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

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

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 6, 2016



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.


Navarre Bible Commentary on Amos 6:1a, 4-7.

My Notes on Amos 6:1a, 4-7. On entire chapter.

Word-Sunday Notes on Amos 6:1a, 4-7.


Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 146.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 146.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 146.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 146.

Word-Sunday Notes on Psalm 146.

My Notes on Psalm 146.


St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:11-16.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:11-16.

Pending: Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:11-16.

Word-Sunday;s Notes on 1 Timothy 6:11-16.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Timothy 6:11-16.

Homilist’s Catechism on 1 Timothy 6:11-16.


Aquinas’ Carena Aurea on Luke 16:19-31.

Asterius of Amasea’s First Discourse on Luke 16:19-31.

St Cyril of Alexandria: Two Homiletic Commentaries on Luke 16:19-31.

First Discourse of St John Chrysostom on Luke 16:19-31.

Second Discourse of St John Chrysostom on Luke 16:19-31.

Third Discourse of St John Chrysostom on Luke 16:19-31.

Fourth Discourse of St John Chrysostom on Luke 16:19-31.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 16:19-31.

Word-Sunday Notes on Luke 16:19-31.

Dives and Lazarus: A Story of Personal Relationships.

Pope Benedict on the Proper Use of Riches.

Homilist’s Catechism on Luke 16:19-31.


Sacred Page Blog: Does it Matter How We Treat Others? Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma examines the readings.

Thoughts From the Early Church. Excerpt by St John Chrysostom.

Scripture in Depth. Succinctly examines all the readings.

Let the Scriptures Speak. Fr. Dennis Hamm. Looks at the images and ironies found in the parable.

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


Video: Lazarus and the Realm of the Dead. Catholic biblical scholar Dr. Brant Pitre looks at the readings.

Audio: Sunday Bible Reflections: A Great Chasm. Dr. Scott Hahn.

Video: The Word Made Clear. Catholic biblical scholar Fr. James McIlhone. Also treats of the parable of the unjust steward and the sayings on the right use of wealth.

Audio: Parables of Sin, Repentance, and Faith. Looks at chapters 15-17.

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

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

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 10, 2014

Mat 18:21  Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Mat 18:22  Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.

Here we have first a statement of doctrine, vv. 21, 22; secondly, its illustration by means of a parable, vv.23-35.

Doctrine on forgiveness. This is not merely the addition of a new topic of instruction [first fraternal correction, next fraternal forgiveness ; cf. Schegg]; nor is it a mere explanation of the degree of forgiveness the necessity of which is taught in the foregoing passage; nor is it a mere supplement to the preceding doctrine on fraternal correction; nor can the proper nexus between the preceding passage and the present be found in Luke 17:4 (Maldonado, Lapide); but we have here, as it were, a third step in our duties to our neighbor: first, he must be kept from erring; secondly, he must be corrected after erring; thirdly, he must be kindly received and forgiven on his return.

Then came Peter unto him and said, as the mouthpiece of the apostles [cf. Euthymius]. Till seven times is selected by Peter, either because it is a holy number [cf. Gen 4:15 ; Lev 26:21; Prov 24:16], or because it is about double what the scribes allowed; for according to the Rabbis it is dangerous to forgive twice, and not allowed to forgive four times [Yoma fol. 86, 2; Schottgen, Wunsche, p. 219; Ed. ii. p. 125; cf. Amos 2:1; Job 33:29], so that Peter must have considered seven times as something most liberal [cf. Chrysostom,  Euthymius]. The rendering seventy times seven times  [Theophilus, Jerome, Bede Baberi, Albert, etc)is more faithful to the original text and more mindful of the Hebrew manner of using multiples [cf. Dan 7:10; Rev 5:11 ; etc.] than the rendering “seventy-seven times ” [Origen,  Augustine serm. 83, 3; Bisping Ewald, etc], which seems to be based on symbolic considerations and on Gen 4:24.

Mat 18:23  Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants.
Mat 18:24  And when he had begun to take the account, one as brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents.

Parable: Therefore denotes that on account of its doctrine on forgiveness the kingdom of heaven is illustrated by the following parable [cf. Euthymius, Jerome]. Literally the Greek text  may be translated “royal man” or “human king” instead of king, because the Hebrews denoted an earthly king by “king of flesh and blood” so as to distinguish him from the king of heaven and earth fcf. Wunsche, p. 219]. Servants are not slaves, but all -the royal officers filling places of trust, and according to Oriental terminology they include all the subjects of the king, even the ministers of state . At the time of our Lord the Jews calculated according to the Attic talent, so that ” ten thousand talents ” were equivalent to about $12,000,000, or sixty million francs. or 2,250,000 pounds. If the Hebrew talent had been in use, the amount would have been nearly twice as great. The enormous debt serves to impress one with the grievousness of guilt contracted by sin.

Mat 18:25  And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Mat 18:26  But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:27  And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt.

His lord commanded that he should be sold, as was allowed by the old Roman law, by the custom of Oriental despots [cf. Herod, iii. 119], and probably also by Jewish law [cf. 2 Kings 4:1; Job 24:9], though Ex 22:2 treats of thieves, and Lev 25:39, 47 of one’s selling one’s self either to an Israelite or a stranger in case of need. The threatened punishment was the utmost that could be inflicted [Maldonado], and the lord probably intended only to induce the servant to have recourse to supplication [Chrysostom]. That servant falling down acknowledges his indebtedness, and in his affliction promises more than he can hope to accomplish; he is forgiven, not because there is hope that he can gain the sum of money he owes [cf. Orig.], but on account of his good will [Chrysostom]. The lord . . . forgave him the debt, thus granting more than the servant had dared to ask for, just as God acts with us [cf. Chrysostom, Theopylact]; such a donation was not wholly against the custom of Oriental princes whose prodigality is well known; even Roman emperors were at times guilty of extravagance: Nero, e. g., allowed the Persian prince Tiridates during his visit to Rome daily 200,000 drachmas, and on his departure the emperor gave him a present of fifty million drachmas [Dio Chrysostom 63, 2, 6 ; Suetonius  Nero, 60; Tacitus, h. i. 20].

Mat 18:28  But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow-servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, he throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest.
Mat 18:29  And his fellow-servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
Mat 18:30  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.
Mat 18:31  Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came, and told their lord all that was done.
Mat 18:32  Then his lord called him: and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me:
Mat 18:33  Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee?
Mat 18:34  And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt.

An hundred pence is equivalent to about $16-20, or 3-4 pounds; his fellow-servant’s debt amounts, therefore, to about the 600,000th part of his own. He throttled him  does not mean “he dragged him before the judge”, but he ill- treated him.”   His fellow-servant falling down, besought him ” so as to recall his own wretched condition from which he had escaped [verse 26, cf. Origen]. His fellowservants, the fellows of both servants, seeing what was [being] done, were very much grieved . . . and told their lord [exactly] all that was [had been] done. Chrysostom and Euthymius develop the guilt of the servant; for though there was great inequality between his own and his fellow-servant’s indebtedness, and great equality between his and his friend’s supplication, there was the greatest difference between his cruelty and his lord’s mercy. The lord first rebukes the servant for his wickedness; secondly, he recalls the benefit bestowed on him; thirdly, he infers the duty of the servant towards his fellow-servant [Thomas], a duty not indeed to forgive the debt, but at least to have compassion also on thy fellow-servant [Cajetan], a duty not springing from justice, but from equity [Dionysius Cajetan Sylveri; cf. Lapide]; fourthly, his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturer, not merely to the prison, but to the place in which according to Roman custom the debtors were subjected to corporal chastisement [cf. Livius ii. 23 ; Gellius, noct. att. xx. 1] in order to extort their hidden treasures or to move their friends to compassion and to payment in their stead. Since neither of these events could be expected according to the text of the parable, and since the servant himself could not hope ever to pay his debt, the clause  until he paid all his debt does not state a mere condition, nor does it prescind from the future payment or non-payment [cf. Keil], nor does it imply that the payment was made, but it denotes simply endless torture for the ungrateful debtor [Chrysostom, Euthymius, Theophylact, Paschasius, Thomas, Maldonado, Lapide, Baronius, Calmet, Bisping].

Mat 18:35  So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts  or in all sincerity [cf. Jerome; Matt 6:12-15]. In this authentic explanation of the parable we are taught, first, that our sins against God are infinitely greater and more numerous than our neighbors’ offences against us; secondly, that God will not extend his mercy to us, if we are not merciful to our neighbor [Euthymius]; thirdly, that we must always be ready to forgive our neighbor. The other details of the parable, the selling of wife and children [verse 25], the sadness of the fellow-servants [verse 31], and the recall on the part of the king of his former benefit [verse 34] are mere embellishments; the text does not therefore show either that on our committing a grievous sin of inclemency towards our neighbor, our former sins, already forgiven, revive as to their guilt and their punishment [cf. Origen, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Aug. serm. 83, 6, 7 ; de bapt. c. Donat. i. 12, n. 20 ; iii. 13 ; Gregory dial, lib. iv. c. 60; Bede, Rabanus, Paschasius], or that the former sins revive at least improperly in the new sin, since its malice is increased by the ingratitude we show for our own forgiveness [Thomas. 3 p. qu. 88 a. 2; Cajetan, Maldonado, Lapide]. The irrevocability of God’s favors is therefore not touched in the parable [cf. Thomas. 3 p. qu. 88, a. 1,3; Suarez. in 3 p. qu. 88, disp. 13]

“When Jesus had ended these words” is both a form of transition [cf. Mt. 7:28; 11:1; 13:53] and a mark that the Galilean ministry has reached its end [cf. Mk. 10:1; Lk. 9:51]. “He departed from Galilee,” as he had done several times previously [cf. Mt. 23:37]; “and came into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan,” i. e. he came into the coasts beyond Jordan, and by this way he proceeded into Judea [Orig.; cf. Mk. 10:1; Mt. 4:15, 25], though some cities beyond Jordan were reckoned as belonging to Judea [Ptolem. 5, 16, 9]. That Jesus did not omit his works of charity on account of the incredulity of the masses, is clear from the fact that “great multitudes followed him, and he healed them there.”


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

Online Resources Concerning Pope St Gregory the Great

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 1, 2013

Be not anxious about what you have, but about who you are~Pope St Gregory the Great

Be not anxious about what you have, but about who you are~Pope St Gregory the Great

  The Pastoral Rule in Four Books. By Pope St Gregory the Great.

Audio version of the Pastoral Rule.

The Letters of Pope St Gregory the Great. In 14 books.

The Dialogues of Pope St Gregory the Great:

Book 1. Book 2. Book 3. Book 4.

Moral on the Book of Job. Anglican translation.

Vol. 1. Vol. 2. Vol 3. Vol. 4.

Pope Benedict XVI on Pope St Gregory the Great:

Talk 1. Talk 2.

A Life of St Gregory the Great.


Posted in Books, fathers of the church | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

My Notes on Exodus 2:1-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 14, 2013

As is usually the case I did not have a lot of time to devote to these notes. I’ve included a few suggested resources at the end of the post for those seeking more.

1 AFTER this there went a man of the house of Levi; and took a wife of his own kindred.
2 And she conceived, and bore a son: and seeing him a goodly child, hid him three months. 

After this refers to the events narrated in chapter one, especially Pharaoh’s attempts at subduing, enslaving, and reducing the number of God’s people. His actions have laid the foundation for much of the story of Moses early life and prophetic/leadership career. Pharaoh’s attempt to get the Hebrews to kill of their own male children via the Hebrew mid-wives proved unsuccessful (Ex 1:15-21), and so the Pharaoh appealed to his own people (Ex 1:22).

The went a man of the house of Levi; and he took a wife of his own kindred. The parents of Moses are not named until Ex 6:20. In the present verse the focus is on their tribal ancestry, they both belong to the tribe of Levi. The levitical descent of Aaron, the brother of Moses (not mentioned in the present text) will become important later in the Pentateuch (Ex 6:14-20; Num 3:1-10; Num 26:57-61).

She conceived and bore a son. An ominous event in light of Pharaoh’s machinations, but the mother, seeing him a goodly child, hid him three months. Having enjoyed the creational blessing of God (“be fruitful and multiply”-Gen 1:28), the mother views the child from God’s perspective, seeing him as goodly (“and God saw that it was good”-Gen 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31).
3 And when she could hide him no longer, she took a basket made of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and pitch: and put the little babe therein, and laid him in the sedges by the river’s brink,

The mother’s action in regard to her son (who would become the God’s deliverer of his people) recalls in some ways the account of Noah (who brought relief to his people-Gen 5:28-29). The word basket used here is the same word used in the story of Noah for the ark or boat that carried him and his family over the destructive waters to safety (see Gen 6:14-9:18 where the word occurs 27 times). The water that Pharaoh tried to use as an instrument of death for the Hebrew boys (Gen 1:22), becomes a way deliverance for Moses; just as the flood waters that punished sinful humanity helped deliver the righteous Noah (Gen 6:9, 1 Pet 2:5).

And laid him in the sedges by the river’s bank. The Hebrew word here translated as sedges can refer to rushes, reeds (Isa 19:6), or seaweed (Jonah 2:5). Here the meaning is obviously “reeds,” or “rushes.” The placing of the basket in these reeds would keep it from floating away.

4 His sister standing afar off, and taking notice what would be done.

Pharaoh’s decree allowed the Hebrew daughters to live (Ex 1:16, 22), and now one of those Hebrew daughters (along with Pharaoh’s own daughter!) is about to become instrumental in delivering the future deliverer of God’s people (see verses 5-10 below)

The text show us that Moses had an older sister, but whether this is the sister later identified as Miriam is uncertain (Ex 15:20; Num 12:1-15). Aaron is named before Moses in the family genealogies of (Ex 6:20, Num 26:59 and 1 Chron 5:29), indicating that he was older than Moses. The fact that no mention is made of Aaron in these early chapters keeps the focus on the women in the story (mid-wives, mother of Moses, sister of Moses, Pharaoh’s daughter). Also, note that no mention is made of the father of Moses in regard his being put into the basket on the river.

5 And behold the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself in the river: and her maids walked by the river’s brink. And when she saw the basket in the sedges she sent one of her maids for it: and when it was brought,
6 She opened it, and seeing within it an infant crying, having compassion on him, she said: This is one of the babes of the Hebrews.

“No doubt the mother knew where Pharaoh’s daughter used to bathe and counted on her compassion to save the life of the child” (A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture).

Came down…saw…seeing…crying. The verbs used here in reference to pharaoh’s daughter are used in Ex 3:7-9 to describe God’s actions towards his people. God, like the daughter, comes down (Ex 3:8); sees (Ex 3:7); and hears crying (Ex 3:9). The actions of Pharaoh’s daughter preserves the life of Moses, allowing God to later used Moses to free people to serve him rather than Pharaoh.

The maids were probably Hebrew servant girls, lending further irony to the Pharaoh’s decision to allow the girls to live (see comment on verse 4).  At the bidding of the daughter of Pharaoh, these daughters of Hebrew slaves save Moses from what was supposed to be-according to Pharaoh’s instructions-the instrument of death for Hebrew boys.

Having compassion on him. The Hebrew word here translated as compassion is חמל (châmal), a word connoting softness and, by implication, pity, compassion, a will to spare. Perhaps we should see her attitude here in contrast to that of a later Pharaoh (her own son?) who would harden his heart towards the people of God (Ex 3:19; Ex 7:13, 22, Ex 8:19, Ex 9:2, etc).

7 And the child’s sister said to her: Shall I go, and call to thee a Hebrew woman, to nurse the babe?
8 She answered: Go. The maid went and called her mother.
9 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her: Take this child, and nurse him for me: I will give thee thy wages. The woman took and nursed the child: and when he was grown up, she delivered him to Pharaoh’s daughter.

Pharaoh’s daughter said…take this child and nurse him for me. There is an interesting word play here in Ex 2:9 with the Pharaoh’s command to cast the Hebrew boys into the river in Ex 1:22. Cast= שׁלך (shâlak, pronounced shaw-lak’), Take= הלך (hâlak, pronounced haw-lak’). Once again the daughter is portrayed as the antithesis of her father.

When he was grown up. Not a reference to adulthood (as it is in verse 11), here, rather, it means the age his weaning (nursing) ended (see the parallel between growth and weaning in Gen 21:8). Typically weaning ended sometime during the child’s third year (see 2 Macc 7:27).

10 And she adopted him for a son, and called him Moses, saying: Because I took him out of the water.

Pharaoh’s daughter took the child “then adopted it as her own son, and called it Moses (מֹשֶׁה): “for,” she said, “out of the water have I drawn him” (מְשִׁיתִהוּ). As Pharaoh’s daughter gave this name to the child as her adopted son, it must be an Egyptian name. The Greek form of the name, Μωΰσῆς (lxx), also points to this, as Josephus affirms. “Thermuthis (the name of Pharaoh’s daughter in Jewish tradition),” he says, “imposed this name upon him, from what had happened when he was put into the river; for the Egyptians call water Mo, and those who are rescued from the water Uses” (Ant. ii. 9, 6, Whiston’s translation). The correctness of this statement is confirmed by the Coptic, which is derived from the old Egyptian.

“(Note: Josephus gives a somewhat different explanation in his book against Apion (i. 31), when he says, “His true name was Moüses, and signifies a person who is rescued from the water, for the Egyptians call water Moü.” Other explanations, though less probable ones, are attempted by Gesenius in his Thes. p. 824, and Knobel in loc.)“~Keil and Delitzsch

Because I took him out of the water. That water which was made an instrument of death by her own father’s decree.

According to Acts 7:22 this act of adoption led to Moses’ being instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.

11 In those days, after Moses was grown up, he went out to his brethren: and saw their affliction, and an Egyptian striking one of the Hebrews, his brethren.
12 And when he had looked about this way and that way, and saw no one there, he slew the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.

After Moses was grown up. According to Acts 7:23 he was at least 40 years of age at this time.

He went out to his brethren: and saw their affliction. Moses’ act of seeing recalls the seeing of Pharaoh’s daughter (see note above on verses 5-6). It foreshadows God’s seeing his people’s afflictions in (Ex 2:25; Ex 3:7, 9; Ex 4:31; Ex 5:19).

And an Egyptian striking one of the Hebrews, his brethren…he slew the Egyptian. The same word נכה (nâkâh) is used for the striking of the Hebrew by the Egyptian (11) and the slaying of the Egyptian by Moses (12). The word itself is rather ambiguous, denoting anything from a light tap to a lethal blow. Moses probably did not intend to kill the Egyptian, but that is in fact what transpired. In verse 15 the word used to describe Pharaoh’s desire to kill Moses is quite strong,  הרג (hârag), meaning to strike or smite with deadly intent.

And he looked this way and that. Moses’ checking to see that there were no witnesses before acting implies that he is knowingly taking his life into his own hands by acting against what was allowed by law. Moses is acting here by his own authority, not Pharaoh’s, not God’s (see comment on verses 13-14 below).

13 And going out the next day, he saw two Hebrews quarrelling: and he said to him that did the wrong: Why strikest thou thy neighbour?
14 But he answered: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge over us? wilt thou kill me, as thou didst yesterday kill the Egyptian? Moses feared, and said: How is this come to be known?
15 And Pharaoh heard of this word, and sought to kill Moses: but he fled from his sight, and abode in the land of Madian, and he sat down by a well.

Who appointed thee prince and judge over us? wilt thou kill me, as thou didst…kill the Egyptian? Moses has no authority to act as judge or leader of his people and therefore cannot justify his intervention with the Egyptian, or with the Hebrew. Who is Moses after all?

This is the very question Moses put to God at his call: And Moses said to God: Who am I that I should go to Pharao, and should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? (Ex 3:11). Having no authority to strike the Egyptian, or, for that matter, to act as a mediator between two fighting Hebrews, Moses was forced to flee from Egypt; Who indeed is he? He is the one God will empower and authorize to lead the Hebrews; and the one through whom God will strike the Egyptians for their acts of injustice (see Ex 7:14-21, espcially verses 17 & 20 which use the same word נכה (nâkâh) which was used in verses 11 & 12. See comments there).

Moses’ experience in verses 11-15 thus prepare for his commissioning in chapter 3

And Pharaoh heard…and sought to kill Moses. As noted above in the comments on verses 11-12 the Pharaoh’s intent to “smite” Moses is deadly, hence the translation kill.

But he fled from his sight and abode in the land of Madian (Midian). Provides a transition into 2:16-25 and chapter 3


THE GOD OF FREEDOM AND LIFE by Stephen J. Binz. Catholic. A brief and very readable commentary on 147 pages.


PENTATEUCH: NAVARRE BIBLE COMMENTARY. Catholic. The Navarre Bible Commentary was the brain-child of St Josemaria Escriva. Its purpose is “to elucidate the spiritual and theological message of the Bible” (Preface).

THE PENTATEUCH AS NARRATIVE: A BIBLICAL-THEOLOGICAL COMMENTARY by John H. Sailhamer. Protestant. This work “focuses on the narrative and literary continuity of the Pentateuch as a whole” (from the back cover).

HANDBOOK ON THE PENTATEUCH by Victor P. Hamilton. Protestant. Very useful.

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

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:4-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 7, 2013

This post includes Father Callan’s summary of verses 1-6 and 7-11 to aid the reader with the context. The Commentary on verses 4-11 follows. I’ve provided a suggested reading list for Second Corinthians at the end of the post.


A Summary of 2 Corinthians 3:1-6~Often the Apostle had felt it necessary to speak to the Corinthians about himself and his authority. His enemies had made use of this to accuse him of boasting and arrogance, and thus tried to lead away the neophytes from one who, as they said, had to praise himself to get a following. Having, therefore, in the closing verses of the preceding chapter again spoken of himself and his ministry he is reminded of the sneer of his adversaries, and he consequently now, before going on with his general apology, takes occasion to tell his readers that he is in no need of self- recommendation, since the faithful themselves are his testimonial. If he speaks with assurance and authority it is because he has been divinely constituted a minister of the New Testament. (The summary of verses 7-11 follows the comments on verse 6).

4. And such confidence we have, through Christ, towards God.

And such confidence, etc. The Apostle means to say that his confidence that the faith of the Corinthians is a sure testimony of the validity of his Apostleship is felt even when he puts himself in the presence of God. His assurance did not come from his own merits or personal ability, but through the grace of Christ.

5. Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is from God.

The preceding verse is now better explained. St. Paul means to say that solely of our natural strength and ability it is not possible that we should be able even to think, much less to wish or to do, anything supernaturally good and meritorious of life eternal. For the beginning, as well as the completion, of each and every salutary act we need the grace of God; and such is the doctrine of the Church against the Pelagians, who denied all need of grace, and against the Semi-pelagians, who denied the necessity of grace for the beginning of a salutary act (cf. St. Aug., De dono persev. 13; De praedest. sanct. 2; cont. duas epis. Pel. 8, etc.; St. Thomas, h. 1. ; Counc. of Orange, can. 7).

The words of ourselves, as of ourselves are to be connected with not that we are sufficient. Our whole sufficiency in supernatural things is from God, as from its primary and principal cause.

We are sufficient (Vulg., sufficientes simus) should be “we were sufficient,” sufficientes essemus, according to the best MSS.

6. Who also hath made us fit ministers of the new testament, not in the letter, but in the spirit. For the letter killeth, but the spirit quickeneth.

The Apostle and his companions have not only received all their supernatural sufficiency from God, but by Him also have they been enriched with the gifts necessary to be fit, i.e., competent, ministers of the New Covenant of grace established between God and man by Jesus Christ (Jer 31:31 ff.; Heb 8:8; Heb 9:15).

Not in the letter, etc. “He has been urging the superiority of his own claims on their affection and obedience to those of his Judaizing opponents. He now points to the boundless superiority of the dispensation of which he is the minister to that which the Judaizers represent” (Plummer). The latter represent the Old Covenant, which was founded on the written law, indicating, indeed, the good to be done and the evil to be avoided, but without giving the necessary grace to fulfil its mandates. The New Covenant, on the contrary, which is the law of the Spirit, gives all the help required to observe its precepts. See on Rom 4:15; Rom 5:20; Rom 7:7; Rom 8:2-3.


A Summary of 2 Cor:7-1 1~Greater glory is due to the ministry of the New Covenant than to that of the Old, because of the superior excellence of the former as compared with the latter. The Old Law consisted of letters written on stones and led to spiritual death, while the New Testament gave the Holy Ghost and spiritual life; the Old Law was unto condemnation, the New unto justification; the former was transitory, the latter is eternal in its duration.

7. Now if the ministration of death, engraven with letters upon stones, was glorious; so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses, for the glory of his countenance, which is made void:
8. How shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather in glory?

(vss 7-8). If the ministration of death, etc., i.e., if the ministry performed by Moses in giving the Israelites the Law, which was written on tables of stone and led to death (verse 6) was glorious, i.e., was accompanied by a glorious manifestation which so shone in the face of Moses that the recipients of that Law could not steadfastly look upon his countenance (Ex 34:29-35), how much more glorious is the ministry of the Apostles through whom is given to us the Holy Ghost and the supernatural gifts of grace and glory?

Which is made void. However dazzling the glory that accompanied the giving of the Law of Moses, it was only temporary; whereas the glory of the New Testament ministry is permanent and shall never fade. The glory on the face of Moses was only transitory, symbolical of the transitory character of his ministry and of the Law he gave.

9. For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more the ministration of justice aboundeth in glory.

The Old Testament ministry is called one of condemnation, because the Old Law was an occasion of sin, and thus provoked the anger and condemnation of God. See on Rom 7:8-1 1. The New Law, on the contrary, is a ministration of justice, i.e., of justification, because through it are given the Holy Ghost, sanctifying grace and glory. See on Rom 1:17; Rom 3:23; Gal 3:13.

10. For even that which was glorious in this part was not glorified, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

So superior is the glory attaching to the New Testament ministry over that of the Old Covenant that by comparison the latter was not glorious at all; the glory of the one entirely obscures the glory of the other.

That which was glorious, i.e., the Old Law, its ministers, and ministrations.

In this part. The meaning seems to be that the Old Covenant has been deprived of its glory in this respect, that something more glorious has appeared.

11. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is in glory.

Although glorious in its giving, the Old Dispensation and its ministry have come to naught, because they had only a transitory purpose, namely, to lead to Christ (Gal 3:24). If, therefore, glory accompanied such a ministry, in spite of its passing character, how much more glorious is the ministry of the New Law which is enduring.

Suggested Readings:

St John Chrysostom’s Homilies on Second Corinthians. Online. Older translation.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on Second Corinthians. Online. PLEASE NOTE that the site incorrectly identifies this commentary as on First Corinthians.

Second Corinthians (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture). From an outstanding new series on the NT. You can read excerpts from this and other works in the series here.

Second Corintians (Sacra Pagina Series) by Jan Lambrecht. Mainstream, a bit technical.

Seven Pauline Letters. By Peter F. Ellis. Includes succinct “capsule” Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians; 1 Thessalonians; Philippians; Galatians; Romans.  Accepts 2 Corinthians as a single, unified letter; something many modern scholars reject. I find his outlines to these letters very interesting and useful.

The Navarre Bible: Corinthians. Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians. I prefer the individual volumes on the NT rather than the one volume collections (e.g., The Gospel And Acts; Letters of St Paul, etc.) because they provide a bit more depth.

St Paul to the Corinthians (Ignatius Study Bible). By Dr. Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch. A good place for the beginner to start. The entire NT series is available in a single volume.

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (New Testament for Spiritual Reading). By Karl Hermann Schelkle.

1 And 2 Corinthians (A Devotional Commentary). I would classify this work as more a series of meditations than a commentary.

2 Corinthians (New Testament Library). By Frank J. Matera. The Author is Catholic but the series is ecumenical is scope.

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

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 27, 2013

This post includes the Bishop’s summary analysis of Hebrews 10, followed by his notes on verses 11-14 and 18. I’ve included (in purple) his paraphrasing of the text he is commenting on.

A Summary of Hebrews 10~The Apostle, having shown in the preceding chapter, that one bloody oblation of Christ had amply atoned for sin and answered all the ends of universal redemption, proceeds to show, in this, that Christ alone could redeem us and remit sin For, as to the law and the sacrifices of the Levitical priesthood, in which the Hebrews so much confided, he proves by several arguments, from verse 1 to 19, that they contained no efficacy whatever for the remission of sin. First, the law and the legal sacrifices were only the shadow of the future goods promised us by Christ; but not the reality promised. Secondly, the repetition of these sacrifices—and reference is directly made to the annual great sacrifice of expiation—for the self-same sins that were before remitted, proves their inefficacy for remitting sin. And thirdly, it was impossible for the blood of animals, of its own nature and intrinsic efficacy, to remit sin, as the Hebreivs vainly imagined (Heb 10:1-5).

The Apostle proves from Sacred Scripture, the inefficacy of the ancient sacrifices for the remission of sin. He introduces Christ addressing his Father, Psalm 40, “Sacrifices and oblations,” &c., andfrom this prophetic quotation, he draws a twofold conclusion—first, by saying “Sacrifices…thou wouldst not,” Christ has shown the abolition of the sacrifices referred to; and secondly, by saying, “Behold I come,” &c., the institution of the second description of sacrifice, which Christ offered according to the will of God (Heb 10:6-10).

Their repetition proved the inefficacy not only of the annual sacrifices, but also the inefficacy of the daily sacrifices, offered morning and evening among the Jews; whereas Christ, by one bloody oblation of himself, has made full atonement for sin, and purchased a treasure of grace for sanctifying men, at all times (Heb 10:11-14). The Apostle then proves, from the ProphetJeremias, the inefficacy of the ancient sacrificesfor remitting sin (Heb 10:15-19).

Having proved the abrogation of the legal sacrifices, and shown the superior excellence of the priesthood of Christ, and of his sacrifice over the Levitical priesthood and their offerings, he exhorts the Hebrews to constancy in the faith (Heb 10:19-21). He deters them from committing the dreadful crime of apostasy (Heb 10:24-31). He calms the fears which his words were calculated to inspire, by reminding them of their past good works of charity (Heb 10:32-34). Finally, he exhorts them to hold out for a short time, when they shall reap the full fruit of their past labours and sufferings.

Heb 10:11  And every priest indeed standeth daily ministering and often offering the same sacrifices which can never take away sins.

And not only does the high priest  annually repeat the sacrifice of expiation (making a commemoration of the same sins), but in the daily sacrifices, at which the priests minister in turn, the same victims are offered, the same repetition made—hence, they too, for a like reason, cannot take away sins.

In this verse he proceeds to show, that the circumstance of their repetition did not prove the inefficacy of the annual sacrifices of expiation only; that it also proved the same, for a like reason, in regard to the daily sacrifices, offered morning and evening, by the priests in their turn. “And every priest standeth,” in fear and awe; “daily ministering,” morning and evening (Numbers 28)  “Often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sin,” any more than could the annual sacrifice of expiation, offered by the high priest alone.

Heb 10:12  But this man, offering one sacrifice for sins, for ever sitteth on the right hand of God,

But Christ, after having offered one sacrifice, which satisfies for all sins, sitteth glorious at the right hand of God.

“But this man offering one sacrifice,” i.e., after having offered one sacrifice. The Greek for “offering,” προσενεγκας, means, having offered. “Sitteth” in glory and triumph. The Jewish priest “stood” with fear and awe; he “sitteth” in glory and majesty.

Heb 10:13  From henceforth expecting until his enemies be made his footstool.

Awaiting the time, when his enemies shall be made his footstool.

Nor will he leave this seat of glory until his enemies are prostrated, according to the promise of the Royal Prophet (Psalm 110:1)—”Sit at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” This subjection of all things to Christ will be manifested at the end of the world.

Heb 10:14  For by one oblation he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

For by one bloody oblation of himself-an oblation of infinite value, extending to all generations-he perfected those who are sanctified at all times; in other words, by this one bloody oblation of himself, he made atonement for all sin, and purchased the treasures of grace, whereby men are sanctified at all times.

He need not leave heaven to repeat, like the Jewish priest, the bloody oblation of himself; for, by one such oblation, he has compassed all the ends of Redemption, he has made perfect atonement for sin, and merited the graces, whereby men are, at all times, sanctified.

Objection.—Against the sacrifice of the Mass. In these two chapters, the Apostle allows only one oblation of Christ, therefore, he excludes the repeated oblation of him in the Mass, as opposed to the unity of his offering.

Answer.—The oblation of Christ referred to by the Apostle in these chapters, and the repetition of which he rejects, is the bloody oblation on the cross; for, there is question of the oblation, by which “he perfected” (or sanctified) “all;” i.e., redeemed mankind, and atoned for sin; the oblation wherein, if repeated, he should suffer death (Heb 9:26). But, from the fact that he cannot be offered up again, in a bloody manner, can it be inferred, that he cannot be offered, in an unbloody manner? As well might it be inferred from the fact of God having promised, that the world would not be again destroyed by water, that therefore, it is not to be destroyed in any other way, whether by water or by fire, which would be contrary to faith. Christ is offered up, in an unbloody manner, in the sacrifice of the Mass; and the Apostle, for reasons already assigned, does not refer to that oblation; it does not fall within his scope; nor, perhaps, would it be expedient at the time, to do so.

Objection-. But, by saying, he can be offered, only once, does he not exclude a second oblation or more; and hence, the oblation made of him, in the Mass?

Answer.—He excludes a second oblation of the same kind, and presented in the same way. The unity of Christ’s oblation is insisted on, in opposition to other reiterated oblations. Now, to any person attentively examining the reasoning of the Apostle, in these two chapters, it must appear quite clear, that the opposition instituted is, between the bloody oblation of Christ on the cross, and the annual and daily sacrifices of the Jews, the efficacious and fruitful unity of the former being contrasted with the useless multiplicity of the latter. The objection, therefore, is quite inconclusive; Christ will not be offered up a second time—which, to be true, must mean—in a bloody manner. Therefore, he will not be offered up, in an unbloody manner. Just as conclusive would it be to say—The world will not be destroyed again by the waters of deluge. Therefore, it will be destroyed in no other way, and it shall be eternal. The Apostle excludes the repetition of the sacrifice of Christ in the Mass, as a redemptory sacrifice, as making atonement and offering satisfaction for sin; in which respect only, the sacrifice of Christ is contrasted with the annual and daily sacrifices among the Jews; he never contemplates rejecting the repetition, or rather the continuation of the same, in an unbloody manner, as applicatory of the merits purchased on the cross. On the cross, an infinite treasure of merit was purchased; a satisfaction offered, adequate to make reparation for the sins of ten thousand worlds. But, no Christian can deny that by the institution of God himself, there are certain channels required for the application to our souls, in a limited degree, of this treasure of grace, in itself infinite. What else is the end of the sacrament of baptism, to which all Christians have recourse for the remission of original sin?—and Catholics regard the sacrifice of the Mass, as a channel through which are applied to us the merits and graces purchased on the cross. Surely, it cannot be alleged that the sins of the elect are directly remitted by the merits of Christ, the instant they are committed. Would this not be plainly opposed to the precept, inculcated in several passages of SS. Scripture, of recurring to baptism for the remission of sin? Would not be opposed to the words of our redeemer:—” He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that beheveth not, shall be condemned?”—(Mark 16:16). It is opposed to the manner in which the Jews converted after St. Peter’s first sermon were justified. They were told, “to do penance, and to be baptized, every one of them, for the remission of their sins” (Acts 2:28). Now, on their justification was to be modeled that of all the Gentiles, who at the preaching of the Apostles did penance, believed, were baptized, and their sins thus remitted.

Heb 10:15  And the Holy Ghost also doth testify this to us. For after that he said:
Heb 10:16  And this is the testament which I will make unto them after those days, saith the Lord. I will give my laws in their hearts and on their minds will I write them:
Heb 10:17  And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more.

15. The testimony of the Holy Ghost is corroborative of the same, viz., that the remission of sin was not attached to the Old Law, this being a distinguishing characteristic of the New; for, having said, (Jeremiah 31):-
16. This is the testament, which I will make unto them, after those days, saith the Lord, I will engrave my laws on their hearts, and on their minds will I write them.
17.And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more.

The Apostle adduces the testimony of the Holy Ghost, to prove that the remission of sin was not effected by the sacrifices of the Old Law, but only by those of the New. He quotes from Jeremiah 31, referred to in chapter 8 of this Epistle. The proof is taken from verse 17. By saying that in the new testament which he was to make with his people, “he would no longer remember their sins,” i.e., that he would remit them, he implies, that in the old testament there was no such efficacy, this being a distinguishing characteristic of the new. The reading from verse 15, in our version, is suspensive and imperfect. There is nothing corresponding with the words, “after that he said” (verse 15); nor does it appear, that there are any words expressing the result which they would seem to imply or denote. Hence, some Expositors endeavour to remedy this, by making the words, “saith the Lord” the beginning of the second member of the sentence, as if they ran thus:—”After that he said” (verse 15),”THEN saith the Lord, I will give my laws, &c.” (verse 16). The words, “saith the Lord,” however, regard the preceding, and are a part of the prophetic quotation. Others supply, at verse 17, such words as these:—”Then, he said, and their sins,” &c. It maybe, that the sense is suspended ftom verse 15 to 18; as if, the Apostle made the conclusion drawn from the prophetic quotation, the second member of the sentence, thus:—”For, after that he said,” &c. (verses 15, 16, 17), then, the only conclusion to be arrived at is, that where sins are remitted, there is no need for any further such oblation (verse 18).

Heb 10:18  Now, where there is a remission of these, there is no more an oblation for sin.

Now, where these are remitted, and a ransom adequate to make atonement for them offered, there is no further need for any such oblation for sin.

“Now where there is remission of sin,” &c. There is no necessity for repeating oblations for sins already remitted. This is quite clear, if there be question of actual remission. Nor can there be any difficulty about it either, if there be a question of potential remission, in the sense that there has been a ransom paid, and a redemptory sacrifice offered for them; because, one redemptory sacrifice, if efficacious, must be a sacrifice of infinite value; and hence, its repetition as such, would be useless; but neither signification of the words is opposed to the repeated offering of applicatory sacrifices for sins, not yet actually remitted; the Mass, therefore, as an applicatory sacrifice, is not excluded; if so, the other means of grace, faith, hope, contrition, sacraments, should be excluded as well, on the same principle.

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Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 78

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 29, 2012

I’ve appended to the end of this post some suggested commentaries on the Psalms.


It is difficult to say whether this poetical resume of the history of Israel is intended merely for purposes of general edification, or whether it is not, primarily, an explanation of the transference of the religious and political hegemony of Israel from the North (Ephraim) to the South (Juda: Jerusalem). The concluding section of the poem is in favour of the second interpretation. Whatever may have been the immediate purpose of the psalmist, it is evident that this poem is intended to be an instruction, and that in composing it, the psalmist believed himself to be acting in the spirit of Deut 4:9. The failures and sins of earlier generations should be put before the people, that so they may be warned and saved from the punishments which sins on their own part would entail. The very striking dispensation of God which had led to the abandonment of the ancient shrine of Shilo, and the subsequent selection of Jerusalem as the dwelhng-place of the Lord, is particularly considered—since it can be shown to be the result of Ephraimite disloyalty to God. If the psalm were composed after 722 B.C., when the northern kingdom ceased to exist, its reflections on the failure of the North would be more pointed (but the absence of all reference to the separation of the North from the South would be then difficult to explain) . The teaching of the psalm is like that of Psalm 105 and Psalm 106, and it resembles, in many important points, that of Deut 32, of the speech of St. Stephen (Acts 7), and of the discourse of St. Paul at Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:16-25). The Hebrew prophets frequently used history in a like manner to enforce their teachings: cf. Amos 2:9-12; Hosea 11:1-4; Jer 2:1-8. In verse 2:
the psalm is called a Mashal, and the whole psalm is, more or less, in the style of the Sapiential books. The Hebrew Mashal ( משׂכיל), is often translated as parable. See the footnote to verse 2 of this Psalm in the NAB.

The psalmist regards passages like Deut 4:9; Deut 6:7; Exodus 10:2; Exodus 13:14, as a Torah or ‘Law’ given to the fathers, that their children might be saved from their fate. The reference to the ‘fathers’ gives the poet occasion to review the history of their sins (vv. 8-1 1). The allusion to Ephraim in verse 9, if it is in its proper place, is to be explained by the fact that the rejection of Ephraim forms later the chief theme of the psalm.

In verse 12 and following the theme proper begins. The goodness of God to the Israelites at Zoan (Tanis), and then in the Wilderness is described, the description being based freely on Exodus 13 and following, and Num 20. The Israelites answered God’s goodness with ingratitude and insults (11-20). Water is not enough for them; bread and meat they must have too—not so much, apparently, because they need them, as because they wish to see if God can really satisfy their demands. They are heard and their wish is granted, but it is granted in anger, and their punishment follows immediately. The story of the manna and quails adheres in general closely enough to Exodus 16 and Num 11, but there is a certain amount of poetic freedom. Verse 32 recalls further sins of
disobedience, and verse 33 refers, perhaps, to the incidents in Num 14:20-36. Verses 34-39 strongly remind one of Judges 2:11-19, but there is this difference that Israel’s turning to God is, in the psalm described as hypocrisy—as a deception of God.

In 40-55 the poet is still thinking of the sins of the people in the desert. His further reflection on these sins leads him to recount the wonders in Egypt which had preceded the Exodus. Here again, as before, he treats the text of the Pentateuch with a certain amount of liberty. The plagues of hail and fire he attributes to the work of destroying angels.

In vv. 56-64 he reviews the apostasies of Israel in Canaan. These were punished by the loss of their ‘Might’ and ‘Glory’—the Ark, by the slaughter of their young men, the childlessness of their women, and the death without seemly burial of their priests.

65-72. With the appearance of David God’s anger is stilled, and, like a warrior awakening from deep sleep, God falls on the Philistines, and delivers them over to eternal shame (cf. 1 Sam 5, and the narrative of David’s victories over the Philistines). Through the sins of the Judges’ period Ephraim lost the honour of possessing God’s dwelling at Shilo; and David made Jerusalem the political, and, practically, the religious centre of the nation. Unlike the mere Tent of Shilo the shrine erected at Jerusalem by Solomon is as firm and enduring as heaven and earth. It is interesting to note that the sins of ‘Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin,’ by setting up religious centres in the North in opposition to Jerusalem, are not mentioned in this psalm (see 1 Kings 12-13). The reason, obviously, is that the poet takes his theme altogether from the history of Israel up to the founding of the Temple. There was no need, for his purpose, to refer to any event of Hebrew history after that time.

The structure of the poem is somewhat clumsy; there is much unevenness and some overlapping. Some modern critics regard vv. 40-55 as originally having no connection with the rest of the psalm, but as having formed a portion of a hymn composed after the manner of Exodus 15.

Surveys of Hebrew history similar to that contained in this psalm may be
read in Ps 105Ps 106; Ps 135; Ps 136; Ezekiel 20; Sirach 44-49; Wisdom 10-19 (with some digressions, see the NAB headings); 1 Macc 2:51-60; Hebrews 11.


The Psalms and the Song of Solomon: Navarre Bible Commentary. Designed for study, prayer and meditation.

Volume 1~The Psalms: Old Testament Message. See note on next link.

Volume 2~The Psalms: Old Testament Message. Informative, but the format may not be to everyone’s liking.

Volume 1~Psalms 1-72: Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries. See note on nest link.

Volume 2~Psalms 73-150: Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries. An ecumenical series. The author of these two volumes (see previous link) is Father Richard j. Clifford, a leading authority on the Psalms.

Psalms 1-50~Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. See note on next link.

Psalms 51-150~Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. Commentaries garnered from the Early Church Fathers and Medieval writers. An ecumenical endeavor with Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox contributors.

The Psalms Explained. An older work. Presupposes a working knowledge of Latin.

Volume 1: Commentary on the Psalms from Primitive and Medieval Writers. See note on volume 4 below.

Volume 2: Commentary on the Psalms from Primitive and Medieval Writers. See note on volume 4 below.

Volume 3: Commentary on the Psalms from Primitive and Medieval WritersSee note on volume 4 below.

Volume 4: Commentary on the Psalms from Primitive and Medieval Writers. By John Mason Neale, an Anglican scholar of the 19th century.

Singing in the Reign. A thematic and canonical study of the Psalms. The book attempts to “show how the historical hope for the restoration of  the Davidic Kingdom was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus.“

Psalms 1-50~Word Biblical Commentary. See note on next link.

Psalms 51-100~Word Biblical Commentary. See next note.

Psalms 101-150~Word Biblical Commentary. Protestant. Geared towards seminary students and pastors.

Psalms 1-50~Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries. See next note.

Psalms 51-100~Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries. See next note.

Psalms 101-150~Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries. Father Dahood’s famous three volume work is best left to the the scholars.

Psalms: Berit Olam Series. Concerned with the structure of each Psalm and how the content relates to it.

An Exposition of the Seven Penitential Psalms by St John Fisher. “Translated” into modern English for your convenience. I’ve read some of these expository sermons in the “original” English and it’s not an easy task.

Posted in Bible, Books, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

June 22: Resources for the Memorial of St Thomas More and St John Fisher

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 21, 2012

Today (June 22) is the Memorial of  St Thomas More and St John Fisher, martyrs.  In the older liturgical calendar their feast day was July 9.


  • Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation by St Thomas More  (written while he awaited his fate in the Tower of London.  This work deserves to be much better known.  The text offered here updated the archaic spelling and syntax of More’s day).
  • luminarium (a great site with many of St Thomas’ works available)
  • Utopia by Sir Thomas More. Online book.


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Suggested Readings for the Study of Mark’s Gospel

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 7, 2012


This is essentially a re-post, I have, however, added a few more resources. Yesterday I posted some suggested books dealing with 1 & 2 Peter, Jude and 2 Timothy because these NT letters will supply the first readings at daily Mass for weeks 8-10 of Ordinary Time which resumes on May 28, the day after Pentecost. Yesterday’s post also included a large number of commentaries, etc., on the Psalms.

This post lists resources-some free and available online, some available for purchase-which you may find useful for a better understanding of the Gospel of Mark. My listing them here should not be considered a wholesale endorsement of the content, methods, etc.

Free: Father Phillips’ Podcast on Mark. A basic audio study (scroll down).

Free: EWTN Podcast~The Way to Follow Jesus. A 13 part audio study on the Gospel  hosted by Catholic biblical scholar, Dr. Tim Gray.

Free: Introduction to Mark. Online booklet by Father Dom Henry Wansbrough O.S.B.

Free: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on the Gospel. Links to the individual chapters of all four Gospels.

Mark: Storyteller, Interpreter, Evangelist. By Father Francis J Moloney. A fine introduction to Mark.

Meeting St Mark Today: Understanding the Man, His Mission and His Message. By Fr. Daniel Harrington. A very helpful introduction and overview to St Mark and his Gospel.

Gospel of Mark (Ignatius Study Bible). Very popular, basic introductory commentary on Mark.

The Navarre Bible: St Mark. Extremely popular study series which was the brainchild of St Jose Marie Escriva. The four Gospel and Acts can be purchased in a single volume, however, the commentary is truncated in this single volume.

Mark (New Testament Message Series). “Concentrates on bringing to the fore in understandable terms the specific message of each biblical author.” Non-technical.

Mark, Volume 1 (New Testament for Spiritual Reading). The two volumes on Mark in this series are hard to come by. The NTSR has been described as “Distinctly noteworthy!…an extended NT series that is within the reach of all.” Something spectacular!…Practical volumes which open up the spiritual depths of Sacred Scripture.”

Mark, Volume 2 (New Testament for Spiritual Reading)See previous comment.

The Gospel of Mark (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture). The CCSC is an outstanding new commentary series on the New Testament.

The Beginning of the Gospel, Vol. 1. Fr. Eugene LaVerdiere, S.S.S. A bit repetitive at times but this is necessitated-at least in part-by Mark’s frequent use of the word παλιν (“again”). Don’t know what that means? Buy the books and figure it out (two volumes, see next link).

The Beginning of the Gospel, Vol. 2. Fr. Eugene LaVerdiere, S.S.S. See previous comment.

A Costly Freedom: A Theological Reading of Mark’s Gospel. Fr. Brendan Byrne, S.J.

The Gospel of Mark (Sacra Pagina Series). A bit more advanced but not “unreachable” to the average person in the pew.

The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary. Fr. Francis J. Moloney. I’m not personally familiar with this well regarded commentary but it comes highly recommended; and I am familiar with a few other works by Father Moloney.

The Gospel of Mark As a Model for Action: A Reader-Response Commentary. Again, I’m not familiar with this work, but I am familiar with the author. The title clearly suggests that the work is concerned with the Markan theme of discipleship.

Posted in Bible, Books, Catholic | 1 Comment »

Suggested Books, Podcasts and Resources for the Easter Season

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 6, 2012

The weekdays and Sundays of the Easter Season are dominated by the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of John.  Sundays of Easter are also dominated by the First Letter of St John. Below is a list of resources relating to these readings which you may wish to acquaint yourself with. Unless noted otherwise, all material is Catholic. I’ve also included some listings on the Psalms. This post was originally  posted and updated last year, I hope to add further updates latter today. To distinguish them from previous updates that will be designated as UPDATE using purple text. I cannot guarantee that all links are currently working so please notify me if one is broke and I’ll try and fix it.

PODCASTS: All free and online for listening. St Irenaeus Ministries has an online store where you can purchase talks and studies.

TEXT COMMENTARIES ONLINE~Acts, 1 John, Gospel of John, Psalms,

BOOKS~ Acts of the Apostles:

BOOKS~The Gospel of John and The First Letter of St John:


Posted in Bible, Books, Catholic | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

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