the same cause that Moses suffered them, which He says was for the hardness of the hearts of the Jews. But to this it is to be answered, that if by the Law an adulteress is stoned, that sin is not to be understood as the shameful thing for which Moses suffers a writing of divorcement; [Deu_24:1] for in a cause of adultery it was not lawful to give a writing of divorcement. But Moses perhaps calls every sin in a woman a shameful thing, which if it be found in her, a bill of divorcement is written against her. But we should enquire, If it is lawful to put away a wife for the cause of fornication only, what is it if a woman be not an adulteress, but have done any other heinous crime; have been found a poisoner, or to have murdered her children? The Lord has explained this matter in another place, saying, “Whoso putteth her away, except for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery,” [Mat_5:32] giving her an opportunity of a second marriage.

Jerome: It is fornication alone which destroys the relationship of the wife; for when she has divided one flesh into two, and has separated herself by fornication from her husband, she is not to be retained, lest she should bring her husband also under the curse, which Scripture has spoken, “He that keepeth an adulteress is a fool and wicked.” [Pro_18:23]

Pseudo-Chrys.: For as he is cruel and unjust that puts away a chaste wife, so is he a fool and unjust that retains an unchaste; for in that he hides the guilt of his wife, he is an encourager of foulness.

Aug., De Conjug. Adult., ii, 9: For a reunion of the wedlock, even after actual commission of adultery, is neither shameful nor difficult, where there is an undoubted remission of sin through the keys of the kingdom of heaven; not that after being divorced from her husband an adulteress should be called back again, but that after her union with Christ she should no longer be called an adulteress.

Pseudo-Chrys.: For every thing by whatsoever causes it is created, by the same is it destroyed. It is not matrimony but the will that makes the union; and therefore it is not a separation of bodies but a separation of wills that dissolves it. He then who puts away his wife and does not take another is still her husband; for though their bodies be not united, their wills are united. But when he takes another, then he manifestly puts his wife away; wherefore the Lord says not, Whoso putteth away his wife, but, “Whoso marrieth another, committeth adultery.”

Raban.: There is then but one carnal cause why a wife should be put away, that is, fornication; and but one spiritual, that is, the fear of God. But there is no cause why while she who has been put away is alive, another should be married.

Jerome: For it might be that a man might falsely charge an innocent wife, and for the sake of another woman might fasten an accusation upon her. Therefore it is commanded so to put away the first, that a second be not married while the first is yet alive. Also because it might happen that by the same law a wife would divorce her husband, it is also provided that she take not another husband; and because one who had become an adulteress would have no further fear of disgrace, it is commanded that she marry not another husband. But if she do marry another, she is in the guilt of adultery; wherefore it follows, “And whoso marrieth her that is put away, committeth adultery.”

Gloss. ord.: He says this to the terror of him that would take her to wife, for the adulteress would have no fear of disgrace.

Ver 10. His disciples say unto him, “If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.”11. But he said unto them, “All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.12. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.”

Jerome: A wife is a grievous burden, if it is not permitted to put her away except for the cause of fornication. For what if she be a drunkard, an evil temper, or of evil habits, is she to be kept? The Apostles, perceiving this burdensomeness, express what they feel; “His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.”

Chrys.: For it is a lighter thing to contend with himself, and his own lust, than with an evil woman.

Pseudo-Chrys.: And the Lord said not, It is good, but rather assented that it is not good. However, He considered the weakness of the flesh; “But he said unto them, All cannot receive this saying;” that is, All are not able to do this.

Jerome: But let none think, that wherein He adds, “save they to whom it is given,” that either fate or fortune is implied, as though they were virgins only whom chance has led to such a fortune. For that is given to those who have sought it of God, who have longed for it, who have striven that they might obtain it.

Pseudo-Chrys.: But all cannot obtain it, because all do not desire to obtain it. The prize is before them; he who desires the honour will not consider the toil. None would ever vanquish, if all shunned the struggle. Because then some have fallen from their purpose of continence, we ought not therefore to faint from that virtue; for they that fall in the battle do not slay the rest.

That He says therefore, “Save they to whom it is given,” shews that unless we receive the aid of grace, we have not strength. But this aid of grace is not denied to such as seek it, for the Lord says above, “Ask; and ye shall receive.”

Chrys.: Then to shew that this is possible, He says, “For there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men;” as much as to say, Consider, had you been so made of others, you would have lost the pleasure without gaining the reward.

Pseudo-Chrys.: For as the deed without the will does not constitute a sin; so a righteous act is not in the deed unless the will go with it. That therefore is honourable continence, not which mutilation of body of necessity enforces, but which the will of holy purpose embraces.

Jerome: He speaks of three kinds of eunuchs, of whom two are carnal, and one spiritual. One, those who are so born of their mother’s womb; another, those whom enemies or courtly luxury has made so; a third, those who have made themselves so for the kingdom of heaven, and who might have been men, but become eunuchs for Christ. To them the reward is promised, for to the others whose continence was involuntary, nothing is due.

Hilary: The cause in one item he assigns nature; in the next violence, and in the last his own choice, in him, namely, that determined to be so from hope of the kingdom of heaven.

Pseudo-Chrys.: For they are born such, just as others are born having six or four fingers. For if God according as He formed our bodies in the beginning, had continued the same order unchangeably, the working of God would have been brought into oblivion among men. The order of nature is therefore changed at times from its nature, that God the framer of nature may be had in remembrance.Jerome, cf Origen in loc.: Or we may say otherwise. The eunuchs from their mothers’ wombs are they whose nature is colder, and not prone to lust. And they that are made so of men are they whom physicians made so, or they whom worship of idols has made effeminate, or who from the influence of heretical teaching pretend to chastity, that they may thereupon claim truth for their tenets.

But none of them obtain the kingdom of heaven, save he only who has become a eunuch for Christ’s sake. Whence it follows, “He that is able to receive it, let him receive it;” let each calculate his own strength, whether he is able to fulfil the rules of virginity and abstinence. For in itself continence is sweet and alluring, but each man must consider his strength, that he only that is able may receive it.

This is the voice of the Lord exhorting and encouraging on His soldiers to the reward of chastity, that he who can fight might fight and conquer and triumph.

Chrys.: When he says, “Who have made themselves eunuchs,” He does not mean cutting off of members, but a putting away of evil thoughts. For he that cuts off a limb is under a curse, for such an one undertakes the deeds of murderers, and opens a door to Manichaeans who depreciate the creature, and cut off the same members as do the Gentiles. For to cut off members is of the temptation of daemons. But by the means of which we have spoken desire is not diminished but made more urgent; for it has its source elsewhere, and chiefly in a weak purpose and an unguarded heart. For if the heart be well governed, there is no danger from the natural motions; nor does the amputation of a member bring such peacefulness and immunity from temptation as does a bridle upon the thoughts.

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