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

Commentaries for the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2017

READINGS:

NABRE. Used in the USA.

NJB. Use in most English speaking countries.

THEMES:

Suggestions for Homilies, Bible Study and Discussion Groups.

Doctrinal Homily Outlines. At the time I post this the outline isn’t available, so I’ve linked to the archive page where it will be listed when available.

Lector Works. “A series of thoughts about the lectionary readings of the day, as an oral proclamation within the church’s public prayer, and how the writer would want to have them declared and received effectively.” Identifies a “central point” for each reading and a suggested “message for our assembly.”

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING: 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a.

Haydock Bible Commentary on 2 [4] Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a. Following the LXX and Vulgate this commentary designates 2 Kings as 4 Kings. In these translations 1 & 2 Samuel were designated as 1 & 2 Kings, while what we today call 1 & 2 Kings were called 3 & 4 Kings.

Pending: Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a.

Cambridge Bible Commentary. Protestant. The excerpt has no theological issues to concern Catholics.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 89:2-3, 16-17, 18-19

Father Boylan’s Commentary on Psalm 89.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 89.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 89.

St Robert Bellarmine’s Commentary on Psalm 89.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: Romans 6:3-4, 8-11.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 6:3-4, 8-11. On 3-11.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 6:3-4, 8-11. On 3-11.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 6:3-4, 8-11. On 3-11.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Matthew 10:37-42

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 10:37-42. On 10:34-11:1.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 10:37-42. On 10:34-11:1.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 10:37-42. On 10:34-11:1.

Father Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 10:37-42. On 10:34-11:1.

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

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2017

This post begins with Fr. MacEvilly’s brief analysis of all of chapter 6, followed by his notes on verses 3-11. Text in purple indicates his paraphrasing of the verses he is commenting on.

ANALYSIS OF ROMANS 6

In this chapter, the Apostle answers an objection to which his doctrine in the preceding (verse 20), might give rise (1). From the very rite of baptism, he shows that we should no longer commit sin; on the contrary, we should lead a new life of grace; for the rite of immersion practised in his time in baptism, was a type of our death to sin, and the egress from the waters of baptism was a type of our spiritual resurrection, both of which were effected, as well as signified, by the sacrament of baptism; and both had the death and resurrection of Christ for models (2–9). He next shows, from the very nature of Christ’s death, which took place but once, and of his resurrection, which was the entrance to an immortal life, that we, too, after his example, should persevere in a life of grace (9–11). He exhorts to a life of sanctity (11–20). He points out the present and future fruits of a life of sin and of a life of grace.

Rom 6:3  Know you not that all we who are baptized in Christ Jesus are baptized in his death?

For that we are dead to sin, you may clearly see, by calling to mind what you already know, viz., that when we are baptized in the name and by the authority of Jesus Christ, we are baptized into the likeness and representation of his death.

He now proves that they are dead to sin, since by being “baptized in Christ Jesus,” in the Greek, εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν, into Christ Jesus, i.e., by professing ourselves followers of Christ in the rite of baptism. In the Codex Vaticanus, the word “Jesus” is wanting, it simply is, “baptized unto Christ.” “Are baptized in his death”; in the Greek, εἰς τὸν θάνατον, into his death, i.e., into the likeness and representation of his death. So that his death on the cross would be represented by our death to sin, of which the baptism by immersion—the form of baptism in use in the time of the Apostle—was a significant type; and this death to sin on our part is effected by baptism, since, according to the doctrine of St. Thomas, the sacraments operate what they signify.

Rom 6:4  For we are buried together with him by baptism into death: that, as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life.

For, in order vividly to represent his death, we have been buried with him in the baptismal rite of immersion. So that as Christ has been resuscitated from the grave by the glorious operation of his Father’s power, we also, emerging from the baptismal waters, would lead a new life, as he did after his resurrection, and continue perseveringly in it.

He shows how our spiritual death to sin is signified by baptism. For, our immersion in baptism is a type of our burial, and, consequently, of our death to sin, of which his death on the cross was the model. “For we are buried together with him by baptism,” his burial, and, consequently, his death, being the model of our burial and death to sin, signified by our immersion in the waters of baptism. In all the Greek copies we have, οὖν, therefore, instead of “for.” “Into death,” to represent his death, which must precede burial. “That as Christ is risen from the dead by the glory of the Father,” i.e., by the glorious operation of the Father’s power, to enter on a new and immortal life, we too, after emerging from the waters of baptism, which is a type of our spiritual resurrection, would, like Christ, risen from the grave—our resuscitated model—enter on a new and holy life. As the death of Christ is the model of our death to sin, so is his resurrection from the tomb the model of our spiritual resurrection, and both signified by the rite of baptism, then conferred by immersion.

Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.

For, if, like young shoots, we have been engrafted on him by baptism, so as to represent, by our death to sin, his death on the cross, we shall certainly, for a like reason, be engrafted also unto the likeness of his resurrection, which will be effected by our leading a new life of grace, after the model of his glorious and immortal life.

He shows why we should walk in the newness of life, or become assimilated to Christ in his resurrection; for, our assimilation to him in our spiritual death, was not to rest there. Baptism not only represented and effected our spiritual death to sin—for this was but one spiritual effect signified and caused by baptism—but it also signified and effected our resurrection to a new life, in which we are to live after the model of Christ resuscitated from the grave. Our death to sin was the precursor of our new life of grace. Hence, if we die with Christ, with much greater reason shall we rise with him. “Planted together with him,” συμφυτοι γεγοναμεν; there is allusion in these words to the grafting of young shoots on the stock of another tree: Christ is the stock of the true and faithful vine on which we must be engrafted, to die with him to sin, and to live with him to grace, as the young graft participates in all the vicissitudes of the stock on which it is inserted. The nutriment we derive from our insertion on him, will not be merely confined to our dying to sin; it is intended to produce in us the fruits of a new and spiritual life.

Rom 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, to the end that we may serve sin no longer.

We should die to sin and live a new life of grace, if we consider that in baptism, our old man, i.e., the corruption of nature, which we inherited from Adam, is crucified with Christ, so that the whole mass, or body of sin consisting of different members, may be destroyed, and we may no longer serve as slaves under the tyranny of sin.

From the end of baptism he shows that we should be dead to sin, and walk in the newness of life (verse 4); for, while baptism represents the crucifixion of Christ, it also signifies and effects the crucifixion of our vices. “Our old man,” i.e., the sinfulness and corruption inherited from Adam, or rather man himself, as affected by this sinfulness. The Apostle distinguishes two men, the old and the new. The “old man was crucified” with Christ; for, in his person “who was made for us a malediction,” the entire fallen race of Adam was nailed to the cross. “That the body of sin,” i.e., the entire mass or collection of sins—the members of which collection are uncleanness, avarice, &c. (Colossians, 3). They are called a body, because as different members joined together constitute a body, so all the particular sins committed by the “old man” constitute a “body” also; in using the word body, the Apostle carries with him the idea of crucifixion, and alludes to the body of man after he fell in Adam, before he was renewed in Christ. This corrupt body was made by man the instrument of indulging his concupiscences. “May be destroyed,” by mortifying and restraining its members, “and may serve sin no longer.” “Sin” is represented as a tyrant exercising dominion over us.

Rom 6:7  For he that is dead is justified from sin.

For, as the dead slave is freed from servitude, so are we, who are dead to sin by baptism, freed from its tyranny; and hence, we should no longer serve it.

He continues to represent sin as a tyrant exercising sway—“is justified from sin?” “justified” is taken in a legal sense to signify acquitted, fully absolved, so as not to be again questioned on that account.

Rom 6:8  Now, if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall live also together with Christ.

But if we be really dead to sin with Christ, we have a firm hope and confidence, that one day we shall enjoy with Christ a glorious and immortal life.

“We believe,” i.e., we confidently hope, “we shall live together with Christ.” These words are understood by Estius to refer to our living a life of grace after the model of His glorious and immortal life. The interpretation in the Paraphrase, which makes it refer to our living with him one day a life of glory in heaven, is, however, to be preferred; for, the Apostle would appear to take occasion, from treating of the life of grace, to refer to the reward of future glory, as a means of stimulating men to the practice of virtue. The opinion of Estius, however, derives great probability from the meaning given to the words, alive unto God, verse 11, where the foregoing example is applied.

Rom 6:9  Knowing that Christ, rising again from the dead, dieth now no more. Death shall no more have dominion over him.

As we know that Christ, resuscitated from the tomb, dies no more, death has no further dominion over him he (enjoys a glorious and immortal life, free from all the ills of mortality).

These words show that Christ, now risen, shall live for ever; and hence, as we are to live with him, we are to enjoy an immortal life. The connexion is more easily seen in the interpretation of Estius: “We shall live also together with Christ,” (verse 8). But what life is that?—an unceasing, continuous life of grace; for such is its model—the life of Christ resuscitated from the tomb; or, perhaps, it might be more probably said, that this verse has no immediate connexion with the foregoing; but that in it is merely introduced a new reason for persevering in grace—founded on the mode of Christ’s death and resurrection. From the very nature, the oneness, of Christ’s resurrection, he shows our obligation to persevere in good, and not relapse again into the state of sin.

Rom 6:10  For in that he died to sin, he died once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

For, so far as his death is concerned, it took place but once for the expiation of sin, but as to his life, it is altogether employed for the glory of God.

“He died to sin, he died once,” i.e., he died one death to expiate and atone for sin. In the common Greek, the punctuation is so placed that the words “to sin” are joined to “once,” thus, “he died to sin once.” The punctuation in the Codex Vaticanusὅ γὰρ απεθανεν, τῆ αμαρτία, απεθανεν εφαπαξ,” leaves the matter doubtful. “But he liveth unto God,” i.e., solely for God’s glory; and hence, our life of grace should be devoted to the same; or, the words, “unto God,” may mean, he lived a life worthy of God, immortal and unchangeable.

Rom 6:11  So do you also reckon that you are dead to sin, but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

So do you, therefore, after his example, regard yourselves as dead to sin by baptism, and gifted with an unchanging, unfading life of grace, to be wholly devoted to the promotion of God’s glory, through the grace and merits of Jesus Christ our Lord.

He applies the foregoing, and founds on it the exhortation to sanctity of life. Hence, we should regard ourselves after baptism as dead once and for ever to sin, and living, like Christ, solely for God, performing all the actions of our life solely for the end of advancing his glory.

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Commentary on 2 Kings 4:8-11, 15-16a

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2017

The following is from a Protestant reference work, The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. The excerpt has no theological issues which should concern Catholics. Text in red indicate my additions.

2 Kings 4:8

8. And it fell on a day] From its use elsewhere the Hebrew noun, as here, with the article signifies ‘on that day’, ‘at that time’, and indicates a closer connexion with the preceding narrative than would be gathered from the A.V. But see below, verses 11 and 18.

Elisha passed to Shunem] In Jos 19:18, Shunem is among the places allotted to the tribe of Issachar. It is also mentioned as the place where the Philistines encamped before the battle of Gilboa (1 Sam 28:4). It has been identified with Solam, a village situate on the little Hermon about 3 miles north of Jezreel. When Elisha was travelling either from Samaria or Jezreel to Carmel, Shunem lay on his road. The place is mentioned as being the home of Abishag (1 Kings 1:3) and from that is derived the Jewish tradition which makes the Shunammite woman of the present narrative to have been the sister of Abishag.

a great woman] The adjective is used to signify wealthy in 1 Sam 25:2, of Nabal, and 2 Sam 19:32 of Barzillai, who is described as ‘a very great man’. As the Shunammite woman had a husband still alive, it would be more natural to speak of him as ‘great’ in the sense of ‘rich’, and perhaps here the meaning is rather ‘influential’. She was clearly a person of independent character, and one who could act when the occasion demanded it.

she constrained him to eat bread] The journeys of Elisha to and fro had somehow become known to her and she offered him hospitality. This was the usual way in the East, where houses for public entertainment were uncommon.
as oft as he passed by] Apparently the allusion is to such rounds as the chief of the prophetic colleges would make to the different centres at which they were gathered. That Elisha’s visits were frequent is clear from the next verse.

2 Kings 4:9

she said unto her husband] The woman was not content with providing food, but out of reverence for the character of the visitor, desired to provide a lodging also.

I perceive that this is a holy man of God] Probably before the first invitation the woman had learnt something of Elisha’s work and the reason of his frequent journeys. Now when he became their guest she had full opportunity of enquiring from Gehazi, and observing for herself the way in which he laboured to keep alive the true worship of God in the land. The existence of a family like this of the Shunammite is evidence that amid much corruption God was not yet forgotten in the ten tribes. The name ‘man of God’ was applied to Elijah (1 Kings 17:24) by the widow of Zarephath after she had beheld what great things God did through his ministry. She added also ‘the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth’, which probably represents much of the feeling of the Shunammite when she spake of Elisha as ‘holy’.

2 Kings 4:10

Let us make] The R.V. brings ‘I pray thee’ to follow these words according to the Hebrew order.

a little chamber … on the wall] The Hebrew might mean either a chamber with a wall, a walled room, in contradistinction to one built of wood, or a building above the usual roof of the house and so supported by the walls. The latter seems to be the sense required here, for it is said (verse 21) that the mother went up when she wished to lay the dead child upon the prophet’s bed. As the roofs of Eastern houses can be reached by a staircase from outside, a chamber on the housetop (cf. Prov 21:9; Prov 25:24) would furnish the sort of privacy which Elisha would desire. He could also thus come in and go out without being mixed up with the movements of the household.

a bed] The articles here named form the proper furniture of an Eastern room, where a superabundance of such articles is nowhere found.

a stool] The word is that which is often rendered ‘throne’, and it probably in this case means the couch or divan which runs along the wall of an Eastern dwelling-room.

he shall turn in] The verb, which is the same as in verse 8, is that which Lot employs (Gen 19:2) in his invitation to the two angels. Preparation was made so that the prophet and his servant might be at rest, and come and go when they pleased. As a halting place in a long journey it would be very acceptable.

2 Kings 4:11

No comment is offered on this verse which reads: Now, there was a certain day, when he came, and turned into the chamber, and rested there. It simply states that the purpose for which the “little chamber” was furnished was fulfilled.

2 Kings 4:14

And he said] Clearly, to Gehazi. This the LXX. adds.

Verily she hath no child] R.V. son. The R.V. is correct, though it seems from the whole narrative that the woman was childless. Of the great grief felt from want of children we learn in the history of Hannah (1 Sam 1:10-11). Gehazi had probably learnt that this was a sorrow in the family at Shunem.

2 Kings 4:15

And he said. Call her] It would seem from these words that the woman had gone away at once after saying she had no wants which needed a petition to the king or the captain of the host.

she stood in the door] Her reverence for Elisha kept her at the threshold.

2 Kings 4:16a
The “a” following 16 indicates the first part of the verse.

according to the time of life] R.V. when the time cometh round. The literal sense of the verb is explained on the margin of R.V. = liveth, or reviveth. The phrase is the same which is used Gen 18:14 to the childless Sarah before the birth of Isaac.

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Commentaries for the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2017

TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR A

READINGS:

NABRE. Used in USA.

NJB. Used in most English speaking countries.

THEMES: Suggested homily, bible study and catechetical ideas.

Homily, Bible Study, Catechetical Helps for the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A.

Doctrinal Homily Outline.

Lector Notes.

Lector Works.

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING: Jeremiah 20:10-13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Jeremiah 20:10-13.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 69:8-10, 14, 17, 33-35.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 69.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 69.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 69.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: Romans 5:12-15.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 5:12-15. On 12-19.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 5:12-15. On 12-21.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 5:12-15. On 12-21.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Romans 5:12-15.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Matthew 10:26-33.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 10:26-33. On 24-33.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 10:26-33. On 24-33.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 10:26-33.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 10:26-33.

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Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 10:26-33

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2017

Ver 26. “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.27. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Remig.: To the foregoing consolation He adds another no less, saying, “Fear ye not them,” namely, the persecutors. And why they were not to fear, He adds, “For there is nothing hid which shall not be revealed, nothing secret which shall not be known.”

Jerome: How is it then that in the present world, the sins of so many are unknown? It is of the time to come that this is said; the time when God shall judge the hidden things of men, shall enlighten the hidden places of darkness, and shall make manifest the secrets of hearts. The sense is, Fear not the cruelty of the persecutor, or the rage of the blasphemer, for there shall come a day of judgment in which your virtue and their wickedness will be made known.

Hilary: Therefore neither threatening, nor evil speaking, nor power of their enemies should move them, seeing the judgment-day will disclose how empty, how nought all these were.

Chrys.: Otherwise; It might seem that what is here said should be applied generally; but it is by no means intended as a general maxim, but is spoken solely with reference to what had gone before with this meaning; If you are grieved when men revile you, think that in a little time you will be delivered from this evil. They call you indeed impostors, sorcerers, seducers, but have a little patience, and all men shall call you the saviours of the world, when in the course of things you shall be found to have been their benefactors, for men will not judge by their words but by the truth of things.

Remig.: Some indeed think that these words convey a promise from our Lord to His disciples, that through them all hidden mysteries should be revealed, which lay beneath the veil of the letter of the Law; whence the Apostle speaks, “When they have turned to Christ, then the veil shall be taken away.” [2Co_3:16] So the sense would be, Ought you to fear your persecutors, when you are thought worthy that by you the hidden mysteries of the Law and the Prophets should be made manifest?

Chrys.: Then having delivered them from all fear, and set them above all calumny, He follows this up appropriately with commanding that their preaching should be free and unreserved; “What I say to you in darkness, that speak ye in the light; what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.”

Jerome: We do not read that the Lord was wont to discourse to them by night, or to deliver his doctrine in the dark; but He said this because all His discourse is dark to the carnal, and His word night to the unbelieving. What had been spoken by Him they were to deliver again with the confidence of faith and confession.

Remig.: The meaning therefore is, “What I say to you in darkness,” that is, among the unbelieving Jews, “that speak ye in the light,” that is, preach it to the believing; “what ye hear in the ear,” that is, what I say unto you secretly, “that preach ye upon the housetops,” that is, openly before all men. It is a common phrase, To speak in one’s ear, that is, to speak to him privately.

Rabanus: And what He says, “Preach ye upon the housetops,” is spoken after the manner of the province of Palestine, where they use to sit upon the roofs of the houses, which are not pointed but flat. That then may be said to be preached upon the housetops which is spoken in the hearing of all men.

Gloss. ord.: Otherwise; What I say unto you while you are yet held under carnal fear, that speak ye in the confidence of truth, after ye shall be enlightened by the Holy Spirit; what you have only heard, that preach by doing the same, being raised above you bodies, which are the dwellings of your souls.

Jerome: Otherwise; What you hear in mystery, that teach in plainness of speech; what I have taught you in a corner of Judaea, that proclaim boldly in all quarters of the world.

Chrys.: As He said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater things than these shall he do;” [Joh_14:12] so here He shews that He works all things through them more than through Himself; as though He had said, I have made a beginning, but what is beyond, that I will to complete through your means. So that this is not a command but a prediction, shewing them that they shall overcome all things.

Hilary: Therefore they ought to inculcate constantly the knowledge of God, and the profound secret of evangelic doctrine, to be revealed by the light of preaching; having no fear of those who have power only over the body, but cannot reach the soul; “Fear not those that kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.”

Chrys.: Observe how He sets them above all others, encouraging them to set at nought cares, reproaches, perils, yea even the most terrible of all things, death itself, in comparison of the fear of God.”But rather fear him, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Jerome: This word is not found in the Old Scriptures, but it is first used by the Saviour. Let us enquire then into its origin. We read in more than one place that the idol Baal was near Jerusalem, at the foot of Mount Moriah, by which the brook Siloe flows. This valley and a small level plain was watered and woody, a delightful spot, and a grove in it was consecrated to the idol. To so great folly and madness had the people of Israel come, that, forsaking the neighbourhood of the Temple, they offered their sacrifices there, and concealing an austere ritual under a voluptuous life, they burned their sons in honour of a daemon.

This place was called, Gehennom, that is, The valley of the children of Hinnom. These things are fully described in Kings and Chronicles, and the Prophet Jeremiah. [2Ki_23:10, 2Ch_26:3, Jer_7:32; Jer_32:35] God threatens that He will fill the place with the carcasses of the dead, that it be no more called Tophet and Baal, but Polyandrion, i.e. The tomb of the dead. Hence the torments and eternal pains with which sinners shall be punished are signified by this word.

Aug., City of God, book xiii, ch. 2: This cannot be before the soul is so joined to the body, that nothing may sever them. Yet it is rightly called the death of the soul, because it does not live of God; and the death of the body, because though man does not cease to feel, yet because this his feeling has neither pleasure nor health, but is a pain and a punishment, it is better named death than life.

Chrys.: Note also, that He does not hold out to them deliverance from death, but encourages them to despise it; which is a much greater thing than to be rescued from death; also this discourse aids in fixing in their minds the doctrine of immortality.

Ver 29. “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.30. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.31. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

Chrys.: Having set aside fear of death, that the Apostles should not think that if they were put to death they were deserted by God, He passes to discourse of God’s providence, saying, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them does not fall to the ground without your Father?”

Jerome: If these little creations fall not without God’s superintendence and providence, and if things made to perish, perish not without God’s will, you who are immortal ought not to fear that you live without His providence.

Hilary: Figuratively; That which is sold is our soul and body, and that to which it is sold, is sin. They then who sell two sparrows for a farthing, are they who sell themselves for the smallest sin, born for flight, and for reaching heaven with spiritual wings. [margin note: see Psa_124:7] Caught by the bait of present pleasures, and sold to the enjoyment of the world, they barter away their whole selves in such a market. It is of the will of God that one of them rather soar aloft; but the law proceeding according to God’s appointment decrees that one of them should fall. In like manner as, if they soared aloft they would become one spiritual body; so, when sold under sin, the soul gathers earthly matter from the pollution of vice, and there is made of them one body which is committed to earth.

Jerome: That He says, “The hairs of your head are all numbered,” shews the boundless providence of God towards man, and a care unspeakable that nothing of ours is hid from God.

Hilary: For when any thing is numbered it is carefully watched over.

Chrys.: Not that God reckons our hairs, but to shew His diligent knowledge, and great carefulness over us.

Jerome: Those who deny the resurrection of the flesh ridicule the sense of the Church on this place, as if we affirmed that every hair that has ever been cut off by the razor rises again, when the Saviour says, “Every hair of your head” – not is saved, but – “is numbered.” Where there is number, knowledge of that number is implied, but not preservation of the same hairs.

Aug., City of God, book xxii, ch. 19: Though we may fairly enquire concerning our hair, whether all that has ever been shorn from us will return; for who would not dread such disfigurement. When it is once understood that nothing of our body shall be lost, so as that the form and perfectness of all the parts should be preserved, we at the same time understand that all that would have disfigured our body is to be united or taken up by the whole mass, not affixed to particular parts so as to destroy the frame of the limbs; just as a vessel made of clay, and again reduced to clay, is once more reformed into a vessel, it needs not that that portion of clay which had formed the handle should again form it, or that which had composed the bottom, should again go to the bottom, so long as the whole was remoulded into the whole, the whole clay into the whole vessel, no part being lost.

Wherefore if the hair so often shorn away would be a deformity if restored to the place it had been taken from, it will not be restored to that place, but all the materials of the old body will be revived in the new, whatever place they may occupy so as to preserve the mutual fitness of parts. Though what is said in Luke, “Not a hair of your head shall fall to the ground,” [Luk_21:18] may be taken of the number, not the length of the hairs, as here also it is said, “The hairs of your head are all numbered.”

Hilary: For it is an unworthy task to number things that are to perish. Therefore that we should know that nothing of us should perish, we are told that our very hairs are numbered. No accident then that can befal our bodies is to be feared.

Thus He adds, “Fear not, ye are better than many sparrows.”

Jerome: This expresses still more clearly the sense as it was above explained, that they should not fear those who can kill the body, for if the least animal falls not without God’s knowledge, how much less a man who is dignified with the Apostolic rank?

Hilary: Or this, “ye are better than many sparrows,” teaches that the elect faithful are better than the multitude of the unbelieving, for the one fall to earth, the other fly to heaven.

Remig.: Figuratively; Christ is the head, the Apostles the hairs, who are well said to be numbered, because the names of the saints are written in heaven.

Ver 32. “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.33. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

Chrys.: The Lord having banished that fear which haunted the minds of His disciples, adds further comfort in what follows, not only casting out fear, but by hope of greater rewards encouraging them to a free proclamation of the truth, saying, “Every man who shall confess me before men, I also will confess him before my Father which is in heaven.” And it is not properly “shall confess me,” but as it is in the Greek, “shall confess in me,” shewing that it is not by your own strength but by grace from above, that you confess Him whom you do confess.

Hilary: This He says in conclusion, because it behoves them after being confirmed by such teaching, to have a confident freedom in confessing God.

Remig.: Here is to be understood that confession of which the Apostle speaks, “With the heart men believe unto justification, with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” [Rom_10:10] That none therefore might suppose that he could be saved without confession of the mouth, He says not only, “He that shall confess me,” but adds, “before me;” and again, “He that shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

Hilary: This teaches us, that in what measure we have borne witness to Him upon earth, in the same shall we have Him to bear witness to us in heaven before the face of God the Father.

Chrys.: Here observe that the punishment is manifold more than the evil done, and the reward more than the good done. As much as to say, your deed was more abundant in confessing or denying Me here; so shall My deed to you be more abundant in confessing or denying you there. Wherefore if you have done any good thing, and have not received retribution, be not troubled, for a manifold reward awaits you in the time to come. And if you have done any evil, and have not paid the punishment thereof, do not think that you have escaped, for punishment will overtake you, unless you are changed and become better.

Raban.: It should be known that not even Pagans can deny the existence of God, but the infidels may deny that the Son as well as the Father is God. The Son confesses men before the Father, because by the Son we have access to the Father, and because the Son saith, “Come, ye blessed of my Father.” [Mat_25:34]

Remig.: And thus He will deny the man that hath denied Him, in that he shall not have access to the Father through Him, and shall be banished from seeing either the Son of the Father in their divine nature.

Chrys.: He not only requires faith which is of the mind, but confession which is by the mouth, that He may exalt us higher, and raise us to a more open utterance, and a larger measure of love. For this is spoken not to the Apostles only, but to all; He gives strength not to them only, but to their disciples. And he that observes this precept will not only teach with free utterance, but will easily convince all; for the observance of this command drew many to the Apostles.

Raban.: Or, He confesses Jesus who by that faith that worketh by love, obediently fulfils His commands; he denies Him who is disobedient.

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

Commentaries for the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2017

SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
(Corpus Christi)

Commentaries for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood (Corpus Christi).

MONDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:1-10.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:1-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 6:1-10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 98.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 98.

A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 98.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 98.

St Augustine’s Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42.

St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:38-42.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42.

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Matt 5:38-42). St Joe of O Blog. On verses 17-48. Covers tomorrow’s gospel too.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:38-42.

TUESDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 146.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 146.

My Notes on Psalm 146.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 146.

St John Chrysostom’s Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:43-48.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48.

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48. St Joe of O Blog. On verses 17-48. Posted yesterday also.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:43-48.

WEDNESDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.

Pending: R.D. Byles’ Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 112.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 112.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 112.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 112.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. St Joe of O Blog.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18.

THURSDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 11:1-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 11:1-11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 111.

Pope Benedict’s Commentary on Psalm 111.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 6:7-15.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 6:7-15.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 6:7-15.

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Matthew 6:7-15. St Joe of O Blog.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:7-15.

St Augustine’s Sermon on the Lord’s Prayer.

FRIDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 11:18, 21-30. On 16-33.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 11:18, 21-30.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 34.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 34.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 34.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 6:19-23.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 6:19-23.

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Matthew 6:19-23. St Joe of O Blog. On 19-34.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:19-23.

SATURDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Pending: Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.

Pending: Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 34.

Pending: Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 34).

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 34.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 34.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 6:24-34.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 6:24-34.

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Matthew 6:24-34.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 6:24-34.

SUNDAY OF THE TWELFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, A, B & C
Note: we are in Year A

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

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

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

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

Commentaries for the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, Year I

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2017

SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

Commentaries for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

MONDAY OF THE TENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:1-7.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:1-7.

Father MacEvilly’s Introduction to 2 Corinthians.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:1-7.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:1-7.

Father Boylan’s introduction to Psalm 34.

St Augustine Notes on Psalm 34.

St Thomas Aquinas’s Lecture on Psalm 34.

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

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

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

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:1-12.

St Augustine’s Book 1 on Sermon on the Mount. On Matthew 5.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 5:1-12.

TUESDAY OF THE TENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:18-22.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:18-22.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 119.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:13-16.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 5:13-16.

Jaun de Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 5:13-16.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 5:13-16.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:13-16.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:13-16.

WEDNESDAY OF THE TENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

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

R.D. Byles’ Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:4-11.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:4-11.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:4-11.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 99.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 99.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 99.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:17-19.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 5:17-19.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:17-19.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Matthew 5:17-19.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:17-19.

THURSDAY OF THE TENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:15-4:1, 3-6.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 3:15-4:1, 3-6.

Father Boylan’s Introduction With My Notes on Psalm 85.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 85.

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

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:20-26.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Today’s Gospel Matthew 5:20-26.

FRIDAY OF THE TENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:7-15.

R.D. Byles’ Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:7-15.

Father MacEvilly’c Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:7-15.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:7-15.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 2 Corinthians 4:7-15.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 116.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 116. On verses 10-19 which covers the verse used today in the responsorial.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 116.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 5:27-32.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:27-32.

Pending: Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:27-32.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 5:27-32.

SATURDAY OF THE TENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:14-21.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:14-21.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 103.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 103.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matthew 5:33-37.

Father Maas’ Commentary on Matthew 5:33-37.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Matthew 5:33-37.

SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST
(Corpus Christi)

Commentaries for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood (Corpus Christi).

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

Commentaries for the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time (Includes Pentecost & Most Holy Trinity)

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2017

PENTECOST SUNDAY

Extended Vigil Mass.
Mass During the Day.

MONDAY OF THE NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Commentary on Tobit 1:3, 2:1-8.

Overview of the Book of Tobit, chapters 1-3.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 112.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 112.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 112.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 12:1-12.

Navarre Commentary on Mark 12:1-12.

TUESDAY OF THE NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Commentary on Tobit 2:9-14.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 112.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 112.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Commentary on Psalm 112.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 12:13-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 12:13-17.

WEDNESDAY OF THE NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Commentary on Tobit 3:1-11a, 16-17a.

Father Berry’s Introduction and Notes on Psalm 25.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 25. On verses 1-9 which includes the verses used in the responsorial.

Lectio Divina Notes on Psalm 25.

My Notes on Psalm 25. These notes cover verses 1-14 and so include the verses chosen for today’s responsorial.

Navarre Commentary on Mark 12:18-27.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 12:18-27.

THURSDAY OF THE NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Commentary on Tobit 6:10-11; 7:1bcde, 9-17; 8:4-9a.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 128.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 128.

Navarre Commentary on Mark 12:28-34.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 12:28-34.

FRIDAY OF THE NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Tobit 11:5-17.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 146.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 146.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 146.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 146.

My Notes on Psalm 146.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 12:35-37.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 12:35-37.

SATURDAY OF THE NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

Today’s Mass Readings.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Tobit 12:1, 5-15, 20.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on the Responsorial. Covers Tobit 13:1-8.

Father Cornelius a Lapides’ Commentary on Mark 12:38-44.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 12:38-44.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 12:38-44.

SOLEMNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

Commentaries for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.

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

Overview of the Book of Tobit (Tobias) Chapters 1-3

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 28, 2017

NOTE: The content of this post is excerpted from an old work by Bishop Knecht entitled: A PRACTICAL COMMENTARY ON HOLY SCRIPTURE. Tobit is portrayed as being among the exiles forced from the northern kingdom of Israel after the Assyrian conquest of 721 BC. But the book post-dates this event considerably, and its composition is usually dated to about 200 BC, a time when the people of God were being pressured by various means (political, legal, economic, etc) to give up their distinctive religious beliefs and practices. The book is usually characterized as “haggadic midrash”: “a type of writing that consisted in freely elaborating and building upon some historical event or character in such a way as to provide instruction or edification for the reader” (THE MEN AND MESSAGE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, by Peter F. Ellis). Father Leslie J. Hoppe, in his contribution to the Reading Guide (#’s 187-230) found in THE CATHOLIC STUDY BIBLE provides a succinct statement concerning the author’s message: “The author wishes to show how God can manage the circumstances of people’s lives in order to bring God’s plans to fulfillment. Its primary religious message is simple: god rewards those who are faithful.

FROM A PRACTICAL COMMENTARY ON HOLY SCRIPTURE

THE Lord ceased not to send to the Israelites holy prophets 1 who preached penance to them both by word and example. But the Israelites would not be converted, and their wickedness 2 increased to such an extent that the Almighty resolved to punish them in His wrath, and utterly to destroy them. He therefore caused Salmanazar, king of Assyria, to come against them with a mighty army. He laid siege 3 to the strong city of Samaria, and after three years took it and carried off most of its inhabitants captives 4; and thus the kingdom of Israel ceased to exist 5. Thus the prophecy of Amos (9:8) was fulfilled: “Behold, the eyes of the Lord God [are] upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth: but yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob.”

The Israelites having been slain or carried off into captivity, their land had become almost a wilderness 6, and the Assyrian king, in order to people it again, sent thither thousands of his pagan subjects who, settling amongst the scattered remains of the ten tribes, were soon so mixed up with them that they became, as it were, a new nation, and scarcely a trace remained of the people of Israel.

The religion of the Samaritans was a mixture of Judaism and Paganism 7; hence they hated the two tribes of Juda and Benjamin, who had remained true to the old religion.

Those who were taken captive to Assyria never returned to their own country. Still God did not fail to give numerous proofs of His watchful care over those unhappy exiles. One of the most remarkable of these instances is found in the history of the good Tobit 8. When he was in his own country and in his earliest years, Tobit never associated with the wicked; never went to adore the golden calf 9, but kept the law of the Lord exactly.

Hence God protected him in the land of captivity, and caused him to find favour in the sight of Salmanazar, who allowed him to go wherever he wished. He went accordingly to all his fellow-captives, consoling and encouraging them. He shared with them all he possessed, fed them when they were hungry, and clothed them when naked. His life was spent in such works of charity.

King Salmanazar being dead, Sennacherib (Fig. 52) 10, his son, who succeeded him on the throne, was not so favourable to Tobit and put many of the Israelites to death. But Tobit, fearing God more than the king, hid the bodies of his brethren in his house, and buried them by night. The king, having heard this, sentenced Tobit to death, and took away all his property.

Tobit fled with his wife and son, and remained concealed in a place of safety, till the death of the wicked king, who forty days later was killed by his own sons. Then Tobit returned, and all his property was restored to him. But the persecution against the Israelites was still raging, so Tobit resumed his former works of charity, relieving the distressed, and burying the dead.

Coming home one day very much fatigued, he lay down near the wall and fell asleep. While he was sleeping the droppings from a swallow’s nest fell on his eyes and made him blind 11. This was a great affliction, but it did not prevent Tobit from fearing and blessing God and thanking Him for all his mercies, even for this new trial. Now Anna, his wife, was his only support. She went out every day to work, and by her hard earnings kept her husband from want. On one occasion, Anna received a young kid for the labour of her hands, and she brought it home. Now Tobit, hearing it bleat, was afraid and said: “Take heed, lest perhaps it be stolen 12; restore it to its owner.” He questioned Anna as to how she got the kid. Now Anna was a good and virtuous woman, but this suspicion of her husband roused her to anger. She replied very sharply and made use of words that were aggravating to her husband. Tobit, however, only sighed and began to pray.

MESSAGE OF THESE CHAPTERS IN RELATION TO GOD’S DISPERSION OF HIS PEOPLE AMONG UNBELIEVERS

The Patience and Justice of God. God was very patient with His ungrateful people. He continued to send prophets who, in stirring language, pointed out to the people their ingratitude and faithlessness towards God, and graphically described the judgments which would overtake them. For two hundred years and more God visited them with famines and other tribulations in the hope of bringing them back to Him, but all in vain! Ninive did penance, but Israel remained impenitent! At last Almighty God’s patience was exhausted, His judgment fell, and the faithless kingdom of Israel came to an end! “Justice exalteth a nation: but sin maketh nations miserable” (Prov. 14:34).

God’s Mercy and Wisdom. Even in His punishments God showed mercy. As a nation Israel was overthrown, but the punishment served for the conversion of individuals. The Israelites had been driven from the land of their fathers, they were scattered and homeless, living among strangers and earning a livelihood by hard work, being all the while sorely oppressed. In their necessity many turned contritely to God, acknowledged His just judgments and found all their consolation in the hope of the promised Redeemer. In them were fulfilled the words of the prophet Jeremias (2:19): “Know thou and see that it is an evil and a bitter thing for thee to have left the Lord thy God.” For the kingdom of Assyria also the dispersion of Israel was a great blessing. Through the Israelites living in their midst the pagans learnt to know the true and unseen God and the promised Redeemer, for whose coming they were, therefore, prepared. Thus, by God’s Providence, even the sin of Israel and its punishment served for a good end.

The Faithfulness of God. That which God had threatened a hundred years before was brought to pass. The impenitent kingdom of Israel was merged in the great Assyrian empire, and ceased to be an independent state.

The fall of him who resists grace. The history of Israel is the counterpart of the history of every impenitent sinner. What happened to the people of Israel when they broke their covenant with God, is repeated in the case of very many Christians, who do not keep their baptismal vows. By the mouth of His priests, and by the voice of their own consciences, God exhorts sinners to be converted and do penance. He reminds them of the terrors of the judgment and the torments of hell. But, alas, many sinners will not believe, and take these solemn truths of faith for empty threats. Often God visits sinners with sickness or misfortunes, but the amendment of life which these may produce lasts but a short time. Hardly is the trouble removed before the sinner turns away again from God and commits fresh sins. God will bear with him for a long time, seeking to bring him back to Him, but at last His patience is exhausted, the time of grace is past, and God calls the impenitent sinner before His judgment-seat, and gives him over to the power of the enemy. The sinful soul is damned, and thrust for ever out of its heavenly home, to suffer hopelessly, in captivity, the unbearable torments of hell. There, indeed, he at last recognizes his folly and blindness, and bitterly rues his sin and impenitence. But it is too late!

THE VIRTUES OF TOBIT

1. His piety. He loved God from his youth up, prayed willingly, and faithfully fulfilled all his religious duties. The foundations of piety are laid in youth.

2. His brotherly love. His love was universal, for he did not show it towards his friends only, but towards all who were in want, especially Israelites. His love was practical, for he sought out the needy, even sacrificing health and fortune in order to help them. He consoled, instructed, and supported all whom he could, and practised works of mercy towards the living and the dead. Finally, it was disinterested. He did everything in secret, and sought his own glory in nothing. He asked for no reward from man, for no thanks, no honours. This proves that his love was sincere and disinterested.

3. His fortitude. He did not shrink from the perils and labour of long journeys, nor did he fear the anger of the king. He exposed himself to every danger to help the needy and bury the dead.

4. His justice. He conscientiously performed his duty towards God and man. This rudimentary virtue of justice proceeded from his uprightness, which made him, though poor, refuse any reward which he had not justly earned. He said to himself: “If the person who gave us this kid, stole it, it is not his property, and he has no right to give it; and as for me, I may neither buy nor receive as a gift any stolen goods.”

5. His patience in suffering. This was the fruit of faith and hope. Tobit was specially distinguished for his great patience and resignation under suffering. He did not murmur against God, or say to himself: “What have I done to deserve these trials? Have I not feared God from my youth up?” No, he accepted his trials humbly, as a punishment for his own sins and those of his people (Tob. 3:2 f); he thanked God for them, and set all his hopes on a future life. “For we are the children of the Saints”, said he, “and look for that life which God will give to those that never change their faith in Him” (Tob. 2:18). The belief in a future reward comforted him and supported him in the midst of his tribulations. Faith makes people patient and contented under suffering; but a man without faith is without comfort in tribulation, and without hope in death. Poor, unfortunate man!

THE LESSONS TOBIT TEACHES

The object of suffering. Why did God permit so many troubles to overtake the holy, faithful Tobit? The angel Raphael explained the reason when he said to him: “Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee” (Tob. 12:13). Suffering, therefore, was intended to serve as a probation of Tobit, and to give him the opportunity of practising patience, and gaining more merit. Holy Scripture offers a further explanation of the reason for this holy man’s tribulations in the following passage: “Now this trial (of blindness) the Lord therefore permitted to happen to him that an example might be given to posterity of his patience, as in the case of holy Job” (Tob. 2:12).

The bodies of the dead are worthy of reverence. Why did Tobit expose himself to such great danger in order to bury mere dead bodies? He knew and believed that man is an image of God, so he could not endure the thought that men’s bodies should lie uncared for, to be devoured by wild beasts. The bodies of Christians, furthermore, are the temples of the Holy Ghost, and sanctified by the reception of the holy Sacraments. For this reason they are buried in consecrated ground.

Lawful obedience. Was it not wrong of Tobit to continue to bury the dead after Sennacherib had forbidden it? No, it was rather Sennacherib who did wrong in ordering the dead bodies to be left unburied, for God had commanded, writing it on men’s hearts, that the bodies of the dead should be treated reverently, and buried.

THE APPLICATION OF TOBIT

Dear children, none of you would wish to suffer eternally, to be shut out for ever from the presence of God, and banished from heaven. Lay to heart, therefore, the teaching and holy exhortations which you receive, obey God’s grace, avoid sin, and do heartfelt penance for the sins you have heretofore committed.

Do you think any one will ever be able to say of you: “He has from his youth up observed the commandments of God, and avoided the society of the wicked”?

Do you possess any ill-gotten goods? Have you ever taken anything, even a trifle such as a picture, a pen, or an apple, from any one? Give it back at once, or if you no longer possess it, make compensation for it. Do you ever take things from your parents’ stores? What a shame for a child to steal from his own parents!

Even you could practise many works of mercy. Do you look after your sick companions? Do you pray for the holy souls? You could prevent many a sin by gently appealing to the consciences of your comrades, or brothers and sisters, showing them what they ought to do.

Bishop Knecht’s Footnotes:

1. Prophets. Among these prophets were Hosea and Amos, who announced the judgments of God which were to come.

2. Wickedness. The prophet Hosea (4:2 and 11) thus describes the moral condition of the people: “Cursing, and lying, and killing, and theft, and adultery have overflowed. Wine and drunkenness take away the understanding.” Sedition, regicide and civil war became more and more common.

3. Siege. He encamped all round the town so that no necessaries of life could be brought to it.

4. Captives. Imagine to yourselves with what tears and aching hearts they must have left their homes. Now, no doubt, they repented of their sins and deplored their blindness; but it was too late. The Israelites were divided among the towns in Northern Assyria and were much hampered in the free practice of their religion.

5. Ceased. Being merged in the Assyrian Empire in the year 721 B. C.

6. A wilderness. Because its inhabitants were very few, and the land only partially cultivated.

7. The religion. They worshipped false gods at the same time that they worshipped the Almighty. It was only later that they abandoned idolatry and built a temple to the Lord on Mount Garizim, near Sichar.

8. Tobit. He lived in Ninive, the capital of Assyria.

9. Golden calf. Although he lived in Israel, and not in Juda, he did not go to Bethel to worship the golden calf, as did most of his fellow-countrymen. He faithfully observed all the rules laid down for the worship of God and for the offering of sacrifices.

10. Sennacherib. In revenge for a great defeat he had suffered before Jerusalem (as will be told in chapter LXXIII). When Sennacherib learnt that Tobias buried the dead, he gave orders for him to be put to death. Tobias, however, hid himself and continued to bury the dead.

11. Blind. Inflammation set in and blindness ensued. This was a severe trial for Tobias; however, he did not complain, but, like Job, daily thanked God even for the sufferings sent to him.

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Commentaries for the Pentecost Readings: Mass During the Day

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 21, 2017

Please Note: In years past the Lectionary allowed for alternate 2nd and Gospel readings. In 2017 the USCCB website does not list any alternates. Whether this is an oversite on their part or represents a change is unknown to me.

READINGS AND OFFICE: Please Note: the Lectionary for today allows for an alternate second reading and an alternate Gospel reading. I’ve supplied commentary for all.

Today’s Mass Readings (NABRE). Translation used in the USA.

Today’s Mass Readings (NJB). Scroll down slightly. The NJB is used in most other English speaking countries.

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING: Acts 2:1-11.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Acts 2:1-11.

Navvare Bible Commentary on Acts 2:1-11.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Acts 2:1-11.

Homilist’s Catechism on Acts 2:1-11.

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Acts 2:1-11.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 104:1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 104.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 104: 1, 24, 29-30, 31, 34.

Lection Divina Notes on Psalm 104.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary on 1 Cor 12:3b-7, 12-13. Read all three lectures. English translation in the right column.

Homilist’s Catechism on 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13.

ALTERNATE SECOND READING: Romans 8:8-17.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 8:8-17.

St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Romans 8:8-17.

Father de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 8:8-17. On 1-17

Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 8:8-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Romans 8:8-17.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: John 20:19-23.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on John 20:19-23.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 20:19-23.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 20:19-23.

Father MacIntyre’s Commentary on John 20:19-23.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 20:19-23.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary on John 20:19-23. Scroll down and read lecture 4.

Homilist’s Catechism on John 20:19-23.

ALTERNATE GOSPEL READING: John 15:26-27; 16:12-15.

Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 15:26-27, 26:12-15.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 15:26-27, 16:12-15.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 15:26-27, 16:12-15.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 15:26-27, 16:12-15.

PODCAST AND VIDEOS:

Pentecost and the Holy Spirit: The Lectionary Readings Explained. Catholic biblical Scholar Dr. Brant Pitre comments on the readings.

St Irenaeus Ministries Study of 1 Corinthians 12.

St Irenaeus Ministries Study of Romans 8.

St Irenaeus Ministries Study of John 20.

St Irenaeus Ministries Study of John 14. On 13-14.

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

St Thomas Aquinas’ Homily for Pentecost. A gem. Few of his homilies have survived.

A Homily on Acts 2:1-11. Pdf document. By Father Johann Evangelist Zollner, a famed preacher of his day.

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