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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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Acts 1:15-17, 20-26

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 24, 2018

 

ANALYSIS OF ACTS CHAPTER ONE

This first Chapter of the Acts, &c., which may be regarded as the complement of the Gospel of St. Luke—since it resumes the History of our Lord’s Ascension, with which his Gospel closes,—opens with a brief Preface addressed to Theophilus, containing a compendious account of the History of the life of our Lord (1–2).

We have, next, a narrative of the several circumstances that preceded our Lord’s Ascension, with instructions, mandates, answers given by him immediately before that important event (3–8). We have, then, a brief history of the Ascension (9). The address of the Angels (10–11). The return of the Apostles from Mount Olivet (12–13). Their persevering union in prayer with the Blessed Virgin (13–14). The address of Peter relative to the sad fall of Judas, the great dignity he forfeited, his infamy, the necessity of electing a suitable substitute, the Prophetic quotation from the Psalms on the subject (14–20). He, next, exhorts them to elect a suitable substitute. He describes the qualities he should possess (21–22). The election of Matthias by lot, after fervent prayer addressed to God (23).

15 In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty):

 “In those days,” in the interval between the Ascension and Pentecost, while they were abiding together before the descent of the Holy Ghost.

“Peter rising up,” &c. Already Peter begins to exercise the Primacy conferred on him by our Lord (Matthew 16, &c.) in proposing to the assembled Apostles the filling up of the vacancy effected in the Apostolic College, by the fall of the Traitor, Judas, and the substitution of another in his place. He thus carries out the mandate, “confirm thy brethren” (Luke 22:32). Whatever might be his own personal powers in the matter, he prudently remits the whole affair to his colleagues, of which he was head and chief.

“Number of persons.” Greek, “of names,” which signifies persons.

16 Men, brethren, the scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus:

“Men, brethren.” All were united, as members of one family, by the common bonds of faith and charity. This was a solemn form of address.

“The Scripture must needs be fulfilled.” The prediction of God cannot be falsified. This, however, by no means implies the absence of liberty in man’s actions. If there be question of human actions, God predicts what he foresees man is to do in time, by his own free will. Man does not perform them because God foresees or predicts them. But God foresees them in the manner in which man is to perform them in time, that is, freely. The prevision of God no more interferes with the liberty of man in the performance of a future act, than the actual vision or seeing it performed at the present moment, interferes with the liberty of the agent, who now performs it. The knowledge and foreknowledge are external to the act, in both instances (see John 12:39: Commentary on).

“Which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas.” The quotation is read in v. 20. It primarily referred to David’s traitorous counsellor, Achitophel (2 Kings 15:23), but secondarily and mystically to the Traitor, Judas, “who was the leader,” &c. This is narrated (John 18:3).

17 Who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

 “Numbered with us.” He was of the number of Apostles called and elected by our Lord, and was associated with them, invested with full Apostolic powers.

“And had obtained part,” &c. The Greek would convey, and had been allotted or obtained by lot a place in “this ministry.” This conveys the gratuitousness of his call, which on his part was quite independent of his merits, just as happens in the case of those who having no claim to it, obtain a thing by casting lots. It was, however, wisely and deliberately determined on the part of God. “Men cast lots; but, God determines the choice.”

20 For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take.

“For it is written in the Book of Psalms, let their habitation,” &c. The first member of this quotation is from Psalm (68:26). It is in the plural, in the original. In almost all Greek copies, it is written in the singular in this place, “let his habitation” &c. in accommodation to the case of Judas, to whom St. Peter, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, applies it.

The Greek for “habitation,” επαυλις, originally denoted a shepherd’s hut. It was afterwards generally used to denote a dwelling of any sort.

“Become desolate,” given over to desolation and utter ruin.

The second member, “and his bishoprick,” &c. is taken from Psalm (108:8) and, indicates another and a different quotation. It signifies, also, as if to say, it is also written. This Psalm was full of maledictions on the unhappy Judas. St. Augustine informs us, that in this Psalm, David curses Doeg, who betrayed him to Saul, and in him, Judas, of whom Doeg was a type.

“His Bishopric.” His office of Apostle. In the original, the word denotes the office of Inspector or Superintendent, sometimes applied to Roman officials (Cicero, Lib. vii, Ep. ad Attium.) Here, in its application to Judas, it denotes the office of Apostle, conferred on Matthias.

21 Wherefore of these men who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us,

He, therefore, proceeds to the election of a successor to Judas, in fulfilment of David’s prediction.

22 Beginning from the baptism of John, until the day wherein he was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of his resurrection.

 It is, therefore, fit or necessary that one of those men who have been associated with us during the time that our Lord freely conversing with us, laid open His whole life and lived familiarly with us, commencing with His public life, when John ministering Baptism to him, pointed Him out as the expected Messiah, as the lamb of God; until the day “He was taken up from us,” to heaven, should be appointed or made along with us, an authoritative “witness” of His Resurrection—the crowning mystery of His life—and the great undeniable proof of His Divinity.

“Came in and went out” is a Hebrew Idiom, denoting the whole course and actions of life.

“One of these,” by Hyperbaton, refers to the words, “wherefore of these,” &c., v. 21.

Special reference is made to our Lord’s Resurrection, which was the great fundamental proof of His Divinity—the great truth which was the Summary of the Apostolic preaching, without which our faith would be vain. (1 Cor. 15:14.) It was the formal cause of man’s justification, “Resurrexit propter justificationem nostram” (Rom. 4).

23 And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

“And they appointed two,” &c. “Appointed” means proposed, put forward, nominated as candidates. The fact of their confining the declaration of the Divine choice to “two,” who were deemed most worthy by the assembled Church, could not be understood of any attempt to restrict the free choice of God. It is not for us to enquire, why it was confined to two, as it was done under the influence of the Holy Ghost.

“Joseph, called Barsabas,” meaning, the Son of Sabas, “who was surnamed Justus.” This may be a proper name, given him to distinguish him from others; or, it may have been given him, as title of honor, on account of his well-known sanctity. St. Chrysostom inclines to this latter opinion (Hom. 3 in Acta.). He was said to be one of the seventy-two (Eusebius i. 12).

The original, Ιουστος, is a sort of Latinized Greek, expressive of the Latin epithet given to Joseph. At this period of Jewish History, while the Jews were subject to Rome, it sometimes happened that Latin terms were introduced into the Greek, which was in common use. The Evangelist did so occasionally when writing in Greek. Such are the terms, Prætorium, Legio, Sudarium, &c. (A. Lapide).

Joseph is said to be the brother of James the lesser and Jude, son of Alpheus and Mary, and thus related to our Lord.

“And Matthias”—a contraction for Mathathias, which signifies, a gift from God. This name was common amongst the Jews. It is said he was one of the seventy-two disciples.

24 And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knowest the heart of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

“And praying, they said.” They have recourse to prayer in common, that God would be pleased to make known, in some unmistakeable way, the Divine choice.

“Thou, O Lord.” This is addressed to our Blessed Saviour, who had now ascended into heaven. To Him omniscience is here attributed. “Lord” is usually addressed to our Divine Redeemer. He is called “Lord” (v. 21), and it is meet that Peter, the head of the Church, should here address Him by whom the other Apostles were chosen.

“Show,” declare, which of the two Thou hast chosen. It is remarked by St. Chrysostom that they do not ask Him to choose; but, assuming that the choice had been already determined on, in His Divine omniscience, to make known the choice He had made. God alone could immediately choose an Apostle (John 6:70).

25 To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place.

 “To take the place,” to be substituted in the Apostolic ministry in room of Judas. “Of this ministry and apostleship,” are by Hendyades put for “of this Apostolic Ministry” “from which Judas hath by transgression fallen,” by the commission of the most heinous of all crimes, the betrayal of his Divine Lord and Master, who had raised him to a dignity so exalted.

“That he might go” expresses not the intended design, but the consequence or result of Judas’s action. “To his own place”—the place deserved by his crime, and thus made “his own”—the place alone suited for him, his destined place in hell. “Heaven could not receive him. Earth could not bear him on her surface” (St. Bernard in Psalm 44:8). Regarding the words “his own place” there is a diversity of opinion. But, the most common opinion understands it of hell. Our Lord himself calls him “the son of perdition” (John 17:12).

26 And they gave them lot, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

 “And they gave them lots.” How this was done cannot be defined for certain. Whether by voting or by inscribing the two names on tablets to be afterwards drawn out of an urn, the first drawn to be possibly the chosen party. The latter is rendered probable by the words, “the lot fell on Matthias.”

“Gave them.” The Greek αυτων, means “their” lots, that is, the lots of those who were to be elected.

We sometimes find the casting of lots for deciding and determining matters of great importance, sanctioned, in several instances, in the Old Testament, which need not be mentioned here in detail.

Here, the merits of both Candidates were unquestionable. Recource, therefore, to lots to determine which of two worthy subjects might be chosen could be safely resorted to. No doubt, the Apostles, acting under Divine influence, felt they could safely do so. It is not, however, to be inferred from particular cases, of a peculiar nature, as here, that it is generally lawful to look for extraordinary manifestations of the Divine Will or expose exalted responsible functions connected with the Salvation of Souls to hazard by the casting of lots, when ordinary safe means of determining matters could be resorted to. This was a special case and could not establish a precedent. The Apostles only did it once, and they did so clearly by the order of God, and under Divine influence. So that as the eleven Apostles were chosen by Christ, the choosing of the twelfth would not be left to man, but to God, who signified His choice by the extraordinary procedure of casting lots, after having been invited by the infant Church, through fervent prayers.

“And the lot fell on Matthias,” whose merits before men were not so distinguished as were those of “Joseph the Just.” It may be, possibly, in the judgment of God, that Matthias was possessed of greater prudence for Government. God selects men to high offices of His own free will and choice.

“And He was numbered with,” &c. The Greek for “numbered” means, by “common suffrages;” conveying, that all present praised and extolled the Divine choice. God had chosen. Men expressed their full approval of the Divine choice.

 

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St Augustine’s Sermon on John 5:25 and 1 Cor 3:9

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 11, 2017

On the words of the gospel, John 5:25, “verily, verily, i say unto you, the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the son of god; and they that hear shall live,” etc.; and on the words of the apostle, “things which eye saw not,” etc., 1 Cor. 2:9.

[I] 1. Our hope, Brethren, is not of this present time, nor of this world, nor in that happiness whereby men are blinded that forget God. This ought we above all things to know, and in a Christian heart hold fast, that we were not made Christians for the good things of the present time, but for something else which God at once promiseth, and man doth not yet comprehend. For of this good it is said, “That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love Him.”5 Because then this good, so great, so excellent, so ineffable, fell not in with man’s understanding, it required God’s promise. For what hath been promised him, man blind of heart doth not now comprehend; nor can it be shown to him at present, what he will one day be to whom the promise is given. For so an infant child, if he could understand the words of one speaking, when himself could neither speak, nor walk, nor do anything, but feeble as we see he is, unable to stand,6 requiring the assistance of others, were able only to understand him who should speak to him and tell him, “Lo, as thou seest me walking, working, speaking, after a few years thou shall be as I am;” as he considered himself and the other, though he would see what was promised; yet considering his own feebleness, would not believe, and yet he would see what was promised. But with us infants, as it were, lying in this flesh and feebleness, that which is promised is at once great and is not seen; and so faith is aroused whereby we believe that we do not see, that we may attain7 to see what we believe. Whosoever derideth this faith, so as to think that he is not to believe in that he doth not see; when that shall come which he believed not, is put to shame: being confounded is separated, being separated, is condemned. But whoso shall have believed, is put aside at the right hand, and shall stand with great confidence and joy among those to whom it shall be said, “Come, blessed of My Father, receive the kingdom which hath been prepared for you from the beginning of the world.”8 But the Lord made an end when He spake these words, thus, “These shall go into everlasting burning, but the righteous into life eternal.”1 This is the life eternal which is promised us.

2. Because men love to live on this earth, life is promised them; and because they exceedingly fear to die, eternal life is promised them. What dost thou love? To live. This shalt thou have. What dost thou fear? To die. Thou shalt not suffer it. This seemed to be enough for human infirmity, that it should be said, “Thou shalt have eternal life.” This the mind of man can comprehend, by its present condition it can in some sort comprehend what is to be. But by the imperfection of its present condition how far can it comprehend it? Because he lives, and does not wish to die; he loves eternal life, he wishes to live always, never to die. But they who shall be tormented in punishments, have even a wish to die, and cannot. It is no great thing then to live long, or to live for ever; but to live blessedly is a great thing. [II] Let us love eternal life, and hereby may we know how greatly we ought to labour for eternal life, when we see men who love the present life, which lasts but for a time and must be brought to an end, labour so for it, that when the fear of death comes, they will do whatever they can, not to put away, but to put off death. How does a man labour, when death threatens, by flight, by concealment, by giving all he has, and redeeming himself, by toil, by endurance of torments and uneasinesses, by calling in physicians, and whatever else a man can do? See, how that after exhausting all his labour and his means, he is but able to contrive to live a little longer; to live always, he is not able. If then men strive with so great labour, with so great efforts, so great a cost, such earnestness, such watchfulness, such carefulness, that they may live a little longer; how should they strive that they may live for ever? And if they are called wise, who by all means strive to put off death, and live a few days, that they lose not a few days: how foolish are they who so live as to lose the day eternal!

3. This then only can be promised us, that this gift of God may in whatever measure be sweet to us, from this which we have at present; seeing that it is of His gift we have it, that we live, that we are in health. When then eternal life is promised, let us set before our eyes a life of such a kind, as to remove from it everything unpleasant which we suffer here. For it is easier for us to find what is not there, than what is there. Lo, here we live; we shall live there also. Here we are in health when we are not sick, and there is no pain in the body; there we shall be in health also. And when it is well with us in this life, we suffer no scourge; we shall suffer none there also. Suppose then a man here below living, in sound health, suffering no scourge; if any one were to grant him that he should be for ever so, and that this good estate should never cease, how greatly would he rejoice? how greatly be transported? how would he not contain himself in joy without pain, without torment, without end of life? If God had promised us this only, which I have mentioned, which I have just now in such words as I was able, described and set forth; at what a price ought it to be purchased if it were to be sold, how great a sum ought to be given to buy it? [III] Would all that thou hadst suffice, even though thou shouldest possess the whole world? And yet it is to be sold; buy it if thou wilt. And be not much disquieted for a thing so great, because of the largeness of the price. Its price is no more than what thou hast. Now to procure any great and precious thing, thou wouldest get ready gold, or silver, or money, or any increase of cattle, or fruits, which might be produced in thy possessions, to buy this I know not what great and excellent thing, whereby to live in this earth happily. Buy this too, if thou wilt. Do not look for what thou hast, but for what thou art. The price of this thing is thyself. Its price is what thou art thyself. Give thine own self, and thou shalt have it. Why art thou troubled? why disquieted? What? Art thou going to seek for thine own self, or to buy thyself? Lo, give thine own self as thou art, such as thou art to that thing, and thou shalt have it. But you will say, “I am wicked, and perhaps it will not accept me.” By giving thyself to it, thou wilt be good. The giving thyself to this faith and promise, this is to be good. And when thou shalt be good, thou wilt be the price of this thing; and shalt have, not only what I have mentioned, health, safety, life, and life without end; thou shalt not only have this, I will take away other things yet. There shall there be no weariness, and sleeping; there shall there be no hunger, and thirst; there shall there be no growing, and growing old; because there shall be no birth either where the numbers remain entire. The number that is there is entire; nor is there any need for it to be increased, seeing there is no chance of diminution there. Lo, how many things have I taken away, and I have not yet said what shall be there. Lo, already there is life, and safety; no scourge, no hunger, no thirst, no failing, none of these; and yet I have not said, “what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath ascended into the heart of man.” For if I have said it, it is false that is written, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it ascended into the heart of man.” For whence should it ascend into my heart, that I should say “that which hath not ascended into the heart of man”? It is believed, and not seen; not only not seen, but not even expressed. How then is it believed, if it is not expressed? Who believes what he doth not hear? But if he hear it that he may believe, it is expressed; if expressed, it is thought of; if thought of and expressed, then it entereth into the ears of men. And because it would not be expressed if it were not thought of, it hath ascended also into the heart of man. Lo, already the mere proposing of so great a thing disturbs us, that we cannot put it forth clearly in words. Who then can explain the thing itself?

[IV] 4. Let us attend to the Gospel; just now the Lord was speaking, and let us do what He said. “He that believeth in Me,” saith He, “passeth from death unto life, and cometh not into judgment. Verily I say unto you, that the hour shall come, and now is, when the dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God, and they that bear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.”1 By begetting Him He gave it; in that He begat, He gave it. For the Son is of the Father, not the Father of the Son; but the Father is the Father of the Son, and the Son is the Son of the Father. I say the Son is begotten of the Father, not the Father of the Son; and the Son was always, always therefore begotten. Who can comprehend this “always begotten”? For when any man hears of one begotten, it occurs to him; “Therefore there was a time, when he who was begotten was not.” What say we then? Not so; there was no time before the Son, for that “all things were made by Him.”2 If all things were made by Him, times also were made by Him; how could times be before the Son, by whom times were made? Take away then all times, the Son was with the Father always. If the Son were with the Father always, and yet the Son, He was begotten always; if begotten always, He who was begotten was always with Him That begat Him.

5. You will say, “This have I never seen, one begetting, and always with him whom be begat; but he that begat came first, and he that was begotten followed in time.” You say well, “I have never seen this;” for this appertains to “that which eye hath not seen.” Do you ask how it may be expressed? It cannot be expressed; “For the ear hath not heard, neither hath it ascended unto the heart of man.” Be it believed and adored, when we believe, we adore; when we adore, we grow; when we grow, we comprehend. For as yet whilst we are in this flesh, as long as we are absent from the Lord, we are, with respect to the Holy Angels who see these things, infants to be suckled by faith, hereafter to be fed by sight. For so saith the Apostle, “As long as we are in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight.”3 We shall some day come to sight, which is thus promised us by John in his Epistle; “Dearly beloved, we are the sons of God, and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be.”4 We are the sons of God now by grace, by faith, by the Sacrament, by the Blood of Christ, by the redemption of the Saviour; “We are the sons of God, and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

[V] 6. Lo, unto the comprehending of what are we being nourished up; lo, unto the embracing and the feeding on what are we being nourished up; yet so as that that which is fed on is not diminished, and he that feedeth is supported. For now food supports us by eating it; but the food which is eaten, is diminished; but when we shall begin to feed on Righteousness, to feed on Wisdom, to feed on that Food Immortal, we are at once supported, and That Food is not diminished. For if the eye knows how to feed on light, and yet doth not diminish the light; for the light will be no less because it is seen by more; it feeds the eyes of more, and yet is as great as it was before: both they are fed, and it is not diminished; if God hath granted this to the light which He hath made for the eyes of the flesh, what is He Himself, the Light for the eyes of the heart? If then any choice5 food were praised to thee, on which thou wast to dine, thou wouldest prepare the stomach; God is praised to thee, prepare the heart.

7. Behold what thy Lord saith to thee: “The hour shall come,” saith He, “and now is.” “The hour shall come,” yea, that very hour, “now is, when”—what? “when the dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God, and they that shall hear shall live.” They then that shall not hear, shall not live. What is, “They that shall hear”? They that shall obey. What is, “They that shall hear”? They that shall believe and obey, they shall live. So then before they believed and obeyed, they lay dead; they walked, and were dead. What availed it to them, that they walked, being dead? And yet if any among them were to die a bodily death, they would run, get ready the grave, wrap him up, carry him out, bury him, the dead, the dead; of whom it is said, “Let the dead bury their dead.”6 Such dead as these are in such wise raised by the Word of God, as to live in faith. They who were dead in unbelief, are aroused by the Word. Of this hour said the Lord, “The hour shall come, and now is.” For with His Own Word did He raise them that were dead in unbelief; of whom the Apostle says, “Arise thou that sleepest, and rise up from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”1 This is the resurrection of hearts, this is the resurrection of the inner man, this is the resurrection of the soul.

[VI] 8. But this is not the only resurrection, there remains a resurrection of the body also. Whoso riseth again in soul, riseth again in body to his blessedness. For in soul all do not rise again; in body all are to rise again. In soul, I say, all do not rise again; but they that believe and obey; for, “They that shall hear shall live.” But as the Apostle says, “All men have not faith.”2 If then all men have not faith, all men do not rise again in soul. When thy hour of the resurrection of the booty shall come, all shall rise again; be they good or bad, all shall rise again. But whoso first riseth again in soul, to his blessedness riseth again in body; whoso doth not first rise again in soul, riseth again in body to his curse. Whoso riseth again in soul, riseth again in body unto life; whoso riseth not again in soul, riseth again in body unto punishment. Seeing then that the Lord hath impressed upon us this resurrection of souls, unto which we ought all to hasten, and to labour that we may live therein, and living persevere even unto the end, it remained for Him to impress upon us the resurrection of bodies also, which is to be at the end of the world. Now hear how He hath impressed this too.

9. When He had said, “Verily I say unto you, The hour shall come, and now is, when the dead,” that is, the unbelievers, “shall hear the Voice of the Son of God,” that is, the Gospel, “and they that shall hear,” that is, that shall obey, “shall live,” that is, shall be justified, and shall be unbelievers no longer; when, I say, He had said this, forasmuch as He saw that we had need to be instructed as to the resurrection of the flesh also, and were not to be left thus, He went on and said, “For as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” This refers to the resurrection of souls, to the quickening of souls. Then He added, “And hath given Him power to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” This Son of God, is Son of Man. For if the Son of God had continued the Son of God, and had not been made the Son of Man, He would not have delivered the sons of men. He who had made man, was Himself made that which He made, that what He made might not perish. But He was in such wise made the Son of Man, as to continue the Son of God. For He was made Man by assuming that which He was not, not by losing That which He was; continuing God, He was made Man. He took thee, He was not consumed in thee. As such then came He to us, the Son of God, and Son of Man, the Maker and the Made, the Creator and the Created; the Creator of His mother, Created of His mother; such came He to us. In respect of His being the Son of God, He saith, “The hour shall come, and now is, when the dead shall hear the Voice of the Son of God.” He did not say, “Of the Son of Man;” for He was impressing the truth, wherein He is equal to the Father. “And they that shall hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself;” not by participation, but “in Himself.” For we have not life in ourselves; but in our God. But He, the Father, hath life in Himself; and He begat such a Son as should have life in Himself; not be made a partaker of life, but Himself be Life, of which life we I should be partakers; that is, should have life in Himself, and Himself be Life. But that He should be made the Son of Man, He took from us. Son of God in Himself; that He should be the Son of Man, He took from us. Son of God of That which is His Own, Son of Man of ours. That which is the less, took He from us; That which is the more, gave He to us. For thus He died in that He is the Son of Man, not in that He is the Son of God. Yet the Son of God died; but He died in respect to the flesh, not in respect to “the Word which was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”3 So then in that He died, He died of that which was ours; in that we live, we live of That which is His. He could not die of That which was His own, nor could we live of that which is our own. As God then, as the Only-Begotten, as equal with Him who begat Him, did the Lord Jesus impress this upon us, that if we hear, we shall live.

[VII] 10. But, saith He, “He hath given Him power to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” So then that Form is to come to judgment. The Form of Man is to come to judgment; therefore He said, “He hath given Him power to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” The Judge here shall be the Son of Man; here shall That Form judge which was judged. Hear and understand: the Prophet had said this already, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”4 That Very Form shall they see which they smote with a spear. He shall sit as Judge, Who stood at the judge’s seat. He shall condemn the real criminals, Who was made a criminal falsely. He shall come Himself, That Form shall come. This you find in the Gospel too; when before the eyes of His disciples He was going into heaven, they stood and looked on, and the Angelic voice spake, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye,” etc. “This Jesus shall come in like manner as ye see Him going into heaven.”1 What is, “shall come in like manner”? Shall come in this Very Form. For “He hath given Him power to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.” Now see on what principle this was behoveful and right, that they who were to be judged might see the Judge. For they who were to be judged were both good and bad. “But blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”2 It remained that in the Judgment the Form of the servant should be manifested both to good and bad, the Form of God be reserved for the good alone.

11. For what is it that the good are to receive? Behold I am now expressing that which I did not express a little above; and yet in expressing I do not express it. For I said that there we shall be in sound health, shall be safe, shall be living, shall be without scourges, without hunger and thirst, without failing, without loss of our eyes. All this I said; but what we shall have more, I said not. [VIII] We shall see God. Now this will be so great, yea so great a thing will it be, that in comparison of it, all the rest is nothing. I said that we shall be living, that we shall be safe and sound, that we shall suffer no hunger and thirst, that we shall not fall into weariness, that sleep will not oppress us. All this, what is it to that happiness, whereby we shall see God? Because then God cannot be now manifested as He is, whom nevertheless we shall see; therefore, “what eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,”3 this the good shall see, this shall the godly see, this the merciful shall see, this shall the faithful see, this shall they see who shall have a good lot in the resurrection of the body, for that they have had a good obedience in the resurrection of the heart.

12. Shall then the wicked man see God too? of whom Isaiah saith, “Let the ungodly be taken away, that he see not the Glory of God.”4 Both the ungodly and the godly then shall see that Form; and when the sentence, “Let the ungodly be taken away that he see not the Glory of God,” shall have been pronounced; it remains that as to the godly and the good, that be fulfilled which the Lord Himself promised, when He was here in the flesh, and seen not by the good only, but by the evil also. He spake amongst the good and evil, and was seen of all, as God, hidden, as Man, manifested; as God ruling men, as Man appearing among men: He spake, I say, among them, and said, “Whoso loveth Me, keepeth My commandments; and he that loveth Me, shall be loved of My Father, and I will love him.”5 And as if it were said to Him, And what wilt Thou give him? And “I will,” He saith, “manifest Myself to him.” When did He say this? When He was seen by men. When did He say this? When He was seen even by them, by whom He was not loved. How then was He to manifest Himself to them that loved Him, save in Such a Form, as they who loved Him then saw not? Therefore, seeing that the Form of God was being reserved, the Form of man manifested; by the Form of man, speaking to men, conspicuous and visible, He manifested Himself to all, both good and bad, He reserved Himself for them that loved Him.

[IX] 13. When is He to manifest Himself to them that love Him? After the resurrection of the body, when “the ungodly shall be taken away that he see not the Glory of God.” For then “when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”6 This is life eternal. For all that we said before is nothing to that life. That we live, what is it? That we are in health, what is it? That we shall see God, is a great thing. This is life eternal; this Himself hath said, “But this is life eternal, that they may know Thee the Only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”7 This is life eternal, that they may know, see, comprehend, acquaint themselves with what they had believed, may perceive that which they were not yet able to comprehend. Then may the mind see what “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it ascended into the heart of man;” this shall be said to them at the end, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, receive the kingdom which hath been prepared for you from the beginning of the world.”8 Those wicked ones then shall go into everlasting burning. But the righteous, whither? Into life eternal? What is life eternal? “This is life eternal, that they may know Thee, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.”

[X] 14. Speaking then of the future resurrection of the body, and not leaving us thus, He saith, “He hath given Him power to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Marvel not at this, for the hour shall come.” He did not add in this place, “and now is;” because this hour shall be hereafter, because this hour shall be at the end of the world, because this shall be the last hour, shall be at the last trump. “Marvel not at this,” because I have said, “He hath given Him power to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Marvel not.” For this reason have I said this, because it behoves Him as Man to be judged by men. And what men shall He judge? Those whom He finds alive? Not only those, but what? “The hour shall come, when they that are in the graves.”1 How did He express those that are dead in the flesh? “They who are in the graves,” whose corpses lie buried, whose ashes are covered up, whose bones are dispersed, whose flesh is flesh no more, and yet is entire to God. “The hour shall come, when all that are in the graves shall hear His Voice, and shall come forth.” Be they good or bad, they shall hear the Voice, and shall come forth. All the bands of the grave2 shall be burst asunder; all that was lost, yea rather was thought to be lost, shall be restored. For if God made man who was not, can He not re-fashion that which was?

[XI] 15. I suppose when it is said, “God shall raise the dead again,” no incredible thing is said; for it is of God, not of man, that it is said. It is a great thing which shall be done, yea, an incredible thing that shall be done. But let it not be incredible, for see, who It is That doeth it. He it is said shall raise thee, Who created thee. Thou wast not, and thou art; and once made, shalt thou not be? God forbid thou shouldest think so! God did something more marvellous when He made that which was not; and nevertheless He did make that which was not; and shall it be disbelieved that He is able to re-fashion that which was, by those very persons whom He made what they were not? Is this the return we make to God, we who were not, and were made? Is this the return we make Him, that we will not believe that He is able to raise again what He hath made? Is this the return which His creature renders Him? “Have I therefore,” God saith to thee, “made thee, O man, before thou wast, that thou shouldest not believe Me, that thou shall be what thou wast, who hast been able to be what thou wast not?” But you will say, “Lo, what I see in the tomb, is dust, ashes, bones; and shall this receive life again, skin, substance, flesh, and rise again? what? these ashes, these bones, which I see in the tomb?” Well. At least thou seest ashes, thou seest bones in the tomb; in thy mother’s womb there was nothing. This thou seest, ashes at least there are, and bones; before that thou wast, there was neither ashes, nor bones; and yet thou wast made, when thou wast not at all; and dost thou not believe that these bones (for in whatever state, of whatever kind they are, yet they are), shall receive the form again which they had, when thou hast received what thou hadst not? Believe; for if thou shalt believe this, then shall thy soul be raised up. And thy soul shall be raised up “now;” “The hour shall come, and now is;” then to thy blessing shall thy flesh rise again, “when the hour shall come, that all that are in the graves shall hear His Voice, and shall come forth.” For thou must not at once rejoice, because thou dost hear “and come forth;” hear what follows, “They that have done good unto the resurrection of life; but they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.”3 Turning to the Lord, etc.

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Commentaries for the First Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 2, 2016

FEAST OF THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
Note: we are in Year C

Year A: Commentaries for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Year B: Commentaries for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

Year C: Commentaries for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

MONDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

A Moral Exposition of 1 Samuel 1:1-8.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 116.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 116.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 116. On verses 10-19.

My Notes on Mark 1:14-20.

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:14-20.

TUESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

My Notes on 1 Samuel 1:9-20.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on 1 Sam 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8. On 1-10.

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

My Notes on Mark 1:21-28.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:21-28.

WEDNESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Update: Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 3:1-10, 19-20.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 40.

Entire: St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 40Today’s verses.

My Notes on Mark 1:29-39.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 1:29-39.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:29-39.

THURSDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 4:1-11Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 4:1-11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 44.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 44.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 1:40-45.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 1:40-45.

My Notes on Mark 1:40-45.

FRIDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22a.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 89.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 89.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 2:1-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 2:1-12.

SATURDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Samuel 9:1-4, 17-19, 10:1.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 21.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 21.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 21.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 21.

Father E. S. Berry’s Commentary on Psalm 21.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 2:13-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 2:13-17.

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

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

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

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

Next Week’s Posts.

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September 8~Commentaries for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 28, 2015

Today’s Mass Readings. Note: Today’s first reading allows for an alternate. The Gospel reading allows for a shorter text.

Today’s Divine Office.

Alternate 1: My Background Notes on Micah 5:1-4a.

Alternate 1: Navarre Bible Commentary on Micah 5:1-4a. Note: verse numbering follows the RSV (Mic 5:2-5a).

Alternate 2: Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 8:28-30.

Alternate 2: Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 8:28-30.

Alternate 2: Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 8:28-30.

Alternate 2: Navarre Bible Commentary on Romans 8:28-30.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 13.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 13.

Longer text: Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23.

Longer text: Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23.

Shorter text: Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 1:18-23. Includes 24.

Shorter text: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 1:18-23. Includes 24-25.

Shorter text: Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 1:18-23. Includes 24.

Shorter text: Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 1:18-23. Includes 24.

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Dec 12~Commentaries for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 25, 2014

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING, Choice 1: Zechariah 2:14-17.

My Notes on Zechariah 2:14-17.

Word-Sunday Notes on Zechariah 2:14-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Zechariah 2:14-17.

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING, Choice 2: Revelation 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab.

Word-Sunday Notes on Revelation 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab.

My Notes on Revelation 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Revelation 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Judith 13:18bcde, 19.

Word-Sunday Notes on Judith 13:18-19.

Pending (maybe). My Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Judith 13:18-19).

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING, Choice 1: Luke 1:26-38.

Aquinas’  Catena Aurea on Luke 1:26-38.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Luke 1:26-38.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Luke 1:26-38.

Word-Sunday Notes on Luke 1:26-38.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 1:26-38.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING, Choice 2: Luke 1:39-47.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Luke 1:39-47.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Luke 1:39-47.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 1:39-47.

Word-Sunday Notes on Luke 1:39-47.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 1:39-47.

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Commentaries for the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time, Year II

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 18, 2014

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2014
THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A

Commentaries for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A.

Last Week’s Posts.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014
MONDAY OF THE THIRTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Ephesians 4:32-5:8.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Ephesians 4:32-5:8.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Ephesians 4:32-5:8. On 4:32-5:14.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ephesians 4:32-5:8.

Father Patrick Boylan’s Introduction and Commentary on Psalm 1.

My Introduction to Psalm 1.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 1.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 1.

My notes on Psalm 1.

Pseudo-St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 1.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 1.

Lectio Divina Reading of Psalm 1..

A Jewish Medieval Commentary on Psalm 1.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 13:10-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 13:10-17.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2014
FEAST OF SAINT SIMON AND SAINT JUDE, APOSTLES

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Ephesians 2:19-22.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Ephesians 2:19-22.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Ephesians 2:19-22.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ephesians 2:19-22.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 19.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 19.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 19.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 19.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 6:12-16.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 6:12-16.

RESOURCES FOR THE FEAST OF ST SIMON AND ST JUDE:

Pope Benedict XVI’s Catechesis on Saints Simon and Jude.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on the Epistle of St Jude.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2014
WEDNESDAY OF THE THIRTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Ephesians 6:1-9.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Ephesians 6:1-9.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ephesians 6:1-9.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 145.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 145.

Pseudo-St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 145 (144).

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 145.

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

My Notes on Luke 13:22-30.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 13:22-30.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2014
THURSDAY OF THE THIRTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

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

Father Callan’s Commentary on Ephesians 6:10-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Ephesians 6:10-20.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 144.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 144.

Pseudo-St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 144.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 144.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 13:31-35.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 13:31-35.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 13:31-35.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2014
FRIDAY OF THE THIRTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Philippians 1:1-11.

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

Pending: Fr. MacEvilly’s Commentary on Philippians 1:1-11.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Philippians 1:1-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Philippians 1:1-11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 111.

Pending: St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 111.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 111.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 14:1-6.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 14:1-6.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 14:1-6.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2014
SOLEMNITY OF ALL SAINTS

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14.

St Bede the Venerable on Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 24.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 24:1-6. Covers the verses used today. Part 2 here.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 24.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 24.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 John 3:1-3.

St Augustine on 1 John 3:1-3.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 John 3:1-3.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 John 3:1-3.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Matthew 5:1-12.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:1-12.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:1-12.

Father Maas Commentary on Matthew 5:1-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:1-12.

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2014
COMMEMORATION OF ALL THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED (ALL SOULS)

Commentary for the Commemoration of All the Faithful (All Souls).

 Next Week’s Posts.

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

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 1, 2014

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2014
TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A

Commentaries for the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A.

Last Week’s Commentaries.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2014
FEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Today’s Mass Readings. Note: Today’s first reading allows for an alternate. The Gospel reading allows for a shorter text.

Today’s Divine Office.

Alternate 1: My Background Notes on Micah 5:1-4a.

Alternate 1: Navarre Bible Commentary on Micah 5:1-4a. Note: verse numbering follows the RSV (Mic 5:2-5a).

Alternate 2: Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 8:28-30.

Alternate 2: Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 8:28-30.

Alternate 2: Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 8:28-30.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 13.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 13.

Longer text: Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23.

Longer text: Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 1:1-16, 18-23.

Shorter text: Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 1:18-23. Includes 24.

Shorter text: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 1:18-23. Includes 24-25.

Shorter text: Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 1:18-23. Includes 24.

Shorter text: Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 1:18-23. Includes 24.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2014
MEMORIAL OF ST PETER CLAVER, PRIEST

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:1-11.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:1-11.

Navarre Commentary on 1 Corinthians 6:1-11.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 149.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 149.

St Cyril of Alexandria on Luke 6:12-19.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 6:12-19.

Navarre Commentary on Luke 6:12-19.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2014
WEDNESDAY OF THE TWENTY-THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:25-31.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:25-31.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:25-31.

Navarre Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:25-31.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 45.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 45.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 45.

My Notes on Luke 6:20-26.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 6:20-26.

Navarre Commentary on Luke 6:20-26.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2014
THURSDAY OF THE TWENTY-THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 8:1-7, 11-13.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 8:1-7, 11-13.

Navarre Commentary on 1 Corinthians 8:1-7, 11-13.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 139.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 139.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 139.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 6:27-38.

Navarre Commentary on Luke 6:27-38.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014
FRIDAY OF THE TWENTY-THIRD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22b-27.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22b-27.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22b-27.

Pending: Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 9:16-19, 22b-27.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 84.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 84.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 6:39-42.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 6:39-42.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 6:39-42.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2014
MEMORIAL OF ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, BISHOP AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

Today’s Mass Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:14-22.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:14-22.

Navarre Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:14-22. Readings from several translations followed by commentary.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 116.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 116.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 116:10-19. Covers the various verses used today.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 6:43-49.

Pending: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 6:43-49.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 6:43-49. On 41-49.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2014
FEAST OF THE EXALTATION OF THE HOLY CROSS

Commentaries for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

 Next Week’s Posts.

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Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Acts 9:31-42

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 10, 2014

Act 9:31 Now, the church had peace throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria: and was edified, walking in the fear of the Lord: and was filled with the consolation of the Holy Ghost.

The Church had peace. (In Greek, churches); freed from the persecution which commenced with the death of Stephen.

“All Judea,” &c. The three provinces into which Palestine was divided, and to which the preaching of the Gospel was in a great measure hitherto confined. In other places, too, there were several converted Jews. But St. Luke speaks only of these three districts as it was in them persecution was so rife.

This cessation from persecution was probably owing to the conversion of the chief agent of persecution. Saul now became the most ardent and most zealous propagator of the faith. It may also be in some measure owing to the persecution the Jews themselves were suffering from Caligula who ordered his statue to be set up in the Temple, and instructed his lieutenant, Petronius, to extinguish in blood any attempt at opposition (Josephus, Antiq. xviii.; viii. 2–9; de Bello ii. c. 10). They had, therefore, themselves something else to mind besides persecuting the Christians.

“Edified.” A metaphorical expression, allusive to raising a material building. In a spiritual sense, it denotes an increase in grace and sanctity; in a physical sense, an increase of numbers. The former is chiefly meant as in following words: “walking,” living, regulating their lives “in the fear of the Lord,” walking in the way of his commandments and practising his true worship.

“Filled with the consolations.” Interior peace and abundant graces “of the Holy Ghost.”

Act 9:32 And it came to pass that Peter, as he passed through, visiting all, came to the saints who dwelt at Lydda.

Peter, who had up to this remained at Jerusalem to guard his flock against the effects of persecution, now availing himself of the temporary lull and calm, sets about discharging his office of Supreme Pastor of the entire fold, and visiting them in their several settlements.

“Lydda,” afterwards called Diospolis, or city of Jupiter, situated near the Mediterranean, about thirty miles north of Jerusalem, fifteen, to the east of Joppe. It belonged to the tribe of Ephraim.

Act 9:33 And he found there a certain man named Æneas, who had kept his bed for eight years, who was ill of the palsy.

“Æneas.” Judging from his Greek name he would seem to be a Gentile or Hellenist Jew, whether a Christian does not appear. If he were, likely St. Luke would have said so, as he does regarding “Tabitha” “a certain disciple.” He only speaks of “Eneas” as “a certain man.”

Act 9:34 And Peter said to him: Æneas, the Lord Jesus Christ healeth thee. Arise and make thy bed. And immediately he arose.
Act 9:35 And all that dwelt at Lydda and Saron saw him: who were converted to the Lord.

“And all that dwelt in Lydda.” All is here taken in a morally universal sense. “Saron,” a large, fertile plain extending along the Mediterranean coast from Carmel to Joppe, having Carmel to the north.

Act 9:36 And in Joppe there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

“And in Joppe.” The Greek for “and” is “but” (δε), putting the following still greater miracle in opposition to the preceding. “Joppe,” now Jaffa, a seaport on the Mediterranean (Jonas 1:3) in the tribe of Dan, having Cæsarea, thirty miles to the north; it was forty-five miles north-west of Jerusalem.

“Tabitha.” A Syro-Chaldaic word, the same as “Dorcas” in the Greek, signifying a kind of goat, which the Italians term Gazella—antelope. The name is expressed in Syriac and Greek. She was known by both names.
“Good works and alms-deeds.” “Alms-deeds” are specially mentioned among “good works,” as it was in this she was specially distinguished; and it was to this kind of good works the miracle may be ascribed.

Act 9:37 And it came to pass in those days that she was sick and died. Whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber.

“An upper chamber.” A retired apartment in the upper part of the house. They had gone through the usual preparation for interment.

Act 9:38 And forasmuch as Lydda was nigh to Joppe, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not be slack to come unto them.

“Nigh to Joppe,” about six miles distant.

“To come to them,” to console them. There is no evidence that they expected the miracle of her resuscitation, especially as the Apostles had not yet raised anyone to life.

Act 9:39 And Peter rising up went with them. And when he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber. And all the widows stood about him, weeping and shewing him the coats and garments which Dorcas made them.
Act 9:40 And they all being put forth, Peter, kneeling down, prayed. And turning to the body, he said: Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes and, seeing Peter, sat up.

“They all being put forth (out),” lest they might interrupt his fervent prayer. In this was followed the example left us by our Blessed Lord on the occasion of raising the daughter of Jairus (Matthew 9:24; Mark 5:40).

Act 9:41 And giving her his hand, he lifted her up. And when he had called the saints and the widows, he presented her alive.
Act 9:42 And it was made known throughout all Joppe. And many believed in the Lord.
Act 9:43 And it cane to pass that he abode many days in Joppe, with one Simon a tanner.
“Many days.” A considerable time. Patrizzi holds it embraced only some months, but not an entire year.
“Simon the tanner.” On account of contact with the dead bodies of animals, the trade of tanner was regarded by the Jews as impure. However, in his humility, St. Peter paid no heed to this Rabbinical opinion.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on John 10:1-10

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 7, 2014

In this chapter, our Lord treats of the Parable of the good Shepherd (1–6). His hearers understood not its object or tendency (7). He then explains the parable, and applying it to Himself, He states that He is Himself the good Shepherd. He points out the characteristics or qualities of a good Shepherd, and contrasts him with selfish hirelings, who desert their flocks at the first approach of danger (7–15).

He conveys that He is Himself prepared, at His Father’s command, to give His life freely for His flock (15–19).

He reproaches the Jews with refusing to believe in Him, notwithstanding the evidence of works proving His Divinity (19–25).

He asserts His identity with His Father (30). The Jews understanding Him correctly to claim equality with God, threaten to stone Him as a blasphemer. Our Lord confirms this impression, as it was correct on the part of the Jews, by several arguments, and repeats His claim to be regarded as the Eternal Son of God, consubstantial with the Father (31–38).

By an exercise of His Almighty power, He escapes from them and crosses the Jordan into Pærea, where He remained for some time (39–42).

1 AMEN, amen, I say to you: He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber.

“Amen, amen.” The repetition of the word, “Amen,” when prefixed by our Lord to any assertion, conveys the most solemn asseveration.

“I say unto you, he that entereth,” etc. This parable of the sheepfold, etc., was uttered by our Lord, in connexion with the preceding, including the cure of the blind man, as appears from v. 19.

Some, however, hold that some interval elapsed between what is recorded here and the preceding. But, the words “Amen, amen,” with which the present account commences, would show, that He is not entering on a new subject, as these words are not employed for the commencement of a discourse, and the whole discourse looks like a continuation of what goes before.

Some Expositors, therefore, maintain, that this tenth chapter should begin at v. 19 of c. 9. “For judgment am I come unto the world.” The division of chapters was made, not by the Evangelist; but, by Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caso, about the middle of the 13th century.

The casting out of the man, cured by our Lord, from their place of meeting, possibly, the Synagogue of the Jews (c. 9. v. 34), with the view of showing that our Lord was a false teacher—He and all His followers having been cast out from the Jewish Church, apostates from the Jewish religion, placed outside the Synagogue or true assembly of God’s people—gave occasion to this parable of the sheepfold.

In it, our Lord wishes to convey, the opposite of what they thought, viz., that far from being a false Prophet, in consequence of His exclusion from the Synagogue, He was, on the contrary, on the way into the sheepfold—the authority of the Synagogue being now abolished—and as the Scribes and Pharisees refused to enter into His sheepfold, they were rejected and reprobated by God. The parable continues up to v. 11, and there our Lord Himself makes the application.

“He that entereth not by the door,” that is, the passage open for all who have no sinister design in entering “into the sheepfold,” “climbeth up another way,” whether through a window or any breach in the wall of the enclosure, “the same is a thief,” whose only object is to steal away the sheep privately and unobserved, “and a robber,” whose object is to carry them off forcibly, “to kill and destroy them.” The sheepfold was open above; it was made of hurdles and wicker work. He enters not by the door, who enters not by Christ, the door of the Church, and possessing no legitimate delegation from God, assumes an office to which he is not called by God, like Aaron. Our Lord alludes to such men as Theodas and Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:36, 37), who claimed to be regarded as the Messias. He also refers to the Pharisees, who were opposing Him and turning away the people from Him. In a word, He refers to all who undertook, unsent, to guide the people, like those referred to by Jeremias, c. 23:21: “I did not send Prophets, yet, they ran; I have not spoken to them, yet, they prophesied.”

2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

“He that entereth by the door is the shepherd,” etc. His entering by the door is a proof that He is the owner, who has a right to go in and go out, on His legitimate business, in caring and looking after the flock.

Christ, who is the door, enters through Himself into the sheepfold. It is by His authority, all others legitimately enter into it. Moreover, as our Lord has two natures, Christ, as man, enters through Himself, as God; although, in the literal sense, the door and the Pastor are different. In the application, they are the same thing, “Intrat per Christum, tanquam ostium, qui in illum credit; et qui illum in regimine fidelium imitatur.”—(St. Augustine.)

3 To him the porter openeth: and the sheep hear his voice. And he calleth his own sheep by name and leadeth them out.

“The porter,” designates the man appointed to guard the entrance, to admit all having a claim, and exclude intruders. This true Pastor knows all His sheep, and has a different name for each. The sheep “hear,” that is, recognise “His voice,” His peculiar tone or whistle, leaving their pasture to follow Him; so do the faithful, recognising the voice of Christ, receive His doctrines and obey His precepts.

“He calleth His own sheep by name,” taking special care of each, and attending to their individual wants. So does Christ by Himself, and also through the pastors of His Church, specially attend to the spiritual wants and necessities of each member of His flock.

“The porter,” means the Holy Ghost, who opens the door into the Church to Christ, giving Him authority, by the wonderful works wrought through Him, as also by the descent on Him at Baptism. The same Holy Ghost, it is, that places other pastors over the Church. “Quos posuit Spiritus Sanctus, Episcopos, regere Ecclesiam Dei.” (Acts 20:28)

4 And when he hath let out his own sheep, he goeth before them: and the sheep follow him, because they know his voice.

“The sheep follow Him.” The contrary usage prevails in the West; the shepherd follows the sheep and drives them before him. In the EAST, the shepherd precedes them. Here, it is meant to point out the care which the pastors of the Church should show in protecting their flocks from the inroads of wolves, and guarding them against all dangers. There is allusion also to their holding out before them the light and guidance of a good example.

5 But a stranger they follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice of strangers.

The sheep “know not,” the peculiar tone of “voice,” nor the whistling “of strangers.” The true faithful shun those, who deliver doctrines or precepts different from what had been pointed out to them by the voice of their true pastors, whom they recognise as inculcating doctrines and precepts that emanate from God.

6 This proverb Jesus spoke to them. But they understood not what he spoke.

“The proverb.” It may be called a “parable,” which is longer than a “proverb.” By a “proverb,” is meant a trite, short, pithy sentence, expressing some well-known truth, or some common fact, ascertained from experience. The three other Evangelists call such, “parables.” St. John, “proverbs.” The Greek word for “parable” only occurs in the three first Evangelists. St. John, in every instance, terms such illustrations not παραβολαιʼ (parables); but, παρομιαι (proverbs). The Hebrew for both is the same, Marshah. Hence, the Septuagint translators of the Book of Solomon, translate the word, at one time, parable; at another, proverb. Both words are often interchanged and used as convertible terms. The proverb is but a condensed parable; the essence and substance of a parable.

“They understood not what He spoke.” They understood well the familiar allusions literally contained in the parable, as these were drawn from common life, regarding sheep, shepherds and sheepfolds, well known to them. But, the scope and tendency of the parable, or what it was meant to illustrate, they understood not, and this our Lord, very probably, intended, so as to avoid rousing their anger too soon against Him, as “His hour had not yet come.” The foregoing is the parable in its literal sense, containing, like almost all parables, several ornamental parts not meant to illustrate the principal subject for elucidation; and although our Lord applies its most prominent parts in the following verses 7–10; there are, still, several parts, the mystical or spiritual meaning of which is left to be explained by others. On these points, Commentators hold different opinions. Our Redeemer only explains the sense or principal part of the parable; viz., that He Himself is the door; and that no one can be saved except through Him. He Himself explains v. 7, states who or what is meant by “the door.”

7 Jesus therefore said to them again: Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

In the most solemn way, “Amen, amen,” He assures them, that He Himself is “the door of the sheep,” that it is only by faith in Him, as the Eternal, consubstantial Son of God, sent into the world to save sinners, man can be justified. “No other name under Heaven whereby man can be saved” (Acts 4:12). He employs the similitude of the pastor to convey that all others are mercenaries, seeking themselves, and not their flocks, like Him whom alone, therefore, they should follow.

8 All others, as many as have come, are thieves and robbers: and the sheep heard them not.

“All OTHERS, as many as have come,” of themselves, unsent by Me, not in connexion with Me or subordinate to Me, affecting to be duly commissioned.

“Are thieves and robbers.” The Prophets of old, who were sent, and entered the fold through Christ’s future merits, are not, therefore, referred to.

He also, very probably, refers to those who came, claiming to be the Pastor—the Messias or Christ so long expected—such as Theodas, Simon Magus, etc. This interpretation derives probability from our Lord, calling Himself “the Pastor” (ὅ ποιμην) (v. 14). In this sense only, could it be said, that, “the others” were “thieves,” etc., since the true Prophet did not claim to be the Pastor or Messias. Hence, He speaks of those (the false Prophets) who pretended to be sent by God, as the Messias. He would seem to note specially the Pharisees, etc., who, seeing the mark of the Messiah in Christ, rejected Him, and taking upon themselves to govern the people, burst into the fold in His own time. The word, “are,” gives this interpretation great probability.

“And the sheep heard them not.” The pious and humble portion of the Jewish nation, “did not hear them,” or embrace their teachings. If they followed them, they would cease to belong to Christ’s sheepfold.

9 I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved: and he shall go in and go out, and shall find pastures.

“He shall be saved,” by entering through Me and by faith in Me, it being understood that he shall persevere in performing everything necessary, good works, etc.

“And he shall go in, and go out,” not go out from the Church; but, to find pastures without any fear, under my guidance, as Shepherd. Or, it may mean: shall, freely, and with all confidence and a sense of security, discharge the duties assigned to him.

“And shall find pastures,” the pastures and spiritual nourishment of true, sound doctrine. It is disputed among Commentators whether this refers to the sheep or to the Pastors. It is in favour of the former, that it is the sheep, that are saved, the Pastor, that saves.

10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly.

“The thief,” who does not enter by the door, but privately steals in, the Heretic, the Schismatic, the Scribe and Pharisee, the false Christ, “come not, but to steal,” the flock from Christ and the Church; to carry them off to the synagogue of Satan, and thus “kill” their souls—“and destroy them,” in the everlasting torments which await them. This they, doubtless, do for the selfish purposes of securing pelf and self aggrandizement. My object in coming is, not only that they may have life, bare existence; but also, that they have what is required to make that life supereminently happy, viz., “have it more abundantly,” or superabundantly, that is, have an abundance of heavenly gifts and graces, which stimulate men to perform acts of heroic merit; and, as a reward, an abundance of glory hereafter, in the kingdom of everlasting bliss, and at the final resurrection.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Acts 2:14, 36-41

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 7, 2014

14 But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke to them: Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you and with your ears receive my words.

Peter, the divinely constituted visible head of the church, representing her invisible founder, with characteristic ardour, now comes forward to defend the Apostles and our Lord himself, who commissioned them, from so foul a calumny. He stands up in order to make himself heard, “with the eleven” who also very, likely, stood up with him, in token of their respect, and in order to express their concurrence in what he was divinely inspired to utter. What the idiom or language he employed was, is, a subject of controversy. It is supposed by many eminent Interpreters, that he addressed them in the vernacular of the country—The Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic of Palestine, so that almost all understood him. Likely, the foreign Jews retained still, with their knowledge of the language of the countries of their abode, a knowledge of the language of the country of their origin also. It may be too that the miracle of tongues was continued here, God so disposing it, that his hearers, foreigners as they were, understood his words, though strange to them; or, the words having the sound of his native tongue for each, the one language spoken became diversified and transformed in the ears of each into his own native tongue. Of this we have an example in the life of St. Francis Xavier, who speaking one tongue was understood by different peoples as if he were speaking their own language.

This address of St. Peter is composed of two parts. In the first part, taking advantage of the circumstances, to defend the miracle and the Apostles against calumnies and ridicule, he shows from the wonderful event, which was, the subject of scorn—that the times of the Messiah had now arrived. In the second part, he shows from our Lord’s miracles, that he was the long-expected Messiah.

“Ye men of Judea.” Native born Jews, “and all you that dwell in Jerusalem,” all you—besides native born Jews—proselytes or strangers who now dwell in Jerusalem. These comprised the whole assembly.

“Receive my words.” Listen attentively to what I am about to say to you.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly that God hath made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you have crucified.

“House,” the entire family or descendants of Israel. “Know most assuredly,” from the Resurrection of our Lord, from His elevation up to Heaven, from the sending down of the Holy Ghost, shown in the miracles of tongues, &c., from the Prophecies just quoted, let them firmly believe, that God has constituted this same Jesus, viewed according to His human nature. “Lord of all things”—“and Christ.” That is to say, the long expected Messiah of the Jewish Nation, whom He anointed in His Incarnation and Union with the Eternal Word, with the oil of gladness beyond his fellows.

“Whom you have crucified,” thus, rendering yourselves guilty of the greatest crime ever perpetrated on this earth. In this peroration and conclusion of his discourse, he meant to excite in them feelings of compunction and to stimulate them to penance, which, with the aid of God’s grace, he succeeded in doing.

37 Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren?

“They had compunction,” exteriorly produced by the words of Peter, and interiorly, “in their heart,” efficaciously produced by the grace and unction of the Holy Ghost enlightening and stimulating them. The Greek for “had,” κατενυγησαν, means, transpierced, as if by some sharp instrument. They were pierced in their hearts with bitter, pungent sorrow—“compunction,” on account of the crime of putting our Lord to death, whom they now believed and knew to be their long promised Messiah.

“What shall we do?” in expiation of so dreadful a crime.

38 But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

“Do penance,” which implies change of heart, in the first instance, also good works worthy of penance.

“And be baptised every one of you in the name”—by the authority, or in the faith “of Jesus Christ,” and the external profession of that faith, by embracing his religion and becoming his followers.

The Greek for “in,” επι, upon, would imply that their Baptism should be grounded on the profession of the Christian religion. “For the remission of your sins,” so that, through this rite as an instrument, you may receive the remission of your sins. “And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Shall receive the Holy Ghost with His gifts. This is understood by some of the Sacrament of Confirmation given through the imposition of hands, administered in the early ages of the Church immediately after, or simultaneously with, Baptism.

However, since the giving of the Holy Ghost was not confined to the rite of confirmation, as in the case of the Apostles themselves; nay, He was given in some cases before it, as happened Cornelius the Centurion: Hence, it is better to understand it of giving of the Holy Ghost, in due circumstances to the faithful, apart from the rite of imposition of hands.

In this it is not implied that Baptism was given in “the name of Jesus,” but only in the form prescribed by our Lord Himself (Matthew 28:19). Likely, St. Peter had fully instructed them on these points.

39 For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.

In proof that they will receive the Holy Ghost, he tells them that to the Israelites in general, in whatever place they are, many of them here present from even the most distant nation under heaven (“far off”) was made the promise announced by Joel (v. 17) regarding the effusion of the Holy Ghost.

“And their children,” their sons and daughters referred to by Joel, limited neither to time nor place. It embraced “all flesh.”

The terms, “afar off,” are frequently employed in the Old Testament to designate the Gentiles, who were to be co-heirs of Abraham’s promises (Galatians 3:29; 4:28), in opposition to those “near,” which denotes the Jews. However, it militates against its application here, that St. Peter needed to be informed by a heavenly vision, after this, of the call of the Gentiles (Acts 10:10, &c.) Moreover, it was of the Jews, Joel spoke. “Whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.” Besides being of the race of Abraham, they needed a Divine call to be partakers of the promised blessings.

40 And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation.

The entire of St. Peter’s discourse is not given here. The same may be said of his other discourses, as well as those of St. Paul and of others recorded in this narrative of the Acts.

“Did he testify,” by adducing the testimony of Scripture, the Prophecies regarding our Lord, the sanctity of his life, his miracles in life and death, the testimony of the Apostles, who were so many eyewitnesses, that his teachings and sayings regarding Christ were true.

“This perverse,” unbelieving, unrepenting “generation.” Similar are the words (Matthew 12:39). They should strive not to be involved in the common ruin in store for the wicked unbelievers. This is the practical summary of St. Peter’s exhortation.

41 They therefore that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls.

“Received his word,” voluntarily and believed. In the words, “whom the Lord shall call,” is asserted the necessity of Divine grace; here, is vindicated human liberty, as a principle of free action.

“Added,” joined the Church or congregation of the faithful already formed.

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