Saturday, 6 September 2014

Luke 20:1-18

Luke 20:

1 Et factum est in una dierum, docente illo populum in templo, et evangelizante, convenerunt principes sacerdotum, et scribæ cum senioribus, 2 et aiunt dicentes ad illum: Dic nobis in qua potestate hæc facis? aut quis est qui dedit tibi hanc potestatem? 3 Respondens autem Jesus, dixit ad illos: Interrogabo vos et ego unum verbum. Respondete mihi: 4 baptismus Joannis de cælo erat, an ex hominibus? 5 At illi cogitabant intra se, dicentes: Quia si dixerimus: De cælo, dicet: Quare ergo non credidistis illi? 6 Si autem dixerimus: Ex hominibus, plebs universa lapidabit nos: certi sunt enim Joannem prophetam esse. 7 Et responderunt se nescire unde esset. 8 Et Jesus ait illis: Neque ego dico vobis in qua potestate hæc facio.9 Cœpit autem dicere ad plebem parabolam hanc: Homo plantavit vineam, et locavit eam colonis: et ipse peregre fuit multis temporibus. 10 Et in tempore misit ad cultores servum, ut de fructu vineæ darent illi. Qui cæsum dimiserunt eum inanem. 11 Et addidit alterum servum mittere. Illi autem hunc quoque cædentes, et afficientes contumelia, dimiserunt inanem. 12 Et addidit tertium mittere: qui et illum vulnerantes ejecerunt. 13 Dixit autem dominus vineæ: Quid faciam? Mittam filium meum dilectum: forsitan, cum hunc viderint, verebuntur. 14 Quem cum vidissent coloni, cogitaverunt intra se, dicentes: Hic est hæres, occidamus illum, ut nostra fiat hæreditas. 15 Et ejectum illum extra vineam, occiderunt. Quid ergo faciet illis dominus vineæ? 16 veniet, et perdet colonos istos, et dabit vineam aliis. Quo audito, dixerunt illi: Absit. 17 Ille autem aspiciens eos, ait: Quid est ergo hoc quod scriptum est: Lapidem quem reprobaverunt ædificantes, hic factus est in caput anguli? 18 Omnis qui ceciderit super illum lapidem, conquassabitur: super quem autem ceciderit, comminuet illum.

And it came to pass, that on one of the days, as he was teaching the people in the temple, and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes, with the ancients, met together, [2] And spoke to him, saying: Tell us, by what authority dost thou these things? or, Who is he that hath given thee this authority? [3] And Jesus answering, said to them: I will also ask you one thing. Answer me: [4] The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? [5] But they thought within themselves, saying: If we shall say, From heaven: he will say: Why then did you not believe him?[6] But if we say, Of men, the whole people will stone us: for they are persuaded that John was a prophet. [7] And they answered, that they knew not whence it was. [8] And Jesus said to them: Neither do I tell thee by what authority I do these things. [9] And he began to speak to the people this parable: A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it out to husbandmen: and he was abroad for a long time. [10] And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard. Who, beating him, sent him away empty.[11] And again he sent another servant. But they beat him also, and treating him reproachfully, sent him away empty. [12] And again he sent the third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. [13] Then the lord of the vineyard said: What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be, when they see him, they will reverence him. [14] Whom when the husbandmen saw, they thought within themselves, saying: This is the heir, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. [15] So casting him out of the vineyard, they killed him. What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do to them? [16] He will come, and will destroy these husbandmen, and will give the vineyard to others. Which they hearing, said to him: God forbid. [17] But he looking on them, said: What is this then that is written, The stone, which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? [18] Whosoever shall fall upon that stone, shall be bruised: and upon whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 

Commentary (Catena Aurea)

...BEDE; Or when they say, By what authority do you these things? they doubt concerning the power of God, and wish it to be understood that of the devil He does this. Adding moreover, And who is he that gave you this authority. Most plainly do they deny the Son of God when they think that not by His own power but another's He does miracles. 

Now our Lord by a simple answer might have refuted such a calumny; but He wisely asks a question, that by their silence or their words they might condemn themselves. And he answered and said to them. I also will ask, &c. 

THEOPHYL. For that He might show that they had always rebelled against the Holy Spirit, and that resides Isaiah, whom they remembered not, they had refused to believe John whom they had lately seen; He now in his turn puts the question to them, proving that if so great a Prophet as John who was accounted greatest among them had been disbelieved when he testified of Him, the would in no wise believe Him, answering by what authority He did this.

EUSEB. His question concerning John the Baptist is not from whence was he sprung, but whence received he his law of baptism. But they feared not to shun the truth. For God sent John as a voice, crying, Prepare you the way of the Lord. But they dreaded to speak the truth, lest it should be said, Why did you not believe? and they scruple to blame the forerunner, not from fear of God, but of the people; as it follows, And they reasoned within themselves, saying, If we shall say, From hearer; he will say, Why then believed you him not. 

BEDE; As if He should say, He whom you confess bad his gift of prophecy from heaven, and gave testimony to Me. And you heard from him by what power I should do these things. It follows, But if we shall say, Of men; the whole people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet Therefore perceived they in whatever way they should answer they would fall into a trap, fearing the stoning, but much more the confession of the truth. 

And then it follows, And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was. 

Because they will not confess that which they knew, they were baffled, and the Lord would not tell them what He knew; as it follows, And Jesus said to them, Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. For there are two reasons especially why we should conceal the truth from those that ask; for example, when the questioner is incapable of understanding what he asks, or when from hatred or contempt he is unworthy to have his questions answered.

Friday, 5 September 2014

St Luke 19:41-47

41 Et ut appropinquavit, videns civitatem flevit super illam, dicens: 42 Quia si cognovisses et tu, et quidem in hac die tua, quæ ad pacem tibi: nunc autem abscondita sunt ab oculis tuis. 43 Quia venient dies in te: et circumdabunt te inimici tui vallo, et circumdabunt te: et coangustabunt te undique: 44 et ad terram prosternent te, et filios tuos, qui in te sunt, et non relinquent in te lapidem super lapidem: eo quod non cognoveris tempus visitationis tuæ. 45 Et ingressus in templum, cœpit ejicere vendentes in illo, et ementes, 46 dicens illis: Scriptum est: Quia domus mea domus orationis est: vos autem fecistis illam speluncam latronum. 47 Et erat docens quotidie in templo. Principes autem sacerdotum, et scribæ, et princeps plebis quærebant illum perdere: 48 et non inveniebant quid facerent illi. Omnis enim populus suspensus erat, audiens illum.

[41] And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: [42] If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace; but now they are hidden from thy eyes. [43] For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, [44] And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee: and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. [45] And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought.[46] Saying to them: It is written: My house is the house of prayer. But you have made it a den of thieves. [47] And he was teaching daily in the temple. And the chief priests and the scribes and the rulers of the people sought to destroy him: [48] And they found not what to do to him: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

Commentary (de Lapide)

Ver. 41.—And when He, &c. To show the bowels of His love to it. How dear to Him was the salvation of the Jews, for to this had He been sent by the Father as the Messiah and Saviour. He wept therefore among all the joys of His triumph, and amidst the happy declamations of those who congratulated Him and shouted Hosanna, that He might temper their joy, by a mixture as it were of gall. He wept as well over the blindness, obduracy, and ingratitude of the people of Jerusalem, because they would not receive Him as their Messiah and Saviour, as for the vengeance of God towards them and the destruction of their nation by Titus; and because He saw His own labours and, sufferings for them frustrated and rendered of no effect. These three causes wrung tears from Christ, from the vehemence of His grief. So S. Cyril, Bede, Theophylact and others. In trope, Origen says, “Christ fulfilled all the beatitudes in His own Person. He said, ‘Blessed are they that mourn,’ and He therefore wept.”

Ver. 42.—If thou hadst known. “As I know,” says S. Gregory (hom. 39), Bede and others. Because I am come to thee as thy Messiah, for thy salvation, to save thee, and bring thee everlasting blessing, according to the words of Zech. ix. If thou hadst known what is for thy good, salvation, and happiness, namely, penitence and faith in Me, which I have taught thee these three years past, thou wouldst weep, as I do, for thy past blindness and obstinacy. Euthymius supplies, “Thou wouldst in no wise perish.” Others say, “Thou wouldst bear thyself otherwise; listen to Me, and believe in Me.” The Syriac has, “If thou hadst known the things that are for thy peace and salvation in this thy day.” The Arabic. “If thou hadst known, even thou, and in this thy day, how much peace there was for thee in it.” Peace, in Hebrew, means prosperity, safety, happiness, every good, both of body and soul.

It is an aposopiopesis, showing the profound passion of grief and indignation in Christ, for He upbraids the ungrateful city with its unbelief, obstinacy, and ingratitude. This feeling in Christ was so strong that it choked His voice, and compelled Him to be silent, as by aposopiopesis. “For those who weep,” says Euthymius, “break off their words abruptly, from the strength of their feelings.” There is again great passion “pathos,” in the words; “Even thou, 0 daughter of Zion, by Me so beloved, so honoured, so enriched: for thee have I come from heaven to earth, for thee was I born at Bethlehem, for thee have I lived thirty-four years in continued labour, suffering, poverty. For three years have I taught and preached in thy towns and villages; I have healed thy lepers, thy sick, thy possessed; I have restored thy dead to life. Thou, therefore, daughter of Jerusalem, why dost thou not return the love of one who so loves thee, but scornest and destroyest Him as an enemy? It will come, it will come shortly, that great day of the Lord, in which thou will too late confess thy unbelief and lament thy blindness. This is thy day, in which thou vainly exultest in thy wealth, thy luxury, thy pomps. But My day shall come, yea, the day of the Lord, in which He will most grievously punish thee, and utterly root thee out, and in which thou shalt pour forth the inconsolable and never ceasing tears of most bitter anguish.” Similar is the passion of Christ to the traitor Judas. Ps. v. 13.

In trope, S. Gregory in his 39th Homily says, “The perverse soul, which delights in the passing day, here meets its day. The soul, that is, to which present things are peace, because, while it takes pleasure in temporal prosperity: while it is elevated by honour while it is dissolved in the pleasures of sense, while it is terrified by no thoughts of a punishment to come, it has peace in its day, although in one to come it will meet with heavy condemnation. For it will be afflicted when the righteous rejoice, and all that was lately for its peace will be turned into the bitterness of contention. For it will begin to be at strife with itself, and to question itself, as to why it had not feared the condemnation to come, and had shut the eyes of its soul to the prospect of the evils to come.

But now they are hid from Divine eyes. Because (de Industria) thou wouldst not know, says Titus. And Eusebius, in the Catena, “Christ makes known His coming for the peace of the world, and when they would not receive that peace, it was hidden from them.” The Incarnation of Christ, His preaching, His passion, His resurrection, were hidden from the Jews. Equally so their own perfidy, blindness, ingratitude, and therefore their punishment and destruction by Titus. “For,” says S. Gregory, “if we saw the evils that are impending, we should not rejoice in present prosperity.” Again, in figure, “The perverse soul, while it loses itself in the enjoyments of the present life, what does it but walk with closed eyes into the fire?” Hence it is well written, In the day of good things be not unmindful of the evil. And S. Paul, “Let those that rejoice be as those that rejoice not.” For if there is any joy in the present time, it should be so felt, as that the bitterness of the future judgment should never be absent from the thoughts, for while the reverent mind is pierced by fear of the final punishment, in proportion to its present rejoicing will the wrath hereafter be tempered.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

St Luke 19:29-40

29 Et factum est, cum appropinquasset ad Bethphage et Bethaniam, ad montem qui vocatur Oliveti, misit duos discipulos suos, 30 dicens: Ite in castellum quod contra est: in quod introëuntes, invenietis pullum asinæ alligatum, cui nemo umquam hominum sedit: solvite illum, et adducite. 31 Et si quis vos interrogaverit: Quare solvitis? sic dicetis ei: Quia Dominus operam ejus desiderat. 32 Abierunt autem qui missi erant: et invenerunt, sicut dixit illis, stantem pullum. 33 Solventibus autem illis pullum, dixerunt domini ejus ad illos: Quid solvitis pullum? 34 At illi dixerunt: Quia Dominus eum necessarium habet. 35 Et duxerunt illum ad Jesum. Et jacentes vestimenta sua supra pullum, imposuerunt Jesum. 36 Eunte autem illo, substernebant vestimenta sua in via: 37 et cum appropinquaret jam ad descensum montis Oliveti, cœperunt omnes turbæ discipulorum gaudentes laudare Deum voce magna super omnibus, quas viderant, virtutibus, 38 dicentes: Benedictus, qui venit rex in nomine Domini: pax in cælo, et gloria in excelsis. 39 Et quidam pharisæorum de turbis dixerunt ad illum: Magister, increpa discipulos tuos. 40 Quibus ipse ait: Dico vobis, quia si hi tacuerint, lapides clamabunt.

[29] And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethania, unto the mount called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples, [30] Saying: Go into the town which is over against you, at your entering into which you shall find the colt of an ass tied, on which no man ever hath sitten: loose him, and bring him hither.[31] And if any man shall ask you: Why do you loose him? you shall say thus unto him: Because the Lord hath need of his service. [32] And they that were sent, went their way, and found the colt standing, as he had said unto them. [33] And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said to them: Why loose you the colt? [34] But they said: Because the Lord hath need of him. [35] And they brought him to Jesus. And casting their garments on the colt, they set Jesus thereon.[36] And as he went, they spread their clothes underneath in the way. [37] And when he was now coming near the descent of mount Olivet, the whole multitude of his disciples began with joy to praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works they had seen, [38] Saying: Blessed be the king who cometh in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven, and glory on high! [39] And some of the Pharisees, from amongst the multitude, said to him: Master, rebuke thy disciples. [40] To whom he said: I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.

Commentary (De Lapide)

Ver. 37.—To praise God with aloud voice (saying, Hosanna to the Son of David, Matt. xxi 9) for all the mighty works they had seen. Chiefly the resurrection to life of Lazarus, for it was because of this that the multitude came to meet Him. John xii. 18. So Bede.

Ver. 38.—Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord. That is, our King, the Messiah or Christ, who was sent by God to save us and give us His blessing.

Peace in heaven. That through Christ we may have peace with God and the angels, who are offended at our sins, and therefore glory on high, to Him who dwells in the heavens. “He is called the King,” says Bede, “not to exact tribute or to arm a host, and visibly destroy His enemies, but because He rules our souls and leads us up into heaven.” “Because,” he adds, “Christ shone forth in the flesh as the Propitiation of the whole world. Rightly therefore the Heavenly Host, that is the angels who sang at His birth and men who praised Him, when He was about to return to heaven, unite one with another in His praises.” Theophylact: “It is shown that the former war, in which we opposed God, has vanished away, and that God is praised by the angels in such a Reconciliation. The same fact, also, that God walks in our land shows that He is in unity with us.”

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

St Luke 19: 1-28

St Luke 19:

1 Et ingressus perambulabat Jericho. 2 Et ecce vir nomine Zachæus: et hic princeps erat publicanorum, et ipse dives: 3 et quærebat videre Jesum, quis esset: et non poterat præ turba, quia statura pusillus erat. 4 Et præcurrens ascendit in arborem sycomorum ut videret eum: quia inde erat transiturus. 5 Et cum venisset ad locum, suspiciens Jesus vidit illum, et dixit ad eum: Zachæe, festinans descende: quia hodie in domo tua oportet me manere. 6 Et festinans descendit, et excepit illum gaudens. 7 Et cum viderent omnes, murmurabant, dicentes quod ad hominem peccatorem divertisset. 8 Stans autem Zachæus, dixit ad Dominum: Ecce dimidium bonorum meorum, Domine, do pauperibus: et si quid aliquem defraudavi, reddo quadruplum. 9 Ait Jesus ad eum: Quia hodie salus domui huic facta est: eo quod et ipse filius sit Abrahæ. 10 Venit enim Filius hominis quærere, et salvum facere quod perierat.11 Hæc illis audientibus adjiciens, dixit parabolam, eo quod esset prope Jerusalem: et quia existimarent quod confestim regnum Dei manifestaretur. 12 Dixit ergo: Homo quidam nobilis abiit in regionem longinquam accipere sibi regnum, et reverti. 13 Vocatis autem decem servis suis, dedit eis decem mnas, et ait ad illos: Negotiamini dum venio. 14 Cives autem ejus oderant eum: et miserunt legationem post illum, dicentes: Nolumus hunc regnare super nos. 15 Et factum est ut rediret accepto regno: et jussit vocari servos, quibus dedit pecuniam, ut sciret quantum quisque negotiatus esset. 16 Venit autem primus dicens: Domine, mna tua decem mnas acquisivit. 17 Et ait illi: Euge bone serve, quia in modico fuisti fidelis, eris potestatem habens super decem civitates. 18 Et alter venit, dicens: Domine, mna tua fecit quinque mnas. 19 Et huic ait: Et tu esto super quinque civitates. 20 Et alter venit, dicens: Domine, ecce mna tua, quam habui repositam in sudario: 21 timui enim te, quia homo austerus es: tollis quod non posuisti, et metis quod non seminasti. 22 Dicit ei: De ore tuo te judico, serve nequam. Sciebas quod ego homo austerus sum, tollens quod non posui, et metens quod non seminavi: 23 et quare non dedisti pecuniam meam ad mensam, ut ego veniens cum usuris utique exegissem illam? 24 Et astantibus dixit: Auferte ab illo mnam, et date illi qui decem mnas habet. 25 Et dixerunt ei: Domine, habet decem mnas. 26 Dico autem vobis, quia omni habenti dabitur, et abundabit: ab eo autem qui non habet, et quod habet auferetur ab eo. 27 Verumtamen inimicos meos illos, qui noluerunt me regnare super se, adducite huc: et interficite ante me. 28 Et his dictis, præcedebat ascendens Jerosolymam.

And entering in, he walked through Jericho. [2] And behold, there was a man named Zacheus, who was the chief of the publicans, and he was rich. [3] And he sought to see Jesus who he was, and he could not for the crowd, because he was low of stature. [4] And running before, he climbed up into a sycamore tree, that he might see him; for he was to pass that way. [5] And when Jesus was come to the place, looking up, he saw him, and said to him: Zacheus, make haste and come down; for this day I must abide in thy house.[6] And he made haste and came down; and received him with joy. [7] And when all saw it, they murmured, saying, that he was gone to be a guest with a man that was a sinner. [8] But Zacheus standing, said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wronged any man of any thing, I restore him fourfold. [9] Jesus said to him: This day is salvation come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham. [10] For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.[11] As they were hearing these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately be manifested. [12] He said therefore: A certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. [13] And calling his ten servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them: Trade till I come. [14] But his citizens hated him: and they sent an embassage after him, saying: We will not have this man to reign over us. [15] And it came to pass, that he returned, having received the kingdom: and he commanded his servants to be called, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.[16] And the first came, saying: Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. [17] And he said to him: Well done, thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a little, thou shalt have power over ten cities. [18] And the second came, saying: Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. [19] And he said to him: Be thou also over five cities. [20] And another came, saying: Lord, behold here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin;[21] For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up what thou didst not lay down, and thou reapest that which thou didst not sow. [22] He saith to him: Out of thy own mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up what I laid not down, and reaping that which I did not sow: [23] And why then didst thou not give my money into the bank, that at my coming, I might have exacted it with usury? [24] And he said to them that stood by: Take the pound away from him, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. [25] And they said to him: Lord, he hath ten pounds.[26] But I say to you, that to every one that hath shall be given, and he shall abound: and from him that hath not, even that which he hath, shall be taken from him. [27] But as for those my enemies, who would not have me reign over them, bring them hither, and kill them before me. [28] And having said these things, he went before, going up to Jerusalem.

Commentary (de Lapide)

Ver. 1.—And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. S. Luke continues the account of the journey to Jerusalem. I have spoken of this in the preceding chapter, verse 35.

Ver. 2.—And behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans. Christ gave sight to the blind man near Jericho; soon after, in Jericho itself, He converted Zacchæus, for no place, no road, no moment of time was idle to Christ, but all were made notable by divine mercies, benefits, and miracles, that He might teach us to do the same. “Zacchmus.” This name is as it were an omen of his future righteousness and purification, for Zacchæus in Hebrew is the same as just, pure, clear. The chiefs of the publicans had many publicans, that is collectors of the taxes, under them. These taxes the Romans and Tiberius had imposed on the Jews against their will. Hence the publicans were hated by the Jews and accounted infamous, being called Parisim, that is, robbers. The chief was called Gabba; whence the word Gabella, the publicans being called Gabbaim. Angelus Caninus on Hebrew words in New Testament.

And he was rich. The chiefs of the publicans were not appointed unless they were rich, that they might advance money to the Roman ruler when he wanted it, and supply, in a great degree, the deficiencies of the publicans under him. S. Luke adds this to show better the grace of Christ and the virtue of Zacchæus, since he left his great wealth for the calling and love of Christ, and distributed it among the poor.

Ver. 3.—And he sought to see. He took pains to see Jesus in person as he had heard of His reputation, from the fame of His virtues and miracles. For we wish to see great men and to know them in person. But Zacchæus, beside his natural wish, was impelled by one above nature, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He desired to see Jesus that he might be absolved of his sins by Him, and be justified and made holy. “He wished,” says S. Chrysostom in his Homily on Zacchaeus, “to know by sight one whom he had known before in imagination, to see the face of Him whom he had seen before in mind, to look upon Him as present whom he had never seen do any works; that the love of Christ which he had conceived in his heart might be gratified to the full by the sight of his eyes.”

Ver. 3.—And he could not. But he was exalted in mind. Many of the heroes and saints were men of small stature, as I have shown in Zech. iv. 10 and Ecclus. xi. 3, on the words, “The bee is small among flying things, but her fruit is the chief of sweetest things.” It is in minimis that the supreme majesty of God, His glory, strength, and greatness, most clearly shine forth. “The crowd,” says S. Cyril, “is the confusion of a multitude, which we must climb above, if we wish to see Christ.”

Ver. 6.—And he ran. Mystically, the sycamore is the cross of Christ and His doctrine, which to the Gentiles and men of this world is mere folly, but to Zacchæus and the faithful is the wisdom of God, and the power of God. 1 Cor. i. 24. S. Gregory, lib. xxvii. Moral.: in fine, “Let us leave the wisdom that is hurtful, that we may gain that which is to our profit, &c. The dwarf Zacchæus submitted himself to the sycamore tree and saw the Lord; for they who choose humbly the folly of the world, these wisely contemplate the wisdom of God. A multitude hinders our slowness to see God, for the tumults of worldly cares so press upon the infirmity of the human mind that it cannot contemplate the light of truth. We are wise to ascend the sycamore if we retain in our minds, with forethought, that foolishness which is received from God.”

Theophylact speaks as follows: “We climb the fig-tree; that is, we ascend above the allurements of pleasure, which is signified by the fig-tree—we mount up by Penitence, but we come down through Humility.”

Ver. 5.—And when Jesus came to the place. Christ compensates the zeal of Zacchæus to see Him by His full Exhibition and Presence. Christ inspired Zacchæus with this ardour that He might perfect him by entering his house. Christ indeed went thither that He might arouse this feeling, and by it be received by Zacchæus as his guest, and bring blessing and salvation to his whole house. For, although the Saviour of the world, He came to sanctify sinners. “Jesus had not heard the voice of Zacchæus inviting him,” said S. Ambrose, “but He had seen his feeling.”

Christ therefore not only offered Himself to be seen by Zacchæus, who wished to see Him, but He also gave Himself to be possessed by him, and therefore chose to remain in his house, rather than in the house of any one else.

Moraliter. Let us learn to desire Christ and His inner conversation and grace, for Christ will soon offer Himself to us, and fulfil our desire, and as much as is that desire will be His conversation; for Wisdom, that is Christ, will meet him who fears and longs for God. “As a mother shall she meet him, with the bread of understanding shall she feed him, and give him the water of wisdom to drink.” Ecclus. xv. 2, 3. And chap. xxiv., “Come unto me, all ye that be desirous of me, and fill yourselves with my fruits. For my memorial is sweeter than honey,” v. 19, 20; and John vii. 37, 38.

Zacchæus, then, saw Christ with the eyes and sight of his body, and still more with those of his mind, by which Christ enlightened his soul to discern that he was the Saviour who would forgive the sins of those who repent, and give them salvation, that is, righteousness, grace, and glory. The countenance of Jesus therefore is not fruitless, and of no effect, but efficacious and operative. For by this alone He attracts men to His love, changes them, and brings them to salvation. Hence, says S. Cyril, “Jesus saw the mind of Zacchæus striving very earnestly after a holy life.”

For to-day I must abide at thy house. “Zacchæus,” says Titus, wished only for the sight of Jesus, but He who knows how to do more than we ask, gave him what was beyond his expectation; for Christ of His great bounty exceeds the prayers and powers of the petitioners.” “Christ promised,” says S. Chrysostom in his homily on Zacchæus, “that He would come to his house, whose soul and its desires He already possessed.”

Ver. 6.—And He made haste, and came down—see the prompt obedience of Zacchæus, which deserved salvation—and received Him gladly. Zacchæus received Christ into his house, and Christ in return bestowed on him salvation. “Zacchæus rejoiced,” says Euthymius, “because he had not only seen Christ, according to his wish, but because he had also been called by Him, and had received Him as his guest, a thing he had never hoped for.”

Ver. 7.—And when they saw it, they all murmured. (“All”—the Pharisees, and the Jews their parasites, who hated the publicans.) They murmured, saying that he was gone, &c.

The publicans were held by the Jews to be impious, unjust, wicked, and they often were such. Some think that “sinner” here means that Zacchæus was a Gentile and idolater. Such is the opinion of Tertullian, SS. Cyprian, Ambrose, Bede, and from them Maldonatus. And that Zacchæus speaks of a restitution of things exacted so unjustly, which was of a natural law, and not ordered by Moses.  S. Chrysostom, in his sermon on Zacchæus, says, “He was a son of Abraham by faith, not by birth; by merit, not by descent; by devotion, not by race.” But the contrary is equally probable, perhaps more so, namely, that Zacchæus was a Jew, not a Gentile. 1. Because, ver. 9, he is called a son of Abraham. 2. Because Christ only conversed with Jews, for He was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Hence He is called by S. Paul “minister of the circumcision,” Rom. xv. 8. 3. Because Zacchæus is a Hebrew name. 4. Because the Jews would not have been silent on the matter but would have brought it against Jesus that he held communion with the Gentiles when the Messiah was promised to the Jews alone.

Ver. 8.—And Zacchæus stood, and said unto the Lord. We cannot, doubt that Christ as soon as He entered the house of Zacchæus began, according to His custom, to teach and exhort both Zacchæus himself and those of his household, to faith and repentance, and, if they repented, to promise them grace, righteousness, and salvation. He would also urge upon them contempt of riches and the world, and the acceptance of poverty and evangelical perfection, by following Him and giving their goods to the poor, that they might receive treasure in heaven, and a hundredfold in this life.  S. Luke, for the sake of brevity, says nothing of this; but from what follows, and from what he had frequently said before, especially xviii. 22, of the custom of Christ to teach and preach, He leaves it to be understood. For by these words of Christ Zacchæus was plainly converted to faith, repentance, poverty, and contempt of riches and the world. He said,

Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I gave to the poor. He therefore did not keep one half for himself, but gave back to others what they had been unjustly defrauded of. For he adds, “If I have wronged any man of any thing, I restore him fourfold.” “I give,” “I restore,” that is, I am resolved from this time, and firmly determine to give and restore according to Thy doctrine and exhortation. On account of this efficacious resolution of the penitent Zacchæus, Christ added as a reward, “This day is salvation come to this house.” So S. Ambrose, Bede, Euthymius, Tertullian in his fourth book against Marcion, Fulgentius in his epistle to Galla. It is a Hebraism, similar to that of Pharaoh, Exod. v. 10: “I give you not straw,” that is, I decree and command that straw is not given to you. Matt. xxvi. 18: “I will keep the Passover at thy house,” that is, I will, I determine to keep it. S. Cyprian, however, in his tract On Works and Almsgiving, has explained the words “give” and “restore,” by the perfect tense: “I have given, I have restored,” as if Zacchæus had been converted previously by other discourses of Christ which he had heard.

And if I have, &c. The Greek is ε̉συκοφάντησα, that is, accused falsely of fraud, calumny, or any other like offence. Zacchæus owns to the crime of defrauding, but in a slight degree: for when, for the sum defrauded he restored fourfold out of his own half of his property, it follows that he gained only an eighth part of his wealth by fraud; so that, if he had eight thousand gold pieces, only one thousand was gained thus, the other seven being his own, either by inheritance, or some other just manner.

Observe the sudden and miraculous conversion of Zacchæus, through the grace of Christ, so that he not only repented at once, but also resolved to put away all the wealth to which he had previously clung, for he set apart half for the poor and half for restitution. Thus he instantly embraced the precept of evangelical poverty, that he might forsake all things, and, as a poor man, follow the work of his hands. “Hear a wonderful thing,” says S. Chrysostom, in his Homily on Zacchæus, “He had not yet learnt, and he obeyed. The Saviour by the rays of His righteousness, put to flight the darkness of Zacchæus’ wickedness.” And Bede, “Behold, the camel has laid down his burden, and passed through the eye of the needle—that is, he gave up the love of riches, and received the blessing of the Lord’s adoption. This is the folly which is wisdom, and which the publican chose from the sycamore as the fruit of life; restoring what he had seized, giving up his own, despising things seen.” And Theophylact, “Behold his alacrity; he began to sow not sparingly, nor did he give a few things but his whole life.” And S. Bernard (Serm. x, on Festival of all Saints), addressing his own Religious: “Zacchæus, whose praise is in the Gospel, gave the half of his goods to the poor, but I see here many Zacchæuses, who have left themselves nothing of all their property. Who shall write a gospel of these Zacchæuses, nay, of these Peters—who shall say in faith, ‘Lord, behold, we have left all things and followed Thee?’ But it is written in the everlasting gospel; it is written and signed in the book of life, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.’” “I restore,” that is, I determine and firmly resolve to restore; nor can we doubt that he acted at once upon this resolve, and carried it out into actual practice.

Fourfold. It was not by the law of nature, nor by that of Moses, that Zacchæus bound himself to restore fourfold; as both only oblige him to restore the original sum. He resolved to perform this great and superabundant act of restitution and justice of his fervent charity and repentance. This is in conformity with the law of Exodus xxii. 1, which orders that a man who has stolen a sheep, should be condemned by the judge to restore fourfold. Zacchæus said this, not from boasting and ostentation, but partly from the fervour with which he had been inspired by Christ and the Holy Ghost, partly to refute the calumny of the scribes, who objected to Christ, that He associated with a sinner. For he shows that he was now no longer a sinner, but repentant and just—nay, more just than the just and holy.

In trope, S. Chrysostom (Hom. lxxviii) teaches us that we must adorn the house of our souls with almsgiving and righteousness, like Zacchæus, if we desire to receive Christ as a guest.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

St Luke 18:31-43

The text:

31 Assumpsit autem Jesus duodecim, et ait illis: Ecce ascendimus Jerosolymam, et consummabuntur omnia quæ scripta sunt per prophetas de Filio hominis: 32 tradetur enim gentibus, et illudetur, et flagellabitur, et conspuetur: 33 et postquam flagellaverint, occident eum, et tertia die resurget. 34 Et ipsi nihil horum intellexerunt, et erat verbum istud absconditum ab eis, et non intelligebant quæ dicebantur.35 Factum est autem, cum appropinquaret Jericho, cæcus quidam sedebat secus viam, mendicans. 36 Et cum audiret turbam prætereuntem, interrogabat quid hoc esset. 37 Dixerunt autem ei quod Jesus Nazarenus transiret. 38 Et clamavit, dicens: Jesu, fili David, miserere mei. 39 Et qui præibant, increpabant eum ut taceret. Ipse vero multo magis clamabat: Fili David, miserere mei. 40 Stans autem Jesus jussit illum adduci ad se. Et cum appropinquasset, interrogavit illum, 41 dicens: Quid tibi vis faciam? At ille dixit: Domine, ut videam. 42 Et Jesus dixit illi: Respice, fides tua te salvum fecit. 43 Et confestim vidit, et sequebatur illum magnificans Deum. Et omnis plebs ut vidit, dedit laudem Deo.

31] Then Jesus took unto him the twelve, and said to them: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of man. [32] For he shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon: [33] And after they have scourged him, they will put him to death; and the third day he shall rise again. [34] And they understood none of these things, and this word was hid from them, and they understood not the things that were said. [35] Now it came to pass, when he drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the way side, begging.[36] And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant. [37] And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. [38] And he cried out, saying: Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me. [39] And they that went before, rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out much more: Son of David, have mercy on me. [40] And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto him. And when he was come near, he asked him,[41] Saying: What wilt thou that I do to thee? But he said: Lord, that I may see. [42] And Jesus said to him: Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole. [43] And immediately he saw, and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

Commentary (Catena Aurea)

GREG. The Savior foreseeing that the hearts of His disciples would be troubled at His Passion, tells them long before-hand both the suffering of His Passion and the glory of His Resurrection. 

BEDE; And knowing that there would arise certain heretics, saying, that Christ taught things contrary to the Law and the Prophets, He shows already that the voices of the Prophets had proclaimed the accomplishment of His Passion, and the glory which should follow.

CHRYS. He speaks with His disciples apart, concerning His Passion. For it was not fitting to publish this word to the multitudes, lest they should be troubled, but to His disciples He foretold it, that being habituated by expectation, they might be the more able to bear it.

CYRIL; And to convince them that He foreknew His Passion, and of His own accord came to it, that they might not say, "How has He fallen into the hands of the enemy, who promised us salvation?" He relates in order the successive events of the Passion; He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spitted on. 

CHRYS. Esaias prophesied of this when he said, I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. The Prophet also foretold the crucifixion, saying, He has poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; as it is said here, And after they have scourged him, they shall put him to death. But David foretold Christ's resurrection, For you shall not leave my soul in hell, and so it is here added, And on the third day he shall rise again.

ISIDORE; I marvel at the folly of those who ask how Christ rose again before the three days. If indeed He rose later than he had foretold, it were a mark of weakness, but if sooner, a token of the highest power. For when we see a man who has promised his creditor that he will pay him his debt after three days, fulfilling his promise on that very day, we are so far from looking upon him as deceitful, that we admire his veracity. I must add, however, that He said not that He should rise again after three days, but on the third day. You have then the preparation, the Sabbath until sun set, and the fact that He rose after the Sabbath was over.

CYRIL; The disciples did not as yet know exactly what the Prophets had foretold, but after He rose again, He opened their understanding that they should understand the Scriptures. 

BEDE; For because they desired His life above all things, they could not hear of His death, and as they knew him to be not only a spotless man, but also very God, they thought He could in no wise die. And whenever in the parables, which they frequently heard Him utter, He said any thing concerning His Passion, they believed it to be spoken allegorically, and referred to something else. Hence it follows, And this saying was hid; from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken. But the Jews, who conspired against His life, knew that He spoke concerning His Passion, when he said, The Son of man must be lifted up; therefore said they, We have heard in our law that Christ abides for ever, and how say you the Son of man must be lifted up?

Monday, 1 September 2014

St Luke 18:1-30

St Luke 18:

1 Dicebat autem et parabolam ad illos, quoniam oportet semper orare et non deficere, 2 dicens: Judex quidam erat in quadam civitate, qui Deum non timebat, et hominem non reverebatur. 3 Vidua autem quædam erat in civitate illa, et veniebat ad eum, dicens: Vindica me de adversario meo. 4 Et nolebat per multum tempus. Post hæc autem dixit intra se: Etsi Deum non timeo, nec hominem revereor: 5 tamen quia molesta est mihi hæc vidua, vindicabo illam, ne in novissimo veniens sugillet me. 6 Ait autem Dominus: Audite quid judex iniquitatis dicit: 7 Deus autem non faciet vindictam electorum suorum clamantium ad se die ac nocte, et patientiam habebit in illis? 8 Dico vobis quia cito faciet vindictam illorum. Verumtamen Filius hominis veniens, putas, inveniet fidem in terra?9 Dixit autem et ad quosdam qui in se confidebant tamquam justi, et aspernabantur ceteros, parabolam istam: 10 Duo homines ascenderunt in templum ut orarent: unus pharisæus et alter publicanus. 11 Pharisæus stans, hæc apud se orabat: Deus, gratias ago tibi, quia non sum sicut ceteri hominum: raptores, injusti, adulteri, velut etiam hic publicanus: 12 jejuno bis in sabbato, decimas do omnium quæ possideo. 13 Et publicanus a longe stans, nolebat nec oculos ad cælum levare: sed percutiebat pectus suum, dicens: Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori. 14 Dico vobis, descendit hic justificatus in domum suam ab illo: quia omnis qui se exaltat, humiliabitur, et qui se humiliat, exaltabitur.15 Afferebant autem ad illum et infantes, ut eos tangeret. Quod cum viderent discipuli, increpabant illos. 16 Jesus autem convocans illos, dixit: Sinite pueros venire ad me, et nolite vetare eos: talium est enim regnum Dei. 17 Amen dico vobis, quicumque non acceperit regnum Dei sicut puer, non intrabit in illud. 18 Et interrogavit eum quidam princeps, dicens: Magister bone, quid faciens vitam æternam possidebo? 19 Dixit autem ei Jesus: Quid me dicis bonum? nemo bonus nisi solus Deus. 20 Mandata nosti: non occides; non mœchaberis; non furtum facies; non falsum testimonium dices; honora patrem tuum et matrem. 21 Qui ait: Hæc omnia custodivi a juventute mea. 22 Quo audito, Jesus ait ei: Adhuc unum tibi deest: omnia quæcumque habes vende, et da pauperibus, et habebis thesaurum in cælo: et veni, sequere me. 23 His ille auditis, contristatus est: quia dives erat valde. 24 Videns autem Jesus illum tristem factum, dixit: Quam difficile, qui pecunias habent, in regnum Dei intrabunt! 25 facilius est enim camelum per foramen acus transire quam divitem intrare in regnum Dei. 26 Et dixerunt qui audiebant: Et quis potest salvus fieri? 27 Ait illis: Quæ impossibilia sunt apud homines, possibilia sunt apud Deum.28 Ait autem Petrus: Ecce nos dimisimus omnia et secuti sumus te. 29 Qui dixit eis: Amen dico vobis, nemo est qui reliquit domum, aut parentes, aut fratres, aut uxorem, aut filios propter regnum Dei, 30 et non recipiat multo plura in hoc tempore, et in sæculo venturo vitam æternam.

1] And he spoke also a parable to them, that we ought always to pray, and not to faint, [2] Saying: There was a judge in a certain city, who feared not God, nor regarded man. [3] And there was a certain widow in that city, and she came to him, saying: Avenge me of my adversary. [4] And he would not for a long time. But afterwards he said within himself: Although I fear not God, nor regard man, [5] Yet because this widow is troublesome to me, I will avenge her, lest continually coming she weary me.
[6] And the Lord said: Hear what the unjust judge saith. [7] And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard? [8] I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth? [9] And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable: [10] Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.[11] The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. [12] I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. [13] And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. [14] I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted. [15] And they brought unto him also infants, that he might touch them. Which when the disciples saw, they rebuked them.[16] But Jesus, calling them together, said: Suffer children to come to me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. [17] Amen, I say to you: Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a child, shall not enter into it. [18] And a certain ruler asked him, saying: Good master, what shall I do to possess everlasting life? [19] And Jesus said to him: Why dost thou call me good? None is good but God alone. [20] Thou knowest the commandments: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not commit adultery: Thou shalt not steal: Thou shalt not bear false witness: Honour thy father and mother.[21] Who said: All these things have I kept from my youth. [22] Which when Jesus had heard, he said to him: Yet one thing is wanting to thee: sell all whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. [23] He having heard these things, became sorrowful; for he was very rich. [24] And Jesus seeing him become sorrowful, said: How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God. [25] For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.[26] And they that heard it, said: Who then can be saved? [27] He said to them: The things that are impossible with men, are possible with God. [28] Then Peter said: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed thee. [29] Who said to them: Amen, I say to you, there is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God' s sake, [30] Who shall not receive much more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Commentary (de Lapide)

Ver.1.—He spake a parable unto them to the end that. Christ had said, at the end of the last chapter, that the Apostles and the faithful should suffer persecutions, in which they should wish for His presence that they might seek and receive help from Him. He now names a remedy for all their sufferings, prayer, for He both hears them and grants what they ask, for He teaches, directs, strengthens.

Always to pray. Hence the heretics called Euchitæ wished, but without reason, to be always praying and to do no manual work. But it is written, “If any man will not work, neither let him eat” (2 Thess. iii. 10). “Always” here seems to mean sedulously, perseveringly, diligently, assiduously as in other things, and at befitting times, especially when temptation, persecution, and affliction are hard at hand. 

It is impossible for us to pray always and at all times. We must have a time for eating, drinking, labouring, &c. The word “always” means, therefore, not continuance but perseverance in prayer: that is, that we should set apart fit times for prayer, and not cease to pray until we have obtained what we need and what we ask for. 

Our Lord adds, “and not to faint” or in the Greek “be weary.” The reason is that we daily meet so many difficulties and troubles that our whole lives appear to be one temptation and warfare. And as we are infirm and unable to overcome them we ought to ask help and strength from God through prayer. Thus our whole Christian life seems as it were one prayer. 

Again, “always,” that is frequently, at the hours appointed by the Church, that we may do nothing without prayer—nothing that we do not ascribe to the glory of God. Bede says, mystically, “He prays always who works for God always;” and the Gloss, “He prays always who lives virtuously always.” 

S. Chrysostom: “The Lord would have you to obtain by prayer that which He wishes to give you. The palace and the ears of princes are open to few. The ears of God are open to all who will.” He refers to Ecclus. xxxv. 20. 

So the apostle, Ephes. vi. 18; 1 Thess. v. 17. See what I have said on those three passages, Climachus: Gradu xxviii.: 

“Prayer, if we regard its nature or quality, is the familiar conversation and union of man with God, but if we consider its force and efficacy it is the conservation of the world, our reconciliation with God, the mother, at once, and daughter of tears, the propitiation of sins, the bridge of escape from temptation, the bulwark against the attacks of afflictions, the destruction of war, the office of angels, the food of all spirits-future joy, continual action, the fountain of virtues, the reconciler and authoress of divine graces.” 

Not content, he speaks more highly, exaltedly, nobly still: 

“It is spiritual progress, the food of the soul, the illumination of the mind, the axe of despair, the demonstration of hope, the distinction of sorrow, the wealth of monks, the treasure of solitaries, the decreasing of anger, the mirror of religious growth, the index of our stature, the declaration of our condition, the signification of things future, the proof of the glory to come.” So the Church sings of S. Cæcilia: She always bore the evangel of Christ in her bosom, and neither by day nor by night did she cease from divine conversation and prayer, and when the organs sounded Cæcilia sang to the Lord, “Cleanse thou my heart, that I may not be confounded.” Valerian her husband found her on her bed praying, with an angel. By this increasing prayer she merited to be given to the angel for the preservation of her virginity, the conversion of her espoused husband Valerian, of Tiburtius and 400 others, and lastly a glorious martyrdom with them all....

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Today's Gospel is St Luke 10:23-37

23 Et conversus ad discipulos suos, dixit: Beati oculi qui vident quæ vos videtis. 24 Dico enim vobis quod multi prophetæ et reges voluerunt videre quæ vos videtis, et non viderunt: et audire quæ auditis, et non audierunt.25 Et ecce quidam legisperitus surrexit tentans illum, et dicens: Magister, quid faciendo vitam æternam possidebo? 26 At ille dixit ad eum: In lege quid scriptum est? quomodo legis? 27 Ille respondens dixit: Diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo, et ex tota anima tua, et ex omnibus virtutibus tuis, et ex omni mente tua: et proximum tuum sicut teipsum. 28 Dixitque illi: Recte respondisti: hoc fac, et vives. 29 Ille autem volens justificare seipsum, dixit ad Jesum: Et quis est meus proximus? 30 Suscipiens autem Jesus, dixit: Homo quidam descendebat ab Jerusalem in Jericho, et incidit in latrones, qui etiam despoliaverunt eum: et plagis impositis abierunt semivivo relicto. 31 Accidit autem ut sacerdos quidam descenderet eadem via: et viso illo præterivit. 32 Similiter et Levita, cum esset secus locum, et videret eum, pertransiit. 33 Samaritanus autem quidam iter faciens, venit secus eum: et videns eum, misericordia motus est. 34 Et appropians alligavit vulnera ejus, infundens oleum et vinum: et imponens illum in jumentum suum, duxit in stabulum, et curam ejus egit. 35 Et altera die protulit duos denarios, et dedit stabulario, et ait: Curam illius habe: et quodcumque supererogaveris, ego cum rediero reddam tibi. 36 Quis horum trium videtur tibi proximus fuisse illi, qui incidit in latrones? 37 At ille dixit: Qui fecit misericordiam in illum. Et ait illi Jesus: Vade, et tu fac similiter.

 [23] And turning to his disciples, he said: Blessed are the eyes that see the things which you see. [24] For I say to you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them; and to hear the things that you hear, and have not heard them. [25] And behold a certain lawyer stood up, tempting him, and saying, Master, what must I do to possess eternal life?[26] But he said to him: What is written in the law? how readest thou? [27] He answering, said: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind: and thy neighbour as thyself. [28] And he said to him: Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. [29] But he willing to justify himself, said to Jesus: And who is my neighbour? [30] And Jesus answering, said: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, who also stripped him, and having wounded him went away, leaving him half dead.[31] And it chanced, that a certain priest went down the same way: and seeing him, passed by. [32] In like manner also a Levite, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by. [33] But a certain Samaritan being on his journey, came near him; and seeing him, was moved with compassion. [34] And going up to him, bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine: and setting him upon his own beast, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. [35] And the next day he took out two pence, and gave to the host, and said: Take care of him; and whatsoever thou shalt spend over and above, I, at my return, will repay thee.
[36] Which of these three, in thy opinion, was neighbour to him that fell among the robbers? [37] But he said: He that shewed mercy to him. And Jesus said to him: Go, and do thou in like manner.

Matins readings (St Bede)

Reading 9: Blessed were the eyes not of Scribes and Pharisees, which saw but the Body of the Lord, but those eyes, eyes blessed indeed, which were able to see those things whereof it is written "Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." Blessed are the eyes of those little ones unto whom it seemeth good in the eyes of the Son to reveal Himself and the Father also. Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Christ and he saw it, and was glad. 

Reading 10: Isaiah, and Micah, and many among the Prophets, saw the glory of the Lord, wherefore also they be called Seers, but all they beheld it and hailed it afar off, seeing but as through a glass, darkly.Otherwise were the Apostles, who saw the Lord face to Face, eating with Him, and learning from Him by asking whatsoever they listed. For them there was no need to be taught by Angels, or the shifting fabric of visions. 

Reading 11: They whom Luke doth call Prophets and kings, Matthew nameth as "Prophets and righteous men". Righteous men are indeed mighty kings, who know how to lord it over their own rebellious temptations, instead of falling under them to become their slaves."And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted Him, saying Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 

Reading 12: This lawyer, who stood up to ask the Lord a tempting question touching eternal life, took the subject of his asking, as I think, from the words which the Lord had just uttered, when He said "Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven". But his attempt was a proof of the truth of that which the Lord immediately added "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes!"