The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for the ‘Notes on Matthew’ Category

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Matthew 5:17

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 11, 2017

“Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets.”

Why, who suspected this? or who accused Him, that He should make a defense against this charge? Since surely from what had gone before1 no such suspicion was generated. For to command men to be meek, and gentle, and merciful, and pure in heart, and to strive for righteousness, indicated no such design, but rather altogether the contrary.

Wherefore then can He have said this? Not at random, nor vainly: but inasmuch as He was proceeding to ordain commandments greater than those of old, saying, “It was said to them of old time, Thou shalt not kill;2 but I say unto you, Be not even angry;” and to mark out a way for a kind of divine and heavenly conversation;3 in order that the strangeness thereof might not disturb the souls of the hearers, nor dispose them quite to mutiny against what He said, He used this means of setting them right beforehand.

For although they fulfilled not the law, yet nevertheless they were possessed with much conscientious regard to it; and whilst they were annulling it every day by their deeds, the letters thereof they would have remain unmoved, and that no one should add anything more to them. Or rather, they bore with their rulers adding thereto, not however for the better, but for the worse. For so they used to set aside the honor due to our parents by additions of their own, and very many others also of the matters enjoined them, they would free themselves of4 by these unseasonable additions.

Therefore, since Christ in the first place was not of the sacredotal tribe, and next, the things which He was about to introduce were a sort of addition, not however lessening, but enhancing virtue; He knowing beforehand that both these circumstances would trouble them, before He wrote in their mind those wondrous laws, casts out that which was sure to be harboring there. And what was it that was harboring there, and making an obstacle?

2. They thought that He, thus speaking, did so with a view to the abrogation of the ancient institutions. This suspicion therefore He heals; nor here only doth He so, but elsewhere also again. Thus, since they accounted Him no less than an adversary of God, from this sort of reason, namely, His not keeping the sabbath; He, to heal such their suspicion, there also again sets forth His pleas, of which some indeed were proper to Himself; as when He saith, “My Father worketh, and I work;”5 but some had in them much condescension, as when He brings forward the sheep lost on the sabbath day,6 and points out that the law is disturbed for its preservation, and makes mention again of circumcision, as having this same effect.7

Wherefore we see also that He often speaks words somewhat beneath Him, to remove the semblance of His being an adversary of God.

For this cause He who had raised thousands of the dead with a word only, when He was calling Lazarus, added also a prayer; and then, lest this should make Him appear less than Him that begat Him, He, to correct this suspicion, added, “I said these things, because of the people which standeth by, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”8 And neither doth He work all things as one who acted by His own power, that He might thoroughly correct their weakness; nor doth He all things with prayer, lest He should leave matter of evil suspicion to them that should follow, as though He were without strength or power: but He mingles the latter with the former, and those again with these. Neither doth He this indiscriminately, but with His own proper wisdom. For while He doeth the greater works authoritatively, in the less He looks up unto Heaven. Thus, when absolving sins, and revealing His secrets, and opening Paradise, and driving away devils, and cleansing lepers, and bridling death, and raising the dead by thousands, He did all by way of command: but when, what was much less than these, He was causing many loaves to spring forth out of few, then He looked up to Heaven: signifying that not through weakness He doth this. For He who could do the greater with authority, how in the lesser could He need prayer? But as I was saying, He doeth this to silence their shamelessness. The same reckoning, then, I bid thee make of His words also, when thou hearest Him speak lowly things. For many in truth are the causes both for words and for actions of that cast: as, for instance, that He might not be supposed alien from God; His instructing and waiting on all men; His teaching humility; His being encompassed with flesh; the Jews’ inability to hear all at once; His teaching us to utter no high word of ourselves. For this cause many times, having in His own person said much that is lowly of Himself, the great things He leaves to be said by others. Thus He Himself indeed, reasoning with the Jews, said, “Before Abraham was, i am:”1 but His disciple not thus, but, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”2

Again, that He Himself made Heaven, and earth, and sea, and all things visible and invisible, in His own person He nowhere expressly said: but His disciple, speaking plainly out, and suppressing nothing, affirms this once, twice, yea often: writing that “all things were made by Him;” and, “without Him was not one thing made;” and, He was in the world, and the world was made by Him.”3

And why marvel, if others have said greater things of Him than He of Himself; since (what is more) in many cases, what He showed forth by His deeds, by His words He uttered not openly? Thus that it was Himself who made mankind He showed clearly even by that blind man; but when He was speaking of our formation at the beginning, He said not, “I made,” but “He who made them, made them male and female.”4 Again, that He created the world and all things therein, He demonstrated by the fishes, by the wine, by the loaves, by the calm in the sea, by the sunbeam which He averted on the Cross; and by very many things besides: but in words He hath nowhere said this plainly, though His disciples are continually declaring it, both John, and Paul, and Peter.

For if they who night and day hear Him discourse, and see Him work marvels; to whom He explained many things in private, and gave so great power as even to raise the dead; whom He made so perfect, as to forsake all things for Him: if even they, after so great virtue and self-denial, had not strength to bear it all, before the supply of the Spirit; how could the people of the Jews, being both void of understanding, and far behind such excellency, and only by hazard present when He did or said anything, how could they have been persuaded but that He was alien from the God of all, unless he had practised such great condescension throughout?

For on this account we see that even when He was abrogating the sabbath, He did not as of set purpose bring in such His legislation, but He puts together many and various pleas of defense. Now if, when He was about to cause one commandment to cease, He used so much reserve in His language,5 that He might not startle the hearers; much more, when adding to the law, entire as it was, another entire code of laws, did He require much management and attention, not to alarm those who were then hearing Him.

For this same cause, neither do we find Him teaching everywhere clearly concerning His own Godhead. For if His adding to the law was sure to perplex them so greatly, much more His declaring Himself God.

3. Wherefore many things are uttered by Him, far below His proper dignity, and here when He is about to proceed upon His addition to the law, He hath used abundance for correction beforehand. For neither was it once only that He said, “I do not abrogate the law,” but He both repeated it again, and added another and a greater thing; in that, to the words, “Think not that I am come to destroy,” He subjoined, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

Now this not only obstructs the obstinacy of the Jews, but stops also the mouths of those heretics,6 who say that the old covenant is of the devil. For if Christ came to destroy his tyranny, how is this covenant not only not destroyed, but even fulfilled by Him? For He said not only, “I do not destroy it;” though this had been enough; but “I even fulfill it:” which are the words of one so far from opposing himself, as to be even establishing it.

And how, one may ask, did He not destroy it? in what way did He rather fulfill either the law or the prophets? The prophets He fulfilled, inasmuch as He confirmed by His actions all that had been said concerning Him; wherefore also the evangelist used to say in each case, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet.” Both when He was born,1 and when the children sung that wondrous hymn to Him, and when He sat on the ass,2 and in very many more instances He worked this same fulfillment: all which things must have been unfulfilled, if He had not come.

But the law He fulfilled, not in one way only, but in a second and third also. In one way, by transgressing none of the precepts of the law. For that He did fulfill it all, hear what He saith to John, “For thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness.”3 And to the Jews also He said, “Which of you convinceth me of sin.”4 And to His disciples again, “The prince of this world cometh, and findeth nothing in me.”5 And the prophet too from the first had said that “He did no sin.”6

This then was one sense in which He fulfilled it. Another, that He did the same through us also; for this is the marvel, that He not only Himself fulfilled it, but He granted this to us likewise. Which thing Paul also declaring said, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”7 And he said also, that “He judged sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh.”8 And again, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid! yea, we establish the law.”9 For since the law was laboring at this, to make man righteous, but had not power, He came and brought in the way of righteousness by faith, and so established that which the law desired: and what the law could not by letters, this He accomplished by faith. On this account He saith, “I am not come to destroy the law.”

4. But if any one will inquire accurately, he will find also another, a third sense, in which this hath been done. Of what sort is it then? In the sense of that future code of laws, which He was about to deliver to them.

For His sayings were no repeal of the former, but a drawing out, and filling up of them. Thus, “not to kill,” is not annulled by the saying, Be not angry, but rather is filled up and put in greater security: and so of all the others.

Wherefore, you see, as He had before unsuspectedly cast the seeds of this teaching; so at the time when from His comparison of the old and new commandments, He would be more distinctly suspected of placing them in opposition, He used His corrective beforehand. For in a covert way He had indeed already scattered those seeds, by what He had said. Thus, “Blessed are the poor,” is the same as that we are not to be angry; and, “Blessed are the pure in heart,” as not to “look upon a woman for lust;” and the “not laying up treasures on earth,” harmonizes with, “Blessed are the merciful;” and “to mourn” also, “to be persecuted” and “reviled,” coincide with “entering in at the strait gate;” and, “to hunger and thirst after righteousness,” is nothing else than that which He saith afterwards, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them.” And having declared “the peace-maker blessed,” He again almost said the same, when He gave command “to leave the gift,” and hasten to reconciliation with him that was grieved, and about “agreeing with our adversary.”

But there He set down the rewards of them that do right, here rather the punishments of them who neglect practice.10 Wherefore as in that place He said, “The meek shall inherit earth;” so here, “He who calleth his brother fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire;” and there, “The pure in heart shall see God;” here, he is a complete adulterer who looks unchastely. And having there called “the peace-makers, sons of God;” here He alarms us from another quarter, saying, “Lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge.” Thus also, whereas in the former part He blesses them that mourn, and them that are persecuted; in the following, establishing the very same point, He threatens destruction to them that go not that way; for, “They that walk ‘in the broad way,’ saith He, ‘make their end there.’ ” And, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon,” seems to me the same with, “Blessed are the merciful,” and, “those that hunger after righteousness.”

But as I said, since He is going to say these things more clearly, and not only more clearly, but also to add again more than had been already said (for He no longer merely seeks a merciful man, but bids us give up even our coat; not simply a meek person, but to turn also the other cheek to him that would smite us): therefore He first takes away the apparent contradiction.

On this account, then, as I have already stated, He said this not once only, but once and again; in that to the words, “Think not that I am come to destroy,” He added, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

“For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all come to pass.”1

Now what He saith is like this: it cannot be that it should remain unaccomplished, but the very least thing therein must needs be fulfilled. Which thing He Himself performed, in that He completed2 it with all exactness.

And here He signifies to us obscurely that the fashion of the whole world is also being changed. Nor did He set it down without purpose, but in order to arouse the hearer, and indicate, that He was with just cause introducing another discipline; if at least the very works of the creation are all to be transformed, and mankind is to be called to another country, and to a higher way of practising how to live.3

5. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of Heaven.”4

Thus, having rid Himself of the evil suspicion, and having stopped the mouths of them who would fain gainsay, then at length He proceeds to alarm, and sets down a heavy, denunciation in support of the enactments He was entering on.

For as to His having said this in behalf not of the ancient laws, but of those which He was proceeding to enact, listen to what follows, “For I say unto you,” saith he, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”5

For if He were threatening with regard to the ancient laws, how said He, “except it shall exceed?” since they who did just the same as those ancients, could not exceed them on the score of righteousness.

But of what kind was the required excess? Not to be angry, not even to look upon a woman unchastely.

For what cause then doth He call these commandments “least,” though they were so great and high? Because He Himself was about to introduce the enactment of them; for as He humbled Himself, and speaks of Himself frequently with measure, so likewise of His own enactments, hereby again teaching us to be modest in everything. And besides, since there seemed to be some suspicion of novelty, He ordered His discourse for a while with reserve.6

But when thou hearest, “least in the kingdom of Heaven,” surmise thou nothing but hell and torments. For He was used to mean by “the kingdom,” not merely the enjoyment thereof, but also the time of the resurrection, and that awful coming. And how could it be reasonable, that while he who called his brother fool, and trangressed but one commandment, falls into hell; the breaker of them all, and instigator of others to the same, should be within the kingdom. This therefore is not what He means, but that such a one will be at that time least, that is, cast out, last. And he that is last will surely then fall into hell. For, being God, He foreknew the laxity of the many, He foreknew that some would think these sayings were merely hyperbolical, and would argue about the laws, and say, What, if any one call another a fool, is he punished? If one merely look on a woman, doth he become an adulterer? For this very cause He, destroying such insolence beforehand, hath set down the strongest denunciation against either sort, as well them who transgress, as them who lead on others so to do.

Knowing then His threat as we do, let us neither ourselves transgress, nor discourage such as are disposed to keep these things.

“But whosoever shall do and teach,” saith He, “shall be called great.”

For not to ourselves alone, should we be profitable, but to others also; since neither is the reward as great for him who guides himself aright, as for one who with himself adds also another. For as teaching without doing condemns the teacher (for “thou which teachest another,” it is said, “teachest thou not thyself”7?) so doing but not guiding others, lessens our reward. One ought therefore to be chief in either work, and having first set one’s self right, thus to proceed also to the care of the rest. For on this account He Himself hath set the doing before the teaching; to intimate that so most of all may one be able to teach, but in no other way. For one will be told, “Physician, heal thyself.”8 Since he who cannot teach himself, yet attempts to set others right, will have many to ridicule him. Or rather such a one will have no power to teach at all, his actions uttering their voice against him. But if he be complete in both respects, “he shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.”

6. “For I say unto you, Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”1

Here by righteousness He means the whole of virtue; even as also discoursing of Job, He said, “He was a blameless man, righteous.”2 According to the same signification of the word, Paul also called that man “righteous” for whom, as he said, no law is even set. “For,” saith he, “a law is not made for a righteous man.”3 And in many other places too one might find this name standing for virtue in general.

But observe, I pray thee, the increase of grace; in that He will have His newly-come disciples better than the teachers in the old covenant. For by “Scribes and Pharisees” here, He meant not merely the lawless, but the well-doers. For, were they not doing well, He would not have said they have a righteousness; neither would He have compared the unreal to the real.

And observe also here, how He commends the old law, by making a comparison between it and the other; which kind of thing implies it to be of the same tribe and kindred. For more and less, is in the same kind. He doth not, you see, find fault with the old law, but will have it made stricter. Whereas, had it been evil,4 He would not have required more of it; He would not have made it more perfect, but would have cast it out.

And how one may say, if it be such, doth it not bring us into the Kingdom? It doth not now bring in them who live after the coming of Christ, favored as they are with more strength, and bound to strive for greater things: since as to its own foster-children, them it doth bring in one and all. Yea, for “many shall come,” saith He, “from east and west, and shall lie down in the bosoms of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”5 And Lazarus also receiving the great prize, is shown dwelling in Abraham’s bosom. And all, as many as have shone forth with excellency in the old dispensation shone by it, every one of them. And Christ Himself, had it been in anything evil or alien from Him, would not have fulfilled it all when He came. For if only to attract the Jews He was doing this, and not in order to prove it akin to the new law, and concurrent therewith; wherefore did He not also fulfill the laws and customs of the Gentiles, that He might attract the Gentiles also?

So that from all considerations it is clear, that not from any badness in itself doth it fail to bring us in, but because it is now the season of higher precepts.

And if it be more imperfect than the new, neither doth this imply it to be evil: since upon this principle the new law itself will be in the very same case. Because in truth our knowledge of this, when compared with that which is to come, is a sort of partial and imperfect thing, and is done away on the coming of that other. “For when,” saith He, “that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away:”6 even as it befell the old law through the new. Yet we are not to blame the new law for this, though that also gives place on our attaining unto the Kingdom: for “then,” saith He, “that which is in part shall be done away:” but for all this we call it great.

Since then both the rewards thereof are greater, and the power given by the Spirit more abundant, in reason it requires our graces to be greater also. For it is no longer “a land that floweth with milk and honey,” nor a comfortable7 old age, nor many children, nor corn and wine, and flocks and herds: but Heaven, and the good things in the Heavens, and adoption and brotherhood with the Only-Begotten, and to partake of the inheritance and to be glorified and to reign with Him, and those unnumbered rewards. And as to our having received more abundant help, hear thou Paul, when he saith, “There is therefore no condemnation now to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit:8 for the law of the Spirit of life hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”9

7. And now after threatening the transgressors, and setting great rewards for them that do right, and signifying that He justly requires of us something beyond the former measures; He from this point begins to legislate, not simply, but by way of comparison with the ancient ordinances, desiring to intimate these two things: first, that not as contending with the former, but rather in great harmony with them, He is making these enactments; next, that it was meet and very seasonable for Him to add thereto these second precepts.

And that this may be made yet clearer, let us hearken to the words of the Legislator.

What then doth He Himself say?

“Ye have heard that it was said to them of old time, Thou shall not kill.”10

And yet it was Himself who gave those laws also, but so far He states them impersonally. For if on the one hand He had said, “Ye have heard that I said to them of old,” the saying would have been hard to receive, and would have stood in the way of all the hearers. If again, on the other hand, after having said, “Ye have heard that it was said to them of old by my Father,” He had added, “But I say,” He would have seemed to be taking yet more on Himself.

Wherefore He hath simply stated it, making out thereby one point only; the proof that in fitting season He had come saying these things. For by the words, “It was said to them of old,” He pointed out the length of the time, since they received this commandment. And this He did to shame the hearer, shrinking from the advance to the higher class of His commandments; as though a teacher should say to a child that was indolent, “Knowest thou not how long a time thou hast consumed in learning syllables?” This then He also covertly intimates by the expression, “them of old time,” and thus for the future summons them on to the higher order of His instructions: as if He had said, “Ye are learning these lessons long enough, and you must henceforth press on to such as are higher than these.”

And it is well that He doth not disturb the order of the commandments, but begins first with that which comes earlier, with which the law also began. Yea, for this too suits with one showing the harmony between them.

“But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment.”1

Seest thou authority in perfection? Seest thou a bearing suited to a legislator? Why, which among prophets ever spake on this wise? which among righteous men? which among patriarchs? None; but, “Thus saith the Lord.” But the Son not so. Because they were publishing their Master’s commands, He His Father’s. And when I say, “His Father’s,” I mean His own. “For mine,” saith He, “are thine, and thine are mine.”2 And they had their fellow-servants to legislate for, He His own servants.

Let us now ask those who reject the law, “is, ‘Be not angry’ contrary to ‘Do no murder’? or is not the one commandment the completion and the development of the other?” Clearly the one is the fulfilling of the other, and that is greater on this very account. Since he who is not stirred up to anger, will much more refrain from murder; and he who bridles wrath will much more keep his hands to himself. For wrath is the root of murder. And you see that He who cuts up the root will much more remove the branches; or rather, will not permit them so much as to shoot out at all. Not therefore to abolish the law did He make these enactments, but for the more complete observation of it. For with what design did the law enjoin these things? Was it not, that no one might slay his neighbor? It follows, that he who was opposing the law would have to enjoin murder. For to murder, were the contrary to doing no murder. But if He doth not suffer one even to be angry, the mind of the law is established by Him more completely. For he that studies to avoid murder will not refrain from it equally with him that hath put away even anger; this latter being further removed from the crime.

8. But that we may convict them in another way also, let us bring forward all their allegations. What then do they affirm? They assert that the God who made the world, who “makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, who sends the rain on the just and on the unjust,” is in some sense an evil being.3 But the more moderate (forsooth) among them, though declining this, yet while they affirm Him to be just, they deprive Him of being good. And some other one, who is not, nor made any of the things that are, they assign for a Father to Christ. And they say that he, who is not good, abides in his own, and preserves what are his own; but that He, that is good, seeks what are another’s, and desires of a sudden to become a Saviour to them whose Creator He was not.4 Seest thou the children of the devil, how they speak out of the fountain of their father, alienating the work of creation from God: while John cries out, “He came unto His own,” and, “The world was made by Him?”1

In the next place, they criticise the law in the old covenant, which bids put out “an eye for an eye,” and “a tooth for a tooth;”2 and straightway they insult and say, “Why, how can He be good who speaks so?”

What then do we say in answer to this? That it is the highest kind of philanthropy. For He made this law, not that we might strike out one another’s eyes, but that fear of suffering by others might restrain us from doing any such thing to them. As therefore He threatened the Ninevites with overthrow, not that He might destroy them. (for had that been His will, He ought to have been silent), but that He might by fear make them better, and so quiet His wrath: so also hath He appointed a punishment for those who wantonly assail the eyes of others, that if good principle dispose them not to refrain from such cruelty, fear may restrain them from injuring their neighbors’ sight.

And if this be cruelty, it is cruelty also for the murderer to be restrained, and the adulterer checked. But these are the sayings of senseless men, and of those that are mad to the extreme of madness. For I, so far from saying that this comes of cruelty, should say, that the contrary to this would be unlawful, according to men’s reckoning. And whereas, thou sayest, “Because He commanded to pluck out “an eye for an eye,” therefore He is cruel;” I say, that if He had not given this commandment, then He would have seemed, in the judgment of most men, to be that which thou sayest He is.

For let us suppose that this law had been altogether done away, and that no one feared the punishment ensuing thereupon, but that license had been given to all the wicked to follow their own disposition in all security, to adulterers, and to murderers,3 to perjured persons, and to parricides; would not all things have been turned upside down? would not cities, market-places, and houses, sea and land, and the whole world, have been filled with unnumbered pollutions and murders? Every one sees it. For if, when there are laws, and fear, and threatening, our evil dispositions are hardly checked; were even this security taken away, what is there to prevent men’s choosing vice? and what degree of mischief would not then come revelling upon the whole of human life?

The rather, since cruelty lies not only in allowing the bad to do what they will, but in another thing too quite as much; to overlook, and leave uncared for, him who hath done no wrong, but who is without cause or reason suffering ill. For tell me; were any one to gather together wicked men from all quarters, and arm them with swords, and bid them go about the whole city, and massacre all that came in their way, could there be anything more like a wild beast than he? And what if some other should bind, and confine with the utmost strictness those whom that man had armed, and should snatch from those lawless hands them, who were on the point of being butchered; could anything be greater humanity than this?

Now then, I bid thee transfer these examples to the law likewise; for He that commands to pluck out “an eye for an eye,” hath laid the fear as a kind of strong chain upon the souls of the bad, and so resembles him, who detains those assassins in prison; whereas he who appoints no punishment for them, doth all but arm them by such security, and acts the part of that other, who was putting the swords in their hands, and letting them loose over the whole city.

Seest thou not, how the commandments, so far from coming of cruelty, come rather of abounding mercy? And if on account of these thou callest the Lawgiver grievous, and hard to bear with; tell me which sort of command is the more toilsome and grievous, “Do no murder,” or, “Be not even angry”? Which is more in extreme, he who exacts a penalty for murder, or for mere anger? He who subjects the adulterer to vengeance after the fact, or he who enjoins a penalty even for the very desire, and that penalty everlasting? See ye not how their reasoning comes round to the very contrary? how the God of the old covenant, whom they call cruel, will be found mild and meek: and He of the new, whom they acknowledged to be good, will be hard and grievous, according to their madness? Whereas we say, that there is but one and the same Legislator of either covenant, who dispensed all meetly, and adapted to the difference of the times the difference between the two systems of law. Therefore neither are the first commandments cruel, nor the second hard and grievous, but all of one and the same providential care.

For that He Himself gave the old covenant also, hear the affirmation of the prophet, or rather (so we must speak), of Him who is both the one and the other: “I will make a covenant with you, not according to the covenant which I made with your fathers.”1

But if he receive not this, who is diseased with the Manichæan doctrines,2 let him hear Paul saying the very same in another place, “For Abraham had two sons, one by the bondmaid, and another by the freewoman; and these are two covenants.”3 As therefore in that case the wives are different, the husband the same; so here too the covenants are two, the Lawgiver one.

And to prove to thee that it was of one and the same mildness; in the one He saith, “An eye for an eye,” but in this other,

“If one smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”4

For as in that case He checks him that doth the wrong with the fear of this suffering, even so also in this. “How so,” it may be said, “when He bids turn to him the other cheek also?” Nay, what of that? Since not to take away his fear did He enjoin this, but as charging yourself to allow him to take his fill entirely. Neither did He say, that the other continues unpunished, but, “do not thou punish;” at once both enhancing the fear of him that smiteth, if he persist, and comforting him who is smitten.

9. But these things we have said, as one might say them incidentally, concerning all the commandments. Now we must go on to that which is before us, and keep to the thread of what had been affirmed. “He that is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:” so He speaks. Thus He hath not altogether taken the thing away: first, because it is not possible, being a man, to be freed from passions: we may indeed get the dominion over them, but to be altogether without them is out of the question.

Next, because this passion is even useful, if we know how to use it at the suitable time.5 See, for instance, what great good was wrought by that anger of Paul, which he felt against the Corinthians, on that well-known occasion; and how, as it delivered them from a grievous pest, so by the same means again he recovered the people of the Galatians likewise, which had fallen aside; and others too beside these.

What then is the proper time for anger? When we are not avenging ourselves, but checking others in their lawless freaks, or forcing them to attend in their negligence.

And what is the unsuitable time? When we do so as avenging ourselves: which Paul also forbidding, said “Avenge not yourselves, dearly beloved, but rather give place unto wrath.”6 When we are contending for riches: yea, for this hath he also taken away, where he saith, “Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?”7 For as this last sort is superfluous, so is the first necessary and profitable. But most men do the contrary; becoming like wild beasts when they are injured themselves, but remiss and cowardly when they see despite done to another: both which are just opposite to the laws of the Gospel.

Being angry then is not a transgression, but being so unseasonably. For this cause the prophet also said, “Be ye angry, and sin not.”8

10. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council.”

By the council in this place He means the tribunal of the Hebrews: and He hath mentioned this now, on purpose that He might not seem everywhere to play the stranger and innovator.

But this word, “Raca,” is not an expression of a great insolence, but rather of some contempt and slight on the part of the speaker. For as we, giving orders either to our servants, or to any very inferior person, say, “Away with thee; you here, tell such an one:”9 so they who make use of the Syrians’ language say, “Raca,” putting that word in stead of “thou.” But God, the lover of man, roots up even the least faults, commanding us to behave to one another in seemly manner, and with due respect; and this with a view of destroying hereby also the greater.

“But whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”10

To many this commandment hath appeared grievous and galling, if for a mere word we are really to pay so great a penalty. And some even say that it was spoken rather hyperbolically. But I fear lest, when we have deceived ourselves with words here, we may in deeds there suffer that extreme punishment.

For wherefore, tell me, doth the commandment seem overburdensome? Knowest thou not that most punishments and most sins have their beginning from words? Yea, for by words are blasphemies, and denials are by words, and revilings, and reproaches, and perjuries, and bearing false witness.1 Regard not then its being a mere word, but whether it have not much danger, this do thou inquire. Art thou ignorant that in the season of enmity, when wrath is inflamed, and the soul kindled, even the least thing appears great, and what is not very reproachful is counted intolerable? And often these little things have given birth even to murder, and overthrown whole cities. For just as where friendship is, even grievous things are light, so where enmity lies beneath, very trifles appear intolerable. And however simply a word be spoken, it is surmised to have been spoken with an evil meaning. And as in fire: if there be but a small spark, though thousands of planks lie by, it doth not easily lay hold of them; but if the flame have waxed strong and high, it readily seizes not planks only, but stones, and all materials that fall in its way; and by what things it is usually quenched, by the same it is kindled the more (for some say that at such a time not only wood and tow, and the other combustibles, but even water darted forth upon it doth but fan its power the more); so is it also with anger; whatever any one may say, becomes food in a moment for this evil conflagration. All which kind of evils Christ checking beforehand, had condemned first him that is angry without a cause to the judgment, (this being the very reason why He said, “He that is angry shall be in danger of the judgment”); then him that saith “Raca,” to the council. But as yet these are no great things; for the punishments are here. Therefore for him who calleth “fool” He hath added the fire of hell, now for the first time mentioning the name of hell. For having before discoursed much of the kingdom, not until then did He mention this; implying, that the former comes of His own love and indulgence towards man, this latter of our negligence.

11. And see how He proceeds by little and little in His punishments, all but excusing Himself unto thee, and signifying that His desire indeed is to threaten nothing of the kind, but that we drag Him on to such denunciations. For observe: “I bade thee,” saith He, “not be angry for nought, because thou art in danger of the judgment. Thou hast despised the former commandment: see what anger hath produced; it hath led thee on straightway to insult, for thou hast called thy brother ‘Raca.’ Again, I set another punishment, ‘the council.’ If thou overlook even this, and proceed to that which is more grievous, I visit thee no longer with these finite punishments, but with the undying penalty of hell, lest after this thou shouldest break forth2 even to murder.” For there is nothing, nothing in the world more intolerable than insolence; it is what hath very great power3 to sting a man’s soul. But when the word too which is spoken is in itself more wounding than the insolence, the blaze becomes twice as great. Think it not then a light thing to call another “fool.” For when of that which separates us from the brutes, and by which especially we are human beings, namely, the mind and the understanding,—when of this thou hast robbed thy brother, thou hast deprived him of all his nobleness.

Let us not then regard the words merely, but realizing the things themselves, and his feeling, let us consider how great a wound is made by this word, and unto how much evil it proceeds. For this cause Paul likewise cast out of the kingdom not only “the adulterous” and “the effeminate,” but “the revilers”4 also. And with great reason: for the insolent man mars all the beauty of charity, and casts upon his neighbor unnumbered ills, and works up lasting enmities, and tears asunder the members of Christ, and is daily driving away that peace which God so desires: giving much vantage ground unto the devil by his injurious ways, and making him the stronger. Therefore Christ Himself, cutting out the sinews of the devil’s power, brought in this law.

For indeed He makes much account of love: this being above all things the mother of every good, and the badge of His disciples, and the bond which holds together our whole condition. With reason therefore doth He remove with great earnestness the roots and the sources of that hatred which utterly spoils it.

Think not therefore that these sayings are in any wise hyperbolical, but consider the good done by them, and admire the mildness of these laws. For there is nothing for which God takes so much pains, as this; that we should be united and knit together one with another. Therefore both in His own person, and by His disciples, as well those in the Old, as in the New Testament, He makes so much account of this commandment; and is a severe avenger and punisher of those who despise the duty. For in truth nothing so effectually gives entrance and root to all wickedness, as the taking away of love. Wherefore He also said, “When iniquity abounds, the love of the many shall wax cold.”1 Thus Cain became his brother’s murderer; thus Esau; thus Joseph’s brethren; thus our unnumbered crimes have come revelling in, this bond being dissevered. You see why He Himself also roots out whatever things injure this, on every side, with great exactness.

12. Neither doth He stop at those precepts only which have been mentioned, but adds also others more than those: whereby He signifies how much account He makes thereof. Namely, having threatened by “the council,” by “the judgment,” and by “hell,” He added other sayings again in harmony with the former, saying thus:

“If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go away;2 first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.”3

O goodness! O exceeding love to man! He makes no account of the honor due unto Himself, for the sake of our love towards our neighbor; implying that not at all from any enmity, nor out of any desire to punish, had He uttered those former threatenings, but out of very tender affection. For what can be milder than these sayings? “Let my service,” saith he, “be interrupted, that thy love may continue; since this also is a sacrifice, thy being reconciled to thy brother.” Yea, for this cause He said not, “after the offering,” or “before the offering;” but, while the very gift lies there, and when the sacrifice is already beginning, He sends thee to be reconciled to thy brother; and neither after removing that which lies before us,4 nor before presenting the gift, but while it lies in the midst, He bids thee hasten thither.

With what motive then doth He command so to do, and wherefore? These two ends, as it appears to me, He is hereby shadowing out and providing for. First, as I have said, His will is to point out that He highly values charity,5 and considers it to be the greatest sacrifice: and that without it He doth not receive even that other; next, He is imposing such a necessity of reconciliation; as admits of no excuse. For whoso hath been charged not to offer before he be reconciled, will hasten, if not for love of his neighbor, yet, that this may not lie unconsecrated,6 to run unto him who hath been grieved, and do away the enmity. For this cause He hath also expressed it all most significantly, to alarm and thoroughly to awaken him. Thus, when He had said, “Leave thy gift,” He stayed not at this, but added, “before the altar” (by the very place again causing him to shudder); “and go away.” And He said not merely, “Go away,” but He added, “first, and then come and offer thy gift.” By all these things making it manifest, that this table receives not them that are at enmity with each other.

Let the initiated hear this, as many as draw nigh in enmity: and let the uninitiated hear too: yea, for the saying hath some relation to them also. For they too offer a gift and a sacrifice: prayer, I mean, and alms-giving. For as to this also being a sacrifice, hear what the prophet saith: “A sacrifice of praise will glorify me;”7 and again, “Sacrifice to God a sacrifice of praise;”8 and, “The lifting up of mine hands is an evening sacrifice.”9 So that if it be but a prayer, which thou art offering in such a frame of mind, it were better to leave thy prayer, and become reconciled to thy brother, and then to offer thy prayer.

For to this end were all things done: to this end even God became man, and took order for all those works, that He might set us at one.

And whereas in this place He is sending the wrong doer to the sufferer, in His prayer He leads the sufferer to the wrong doer, and reconciles them. For as there He saith, “Forgive men their debts;” so here, “If he hath ought against thee, go thy way unto him.”

Or rather, even here too He seems to me to be sending the injured person: and for some such reason He said not, “Reconcile thyself to thy brother,” but, “Be thou reconciled.” And while the saying seems to pertain to the aggressor, the whole of it really pertains to him that is aggrieved. Thus, “If thou art reconciled to him,” saith Christ, “through thy love to him thou wilt have me also propitious, and wilt be able to offer thy sacrifice with great confidence. But if thou art still irritated, consider that even I readily command that which is mine to be lightly esteemed, that ye may become friends; and let these thoughts be soothing to thine anger.”

And He said not, “When thou hast suffered any of the greater wrongs, then be reconciled; but, “Though it be some trifle that he hath against thee.” And He added not, “Whether justly or unjustly; but merely, “If he hath ought against thee.” For though it be justly, not even in that case oughtest thou to protract the enmity; since Christ also was justly angered with us, yet nevertheless He gave Himself for us to be slain, “not imputing those trespasses.”1

For this cause Paul also, when urging us in another way to reconciliation, said, “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”2 For much as Christ by this argument of the sacrifice, so there Paul by that of the day, is urging us on to the self-same point. Because in truth he fears the night, lest it overtake him that is smitten alone, and make the wound greater. For whereas in the day there are many to distract, and draw him off; in the night, when he is alone, and is thinking it over by himself, the waves swell, and the storm becomes greater. Therefore Paul, you see, to prevent this, would fain commit him to the night already reconciled, that the devil may after that have no opportunity, from his solitude, to rekindle the furnace of his wrath, and make it fiercer. Thus also Christ permits not, though it be ever so little delay, lest, the sacrifice being accomplished, such an one become more remiss, procrastinating from day to day: for He knows that the case requires very speedy treatment. And as a skillful physician exhibits not only the preventives of our diseases, but their correctives also, even so doth He likewise. Thus, to forbid our calling “fool,” is a preventive of enmity; but to command reconciliation is a means of removing the diseases that ensue on the enmity.

And mark how both commands are set forth with earnestness. For as in the former case He threatened hell, so here He receives not the gift before the reconciliation, indicating great displeasure, and by all these methods destroying both the root and the produce.

And first of all He saith, “Be not angry;” and after that, “revile not.” For indeed both these are augmented, the one by the other: from enmity is reviling, from reviling enmity. On this account then He heals now the root, and now the fruit; hindering indeed the evil from ever springing up in the first instance: but if perchance it may have sprouted up and borne its most evil fruit, then by all means He burns it down the more.

13. Therefore, you see, having mentioned, first the judgment, then the council, then hell, and having spoken of His own sacrifice, He adds other topics again, thus speaking:

“Agree with thine adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him.”3

That is, that thou mayest not say, “What then, if I am injured;” “what if I am plundered, and dragged too before the tribunal?” even this occasion and excuse He hath taken away: for He commands us not even so to be at enmity. Then, since this injunction was great, He draws His advice from the things present, which are wont to restrain the grosser sort more than the future. “Why, what sayest thou?” saith He. “That thine adversary is stronger, and doeth thee wrong? Of course then he will wrong thee more, if thou do not make it up, but art forced to go into court. For in the former case, by giving up some money, thou wilt keep thy person free; but when thou art come under the sentence of the judge, thou wilt both be bound, and pay the utmost penalty. But if thou avoid the contest there, thou wilt reap two good results: first, not having to suffer anything painful; and secondly, that the good done will be thereafter thine own doing, and no longer the effect of compulsion on his part. But if thou wilt not be ruled by these sayings, thou wrongest not him, so much as thyself.”

And see here also how He hastens him; for having said, “Agree with thine adversary,” He added, “quickly;” and He was not satisfied with this, but even of this quickness He hath required a further increase, saying, “Whilst thou art in the way with him;” pressing and hastening him hereby with great earnestness. For nothing doth so much turn our life upside down, as delay and procrastination in the performance of our good works. Nay, this hath often caused us to lose all. Therefore, as Paul for his part saith, “Before the sun set, do away the enmity;” and as He Himself had said above, “Before the offering is completed, be reconciled;” so He saith in this place also, “Quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him,” before thou art come to the doors of the court; before thou standest at the bar, and art come to be thenceforth under the sway of him that judgeth. Since, before entering in, thou hast all in thine own control; but if thou set thy foot on that threshold, thou wilt not by ever so earnest efforts be able to arrange thy matters at thy will, having come under the constraint of another.

But what is it “to agree?” He means either, consent rather to suffer wrong?” or, “so plead the cause, as if thou wert in the place of the other;” that thou mayest not corrupt justice by self-love, but rather, deliberating on another’s cause as thine own, mayest so proceed to deliver thy vote in this matter. And if this be a great thing, marvel not; since with this view did He set forth all those His blessings, that having beforehand smoothed and prepared the hearer’s soul, he might render it apter to receive all His enactments.

Now some say that He obscurely signifies the devil himself, under the name of the adversary; and bids us have nothing of his, (for this, they say, is to “agree” with him): no compromise being possible after our departure hence, nor anything awaiting us, but that punishment, from which no prayers can deliver. But to me He seems to be speaking of the judges in this world, and of the way to the court of justice, and of this prison.

For after he had abashed men by higher things, and things future, he alarms them also by such as are in this life. Which thing Paul also doth, using both the future and the present to sway his hearer: as when, deterring from wickedness, he points out to him that is inclined to evil, the ruler armed: thus saying, “But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain; for he is a minister of God.”1 And again, enjoining us to be subject unto him, he sets forth not the fear of God only, but the threatening also of the other party, and his watchful care. “For ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”2 Because the more irrational, as I have already said, are wont to be sooner corrected by these things, things which appear and are at hand. Wherefore Christ also made mention, not of hell only, but also of a court of justice, and of being dragged thither, and of the prison, and of all the suffering there; by all these means destroying the roots of murder. For he who neither reviles, nor goes to law, nor prolongs enmity, how will he ever commit murder? So that from hence also it is evident, that in the advantage of our neighbor stands our own advantage. For he that agrees with his adversary, will benefit himself much more; becoming free, by his own act, from courts of law, and prisons, and the wretchedness that is there.

14. Let us then be obedient to His sayings; let us not oppose ourselves, nor be contentious; for first of all, even antecedently to their rewards, these injunctions have their pleasure and profit in themselves. And if to the more part they seem to be burdensome, and the trouble which they cause, great; have it in thy mind that thou art doing it for Christ’s sake, and the pain will be pleasant. For if we maintain this way of reckoning at all times, we shall experience nothing burdensome, but great will be the pleasure we reap from every quarter; for our toil will no longer seem toil, but by how much it is enhanced, so much the sweeter and pleasanter doth it grow.

When therefore the custom of evil things, and the desire of wealth, keep on bewitching thee; do thou war against them with that mode of thinking which tells us, “Great is the reward we shall receive, for despising the pleasure which is but for a season;” and say to thy soul; “Art thou quite dejected because I defraud thee of pleasure? Nay, be of good cheer, for I am introducing thee into Heaven. Thou doest it not for man’s sake, but for God’s. Be patient therefore a little while, and thou shalt see how great is the gain. Endure for the present life, and thou shalt receive an unspeakable confidence.” For if we would thus discourse with our own soul, and not only consider that which is burdensome in virtue, but take account also of the crown that comes thereof, we shall quickly withdraw it from all wickedness.

For if the devil, holding out pleasure for a season, but pain for ever, is yet strong, and prevails; seeing our case is just the reverse in these matters, the labor temporary, the pleasure and profit immortal, what plea shall we have, if we follow not virtue after so great encouragement? Why, the object of our labors is enough to set against all, and our clear persuasion that for God’s sake we are enduring all this. For if one having the king his debtor, thinks he hath sufficient security for all his life; consider how great will he be, who hath made the Gracious and Everlasting God a debtor to himself, for good deeds both small and great. Do not then allege to me labors and sweats; for not by the hope only of the things to come, but in another way also, God hath made virtue easy, assisting us everywhere, and putting His hand to our work. And if thou wilt only contribute a little zeal, everything else follows. For to this end He will have thee too to labor a little, even that the victory may be thine also. And just as a king would have his own son present indeed in the array; he would have him shoot with the bow,1 and show himself, that the trophy may be reckoned his, while he achieves it all Himself: even so doth God in our war against the devil: He requires of thee one thing alone, that thou show forth a sincere hatred against that foe. And if thou contribute this to Him, He by Himself brings all the war to an end. Though thou burn with anger, with desire of riches, with any tyrannical passion whatever; if He see thee only stripping thyself and prepared against it, He comes quickly to thee, and makes all things easy, and sets thee above the flame, as He did those children of old in the Babylonian furnace: for they too carried in with them nought but their good will.

In order then that we also may extinguish all the furnace of disordered pleasure here, and so escape the hell that is there, let these each day be our counsels, our cares, and our practice, drawing towards us the favor of God, both by our full purpose concerning good works, and by our frequent prayers. For thus even those things which appear insupportable now, will be most easy, and light, and lovely. Because, so long as we are in our passions, we think virtue rugged and morose and arduous, vice desirable and most pleasing; but if we would stand off from these but a little, then both vice will appear abominable and unsightly, and virtue easy, mild, and much to be desired. And this you may learn plainly from those who have done well. Hear, for instance, how of those passions Paul is ashamed, even after his deliverance from them, saying, “For what fruit had ye then in those things, whereof ye are now ashamed?”2 But virtue, even after his labor, he affirms to be light, calling3 the laboriousness of our affliction momentary and “light,” and rejoicing in his sufferings, and glorying in his tribulations, and taking a pride in the marks wherewith he had been branded for Christ’s sake.

In order then that we too may establish ourselves in this habit, let us order ourselves each day by what hath been said, and “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, let us press on towards the prize of the high calling:”4 unto which God grant that we may all attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, fathers of the church, Notes on Matthew, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture, SERMONS, St John Chrysostom | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Session 3 on Matthew’s Gospel: An audio Power Point Presentation

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 24, 2013

Session Three. Father Mcllhone examines the infancy narrative in this session. The first two sessions (providing background and introduction) can be found here.

Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Bible, Catholic, Christ, Notes on Matthew | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 1:1-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on September 29, 2013


In this chapter the Evangelist gives the pedigree of our Blessed Lord, which he divides into three series, comprising fourteen generations each. The first series commencing with Abraham and ending with David (vv. 1–6), is composed partly of his patriarchal ancestors, but chiefly of those who exercised the office of Judges among the Jewish people. The second commencing with David, who is repeated as the head of this series, and ending with the Babylonish captivity (7–11), embraces our Redeemer’s kingly ancestors. The third commencing with the deportation of the people to Babylon, after which all independent kingly authority ceased among the Jews, and ending with our Lord, embraces mostly His ducal ancestors. We have next the history of our Lord’s miraculous conception—the Virgin’s pregnancy—the perplexity which it occasioned Joseph, from whom the mysterious operation of the Holy Ghost was hitherto kept secret (18–19)—the consoling assurances of the angel sent to dispel his doubts and calm his apprehensions (20–21)—the Prophecy of Isaias relating to this wonderful conception by a virgin (22–23)—the unhesitating obedience of Joseph (24–25).

Mat 1:1  The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham:

“The book.” This word in its general acceptation, with the Hebrews, means a writing of any kind. Here, it signifies a narrative or catalogue “of the generation” that, is to say, of the genealogy or ancestors “of Jesus Christ.” In this sense it holds the place of Preface or Title to this first chapter. The Hebrew word, Sepher, corresponding to the Greek, Βιβλιος, denotes any writing or narrative. As Moses speaking of the first Adam says (Genesis 5:1), “This is the book of the generation of Adam,” so St. Matthew here employs the same form of language in reference to Christ to convey that He is the second Adam, “the Father of the world to come” (Isaias 9:6); the principle of a second birth more happy and of a more exalted character than that which was derived from the first, who was a type of Christ (Rom. 5:14; 1 Cor. 15) Maldonatus is of opinion that the words form the title of the entire Gospel. According to him “generation” refers not only to the descent, but also to the entire life and actions of Christ as recorded in this Gospel. His opinion is improbable; the words mean, the record or roll of the pedigree of our Lord.

“Of Jesus Christ.” “Jesus,” derived from a Hebrew word signifying “to save” (see v. 21), is the proper name of the Man-God, and denotes his Person and Divinity. “Christ,” derived from a Greek word signifying “to anoint” denotes his office as Prophet, Priest, and King, all of whom were anointed with oil on entering on the peculiar and sacred functions of their office. Our Lord was anointed in virtue of the Hypostatic union, which was a spiritual and essential unction, whereby He was set apart as Prophet, Priest, and King. This was the oil of gladness wherewith He was anointed (Heb. 1:9). In thus referring to the name and office of the Son of God, St. Matthew wishes to arrest the attention of the Jews by conveying to them that he is about giving the history of their long-expected Messiah, which means the Anointed.

“The Son,” that is, the descendant. The Hebrews designated by the name of “son” every one descended from another, no matter how remotely, in a direct line.

“Of David, the son of Abraham.” Those two are mentioned because to them were made the promise in a special way that Christ would be born of them; of Abraham, as head of the race; of David, as head of the family. David is placed first for brevity sake, otherwise the construction should run thus: “The son of Abraham, who was the father of David, from whom Christ was descended” (St. Jerome). Others assign as a reason for this construction that the promises made to David regarding Christ were more recent, and of a more special character, being made, not alone to the Jewish race, but to the family of David. Hence, the Jewish people, including the very babes and sucklings, everywhere style the Messiah as “the son of David” (Matt. 21:15; John 7:42, &c.), pointing to his royal dignity as heir to the throne of David on which He was to sit for ever, “and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of David, His father, and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32). Hence the Prophets everywhere speak of our Lord, as Son of David. In truth, the Son of David, was one of the characteristic names of our Lord. (Isa. 9:7; Jer. 23:5; Ezek. 34:23; Amos 9:11). The promise first made to David on this head is recorded (2 Kings 7:12, &c.), confirmed (Psa. 88:13), and renewed to Solomon (3 Kings 9:5). St. Matthew wishes to convey that all these promises were fulfilled in Christ.

“The son of Abraham” may either refer to David, who was the descendant of Abraham, or to Christ, who was the son of David and of Abraham. In this latter construction the conjunction, and, is understood. To Abraham and David both were made promises regarding Him. The former construction is preferred by many, inasmuch as it followed, as a matter of course, in the minds of all the Jews, that being the son of David, He should also be a son of Abraham.

From the birth of Abraham to that of Christ there elapsed an interval of about 2004 years; and from the death of David to Christ, a period of 1013 years.

St. Matthew studiously traces the genealogy of Christ to Abraham through a successive series of forty-two, with the view of convincing the Jews that He was their true Messiah, whom they should, therefore, honour and worship. In St. Luke, whose Gospel was written for the use of the Gentiles, our Lord’s pedigree is traced up to Adam, the father of the whole human race. The Gospel of St. Matthew being written for the Jews, the genealogy commences with Abraham, whom the Jews called their father.

Mat 1:2  Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Judas and his brethren.

“Abraham begot Isaac.” Writing for the Jews, St. Matthew commences the genealogy of Christ with Abraham, in whom they gloried as their father, the founder of their race, to whom they were wont to trace up their genealogies. He was, moreover, the first, after Adam, to whom a promise was made that Christ was to be of his seed. St. Luke’s Gospel being written for the use of the Gentiles, the pedigree of our Lord is traced up to Adam, the father of the entire human race, “Isaac” alone mentioned out of all the other sons of Abraham, as it was of him Christ was born. But in Isaac shall thy seed be called (Gen. 21:12; Rom. 9:7).

“Judas and his brethren.” The brethren of Judas are mentioned, while no similar mention is made of the brethren of Isaac and Jacob; because the Jewish people, whom St. Matthew addresses, were descended from the twelve sons of Jacob, the eleven others as well as Judah, their descendants constituting one and and the same people, of whom Christ was born. These were the twelve pillars of the Jewish people and of the kingdom of Christ.

Mat 1:3  And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar. And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram.

“Of Thamar.” It is remarked by commentators that all the women mentioned in the genealogy of our Lord were, with the exception of His Immaculate Mother, publicly subject to reproach. One of them being guilty of adultery—Bethsabee; another of incest—Thamar; another, a harlot—Rahab; and the fourth a Gentile—Ruth. Rahab, too, was a Gentile, a native of Jericho. The reason commonly assigned for this is, that being united to their husbands out of the ordinary way, and owing to an unusual combination of circumstances, these women presented a very expressive type of the sinful Gentiles, who were aggregated to the people and Church of God through a new vocation. Other reasons are assigned, viz., that our Lord, having come to save sinners, deigned to have among His ancestors some who were very expressive types of those whom He came to save (St. Jerome). Again, the Evangelist wished to humble the pride of his countrymen by reminding them of the gross sins of their Patriarchs in whom they were wont to glory so much (St. Chrysostom). The first reason seems the more probable. Jacob’s incestuous connexion with Thamar is recorded (Gen. 38). “Phares and Zara,” being twin brothers, are both mentioned, as presenting in the circumstances of their birth an expressive type of the Jews and Gentiles, the mystery of whose vocation is referred to by the Apostle (Rom. 11:25). The same figure was expressed in the birth of Jacob and Esau; but as this latter did not belong to the people of God, having sold his birthright, and thus a type of the reprobate, all mention of him here was, therefore, omitted by the Evangelist.

Mat 1:4  And Aram begot Aminadab. And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Naasson begot Salmon.

“Aminadab.” Lyranus referring to a Jewish tradition, states that this Aminadab was the leader of the tribe of Juda on the egress of the Hebrews from Egypt; the first also to lead the way and to enter into the Red Sea, which miraculously opened a passage for the Israelites. To him the words refer (Cant. 6:1)—“My soul troubled me for the chariots of Aminadab.” He was succeeded by his son Naasson, in the desert.

Mat 1:5  And Salmon begot Booz of Rahab. And Booz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse.

“Rahab.” Being one time a harlot, afterwards became converted (Heb. 11:31). She was a native of Jericho. In consequence of her humanity in concealing the Hebrew explorers, she was saved with her whole house and kindred, and associated with the people of God (Josue 6:25).

“Ruth,” a native of Moab. Our blessed Lord, who came to save all, Jews and Gentiles, deigned, in order to inspire all with confidence in His mercy, and with hopes of forgiveness, to count among His ancestors Gentiles as well as Jews; and it is with this view the Holy Ghost moves the Evangelist to record this fact.

“Booz begot Obed.” Some commentators are of opinion that some generations are omitted here, that the Booz referred to here was not the immediate father of Obed, because between Salmon and Jesse inclusively, only four generations existed, and between them a period of 366 years elapsed, too long a period for four generations to extend over. However, this argument proves nothing, the age of man, for several reasons, being then far greater than at any future period. (Natalis Alexander, Calmet, &c.)

“Jesse.” Reference is made to him in the prophecy of Isaias, which regards our Redeemer, “egredictur virga de radice Jesse” (Isa. 11:1). He was also called, Isai. He was not held in any great consideration among the Jews. Hence, Saul scornfully calls David “the son of Isai” (1 Kings 20:27).

Mat 1:6  And Jesse begot David the king. And David the king begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Urias.

“David the King”—the first king among the ancestors of Christ. To him was made the promise of a perpetual kingdom. Our Lord’s Royal dignity is here indicated, as He was heir to “the throne of David his father” (Luke 1:32).

“That had been (the wife) of Urias.” This recalls the memory of David’s sin, and at the same time conveys that God, far from having, in consequence, rescinded His promises to David, had, on the contrary, fulfilled them in her seed, who was his accomplice in guilt. “That had been of Urias” conveys that, having ceased to be Urias’s wife, she was married to David at the time of Solomon’s birth, who was, therefore, the issue of lawful wedlock.

Mat 1:7  And Solomon begot Roboam. And Roboam begot Abia. And Abia begot Asa.
Mat 1:8  And Asa begot Josaphat. And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias.

 “And Joram begot Ozias.” From the history, or rather from all the catalogues of the kings of Juda in succession (1 Chron3:11, &c.), it is quite certain that three kings who reigned in immediate succession are here passed over by the Evangelist. For, Joram begot Ochozias; Ochozias begot Joas; Joas begot Amasias; who begot Ozias referred to here, also called Azarias. So that Ozias, or Azarias, was not immediately the son, but rather the great grandson of Joram, said to be begotten of of him in accordance with the Jewish custom of designating by the name of son even the remote offspring of a man in a direct line, just as Christ is said to be “the son of David and of Abraham.” Why these three generations were passed over is variously accounted for. It surely could not be on account of their great wickedness. Two of them, Joas and Amasias, were reputed good kings; and Solomon and Manasses, who are mentioned in the genealogy, were worse than even Ochozias. The reason generally assigned by commentators following St. Jerome is, that the Evangelist, having in view, for some mysterious reason of his own, to divide the genealogy of our Lord into three classes, consisting of fourteen generations each (v. 17), passed over these three rather than others, on account of the malediction pronounced by God, through the mouth of the prophet Elias, on the house of Achab (1 Kings 21:21; 2 Kings 9:8), viz., that He would utterly destroy his posterity. Hence, as Joram had married Athalia, the daughter of Achab, his descendants to the fourth generation were expunged by the Evangelist from the catalogue of the ancestors of Christ. Very likely, these names were expunged from the public records St. Matthew had before him. The reason of this omission was, no doubt, understood by those to whom St. Matthew wrote; nor would such omission interfere with the truth of the history. They were not naturally, but civilly, destroyed by such exclusion; just as the tribe of Dan, on account of its wickedness and forbidden commerce with the idolatrous Gentiles, is excluded from the catalogue of the saints numbered out of the tribes of Israel (Rev 7:5–8). No more of those lineally descended from Achab are excluded by the Evangelist, as the malediction of God on the children for their parents’ crimes does not usually, according to the measure of the Law, extend beyond the fourth generation (Exod. 20:5). Athalia, the mother of Ochozias, is called the daughter of Amri, king of Israel (2 Kings 8:26), although only his grand-daughter, in accordance with the Jewish usage already referred to. From other parts of Scripture it is clear that Joram was married to Achab’s daughter (4 Kings 8:18). It was on account of Ochozias being descended from Achab that Jehu slew him (2 Kings 9:27, &c.), in obedience to the Divine command on the subject (2 Kings 9:7). The omission of these three generations does not much affect the design of the Evangelist, which was to show that Christ was descended from David. He would be equally the son of David whether these generations were expressed or omitted.

Mat 1:9  And Ozias begot Joatham. And Joatham begot Achaz. And Achaz begot Ezechias.
Mat 1:10  And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manasses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias.
Mat 1:11  And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon.

“Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren.” This verse presents some difficulties—1st, because of the four sons of Josias mentioned (1 Chron 3:15; 2 Kings 23:30, 31), viz., Johanan, the first-born; the second, Joakim; the third, Sedecias; the fourth, Sellum,” there is none called Jechonias; and Jechonias, the father of Salathiel, had no brethren; he had but one brother, Sedecias. There would also seem to be wanting, as the text stands, some one generation of the thrice fourteen (v. 17), in either the second or third of the series. The question is, in case there be an omission of one generation, to which series, second, or third, is the omission to be referred.

Various solutions have been given by commentators to these difficulties. It is held by many commentators that the “Jechonias” mentioned in the text is the same as Joakim, the second son of Josias, who was appointed king after Joachaz, by Pharao Nechao, king of Egypt. (2 Kings 23:34; St. Ambrose, in Lucam; St. Jerome, in Matth.; Irenæus Lib. Hor. iii., &c.) After Josias was slain at Mageddo (2 Kings 24), his son Sellum, reckoned as his fourth son, although Sedecias was younger, mounted the throne immediately under the name of Joachaz, as appears from Jeremias (Jer 22:11), where, writing at the time that Joachim, the successor of Joachaz, was reigning, the Prophet says—“Thus saith the Lord to Sellum, son of Josias, king of Juda, who reigneth instead of his father … in the place to which I have removed him, there shall he die,” &c. Sellum, who went by the name of Joachaz, also, died in Egypt, whither Pharao Nechao transported him. (2 Kings 24)

Sellum is placed last, or “the fourth” among the sons of Josias (1 Chron 3:15), on account of the short duration of his reign, which lasted only three months. He was succeeded by Joachim, who reigned eleven years. Joachim was succeeded, though not immediately, by his brother Sedecias, who is reckoned as the “third” son of Josias, although, in point of years, the youngest. That he was younger than Sellum is clear from this, viz., that Sellum was twenty-three years when he began to reign (2 Kings 23:31); and after an interval of more than eleven years, during which the reign of Joachim lasted, Sedecias, on mounting the throne, was only twenty-one years (2 Kings 24:18). That Sellum or Joachaz was also younger than Joachim is also clear, as the latter was twenty-five years after the deposition of Joachaz, who was only twenty-three years and three months before (2 Kings 23:31). Hence, Joachaz is not to be confounded with Johanan, the first-born of Josias, who, it is generally supposed, either died before his father, or from some cause or other never ascended the throne. The advocates of the exposition now given, say that this Joachim is the Jechonias here referred to by St. Matthew, “Jechonias and his brethren.” These expositions supply the omission of one generation, which, it is generally admitted, occurs here, thus; “And Jechonias begot Jechonias, and Jechonias begot Salathiel.” So that the Jechonias who is said to have begotten Salathiel in the text (v. 12), is not the son, but the grandson of Josias.

There is, however, no evidence in Scripture that Joakim, the second son of Josias ever bore the name of Jechonias. Hence, Maldonatus rejecting the former solution, hazards a conjecture of his own. Setting out with the general admission, that there has been some error, or rather omission in this passage, arising from the transcription of copyists, he says the omission should be supplied in a manner most in accordance with the truthful catalogue of the ancestors of our Lord given in the Old Testament; and, consequently, he supplies it in this way: “Josias begot Joakim and his brethren, and Joakim begot Joachin, also called Jechonias” (1 Chron 3:16; Jer. 24:1); and Jechonias begot Salathiel (v. 12).

Others adopt different other hypotheses. Patrizzi adopts the opinion of Harduin, who maintains that by the Jechonias first referred to, “Jechonias and his brethren” is meant Johanan, the first-born of Josias, who is supposed by almost all other expositors never to have ascended the throne. It is hard to say which of the suppositions is the more probable solution of the difficulty. As regards the first solution already given, it might be conjectured that as Joachin, the son of Joachim, was called Jechonias, so might Joachim himself have borne the same name which might be common to both. This, however, is merely conjectural (see v. 17).

There is also much diversity of opinion in explaining in which of the series, second or third, one generation of the thrice fourteen (v. 17) is wanting. Those who hold that it is wanting in the second series, maintain that Jechonias mentioned in v. 12 as father of Salathiel, commences the third series. Hence, the second commencing with Solomon and ending with Josias inclusively, contains only thirteen generations. Those who say it is wanting in the third series, maintain that Jechonias, father of Salathiel, belongs to the second series; and they prefer this arrangement, because, according to their ideas, St. Matthew, in dividing our Redeemer’s lineage into thrice fourteen generations, had in view to note the threefold condition of the Jewish people under judges, who chiefly constituted the first series; under tings, who constituted the second; and dukes, who constituted the third. Hence, Jechonias and his brethren, kings of Juda, should be ranked in the second series. But, it may be said in reply, that the throe sons of Josias who reigned, were only the mere creatures of the kings of Egypt and Babylon, who made and unmade them at pleasure; and hence they could hardly be said to reign at all. Moreover, all who belong to any one of the three series, need not be necessarily of the same denomination. In the first series, were found men who were not judges, Abraham, Isaac, &c.

Others maintain, that even taking the text as it stands, without supposing any error whatever on the part of copyists, still fourteen generations (the word “generation” meaning the persons, or ancestors of Christ, of whom a catalogue is now given) may be reckoned. Of these expositors some, among whom is Harduin, say that David, who closes the first series, is to be twice repeated, as is indicated in v. 17. For, he is made as much the head of the second series, although closing the first, as Abraham is of the first; while, as regards the close of the second series, what is repeated is not Jechonias, but “the Babylonish captivity.” Hence Jechonias should be reckoned in the third series. Others say, with St. Augustine (de cons. Evangel.) that Jechonias, and not David, should be repeated twice, as ending the second, and commencing the third series, which closes with our Lord.

“In the transmigration of Babylon.” “In” means, about, or, on the eve of, because Josias was dead some years before the Jewish people were carried away captive to Babylon; “transmigration” means carried away captive. There was a threefold transmigration (Jer. 52:28–30; 2 Kings 25); the first, under Joachim, the son of Josias, in the beginning of Nabuchodonosor’s reign; the second, under Joachin, son of Joachim, in the eighteenth year of Nabuchodonosor’s reign; the third, under Sodecias, in the twenty-third year of Nabuchodonosor. This last deportation, which included almost the whole people, was effected by Nabuzardan, the general of Nabuchodonosor.

Patrizzi (De Genere Christ. Dissert. ix.) maintains that the words, “in the transmigration of Babylon,” are not to be connected with the word “begot,” since Josias was dead before the transmigration or deportation of the Jews to Babylon, which occurred in the reign of his sons; but that there is an ellipsis in the passage, the word τους (“those who were”) being omitted. Hence, the words mean, “Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren (those who were), in the transmigration of Babylon.” The captivity is by no means to be confounded with the transmigration. For, St. Matthew says, “after the transmigration,” which, surely, cannot mean the term of seventy years’ captivity (Jer. 25:11; Dan. 9:2), since it was during the captivity, and not after it, “Jechonias begot Salathiel,” when the triple deportation of the people to Babylon had been completed. “The transmigration,” or carrying away, which embraces the triple “transmigration,” is referred to as a remarkable epoch in Jewish history to close the second series with. Under the sons of Josias, the carrying away began and was completed. Not so the period of captivity embracing seventy years, during which some of those belonging to the third series were born.

Mat 1:12  And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel.

“After the transmigration of Babylon” was completed, and during the seventy years’ captivity, or of their detention at Babylon.

“Jechonias begot Salathiel.” This, most likely, happened after the death of Nabuchodonosor, when his son, Evilmerodach, ascending the throne, brought forth Jechonias from prison and bestowed on him kingly honours (2 Kings 25:27; Jer. 52:31). Had he a son at the time of his captivity, Nabuchodonosor would have appointed this son, rather than his uncle, Sedecias, to succeed him on the throne. It was, therefore, during the captivity he begot Salathiel. The curse of sterility pronounced by God against Jechonias (Jer. 22:30) had only reference to the exclusion of his children from “the throne of David” (Jer. 22:30). For, reference is made in v. 28 to his seed, who “would be cast on a land they knew not.” While after his captivity his uncle, Sedecias, reigned in his stead, none of his sons, Salathiel and Asir (1 Chron 3:17) ever saw the land of Juda. Under Zorobabel, his grandson, the Jews returned to their country.

The promise regarding our Lord sitting on the throne of David had reference only to His spiritual kingdom, of which there was to be no end.

“Salathiel begot Zorobabel.” In 1 Chron 3:19 it is said, “Of Phadaia were born Zorobabel and Semei.” It is most probable that the Zorobabel spoken of by St. Matthew is a different person altogether from him of whom there is mention in Paralipomenon. For, the list of the posterity of both is quite different in St. Matthew and Paralipomenon. St. Matthew describes Abiud as the son of Zorobabel; in Paralipomenon, there is no mention whatever of him. Hence, there is no contradiction between St. Matthew and Paralipomenon; since in the catalogue furnished by the writer in this latter book there is no mention whatsoever made of the sons of Zorobabel, Abiud or Reza, spoken of in the catalogue of St. Matthew here and Luke (Lk 3:27).

Mat 1:13  And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor.
Mat 1:14  And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud.
Mat 1:15  And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob.
Mat 1:16  And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

“Who is called,” which, by a Hebrew idiom, signifies, who is in reality “Christ,” that is, the Anointed, or the Messiah. As an exposition of the interpretations and hypotheses advanced for the purpose of explaining the apparent discrepancies between the genealogies of our Lord given here by St. Matthew and by Luke (Lk 3:23–38), might render inconveniently diffusive the commentary on this chapter, already sufficiently protracted on other points, we shall content ourselves here with merely noting the chief interpretations on this subject, reserving a fuller exposition for the commentary on Luke 3. It may not be amiss here to observe, that whatever may be the difficulties to be found in any of the leading opinions at this remote period of time (and they are very great, whichever hypothesis we adopt), a strong extrinsic proof of the genuineness of both genealogies is found in the fact, that the genealogies of Matthew and Luke have never been objected to by the Jews of their day, whether believers or unbelievers, who had every opportunity of knowing the state of the case, and many of whom would gladly charge the Evangelists with inaccuracy or inconsistency, if such really existed. And this proof is the more convincing, if it be borne in mind, that the Jews were always remarkable for paying the greatest attention to genealogies, particularly where there was question of direct descent from the most illustrious of their ancestors; and moreover, that they would naturally watch with jealous care, that no mistake should occur, and no false allegation be allowed to pass unchallenged, in the case of the ancestors of the Messiah especially, and of His descent from David, Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham, to whom the promises regarding Him were made. Notwithstanding this strong extrinsic argument, there have not been wanting at all periods of the Church, from Celsus, in the second century, to Strauss in our own day, enemies of the Christian name, to urge the inaccuracy or inconsistency of the two genealogies, as an objection to the veracity or inspiration of the New Testament. If it were not a matter perfectly certain at the time, that by tracing the genealogy of Joseph, St. Matthew at the same time gave the genealogy of the Blessed Virgin, the Jews, for whom he wrote, and who had before them the genealogical tables, since lost, which would clearly show Joseph and Mary to be of the same tribe and closely united in the same family, would certainly have urged as an objection that he promised to give the genealogy of Jesus Christ, from Abraham and David, and only gave that of Joseph, whom, in the very passage, he declares not to be the father of Jesus Christ. This would clearly show Joseph and Mary to be of the same tribe and family, and that by giving the genealogy of Joseph, the Evangelist gave that of Mary also, the only earthly parent of Jesus Christ. The Evangelist’s reason for giving the genealogy of Joseph, rather than that of Mary, is found in the fact, that it was not usual among the Jews to trace genealogies through the female line (St. Jerome). Even in the case of Judith, it is given through the male line (Judith 8:1), and St. Matthew writing for the Jews would naturally conform to their custom. Moreover, among the Jews, the genealogy of the mother was not considered the true one, but only that of the father. Now, St. Joseph passed externally for the father of Jesus Christ; and if Joseph was not shown to be of the house of David, the unbelieving Jews (for St. Matthew wrote for the Jewish people, believers and unbelievers) would regard the account of our Saviour’s miraculous conception, as a mere fabrication, and would maintain that Christ was not descended from David, and, therefore, had no claims to be considered the promised Messiah. Now, the above probable hypothesis, which explains the reticence of the Jews, utterly unaccountable, save in the supposition, that by giving the pedigree of Joseph, St. Matthew gave that of Mary also, receives confirmation from the fact that the Blessed Virgin would appear to have no brothers. For, neither in tradition nor in SS. Scripture do we find mention of any such near connexions of our Lord, as we should naturally expect if they existed, the more so, as we have reference made to the immediate female relative of the Blessed Virgin (John 19:25). This again leads us to believe that the Blessed Virgin was an heiress; for, contrary to what was customary in the case of women, she went to Bethlehem with. St. Joseph to be registered (Luke 2:5). She must, therefore, have an inheritance, and should, consequently, in accordance with the Jewish law, (Num. 36:8) marry a kinsman, in order that the inheritance should not pass out of the tribe or family. Joseph and the Blessed Virgin must, therefore, be of the same family; and by giving the genealogy of St. Joseph, St. Matthew gives that of the Blessed Virgin also.

The difficulty, however, still remains, regarding the two genealogies, between which there are but few points of agreement. One traces our Lord’s descent downwards from Abraham; the other, upwards to Adam. The number of generations in St. Luke is 77; in St. Matthew, 42. They are even far greater in the former than in the latter from the point of contact in David. The one mentions Jacob, as the father of Joseph; the other Heli, &c., &c. Both would seem to give the genealogy of Joseph; but as this could not by any means regard natural descent; hence, various interpretations are advanced to reconcile their apparent discrepancy. There are two leading interpretations, considered the most probable. According to the first, St. Matthew gives the natural genealogy of St. Joseph; St. Luke, that of the Blessed Virgin. In this interpretation, when St. Luke speaks of Joseph as the son of Heli (τοῦ Ηελι), he means the son-in-law, married to the Blessed Virgin, the daughter of Heli, who must, therefore, be identified with Joachim, whom tradition represents as the father of the Blessed Virgin. This would easily account for the difference of numbers of generations in both. This interpretation, however, has against it, its novelty; it was unknown until the fifteenth century, and whatever may be said in regard to a few of the Fathers cited in favour of it (Irenæus, Origen, Tertullian, and Athanasius), it cannot be questioned that the weight of authority is in favour of the leading interpretation to be referred to, in the second place. It moreover traces our Lord’s pedigree to Nathan, and not to Solomon, to whose family the promises were made (2 Sam 7:12–16). Again, the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph being most probably nearly related by the father’s side (since the Evangelist could not attain his object with the Jews in giving any other than the paternal genealogy), they would surely coincide before reaching the third or fourth generation, and it is hard to conceive how so wide a divergence as that given in the gospels could exist between them. Again, the grammatical construction in St. Luke’s Gospel would be fatal to this interpretation, and the insertion of a parenthesis, besides being arbitrary and dangerous in principle, when there is question of interpreting the Word of God, would not much mend matters. Finally, the Virgin’s name is not at all introduced by St. Luke, who professes to give the genealogy of our Lord through St. Joseph.

In the second interpretation, it is maintained that in both Matthew and Luke we have the genealogy of St. Joseph—as, indeed, the words of the text itself expressly state—in the former, his natural; in the latter, his legal genealogy. This legal relationship arose under the Levirate law, resulting from a peculiar enactment of the law of Moses (Deut. 25:5) “When brethren dwell together, and one of them dieth without children … his brother shall take her and raise up seed to his brother: and the first son he shall have of her, he shall call by his name, that his name be not abolished out of Israel.” The application of this law to the case of Joseph is founded on the authority of Julius Africanus, who lived in the third century, and says he had it from the relations of our Lord himself. His statement is this: Estha, the mother of Heli and Jacob, was married successively to Mathan and Melchi; of the former, she begat Jacob; of the latter, Heli. Jacob and Heli were, therefore, uterine brothers, having the same mother, but not the same father (Eusebius Hist. Eccles. Lib. 7). Now, Heli having died childless, Jacob married his widow, and had for issue, Joseph, who was the natural son of Jacob, but the legal son of Heli. As Mathan and Melchi, to whom Estha was successively married, need not be at all related, it is no wonder that the two genealogies branch off very divergently without meeting again save in Zorobabel and Salathiel, till they reach David, through Solomon on the one side, and Nathan on the other. This interpretation is commonly adopted by the Fathers. As both genealogies, the natural and legal, were regarded of the greatest importance among the Jews, it is no wonder the Evangelists give both. The interpretation of Africanus, however, as it stands, unless there be some error in transcription by copyists, does not well accord with the text of St. Luke, in which Heli is given, not as son of Melchi, who is two generations in advance, but of Mathat. But be the difficulties in removing the discrepancies in both genealogies what they may, at this remote period, the Jews, who had the best means of knowing accurately the date of the case, saw none; otherwise, they would have at once objected, which is a clear proof that no such discrepancy really existed.

Mat 1:17  So all the generations from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations. And from David to the transmigration of Babylon, are fourteen generations: and from the transmigration of Babylon to Christ are fourteen generations.

 If we begin by counting Abraham, and end with Christ, we have but 41 generations; hence, apparently, a name must be repeated or supplied to make up the three fourteens, or 42. By putting David at the end of the first series and beginning of the second, we shall have: Abraham, 1—David, 14; David, 1—Josias, 14; Jechonias, 1—Christ, 14. The repetition of David’s name is suggested by the Evangelist himself: “From Abraham to David … From David to the transmigration,” &c., making David the head of the second fourteen, and therefore to be counted as much as Abraham is of the first. There were in reality more than three fourteens, but for some mysterious reason of his own, St. Matthew, who omitted some generations (see v. 8), wishes to divide the entire into three fourteens, according to the catalogue of names expressed by himself. Many Catholic and Protestant writers, and among the rest Harduin, who is a great authority in chronological matters, adopt this mode of computation. If we suppose a generation omitted, then a different division is made: Abraham, 1—David 14; Solomon, 1—Joachim, 14; Jechonias, 1—Christ, 14.

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This Weeks Posts: Sunday, Jan 30-Saturday, Feb 5

Posted by Dim Bulb on January 30, 2011

Note: Some posts are prepared in advance and will not be available until the time indicated. Posts without time indicators are available regardless of when they are scheduled.  During the week I will be adding more posts, these will include commentaries on the Mass readings for this coming Sunday and, hopefully, some posts on 1 Corinthians.


Resources for Sunday Mass, Jan 30. A weekly feature of this blog. Resources for next Sunday will be posted on Wednesday, Feb 2.

Last Weeks Posts.



Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (Heb 11:32-40). 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 5:1-20). 12:10 AM EST.

Catholic Encyclopedia on St John Bosco. Also called St Giovanni Melchior Bosco.

Saint of the Day Podcast. Today on St John Bosco. Text also available.

Father Callan’s Notes on 1 Corinthians 13. See my Notes on 1 Corinthians page for more.

Father Callan’s Notes on 1 Corinthians 14:1-6. See my Notes on 1 Corinthians page for more


Mass Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (Heb 12:1-4). 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 5:21-43). 12:10 AM EST.

NOTE: The following several links are for the Sunday Mass readings in the Ordinary Form.

Cornelius a Lapide on 1 Cor 2:1-5 for Sunday Mass, Feb 6.

Bernardin de Piconio (Picquigny) on 1 Cor2:1-5 for Sunday Mass, Feb, 6.

Father Callan on 1 Cor 2:1-5 for Sunday Mass, Feb 6.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 5:13-16 for Sunday Mass, Feb 6.

Maldonado on Matt 5:13-16 for Sunday Mass, Feb 6.

Bishop MacEvily on Matt 5:13-16 for Sunday Mass, Feb 6.

NOTE: the following couple of links are for the Extraordinary Form of the Rite.

Bernardin de Piconio on Colossians 3:12-17 for Sunday Mass, Feb 6 (Extraordinary Form, 5th Sunday After Epiphany). 12:15 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 13:24-30 for Sunday Mass, Feb 6 (Extraordinary Form, 5th Sunday After Epiphany). 12:20 AM EST.




Mass Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s Epistle (Heb 2:14-18). 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 2:22-40). 12:10 AM EST.

Father Mass on Matt 13:24-30 for Sunday Mass, Feb 6 (Extraordinary Form, 5th Sunday After Epiphany). 12:15 AM EST.

Father Callan on Colossians 3:12-17 for Sunday Mass, Feb 6, (Extraordinary Form, 5th Sunday After Epiphany). 12:20 AM EST.

Feast of the Presentation Podcast. Text also available.

A Homily by Pope John Paul II on the Feast of the Presentation.

Resources for Sunday Mass, Feb 6, Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms.



Mass Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (Heb 12:18-19, 21-24). 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 6:7-13). 12:10 AM EST.


Mass Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (Heb 13:1-8). 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 6:14-29). 12:10 AM EST.


Mass Readings.

Father Callan on Today’s First Reading (Heb 13:15-17, 20-21). 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 6:30-34). 12:10 AM EST.

Catholic Encyclopedia on St Agatha.

Saint of the Day Podcast. On St Agatha. Text available.



Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 1 Corinthians, Notes on Colossians, Notes on Hebrews, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on Mark, Notes on Matthew, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

This Weeks Posts: Sunday, Dec 19-Saturday, Dec 25

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 21, 2010

Many of the posts are prepared in advance and will not become available until the time indicated.


Last Weeks Posts: Sunday Dec 12-Saturday, Dec 18.

Resources for Today’s Mass (Dec 19). A weekly feature of this blog. I will be posting a Resources for Christmas Mass latter today or tomorrow, and a resource post for next Sunday’s Mass will be posted on Wednesday.

St John Chrysostom on the Coming Judgment. A timely excerpt for the late Advent season.

An Introduction to Psalm 24 (23).


Today’s Readings.

Father Maas on Today’s First Reading (Isaiah 7:10-14) PDF document.

Aquinas on Today’s Psalm 24 (23). Available 12:01 AM EST.

Father Callan on Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:26-38. Available 12:05 AM EST.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Today’s Psalm 24 (23). Available 12:05 AM EST.


Today’s Readings.

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:39-45). 12:03 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:39-45). 12:05 AM EST.

Pope John Paul II on Today’s Psalm 33 (32). 12:10 AM EST.

UPDATE: Resources for Christmas Masses.


Today’s Readings.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:46-56). 12:05 AM EST.

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:46-56). 12:10 AM EST.

Pope John Paul II on Today’s Psalm (Canticle of Hannah, 1 Sam 2). 12:15 AM EST.

Resources for Sunday Mass. Pending.


Some Rambling Thoughts on Psalm 2512:05 AM EST. “Off the top of my head” reflections on St John the Baptist in relation to today’s first reading (the Baptist is the focal point of both the first and Gospel readings today).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:57-66). 12:10 AM EST.



Pope John Paul on Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:67-79).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:67-79). 12:05 AM EST.

Resources for the Christmas Vigil Mass. Post includes resources for Christmas Day Masses also.


Resources for Christmas Day Masses. Includes the Vigil Mass.


Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, John Paul II Catechesis, liturgy, Meditations, Notes on Acts of Apostles, Notes on Hebrews, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on Matthew, Notes on the Gospel of John, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, Notes on Titus, PAPAL COMMENTARY ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mass Resources for the Fourth Sunday of Advent (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms)

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 14, 2010

This post contains resources (mostly biblical) for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite. The readings for the two forms often differ, such is the case this week. It is generally my practice to post these “Resources for Sunday Mass” on the preceding Wednesdays and, when possible, update them during the remainder of the week.

Sunday, Dec 19 2010

Readings. New American Bible.

Readings. Jerusalem Bible.

Father Mass on Isaiah 7:10-14. PDF document.

Pope John Paul II on Psalm 24.

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 1:1-7 for the 4th Sunday of Advent.

St John Chrysostom on Romans 1:1-7 for the 4th Sunday of Advent.

Father Rickaby on Romans 1:1-7 for the 4th Sunday of Advent. Somewhat Technical.

My Notes on Matthew 1:18-24. My personal notes, for whatever they’re worth.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 1:18-24.

Cornelius a Lapide on Matt 1:18-24.

Franciscan Sisters Bible Study Podcast. The sisters post the podcast on Thursdays.

Dr. Scott Hahn Podcast. Brief, does a good job of highlighting major theme(s) of the readings.

UPDATE: St Martha’s Podcast on the Sunday Readings. By Jeff Crandall a good treatment of the readings.

Word Sunday:

  • MP3 PODCAST In this week’s audio podcast, we ask the simple but hard question, “God, what do you want me to do?”
  • FIRST READING Isaiah prophesied a common occurrence as the sign of God’s activity. A young woman would have a child. Something as simple as child birth could change history.
  • PSALM Psalm 24 was a call-response song that praised God, the King of Glory.
  • SECOND READING Romans 1 presented St. Paul’s “resume.” He listed the core of his ministry: the activity of God in history. Paul was an apostle, but that title only made sense in God’s plan for salvation, not anyone’s self promotion.
  • GOSPEL In Matthew 1, the Hebraic evangelist presented Joseph’s side to the Infancy Narrative. Joseph, the righteous Jew, faced a moral choice and a challenge to his reputation. Both were answered with a visitor from heaven.
  • CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, King Ahaz failed to understand Isaiah’s prophecy about the salvation of the nation. In the story for the gospel, Sally faced a choice over her unpopular friend Jerry. Did she want a popular friend or a true friend? Was she willing to suffer the cost that each friendship presented? Joseph faced the same choice: popularity or fidelity. An angel helped his to make the right answer.
  • CATECHISM LINK In this week’s Catechism Link, we cover the subjects of Mary, the Mother of God, and the Incarnation.
  • FAMILY ACTIVITY Make this Christmas memorable. Plan your visits or your hospitality with God in mind.

Navarre Bible Commentary.

Lector Notes: Brief historical and theological notes can be printed out for bulletin insert.

Historical Cultural Context.

Thoughts From the Early Church. Excerpt from Bede the Venerable.

Scripture in Depth.

Gospel Summary. St Vincent’s Archabbey.

Today’s Good News.

Joseph the Just Man.

The Bible Workshop.

A Lectio Divina Reading. Prayer, meditation, reflection of the text in the Carmelite tradition.

Bible Study Lessons. St Charles Borromeo Parish.

Sunday Reflections. Father Eugene Lobo, S.J.

Dec 19 2010

Bernardin de Piconio on 1 Cor 4:1-5 for the 4th Sunday of Advent.

Father Callan on 1 Cor 4:1-5 for the 4th Sunday of Advent. Actually, the post includes notes on verse 6 as well.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 3:1-6 for the 4th Sunday of Advent.

Please note that many of the links below are to online books which will take you to the exact page. You can use the book’s zoom feature to increase text size if necessary. Depending on the text size you may also have to scroll down the page slightly to find the beginning of the section being linked to.

Sermon plans: Can be used for sermon ideas, meditation points, reflection, points for further study.

Homily on the Epistle. Bishop Bonomelli.

Homily on the Gospel. Bishop Bonomelli.

What W e Are and How We Are to behave Towards Ourselves and Others. Homily on the Epistle.

How We Are To Prepare Ourselves For Christmas. Homily on the Gospel.

Jesus Christ is Truly God. Homily on the Gospel.

The Ordinances of the Church for Advent. Homily on the Gospel.

How We Are to Prepare the Way for Christ. Homily on the Gospel.

The Small Number of True Penitents. Homily on the Gospel.

We Have Many Preachers of Penance but few Penitents. Homily on the Gospel.

Christ Is Our Lord. An analysis of the Gospel, followed by an excerpt from the Catechism of the Council of Trent and two short sermons.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, John Paul II Catechesis, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Meditations, Morality, Notes on 1 Corinthians, NOTES ON ISAIAH, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on Matthew, Notes on Romans, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, PAPAL COMMENTARY ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS, St John Chrysostom, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Resources for Sunday Mass, Nov 14 (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Rite)

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 13, 2010

My apologies. I completely forgot to post this on Wednesday.

This post contains resources (mostly biblical) for this Sunday’s Mass for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.


Father Callan on 2 Thess 3:7-12 for Sunday Mass, Nov 14

Bishop MacEvily on 2 Thess 3:7-12 for Sunday Mass, Nov 14.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 21:5-19 for Sunday Mass, Nov 14.

Franciscan Sisters Bible Study Podcast.

Dr Scott Hahn Podcast. Brief, does a good job of highlighting the major theme(s) of the readings.


  • MP3 PODCAST In this week’s audio podcast, we discuss substance vs. appearances. We can be wowed by appearances, but, in the end, only substance matters.
  • FIRST READING Malachi 3 drew a shapr line between the saved and the condemned. That line was honor given to YHWH.
  • PSALM Psalm 98 is a perfect example of contagious praise, a song that praises God and encourages others to do the same.
  • SECOND READING 2 Thessalonians addressed the question of want vs. need. We are to help those in need and show those in want the limits of charity.
  • GOSPEL In Luke 21, Jesus chided his followers for their awe over the Temple. He used that moment to teach his followers about the end times.
  • CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, James had head smarts but not heart smarts. He stole money and bragged about it. He couldn’t see the need the poor had for the money was greater than his need. Malachi’s words of judgment were for people like James. In the story for the gospel, Judy and Noelle were surprised by an oral quiz. Smart Judy panicked because she was not prepared. But, average Noelle remained calm because of her preparation. Jesus wants us to prepare and be calm for the final test, just like Noelle.
  • CATECHISM LINK In this week’s Catechsim Link, we investigate the afterlife and the end times.
  • FAMILY ACTIVITY Guard your family against overreacting with a “Family Prayer Box.” Have family members write down their fears and anxieties, then place then in the box. At the end of the week, review the notes and see how God has answered them.

Navarre Bible Commentary:

Lector Notes. Brief notes on historical and theological background. Makes good bulletin insert.

Thoughts From the Early Church. An excerpt from Nilus of Ancyra.

The Scripture in Depth. Usually does a good job of summarizing and relating the readings to one another.

A Summary of the Gospel. From St Vincent Archabbey.

The Bible Workshop. A guide and review to the readings.

Lectio Divina: A Reading of the Gospel. From the Carmelites.

Bible Study Lessons. From St Charles Borromeo Parish.

25th Sunday after Pentecost.
Note: the readings for the EF are different from those in the OF.

My Notes on1 Thess 1:2-10 for Sunday Mass, Nov 14.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 13:31-35 for Sunday Mass, Nov 14. This was also the gospel of the day on July 26 in the OF.

Cornelius a Lapide on Matt 13:31-35 for Sunday Mass, Nov 14. Also originally posted for the OF reading of July 26.

Homily on the Epistle.

Homily on the Gospel.


Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 1 Thessalonians, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on Matthew, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, Scripture, SERMONS, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

This Weeks Posts: Sunday, Oct 31-Saturday, Nov 6

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 6, 2010

Some posts are scheduled in advance and will not become available until the time indicated. Scheduled posts and with no time indicator are already available. These are either links to other sites (e.g., the readings) or to posts previously published by me (e.g., the Bible commentaries under Tuesday).

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Last Weeks Posts.

Resources for Sunday Mass, Oct 31. A weekly feature of  this blog. Resources for the Nov 7 Mass will be posted on Wednesday.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Thess 2:16-3:5 for Sunday Mass, Nov 7. Available 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 20:27-38 for Sunday Mass, Nov 7. Available 12:10 AM EST.

My Notes on Psalm 17 for Sunday Mass, Nov 7. Available 12:15 AM EST.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 8. Available 12:30 AM EST.

Solemnity of All Saints.


Aquinas’ Homily Notes for All Saints Day. Available 12:05 AM EST.

Pope John Paul II on Today’s Psalm. Available 12:10 AM EST.

Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on Today’s 2nd Reading. Available 12:15 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel. Available 12:20 AM EST.

A Shorter Commentary on Matt 5:1-12. Off site link.

NOTE: The Two following links are to online books, use the sites zoom feature to increase text size if needed.

The Virtues of the Elect. A sermon for All Saints Day. Off site link.

The Imitation and Invocation of the Saints. Sermon. Off site link.

The commemoration Of All The Faithful Departed (All Souls Day).


Bernardin de Piconio on Today’s 2nd Reading (Rom 5:5-11). This post is actually on verses 1-11. The Lectionary also offers an alternate reading; see next link.

Piconio on Today’s 2nd Reading (Rom 6:3-9). This post actually contains commentary on all of chapter 6.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 6:37-40). Available 12:05 AM EST.

The Doctrine of Purgatory. Sermon. Off site link. Use the site’s zoom feature to increase text size.

Charity for the Souls of the Faithfully Departed. Sermon. Off site link. Use the site’s zoom feature to increase text size if needed.



Pope John Paul II on Today’s Psalm. The whole Psalm in two parts:

Bernardin de Piconio on Today’s 1st Reading (Phil 2:12-18). Available 12:00 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Luke 14:25-33). Available 12:05 AM EST.

Resources for Sunday Mass, Nov 7 (Ordinary & Extraordinary Forms).

Memorial of St Charles Borromeo, Bishop.


Father Callan on Today’s 1st Reading. Available 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel Reading. Available 12:10 AM EST.

Juan de Maldonado on Matt 13:31-35 for Sunday Mass, Nov 4 (Extraordinary Form). Available 12:15 AM EST.

The Life of St Charles Borromeo. Online book.

Butler’s Lives of Saints on St Charles Borromeo. Online book.



Father Callan on Today’s 1st Reading. Available 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel Reading. Available 12:10 AM EST.



Father Callan on Today’s 1st Reading (Phil 4:10-19). Available 12:05 AM EST.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel Reading (Luke 16:9-15). Available 12:10 AM EST.

Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, John Paul II Catechesis, liturgy, Meditations, Notes on 2 Thessalonians, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on Matthew, Notes on Philippians, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, PAPAL COMMENTARY ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | 1 Comment »

Resources for Sunday Mass, Oct 24 (Ordinary & Extraordinary Forms)

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 23, 2010

My Parish Church (photo by Msgr. Matt, Senior Preist)

This post contains resources (mostly biblical) for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite. It was posted on Wednesday and is reposted here for the sake of the those wishing to prepare for Mass.

ORDINARY FORM: 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time .


St Augustine on Psalm 34 for Sunday Mass, Oct 24.

Father Callan on 2 Tim 4:6-8, 16-18 for Sunday Mass, Oct 24.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 18:9-14 for Sunday Mass, Oct 24.

Navarre Bible Commentary. It’s Saturday morning and the site still hasn’t posted the readings. .

St Augustines Homily on Luke 18:9-14 for Sunday Mass Oct 24. Originally published for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost (Extraordinary Form of the Rite).

Franciscan Sisters Bible Study Podcast. Usually posted on Thursdays.

Dr. Scott Hahn Podcast. Brief summary highlighting major theme(s) of the readings.

Word Sunday:

  • MP3 PODCAST In this week’s podcast, we see pride and jealousy as invasive weeds that choke off our spiritual life.
  • FIRST READING The book of Sirach taught the rich how to lead, with humility.
  • PSALM Psalm 34 was a hymn of praised based in wisdom. The true worshiper is humble, always willing to learn true ways to please the Lord.
  • SECOND READING 2 Timothy addressed the final days of St. Paul. According to the text, he knew his time was short, so he longed for the time of his reward.
  • GOSPEL In Luke 18, Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. One bragged to God of his righteousness. One begged to be made righteous. Guess whose prayer was answered.
  • CHILDREN’S READINGS In the story for the first reading, Jerry lived down the street from two brothers, one was a bully, one was nice. Which one did Jerry really like? Which one would have their prayers answered? We look to Sirach for the answers. In the story for the gospel, Gail was bridght, talented, funny and proud. Jean was average, but nice. Gail stood out; Jean did not. Who made more friends? Who got help when she needed it? Jesus told a story about the same problem and who God will help.
  • CATECHISM LINK In this week’s Catechism Link, we investigate the Great Commandment, love God, love others.
  • FAMILY ACTIVITY How hard is it to be yourself with your family? That might sound absurd, but in these days of hyperactivity and stress, we sometimes gloss over relationships with the ones closest to us. So take some time, turn off all the distractions, and have a game night with your family. Have fun. In this way, you can enjoy your family members as they truly are.

Lector Notes. Provides historical and theological background.

Thoughts From the Early Church. Excerpt from Gregory Palamas.

The Scripture in Depth. Usually provides a good overview of the readings.

Summary of the Gospel. St Vincent’s Archabbey.

Prayer From a Humble Heart. For personal or group study.

A Lectio Divina Areading of the Gospel.

Bible Study Lessons. St Charles Borromeo Parish.

EXTRAORDINARY FORM: 22nd Sunday after Pentecost.

Note: The readings for the EF differ from those of the OF.

Father Callan on Philippians 1:6-11.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 22:15-21.

Aquinas’ Homily Notes on the Epistle.

Homily by St Hilary of Poitier

The following links are to online books. Use the site’s zoom feature to increase text size if needed.

Homily on the Epistle.

Homily on the Gospel.



Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 2 Tim, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on Matthew, Notes on Philippians, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, SERMONS, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

This Weeks Posts: Sunday August 8-Saturday August 14

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 14, 2010

This post will remain at the top of my blog until sometime Saturday the 14th or Sunday the 15th.  Some links below are scheduled in advance and will not appear until the time indicated.

Sunday August 8:

Last Weeks Posts: August 1-August 7. In case you missed something.

Resources for Sunday Mass, August 8A weekly feature (usually). I try to post a list of resource for the coming Sunday Mass on on the preceding Wednesday or Thursday.

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 9:1-13.

My Notes on Revelation 11:19a, 12:1-6a, 10ab for Sunday Mass August 15, the Assumption.

Aquinas Catena Aurea on Luke 1:39-56 for Sunday Mass, August 15, the Assumption.

Bishop MacEvily on Luke 1:39-56 for Sunday Mass, August 15, the Assumption.

Monday August 9:

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (Matt 17:22-27).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 17:22-27).

Father Maas on Today’s Gospel (Matt 17:22-27).

Tuesday August 10:

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 11:27-28 for Vigil Mass of the Assumption (August 15).

Cornelius a Lapide on Luke 11:27-28 for Vigil Mass of the Assumption (August 15).

Cornelius a Lapide on 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 for Vigil Mass of the Assumption.

Bishop MacEvily on Today’s First Reading.

Nolan & Brown on Today’s Gospel (John 12:24-26).

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (John 12:24-26).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (John 12:24-26).

Wednesday August 11:

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (Matt 18:15-20).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 1:1.

Thursday August 12:

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 18:21-19:1).

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (Matt 18:21-19:1).

Resources For Sunday Mass, August 15, Solemnity of the Assumption.

Friday August 13:

Aquinas Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 19:3-12).

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 9:14-33.

Saturday August 14:

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 10.

Bishop MacEvily on Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13 for Sunday Mass, August 22.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on Hebrews, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on Matthew, Notes On Revelation, Notes on Romans, Notes on the Gospel of John, Notes on the Lectionary, Our Lady, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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