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 ‘SERMONS’ Category

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Matthew 25:1-30

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 4, 2017

These parables are like the former parable of the faithful servant, and of him that was ungrateful and devoured his Lord’s goods. For there are four in all, in different ways admonishing us about the same things, I mean about diligence in almsgiving, and about helping our neighbor by all means which we are able to use, since it is not possible to be saved in another way. But there He speaks more generally of all assistance which should he rendered to one’s neighbor; but as to the virgins, he speaketh particularly of mercifulness in alms, and more strongly than in the former parable. For there He punishes him that beats, and is drunken, and scatters and wastes his lord’s goods, but here even him that doth not help, nor spends abundantly his goods upon the needy. For they had oil indeed, but not in abundance, wherefore also they are punished.

But wherefore doth He set forth this parable in the person of the virgins, and doth not merely suppose any person whatever? Great things had He spoken of virginity, saying, “There are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of Heaven’s sake;” and, “He that is able to receive, let him receive it.”1 He knew also that the generality of men would have a great opinion of it. For indeed the work is by nature great, and is shown so by this, that neither under the old dispensation was it fulfilled by these ancient and holy men, nor under the new was it brought under the compulsion of the law. For He did not command this, but left it to the choice of his hearers. Wherefore Paul also said “Now, concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord.”2 “For though I praise him that attains thereto, yet I constrain not him that is not willing, neither do I make the thing an injunction.” Since then the thing is both great in itself and hath great honor with the multitude, lest any one attaining to this should feel as though he had attained to all, and should be careless about the rest, He putteth forth this parable sufficient to persuade them, that virginity, though it should have everything else, if destitute of the good things arising out of almsgiving, is cast out with the harlots, and He sets the inhuman and merciless with them. And most reasonably, for the one was overcome by the love of carnal pleasure, but these3 of money. But the Jove of carnal pleasure and of money are not equal, but that of carnal pleasure is far keener and more tyrannical. And the weaker the antagonist, the less excusable are these4 that are overcome thereby. Therefore also He calls them foolish, for that having undergone the greater labor, they have betrayed all for want of the less. But by lamps here, He meaneth the gift itself of virginity, the purity of holiness; and by oil, humanity, almsgiving, succor to them that are in need.

“Then, while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.” He shows that the time intervening will not be short, leading His disciples away from the expectation that His kingdom was quite immediately to appear. For this indeed they hoped, therefore He is continually holding them back from this hope. And at the same time He intimates this too, that death is a sleep. For they slept, He saith.

“And about midnight there was a cry made.” Either He was continuing the parable, or again He shows that the resurrection will be at night. But the cry Paul also indicates, saying, “With a shout, with a voice of an archangel, with the last trump, He shall come down from Heaven.”5 And what mean the trumpets, and what saith the cry? “The bridegroom cometh.” When therefore they had trimmed their lamps, the foolish say unto the wise, “Give us of your oil.” Again He calls them foolish, showing that nothing can be more foolish than they who are wealthy here, and depart naked thither, where most of all we have need of humanity, where we want much oil. But not in this respect only were they foolish, but also because they looked to receive it there, and sought it out of season; and yet nothing could be more humane than those virgins, who for this especially were approved. Neither do they seek for it all, for, “Give us,” they say, “of your oil;” and the urgency of their need is indicated; “for our lamps,” they say, “are going out.” But even so they failed, and neither the humanity of those whom they asked, nor the easiness of their request, nor their necessity and want, made them obtain.

But what now do we learn from hence? That no man can protect us there, if we are betrayed by our works, not because he will not, but because he cannot. For these too take refuge in the impossibility. This the blessed Abraham also indicated, saying, “Between us and you there is a great gulf,”1 so that not even when willing is it permitted them to pass it.

“But go to them that sell, and buy.” And who are they that sell? The poor. And where are these? Here, and then should they have sought them, not at that time.

2. Seest thou what great profit arises to us from the poor? shouldest thou take them away, thou wouldest take away the great hope of our salvation. Wherefore here must we get together the oil, that it may be useful to us there, when the time calls us. For that is not the time of collecting it, but this. Spend not then your goods for nought in luxury and vainglory. For thou wilt have need of much oil there.

Having heard these things, those virgins went their way; but they profiled nothing. And this He saith, either pursuing the parable, and working it up; or also by these things showing, that though we should become humane after our departure, we shall gain nothing from thence towards our escape. Therefore neither did their forwardness avail these virgins, because they went to them that sell not here, but there; nor the rich man, when he became so charitable, as even to be anxious about his relations. For he that was passing by him that was laid at the gate, is eager to rescue from perils and from hell them whom he did not so much as see, and entreats that some be sent to tell them these things. But nevertheless, he derived no benefit from thence, as neither did these virgins. For when they having heard these things went their way, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with Him, but the others were shut out. After their many labors, after their innumerable toils, and that intolerable fight, and those trophies which they had set up over the madness of natural appetite, disgraced, and with their lamps gone out, they withdrew, bending down their faces to the earth. For nothing is more sullied than virginity not having mercy; so that even the multitude are wont to call the unmerciful dark. Where then was the profit of virginity, when they saw not the bridegroom? and not even when they had knocked did they obtain, but they heard that fearful saying, “Depart, I know you not.”2 And when He hath said this, nothing else but hell is left, and that intolerable punishment; or rather, this word is more grievous even than hell. This word He speaks to them also that work iniquity.3

“Watch therefore, for ye know not the day nor the hour.”4 Seest thou how continually He adds this, showing how awful our ignorance concerning our departure hence? Where now are they, who throughout all their life are remiss, but when they are blamed by us, are saying, At the time of my death, I shall leave money to the poor. Let them listen to these words, and be amended. For indeed at that time many have failed of this, having been snatched away at once, and not permitted so much as to give charge to their relations touching what they wished to be done.

This parable was spoken with respect to mercy in alms; but the one that comes after this, to them that neither in money, nor in word, nor in protection, nor in any other things whatever, are willing to assist their neighbors, but withhold all.

And wherefore can it be that this parable brings forward a king, but that a bridegroom? That thou mightest learn how close Christ is joined unto the virgins that strip themselves of their possessions; for this indeed is virginity. Wherefore Paul also makes this as a definition of the thing. “The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord;”5 such are his words: and, “For that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. These things we advise,” he saith.

And if in Luke the parable of the talents is otherwise put, this is to be said, that the one is really different from the other. For in that, from the one capital different degrees of increase were made, for from one pound one brought five, another ten; wherefore neither did they obtain the same recompense; but here, it is the contrary, and the crown is accordingly equal. For he that received two gave two, and he that had received the five again in like manner; but there since from the same beginning one made the greater, one the less, increase; as might be expected, in the rewards also, they do not enjoy the same.

But see Him everywhere, not requiring it again immediately. For in the case of the vineyard, He let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country; and here He committed to them the talents, and took His journey, that thou mightest learn His long-suffering. And to me He seems to say these things, to intimate the resurrection. But here it is no more a vineyard and husbandmen, but all servants. For not to rulers only, nor to Jews, but to all, doth He address His discourse. And they who bring a return unto Him confess frankly, both what is their own, and what their Master’s. And the one saith, Lord, “Thou gavest me five talents;” and the other saith, “two,” indicating that from Him they received the source of their gain, and they are very thankful, and reckon all to Him.

What then saith the Master? “Well done, thou good” (for this is goodness to look to one’s neighbor) “and faithful servant; thou wast faithful over few things, I will set thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord,”1 meaning by this expression all blessedness.

But not so that other one, but how? “I knew that thou art a hard man, reaping where thou sowedst not, and gathering where thou strawedst not: and I was afraid, and hid thy talent: lo, there thou hast that is thine.”2 What then the Master? “Thou oughtest to have put my money to the exchangers,”3 that is, “that oughtest to have spoken, to have admonished, to have advised.” But are they disobedient? Yet this is nought to thee.

What could be more gentle than this? For men indeed do not so, but him that hath put out the money at usury, even him do they make also responsible to require it again. But He not so; but, Thou oughtest, He saith, to have put it out, and to have committed the requiring of it again to me. And I should have required it with increase; by increase upon the hearing, meaning the showing forth of the works. Thou oughtest to have done that which is easier, and to have left to me what is more difficult. Forasmuch then as he did not this, “Take,” saith He, “the talent from him, and give it to him that hath ten talents?4 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.”5 What then is this? He that hath a gift of word and teaching to profit thereby, and useth it not, will lose the gift also; but he that giveth diligence, will gain to himself the gift in more abundance; even as the other loseth what he had received. But not to this is the penalty limited for him that is slothful, but even intolerable is the punishment, and with the punishment the sentence, which is full of a heavy accusation. For “cast ye,” saith He, “the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”6 Seest thou how not only the spoiler, and the covetous, nor only the doer of evil things, but also he that doeth not good things, is punished with extreme punishment.

Let us hearken then to these words. As we have opportunity, let us help on our salvation, let us get oil for our lamps, let us labor to add to our talent. For if we be backward, and spend our time in sloth here, no one will pity us any more hereafter, though we should wail ten thousand times. He also that had on the filthy garments condemned himself, and profited nothing. He also that had the one talent restored that which was committed to his charge, and yet was condemned. The virgins again entreated, and came unto Him and knocked, and all in vain, and without effect.

Knowing then these things, let us contribute alike wealth, and diligence, and protection,7 and all things for our neighbor’s advantage. For the talents here are each person’s ability, whether in the way of protection, or in money, or in teaching, or in what thing soever of the kind. Let no man say, I have but one talent, and can do nothing; for thou canal even by one approve thyself. For thou art not poorer than that widow; thou art not more uninstructed than Peter and John, who were both “unlearned and ignorant men;”8 but nevertheless, since they showed forth a zeal, and did all things for the common good, they attained to Heaven. For nothing is so pleasing to God, as to live for the common advantage.

For this end God gave us speech, and hands, and feet, and strength of body, and mind, and understanding, that we might use all these things, both for our own salvation, and for our neighbor’s advantage. For not for hymns only and thanksgivings is our speech serviceable to us, but it is profitable also for instruction and admonition. And if indeed we used it to this end, we should be imitating our Master; but if for the opposite ends, the devil. Since Peter also, when he confessed the Christ, was blessed, as having spoken the words of the Father; but when he refused the cross, and dissuaded it, he was severely reproved, as savoring the things of the devil. But if where the saying was of ignorance, so heavy is the blame, when we of our own will commit many sins, what favor shall we have?

Such things then let us speak, that of themselves they may be evidently the words of Christ. For not only if I should say, “Arise, and walk;”1 neither if I should say, “Tabitha, arise,”2 then only do I speak Christ’s words, but much more if being reviled I bless, if being despitefully used I pray for him that doeth despite to me. Lately indeed I said, that our tongue is a hand laying hold on the feet of God; but now much more do I say, that our tongue is a tongue imitating the tongue of Christ, if it show forth the strictness that becometh us, if we speak those things which He wills. But what are the things which He wills us to speak? Words full of gentleness and meekness, even as also He Himself used to speak, saying to them that were insulting Him, “I have not a devil;”3 and again, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil.”4 If thou also speak in this way; if thou speak for thy neighbor’s amendment, thou wilt obtain a tongue like that tongue. And these things God Himself saith; “For he that bringeth out the precious from the vile, shall be as my mouth;”5 such are His words.

When therefore thy tongue is as Christ’s tongue, and thy mouth is become the mouth of the Father, and thou art a temple of the Holy Ghost, then what kind of honor could be equal to this? For not even if thy mouth were made of gold, no nor even of precious stones, would it shine like as now, when lit up with the ornament of meekness. For what is more lovely than a mouth that knoweth not how to insult, but is used to bless and give good words? But if thou canst not bear to bless him that curses thee, hold thy peace, and accomplish but this for the time; and proceeding in order, and striving as thou oughtest, thou wilt attain to that other point also, and wilt acquire such a mouth, as we have spoken of.

4. And do not account the saying to be rash. For the Lord is loving to man, and the gift cometh of His goodness. It is rash to have a mouth like the devil, to have a tongue resembling that of an evil demon, especially for him that partakes of such mysteries, and communicates of the very flesh of the Lord. Reflecting then on these things, become like Him, to the utmost of thy power. No longer then will the devil be able so much as to look thee in the face, when thou art become such a one as this. For indeed he recognizes the image of the King, he knows the weapons of Christ, whereby he was worsted. And what are these? Gentleness and meekness. For when on the mountain Christ overthrew and laid low the devil who was assaulting him, it was not by making it known that He was Christ, but He entrapped him by these sayings, He took him by gentleness, he turned him to flight by meekness. Thou also must do this; shouldest thou see a man become a devil, and coming against thee, even so do thou likewise overcome. Christ gave thee also power to become like Him, so far as thy ability extends. Be not afraid at hearing this. The fear is not to be like Him. Speak then after His manner, and thou art become in this respect such as He, so far as it is possible for one who is a man to become so.

Wherefore greater is he that thus speaks, than he that prophecies. For this is entirely a gift, but in the other is also thy labor and toil. Teach thy soul to frame thee a mouth like to Christ’s mouth. For it can create such things, if it will; it knows the art, if it be not remiss. And how is such a mouth made? one may ask. By what kind of colorings? by what kind of material? By no colorings, indeed, or material; but by virtue only, and meekness, and humility.

Let us see also how a devil’s mouth is made; that we may never frame that. How then is it made? By curses, by insults, by envy, by perjury. For when any one speaks his words, he takes his tongue. What kind of excuse then shall we have; or rather, what manner of punishment shall we not undergo; when this our tongue, wherewith we are allowed to taste of the Lord’s flesh, when this, I say, we overlook, speaking the devil’s words?

Let us not overlook it, but let us use all diligence, in order to train it to imitate its Lord. For if we train it to this, it will place us with great confidence at Christ’s judgment seat. Unless any one know how to speak thus, the judge will not so much as hear him. For like as when the judge chances to be a Roman, he will not hear the defense of one who knows not how to speak thus; so likewise Christ, unless thou speak after His fashion, will not hear thee, nor give heed.

Let us learn therefore to speak in such wise as our Judge is wont to hear; let it be our endeavor to imitate that tongue. And shouldest thou fall into grief, take heed lest the tyranny of despondency pervert thy tongue, but that thou speak like Christ. For He too mourned for Lazarus and Judas. Shouldest thou fall into fear, seek again to speak even as He. For He Himself fell into fear for thy sake, with regard to His manhood.1 Do thou also say, “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”2

And if thou shouldest lament, weep calmly as He. Shouldest thou fall into plots and sorrows, treat these too as Christ. For indeed He had plots laid against Him, and was in sorrow, and saith, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.”3 And all the examples He presented to thee, in order that thou shouldest continually observe the same measures, and not destroy the rules that have been given thee. So shalt thou be able to have a mouth like His mouth, so while treading on the earth, thou wilt show forth a tongue like to that of Him who sits on high; thou wilt maintain the limits He observed in despondency, in anger, in suffering, in agony.

How many are they of you that desire to see His form? Behold, it is possible, not to see Him only, but also to become like Him; if we are in earnest.

Let us not delay then. He doth not so readily accept prophets’ lips, as those of meek and forbearing men. “For many will say unto me,” He saith, “Have we not prophesied in Thy name? And I will say unto them, I know you not.”4

But the lips of Moses, because he was exceeding gentle and meek (“for Moses,” it is said, “was a meek man above all the men which were upon the face of the earth”5), He so accepted and loved, as to say, “Face to face, mouth to mouth, did He speak, as a man speaketh unto his friend.”6

Thou wilt not command devils now, but thou shalt then command the fire of hell, if thou keep thy mouth like to Christ’s mouth. Thou shalt command the abyss of fire, and shalt say unto it, “Peace, be still,”7 and with great confidence shalt set foot in the Heavens, and enjoy the kingdom; unto which God grant all of us to attain, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom, be unto the Father, together with the Holy Ghost, glory, might, honor, now and always, and world without end. Amen.

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St Cyril of Alexandria’s Homiletic Commentary on Luke 6:17, 20-26

Posted by Dim Bulb on October 21, 2017

The following has been compiled from sermons by St Cyril. They are somewhat fragmented and contain nothing on verses 25 & 26.

6:17. He stood upon level ground, and a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of the people.

But observe, I pray, the manner of the election. For the most wise Evangelist says that it was not done in a corner and secretly, but rather when many disciples were gathered together, and a vast crowd from all the country of the Jews, and from the sea-coast of Tyre and Sidon. These latter were |100 idolaters, lame in the hollow of both knees,26 in part observing the customs of the Jews, but yet not altogether abandoning their idolatrous practices. The election, therefore, was held in the presence of all these spectators, and teachers appointed for all beneath the heaven: and this duty they also fulfilled, summoning the Jews from their legal worship, and those who served demons, from Grecian 27 error to the acknowledgment of the truth.

And when He had appointed the holy Apostles, He performed very many wonderful miracles, rebuking demons, delivering from incurable diseases whosoever drew near unto Him, and displaying His own most godlike power: that both the Jews, who had run together unto Him, and those from the country of the Greeks, might know, that Christ, by Whom they were honoured with the dignity of the Apostolate, was not some ordinary man of those in our degree, but, on the contrary, God, as being the Word That was made man, but retained, nevertheless, His own glory. For “power went forth from Him, and healed all.” For Christ did not borrow strength from some other person, but being Himself God by nature, even though He had become flesh, He healed them all, by the putting forth of power over the sick.

If further you wish to learn the interpretation of the Apostles’ names, know that Peter is explained as meaning “loosing,” or “knowing:” Andrew as “comely strength,” or “answering:” James as “one who takes labour by the heel:” John, “the grace of the Lord:” Matthew, “given:” Philip, “the opening of the hands,” or “the mouth of a lamp:” Bartholomew, “the son suspending water:” Thomas, an “abyss,” or “a twin:” James, the son of Alphaeus, “the supplanting |101 “of the passage of life:” Judas, “thanksgiving:” and Simon, “obedience.” 28

6:20. Blessed are ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

[From the Syriac] Those are the Saviour’s words, when directing His disciples into the newness of the Gospel life after their appointment to the apostolate. But we must see of what poor it is that He speaks such great things: for in the Gospel according to Matthew it is written, “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven:” wishing us to understand by the poor in spirit the man who entertains lowly thoughts of himself, and whoso mind, so to speak, is closely reefed, and hi3 heart gentle, and ready to yield, and entirely free from the guilt of pride.

[From Mai.] Such a one is worthy of admiration, and the friend of God; yea, He even said by one of the holy prophets; “Upon whom will I look but upon the humble and peaceable, and that trembleth at my words?” And the prophet David also said, that “a contrite and humbled heart God will not set at nought.” Moreover, the Saviour Himself also says, “Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble in heart.” In the lessons, however, now set before us, He says, that the poor shall be blessed, without the addition of its being in spirit. But the Evangelists so speak, not as contradicting one another, but as dividing oftentimes the narrative among them: and at one time they recapitulate the same particulars, and at another that which has been omitted by one, another includes in his narrative, that nothing essential for their benefit may be hidden from those who believe on Christ.—-[From the Syriac.] It seems likely, therefore, that He here means by the poor, whom He pronounces blessed, such as care not for wealth, and are superior to covetousness, and despisers of base gifts, and of a disposition free from the love of money, and who set no value upon the ostentatious display of riches. |103

And so the most wise Paul manifestly guides us into the best doctrines, where he says, “Let your disposition be free from the love of money, being contented with what it has:” and to this he has added, that “having nourishment and the means of shelter, we will be therewith content.” For it was necessary, absolutely necessary, for those whose business it would be to proclaim the saving message of the Gospel to have a mind careless about wealth, and occupied solely with the desire of better things. The argument, however, does not affect all whose means are abundant, but those only whose desire is set upon riches: and who are these? All to whom our Saviour’s words apply: “Store not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth.”

6:21. Blessed are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be filled.

In Matthew, however, again He says; “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled:” but here He simply says, that “those that hunger shall be filled.” We say, therefore, that it is a great and noble thing to hunger and thirst after righteousness: that is, habitually to take part in earnest endeavours after piety:—-for such is the meaning of righteousness:—-as if it were our meat and drink. And inasmuch as we ought to give to this passage also a meaning, in accordance with the foregoing explanations, we say again as follows: The Saviour pronounced those blessed who love a voluntary poverty, to enable them honourably, and without distraction, to practise the apostolic course of life. For it is in plain keeping with the having neither gold nor silver in their purses, nor two coats, to endure also very great hardness in their way of life, and scarcely obtain food for their need. But this is a burdensome thing for those who are suffering poverty and persecutions, and therefore He That knoweth hearts, very suitably does not permit us to be dispirited because of the results of poverty: for He says, that those who hunger now for their piety’s sake towards Him shall be filled: that is, they shall enjoy the intellectual and spiritual blessings that are in store. |104

6:21. Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh.

[From the Syriac.] He pronounces them that weep blessed, and says that they shall laugh. But by those who weep, we say that those are not meant who simply shed tears from their eyes: for this is a thing common to all without exception, whether believers or unbelievers, if ought happen of a painful nature; but those rather who shun a life of merriment and vanity, and carnal pleasures. —-[From Mai.] For of the one we say, that they live in enjoyment and laughter; whereas believers abandoning luxury and the careless life of carnal pleasures, and all but weeping because of their abhorrence of worldly things, are, our Saviour declares, blessed; and for this reason, as having commanded us to choose poverty, He also crowns with honours the things which necessarily accompany poverty: such, for instance, as the want of things necessary for enjoyment, and the lowness of spirits caused by privation: for it is written, that “many are the privations of the just, and the Lord shall deliver them out of them all.”

6:22. Blessed are ye when men shall hate you.

Already did the Lord mention persecution, even before the Apostles had been sent on their mission. The Gospel anticipated what would happen. For it was altogether to be expected that those who proclaimed the Gospel message, and made the Jews abandon their legal mode of worship to learn the Gospel way of virtuous living, while too they won over idolaters to the acknowledgment of the truth, would come in contact with many impious and unholy men. For such are they who, in their enmity against piety, excite wars and persecutions against those who preach Jesus. To prevent them, therefore, from falling into unreasonable distress whenever the time should arrive at which such events were sure to befal them from some quarter or other, He forewarns them for their benefit, that even the assault of things grievous to bear will bring its reward and advantage to them. For they shall reproach you, He says, as deceivers, and as trying to mislead: they shall separate you from them, even from their friendship and society: but let none of these things trouble you, He says: |105 for what harm will their intemperate tongue do a well-established mind? For the patient suffering of these things, will not be without fruit. He says, to those who know how to endure 1 piously, but is the pledge of the highest happiness. And besides, He points out to them for their benefit, that nothing strange will happen unto them, even when suffering these things: but that, on the contrary, they will resemble those who before their time were the bearers to the Israelites of the words that came from God above. They were persecuted, they were sawn asunder, they perished slain by the sword, they endured reproaches unjustly cast upon them. He would therefore have them also understand that they shall be partakers with those whose deeds they have imitated; nor shall they fail in winning the prophet’s crown, after having travelled by the same road. |106

(6:24) [From the Syriac. 2 MS.14,551.] *         *          *          *          *          *          *          *          receive those things that will lead you unto life eternal. For it is written, that “man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that goeth forth from the mouth of God.” All Scripture, indeed, is inspired of God; but this is especially true of the proclamations in the Gospels: for He Who in old time delivered unto the Israelites by the ministry of Moses the law that consisted in types and shadows, the very same having become man spake unto us, as the wise Paul testifies, writing; “God, Who in divers manners spake in old time to the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son:” and “we are taught of God:” for Christ is in truth God and the Son of God. Let us therefore fix our careful attention upon what He says: and scrupulously examine the very depth of His meaning. For “Woe, He says, unto you rich, in that ye have received your consolation.”

Very fitly is this added to His previous discourse: for having already shewn that poverty for God’s sake is the mother of every blessing, and said that the hungering and weeping of the saints would not be without a reward, He proceeds to speak of the opposite class of things, and says of them, that they are productive of grief and condemnation. For He blames indeed the rich, and those who indulge immoderately in pleasures, and are ever in merriment, in order that He may leave no means untried of benefitting those who draw near unto Him, and chief of all the holy Apostles. For if the endurance of poverty for God’s sake, together with hunger and tears:—-by which is meant the being exposed to pain and afflictions in the cause of piety:—-be profitable before God, and He pronounce a threefold 3 blessedness on those who embrace them; as a necessary consequence, those are liable to the utmost blame, |107 who have prized the vices, that are the opposites of these virtues.

In order therefore that men may be won by the desire of the crowns of reward unto willingness to labour, and voluntary poverty for God’s sake; and, on the other hand, by fear of the threatened punishment, may flee from riches, and from living in luxury and merriment, that is to say, in worldly amusements, He says that the one are heirs of the kingdom of heaven, but that the others will be involved in the utmost misery: “for ye have received, He says, your consolation.”

And this truth we are permitted to behold beautifully delineated in the Gospel parables like as in a painting. For we have heard read that there was a rich man decked in purple and fine linen 4, at whose gate Lazarus was cast, racked with poverty and pain; and the rich man felt no pity for him.—-But Lazarus, it says, was carried to Abraham’s bosom; while he was in torments and in flame. And when he saw Lazarus at rest and in happiness in Abraham’s bosom, he besought saying, “Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger 5 in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” But what was blessed Abraham’s reply? “Son, thou hast received thy good things in thy life, and Lazarus evil things; but now he is here in happiness, and thou art tormented.” True therefore is what is here said by Christ of those who live in wealth and luxury and merriment, that “ye have received your consolation:” and of those who now are full, that they shall |108 hunger, and that those who laugh now shall weep and lament.

But come and let us examine the matter among ourselves. Our Saviour in His parables has thus spoken: “Two men went up unto the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. And the Pharisee forsooth prayed saying, God I thank Thee that I am not as the rest of mankind, extortioners, unjust, adulterers; or like this publican. I fast twice in the week: and I pay tithes of all that I possess. But the publican, He says, did not venture to lift up his eyes unto heaven, but stood smiting his breast and saying, God be merciful to me, a sinner. Verily I say unto you, that this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.” For the proud Pharisee was boasting over the publican, and indecently assuming the rank of a lawgiver, would have condemned one, on whom it was rather his duty to have shewn pity: but the other was the accuser of his own infirmity, and thereby aided in his own justification; for it is written, “Declare thou thy sins first, that thou mayest be justified.” Let us therefore unloose, that is, set free those who are suffering sicknesses from having been condemned by us, in order that God may also unloose us from our faults: for He condemneth not, but rather sheweth mercy.

Closely neighbouring, so to speak, upon the virtues which we have just mentioned is compassion, of which He next makes mention. For it is a most excelling thing, and very pleasing to God, and in the highest degree becoming to pious souls: and concerning which it may suffice for us to imprint upon our mind that it is an attribute of the divine nature. “For be ye, He says, merciful, as also your heavenly Father is merciful.” But that we shall be recompensed with bountiful hand by God, Who giveth all things abundantly to them that love Him, He has given us full assurance by saying, that “good measure, and squeezed down, and running over shall they give into your bosom:” adding this too, “for with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you.” There is however an apparent incompatibility between the two declarations: for if we are to receive “good measure, and squeezed down, and running over,” how “shall we be paid back the same measure wherewith we mete?” for this implies an equal recompense, and not one of |109 far-surpassing abundance. What say we then? The all wise Paul frees us from our difficulties, by bringing us the solution of the matters in question. For he says, that “he that soweth sparingly, meaning thereby, that he who distributeth the necessaries of life to those who are in penury and affliction moderately, and so to speak, with contracted hand, and not plentifully and largely,” shall also reap sparingly: and he “that soweth in blessings, in blessings shall also reap.” By which is meant, he who bountifully * * * * * [From Mai] So that if anyone hath not, he has not sinned by not giving it; for a man is acceptable according to that which he hath, and not according to that which he hath not. [From the Syriac.] And this the law of the very wise Moses has taught us in type: for those that were under the law brought sacrifices to God according to what they severally possessed, and were able to afford: some for instance bullocks, and some rams, or sheep, or doves, or pigeons, or meal mingled with oil, but even he who offered this * *, because he had no calf to offer, though so little and to be procured so cheaply, was equal to the other as regards his intention.

6:24. Woe unto you rich; For ye have received your consolation.

This too we must discuss among ourselves: For is it the case, that every one who is rich, and possesses abundant wealth, |110 is determinately cut off from the expectation of God’s grace? Is he entirely shut out from the hope of the saints? Has he neither inheritance nor part with them that are crowned? Not so, we say, hut rather on the contrary, that the rich man might have shewn mercy on Lazarus, and so have been made partaker of his consolation. For the Saviour pointed out a way of salvation to those who possess earthly wealth, saying, “Make unto yourselves friends of the unrighteous mammon, that when ye depart this life they may receive you into their tents.” (source)

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries for Holy Thursday

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 12, 2017

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

Roman Missal.

Roman Breviary.

Devout Instructions on the Epistle and Gospel.

COMMENTARIES ON THE EPISTLE: 1 Corinthians 11:20-32.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Cor 11:20-32.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Cor 11:20-32.

Pending: Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:20-32.

Pending: Father Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 11:20-32.

EWTN’s In the Footsteps of St Paul. Listen to episode 8.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: John 13:1-15.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 13:1-15 for the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

St Cyril of Alexandria on John 13:1-15 for the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

Pending: Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on John 13:1-15.

Pending: Father Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on John 13:1-15.

Pending: St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on John 13:1-15.

Pending: St Augustine’s Tractates on John 13:1-15.

St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast on John: The Last Supper.

 

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries for Wednesday in Holy Week

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 12, 2017

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

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

Pending: My Notes on Isaiah 62:11- 63:7.

St Cyril Of Alexandria’s Exegetical Homilies On The Passion Of Luke in 7 Parts:

On Luke 21:37-22:16.  Two homilies in one post.
On Luke 22:17-30.
On Luke 22:31-38.
On Luke 22:39-53.
On Luke 22:54-71.
On Luke 23:1-31.
On Luke 23:32-43.  The last part of this homily has not come down to us.  Likewise, the last few homilies in this series have survived only in fragments, which I have included in this post.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 22:1-23:53. Actually, the commentary begins at verse 14.

Father Donald Senior’s Commentary on Luke in 6 Parts:

1. The Last Supper (Luke 22:1-38).
2. The Hour of Darkness (Luke 22:39-65).
3. Jesus on Trial (Luke 22:66-23:25).
4. The Way of the Cross (Luke 23:26-32).
5. The Death of the Just Man (Luke 23:33-49).
6. Death and Victory (Luke 23:50-56). Site misidentifies the passage as 22:1-38, so don’t let if fool you.

GENERAL POSTS:

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries and Resources for Palm Sunday (Dominica II Passionis Seu in Palmis)

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 12, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY FORM
PASSION SUNDAY
Dominica II Passionis seu in Palmis

General:

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

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

All About Palm Sunday.

The History Of Palm Sunday.

Commentaries on Psalm 24 (23): Used during the distribution of the palms.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 24.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 24 (Ps 23). The Latin Vulgate and Greek Septuagint number this psalm 23.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Psalm 24.

Part 1: A Patristic Medieval/Commentary on Psalm 24. Verses 1-6.

Part 2: A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 24. Verses 7-10.

Commentaries on Psalm 47 (46): Also used during distribution of the palms.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 47.

Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 47. Psalm 46 in his Vulgate translation which followed the Greek Septuagint.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 47. Psalm 46 in the Vulgate.

Commentaries on Matthew 21:1-9: the Palm Procession Reading

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 21:1-9. Post is actually on verses 1-11.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 21:1-9. On verses 1-11, actually.

Commentaries on Psalm 147: 12-20:

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 147.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary/Meditation on Psalm 147:12-20.

St Albert the Great’s Commentary on Psalm 147:12-20. At the time of posting this site was having difficulties which will hopefully be resolved by Palm Sunday.

Commentaries on the Epistle Reading: Philippians 2:6-11

Father de Piconio’s (de Picquigny”s) Commentary on Philippians 2:6-11.

(1) St John Chrysostom’s First Homiletic on Philippians 2:6-11.

(2) St John Chrysostom’s Second Homiletic on Philippians 2:6-11.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Philippians 2:6-11.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Philippians 2:6-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Philippians 2:6-11.

Word Sunday’s Notes on Philippians 2:6-11.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Philippians 2:6-11.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Matthew 26:1-27:66.

Part 1: Aquinas’ Commentary on Matthew 26:1-75.

Part 2: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 27:1-66.

Father Donald Senior on the Passion According to St Matthew (in 6 parts). A synopsis of his famous study THE PASSION OF JESUS IN THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW.

Homilies and Homily Notes:

Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Philippians 2:6. Scroll down slightly to find.

Aquinas’ Homily Notes on Matthew 27:35.

The Mental Sufferings of our Lord in His Passion. A homily by St John Henry Cardinal Newman from his Discourses to Mixed congregations.

  • Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.  Three talks delivered on Good Friday in 1977.  These are only lengthy parts of a three hour talk and not the full presentation, nonetheless, they are excellent.

Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries and Resources for Passion Sunday (Dominica I Passionis)

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 12, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY FORM
PASSION SUNDAY
Dominica I Passionis

READINGS AND GENERAL RESOURCES:

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

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

Devout instruction on the Epistle and Gospel.

COMMENTARIES ON THE EPISTLE: Hebrews 9:11-15.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Hebrews 9:11-15.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Hebrews 9:11-15.

St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Hebrews 9:11-15.

Aquinas’ Lecture on Hebrews 9:11-15.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: John 8:46-59.

St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on John 8:46-59.

St Augustine on John 8:46-59.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 8:46-59.

Father Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on John 8:46-59.

TEXT HOMILIES, NOTES, OUTLINES:

Homily on the Epistle.

Homily on the Gospel.

The High Priesthood and Sacrifice of Christ. Homily on the Epistle.

Explanation of the Gospel and Lessons From It. Homily on the Epistle.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Homily Notes on the Epistle and Gospel.

MORE PENDING.

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries and Resources for the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Dominica IV in Quadragesima)

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 6, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY FORM
FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT
Dominica IV in Quadragesima

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

Roman Missal. Be sure correct date is set.

Devout Instructions on the Epistle and Gospel.Includes brief explanation of the readings, prayers, and a lesson on how to prepare for Easter.

Roman Breviary. Be sure correct date is set.

COMMENTARIES ON TH EPISTLE: Galatians 4:22-31.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Galatians 4:22-31.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Galatians 4. This is on the entire chapter.

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Galatians 4:22-31.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: John 6:1-15.

St Augustine on John 6:1-15.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on John 6:1-7.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 6:1-15.

Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 6:1-15.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 6:1-15.

My Notes on John 6:1-15.

SERMONS AND HOMILIES:

Homily on the Epistle. Prefaced by Epistle reading.

Homily on the Gospel. Prefaced by Gospel reading.

Homily On The Real Presence Of Our Lord Jesus Christ In The Holy Eucharist.

Homily On Frequent communion.

OUTLINES AND NOTES FOR SERMONS AND HOMILIES:

An Outline Of The Epistle Reading. On Gal 4:22-31.Can be used for homily ideas, point of meditation or further study.

Freedom Of The Children Of God.  Sermon outline based on Gal 4:31. Can be used for homily ideas, point of meditation or further study.

Holy Communion.  Sermon outline based on John 6:11. Can be used for homily ideas, point of meditation or further study.

The Gospel Example.  Sermon outline on the three duties taught by today’s Gospel Reading. Can be used for homily ideas, point of meditation or further study.

Aquinas’ Homily Notes on the Epistle. Can be used for homily ideas, point of meditation or further study.

John Henry Newman’s Homily Notes on the Epistle Reading. Very brief.

Aquinas’ Homily Notes on the Gospel. Can be used for homily ideas,points of meditation or further study.

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Extraordinary Form: Second Sunday of Lent: Commentaries and Resources on the Readings (Dominica II in Quadragesima)

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 5, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY FORM
SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT
Dominica II in Quadragesima

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

COMMENTARIES ON THE EPISTLE: 1 Thessalonians 4:1-7.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Matthew 17:1-9.

Sermons and Homilies:

Sermon and Homily Notes: for sermon/homily ideas, points for meditation or further study.

  • Heaven.  Based upon Matt 17:7.

DOGMATICS AND CATECHESIS: Besides preaching on the transfiguration it was also common to preach on the transforming effects of Holy Communion (Eucharist).

  • RELATING TO THE EPISTLE: 1 Thess 4:1-7. Verses 3-8 of this passage have been and can be variously interpreted as the footnote to 4:3-8 in the NABRE makes clear. Some (Aquinas’ commentary) interpret part of the passage as concerned with greed (e.g., the business practices mentioned by the NABRE footnote). Below I’ve included resources for both adultery (9th commandment) and theft (7th commandment). In addition, I’ve included some resources on the sacrament of marriage.

Catechism of the Council of Trent on the 7th Commandment.

Catechism of the Council of Trent on the 9th & 10th commandments. Starts near middle of page. It should be kept in mind that commandments 9 & 10 are more properly treated of next week.

Manual of Catholic Theology on Matrimony.

J.S Hunter’s Outlines of Dogmatic Theology on Matrimony.

The Sacraments: A dogmatic Treatise on Matrimony.

Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma on Holy Matrimony.

God the Teacher of Mankind on Matrimony.

Handbook of Moral Theology on Marriage.

  • RELATING TO THE GOSPEL: Matt 17:1-9.

J.S. Hunter’s Outlines of Dogmatic Theology on the Transfiguration. Brief. .

Aquinas’ Summa Theologia on the Transfiguration.

Catechism of the Council of Trent on the Effects of Holy Communion. This was a common theme for preaching in relation to the transfiguration. The source used here contains the catechism’s teaching followed by two short sermons on the subject.

The Sacraments: A Dogmatic Treatise. Pages 218-234. On the effect of the Eucharist.

Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma on the Effects of the Eucharist.

PODCASTS:

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Extraordinary Form: Commentaries for the First Sunday of Lent (Dominica I in Quadragesima)

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 5, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY FORM
FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT
Dominica I in Quadragesima

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

Today’s Roman Missal. Latin and English side by side. Make sure you have the correct date set.

Today’s Roman Breviary. Latin and English side by side. Make sure you have the correct date set.

Devout Instructions on the Epistle and Gospel.

COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10.

Cornelius a Lapide on 2 Cor 6:1-10.

Bernardin de Piconio on 2 Cor 6:1-10.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Matthew 4:1-11.

Cornelius a Lapide on Matt 4:1-11.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 4:1-11.

Juan de Maldonado on Matt 4:1-11.

Pope St Gregory the Great’s Homily on the Gospel.

On The Necessity and Utility of Fasting. Online book

Jesus Fasts and Overcomes Satan. Online book.

The Assaults of Satan and the means of rendering them ineffectual. Online book.

What Weapons We Must Use to Overcome Satan. Online Book

The Duty and Value of Fasting. Online book.

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Sexagesima Sunday: Commentaries and Resources on the Mass Readings

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 5, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY FORM
Dominica in Sexagesima ~ II. classis

MISSAL AND BREVIARY:

Daily Roman Missal. Be sure correct date is set.

Roman Breviary. Be sure correct date is set.

Goffine’s Devout Instructions on the Epistle and Gospel. Readings and prayers from the Mass of the day, with brief instructions on the readings.

COMMENTARIES ON THE LESSON: 2 Corinthians 11:19-12:9.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 2 Cor 11:19-12:9.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on 2 Cor 11:19-12:9.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Cor 11:19-12:9.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Luke 8:4-15.

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Luke 8:4-15.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on Luke 8:4-15.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 8:4-15.

Link fixed. Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 8:4-15.

CATECHESIS AND DOCTRINAL INSTRUCTIONS:

Doctrinal Instructions on the Angels. Chapter from an online book. It was common to give instructions on the angels for this Sunday inasmuch as an angel of Satan was mentioned in the first reading (2 Cor 12:7), and Satan is mentioned in the Gospel text (Luke 8:12).

The Nature of Angels. Chapter from an online book.

Angels in the World. Chapter from an online book.

Moral Instruction on Fasting and Prayer. From the Catechism of the Council of Trent. On this Sunday it was common to give instruction on fasting and prayer in preparation for the coming of Lent.

HOMILIES AND HOMILY NOTES:

Homily on the Epistle. Prefaced by reading.

In What the Apostle Glories. Homily on the epistle. Prefaced by the reading.

Pope St Gregory the Great’s Homily on the Gospel.

Why the Word of God Has So Little Effect at the Present Time. Homily on the Gospel. Prefaced by the reading (starts near bottom of the page).

The Reading of the Bible. Homily on the gospel.

The Ceremonies at the Preaching of the Word of God. Homily on the gospel.

The Thorns are a Symbol of the Riches and Pleasures of  This Life. Homily on the gospel.

Why the Word of God With Many Christians Yields No Fruit. Homily on the gospel.

What We Must Do So That the Word of God Which Is Preached To Us May Produce Fruit. Homily on the gospel.

The Poor Soil Onto Which the Word of God Generally Falls. Homily on the gospel.

The Word of God. Homily on the gospel.

On the Necessity of Hearing the Word of God in a Sermon. Homily  on the gospel. Scroll down to bottom of page to find the start of the homily.

Our Wisdom. Homily on the gospel.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Catholic lectionary, Christ, Extraordinary Form, Latin Mass Notes, Notes on the Lectionary, Scripture, SERMONS | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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