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 May 17th, 2017

Father Callan’s Commentary on Ephesians 6:21-24

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 17, 2017

THE MISSION OF TYCHICUS

These verses (Eph 6:21-22) occur almost verbatim in Col, 4:7-8.

Eph 6:21. But that you also may know the things that concern me, and what I am doing, Tychicus, my dearest brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make known to you all things:
Eph 6:22. Whom I have sent to you for this same purpose, that you may know
the things concerning us, and that he may comfort your hearts.

You also. This phrase is understood to imply that Tychicus had visited others before delivering this letter to its readers, namely, the Colossians, and consequently it is concluded that the letter to the Colossians was written before this one.

Tychicus was a native of Asia Minor, perhaps of Ephesus (Acts 20:4; 2 Tim. 4:12). His name is found in inscriptions of Asia Minor and Rome, on coins of Magnesia, thirteen miles from Ephesus, and of Magnesia by Mt. Sipylus, where the Bishop of Ephesus now resides, thirty-eight miles from his titular see (see Hitchcock, Ephesians, p. 506; Lightfoot, Colossians, p. 234).

Whom I have sent, an epistolary aorist.

Concerning us, i.e., Paul and his companions in Rome.

That he may comfort your hearts, distressed by my imprisonment, and perhaps impending death.

BLESSING

Eph 6:23. Peace be to the brethren and charity with faith, from God the Father,
and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph 6:24. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruption.
Amen.

Contrary to his custom St. Paul gives his benediction to third persons, “brethren,” instead of second persons, “you.”

With faith goes back to “charity,” by which it is informed, and to “peace,” which is its fruit, as a gift from the Holy Ghost. The single preposition before “God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” shows that both constitute the common source of supernatural peace and charity.

With all them that love is a circumlocution for “saints,” and it occurs only here.

In incorruption. Literally, “in incorruptness,” i.e., with an enduring, immortal love; the expression refers back to “love.” The weight of evidence seems to be against the retention of “Amen” here, though it makes a fitting close to so glorious an Epistle.

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Father Callan’s Commentary on Ephesians 4:25-32

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 17, 2017

THE VIRTUES CHRISTIANS MUST PRACTISE AND THE VICES THEY
MUST AVOID

A Summary of Ephesians 4:25-6:9~The Apostle is now going to show In a practical way just what it means for Christians to have put on the new man; that is, he is going to apply more in detail to Christian life and conduct the principles he has laid down. He will treat first of precepts that are pertinent to all Christians, to Christian society in
general (Eph 4:25—5:21), and then of precepts that regard particular members of the Christian family, that regulate the Christian home (Eph 5:22—6:9). In the remaining verses of the present Chapter he speaks of some of the principal vices which the mutual charity of Christians forbids, and of some of the virtues which that same charity enjoins upon the members of the Church.

Eph 4:25. Wherefore putting away lying, speak ye the truth every man with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.

Wherefore, i.e., since you have put off the old man and put on the new man who is characterized by justice and holiness, you must be on your guard against falling back into the sins of your former life; and first of all, you must put “away lying,” because this is so injurious to the neighbor, whom we are bound not to injure but to assist, as being all members of the one mystical body of Christ. Lying injures not only the neighbor, but oneself also, because we are all members of the same body, and that which injures one part of the body is felt in all the parts; the injury of the part reacts on the whole.

Eph 4:26. Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger;
Eph 4:27. Give not place to the devil.

Another sin to be avoided is unreasonable anger, that is, anger which springs from wounded personal feelings rather than from repugnance at something objectively wrong, or which is out of proportion to the objective harm done.

Be angry, and sin not. These words are from Ps. 4:5, cited according to the LXX. The meaning is: “If you have occasion to be angry, be careful that your anger does not become sinful.”

Let not the sun, etc. This is a proverbial expression, and it refers not to the anger but to that which caused the anger in question. The meaning is that the cause of anger should be removed and the offence given should be repaired as soon as possible. The Jewish day closed with the sunset.

Give no place to the devil. Excessive and prolonged anger affords an opportunity for the devil to act, and to excite in the soul feelings of hatred, revenge, and the like. To agree with the Greek, there should be no full stop at the end of verse 26, and verse 27 should read: “Neither give place, etc.”

Eph 4:28. He that stole, let him now steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that suffereth need.

The next prohibition is not to steal; on the contrary, let those who through idleness or laziness were accustomed to steal as pagans, or are now stealing as Christians, do some good manual work as a remedy against this vice and as a means of earning something to be given to those in need, in reparation for goods ill-gotten in the past.

Stole is present tense in Greek, as if to imply that some among the Christians had not yet given up their pagan habit of stealing.

Eph 4:29. Let no evil speech proceed from your mouth; but that which is good, to the edification of faith, that it may administer grace to the hearers.

The Apostle now turns to the conversation of Christians, prohibiting foul speech of every kind, and enjoining “that which is good, etc.” (i.e., that which is calculated to edify the neighbor), so “that it may administer, etc.” (i.e., that it may be an occasion of grace to those who hear it).

Evil. Literally, “rotten,” which fitly described much of the talk that was common in heathen society.

To the edification of faith. Better, according to the authority of the best MSS., “to the building of the need,” i.e., as necessity requires, according to the demands of place, time, and person (St„ Jerome).

Grace here is understood by Theodoret to refer to that talk which is agreeable and acceptable to the hearers; but it is better to understand it in the ordinary Pauline sense of supernatural grace, which will also include the other meaning.

Eph 4:30. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God: whereby you were sealed unto the day of redemption.

Another reason for avoiding foul speech is that the Holy Ghost may not be grieved, “whereby” (i.e., in whom and by whom) both the speaker and the hearer of polluting speech “were sealed” at the time of their conversion, when they received the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation, both of which were usually conferred together in the early Church.

Unto the day of redemption, i.e., until the general resurrection, when we shall take full possession of our redemption. See on Eph 1:14.

Eph 4:31. Let all bitterness, and anger, and indignation, and clamor, and blasphemy, be put away from you, with all malice.

In this final prohibition St. Paul strikes at the root of the different vices he has been enumerating: this root is “malice,” of which those other sins were the manifestations.

Bitterness is an aversion arising from prolonged anger; it is akin to sulkiness.

Anger is a transient outburst of passion, whereas indignation, or wrath, is a settled or chronic condition including the purpose of revenge.

Clamor, as here meant, is a violent and angry assertion of one’s real or supposed rights and wrongs.

Blasphemy is taken literally from the Greek, but it would be better to translate it in this passage by “reviling,” since there is question now of evil speech, not against God but against man.

Malice, i.e., malevolence or the desire to injure, is the root of the sins just mentioned. Compare the parallel passage in Col. 3:8.

Eph 4:32. And be ye kind one to another; merciful, forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you in Christ,

The Apostle has just given some of the sins by which charity is wounded; so now he will mention some of the opposite virtues by which charity is preserved and exercised, adding the motive for the practice of these virtues. He would have his readers be “kind” (i.e., sweet and courteous to one another), “merciful” (i.e., tenderhearted), “forgiving” (i.e., ready to pardon one another’s oflFences), and all this because “God hath forgiven” (or better, “did forgive”) them at the time of their conversion, “in Christ” (i.e., through the merits of Christ). See parallel passage in Col. 3:12-13.

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