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 Titus 2:11-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

This post includes Fr. MacEvilly’s paraphrasing (in purple text) of the verses he is commenting upon.

A Summary of Chapter 2~In this chapter, the Apostle, after exhorting Titus to teach sound doctrine, points out to him what instructions he should deliver to persons of different ages and conditions in life (6). He admonishes him to show himself as a model in the practice of every virtue (7-10), He proposes the example of Christ, our Saviour, who appeared visibly in order to instruct all classes of men, both by word and example, as a motive to stimulate him to teach the same, with greater zeal. He shows what it is that Christ has taught us (12, 13). He points out the end and object of Christ’s death (14). He, finally, wishes that Titus should authoritatively teach all these things (15).

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men:

For the salutary beneficence of God’s redemption has been made manifest to all classes of men without exception.

By “the grace of our Saviour,” or (as in the Greek,  η χαρις  η σωτηριος) the salutary grace, some understand, as in Paraphrase, the salutary benevolence of God displayed in the work of redemption (see 2 Cor 6:1); others, Christ himself, the fountain of grace, the divine essential grace. This shows that as the benefit of redemption was displayed to all classes, men, women, slaves, &c.; so, Titus should instruct every class, not excepting slaves.

Tit 2:12  Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly and justly and godly in this world,

Instructing us to renounce impiety, and worldly corrupt desires, and to lead in this world a life of wisdom and temperance in regard to ourselves, of justice and equity towards the neighbor, and of piety and religion towards God.

“Impiety,” i.e., unbelief, “worldly desires,” the corrupt passions of ambition, avarice, lusts, &c.—”we should live soberly, justly, and piously,” by fasting, alms, deeds, and prayer; these good works are specially recommended to all, specially opposed to the three enemies of salvation—the world, the flesh, and the devil; and to the three great leading maxims of the world—”the concupiscence of the flesh, of the eyes, and the pride of life.”—(1 John 2:16).

Tit 2:13  Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Expecting eternal happiness, the object of our hope, and the glorious coming of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

“The blessed hope;” “hope” means the thing hoped for, the object of hope.

“The great God.” The article in the Greek shows that by this is meant, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Besides, it is our Saviour alone that “the glorious coming” is attributed in Sacred Scripture. Hence, an argument for the Divinity of Christ.

“The blessed hope,” regards the beautitude of our souls at death—”the coming,” &c., the glorification of our bodies.

Tit 2:14  Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works.

Who has delivered himself up to death for us, to redeem and purify us from all iniquity and from the stains of sin, and after thus cleansing us by his blood, to claim us as his peculiar people, his precious distinguished possession, a people exceedingly zealous for good works.

He not only was born for us, and appeared to us, and instructed us, but he also died for us. “A people acceptable.” St. Jerome has translated it, “an especial, eminent people.” It is allusive to the passage in Exodus 19:5, when God says of the Jews, “you shall be my peculiar possession,” &c. The Hebrew for “peculiar possession,” Segullah, according to St. Jerome, signifies “a most precious treasure.” St. Paul here followed the Septuagint version, which means, “acceptable people,” an excellent possession, &c.

Tit 2:15  These things speak and exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. 

Teach all these things to the ignorant, and exhort all those who already know them, to reduce them to practice. But rebuke the refractory and disobedient with full power, as minister of God, and by acting thus, no one will dare to contemn thee.

So act in the exercise of authority, that no one will despise thee.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 13:7-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

This post opens with fr. MacEvilly’s brief analysis of all of chapter 13, followed by his commentary on the reading. Text in purple indicates his paraphrase of the scripture he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF HEBREWS CHAPTER 13

In this concluding chapter, the Apostle inculcates certain duties of morality, and exhorts the Hebrews to the practice of several virtues, both as regards their neighbour and themselves. With regard to the virtues to be exercised towards their neighbour, the Apostle exhorts them to persevere in fraternal charity, to exercise hospitality, and manifest a practical sympathy for those who were suffering for the faith (1–3). He exhorts them to guard strictly conjugal chastity, and shunning avarice, to exhibit their confidence in God (4–6).

He exhorts them to be mindful of their deceased prelates, the consideration of whose edifying lives and holy death should be an encouragement to persevere in the same faith which they professed—a faith as unchangeable as Jesus Christ himself (7, 8). Hence, they should not be led away by fluctuating and contrary doctrines, particularly in reference to the useless distinction of food, and the legal victims. The Christians, although deprived of Jewish victims, have a still more excellent one, whereof those cannot partake who adhere to Judaism; for, in order to be able to partake of it, they must relinquish the synagogue, and the profession of the Jewish religion (9–13).

He recommends liberality towards the poor, and obedience to their prelates (16, 17). He begs the assistance of their prayers (18-19), and finally concludes with a prayer and salutation (20-25).

COMMENTARY ON HEBREWS 13:7-17

Heb 13:7  Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation,

7. Remember your former deceased prelates, who preached to you the word of God, and confirmed you in the faith; looking to their edifying lives and holy death, imitate their faith—the source of their sanctity in life, and happiness in death.

“The end of their conversation” means their death, in justice and sanctity. The words of this verse clearly show that the Apostle refers to their deceased prelates and religious guides, viz., James, Stephen, &c., who trampled under foot, and undervalued all earthly things: the example of these they should follow, and to their faith they should firmly adhere; for, this faith was the source of their sanctity in life, and of their happiness in death.

From this passage we can clearly perceive the advantage of perusing the lives of the saints, who have gone before us. Their lives are to us a practical illustration of the gospel; they point out the means, and serve as an incentive, to labour for heaven, Nonne potes tu, quod isti et istæ.—St. Augustine. It is to the pious reading of the lives of the saints, that the Church is, to a certain degree, indebted for the illustrious Society of Jesus, whose equals the world has never seen; the first, whom the enemies of God and man are sure to assail, as being the leading and the most powerful defenders of religion and social order; their persecution, in any particular country, as the annals of modern rebellions against the altar and the throne too clearly attest, is a sure sign of national reprobation; the certain forerunner of terrible religious and social disasters.

Heb 13:8  Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today: and the same for ever. 

8. (Their faith and yours must be the same), since Jesus Christ—the principal object of their faith and yours—is the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever.

As Jesus Christ—the principal object of faith—is always the same; therefore, the faith in him must always be the same; and hence, the faith of the Hebrews, and of their predecessors in the faith, must be identical. These words, most probably, refer to Jesus Christ, as God-man. “Yesterday” refers to the time of his Incarnation. This verse connects the preceding with the following verses. The words, “the same,” are, according to the Greek punctuation, joined to “to-day.”

Heb 13:9  Be not led away with various and strange doctrines. For it is best that the heart be established with grace, not with meats: which have not profited those that walk in them. 

9. Be not carried about by the varying and strange doctrines (of heretics), an example of which is found in the choice of legal, or, rather, in the effects attributed to, sacrificial meats; it is much better to strengthen your hearts by the grace of the New Law, which faith in Christ brings with it, than trust in the efficacy of the observances referred to, which never had the effect of sanctifying those who followed them, and spent their lives in them.

As faith must be, therefore, always one and indivisible, be not carried about by doctrines “various,” i.e., varying in themselves, and from the truth; “and strange,” foreign to the deposit left by God to his Church. “For, it is best to establish the heart with grace.” He gives a particular instance of the false doctrines, to which he has been referring in a general way, in the words, “various … doctrines.” He, most likely, refers to the doctrine regarding the distinction of meats, some of which were forbidden, and others allowed by the law; or rather to the doctrine regarding the effects of meats offered in sacrifice, to which the Judaizers attributed the power and efficacy of sanctifying men. This latter interpretation is rendered probable by the following verse. The Apostle says, it is better to establish and render the heart firm by the grace of Christianity, than by recurring to the use of such meats, which never conferred true sanctity on the worshippers (9:10).

“To walk in,” is a Hebraism for principles of action followed out in practice.—Kenrick, in hunc locum.

Heb 13:10  We have an altar whereof they have no power to eat who serve the tabernacle. 

10. (Let it not, however, be supposed, that by giving up the legal offerings, we are without victims, or sacrifice); for, in Christianity, we have on our altars, a victim, that supplies us with the grace which strengthens the heart, whereof they cannot partake who serve the tabernacle and still adhere to the Jewish religion.

“We have an altar,” &c. This altar, which is understood of the victim offered on it, refers, according to some, to the adorable Eucharist, the first step to obtain which must be, to go forth from the synagogue; and, that in order to partake of it, they must first leave the synagogue, or Jewish religion, he proves (verse 11), from the rite observed in the great sacrifice of expiation, a type of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, of which the Eucharistic sacrifice is a continuation, and a real unbloody commemoration. The word “eat,” greatly serves to confirm this opinion. “Serve” (λατευοντες) has reference directly to the priests; it also embraces, in a general way, all who approach the Jewish altar, as worshippers.

Heb 13:11  For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the holies by the high priest for sin are burned without the camp. 

11. This exclusion of the ministers and followers of the Jewish tabernacle, from a participation of the victim of our “altar,” was typified by the ordinance of the law respecting the great sacrifice of expiation. For, the bodies of the animals, viz., the goat and the heifer, whose blood was carried by the high priest into the sanctum sanctorum, in the great sacrifice of expiation, were burnt outside the camp (wherein dwelt the Jews, at this time, sojourning in the desert).

“Are burned without the camp.” The Jews, at the time of this ordinance dwelt in the desert, in a moveable camp, outside which were burned the bodies of the heifer and the goat, whereof neither the priests nor the people could partake.

Heb 13:12  Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people by his own blood, suffered without the gate. 

12. For which cause, Jesus also, the reality typified, in order to fulfil this figure, suffered outside the gate of Jerusalem, sanctifying the people, with his blood.

On this account it was that Jesus, in order to correspond with his type (for, of his sacrifice, the great sacrifice of expiation was a mere type and figure) suffered outside the gates of Jerusalem.

Heb 13:13  Let us go forth therefore to him without the camp, bearing his reproach. 

13. We, therefore, and all who wish to be partakers of the Christian sacrifice, must go forth to him, outside the camp of the synagogue. In other words, we must desert the synagogue, and join the Church; bearing the reproach attached to the name of Christian.

Hence, we should go forth to him outside the camp, and leaving the synagogue, submit to the reproach of Christ, before we can be partakers of the victim of the Christian “altar,” that is to say, of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, where he is offered up daily, in an unbloody manner, and partaken of by the faithful. Whether the opinion which refers “altar” to the Eucharist, be true or false, matters but little in regard to the faith of the Church, on the subject of the Eucharist, which is clearly demonstrated from other passages; and such of the Fathers as understand this passage of it, show their faith regarding the Eucharist to have been the same as ours. Others make “altar” refer directly to the altar of the cross; because it was of the sacrifice of the cross that the sacrifice of expiation, to which he alludes (verse 11), was typical. The Hebrews were attaching great importance to the sacrifices of the Mosaic law. Now, he says, it would be far better for them to have recourse to grace (verse 9), which they cannot receive, since it is purchased by a sacrifice wherein they can have no share, without first going forth from the synagogue (verse 10); for, the bodies of the victims, &c., were burned outside the camp (verse 11). Hence, Jesus suffered outside the gate of Jerusalem (verse 12); and hence, to become partakers of the merits of his sacrince, “to eat of the altar,” according to these interpreters, we must go forth from the synagogue, and join the Church, “bearing his reproach;” for, the name of Christian was counted a reproach. Should this passage refer directly to the sacrifice of the cross, in it must be indirectly included the sacrifice of the Eucharist; inasmuch as it is the same sacrifice with that of the cross, from which it differs, only as to the mode of offering.

Some Expositors say, that in this verse is conveyed an exhortation to bear our cross patiently, after the example of Christ. “Bearing his reproach” will then mean: bearing his cross after him, which is a reproach and folly.

Heb 13:14  For, we have not here a lasting city: but we seek one that is to come. 

14. And this voluntary exile, and departure from the synagogue and Jerusalem, should not disturb or frighten us, for we, Christians, have not on this earth any permanent city; as exiles and pilgrims, we are in search of one to come, that is, the heavenly Jerusalem.

In this verse is contained a reason why we should not hesitate to leave the synagogue; because, we are in search of our heavenly Jerusalem; according to others, in it is contained a reason why we should be prepared to suffer for Christ’s sake; because, no matter what may befall us, whether exile, death, &c., it will not deprive us of our country, but rather hasten our approach to it.

Commentators remark that the Apostle explains, in the foregoing passage, the sacrifice of expiation, according to the four-fold sense attached to SS. Scripture—viz., the literal, the allegorical, the tropological (or moral), and the anagogical. (Litera gesta docet; quid credas, Allegoria; Moralis, quid agas; quo tendas, Anagogia). According to the literal sense, the victim in the sacrifice of expiation was carried out of the camp and burned, and the blood was carried by the high priest into the sanctuary, as an expiation for sin—litera gesta docet—verse 11. According to the allegorical sense, this victim was a figure of Christ ignominiously driven outside the city, to suffer death, as an atonement for sin—quid credas, Allegoria—verse 12. According to the tropological or moral sense, those who wish to partake of the sacrifice of Christ, must go outside the precincts of the synagogue, and abandon the Jewish religion; thus bearing their share in the ignominy which he was pleased to undergo—Moralis, quid agas—verse 13. And according to the anagogical meaning of the ceremony, they are not to regret this temporary exile, since neither Jerusalem nor the synagogue is our true country or lasting home; we are in search of our heavenly and everlasting dwelling-place above—quo tendas, anagogia—verse 14. Rutter, in hunc locum.

Heb 13:15  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise always to God, that is to say, the fruit of lips confessing to his name. 

15. Having, therefore, been united to Christ, let us continually present through him to God a sacrifice of praise, that is to say, the fruit of lips confessing his name.

Having given up the legal sacrifices prescribed by law, let us offer up to God, through Christ, to whom we are united, after deserting the synagogue, “a sacrifice of praise,” according to some, the sacrifice of the Eucharist. This is the opinion of those who refer “altar” (verse 10) to the Eucharist. The explanation, however, given by the Apostle himself, of what this sacrifice is, “that is the fruit of lips,” &c., shows that it refers to the spiritual offering of thanksgiving to God, in every shape and form. These acts of thanksgiving are called “the fruit of lips, confessing his name;” because, it is by the lips his praises are sounded, and his benefits deserving thanks, together with his eternal attributes, proclaimed. No doubt, among the most acceptable channels of thanksgiving and praise, the sacrifice of the Eucharist holds the first place; but, it is only in this general respect, as a means of thanksgiving, that the Apostle seems to make any reference to it in this verse.

Heb 13:16  And do not forget to do good and to impart: for by such sacrifices God’s favour is obtained. 

16. And to this piety towards God, neglect not to add charity towards your neighbour. Forget not liberality, nor omit to impart your goods to the poor, by relieving them according to your ability; for, by such sacrifices the favour of God is obtained, with them he is well pleased.

In this verse is prescribed another offering most pleasing to God, the offering of charity and beneficence to our neighbour; “for by such sacrifices,” viz., praise of God, and charity towards our neighbour, “God’s favour is obtained.” The Greek, ευαρεστειται ὀ Θεος, means, God receives delight; or, in them he is well pleased; unlike the sacrifices of the Old Law, which were unpleasing to him.

Heb 13:17  Obey your prelates and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls: that they may do this with joy and not with grief. For this is not expedient for you. 

17. Obey your prelates, and reverence them; for, you are to regard them as watching over your souls (as they are bound to do in virtue of their office), since, in the day of judgment they must render an account of you. Obey them, therefore, from the heart, that they may discharge this responsible duty of watching over you with joy and not with pain. This would not be expedient for you; for, the groans of the pastor would provoke against you the heavy vengeance of God.

To the two-fold sacrifice of praise (verse 15), and of charity (verse 16), he wishes them to add, the sacrifice of their own will, by obedience to their prelates and pastors. “For they watch” (for your souls, ὑπερ τῶν ψυχῶν ὑμων, is added here in the Greek; the Vulgate construction, which places these words not here but after the words “render an account”—rationem pro animabus vestris reddituri—is preferable)—this merely expresses the duty of the pastors; and the light in which the faithful are bound to regard them. What a heavy responsibility, those charged with the care of souls have incurred! they must account for each and every one of them, at God’s judgment-seat; for each and every one, Jesus Christ shed his blood, with the dispensation of which the pastor is charged. Woe to him if it shall have flowed in vain for immortal souls, through any fault of his! “That they may do this,” i.e., watch over your souls, “with joy, and not with grief,” seeing your disobedience, and the absence of progress made by you, “for this is not expedient for you.” The groans of the prelates, whose words you slight, will provoke God’s wrath, which he shall manifest in his own time. He who shall disobey or despise ecclesiastical authority shall be overtaken, sooner or later, by the justice of God, whom he despises.

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Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 5:13-19

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

Text in red are my additions.

Mat 5:13  You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing anymore but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.

Here in these verse we find the influence the citizens of the Kingdom are to have on the world. (A) they are to preserve men; (B) they are to guide men;  (I’ve here paraphrased and expanded a brief notation by Fr. Maas).

(A) They are to preserve men. In this section must be noted the opposition between the apostolic and the prophetic work; the meaning of “salt” as applied to the apostles; and finally, the uselessness of the salt if it loses its savor.

[1] The opposition between the apostles and prophets consists in the universal character of the apostolic mission as compared with the particular character of the prophetic work. Hence the apostles are the salt of the earth.

[2] The meaning of “salt” in this context is determined by its use in common life: it prevents putrefaction and it seasons; there seems to be no direct reference to its fertilizing property [Schanz]. In the Old Testament, too, salt had been employed for this double purpose: cf. 2 Kings 2:21; Lev. 2:13; Num. 18:19; 2 Chron13:5; Paschasius Radbertus, Maldonado, Chromatius The moral corruption of the world was therefore to be remedied by the apostolic salt of the disciples.

[3] As to the uselessness of the salt after it has lost its savor, many commentators regard the language of our Lord as purely hypothetical, because, according to them, salt cannot really lose its savor. But Schöttgen [Hor. hebr. i. 1.], Thomson [The Land and the Book, p. 381], and others maintain that the salt of Palestine actually does lose its savor when in contact with the ground, or exposed to rain and sun; Dr. Thomson adds that in Sidon he saw “large quantities of it literally thrown into the street, to be trodden under foot of men and beasts.” Even Pliny speaks of “sal iners” [xxxi. 39] and “sal tabescens” [xxxi. 44]. The practical impossibility of salting salt, and reducing it to its proper condition, furnishes an illustration of the dangerous condition of the disciples of Jesus that neglect their call to salt the earth, and preserve their fellow men from moral corruption [cf. Heb. 6:4 f.; Heb 10:26–29; Ezek 15:2–5; Isa 66:24; Dan 12:2; Jerome,  Paschasius Radbertus, Cajetan, Jansenius Maldonado, Lamy, etc.].

[4] It has been supposed in the preceding remarks that Jesus addressed his apostles or his disciples directly in the text thus far explained. This must be understood in such a manner that he addressed them principally, though what he said to them applies truly, though less emphatically, to all Christians [cf. Knabenbauer Paschasius Radbertus, Chromatus]. Neither the direct address nor the comparison with salt and light forces us to admit that our Lord speaks to the disciples alone either from the beginning of v. 11 [Chrysostom, Hilary, Jerome, Rabanus Maurus, Bruno, Zach., Thomas Aquinas,  the Opus Imperfectum, Jansenius Barrada, Arnoldi, Schegg, Schanz, Fillion, Keil, Weiss, etc.] or from the beginning of v. 13 [Glossa Ordinaria, Alb., Dionysius]. For the direct address is also found in the following parts of the discourse addressed to the multitudes; and the comparison with the salt occurs again in Lk. 14:34, where our Lord does not confine himself to his disciples. The comparison of the light is quite common in the language of the New Testament [cf. Phil. 2:15; Eph. 5:8; 1 Thess. 5:5; Prov. 4:18; 1 Pet. 2:9], so that it is not peculiar to the apostles. On the other hand, we do not wholly agree with Aug. and Bed., who regard the passage as equally addressed to the multitudes and the disciples; for though both these classes were present, the subject matter is such that it describes the apostolic trials and labors more clearly than those of common Christians.

Mat 5:14  You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid.
Mat 5:15  Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
Mat 5:16  So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

(B) They are to Guide Men. You are the light of the world. The world is not only steeped in moral corruption, but also in intellectual darkness; hence our Lord’s salvific influence must remedy the latter as well as the former. The prophets foretold this [Is. 42:6; 49:6; cf. Isa 9:2], and the gospels point to the fulfilment in Jesus Christ [Jn. 1:9; Jn 8:12]. St. Paul, too, repeatedly mentions the apostolic office of enlightening the world [Acts 13:47; Col. 1:24; Phil. 2:15; Eph. 5:8].

A city set on a Mountain cannot be hid. The apostles are not merely to reflect the light of their master, but they are also to occupy such a position in the world that their doctrinal influence is not interfered with by intervening objects (the image of the candle under a bushel, verse 15). It is immaterial whether Jesus in pronouncing this sentence pointed out (the city of) Saphet or the fortification on Mount Tabor as the city that cannot be hid [cf. Guérin, Galilée, ii. 425]; in any case, his language resembles that of Isaias 4:1; Isa 2:2 [cf. Chromatus, Bede, Rabanus Maurus, Chrysostom, Jansenius, Lam., Cajetan]. It follows from these words that the church must be always visible, since she is compared not merely to a city on a mountain, but to a city so placed on the mountain that it cannot be hid.

It is not only the church that must be visible to the world, but each individual Christian, too, must contribute his share in shedding the light of Jesus Christ. (If the city set on a hill cannot be hid, neither can its inhabitants). They are warned that not even the worldly-wise apply things to a purpose opposed to that for which they are destined: they do not light their candle and put it under a bushel, or the ordinary household measure holding about a peck, but on the lamp-stand, fastened in the wall, so that the light may be diffused as far as possible. The lamp was not extinguished during the night, but when its light was not desired for a space of time, it was placed under an inverted hollow cover. In the same manner, our Lord wishes his light burning in the church, to illume the darkness of the world [Bruno, Jansenius, Maldonado].

But our light must not shine before the world indiscriminately: two conditions are needed to render the shining of one’s light advisable. [a] The light of doctrine must be accompanied by good works, because principles without practice will be of little avail. This is confirmed by the fact that St. Paul found it necessary to appeal repeatedly to his good works: 2 Cor. 11:16 ff.; 1 Pet. 2:12 [Bruno,  Chromatus, Jansenius]. [b] Our light must so shine before men that they may glorify our Father who is in heaven. It is not our own glory that must be the object of showing our light before the world. Here again we have St. Paul as our model [cf. Gal. 1:24]. That the glory of God must be the end of all our actions, our Lord emphasizes especially by the name Father, reminding us that we must glorify God as good sons glorify their parents [cf. Cajetan, Augustine]. God is repeatedly called Father in the Old Testament [Is. 63:16; Deut. 32:6; Wisd. 2:16; 14:2; Sirach 23:1; Sirach 51:10; Tob. 13:4]; but the name Father as opposed to the other two persons of the Holy Trinity is peculiar to the New Law. Even the Rabbis hold that God is glorified by the good works of men, and dishonored by their evil deeds [Schöttgen], though they apply these principles only to our private life [cf. R. Bechonya, Bahir f. 5, 3; Soh. Lev. f. 2, 5].

This section (Mt 5:17-48) may be divided into the following paragraphs: 1. The general relation of the New Law to the Old, Mt 5:17–20; 2. its interpretation of the fifth commandment, Mt5:21–26; 3. its view of the sixth commandment, Mt 5:27–32; 4 its obligations springing from the second and the eighth commandment, Mt 5:33–37; 5. its opposition to the “lex talionis,” Mt 5:38–48.

17 Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

1. General relation of the New Law to the Old. Jesus develops this general relation in four propositions: a. The New Law is the fulfilment of the Old (verse 17); b. the Old Law shall not pass till all be fulfilled (verse 18); c. the sanction of the fulfilment or the nonfulfilment of the Law is reward in, or exclusion from, the kingdom of heaven (verse 19); d. the Pharisaic observance of the Law is not sufficient in the New Law (verse 20).

α. The New Law is the fulfilment of the Old. a. The transition from the beatitudes and their application to the discussion on the law is explained in various ways: The beatitudes are the general outlines of Christianity; our Lord must therefore descend to particulars after laying down the general principles [cf. Knabenbauer]. Again, the Sadducees among the hearers of Jesus desired nothing more than an abolition of the law, the Pharisees feared nothing worse, and the disciples were left in doubt by what had been said; hence Jesus must from the start declare his position in this vital question [cf. Fillion, Schanz]. Schöttgen contends [Hor. Heb. et Talm. de Messia, ii. 611; Dresd. 1742] that about the third century the Rabbis expected a Messianic dispensation in which the Law would be wholly abolished; but Weber [Altsynagogale Theol. p. 360] shows that the passages cited by Schöttgen may be otherwise interpreted. While Jesus gains the good will of his Jewish audience by this implied eulogium of the law, he forestalls the future accusations brought against him as a destroyer of the law.

But how did our Lord fulfil the law and the prophets rather than destroy them? Mald, enumerates four ways of fulfilment: Jesus himself observed the law, he perfected it by his interpretation, he brought us the grace needed to observe it in its perfect interpretation, and finally, he fulfilled the promises contained in the types and prophecies of the law and the prophets [cf. Faber Stapulensis, Estius, Lapide, Calmet, Arnoldi, Schegg, Reischl, Coleridge, iii. pp. 66 f., Grimm, iii. p. 75, Schanz, Fillion, Meschler, i. p. 304].

As to the question whether Christians are bound by the decalogue on account of its promulgation by Moses, Bellarmine, Vasquez, Lorin. answer in the affirmative, Suarez in the negative [cf. Suar. de leg. L. ix. 11, 20, 22; L. x. 2, 15], though all are agreed that the matter of the Christian decalogue does not differ from that of the Jewish, and that Jesus has added a new binding force to these natural precepts.

Against the opinion of a few [cf. Keil] who maintain that Jesus speaks in the present passage only of the law and not of the Messianic prophecies, the common consent of interpreters asserts that “the law and the prophets” means the whole inspired canon of the Old Testament. Though our Lord did not appeal to any prophecies in the immediate context, he had recourse to their testimony repeatedly in his public life [Jn. 5:46; Lk. 4:21; 18:31; 24:27, 44; Mt. 22:40].

18 For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled.

b. The permanency of the Old Law. [1] The word “amen” means fidelity, faithfulness; faithful, firm; truly, surely [cf. Lk. 9:27]. The Jews employed the word to confirm their contracts and their oaths [Num. 5:22; Deut. 27:15; Neh 5:13], placing it either at the beginning or at the end of their words [cf. 28:6; Gesen. thes. i. 116]. At the end of the doxology it was repeated in Pss. 41:13; 72:19; 89:52; in the New Testament the word occurs as an asseverative particle only in the sayings of Jesus Christ, and in the fourth gospel it is repeated in this meaning [Jn. 1:32; 3:3; 5:19]. The apostles use the word in the doxology [Rom. 1:25; 9:5; Gal. 1:5; 1 Pet. 4:11]; from its use in the synagogues it has passed also into the church services as a responsory [1 Cor. 14:16].

[2] Heaven and earth cannot properly be said to pass away, though they will be changed [Mt. 24:35; 2 Pet. 3:10; 1 Jn. 2:17; 1 Cor. 7:31]. The expression seems to be equivalent to our “never,” as we infer from Pss. 72:5, 7; 89:4; 33:20, 21; etc. In this meaning the expression may be compared to the Rabbinic formulas: “Everything has its end, heaven and earth have their end, except one thing which has no end, and this is the law” [Bereschith R. x. 1]; and “[The law] will remain always, for ever and ever” [Midrasch Cohel. f. 71, 4; etc.].

[3] One jot refers to the smallest Hebrew letter called “yodh.” The “tittle,” according to the Greek text κεραία, means in the language of the Greek grammarians the accents and diacritic signs; but in the language of St. Matthew it seems to refer to the small distinctive characteristic by which ה differs from ח and ב from כ. Hence even the most unimportant points of the law shall have their place in the Messianic dispensation.

[4] “Till all be fulfilled” is not subordinate to what precedes [cf. Meyer, Keil], but coördinate with it; hence we must not interpret, “as long as the world stands shall no precept of the law, however imperfect and easy, pass away till all its injunctions are put into practice,” but rather thus: “till heaven and earth pass, the law shall not pass; till all be fulfilled, the law shall not pass.” The first member, therefore, asserts the mere fact of the permanency of the law, while the second adds the reason for its perpetuity, drawing it from the will of God.

19 He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

c. The sanction. Explanations. [1] Hilgenfeld [Historisch-kritische Einleitung in d. N. T. p. 469] is of opinion that this verse and the following are not in keeping with the general meekness and love of Jesus Christ and must therefore be regarded as interpolated by the opponents of St. Paul. But, on the one hand, the opposition in the early Church between the Pauline and the Petriue Christians is wholly hypothetical; on the other, St. Paul himself is quite emphatic in enforcing the observance of the law [cf. Rom. 3:31 f.; 4:23; 15:4; 1 Cor. 9:9; 10:6; Col. 2:17; Heb. 9:1–9; etc.].

[2] The opinion of interpreters differs considerably concerning the true meaning of the word “to break”: it means “to transgress” or “to violate” according to Chrysostom, Opus Imperfectum, Alb. Dionysius, Cajetan, Estius, Jansenius, Maldonado, Barradas, Sylveira, Arnoldi, Coleridge; “to explain falsely” according to Br. Pasch. Ans. laud.; “to mutilate” according to Chromatius; “to abrogate,” Schegg, Bisping, Schanz, Weiss; “to destroy” Jer.=ome, Zach. Chrysostom, Salmeron; both “to destroy” and “to transgress” according to Lapide, Keil. Since the meaning of the word is determined by the preceding verses, there is no good reason for changing it in this verse.

[3] “These least commandments” are those which Jesus is going to develop in the following discourse, and which he calls “least” through modesty [Chryspstom]; or they are called “least,” because not to kill and not to commit adultery is the least that can be expected of us [Augustine, Bede, Rabanus, Dionysius, Salmeron], or because they are least in the opinion of the Pharisees, or because they are the least of their own kind of mortal sins, as e.g. the sin of impure desire [Maldondado, Estius, Sylveira]; but here again it is preferable to understand by the least commandments those of which Jesus has been speaking in the preceding verse, where there is question of the jot and tittle of the law [Hilary, Jerome, St Bruno, Paschasius, Cajetan, Sa, Arnoldi, Reischl, Schegg, Schanz, Fillion]. St. Paul has diverse illustrations of the importance of even insignificant incidents in the Old Testament [cf. 1 Cor. 9:9; Gal. 4:29, 30].

[4] The clause “shall so teach men” has been understood to mean, whoever transgresses the law himself, but exacts its observance from others; or, whoever teaches men so as I do [Jer. Est. Coleridge]; but most probably the “so” refers to the preceding clause, whoever destroys one jot or tittle of the law, and teaches men according to his view of the law.

[5] The “least in the kingdom of heaven” is not there at all [Thomas Aquinas], or is unworthy of it Glossa Ordinaria, Paschasius], or is condemned to eternal punishment [Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euthymius, Cajetan, Maldonado, Lapide, Calmet], so that he “shall be called the least” by those “in the kingdom of heaven” [Anselm of Laon, Tostatus]. But Estius well remarks that according to this explanation Satan might be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; and according to Mt. 11:11 our Lord says, “he that is the lesser in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” [John the Baptist]. It appears, then, more probable that “the least in the kingdom” is he that occupies the least place in the same, and is therefore far removed from the dignity of doctor whose office he exteriorly fulfils. The case of such a teacher appears to be considered by St. Paul, 1 Cor. 3:11, 15.

[6] Far different is the condition of him “that shall do and teach” even the smaller precepts of the law; for he shall occupy the high place prepared for the doctors in the kingdom of heaven.

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries for the Sixth Sunday After Pentecost (Dominica VI Post Pentecosten)

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE ROMAN RITE
SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Dominica VI Post Pentecosten ~ II. classis

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: Romans 6:3-11.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 6:3-11. This post includes commentary on all of chapter 6.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 6:3-11.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 6:3-11.

Aquinas’ Lectures on Romans 6:3-11.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Romans 6:3-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary  on Today’s Lesson (Romans 6:3-11).

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Mark 8:1-9.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 8:1-9). Previously posted. This post is actually on verses 1-10.

St Augustine on Today’s Gospel (Mark 8:1-9).

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Mark 8:1-9). On 1-10.

HOMILY NOTES: The following four homily notes can be used for sermon ideas, points of meditation, further study.

Homily Notes on Baptism. (Epistle theme).

Homily Notes on the Resurrection of the Body. (Epistle theme).

Homily Notes on Providence. (Gospel theme).

Homily Notes on Grounds for Confidence in God. (Gospel theme).

HOMILIES:

Homily on the Epistle.

Homily on the Gospel.

St Alphonsus Ligouri’s Homily on the Gospel.

Homiletic Sketch on the Epistle: Admonition to Penance.

Homiletic Sketch on the Gospel: The Miracle of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes.

Dogmatic Sketch on the Gospel: The Goodness of God.

Liturgical Sketch on the Gospel: Holy Water.

Symbolical Sketch on the Gospel: The Seven Loaves of Bread Symbolize the Seven Sacraments.

Moral Sketch on the Gospel: Intemperance.

Moral Sketch on the Gospel: Prudent Economy.

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries for the Fifth Sunday After Pentecost (Dominica V Post Pentecosten ~ II. classis)

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE ROMAN RITE
FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Dominica V Post Pentecosten ~ II. classis

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

Roman Missal. Latin and English text side by side.

Roman Breviary. Latin & English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.

Goffine’s Instruction on the Epistle and Gospel. Famous devotional work in English. Similar to the content in the Missal link but it also includes brief instructions on the readings, moral teachings, etc.

COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: 1 Peter 3:8-15.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Peter 3:8-15.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Peter 3:8-15. On 8-22

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Matthew 5:20-24.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:20-24. On 20-26.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 5:20-24. On 20-26.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 5:20-24. On 20-26.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:20-24. On 20-26.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Matthew 5:20-24. On 17-24. Treatment of ver. 20 begins at paragraph 6.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:20-24. On 20-26.

HOMILIES AND HOMILY NOTES:

Homily on the Epistle.

Homily on the Gospel.

St Augustine’s Homily on Matthew 5:22.

(1) Homily Notes on the Epistle (Christian Unity). Can be used for sermon idea, meditation,  further study, etc.

(2) Homily Notes on the Epistle (Presence of God). Can be used for sermon ideas, meditation, further study, etc.

(3) Homily Notes on the Gospel (Christian Justice). Can be used for sermon ideas, meditation, further study, etc.

(4) Homily Notes on the Gospel (Reconciliation). Can be used for sermon ideas, meditation, further study, etc.

St Alphonsus Ligouri’s Homily on the Gospel.

Homiletic Sketch on the Epistle (St Peter Gives Salutary Lessons).

Homiletic Sketch on the Gospel (False and True Justice).

Symbolical Sketch on the Gospel (Anger, A Burning Fever).

Moral Sketch on the Gospel (We Must Forgive Those Who Offend Us).

Moral Sketch on the Gospel (The Justice of the Scribes and Pharisees).

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries for the Ninth Sunday After Pentecost ()

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE ROMAN RITE
NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Dominica IX Post Pentecosten ~ II. classis

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: 1 Cor 10:6-13.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Luke 19:41-47.

HOMILIES AND HOMILY NOTES:

MORE HOMILIES AND HOMILY NOTE PENDING.

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Extraordinary Form: Third Sunday After Pentecost (Dominica III Post Pentecosten)

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE ROMAN RITE
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
Dominica III Post Pentecosten ~ II. classis

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: 1 Peter 5:6-11.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Luke 15:1-10.

HOMILIES, HOMILY NOTES  & OUTLINES:

  • Homily Notes on Luke 15:4. On the Human Soul. Can be used for sermon preparation, meditation points, or points to further study.

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries for the Second Sunday After Pentecost (Dominica II post Octavam Pentecostes)

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

EXTRAORDINARY FORM OF THE ROMAN RITE
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

DOMINICA II POST OCTAVAM PENTECOSTES~II. CLASSIS

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

COMMENTARIES AND HOMILIES ON THE LESSON: 1 John 3:13-18.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Luke 14:16-24.

HOMILIES AND HOMILY NOTES:

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries for Trinity Sunday (Dominica Sanctissimae Trinitatis)

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

Roman Missal. Latin & English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.

Roman Breviary. Latin & English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.

Goffine’s Instruction on the Epistle and Gospel. Famous devotional work in English. Similar to the content in the Missal link but it also includes brief instructions on the readings plus a brief essay on Encouragement to Patience in Adversity, base upon John 16:20.

COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: Romans 11:33-36.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Romans 11:33-36.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on Romans 11:33-36. Scroll down to the two lectures covering 11:25-36.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 11:33-36.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 11:33-36.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 11:33-36.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Romans 11:33-36. On 29-36.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Matthew 28:18-20.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 28:18-20. On 16-20.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 28:18-20. On 16-20.

Juan de Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 28:18-20. On 16-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 28:18-20. On 16-20.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 28:18-20.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 28:18-20. On 16-20.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Matthew 28:18-20.

HOMILIES AND HOMILY NOTES:

The Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. A homily on Rom 11:33-36.

A Homily on the Epistle. Deals with the three theological virtues in relation to the Trinity.

God’s Knowledge. Homily notes On Rom 11:33.  Can be used for sermon ideas, points for meditation/reflection, or for further Study.

St Gregory Nanzianzus’ Homily for Trinity Sunday. On Matt 28:18-20.

St Alphonsus de Ligouri’s Homily: The Love of the Three Divine Persons for Man. On Matt 28:19.

Commission and Promise Which Christ Gave to His Apostles. On Matt 28:18-20.

Dogmatic Homily on the Gospel: The Mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.

The Blessing of the Most Holy Trinity. A liturgical homily on Matt 28:18-20.

The Holy Sign of the Cross. A symbolic homily on Matt 28:18-20.

The Worship of the Most Holy Trinity. A dogmatic/liturgical homily on Matt 28:18-20.

The Ceremonies of Baptism. A liturgical/moral homily on Matt 28:18-20.

Belief in the Mystery of the Trinity. Homily on Matt 28:18-20.

The Blessed Trinity. Sermon notes on Matt 28:19. Can be used for sermon ideas, points for meditation/reflection, or for further study.

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries for Pentecost Sunday (Dominica Pentecostes)

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 23, 2019

EXTRAORDINARY FORM
PENTECOST SUNDAY
Dominica Pentecostes

READINGS AND OFFICE:

  • Roman Missal. Latin and English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.
  • Roman Breviary. Latin and English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.

COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: Acts 2:1-11.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: John 14:23-31.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on John 14:23-31.

St Augustine’s Tractates on John 14:23-31.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 14:23-31.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 14:23-31.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on John 14:23-31. Scroll down and read lectures 6-8.

Homilist’s Catechism on John 14:23-31. Actually on 23-29, the Gospel for the 6th Sunday of Easter in the Ordinary Form, Year C.

HOMILIES ON THE LESSON READING: Acts 2:1-11.

HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: John 14:23-31.

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