Commentaries on the Sunday, Solemnity and Feast Readings, Years A, B, C (where applicable)

UPDATE: Sept 19/20. I just added Fr. MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 6 to the site. See the link “Commentaries on Romans” above.

PARISH CORONAVIRUS NEWS: Until things return to normal, Sunday Masses from our parish can be viewed here as they become available. You can view daily Masses live at 12 noon from the cathedral on the Diocese’s youtube channel. EWTN broadcasts live Masses at 12 AM; 8AM; 12 Noon and 7 PM. Their full TV program schedule can be found here. Commentaries on the daily Mass readings can be found here. Our weekly Bulletin can be found here (note: you can subscribe to receive it via email).

ADVENT SEASON

First Sunday of Advent:  A  C
Second Sunday of Advent:  A  B  C.
Third Sunday of Advent:   A  B  C.
Fourth Sunday of Advent:  A  B  C.

CHRISTMAS SEASON TO THE EPIPHANY

Vigil for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord (Dec. 24).
Christmas Mass During the Night (Midnight Mass).
Christmas Mass At Dawn.
Christmas Mass During the Day.
Sunday Within the Octave of Christmas.
Jan. 1. Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
The Epiphany of the Lord.

ORDINARY TIME
THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD TO CHRIST THE KING
(Scroll down for the Lenten and Easter Seasons)

Baptism of the Lord: B  C. Always Corresponds to the First Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time: A  B  C.
Third Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time:  A  B  C.
Solemnity of Christ the King (always the final Sunday of the year):  A  B  C.

LENTEN SEASON

Ash Wednesday.
Thursday After Ash Wednesday.
Friday After Ash Wednesday.
Saturday After Ash Wednesday.
First Sunday of Lent:  A  B  C.
Second Sunday of Lent:  A  B  C.
Third Sunday of Lent:  A  B  C.
Fourth Sunday of Lent:  A  B  C.
Fifth Sunday of Lent:  A  B  C.
Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion:  A  B  C.
Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
Holy Thursday Chrism Mass.
Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion.

EASTER SEASON
Including Ascension and Pentecost

Easter Vigil. In the evening of Holy Saturday.
Easter Sunday The Resurrection of the Lord.
Divine Mercy Sunday (Second Sunday of Easter):  A  B  C.
Third Sunday of Easter:  A  B  C.
Fourth Sunday of Easter:  A  B  C.
Fifth Sunday of Easter:  A  B  C.
Sixth Sunday of Easter:  A  B  C.
Seventh Sunday of Easter:  A  B  C.
The Ascension of the Lord:  A  B  C.
Vigil of Pentecost Years A, B and C.

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An Introduction to 1 and 2 Thessalonians

The following comes from Fr. Charles Jerome Callan, O.P. He was born in Lockport, N.Y. on December 5, 1877 and died in Milford Connecticut on February 26, 1962. In 1940 he became the first Native born American to be appointed as a consultor to the Pontifical Biblical Commission. He served as editor or co-editor of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review from 1916 until his death. In addition he contributed several articles to the famous 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia. He is perhaps best known for his translation of the Catechism of the Council of Trent. He wrote commentaries on the four Gospels, Acts of Apostles, the Epistles of St Paul, and the Psalms. The following is excerpted from Volume 2 of his The Epistles of St. Paul with Introduction and Commentary for Students and Clergy.

Text in red, if any, represent my additions.

INTRODUCTION

1. Thessalonica. Thessalonica, the modem Saloniki, in ancient times was called Thermae, from the hot mineral springs found in its vicinity. It was situated on the northwestern part of the Thermaic Gulf, and the Via Egnatia, the great Roman highway of trade, ran through it from East to West. The Athenians occupied and destroyed it during the Peloponnesian War in 421 B.C., but about a century later (circa 315 B.C.) it was rebuilt by Cassander, who gave it the name of his wife, Thessalonica, the half-sister of Alexander the Great. After the Battle of Pydna on the plains of Philippi in 168 B.C., Thessalonica surrendered to the victorious Romans, and it was made the capital of the second of the four districts into which Macedonia was then divided. Later, when these four districts were united into one province, Thessalonica became the capital and metropolis of all Macedonia. In 42 B.C. the Romans made it a free Greek city with the privilege of electing its own magistrates, whom St. Luke, with noteworthy historical exactitude, called by the unusual and technical name of politarchs, or rulers of the city (Acts 17:6).

In the time of St. Paul, Thessalonica was the most flourishing and populous city of Macedonia. Its inhabitants were chiefly Greeks, but the Romans were also there in large numbers, besides a numerous colony of Jews, who had their own synagogue (Acts 17:14).

Its status as a free city also meant that is was allowed to mint its own currency. This coin depicts Emperor Severus Alexander who reigned from A.D. 222-235. . ‎(MYERS, RICHARD, Images from The Temple Dictionary of the Bible, Logos Bible Software, Bellingham, WA 2012.)

2. The Church of Thessalonica. St. Paul with Silas, and perhaps Timothy also, came to Thessalonica during the first part of his second missionary journey, following his expulsion from Philippi (Acts 17:1 ff.). On the Sabbath he entered the synagogue there, and began to preach to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah as foretold in their Scriptures. Though his efforts were largely unavailing, he continued thus to reason with them for three weeks, winning some of them over to the faith, and converting a large number of Greek proselytes and not a few leading ladies. But the majority of his fellow-countrymen were steadfast in resisting him, and, being moved with jealousy, they finally compelled him to leave the synagogue. He then continued his ministry in private homes and through personal interviews, and it seems that the house of one Jason (Acts 17:5) became the chief place of worship and instruction for the Gentiles who desired to hear him.

How long the Apostle remained at Thessalonica, we do not know. But from the Epistle we can see that his stay there must have been longer than the three weeks implied in the narrative of Acts 17:2. Some few months, at least, must have been required for the establishment of a Church so flourishing as this afterwards proved to be. He could not devote all his time to preaching either, because he and his companions, by personal manual labor, had to earn their own living besides (1 Thess 2:92 Thess 3:8). And his preaching was thorough and effective, as we shall see from the analysis of the Epistle. So fruitful, indeed, was the ministry of Paul and his fellow-workers in that Macedonian capital that the envy of the Jews forced them out before their work was finished. These enemies of St. Paul accused him to the magistrates of the city of preaching a king contrary to Caesar, and nothing was left the Apostle and his co-workers but to withdraw. This they did under cover of darkness, proceeding to the neighboring town of Berea.
3. Occasion and Purpose of These Letters, (a) 1 Thessalonians. St. Paul’s ministry at Berea was short but rich in results (Acts 17:10-13), and he left Silas and Timothy there to continue the work he had begun, as he proceeded to Athens. In the latter city his preaching was nearly a failure. He therefore soon sent word to Silas and Timothy to come to him at once (Acts 17:15). They came without delay, bringing news of continued or fresh persecutions at Thessalonica, so that both Paul and his two companions had a mind to return there forthwith to console and encourage the faithful, but they could not (1 Thess 1:63:32:17-18). So Paul and Silas decided to send Timothy to the troubled Church, while Paul passed on to Corinth and Silas returned, perhaps to Berea or some other part of Macedonia (1 Thess. 3:2Acts 18:1).

Not long after St. Paul had arrived at Corinth, he was rejoined by Timothy, who brought a report of conditions in Thessalonica. On the whole the news was favorable. Notwithstanding persecutions, the faith had continued strong, so that the brethren there were an example to all that believed in Macedonia and Achaia ( 1 Thess 1:4 ff.). But there were also some errors and abuses that needed
correcting. It seems that the Apostle’s authority and the methods of his ministry had been questioned in certain quarters (1 Thess. 2:1-12). Some were in danger of lapsing back into their pagan vices, while others were idle and restless, waiting for the Parousia (1 Thess 4:1-12). Still others were troubled over the fate of relatives and friends who had died before the Coming of the Lord; and certain ones had grown careless as a result of the Parousia being too long delayed (1 Thess 4:13—5:11). It seems there was also some disorder or lack of respect for those in authority (1 Thess 5:12-15).

It was upon receipt of such news as the foregoing that St. Paul, in company with Silas and Timothy, wrote the present letter. He and his two associates hope to come to Thessalonica soon; but in the meantime they send this letter to express their satisfaction at the good news reported, to defend their own conduct and authority, and to correct the existing abuses and errors.

(b) 2 Thessalonians. Shortly after the receipt of the first letter to the Thessalonians word was brought St. Paul at Corinth, perhaps by the bearer of that Epistle, about the most recent conditions in Thessalonica and the eflfect in that city of the letter just received. Persecution had continued to rage more furious than ever, and yet faith and charity were increasing (2 Thess 1:3-5). But the Parousia was still a disturbing question, and in this respect the first letter seems to have made matters worse, instead of better. Some of the faithful had become so convinced of the imminence of the “Day of the Lord” that they had abandoned their daily duties, and had given themselves over to prayer and meditation, living on the charity and bounty of others. In their assemblies there were excitement and disorder, and there was danger that the whole Church would be thrown into confusion. These misguided members claimed the authority of St. Paul for their beliefs and teachings, and it seems there was in circulation a forged letter, purporting to be from the Apostle himself (2 Thess. ii. 2, iii. 6-14). In view of these conditions, St. Paul, with Silas and Timothy, writes this second letter to the Church at Thessalonica to comfort and encourage the faithful there, to clear up misunderstandings regarding the Second Coming of the Lord, to strengthen discipline, and to recall the idle to their accustomed daily duties and labors.

4. Date and Place of Writing. All authorities, ancient and modem, are pretty well agreed that these two letters were written at Corinth during the Apostle’s long stay in that city of over eighteen months on his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1 ff.). The precise dates will depend on the system of chronology one adopts. But in our Introduction to Philippians we have said that Paul founded that Church around 51 a.d. He then passed on to Thessalonica, where, as observed above, he must have tarried for several months in order to establish so flourishing a Church. Being forced to leave, he next went to Berea and thence to Athens, spending but a short time in each of those cities, and finally came to Corinth. His arrival, therefore, in this last-named city was not very long after he had left Thessalonica. But before he would write this first letter we must allow time for Timothy’s mission to Thessalonica and his return to Paul at Corinth, for the spread of the faith of the Thessalonians to various parts of Macedonia and Achaia and their manifestation of charity to all the brethren in all Macedonia, for the occurrence of a number of deaths in the Thessalonian Church, etc. (1 Thess 1:7-83:64:1013). All this would require some time. But, on the other hand, we cannot make the writing of this first letter too late, as sufficient time must be allowed for the dispatching of the second letter also from Corinth during the Apostle’s same sojourn there. Of course, it is clear that no great length of time intervened between the composition of the two letters, and this is admitted by all authorities who concede the genuineness of the second letter. Thus, Paul had the same associates in writing the second as in writing the first letter, and the situation at Thessalonica was about the same. It seems reasonable, therefore, to conclude that 1 Thess. was written some time during 52 A.D., and 2 Thess. in the latter part of the same year or in the first part of the following year. These dates fit in with the chronology we have adopted, and they are as likely as any others that might be given, if not a little more so. At any rate, these are the oldest of St. Paul’s letters, unless we hold the rather doubtful opinion that Galatians was his first Epistle. See Introduction to Galatians in vol. I.

The opinion of some ancient authorities and codices that 1 Thess. was written from Athens is based on a misunderstanding of 1 Thess 3:1-6, and is contradicted by the express statements of Acts 18:15. Equally unfounded is the view of Baur, Ewald, Bunsen, and certain other non-Catholics, who hold that our second letter preceded the first to the Thessalonians. A simple examination of the two letters is sufficient to refute such a theory; for it is plain that the first letter treats of the foundation of the Church at Thessalonica while the second is dealing with its development, and the teachings of the latter presuppose those of the former.

5. V. Authenticity, (a) 1 Thessalonians. The external and the internal evidence in favor of the genuineness of this Epistle is so strong as to place it beyond all question ; and consequently among modern exegetes there is now practically no one who has any difficulty on this point.

The first and oldest testimony for 1 Thess. is 2 Thess., which presupposes it, and which was written not long after it. Next come the Apostolic Fathers and early Christian documents, such as Ignatius Martyr, Polycarp, The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, and The Pastor of Hernias—in all of which can be found citations from or pretty certain allusions to this Epistle (cf. Funk, Patres apostolici, pp. 640 flf.). After these, we find explicit reference to it in the Muratorian Fragment; Marcion included it in his Canon; it is frequently cited by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, St. Justin Martyr, and Tertullian ; and Eusebius, the faithful witness of primitive tradition, included it among the fourteen Epistles of St. Paul (cf. Comely, Introd., III., pp. 480 ff.). This Epistle is also found in the best ancient MSS., and in the old Latin and Syriac versions.

Internal evidence is not less conclusive in establishing the authenticity of this letter. The style and doctrine are Paul’s throughout, and the Apostle’s character, as known from his other Epistles, is clearly manifested here. It is true that Baur and his followers of the Neo-Tiibingen School rejected this letter on purely internal Internal evidence is not less conclusive in establishing the authenticity of this letter. The style and doctrine are Paul’s throughout, and the Apostle’s character, as known from his other Epistles, is clearly manifested here. It is true that Baur and his followers of the Neo-Tubingen School rejected this letter on purely internal grounds ; but the reasons they brought forward in support of their position are not worthy of any serious consideration. For example, they said it was lacking in doctrine; that 1 Thess 2:14-16 was an exaggeration, or else referred to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70; that the eschatological teaching given here was not to be found in the Epistles that are admittedly Pauline, etc.

As to the first objection, we need only look at the Epistle to see that just the contrary is true. For here all the leading doctrines are characteristic of St. Paul, such as the death and resurrection of Jesus (1 Thess 1:104:145:10), His Divinity and Sonship (1 Thess 1:9-10), the resurrection of the body (1 Thess 4:15-18), sanctification by the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Thess 4: 8), the call of the nations to the kingdom of Christ, the Church (1 Thess 2:12), the mediatorship of Christ (1 Thess 5:10), etc.

In 1 Thess 2:14-16 St. Paul is simply saying that the converts in the Thessalonian Church are suffering the same things from their fellow countrymen as the converts in Judea suffered from their compatriots, and that the blindness and perfidy of the latter have brought upon them the curse of God for time and eternity. There is nothing un-Pauline in this method of argumentation.

If eschatology occupies a larger place in this and in the following Epistle than in the other later Epistles of St. Paul, it is simply because there was a need for it in the Thessalonian Church which did not exist to the same degree elsewhere, or that, since his hearers and readers so grossly misunderstood him in these Epistles, he thought it best to say less about it in later times. The Apostle always adapted his letters to the needs and conditions of the particular Church to which he was writing and to the requirements of circumstances. These difficulties, therefore, are purely subjective and worthless; and they are rightly disregarded by modern scholarship.

(b) 2 Thessalonians. The external evidence in favor of the authenticity of this letter is even stronger than that in support of the first one. The testimony of the MSS. and of the versions is the same, but the early Fathers and apologetic writers are clearer and more explicit in regard to this Epistle. The internal evidence here is also very strong; so strong, indeed, that such critics as Harnack and Julicher have admitted the letter to be Paul’s on purely internal grounds. Thus, the contents of the Epistle is closely linked with 1 Thess; the vocabulary, style, and structure are remarkably similar; the transitions, outbursts of prayer, and other characteristics are unmistakably Pauline. In fact, the similarity between these two Epistles is so marked that certain critics, like Holtzmann, Weizacher, Schmiedel, and others have denied the genuineness of 2 Thess, for that very reason, maintaining that it is the work of some clever forger of the second century. But, as there is no other support for such an opinion, it can be simply set aside as unwarranted.

The greatest objection to the authenticity of this letter is based on the difference in its teaching regarding the Parousia. The objectors tell us that the two Epistles are in contradiction on this question—that 1 Thess. teaches the imminence of the Parousia, whereas 2 Thess. makes it far removed. To this we reply, in the first place, that St. Paul had no definite revelation regarding the time of the Second Coming of the Lord, and hence did not and could not teach anything definite about it. In the second place, there is no contradiction in what he has to say on the subject in the two Epistles: he merely makes clearer in the second letter what was misunderstood in the first.

Another difficulty is that 2 Thess. is more Jewish than 1 Thess., and so must either be the product of a forger, or it was written first. Even if we grant the reason for this objection, it proves nothing more than that there were Jews at Thessalonica, which we admit, and that Paul had them more in mind in writing the second letter than when he wrote the first one ; perhaps they were causing more trouble. Harnack explains this difficulty by saying that 1 Thess. was directed more expressly to the Gentile section and 2 Thess. to the Jewish group in the Thessalonian Church. But it seems hardly necessary to say so much; for, on the one hand, the Jewish element in 2 Thess. is only slightly more pronounced than in 1 Thess., and we know, on the other hand, that the Thessalonian Church was predominantly Gentile from the beginning.

We conclude, therefore, by accepting the verdict of all the best modern scholars that the authenticity of these two Epistles to the Thessalonians can be admitted without hesitation. They stand among the best attested letters of St. Paul. And this we can hold in spite of the fact that in certain notable respects these Epistles are the least Pauline of all the letters that have come to us from the great Apostle. For here we search in vain for such characteristic Pauline doctrines as justification by faith, the propitiatory death of Christ, the abrogation of the Law by grace, the relation of the Law to grace, and the like. Personal and historical elements abound in these letters, especially in 1 Thess., as we shall see from the following analysis.

6. Division of Contents, (a) 1 Thessalonians. Besides a salutation (1 Thess 1:1) and a conclusion (1 Thess 5:25-28), we may divide this Epistle into two main parts, one personal and historical (1 Thess 1:2-3:13), and the other hortatory and doctrinal (1 Thess 4:1—5:24).

A. The salutation here (1 Thess 1:1) is unusually familiar and friendly, omitting all titles and references to controversy. The Apostle and his companions are addressing friends.

B. In the personal and historical section (1 Thess 1:2—3:13) the writers first give thanks for the good condition of the Church in Thessalonica (1 Thess 1:2-10), and then in a general way defend the character of their ministry in Thessalonica against certain charges that have been circulated to their discredit (1 Thess 2:1-12). After that follow renewed thanks for the success of their preaching among the Thessalonians, who have withstood persecution as boldly as did the Christians of Judea (1 Thess 2:13-16). Having been obliged to leave their new converts, the Apostles would have gladly returned to them, had that been possible (1 Thess 2:17-20) ; and in their anxiety they did send Timothy, who, on his return, brought most consoling news (1 Thess 3:1-10). The Apostles, therefore, pray that God may soon grant them a visit to the Thessalonians, and that in the meantime the faithful there may increase in spiritual perfection (1 Thess 3:11-13).

C. In the hortatory and doctrinal part (1 Thess 4:1-5:24) the Apostles warn the faithful against all forms of impurity, and exhort them to brotherly love and to an active, industrious life which will secure them independence and respect (1 Thess 4:1-11). They need not worry about their friends who have died before the Coming of the Lord, for all good Christians are united with their Risen Saviour, and those who have died first will meet Him ahead of those who are alive when He comes (1 Thess 4:12-17). The time of the Parousia is uncertain, and so it behooves all to hold themselves ready (1 Thess 5:1-11). Let all, subjects and superiors, be faithful in the fulfillment of their respective duties (1 Thess 5:12-15). Finally, some various injunctions regarding joy, prayer, and other spiritual matters, with a special prayer for the Thessalonians, terminate this part of the Epistle (1 Thess 5:16-24).

D. The conclusion contains a request for prayers, a final salutation, a special recommendation, and a benediction (1 Thess 5:25-28).

(b) 2 Thessalonians. This Epistle has only three short Chapters, and these are so divided in our Bible as fitly to represent the thought.

A. Again the Apostle and his companions first salute the faithful of Thessalonica (2 Thess 1:1- 2). Then follow thanksgiving for the faith and love of the Thessalonians, and an assurance that God will reward them for their patient endurance of suffering and punish their persecutors in His own good time (2 Thess 1:3-10). The Apostles assure their converts that they are always praying for their spiritual progress and perfection (2 Thess 1:11-12).

B. The Second Chapter is doctrinal, and deals with the Parousia, which is the main subject of this letter. Let the faithful not be deceived into thinking that the Day of the Lord is at hand (2 Thess 2:1-2); for certain extraordinary signs must precede, and until these appear there is no reason for alarm (2 Thess 2:3-11). Meanwhile, let the Thessalonians continue steadfast in their faith and in the performance of good works (2 Thess 2:12-16).

C. The Third Chapter contains first a request for prayers, and an expression of confidence in the spiritual progress of the Thessalonians (2 Thess 3:1-5). Then the Apostles warn the brethren against certain disorderly members who were indulging in idleness; and they support their censure by appealing to their own contrary conduct of laboring for their living while preaching the Gospel in Thessalonica (2 Thess 3:6-12). Let the brethren, therefore, continue in welldoing, and endeavor to correct the disorderly (2 Thess 3:13-15).

D. The Epistle closes with good wishes, a final salutation written by Paul with his own hand, and a blessing (2 Thess 3:16-18).

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Audio Study of 1 Corinthians

Here are 13 one-half hour talks concerning 1 Corinthians from EWTN.

Episode 1.

Episode 2.

Episode 3.

Episode 4.

Episode 5.

Episode 6.

Episode 7.

Episode 8.

Episode 9.

Episode 10.

Episode 11.

Episode 12.

Episode 13.

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Suggested Resources for the Sunday Epistle Readings, Year B, Ordinary Time

The new Sunday Lectionary Cycle (Year B) will begin on Sunday, November 29 2020. During the 34 Sundays of Ordinary Time the second (epistle) readings will come from the following letters (in order of use): 1 Corinthians, Second Corinthians, Ephesians, James, Hebrews. Below one will find some suggested resources to help you acquire a better understanding of these readings. You may also wish to consult this post of suggested resources for the Sunday Gospel readings for Year B. I hope to also post some suggested resources relating to the Daily Lectionary Cycle (Year I) readings of Ordinary Time. That cycle will begin on November 30, 2020.

1 CORINTHIANS: Note: This letter, along with Hebrews, is not read through in semi-continuous fashion during a single Sunday lectionary cycle. In Year B the readings are taken from chapters 6-10. The previous chapters open OT in Year A, and the following chapters open OT in Year C. During Daily Cycle II it is read in Ordinary Time, weeks 21-24.

Ignatius Study Bible: First and Second Letters of St Paul to the Corinthians. By Dr. Scott Hahn and Mitch Curtis. A good place for the beginner to begin his study of the two letters to Corinth. The Ignatius Catholic Bible Study on the NT is now available in a single volume. A sizable number of volumes on the Old Testament are now available, including Genesis, Exodus, and Isaiah.

FreeIn the Footsteps of St Paul. 13 part, (one-half hour each) online audio presentation by Fr. Mitch Pacwa of EWTN.

Free.  St Irenaeus Ministries Study on 1 Corinthians. 18 part online audio series (parts vary in length).

Free St Thomas Aquinas’ Lectures on First Corinthians. Latin and English side by side, but the commentary on 7:15-10:33 is currently available only in Latin.

Free. You Tube Videos: First Corinthians. In six parts. Taught by Nicholas Lebish

Free. Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians. On site.

Free. Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians. On site.

Free. Father Bernardine de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians. On site.

Free. Notes on St Paul. By Fr. Joseph Rickaby. Online book. Succinct notes on 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians and Romans. You can increase text size by clicking on the magnifying glass with the + sign located in the bottom right corner.

Father Kenneth Baker’s Sermons on St Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians. Downloadable audio for purchase.

First Corinthians (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture Series). By Fr. George Montague. The CCSS is a new, fine series of commentaries on the New Testament from a Catholic perspective. You can view the preface for the entire series here.

First Corinthians (Sacra Pagina Series). By Fr. Raymond F. Collins. In depth, scholarly, not for the average person in the pew.

First Corinthians (Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries Series). By Father Joseph Fitzmyer. Scholarly, technical. You can search inside this book by placing your browser on the photo, then click “surprise me”.

Seven Pauline Letters. By Peter F. Ellis. Text and commentary on seven of St Paul’s letters, including First Corinthians. Succinct commentaries, very readable.

St Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians (Navarre Bible Commentary Series). Extremely popular and well written. This series was the brain child of St Jose Marie Escriva.

Invitation to the New Testament Epistles (Doubleday New Testament Commentary Series). By Fr. Eugene LaVerdierre. Based upon the Jerusalem Bible Translation. A basic commentary written in popular style. This volume is on 1 & 2 Thessalonians; 1 & 2, Corinthians; Philippians; Philemon.

SECOND CORINTHAINS: The first 5 resources were also posted above on 1 Cor.

Ignatius Study Bible: First and Second Letters of St Paul to the Corinthians. By Dr. Scott Hahn and Mitch Curtis. A good place for the beginner to begin his study of the two letters to Corinth. The Ignatius Catholic Bible Study on the NT is now available in a single volume. A sizable number of volumes on the Old Testament are now available, including Genesis, Exodus, and Isaiah.

Seven Pauline Letters. By Peter F. Ellis. Text and commentary on seven of St Paul’s letters, including Second Corinthians. Succinct commentaries, very readable.

St Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians (Navarre Bible Commentary Series). Extremely popular and well written. This series was the brain child of St Jose Marie Escriva.

Invitation to the New Testament Epistles (Doubleday New Testament Commentary Series). By Fr. Eugene LaVerdierre. Based upon the Jerusalem Bible Translation. A basic commentary written in popular style. This volume is on 1 & 2 Thessalonians; 1 & 2, Corinthians; Philippians; Philemon.

Free. Notes on St Paul. By Fr. Joseph Rickaby. Online book. Succinct notes on 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians and Romans. You can increase text size by clicking on the magnifying glass with the + sign located in the bottom right corner.

Free. St Irenaeus Ministries Audio Study of 2 Corinthians. 12 part audio. Varying length.

SECOND CORINTHIANS. By Fr. Thomas D. Stegman, S.J. Part of the new Catholic Commentary On Sacred Scripture.

SECOND CORINTHIANS (Sacra Pagina Series). By Fr. Jan Lambrecht, S.J. Somewhat technical, not for the beginner.

KEYS TO SECOND CORINTHIANS. By Fr. Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, O.P. Very expensive, scholarly, thorough. Not for the average reader.

THE THEOLOGY OF THE SECOND LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS. By Fr. Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, O.P. Scholarly, not for the average reader.

Free. LECTURES ON SECOND CORINTHIANS. By St Thomas Aquinas. This work, available online for free, still continues to exert influence 8 centuries after it production. The medieval style may not appeal to many.

Free. ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM’S HOMILIES ON SECOND CORINTHIANS (Online).

NOTES ON CORINTHIANS, GALATIANS, ROMANS. By Fr. Joseph Rickaby, S.J. Somewhat dated. Originally published in 1898. slightly technical. Rickaby was a prolific author and a noted authority on St Thomas Aquinas.

THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS. By R. D. Byles. Somewhat dated. Originally published in 1897. A very basic commentary.

AN EXPOSITION OF THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL (Vol 2). By Bernardine de Picquigny. The author ((1633-1709) was a Capuchin monk who is also sometimes called Bernardin de Piconio. This volume contains commentary on 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that his 3 volume exposition of St Paul “has ever been popular among scripture scholars.”

EPHESIANS:

Ignatius Study Bible: Galatians and Ephesians. Dr. Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch. A great place to begin for someone who has never studied the letter.

Free. Father Callan’s Commentary on Ephesians.

Free. Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Ephesians.

Free. A Devout Commentary on the Epistle to the Ephesians. Fr. A Bertrand Wilberforce. Online book. You can increase text size by clicking on the magnifying glass with the + sign located in the bottom right corner.

Ephesians: New Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture. Peter S Willaimson. Part of a fine commentary series on the NT.

Navarre Bible: Captivity Letters. Commentary on Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon.

Colossians and Ephesians (Sacra Pagina Series). Focuses on the text from the perspective of the social sciences.

Ephesians: New Testament Message Series.

Ephesians: New Testament for Spiritual Readings Series. Max Zerwick.

Further Notes on St Paul: The Epistles of the Captivity: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon. Fr. Joseph Rickaby. Succinct notes.

JAMES:

Ignatius Study Bible: James, 1 & 2 Peter and Jude. Excellent for beginners.

James, 1, 2, & 3 John (New Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture Series). An outstanding series.

Anchor Bible Series: The Letter of James. Luke Timothy Johnson. Technical.

A Spirituality of Perfection: Faith in Action in the Letter of James.

Navarre Bible Commentary: The Catholic Letters. On James, 1 & 2 Peter, 1 ,2, & 3 John, Jude.

Sacra Pagina Series: James.

James and Jude: New Testament Message Series.

New Testament for Spiritual Readings Series: Hebrew and James.

HEBREWS: The first volume was also listed above.

New Testament for Spiritual Readings Series: Hebrew and James.

Free. Aquinas’ Lectures on Hebrews.

Free. St John Chrysostom’s Homilies on Hebrews.

Free. St Irenaeus Ministries Audio Study of Hebrews.

Free. You Tube: Catholic Bible Study: Hebrews. 12 episodes.

Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: Hebrews.

Hebrews: Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture Series.

Sacra Pagina Series: Hebrews.

A Different Kind of Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews. By Cardinal Albert Vanhoye.

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Audio Study of the Letter to the Hebrews /from St Irenaeus Ministries

These talks were produced by St Irenaeus Ministries in 2006-2007. See their libsyn archive for all their talks.

December 1st – Hebrews – Introduction (Podcast)

December 9th – Hebrews – Chapter 1 (Podcast)

December 18th – Hebrews – Chapter 2 (Podcast)

December 28th – Hebrews – Chapters 3 and 4 (Podcast)

January 6th – Hebrews – Christ, Our High Priest (Podcast)

January 15th – Hebrews – Holiness (Podcast

January 20th – Hebrews – Spiritual Milk (Podcast)

January 30th – Hebrews – Apostasy and Promise (Podcast)

February 7th – Hebrews – Melchizedek, Aaron and Christ (Podcast)

February 15th – Hebrews – A Better Covenant (Podcast)

February 22nd – Hebrews – Chapter 9 (Podcast)

March 2nd – Hebrews – Diatheke (Podcast)

March 13th – Hebrews – Chapter 10 (Podcast)

March 22nd – Hebrews – Faith (Podcast)

March 30th – Hebrews – Chapter 11 (Podcast)

April 7th – Hebrews – Disciplines of the Lord (Podcast)

April 20th – Hebrews – Conclusion (Podcast)

April 27th – Hebrews – Review (Podcast)

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St Irenaeus Ministries Audio Study of 2 Corinthians

These talks were produced by St Irenaeus Ministries in 2009. Be sure to check out their archives on libsyn (the archives on their home site for the year 2020 is screwed up. Previous years appear to be fine).

February 14th – 2nd Corinthians – Beginning the Second Corinthian Epistle (Podcast)

February 23rd – 2nd Corinthians – Suffering and Christ’s Comforts (Podcast)

February 28th – 2nd Corinthians – Pastoring the Corinthians (Podcast)

March 7th – 2nd Corinthians – Chapter Two (Podcast)

March 14th – 2nd Corinthians – Covenant, Law, and Life in the Spirit (Podcast)

March 21st – 2nd Corinthians – The Holy Glory of God (Podcast)


March 28th – 2nd Corinthians – Holiness: A Serious Separation from Sin (Podcast)


April 4th – 2nd Corinthians – Titus and the Collection for Jerusalem (Podcast)


April 11th – 2nd Corinthians – Paul’s Bold Counter-Argument (Podcast)


April 18th – 2nd Corinthians – Concluding the Epistle (Podcast)

April 27th – 2nd Corinthians – Context (Podcast)

May 4th – 2nd Corinthians – Final Review (Podcast)

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Audio Study of 1 Corinthians

The following comes from St Irenaeus Ministries. Check out their extensive archive. This series was done between 2008 and 2009.

October 11th – 1st Corinthians – Introduction (Podcast)

October 18th – 1st Corinthians – Origins of Corinthian Christianity (Podcast)

October 25th – 1st Corinthians – Mission (Podcast)

November 1st – 1st Corinthians – Foundation of the Epistle (Podcast)

November 8th – 1st Corinthians – Chapter 3 (Podcast)

November 15th – 1st Corinthians – Chastising the Corinthians (Podcast)

November 22nd – 1st Corinthians – Principles of Pastoral Care and Holiness (Podcast)

November 29th – 1st Corinthians – Personal Disputes and Sexual Guidance (Podcast)

December 9th – 1st Corinthians – Liberality and Constraints (Podcast)

December 15th – 1st Corinthians – Defending Paul’s Apostolic Authority (Podcast)

December 20th – 1st Corinthians – Spiritual Gifts and Body Life (Podcast)

December 27th – 1st Corinthians – Love and Spiritual Gifts (Podcast)

January 3rd – 1st Corinthians – The Resurrection (Podcast)

January 10th – 1st Corinthians – Paul Begins His Final Arguments (Podcast)

January 19th – 1st Corinthians – Chapter 16 and Review (Podcast)

January 24th – 1st Corinthians – Closing the Letter (Podcast)

February 2nd – 1st Corinthians – Reflections and Questions (Podcast)

February 7th – 1st Corinthians – Conclusion (Podcast)

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As Advent Looms Here Are Some Suggestions for a Understanding the Gospel of Mark

The new “Liturgical Year” will begin on November 29, 2020. This year the bulk of the Sunday gospel readings will be taken from Mark. In addition–and this is always the case-the daily gospel reading for weeks 1 through 9 of Ordinary Time will also come from Mark. Since you will be getting an extra heavy dose of the Gospel of Mark this year I thought I’d offer the following suggestion for those seeking a better understanding of this gospel.

Free. The Catena Aurea of St Thomas Aquinas. Latin and English side by side.

Free. Audio Study of the Gospel of Mark. By Dr. Scott Hahn. You have to register an email and password to listen. Registration is free.

Free. The Way to Follow Jesus. Audio. 13 one half hour episodes.

Free. Agape Catholic Bible Study. Contains 9 lessons on Mark. Each lesson also includes a helpful handout.

Meeting St Mark Today: Understanding the Man, His Mission and His Message. By Fr. Daniel Harrington.

Gospel of Mark (Ignatius Study Bible). Very popular, basic introductory commentary on Mark.

The Navarre Bible: St Mark. Extremely popular study series which was the brainchild of St Jose Marie Escriva. The four Gospel and Acts can be purchased in a single volume, however, the commentary is truncated in this single volume.

Mark (New Testament Message Series). “Concentrates on bringing to the fore in understandable terms the specific message of each biblical author.” Non-technical.

Mark, Volume 1 (New Testament for Spiritual Reading). The two volumes on Mark in this series are hard to come by. The NTSR has been described as “Distinctly noteworthy!…an extended NT series that is within the reach of all.” Something spectacular!…Practical volumes which open up the spiritual depths of Sacred Scripture.”

Mark, Volume 2 (New Testament for Spiritual Reading).  See previous comment.

The Gospel of Mark (Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture). The CCSC is an outstanding new commentary series on the New Testament.

The Beginning of the Gospel, Vol. 1. Fr. Eugene LaVerdiere, S.S.S. A bit repetitive at times but this is necessitated-at least in part-by Mark’s frequent use of the word παλιν (“again”). Don’t know what that means? Buy the books and figure it out (two volumes, see next link).

The Beginning of the Gospel, Vol. 2. Fr. Eugene LaVerdiere, S.S.S. See previous comment.

A Costly Freedom: A Theological Reading of Mark’s Gospel. Fr. Brendan Byrne, S.J.

The Gospel of Mark (Sacra Pagina Series). A bit more advanced but not “unreachable” to the average person in the pew.

The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary. Fr. Francis J. Moloney. I’m not personally familiar with this well regarded commentary but it comes highly recommended; and I am familiar with a few other works by Father Moloney.

The Gospel of Mark As a Model for Action: A Reader-Response Commentary. Again, I’m not familiar with this work, but I am familiar with the author. The title clearly suggests that the work is concerned with the Markan theme of discipleship.

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The Way to Follow Jesus: Audio Study of St Mark’s Gospel

These episodes aired on EWTN.

Episode 1.

Ep. 2.

Ep 3.

Ep 4.

Ep 5.

Ep 6.

Ep 7.

Ep 8.

Ep 9.

Ep 10.

Ep 11.

Ep 12.

Ep 13.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Matthew 8:5-11

Mat 8:5  And when he had entered into Capharnaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him,

The probability is, that the preceding miracle was performed near, or in the suburbs of, Capharnaum, or in some town on His way from the Mount. The narrative of St. Luke and St. Matthew may be very easily reconciled, if we suppose the cure of the leper to be performed on His entrance into Capharnaum. The narrative of St. Matthew, referring in this verse to “when He had entered Capharnaum,” admits of this interpretation and mode of solution.

“There came to Him a centurion.” The time, place, and other circumstances would seem to render it clear, that the miracle here recorded is the same as that mentioned by St. Luke (c. 7) The trifling diversity in the narrative of both Evangelists is easily explained, and both are easily reconciled. When St. Luke says (c. 7:3, &c.), he sent some influential friends, “the ancients of the Jews,” to our Redeemer; that He went with them, and when near the house the centurion sent his friends to meet Him, and through them addressed Him, all this presents no discrepancy whatever in regard to what St. Matthew records here, as it may be said, with truth, that a man himself says, what he says through others, or employed others to say for him. The Greek commentators (St. Chrysostom, Theophylact, &c.) say, the words of St. Matthew ought to be understood literally, that the elders of the Jews, on behalf of the centurion, first accosted our Lord (as St. Luke says); that when the centurion found that our Lord Himself meant to come, he sent his friends, who addressed Him, as is recorded by St. Luke (7); and that then the centurion himself finally met Him quite close to his house, and addressed Him, as is mentioned here by St. Matthew.

Mat 8:6  And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented.

“Servant.” St. Luke has “my slave” (δουλος). But, the word here employed (παις) may mean, either a boy or a slave. Hence, it means, “a boy slave,” much prized by the centurion, as St. Luke informs us.

Mat 8:7  And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him.

“I will come,” &c. These words were addressed to “the ancients of the Jews” (Luke 7:3). It is deserving of remark, and has been frequently observed by interpreters, that when there is question of a poor slave, our Redeemer goes to visit him in person, although his master, the centurion, did not ask Him; but in the case of the Ruler’s son, He cures him only at a distance (John 4:50).

Mat 8:8  And the centurion, making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.

“Lord, I am not worthy,” &c. These words the centurion commissioned his friends to express in his name as our Lord was approaching his house; and hence, he expressed them through others. Or, if we adopt the interpretation of St. Chrysostom, they may have been personally uttered by the centurion himself, on seeing the Redeemer approaching his house.

“Only say the word,” a Hebrew phrase, signifying, only command it; only express a wish, and it shall be well with my afflicted servant. It would appear from St. Luke, that, in the first instance, when the centurion employed the mediation of the Jewish ancients, he wished Him to come. Now, his faith is increased and enlightened, as Jesus approaches his house; and he unhesitatingly proclaimed His omnipotence.

Mat 8:9  For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

“Under authority,” means, as St. Luke expresses it, “subject to authority,” a subordinate, subject to higher officers, captains or generals. “Having soldiers under me.” This he says not out of vain ostentation, but to show why his commands are obeyed. The conclusion, which may be regarded as, an argumentum a minori ad majus, so expressive of the great faith of the centurion, is: If I, a mere man, myself subject to others above me, can command my subordinates, and by my mere word, ensure a ready compliance and obedience from them, how much more canst Thou, who art Sovereign Lord of all things, subject to no one, having no one over or above Thee, command diseases and bodily infirmities, and by Thy mere word, insure the most perfect obedience and compliance with Thy wishes, “Mare et venti obediunt ei.”

Mat 8:10  And Jesus hearing this, marvelled; and said to them that followed him. Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel.

“Marvelled,” i.e., expressed wonder at this external manifestation of faith, which may be explained, consistently with our Lord’s omniscience, as St. Thomas explains it (3 Part, q. 15, Art. 18), thus; although, in virtue of His Divine omniscience, our Lord knew the faith of the centurion already, and, moreover, could not be ignorant of it, as it was He Himself that inspired the centurion by His heavenly grace; still, He really and interiorly marvelled, owing to the experimental knowledge of the fact; just as the astronomer, who predicts an eclipse, expresses his admiration and astonishment on witnessing it actually taking place. Others, with St. Augustine, &c., understand the word to convey the mere external expression of His praise, and commendation of it; and of astonishment, as evidenced by His whole external appearance and countenance. It may, probably, also, denote the expression of commendation conveyed in the following words: “Amen I say to you,” &c.

“In Israel,” the Jewish people, the depositaries of God’s oracles, favoured with His special graces and revelations. In the Greek it is more expressive still (ουδε εν τω Ισραηλ), “neither in Israel.” From this, it would appear that the centurion was a Gentile, a Roman soldier. Our Redeemer says, He did not find such faith, as was shown by a Pagan soldier, among the carnal descendants of Abraham. In this, He did not surely refer to those who, from the very nature of things, and the well-known evidence of facts, were excepted, such as the Blessed Virgin, John the Baptist, the ancient Patriarchs and Prophets, the Apostles, as when speaking of the Baptist He says, “No greater arose among the born of women.” Nor, of course, did He include Himself. Or the words may be confined to the period of His public mission; since He began to preach publicly and work miracles, He found no such instance of faith in the mass of the Jewish people in general.

Mat 8:11  And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven:

“And I say to you,” &c. The centurion being a Gentile, as clearly appears from the contrast, “in Israel,” as also from the words of the ancients of the Jews, “He loveth our nation” (Luke 7:5), our Redeemer takes occasion, by way of digression, to refer to the vocation of the Gentiles and the rejection of the Jews—a subject referred to by the Prophets in many places, but especially by Isaias (43:5, 6, 10)—after which digression, He resumes the subject of the centurion’s appeal.

“That many,” attracted by God’s grace, like the centurion, “shall come from the East,” &c., from the four quarters of the globe, and the remotest regions of the Gentiles—the Gentiles may be called, “many,” compared with the Jews—“and shall sit down with Abraham,” &c., the Patriarchs, the three great Princes of Israel, and fathers of the spiritual sons of promise, to whom were first made the promises of eternal bliss.

“Shall sit down,” is allusive to the recumbent posture in which the ancients partook of their banquets—a fit emblem of the bliss they shall, one day, fully enjoy, in supreme security and rest. Our Redeemer, in accordance with a Scriptural usage, represents the eternal bliss of the saints, under the figure of an earthly banquet.

“The kingdom of heaven,” conveys an idea of the joys of that blessed country in which the saints shall enjoy God for ever and ever.

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Father Maas’ Commentary on Matt 8:5-11

This miracle may be considered under the following heads: a. Preliminaries, vs 5; b. petition of the centurion,vs 6; c. answer of Jesus, vs 7; d. answer of centurion, vss 8-9; e. reply of Jesus, vss 10-13.

Mat 8:5  And when he had entered into Capharnaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him,

a. Preliminaries. The place of the miracle has been described in connection with Matt 4:13. Against Semler it must be stated that this miracle is not identical with the cure of the ruler’s son narrated in Jn 4:46-52. The first gospel speaks of a centurion, a Gentile, whose servant is sick of the palsy, whose faith is highly commended, who is recompensed by a miracle wrought by Jesus in Capharnaum; the fourth gospel speaks of a ruler, a Jew, whose son is afflicted with fever, whose faith is rather weak, whose petition is granted with apparent reluctance. On the other hand, the miracle told by St. Matthew must be identified with that narrated in Lk 7:1-10; the place, the time, the persons, the faith with its manifestation, are the same in both cases. The only apparent discrepancy between the fact as recorded in the first and in the third gospel lies in the circumstance that according to Matthew the centurion himself comes to our Lord, while according to Luke he sends only the ancients of the Jews and his friends to plead his case. Augustine, Bed. Jansenius Maldonado, Bisping adhere strictly to the narrative of Luke, supposing that Matthew wrote according to the principle “quod quis per alios fecit, ipse fecisse censetur.” Chrysostom Euthymius, Lapide, Calmet, etc. think that the centurion first sent the persons mentioned by the third evangelist, but omitted in the first gospel, and then proceeded in person to meet our Lord. Besides being very natural in itself this view seems to agree better with Lk 7:8, “desiring him to come and heal his servant,” as compared with vs 6, “I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof,” contrasting the deficient faith of the Jewish ancients who utter the former prayer with the unlimited trust of the heathen centurion. That the centurion was a Gentile follows from his position in the Roman army [captain over a hundred] , from the words of the Jewish ancients [Lk 7:5], and of our Lord himself [Mt 8:10], in which he is contrasted with the Jewish nation and the Israelites. He must have served under Herod Antipas, who was then tetrarch of Galilee [Lk 3:1].

Mat 8:6  And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, and is grievously tormented.

b. The centurion’s petition. The centurion states the condition of his servant without expressly appealing to Jesus for relief. Such an appeal he considered superfluous after all he had heard of our Lord’s kindness to the poor and suffering; implicitly it is contained in the address ” Lord.” According to the third gospel the sufferer was on the point of death; St. Matthew makes him a paralytic who is at the same time tormented with a painful nervous disorder. Paschasius, Bede, and op. imp. draw attention to the lesson that both masters and servants ought to learn from this passage: the latter ought to endear themselves to their employers by their fidelity, and the former ought to love and care for their domestic dependents.

Mat 8:7  And Jesus saith to him: I will come and heal him.

c. The answer of Jesus, Our Lord manifests here again the greatest readiness to comply with the centurion’s request. Commentators love to compare his readiness here with his reluctance in the case of the ruler’s son [cf. Jn 4:47 f.]. Chrysostom, Euthymius also draw attention to the manner in which our Lord knows how to elicit the sentiments of the profoundest humility from both the centurion, and from the Gentile woman of whom Mk 7:26 f. speaks.

Mat 8:8  And the centurion, making answer, said: Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed.
Mat 8:9  For I also am a man subject to authority, having under me soldiers; and I say to this, Go, and he goeth, and to another Come, and he cometh, and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

d. The centurion’s answer. The Gentile soldier shows in his words the greatest humility joined with the utmost respect and reverence for the power and person of our Lord. It is through humility that he seeks to avoid our Lord’s entrance into his house, and it is through his lively faith in the power of Jesus that he asks him to cure the servant by the efficacy of his word. Not content with the bare petition, the centurion proves “a minori ad maius” that our Lord can effect miraculous cures by his mere words: the whole domain of nature is under the power of Jesus, as the centurion’s soldiers and servants are under his authority. No doubt, he had heard of many miracles of our Lord, of the restoration of the ruler’s son [Jn 4:50], of the exorcism in the synagogue [Lk 4:38], of the cure of Peter’s mother-in-law and the subsequent miracles [Lk 4:39-41]; but without a special assistance of God’s grace the centurion could never have attained to the grandeur of his faith. How abject and culpable is the unbelief of the scribes and Pharisees in the light of the faith of this devout Gentile.

Mat 8:10  And Jesus hearing this, marvelled; and said to them that followed him. Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel.
Mat 8:11  And I say to you that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven:

e. The reply of Jesus. Maldonado is of opinion that Jesus marvelled only externally, i. e. that he merely spoke in a manner in which men filled with admiration are wont to speak, in order to excite real admiration in others. But Thomas, Cajetan Suarez, Baronius Salmeron, Lapide, etc. maintain that Jesus marvelled internally at the great faith of the centurion. His foreknowledge of this fact impeded his admiration no more than the foreknowledge of an eclipse prevents the admiration of the astronomer. The author of op. imp. believes Jesus praises the centurion’s faith only proportionately, i. e. the little faith of the Gentile appeared greater than the ordinary faith of the Jews, just as a little knowledge in a child appears more admirable than greater knowledge in an adult. This view appears to do violence to the plain words of our Lord [cf. Salmeron, Jansenius, Baronius]. The text taken literally limits itself to the public life of Jesus [Cajetan, Lapide, Baronius], and taken in its concrete surrounding applies to those that had come to our Lord in order to obtain miraculous favors [Tostus, Baronius]. There is no need, therefore, of comparing the centurion’s faith with that of the patriarchs, of the apostles, and of our Blessed Lady. The marvellous faith of the Gentile reminds our Lord of the call of the Gentiles and the rejection of the Jews: the former he represents as coming from the east and the west, and as sitting at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The joys of the table were used as a figure of the heavenly joys in the Old Testament [Ps 36:9Isa 25:6], in the language of the Pharisees [Lk 14:15], and in the words of our Lord himself [Mt 22:1-14Lk 14:16-24; cf. Rev 19:9]. Since the covenant between God and the patriarchs was not intended for this life only, but for the next also, the latter are represented as presiding at the feast of our heavenly blessedness. According to the Oriental conception both physical and moral appurtenances are respectively child and parent, or father and son. In this sense the Jews are the children of the kingdom [cf. Rom 11:21]. The festive hall was brightly illumined among the ancients [cf. 1 Thess 5:7], so that those cast out into the exterior darkness could not partake of the festal joys.  Again, since the light is the symbol of glory and happiness, the exclusion from the light symbolizes the privation of all happiness. It is under these two aspects that the rejected children of the kingdom are said to be thrown into exterior darkness, or to suffer the “pain of loss.” Cf. Maldonado, Lapide, Calmet. The “pain of sense “ is expressed by “weeping and gnashing of teeth”: the former shows the pain, the latter the despair. Maldonado[cf. Jerome] understands the expression literally, but Tostus, Cajetan, Jansenius, Lapide, are content with its general metaphorical purport showing the truth of the pain of sense. Jerome, Bede, Paschasius, Thomas, Jansenius, see in these words a proof for the resurrection of the body. Finally, Jesus addresses the centurion with the consoling word “go”; its full meaning may be learned by comparing it with Judges 11:381 Kings 17:87; 2 Kings 14:8. The faith of the centurion becomes the measure of our Lord’s benefits, not only as to their substance, but also as to their manner of being conferred [cf. James 1:6]. The servant was healed instantly.

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