Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

READINGS AND OFFICE:

Readings From the NABRE. Official translation used in USA.

Readings From the NJB. Scroll down slightly. Official translation in most English speaking countries.

Today’s Divine Office.

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING: Deut 4:32-34, 39-40

Navarre Bible Commentary on Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40.

Haydock Bible Commentary.

Word-Sunday Notes on Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40.

Homilist’s Catechism on Deuteronomy 4:32-34, 39-40.

Pending: My Notes on Deut 4:32-34, 39-40.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Ps 33:4-5, 6, 9, 18-19, 20, 22.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 33.

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 33.

Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 33.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 33.

Pope John Paul II’s Commentary on Psalm 33.

Word-Sunday Notes on Psalm 33.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: Romans 8:14-17.

Fr. Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 8:14-17.

Father Callan’s Commentary on Romans 8:14-17. On 14-30.

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 8:14-17. On 14-23.

Haydock Commentary on Romans 8:14-17. On 12-17.

Word-Sunday Notes on Romans 8:14-17.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Romans 8:14-17.

Homilist’s Catechism on Romans 8:14-17.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: Matthew 28:16-20.

Maldonado’s Commentary on Matthew 28:16-20.

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

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

Haydock Bible Commentary on Matthew 28:16-20.

Word-Sunday Notes on Matthew 28:16-20.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Matthew 28:16-20.

Homilist’s Catechism on Matthew 28:16-20.

GENERAL RESOURCES: Notes, blog posts, podcasts, etc., on all the readings. Resources for individual readings further below.

The Sacred Page Blog. Catholic biblical scholar Dr. John Bergsma give his reflection on the readings.

St Martha’s Parish Bible Study Podcast.

St Charles Borromeo Parish Bible Study. Pdf document.

HOMILIES AND HOMILY NOTES ON THE GOSPEL READING:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Haydock Commentary on Romans 8:12-17

Rom 8:12  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh.
Rom 8:13  For if you live according to the flesh, you shall die: but if by the Spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.
Rom 8:14  For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Rom 8:14  They are the sons of God, by this new grace of adoption, by which also they call God, Abba; that is to say, Father, whereas under the former law of Moses, God rather governed his people by fear; there were his servants, we are his sons; and if sons, also the heirs of God, with the promise of an eternal inheritance in his kingdom, provided we suffer for Christ’s sake, as he suffered for us.  And surely the short sufferings in this world have no proportion, nor can be put in balance with the future endless glory, which is promised and prepared for us in heaven. (Witham) — Abba is a Syriac word, which signifies my father.  This is properly the word of free and noble children; for amongst the Hebrews, the children of slaves were not allowed to cal their fathers Abba, nor their mothers Imma.  This kind of expression was very rarely used under the old law.  The Hebrews called the Almighty their Lord, their God, their Salvation, their King, their Protector, their Glory, &c. but seldom their father, scarcely ever, except in the case of Solomon, who was a particular figure of the Messias, the true Son of God.  On this account God said to him: “He shall call me Father and God; and I will be to him a Father, and will treat as my first-born.”  But it is the property of the Christian to call the Almighty his Father with confidence indeed, yet tempered with a filial awe; remembering at the same time that he is his judge. (Calmet) — Mat. Polus says that not any one of the just dared to call God, my Father, before the coming of Christ, as this favour was reserved for the time of the gospel. (In this location.) (Haydock) — St. John Chrysostom[1] takes notice, that God was also called the Father of the Israelites, and they his children, in the Old Testament, when God rather governed his people by fear of punishments, and promises of temporal blessings, but not in that particular manner as in the new law. (Witham) — The Spirit himself, &c.  By the inward motions of divine love, and the peace of conscience, which the children of God experience, they have a kind of testimony of God’s favour; by which they are much strengthened in the hope of their justification and salvation; but yet not so as to pretend to an absolute assurance, which is not usually granted in this mortal life: during which we are taught to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians ii. 12.)  And that he who thinketh himself to stand, must take heed lest he fall. (1 Corinthians x. 12.)  See also Romans xi. 20, 21, 22. (Challoner) — He hath given to us, says St. John, (chap. i. 12.) the power, or dignity, of being the sons of God.  Christ taught us to pray, and to begin our prayers with our Father, &c. (Matthew vi. 9.) (Witham)

Rom 8:15  For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear: but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father).

Abba (Pater) St. John Chrysostom, hom. xiv. p. 115. Greek: oude euchomenous outos, &c.

St John Chrysostom citation: “The Spirit Itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”  For it is not from the language merely, he says, that I make my assertion, but from the cause out of which the language has its birth; since it is from the Spirit suggesting it that we so speak. And this in another passage he has put into plainer words, thus: “God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba Father.” (Ga 4,6). And what is that, “Spirit beareth witness with spirit?” The Comforter, he means, with that Gift, which is given unto us. For it is not of the Gift alone that it is the voice, but of the Comforter also who gave the Gift, He Himself having taught us through the Gift so to speak. But when the “Spirit beareth witness” what farther place for doubtfulness? For if it were a man, or angel, or archangel, or any other such power that promised this, then there might be reason in some doubting. But when it is the Highest Essence that bestoweth this Gift, and “beareth witness” by the very words He bade us use in prayer, who would doubt any more of our dignity? For not even when the Emperor elects any one, and proclaims in all men’s hearing the honor done him, does anybody venture to gainsay.

Rom 8:16  For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God.
Rom 8:17  And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.

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Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Romans 8:14-23

This post contains Fr. MacEvilly’s analysis of Romans 8 followed by his commentary on the reading (Rom 8:14-23). I’ve also included the Bishop’s paraphrase of the verses in purple text.

SUMMARY ANALYSIS OF ROMANS 8

In this chapter, after inferring from the foregoing that the baptized have nothing deserving of damnation, except so far as they consent to the motions of concupiscence (verse 1), the Apostle tells us that we are rescued from the dominion of concupiscence by the grace of the Gospel (2, 3, 4.) He shows the different motions and effects of the flesh and of the spirit (4–9). He exhorts us to live according to the spirit, and points out the spiritual and eternal life of both soul and body, resulting from such a course (9–11). He next exhorts us to follow the dictates of the spirit, and to mortify the deeds of the flesh, in order to escape death and obtain life (12, 13)—to act up to our calling as sons of God, and to conform to the spirit of charity and love, which we received, unlike to that of the Jews of old, and by thus acting as sons of God, to secure the Heavenly inheritance, which we shall certainly obtain, on condition, however, of suffering (13–17). Lest this condition should dishearten them, he points out the greatness of God’s inheritance,—so great indeed is it, that he personifies inanimate creatures, and represents them as groaning for this glorious consummation. The very Christians themselves, although in the infancy of the Church, they received the sweet pledge of future glory in the choice gifts of the Holy Ghost, were sighing for it (17–24). The Holy Ghost, besides the assurance he gave them of being sons of God, was also relieving their necessities and prompting them to pray with ineffable ardour of spirit (26, 27). The Apostle encourages them to patient suffering by pointing out to them that they were predestined for these sufferings as the means of their sanctification and future glorification (28–30), and, finally, he excites them to confidence in God (31–38).

Rom 8:14  For whosoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

For, whosoever are efficaciously moved by the Holy Ghost, and under his influence mortify the flesh and live a spiritual life, they are truly sons of God, and will, therefore, enjoy the inheritance of life eternal.

This is a proof of the foregoing, viz., that by mortifying the deeds of the flesh “they shall live;” because, by acting up to the inspirations of the Holy Ghost, they become “sons of God,” and as “sons of God,” they are his “heirs” (verse 17), i.e., they shall enjoy the never-ending inheritance of eternal life. Therefore, “they shall live” (verse 13). The Apostle supposes them to be baptized, as a condition of this divine filiation. The word “led,” implies only moral impulse, which by our own free will we might resist; it involves no loss of human liberty; for, in the preceding the Apostle supposes human liberty, when he speaks of “mortifying the deeds of the flesh,” &c. The same is observable, Phil. 11, 12, 13, where, after speaking of the operation of God, he tells them to “work out their salvation,” &c.

Rom 8:15  For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear: but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father).

That you are the sons of God is clear from the spirit you received in baptism, for you have not received under the new dispensation, as the Jews did in the promulgation of the old on Sinai, the spirit of servitude, to inspire you with fear, but you have received the spirit of charity and love adopting you as sons, under the influence of which, you freely and confidently call on God, or the entire Blessed Trinity, as the common Father of all the faithful, both Jews and Gentiles.

In this verse, he shows from the spirit they received that they are sons of God; or, perhaps, in it is conveyed an additional motive for them to walk according to the spirit, viz., in order to correspond with the spirit they received. “You have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear” (in Greek, εἴς φόβον, unto fear). He evidently refers to the spirit of fear which the Jews received on Sinai, and which was given them as a gift of the Holy Ghost, in order to deter them from violating God’s commandments. Ut probaret vos, venit Deus, et ut terror illius esset in vobis.—Exodus, 20. Although the fear proceeded from the Holy Ghost, the servility of the fear came from themselves. The graces whereby the Jews of old were justified, belonged not to the Old Law as such, but to the New Covenant. “But you have received the spirit of the adoption of sons.” He contrasts this latter gift of the Holy Ghost with the former gift, which it far excelled. “The spirit of adoption of sons,” the spirit of love, the sanctifying grace of the Holy Ghost, by which we are become the adopted sons of God, and under the influence of which we confidently and freely call God Father. “Whereby we cry Abba (Father).” The more probable reason why the Apostle repeats the word “Father,” in Hebrew, “Abba,” and in Greek πατηρ, is to show that God is the common Father of all the believers, whether Jews, in whose language “Abba” means “Father;” or Gentiles, who call him πατηρ.

Rom 8:16  For the Spirit himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God.

And this same spirit of God, whom we have received, bears testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God.

This same spirit, by whose influence “we cry out Abba, &c.,” by this filial affection whereby he inspires us to utter such a cry, “testifies together with our spirit,” (this is the meaning of the Greek word συμμαρτυρει), in other words, confirms the testimony of our spirit, “that we are sons of God.” The compound verb in the Greek may simply mean, to testify, as in Paraphrase. Verses 15, 16 are to be read within a parenthesis, and verse 17 immediately connected with verse 14. For in verse 15 there is given, incidentally, one proof of verse 14, viz., calling God Father; and in verse 16 another, viz., the testimony of the Holy Ghost.

OBJECTION.—Does it not follow, then, that each man is absolutely certain of his salvation?

RESP.—By no means. If we give the words, “giveth testimony,” the full meaning of the compound Greek word, συμμαρτυρει; in Latin, contestatur, all that would follow is, that the Holy Ghost confirms our own testimony, that we are the sons of God, by inspiring us to repeat the prayer in which we address God as our Father. This would certainly convey no absolute certainly of faith on the subject; or, as the Council of Trent describes, “certitudo fidei, cui non potest subesse falsum.”—(SS. vi., ch. ix.) If the words be understood in a simple form, all that would follow is, that we arrive at a moral, or rather conjectural certainty from the signs which come from the Holy Ghost—viz., horror of sin, love of virtue, peace and tranquillity of conscience, &c. Besides, the Apostle does not say that the Holy Ghost tells every individual by a revelation, that he is the son of God. This would be opposed to the clear order of his Providence, in which “no one knows whether he be worthy of love or hatred,” and to the command, “to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.”

Rom 8:17  And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.

But, if we are the sons of God, we are therefore, his heirs, that is to say, we are heirs of God, as his sons, and co-heirs of Christ, as his brethren. It is on condition, however, that we suffer with him, and in the same spirit with him, that we shall be partners in his glory.

God has wished that his children should have, besides the title of inheritance, the title of merit also, to eternal life. “Yet so, if we suffer with him,” the very adoption on which the title of inheritance is founded, is the reward of merit. While infants can only have the title of inheritance, adults must have the twofold title of inheritance and merit.

Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that shall be revealed in us.

(Nor should the annexed condition of suffering dishearten or discourage us. The difficulty vanishes when we consider the magnitude of the reward and inheritance), for I am firmly persuaded, that the sufferings of the present time, viewed in themselves, bear no proportion whatever to the future glory and happiness which shall be revealed in us.

He stimulates them to submit to the painful condition of suffering, without which no one will enter the kingdom of God, by pointing out the immensity of the reward. If you regard the substance of the works and sufferings of this life, they bear no proportion whatever to the future glory which is to be their reward. But, if they be regarded as emanating from God’s grace, and if we take into consideration God’s liberal promise, attaching eternal life to them, there is some proportion; but which, still, is neither exact nor adequate; the one being temporal, the other, eternal. It is the substance of the sufferings and their duration, that the Apostle here compares with the future glory, as in 2 Cor 4. “For, that which is at present momentary and light—worketh for us an eternal weight of glory.”

Rom 8:19  For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the revelation of the sons of God.

So great is this future glory of the sons of God, that inanimate creatures themselves are anxiously yearning and earnestly looking forward to its manifestation, as they are to be sharers in it, in a certain way.

The Apostle employs a bold figure of speech, prosopopœia, to convey to us an idea of the magnitude of the bliss in store for the sons of God. He represents inanimate creatures themselves anxiously looking out for the manifestation of the glory of the sons of God. The Greek word for “creation,” κτισις (ktiseos), is taken in Scripture to denote inanimate nature (Rom. 1:25), and it is here distinguished from rational beings, verse 23.

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to vanity: not willingly, but by reason of him that made it subject, in hope.

For, inanimate nature is rendered subject to corruption and decay, notwithstanding the natural tendency of everything to attain its full perfection, in obedience to the will of him, who, in punishment of original sin, subjected it to corruption, but only for a time, with a hope, however, to which it anxiously looks,

For, inanimate creation was rendered subject to corruption and mutability, in punishment of the sin of man, for whose service it was destined; “not willingly,” i.e., notwithstanding the tendency of everything to attain its natural perfection, or, from no inherent defect of its own. “But by reason of him that made it subject,” i.e., by the ordination of God, who subjected it to vanity, i.e., to corruption and change, in punishment of the sin of man, at whose fall everything destined for his use became deteriorated. “In hope,” the object of the hope is expressed next verse.

Rom 8:21  Because the creature also itself shall be delivered from the servitude of corruption, into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.

Of being emancipated from the slavery of corruption, and of being asserted into the glorious liberty suited to the glorified state of the sons of God, to whose service it will administer.

This is the object of the hope—viz., that it shall be rescued from the corruption in which it now is, serving sinful and mortal man, and be transferred to a state of incorruption suited to the glorious liberty of the sons of God, for whose service the “new heavens and the new earth in which justice dwells,” (2 Peter, 3:13), are destined.

Rom 8:22  For we know that every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain, even till now.

When it shall be freed from these pangs and painful throes, which we know it has been suffering from creation to the present moment, in the hope of this happy and blessed deliverance.

He expresses, in the strongest form, the desire of inanimate nature to be rescued from corruption, by comparing it with the anxious desire, for a happy delivery, of a woman enduring the painful throes of childbirth.

Rom 8:23  And not only it, but ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit: even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption of the sons of God, the redemption of our body.

And not only do inanimate creatures thus groan, but even we Christians, who have received the first fruits of the Holy Ghost, which are a sure earnest of our being on a future day glorified, groan within ourselves, anxiously expecting the consummation of our adoption as sons of God, when this body of sin and death shall be endowed with glorious immortality.

“But ourselves also,” is referred by some to the Apostle. It more probably, however, has reference to all Christians in the days of the Apostle. “Who have the first fruits of the spirit,” i.e., who have received the gifts of the Holy Ghost, sanctifying grace, faith, hope, &c., and the other gifts which were abundantly conferred in the primitive Church, and which were so many pledges of future glory. “Waiting for the adoption of the sons of God,” i.e., their perfect, consummate adoption, by receiving the glorious inheritance. We have already received the imperfect, incomplete adoption by grace. “The redemption of our body.” This is the perfect state of our adoption in our resurrection and glorification. “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”—(Rom 7:24).

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Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on Romans 8:14-17

14. For whoever are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
15. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear: but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, in which we cry, Abba (Father)
.

14. Those who have the Spirit of God dwelling within then are acted on, guided, led, and directed, by that Spirit. Christ was led by the Spirit into the desert, and the devil asked him if he was the Son of God (Matt 4:1, 3). The Ethiopic version reads: Whoever do those things which belong to the Spirit of God: that is, as in the last verse, mortify the deeds of the flesh . These are truly and really sons of God, having a heavenly nature. On a certain day the sons of God came to stand before the Lord, Job 1:6. We cannot, says Saint Chrysostom, dispose of our own lives, but should give ourselves up, soul and body, to the guidance of the Spirit of God, our helmsman, and our charioteer. But this control and guidance of the Spirit of God is not coercive or forcible. It implies the motion and, in a passive sense, inclination of our will, such as does not exclude freedom of action. To be led by the Spirit of God is to consent to his leading, and give it our voluntary obedience, confident that it must lead us to increase of grace and justice, and to life eternal.

15. You have not received the spirit of bondage again. Again, because the spirit of the law of Moses was a spirit of servitude and fear. Holy men under the old law were sons of God only in an imperfect manner, and in a lesser degree, like slaves, differing in nothing from servants, Gal 4:1. What you have received is the spirit of sonship or adoption, entitling you to say with Christ, and with all confidence, Our Father. As the divine Word gave himself to Christ, the Man, so that the Man named Christ, is the Son of God: so in proportion the Holy Spirit is given us in Baptism in such way as to make us Sons of God. Cornel, a Lap. in loc.

The Apostle contrasts the spirit of bondage not with the spirit of freedom, but the spirit of adoption; not merely free, but free as sons.

He does not say, we say Abba, but we cry; boldly, loudly, confidently, publicly. Instructed by holy precepts, and formed by divine institution, we venture to say, OurFather. Abba is the Hebrew or Syriac word for father, and to it he joins the Greek word with the same meaning, to signify that Jews and Gentiles are together called to the adoption of the sons of God. Saint Augustine, lib. de Spiritu et litcra, 32 de Cons. Evan. 4.

It is also possible that Saint Paul refers to the prayer of our Lord in the garden, Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; as an encouragement to address him by the same title, with the same confidence in his affection, under similar circumstances of trouble or despondency.

Before the coming of Christ the people of God were undoubtedly entitled in a certain sense to speak of God as their father, but only in a metaphorical sense, and on the ground of creation. “Now, Lord, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our Maker” (Isa 64:8. In some translations, 64:7). This is clearly applicable to all the race of men. And on the ground of providence: “Thy Providence, Father, governs the world” (Wis 14:3). But not on the ground and by right of adoption, an honour reserved for those who are sons of God in Christ, and which is expressed in the formula of the Apostle, Abba, Father.

16. For the Spirit itself gives testimony to our spirit, that we are sons of God.
17. And if sons, also heirs: heirs indeed of God, and co-heirs with Christ: if we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified with him
.

16. The Spirit himself gives testimony. The cry of our hearts, inasmuch as it proceeds from the Spirit of God, is a testimony of our divine adoption. The giving to us the Spirit, is itself a testimony of this; for he is the Spirit of the Son, and God gives the Spirit of his Son to those only whom he would have for sons. The Apostle may possibly also include a reference in his mind to exterior testimonies, as in miracle or prophecy, more frequent in his days than in ours. Horror of sin, love of God, readiness to obey his commands, and to follow the motions of the Holy Spirit, peace and tranquility of conscience, troubled by no grave and conscious sin, are interior testimonies of the Spirit of God, with our spirit, that we are sons of God. We should not, however, with the heretics, come to regard this interior testimony as certain with the certitude of faith. Such testimony, in so far as it proceeds from the Holy Spirit, is certain and infallible in itself, but as presented to our consciousness it is certain only conjecturally and morally, because we are not sure whether it proceeds from the Holy Spirit, or from an evil spirit, transfiguring himself into an angel of light.

17. If sons, also heirs. God does not die, and his inheritance is not a succession. He is himself the inheritance. Heirs of God. The Lord is the portion of my inheritance, Ps 15:5. To the enjoyment of this inheritance, his adopted sons are admitted, in the Beatific Vision. An inheritance not diminished by the number of the sons, or reduced by division among many claimants, says St. Anselm.

Co-heirs with Christ, if we suffer with him. We are heirs of a living God, co-heirs with a man who died. Sharing his death, on our own cross, we shall be glorified with him in his inheritance. Without participation of the cross, there is no participation of glory; but the expectation of the promised beatitude is sure and certain, where there is participation in the Passion of the Lord. St. Leo, Serm., 9 de Quad.

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Our Facebook Page Is No More

For a whole host of reasons: data harvesting, poor security, political and moral double standards, mindless censorship, etc., etc., etc.

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Easter Tuesday, April 3 2018~The Mass Readings and Thoughts from Some of the Fathers and Saints of the Church

First Reading       Acts 2:36–41
Response       Psalm 33:5b
Psalm       Psalm 33:4–5, 18–20, 22
Gospel Acclamation       Psalm 118:24
Gospel       John 20:11–18

St John Chrysostom on Acts 2:37~DO you see what a great thing gentleness is? More than any vehemence, it pricks our hearts, inflicts a keener wound. For as in the case of bodies which have become callous, the man that strikes upon them does not affect the sense so powerfully, but if he first mollify them and make them tender, then he pierces them effectually; so in this instance also, it is necessary first to mollify. But that which softens, is not wrath, not vehement accusation, not personal abuse; it is gentleness. The former indeed rather aggravate the callousness, this last alone removes it. If then you are desirous to reprove any delinquent, approach him with all possible mildness. For see here; he gently reminds them of the outrages they have committed, adding no comment; he declares the gift of God, he goes on to speak of the grace which bore testimony to the event, and so draws out his discourse to a still greater length. So they stood in awe of the gentleness of Peter, in that he, speaking to men who had crucified his Master, and breathed murder against himself and his companions, discoursed to them in the character of an affectionate father and teacher. Not merely were they persuaded; they even condemned themselves, they came to a sense of their past behavior.

St Thomas Aquinas on Psalm 33:5~regarding which, he makes two points. First, he indicates God’s sentiment when he says the Lord ‘loveth’, then he reveals this with a sign, ‘The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord’ (Psalm 32:5). God’s mercy and justice are chief among the reasons to rejoice in the Lord: ‘Mercy and truth preserve the king’ (Proverbs 20:28). For through justice, the subjects are defended. Remove justice and there will be neither security nor joy. Again, without mercy, all persons fear and do not love. He makes this plain when he says ‘He loveth mercy and judgment’ (Psalm 32:5). For he loves in his very self, because in his work are these: ‘All the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth’ (Psalm 24:10). Likewise, he loves each in itself: ‘I will shew thee, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requireth of thee: Verily to do judgment, and to love mercy’ (Micah 6:8). And thus he says ‘rejoice’, because truly God ‘loveth mercy,’ for ‘the earth is full of the mercy of the Lord’ (Psalm 32:5). Know this is manifest through a sign. For all plenitude of the earth proceeds from the mercy of God, since the earth is replete not with temporal but rather with spiritual goods, more so since the coming of Christ: ‘And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,’ etc. (Acts 2:4). For all these exist by the mercy of God: ‘It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy’ (Romans 9:16). But he says ‘the earth,’ not heaven, because in heaven there is no suffering and thus no need for mercy. But on earth where for man there is much suffering, there is need in abundance for mercy.

St Robert Bellarmine on Psalm 33:5~The sanctity of the Lord in respect of words and actions, arises from his sanctity of will or of purpose, for “He loveth mercy and judgment; that means, he wishes first to give us the gifts of his grace, and then, according to the use we have made of them, to reward, or to punish us; and thus, all the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth. In the first part of this verse we are informed of the goodness of God, arising from his mercy and justice; in the second, we are told that his mercy exceeds his justice, and is, as we have it in Psalm 118, “above all his works;” for to his mercy belongs the removal of every defeat and misery; and, as there are no created things that do not suffer some defect, there is nothing that does not need the mercy of God. Corruptible things of this world, however, suffer more and greater defects than the incorruptible things, that do not belong to this world; so that, when compared to them, they seem to have no defects; therefore, the prophet says, “The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord;” for by the earth he means, all corruptible things, for the earth is the dwelling place, not only of all mankind, all animals and plants, but also of birds and fishes; for though the former fly through the air, and the latter “perambulate the paths of the sea,” yet, both one and the other, rest on the earth. Now all corruptible things need the manifold mercy of God, to create, uphold, move, nourish, and repair them; but man, in addition, needs his mercy to go before him, to accompany him, to follow him, to forgive his sins, to arm, direct, and protect him, against the devil; and, therefore, he most justly says, “The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord.” We are to consider here also, that the perfect mercy that can remove all defects, belongs to God alone, for no one, having any defect whatever, can remove those of others, and thus, God is a pure, everlasting, all powerful, impersonation of infinite perfection; with justice, then, doth the Church sing, “O God whose province it is to have mercy.”

St Gregory Nanzianzen on John 20:11, 15, 17 18 (see the red text)~If you are a Simon of Cyrene,(Mk 15:21) take up the Cross and follow. If you are crucified with Him as a robber (Lk 23:42), acknowledge God as a penitent robber. If even He was numbered among the transgressors (Isa 53:12) for you and your sin, do you become law-abiding for His sake. Worship Him Who was hanged for you, even if you yourself are hanging; make some gain even from your wickedness; purchase salvation by your death; enter with Jesus into Paradise (Lk 23:43), so that you may learn from what you have fallen (Rev 2:5) Contemplate the glories that are there; let the murderer die outside with his blasphemies; and if you be a Joseph of Arimathaea (Lk 3:52), beg the Body from him that crucified Him, make thine own that which cleanses the world ( Jn 1:7). If you be a Nicodemus, the worshipper of God by night, bury Him with spices (Jn 19:39). If you be a Mary, or another Mary, or a Salome, or a Joanna, weep in the early morning. Be first to see the stone taken away (Jn 20:11), and perhaps you will see the Angels and Jesus Himself. Say something; hear His Voice. If He say to you, Touch Me not (Jn 21:17), stand afar off; reverence the Word, but grieve not; for He knoweth those to whom He appeareth first. Keep the feast of the Resurrection; come to the aid of Eve who was first to fall, of Her who first embraced the Christ, and made Him known to the disciples. Be a Peter or a John; hasten to the Sepulchre, running together, running against one another, vying in the noble race (Jn 20:3-4). And even if you be beaten in speed, win the victory of zeal; not Looking into the tomb, but Going in. And if, like a Thomas, you were left out when the disciples were assembled to whom Christ shews Himself, when you do see Him be not faithless (Jn 20:25); and if you do not believe, then believe those who tell you; and if you cannot believe them either, then have confidence in the print of the nails. If He descend into Hell (1 Pt 3:19), descend with Him. Learn to know the mysteries of Christ there also, what is the providential purpose of the twofold descent, to save all men absolutely by His manifestation, or there too only them that believe.

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The Readings for Easter Monday and Some Thoughts from the Fathers of the Church

First Reading       Acts 2:14, 22–33
Response       Psalm 16:1
Psalm       Psalm 16:1–2a, 5, 7–11
Gospel Acclamation       Psalm 118:24
Gospel       Matthew 28:8–15

St John Chrysostom: What is meant by, “with the eleven?” They expressed themselves through one common voice, and he was the mouth of all. The eleven stood by as witnesses to what he said. “He lifted up his voice,” it is said. That is, he spoke with great confidence, that they might perceive the grace of the Spirit. He who had not endured the questioning of a poor girl, now in the midst of the people, all breathing murder, discourses with such confidence, that this very thing becomes an unquestionable proof of the Resurrection: in the midst of men who could deride and make a joke of such things as these! What effrontery, think you, must go to that! what impiety, what shamelessness!5 For wherever the Holy Spirit is present, He makes men of gold out of men of clay. Look, I pray you, at Peter now: examine well that timid one, and devoid of understanding; as Christ said, “Are ye also yet without understanding?” (Matt. 15:16) the man, who after that marvellous confession was called “Satan.” (Matt. 16:23.) Consider also the unanimity of the Apostles. They themselves ceded to him the office of speaking; for it was not necessary that all should speak. “And he lifted up his voice,” and spoke out to them with great boldness. Such a thing it is to be a spiritual man! To read the entire homily go here.

St Augustine on Psalm 16:5 “The Lord is the portion of my inheritance, and of My cup” (ver. 5). For together with Me they shall possess the inheritance, the Lord Himself. Let others choose for themselves portions, earthly and temporal, to enjoy: the portion of the Saints is the Lord eternal. Let others drink of deadly pleasures, the portion of My cup is the Lord. In that I say, “Mine,” I include the Church: for where the Head is, there is the body also. For into the inheritance will I gather together their assemblies, and by the inebriation of the cup I will forget their old names. “Thou it is  that will restore my inheritance to me:” that to these too, whom I free, may be known “the glory which I had with thee, before the world was” (Jn 17:5) For Thou wilt not restore to Me that which I never lost, but Thou wilt restore to these, who have lost it, the knowledge of that glory: in whom because I am, Thou wilt restore to Me. See here for the entire commentary. For more commentaries on Psalm 16 see here.

St John Chrysostom on Matt 28:15: See how all are corrupted; Pilate persuaded; the people stirred up; the soldiers bribed; as it follows, And they look the money, and did as they were instructed. If money prevailed with a disciple so far as to make him become the betrayer of his Master, what wonder that the soldiers are overcome by it. Quoted in St Thomas Aquinas Catena Aurea on Matt 28:8-15. See here.

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Commentaries for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

READINGS AND OFFICE:

COMMENTARIES ON THE FIRST READING: Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24-25.

My Notes on Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24-25.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25.

Word -Sunday Notes on Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25.

COMMENTARIES ON THE RESPONSORIAL: Psalm 41:3, 4-5, 13-14.

St Augustine on Psalm 41.

Word-Sunday Notes on Psalm 41.

Haydock Bible Commentary on Psalm 41 (40).

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: 2 Corinthians 1:18-22.

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

Haydock Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:18-22.

Confraternity Commentary on 2 Corinthians 1:18-22.

Word-Sunday Notes on 2 Corinthians 1:18-22.

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

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL READING: Mark 2:1-12.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 2:1-12.

Haydock Commentary on Mark 2:1-12.

Confraternity Commentary on Mark 2:1-12.

Word-Sunday Notes on Mark 2:1-12.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Mark 2:1-12.

PODCASTS:

St Martha’s Scripture Study Podcast. Looks at all the readings.

St Irenaeus Ministries Study on 2 Corinthians 1:18-22. Introduction and study of chapter 1.

EWTN Study of Mark 2:1-12. On 1:16-2:10.

 

 

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

Text in red are my additions.

2Co 1:18  But God is faithful: for our preaching which was to you, was not, It is, and It is not.

I call the true God to witness, who is a faithful and true witness, that in teaching you I did not deceive you, and, therefore, that it was not my intention to fail you when I promised to come to you. For background one should read verses 12-17 of this chapter. One can also profitably consult these footnotes to the NABRE, beginning with the one one the entire section, 1:12-2:13, followed by the notes on 1:1:12-14…1:15… 1:17… and 1:18-22.

This teaches the preacher to beware of lightness and fickleness of life, lest the people infer from it that the truth which he preaches is equally unfixed and uncertain.

2Co 1:19  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, by me and Sylvanus and Timothy, was not: It is (yes) and It is not (no). But, It is (yes), was in him. I’ve inserted yes and no into the text to represent common renderings of modern translations.

My preaching and teaching about Christ was not variable, inconstant, and contradictory, but was a constant, uniform statement, for I always said and taught the same of Christ.

1 The it is, it is (i.e., the twofold use of “yes”) here, and the saying in S. Matt 5:37, have a threefold signification: (1.) constant asseveration, as opposed to inconstancy and deceit; (2.) truth or reality, as opposed to falsity or unreality; (3.) simple affirmation, as opposed to an oath. Cf. S. James 5:12.

2Co 1:20  For all the promises of God are in him, It is. Therefore also by him, amen to God, unto our glory.

All the promises of God in the Old Testament relating to the Messiah were constant and true, and have been fulfilled in Him.

Amen to God.  “And therefore we say, Amen” is the Latin rendering; that is, we affirm that those promises were true. So Chrysostom and Ambrose. For further notes on “Amen,” see 1 Cor 14:16.

Add to this that Amen is usually an adverb denoting truly, firmly, faithfully, and thence came to be the name of the abstract qualities of truth, firmness, and faithfulness. Cf. Isa 65:16; Jer 11:5; Isa 25:1; Rev 3:14, Rev 7:12. The meaning, therefore, here is: Through Him, Christ, the Amen, i.e., truth, faithfulness, and constancy, we give glory to God, saying: All that God promised concerning Christ is Amen, i.e., most true, and has been most truly fulfilled by God

2Co 1:21  Now he that confirmeth us with you in Christ and that hath anointed us, is God: The rest of verse 21 is continued/commented on further below.

Now he that confirmeth us. Some think that this is an ellipse, and we must understand the meaning to be, He which confrimeth us prevented, the execution of my purpose. But it is far better to refer these words, as others do, to what immediately precedes them. The promises of God have been fulfilled in Christ; but He who by His power and authority fulfils them is God Himself: as He promised, so in fact does He confirm us, anoint us, and seal us in Christ. In the third place, it would not be amiss to refer these words to what was said in ver. 18, “Our word toward you was not it is and it is not.” In other words—I am not fickle and inconstant in my speech, my preaching, and promises. It is God who gives me this constancy, and therefore let no one think that I am arrogant enough to ascribe it to my own strength and fortitude, since I profess that I have it, not from myself but from God. As God in Himself and in His promises is yea, that is, is ever constant, firm, and unchangeable, so does He strengthen us, and make us firm and constant in the faith and in what we promise.

(Verse 21 continued with verse 22):
and that hath anointed us, is God:
 
2Co 1:22  Who also hath sealed us and given the pledge of the Spirit in our hearts.

This seal, says Calvin, is that special Divine faith by which each has a certain knowledge that he is predestinated. But this seal is uncertain and unreliable, and this faith is false and foolish presumption. For the Apostle, who had as great faith as possible, fears reprobation in 1 Cor 4:27. His Divine faith, therefore, did not give him certain assurance of his predestination. Moreover, he frequently impresses on all the faithful that they carefully work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, and by so doing he takes from them all ground for assurance of their salvation. Add to this that no one is certain that he has this Divine faith, or that he will always have it; nay, many have fallen away from this faith of Calvin’s who before believed with him that they were of the number of the predestinate.

I say, then, 1. that God hath sealed means, He has confirmed His promises as though He had stamped them with His seal, by giving, according to them, as a pledge of our future inheritance, His grace, by which He has sealed and anointed us to be the sons of God, separated from the sons of the devil. So Chrysostom, Theodoret, Œcumenius. This seal is altogether certainly known to God, but to us is only a matter of probability. This establishing, anointing and sealing take place through one and the self-same grace. Similarly, in Eph 1:13 he says that we have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.

2. This passage may be referred to baptism; for (a) in baptism God anointed us with the oil of His grace; (b) He gave the earnest of the Spirit in the testimony of a good conscience; (c) He sealed us with the ‘character’ of baptism. Cf. Bellarmine (de Effectu. Sacr. lib. ii. c. 20). The exposition of Theophylact and Chrysostom is to be referred to this. They say: “He hath anointed us and sealed us to be prophets, priests, and kings.” Cf. Chrysostom (Hom. 3) on these words, who points out how Christians who govern their passions are kings anointed by God.

3. It is the best explanation which refers these words to the sacrament of Confirmation, which, in olden times, was received by all the faithful to strengthen them against persecution. S. Paul has expressly distinguished, “He hath established us,” “He hath given the earnest of the Spirit,”. “hath anointed us,” “hath sealed us.” But these four things cannot be distinguished anywhere save in the sacrament of Confirmation.

These words point to four effects of the sacrament of Confirmation: (1.) The gift of faith, by which we are strengthened in Christ. Hence, as was said in ver. 18, S. Paul’s faithful preaching of Christ was firm and constant, because God had strengthened him for it in Christ by means of the sacrament of Confirmation, i.e., through Christ and His merits. (2.) The second effect is the grace of charity, with which we are abundantly anointed, as with a spiritual chrism. The Greek, indeed, for anointed is the very word whence come “Christ” and “Christians,” so that “Christians” are “the anointed ones.” Hence S. Augustine (Serm. 342) says: “The word ‘Christ’ is from chrism, i.e., anointing. Every Christian, therefore, is sanctified, in order that he may understand that he not only is made a partaker of the priestly and royal dignity, but also an adversary of the devil.” (3.) The third fruit is the earnest of the Spirit, which is the testimony of a good conscience given by the Holy Spirit, and which is as the earnest of the future glory promised, and to be given by the Holy Spirit. For the sense in which the Holy Spirit is the pledge or earnest, see notes to Eph 1:14. (4.) The fourth fruit is the seal and sign of the Cross on the forehead, signifying the “character” imprinted on the soul, by which we are sealed as His servants, or rather His soldiers and leaders. Cf. Ambrose (de his qui Mysteriis Initiantur, c. vii.), Suarez (pt. iii. qu. 63, art. 1 and 4).

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My Notes on Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25

Isa 43:18  Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.

The former things are the Exodus events, some of which were spoken of in the previous verses: Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow (verses 16-17, see Ex 14:21; Ex 15:4). These words concerning the Exodus are in the present, indicating that they have lasting value, but the people are bidden not to remember them. This is not intended to downplay their significance, rather, it is the people’s mournful remembrance of them that is what troubles the prophet. What God has done in the past he can still do, as verse 19 (see below) and verse 20 indicates: The beast of the field shall glorify me, the dragons and the ostriches: because I have given waters in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, to my chosen (Isa 43:20. See also Ex 17:1-7; Num 20:2-13).

Isa 43:19  Behold I do new things, and now they shall spring forth, verily you shall know them: I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Behold I do new things, and now they shall spring forth.  God is always acting, this is the sense of “behold I do new things.” He will act on behalf of the people, “and now they shall spring forth, verily you shall know them: I will make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert“. Besides the passages mentioned above, e.g., Ex 17:1-7; Num 20:2-13, see the following passages from Isaiah (Isa 35:6-10; Isa 40:3-4; Isa 41:18-19).

Isa 43:21  This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise.

This people I have formed for myself. His people have been specially chosen, created for a purpose (see Isa 43:1-7), and should not give themselves to idols (Isa 40:12-28). Because they are so special to himhe punishes them (see Amos 3:2; Heb 12:5-11), and also redeems them (Isa 43:14-15).

Isa 43:22  But thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob, neither hast thou laboured about me, O Israel.

Mere formalism in the cult without any interior dispositions is what brought trouble upon them to begin with (Isa 1:10-16. See also Amos 5:21-27; Micah 6:6-8).

Isa 43:24b  But thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thy iniquities.

Thou has made me to serve with thy sins. Their hollow worship, performed in the midst of their sins, effectively treat God as if he is a slave at their beck and call.

Isa 43:25  I am, I am he that blot out thy iniquities for my own sake, and I will not remember thy sins.

The gratuitous nature of God’s salvific activity is rooted in who God is.  If then any be in Christ a new creature, the old things are passed away. Behold all things are made new. But all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Christ and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. For God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to them their sins. And he hath placed in us the word of reconciliation. For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us, for Christ, we beseech you, be reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:17-20)

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