Saturday, 20 September 2014

St Luke 23:1-25

1 Et surgens omnis multitudo eorum, duxerunt illum ad Pilatum. 2 Cœperunt autem illum accusare, dicentes: Hunc invenimus subvertentem gentem nostram, et prohibentem tributa dare Cæsari, et dicentem se Christum regem esse. 3 Pilatus autem interrogavit eum, dicens: Tu es rex Judæorum? At ille respondens ait: Tu dicis. 4 Ait autem Pilatus ad principes sacerdotum et turbas: Nihil invenio causæ in hoc homine. 5 At illi invalescebant, dicentes: Commovet populum docens per universam Judæam, incipiens a Galilæa usque huc. 6 Pilatus autem audiens Galilæam, interrogavit si homo Galilæus esset. 7 Et ut cognovit quod de Herodis potestate esset, remisit eum ad Herodem, qui et ipse Jerosolymis erat illis diebus. 8 Herodes autem viso Jesu, gavisus est valde. Erat enim cupiens ex multo tempore videre eum, eo quod audierat multa de eo, et sperabat signum aliquod videre ab eo fieri. 9 Interrogabat autem eum multis sermonibus. At ipse nihil illi respondebat. 10 Stabant autem principes sacerdotum et scribæ constanter accusantes eum. 11 Sprevit autem illum Herodes cum exercitu suo: et illusit indutum veste alba, et remisit ad Pilatum. 12 Et facti sunt amici Herodes et Pilatus in ipsa die: nam antea inimici erant ad invicem.3 Pilatus autem, convocatis principibus sacerdotum, et magistratibus, et plebe, 14 dixit ad illos: Obtulistis mihi hunc hominem, quasi avertentem populum, et ecce ego coram vobis interrogans, nullam causam inveni in homine isto ex his in quibus eum accusatis. 15 Sed neque Herodes: nam remisi vos ad illum, et ecce nihil dignum morte actum est ei. 16 Emendatum ergo illum dimittam. 17 Necesse autem habebat dimittere eis per diem festum unum. 18 Exclamavit autem simul universa turba, dicens: Tolle hunc, et dimitte nobis Barabbam: 19 qui erat propter seditionem quamdam factam in civitate et homicidium missus in carcerem. 20 Iterum autem Pilatus locutus est ad eos, volens dimittere Jesum. 21 At illi succlamabant, dicentes: Crucifige, crucifige eum. 22 Ille autem tertio dixit ad illos: Quid enim mali fecit iste? nullam causam mortis invenio in eo: corripiam ergo illum et dimittam. 23 At illi instabant vocibus magnis postulantes ut crucifigeretur: et invalescebant voces eorum. 24 Et Pilatus adjudicavit fieri petitionem eorum. 25 Dimisit autem illis eum qui propter homicidium et seditionem missus fuerat in carcerem, quem petebant: Jesum vero tradidit voluntati eorum.

And the whole multitude of them rising up, led him to Pilate. [2] And they began to accuse him, saying: We have found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he is Christ the king. [3] And Pilate asked him, saying: Art thou the king of the Jews? But he answering, said: Thou sayest it. [4] And Pilate said to the chief priests and to the multitudes: I find no cause in this man. [5] But they were more earnest, saying: He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.[6] But Pilate hearing Galilee, asked if the man were of Galilee? [7] And when he understood that he was of Herod' s jurisdiction, he sent him away to Herod, who was also himself at Jerusalem, in those days. [8] And Herod, seeing Jesus, was very glad; for he was desirous of a long time to see him, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to see some sign wrought by him. [9] And he questioned him in many words. But he answered him nothing. [10] And the chief priests and the scribes stood by, earnestly accusing him.[11] And Herod with his army set him at nought, and mocked him, putting on him a white garment, and sent him back to Pilate. [12] And Herod and Pilate were made friends, that same day; for before they were enemies one to another. [13] And Pilate, calling together the chief priests, and the magistrates, and the people, [14] Said to them: You have presented unto me this man, as one that perverteth the people; and behold I, having examined him before you, find no cause in this man, in those things wherein you accuse him. [15] No, nor Herod neither. For I sent you to him, and behold, nothing worthy of death is done to him.[16] I will chastise him therefore, and release him. [17] Now of necessity he was to release unto them one upon the feast day. [18] But the whole multitude together cried out, saying: Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: [19] Who, for a certain sedition made in the city, and for a murder, was cast into prison. [20] And Pilate again spoke to them, desiring to release Jesus.[21] But they cried again, saying: Crucify him, crucify him. [22] And he said to them the third time: Why, what evil hath this man done? I find no cause of death in him. I will chastise him therefore, and let him go. [23] But they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified; and their voices prevailed. [24] And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. [25] And he released unto them him who for murder and sedition, had been cast into prison, whom they had desired; but Jesus he delivered up to their will.

Commentary (Catena Aurea) 

AUG. Luke, after he had finished relating the denial of Peter, recapitulated all that took place concerning our Lord during the morning, mentioning some particulars which the others omitted; and so he has composed his narrative, giving a similar account with the rest, when he says, And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him to Pilate, &c. 

BEDE; That the word of Jesus might be fulfilled which He prophesied of His own death, He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, that is, to the Romans. For Pilate was a Roman, and the Romans had sent him as governor to Judea.

AUG. He next relates what happens before Pilate, as follows, And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting our nation, &c. Matthew and Mark do not give this, though affirming that they accused Him, but Luke has laid open the very charges which they falsely brought against Him.

THEOPHYL. Most plainly are they opposed to the truth. For our Lord was so far from forbidding to give tribute, that He commanded it to be given. How then did He pervert the people? Was it that He might take possession of the kingdom? But this is incredible to all, for when the whole multitude wished to choose Him for their king, He was as aware of it, and fled. 

BEDE; Now two charges having been brought against our Lord, namely, that He forbade to pay tribute to Caesar, and called Himself Christ the King, it may be that Pilate had chanced to hear that which our Lord spoke, Render to Caesar the things which be Caesar's; and therefore setting aside this accusation as a palpable lie of the Jews, he thought fit to ask concerning that alone of which he knew nothing, the saying about the kingdom; for it follows, Pilate asked him, saying, Are you the King of the Jews, &c. 

THEOPHYL. It seems to me that he asked this question of Christ by way of deriding the wantonness or hypocrisy of the alleged charge. As if he said, you a poor humble naked man, with none to help You, are accused of seeking a kingdom, for which you would need many to help You, and much money. 

BEDE; He answers the governor in the same words which He used to the Chief Priests, that Pilate might be condemned by his own voice; for it follows, And he answering said, You say.

THEOPHYL. Now they finding nothing else to support their calumny, have resort to the aid of clamor, for it follows, And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. As if they said, He perverts the people, not in one part only, but beginning from Galilee He arrives at this place, having passed through Judea. I think then that they purposely made mention of Galilee, as desirous to alarm Pilate, for the Galileans were of a different sect and given to sedition, as, for example, Judas of Galilee who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. 

BEDE; But with these words they accuse not Him, but themselves. For to have taught the people, and by teaching to have roused them from their former idleness, and doing this to have passed through the whole land of promise, was an evidence not of sin, but of virtue. 

AMBROSE; Our Lord is accused and is silent, for He needs no defense. Let them cast about for defense who fear to be conquered. He does not then confirm the accusation by His silence, but He despises it by not refuting it. Why then should He fear who does not court safety? The Safety of all men forfeits His own, that He may gain that of all.


Friday, 19 September 2014

St Luke 22: 63-71

St Luke 22:

63 Et viri qui tenebant illum, illudebant ei, cædentes. 64 Et velaverunt eum, et percutiebant faciem ejus: et interrogabant eum, dicentes: Prophetiza, quis est, qui te percussit? 65 Et alia multa blasphemantes dicebant in eum. 66 Et ut factus est dies, convenerunt seniores plebis, et principes sacerdotum, et scribæ, et duxerunt illum in concilium suum, dicentes: Si tu es Christus, dic nobis. 67 Et ait illis: Si vobis dixero, non credetis mihi: 68 si autem et interrogavero, non respondebitis mihi, neque dimittetis. 69 Ex hoc autem erit Filius hominis sedens a dextris virtutis Dei. 70 Dixerunt autem omnes: Tu ergo es Filius Dei? Qui ait: Vos dicitis, quia ego sum. 71 At illi dixerunt: Quid adhuc desideramus testimonium? ipsi enim audivimus de ore ejus.

[63] And the men that held him, mocked him, and struck him. [64] And they blindfolded him, and smote his face. And they asked him, saying: Prophesy, who is it that struck thee? [65] And blaspheming, many other things they said against him.[66] And as soon as it was day, the ancients of the people, and the chief priests and scribes, came together; and they brought him into their council, saying: If thou be the Christ, tell us. [67] And he saith to them: If I shall tell you, you will not believe me. [68] And if I shall also ask you, you will not answer me, nor let me go. [69] But hereafter the Son of man shall be sitting on the right hand of the power of God. [70] Then said they all: Art thou then the Son of God? Who said: You say that I am.[71] And they said: What need we any further testimony? for we ourselves have heard it from his own mouth.

Commentary (Catena Aurea)


AUG. The temptation of Peter which took place between the mockings of our Lord is not related by all the Evangelists in the same order. For Matthew and Mark first mention those, then Peter's temptation; but Luke has first described the temptations of Peter, then the mockings of our Lord, saying, And the men that held Jesus mocked him, &c. 

CHRYS. Jesus, the Lord of heaven and earth, sustains and suffers the mockings of the ungodly, giving us an example of patience. 

THEOPHYL. Likewise the Lord of prophets is derided as a false prophet. It follows, And they blindfolded him. This they did as a dishonor to Him who wished to be accounted by the people as a prophet. 

But He who was struck with the blows of the Jews, is struck also now by the blasphemies of false Christians. And they blindfolded Him, not that He should not see their wickedness, but that they might hide His face from them. But heretics, and Jews, and wicked Catholics, provoke Him with their vile actions, as it were mocking Him, saying, Who smote you? while they flatter themselves that their evil thoughts and works of darkness are not known by Him.

AUG. Now our Lord is supposed to have suffered these things until morning in the house of the High Priest, to which He was first led. Hence it follows, And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Are you the Christ? &c. 

BEDE; They wished not for truth, but were contriving calumny. Because they expected that Christ would come only as man, of the root of David, they sought this of Him, that if He should say, "I am the Christ," they might falsely accuse Him of claiming to Himself the kingly power.

THEOPHYL. He knew the secrets of their hearts, that they who had not believed His works would much less believe His words. Hence it follows, And he said to them, If I tell you, you will not believe, &c. 

BEDE; For He had often , declared Himself to be the Christ; as when he said, I and my Father are one, and other such like things. And if I also ask you, you will not answer me. For He had asked them how they said Christ was the Son of David, whereas David in the Spirit called Him his Lord. But they wished neither to believe His words nor to answer His questions. 

However, because they sought to accuse falsely the seed of David, they hear something still farther; as it follows, Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. 

THEOPHYL. As if he said, There is no time left to you any longer for discourses and teaching, but hereafter shall be the time of judgment, when you shall see the Son of man, sitting on the right hand of the power of God. 

CYRIL; Whenever sitting and a throne are spoken of God, His kingly and supreme majesty is signified. For we do not imagine any judgment-seat to be placed, on which we believe the Lord of all takes His seat; nor again, that in any wise right hand or left hand appertain to the Divine nature; for figure, and place, and sitting, are the properties of bodies. But how shall the Son be seen to be of equal honor and to sit together on the same throne, if He is not the Son according to nature, having in Himself the natural property of the Father? 

THEOPHYL. When then they heard this, they ought to have been afraid, but after these words they are the more frantic; as it follows, All said, &c. 

BEDE; They understood that He called Himself the Son of God in these words, The Son of man shall sit on the right hand of the power of God. 

AMBROSE; The Lord had rather prove Himself a King than call Himself one, that they might have no excuse for condemning Him, when they confess the truth of that which they lay against Him. It follows, And he said, You say that I am. 

CYRIL; When Christ spoke this, the company of the Pharisees were very wroth, uttering shameful words; as it follows, Then said they, What need we any further witness? &c. 


THEOPHYL. Whereby it the manifest, that the disobedient reap no advantage, when the more secret mysteries are revealed to them, but rather incur the heavier punishment. Wherefore such things ought to be concealed from them.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

St Luke 22:47-62

St Luke 22:

47 Adhuc eo loquente, ecce turba: et qui vocabatur Judas, unus de duodecim, antecedebat eos, et appropinquavit Jesu ut oscularetur eum. 48 Jesus autem dixit illi: Juda, osculo Filium hominis tradis? 49 Videntes autem hi qui circa ipsum erant, quod futurum erat, dixerunt ei: Domine, si percutimus in gladio? 50 Et percussit unus ex illis servum principis sacerdotum, et amputavit auriculam ejus dexteram. 51 Respondens autem Jesus, ait: Sinite usque huc. Et cum tetigisset auriculam ejus, sanavit eum. 52 Dixit autem Jesus ad eos qui venerant ad se principes sacerdotum, et magistratus templi, et seniores: Quasi ad latronem existis cum gladiis et fustibus? 53 Cum quotidie vobiscum fuerim in templo, non extendistis manus in me: sed hæc est hora vestra, et potestas tenebrarum.54 Comprehendentes autem eum, duxerunt ad domum principis sacerdotum: Petrus vero sequebatur a longe. 55 Accenso autem igne in medio atrii et circumsedentibus illis, erat Petrus in medio eorum. 56 Quem cum vidisset ancilla quædam sedentem ad lumen, et eum fuisset intuita, dixit: Et hic cum illo erat. 57 At ille negavit eum, dicens: Mulier, non novi illum. 58 Et post pusillum alius videns eum, dixit: Et tu de illis es. Petrus vero ait: O homo, non sum. 59 Et intervallo facto quasi horæ unius, alius quidam affirmabat, dicens: Vere et hic cum illo erat: nam et Galilæus est. 60 Et ait Petrus: Homo, nescio quid dicis. Et continuo, adhuc illo loquente, cantavit gallus. 61 Et conversus Dominus respexit Petrum, et recordatus est Petrus verbi Domini, sicut dixerat: Quia priusquam gallus cantet, ter me negabis. 62 Et egressus foras Petrus flevit amare.

[47] As he was yet speaking, behold a multitude; and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near to Jesus, for to kiss him. [48] And Jesus said to him: Judas, dost thou betray the Son of man with a kiss? [49] And they that were about him, seeing what would follow, said to him: Lord, shall we strike with the sword? [50] And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.[51] But Jesus answering, said: Suffer ye thus far. And when he had touched his ear, he healed him. [52] And Jesus said to the chief priests, and magistrates of the temple, and the ancients, that were come unto him: Are ye come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs? [53] When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. [54] And apprehending him, they led him to the high priest' s house. But Peter followed afar off. [55] And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were sitting about it, Peter was in the midst of them.[56] Whom when a certain servant maid had seen sitting at the light, and had earnestly beheld him, she said: This man also was with him. [57] But he denied him, saying: Woman, I know him not. [58] And after a little while, another seeing him, said: Thou also art one of them. But Peter said: O man, I am not. [59] And after the space, as it were of one hour, another certain man affirmed, saying: Of a truth, this man was also with him; for he is also a Galilean. [60] And Peter said: Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, as he was yet speaking, the cock crew.[61] And the Lord turning looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, as he had said: Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. [62] And Peter going out, wept bitterly. 

Commentary (Catena Aurea)

CHRYS. For just as incurable wounds yield neither to severe nor soothing remedies, so the soul when once it is taken captive, and has sold itself to any particular sin, will reap no benefit from admonition. And so it was with Judas, who desisted not from His betrayal, though deterred by Christ by every manner of warning. Hence it follows, And drew near to Jesus to kiss him. 

CYRIL; Unmindful of the glory of Christ, he thought to be able to act secretly, daring to make an especial token of love the instrument of his treachery...

PSEUDO-AUG. For to Peter were delivered the keys of the kingdom of heaven, to him were entrusted an innumerable multitude of people, who were wrapped up in sin. But Peter was somewhat too vehement, as the cutting off the ear of the High Priest's servant ant betokens. If he then who was so stern and so severe had obtained the gift of not sinning, what pardon would he have given to the people committed to him? Therefore Divine Providence suffers him first to beholden of sin, that by the consciousness of his own fall he might soften his too harsh judgment towards sinners. When he wished to warm himself at the fire, a maid came to him, of whom it follows, But a certain maid beheld him, &c. 

AMBROSE; What means it, that a maid is the first to betray Peter, whereas surely men ought the more easily to have recognized him, save that that sex should be plainly implicated in our Lord's murder, in order that it might also be redeemed by His Passion; But Peter when discovered denies, for better that Peter should have denied, than our Lord's word should have failed. Hence it follows, And he denied, saying, Woman, I know him not.

AUG. What ails you, Peter, your voice is suddenly changed? That mouth full of faith and love, is turned to hatred and unbelief. Not yet awhile is the scourge applied, not yet the instruments of torture. Your interrogator is no one of authority, who might cause alarm to the confessor. The mere voice of a woman asks the question, and she perhaps not about to divulge your confession, nor yet a woman, but a door-keeper, a mean slave.

AMBROSE; Peter denied, because he promised rashly. He does not deny on the mount, nor in the temple, nor in his own house, but in the judgment-hall of the Jews. There he denies where Jesus was bound, where truth is not. And denying Him he says, I know him not. 

It were presumptuous to say that he knew Him whom the human mind can not grasp. For no one knows the Son but the Father. Again, a second time he denies Christ; for it follows, And after a little while another saw him, and said, You were also one of them.

AUG. And it is supposed that in the second denial he was addressed by two persons, namely, by the maid whom Matthew and Mark mention, and by another whom Luke speaks of. With respect then to what Luke here relates, And after a little while, &c. Peter had already gone out of the gate, and the cock had crowed the first time, as Mark says; and now he had returned, that, as John says, he might again deny standing by the fire. Of which denial it follows, And Peter said, Man, I am not. 

AMBROSE, For he preferred to deny himself rather than Christ, or because he seemed to deny being of the company of Christ, he truly denied himself. 

BEDE; In this denial then of Peter we affirm that not only is Christ denied by him who says that He is not Christ, but by him also, who, being a Christian, says he is not.

AMBROSE; He is also asked a third time; for it follows, And about the space of one hour after, another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him.

AUG. What Matthew and Mark call after a little while, Luke explains by saying, about the space of one hour after; but with regard to the space of time, John says nothing. Likewise when Matthew and Mark record not in the singular but in the plural number those who conversed with Peter, while Luke and John speak of one, we may easily suppose either that Matthew and Mark used the plural for the singular by a common form of speech, or that one person in particular addressed Peter, as being the one who had seen him, and that others trusting to his credit joined in pressing him. But now as to the words which Matthew asserts were said to Peter himself, Truly you are one of them, for your speech betrays you; as also those which to the same Peter, John declared to have been said, Did not I see you in the garden? whereas Mark and Luke state that they spoke to one another concerning Peter; we either believe that they held the right opinion who say that they were really addressed to Peter; (for what was said concerning him in his presence amounts to the same as if it had been said to him;) or that they were said in both ways, and that some of the Evangelists related them one way, some the other... 

AMBROSE; That is, I know not your blasphemies. But we make excuse for him. He did not excuse himself. For an involved answer is not sufficient for our confessing Jesus, but an open confession is required. And therefore Peter is not represented to have answered this deliberately, for he afterwards recollected himself, and wept.

BEDE; Holy Scripture is often wont to mark the character of certain events by the nature of the times in which they take place. Hence Peter who sinned at midnight repented at cock-crow; for it follows, And immediately, while be yet spoke, the cock crew. The error he committed in the darkness of forgetfulness, he corrected by the remembrance of the true light. 

AUG. The cock-crow we understand to have been after the third denial of Peter, as Mark has expressed it. 

BEDE; This cock must, I think, be understood mystically as some great Teacher, who rouses the listless and sleepy, saying, Awake, you righteous, and sin not.

CHRYS. Marvel now at the case of the Master, who though in He was a prisoner, had exercised much forethought for His disciple, whom by a look He brought to Himself, and provoked to tears; for it follows, And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter.

AUG. How we should understand this requires some careful consideration; for Matthew says, Peter was sitting without in the hall, which he would not have said unless the transaction relating to our Lord were passing within. Likewise also, where Mark said, And as Peter was beneath in the hall, he shows that the things he had been speaking of took place not only within but in the upper part. How then did our Lord look upon Peter? not with His bodily face, since Peter was without in the hall among those who were warming themselves, while these things were going on in the inner part of the house. Wherefore, that looking upon Peter seems to me to have been done in a divine manner. And as it was said, Look you, and hear me, and Turn and deliver my soul, so I think the expression here used, The Lord turned and looked upon Peter. 

BEDE; For to look upon him is to have compassion, seeing that not only while penance is being practiced, but that it may be practiced, the mercy of God is necessary.

AMBROSE; Lastly, those whom Jesus looks upon weep for their sins. Hence it follows, And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, Before the cock crow, you shall deny me thrice. 

And he went out, and wept bitterly. Why did he weep? Because he sinned as man. I read of his tears, I do not read of his confession. Tears wash away an offense which it is shame to confess in words. The first and second time he denied and wept not, for as yet our Lord had not looked upon him. He denied the third time, Jesus looked upon him, and he wept bitterly. So then if you will obtain pardon, wash away your guilt in tears. 

CYRIL. Now Peter did not dare to weep openly, lest he should be detected by his tears, but he went out and wept. He wept not because of punishment, but because he denied his beloved Lord, which was more galling than any punishment.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

St Luke 22: 39-46

St Luke 22:

39 Et egressus ibat secundum consuetudinem in monte Olivarum. Secuti sunt autem illum et discipuli. 40 Et cum pervenisset ad locum, dixit illis: Orate ne intretis in tentationem. 41 Et ipse avulsus est ab eis quantum jactus est lapidis: et positis genibus orabat, 42 dicens: Pater, si vis, transfer calicem istum a me: verumtamen non mea voluntas, sed tua fiat. 43 Apparuit autem illi angelus de cælo, confortans eum. Et factus in agonia, prolixius orabat. 44 Et factus est sudor ejus sicut guttæ sanguinis decurrentis in terram. 45 Et cum surrexisset ab oratione et venisset ad discipulos suos, invenit eos dormientes præ tristitia. 46 Et ait illis: Quid dormitis? surgite, orate, ne intretis in tentationem.

 [39] And going out, he went, according to his custom, to the mount of Olives. And his disciples also followed him. [40] And when he was come to the place, he said to them: Pray, lest ye enter into temptation.[41] And he was withdrawn away from them a stone' s cast; and kneeling down, he prayed, [42] Saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done. [43] And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony, he prayed the longer. [44] And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground. [45] And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow.[46] And he said to them: Why sleep you? arise, pray, lest you enter into temptation.

Commentary (de Lapide)

Ver. 39.—And He came out, and went, as He was wont, to the mount of Olives. Bede gives the reason of this: “The Lord, when about to be delivered up, came to the retirement of this accustomed place, that He might be found the more easily. Where are they who maintained that He feared death, and was crucified against His will? Christ was wont, in these last days of His life, to preach in the temple by day, and to retire at night to the mount of Olives to pray. This, Judas, as being an Apostle, and a companion of Christ knew; and hence he came to this mountain with his followers, and there betrayed and delivered up Christ to them.”

Ver. 43.—And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven. The angel appeared in a body assumed visibly that he might comfort the eyes and ears of Christ by his appearance and voice. Jansenius thinks that the angel appeared at each of Christ’s three prayers, and therefore comforted Him three times, to teach us that God always hears those who pray, and gives them grace and strength unceasingly. F. Lucas, and others, think with more reason, that the angel only appeared once, at the third and last prayer, and comforted Him when He prayed more earnestly, and sweated blood, to show that we ought to persevere in prayer, and that the fruit of such perseverance is the comfort of God, and the vision of angels. For after this consolation from the Father by the angel, the agony of Christ seems to have passed away, and He appears to have prayed no more but to have prepared bravely for death. This angel was Gabriel, says Gabriel Vasquez (I. p. tom. ii. disbut. 244, No. 3), for Gabriel has his name from his fortitude, Gabriel being Geber-el the man of God, or Gebura-el the fortitude of God; for he has the office of comforting the weak, afflicted, and fearful. But he comforted Christ not by strengthening His weakness, but by praising His surpassing fortitude. Lud. de Pont. thinks the same in his “Meditation on the Agony of Christ in the Garden,” because Gabriel was the legate and messenger of the œconomy of Christ, as at the Incarnation (Luke i. 26), and of the seventy weeks of Daniel, which foretold the time of the nativity of Christ.

Others, however, as F. Lucas, think that it was Michael, for he is the highest of all angels, and it became him, as such, to perform this office for the supreme God, that is Christ.

Strengthening Him. “The praise and due adoration of Christ,” says Titus, “being premised,” he comforted Christ by speaking to Him outwardly and setting before Him the will and glory of the Father, and the rich fruit which would ensue, both to Christ Himself, to men, and to angels, from His Passion. For the angel could not affect the inner mind of Christ, nor immediately change His inner powers. And as He could only be tempted by Satan, externally, so He could only be comforted by the angel outwardly. He could not be taught nor illuminated by him, for He was above all angels, and from the first moment of His conception, was full of wisdom and knowledge. So say the schoolmen with S. Thomas (3. p. q. 12, art. 4): The angel spoke the following, or like words to Christ, “0 Lord, bravest of men, Thy prayer is most acceptable to Thy Father; because, notwithstanding Thy natural dread of death, Thou resignedst Thyself wholly to the will of the Father boldly to undergo the death appointed for Thee by Him. Lay aside therefore this Thy horror and grief with which Thou hast voluntarily invested Thyself, and reassume Thy former mind and strength, and come bravely to the work of human Redemption, by which Thou wilt most signally celebrate the glory of God, rejoice the angels, redeem men from Hell, and bring them back to the glories of heaven. Endure the cross for the joy that is offered Thee, as the future author and perfector of the faith of very many. Heb. xii. 2. Thus Thou wilt cause SS. Peter and Paul, Laurentius, Vincentius, Agnes, Cœcilia and very many other martyrs and virgins, men, and noble heroes and heroines boldly to undergo martyrdom for God, and the faithful, with other holy men, who triumphed gloriously over the flesh, the world, and the devil. I know that Thou, 0 Lord, hast no need of any strengthening of mine, who am myself strengthened by Thee both to be and to live; but, that this my ministry which I execute as a steward at the command of God Thy Father may be acceptable to Thee, I pray again and again.”

Theophylact thinks that the angel spoke thus, “0 Lord, Thine is the strength, for thou art powerful against death and hell, to set free the race of men.”

Ver. 44.—And being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly. The “et” here in the Hebrew is causal, and means quia, because. That is, the angel comforted Him; because being in an agony and praying more earnestly, He sweated blood, and then appeared to need comfort, and to merit it. The following, was the order of events. Christ had prayed the first and second time, but felt no help of God. Then His feeling growing on Him, He, permitting the agony (that is, a more vehement horror and anguish) to arise in Himself, He sweated blood. To overcome this, He prayed a third time more earnestly, teaching us that as temptation increases our prayers should increase equally. The angel therefore appeared to Him immediately, comforting Him; whereupon He ceased to pray and to fear, and to grieve, and, suppressing and overcoming His agony, He manfully prepared Himself for His Passion, and went forth of His own accord to meet Judas.

More earnestly. The Greek is ε̉κτενέστεζον, that is, more exclusively, more intensely. For this, as appears from SS. Matthew and Mark, was the third prayer of Christ, and He appears to have remained in it longer. More earnestly, because, as the anguish pressed upon Him, Christ, to overcome it, at once directed the contention of His mind, by praying; and He prayed with a more intense feeling and ardour. Luke includes in one as in a compendium, the three prayers of Matthew and Mark, and therefore relates some things of it, which took place in the first and second, and some which took place in the third.

And His sweat was as it were great drops of blood. The Greek has θζόμβοι, gouts, thick masses. The Arabic and S. Irenæus have globi. The Arabic says, “His sweat was (made) as distilling blood descending on the ground.”

Note.  Firstly, Some copies have nothing about this bloody sweat, as S. Hilary shows (De Trinit. lib. x.); S. Jerome (lib. ii. against Pelagius), lest men should ascribe infirmity of mind and weakness to Christ. But now all versions, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic, have the same account, so it is certainly to be read, according to the agreement of the Council of Trent, Session IV.

Secondly, Christ is said to have sweated blood not improperly or as a by-word, and an allegory, as we say of one who is grievously afflicted and tormented, “he sweats blood,” as Euthymius and Theophylact explain it—but truly and properly. Hence the words “as it were” denote not resemblance but the truth. So SS. Hilary, Jerome, Augustine passim. The Ethiopic renders it plainly, “And His sweat was made as the sweat of blood flowing down upon the earth.” The Persian agrees with it. S. Athanasius, also, in his sixth book to Theophilus, which is on the Beatitude of the Son of God, says, “Anathema to those who deny that Christ sweated true blood.”

S. Bernard, treating of this prayer of Christ in the garden, says, “Not only with His eyes does He seem to have wept, but, as it were, with all His members, that His whole Body, which is the Church, might be the more effectually purged by His tears” (Serm. 3 on Palm Sunday). The love of Christ indeed was not content with the watery tears of His eyes, but wished, by the bloody tears of His whole Body, to lament and blot out our sins, and these tears of Christ were most efficacious with God the Father. “For,” says S. Irenæus (Lib. v. cap. i.) “the blood of Christ has a voice and ‘speaketh better things than that of Abel,’ Heb. xii. 24. The blood of Abel calls for vengeance, that of Christ for mercy.”

Symbolically, “the reason was,” says S. Augustine, “that Christ might show that from His whole Body would proceed the passions of martyrs” (Seutent. sent. 68). Again, “The blood of Christ,” says Bede, “flowed down upon the earth to show that men of the earth would be moistened by it.”

Ver. 45.—And when He rose up from prayer. For sorrow contracts the heart, and hinders the vital and subtle spirits from being sent to the head; wherefore the black and crass vapours which are the cause of sleep, invade the brain. But there is a hysteron proteron here. For these things happened before the bloody sweat which took place in the third prayer of Christ, while the former happened in the first prayer, as is clear from SS. Matthew and Mark. The reason is that S. Luke compresses the three prayers into one, and unites what happened at different times in the three prayers as if they had been done in one and the same. For after the first prayer, Christ, visiting the Apostles and finding them asleep, said as follows,

Ver. 46.—And said unto them, Why sleep ye? See what has been said on Matthew xxvi. xxvii.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

St Luke 22:24-38

St Luke 22: 

24 Facta est autem et contentio inter eos, quis eorum videretur esse major. 25 Dixit autem eis: Reges gentium dominantur eorum: et qui potestatem habent super eos, benefici vocantur. 26 Vos autem non sic: sed qui major est in vobis, fiat sicut minor: et qui præcessor est, sicut ministrator. 27 Nam quis major est, qui recumbit, an qui ministrat? nonne qui recumbit? Ego autem in medio vestrum sum, sicut qui ministrat:28 vos autem estis, qui permansistis mecum in tentationibus meis. 29 Et ego dispono vobis sicut disposuit mihi Pater meus regnum, 30 ut edatis et bibatis super mensam meam in regno meo, et sedeatis super thronos judicantes duodecim tribus Israël. 31 Ait autem Dominus: Simon, Simon, ecce Satanas expetivit vos ut cribraret sicut triticum: 32 ego autem rogavi pro te ut non deficiat fides tua: et tu aliquando conversus, confirma fratres tuos. 33 Qui dixit ei: Domine, tecum paratus sum et in carcerem et in mortem ire. 34 At ille dixit: Dico tibi, Petre, non cantabit hodie gallus, donec ter abneges nosse me. Et dixit eis: 35 Quando misi vos sine sacculo, et pera, et calceamentis, numquid aliquid defuit vobis? 36 At illi dixerunt: Nihil. Dixit ergo eis: Sed nunc qui habet sacculum, tollat; similiter et peram: et qui non habet, vendat tunicam suam et emat gladium. 37 Dico enim vobis, quoniam adhuc hoc quod scriptum est, oportet impleri in me: Et cum iniquis deputatus est. Etenim ea quæ sunt de me finem habent. 38 At illi dixerunt: Domine, ecce duo gladii hic. At ille dixit eis: Satis est.

[24] And there was also a strife amongst them, which of them should seem to be the greater. [25] And he said to them: The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and they that have power over them, are called beneficent.[26] But you not so: but he that is the greater among you, let him become as the younger; and he that is the leader, as he that serveth. [27] For which is greater, he that sitteth at table, or he that serveth? Is it not he that sitteth at table? But I am in the midst of you, as he that serveth: [28] And you are they who have continued with me in my temptations: [29] And I dispose to you, as my Father hath disposed to me, a kingdom; [30] That you may eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom: and may sit upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.[31] And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: [32] But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. [33] Who said to him: Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. [34] And he said: I say to thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, till thou thrice deniest that thou knowest me. And he said to them: [35] When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, did you want anything?
[36] But they said: Nothing. Then said he unto them: But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip; and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword. [37] For I say to you, that this that is written must yet be fulfilled in me: And with the wicked was he reckoned. For the things concerning me have an end. [38] But they said: Lord, behold here are two swords. And he said to them, It is enough.

Commentary (de Lapide)

Ver. 25.—And they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. Benefactor is a title of honour and praise which is bestowed upon princes because they are, or ought to be, good. The proper epithet of kings in former time was “good.” Virgil uses it of Acestes (Æn i. 195). Martial applies it to Trajan and Domitian, and Horace to Romulus. Homer thought nothing requisite in a king, but to be brave against the enemy, and good to the citizens. Paul calls Felix “Most Excellent.” Acts xxiv. 3.

Ver. 26.—But ye shall not be so. The Arabic has “Let the greater of you be as the least”—that is, let him among you who wishes to be the greatest, become the least. In this way he shall be the greatest.
Morally, let us learn this parable of Christ, incredible to the world, but in itself most true, and by experience most certain, namely, that the way to exaltation is abasement of self. Do we wish to become greater? Let us become less. God has sanctioned and fixed this way by His eternal law, and therefore Christ was the first-fruits to enter upon it, that we, by the same law, might follow Him, as in Phil. ii. 8, 9, 10, 11.

Hence S. Francis, a great follower and imitator of Christ, humbled himself to the lowest of all lowness, and wished to be the poorest and vilest of all men; and to a certain saint, a most lofty and splendid seat in heaven was shown, and when he asked whose it was, the answer was given, “It was the seat of one of the great ones among the fallen angels, but it is now reserved for the holy Francis.” S. Bonav., chap. vi., Life of St. Francis. The same S. Francis wished his followers to be called “Minores,” lest they should presume to become majores. His scribe, S. Francis de Paula, ordered the brethren of his order, to be called not Minores but Minimi. Hence the blessed Magdelena de Pazzi, who has been lately enrolled among the blessed by our holy father, Urban VIII., received the following order from God, “Be of the order of Minimæ, and the least of them, that thou mayest strive as zealously to be the least as men of this world do to be the greatest.” S. Elizabeth, wife of the Landgrave of Hesse, and the daughter of the king, of Hungary, personally, against the remonstrances of her friends, tended the sick and outcast, and said that if there were any position more humble still she would gladly fill it, the more closely to follow Christ, who from the first humbled Himself to be the lowest of men, as Isaiah describes, ch. liii.; for in this consists the crown of virtue and perfection. The like did Hedwig, Duchess of Polonia, and her granddaughter, S. Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal. So S. Paulinus, Bishop of Nola, sold himself for a slave, for the good of a son of a widow, that he might imitate Christ, and make himself one of the most humble of men. Peter Telonarius did the same, as is related in the Life of S. John Eleemosynarius. This is what the wise man teaches, Ecclus. iii. 20. See what I have commented thereon.

Ver. 29.—And I appoint unto you a kingdom. As My Father has decreed and prepared for Me, through humility and the cross: through so many labours and sufferings: a kingdom heavenly and eternal, so do I also appoint the same unto you: that is, I decree, prepare, and, going to death I now appoint, as by my will, that through the same humility, cross, and suffering, you shall possess a like, nay, the same kingdom with Me in heaven; dispute not then who among you shall be greatest, but who shall be less, that each may study to surpass the other in low estate and humility, for whoever does this, shall be first and greatest in my kingdom.

Ver. 30.—That ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom. As kings gave to their most intimate nobles a place at their own table, and made them companions of their banquets, but assigned to other and less famous nobles another table, so will I make you, My Apostles, the chief and foremost of My kingdom, and place you most nearly to Myself, and, as it were, at My table, and I will have you as the most intimate guests of My royal feasts. “In like manner,” say Euthymius, Titus, and Theophylact, “He shows that the Apostles, as the first and most illustrious of His followers, should enjoy the highest honours with their immortal king. It is by catachresis that the pleasures and honours of the kingdom of heaven are often compared in Holy Scripture to banquets, and feasts of meat and drink, and to the first seats at table with kings; because carnal men understand these things best, but are unable to estimate spiritual ones, and because, as meat and drink are incorporated into ourselves and made our own, so, in heaven by the beautiful vision and His other glorious gifts, God will be incorporated into us, as it were, and will be made our own.”

Ver. 31.—And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have You. Sift—that is vex, afflict, agitate, cast you down as wheat in a sieve that it may be cleared of chaff and dust. Satan in the same manner asked God to permit him to sift and afflict Job, and in some degree he obtained his end. He did the same again to Peter and the other Apostles, and again, in part succeeded, when he stirred up the Jews to seize Christ, for then the Apostles themselves fled in fear and were dispersed. The temptation is well compared to sifting and a sieve, because, as by means of the sieve the grains of wheat are separated from the chaff, and remain in the sieve, while the chaff is scattered to the wind, and dispersed in air, so the faithful and the saints in temptation remain constant, but the wicked fail and fly off.

But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not. For thee, because I destine thee to be the head and chief of the Apostles and of My Church, that thy faith fail not in believing Me to be the Christ and the Saviour of the world. Observe that Christ in this prayer asked and obtained for Peter two especial privileges before the other Apostles: the first was personal, that he should never fall from faith in Christ; for Christ looked back to the sifting in the former verse, that is the temptation of His own apprehension when the other Apostles flew off from Him like chaff and lost their faith, and were dispersed, and fled into all parts. But Peter, although he denied Christ with his lips, at the hour foretold, and lost his love for Him, yet retained his faith. So S. Chrysostom (Hom. xxxviii.) on S. Matthew; S. Augustine (de corrept. et Grat. chap. viii.); Theophylact and others. This is possible but not certain, for F. Lucas and others think that Peter then lost both his faith and his love, from excessive perturbation and fear; but only for a short time, and so that his faith afterwards sprang up anew, and was restored with fresh vitality. Hence it is thought not to have wholly failed, or to have been torn up by the roots, but rather to have been shaken and dead for a time.

Another and a certain privilege was common to Peter with all his successors, that he and all the other bishops of Rome (for Peter, as Christ willed, founded and confirmed the Pontifical Church at Rome), should never openly fall from this faith, so as to teach the Church heresy, or any error, contrary to the faith. So S. Leo (serm. xxii.), on Natalis of SS. Peter and Paul; S. Cyprian (Lib. i. ep 3), to Cornelius; Lucius I., Felix I., Agatho, Nicolas I., Leo IX., Innocent III., Bernard and others, whom Bellarmine cites and follows (Lib. i. de Pontif. Roman).

For it was necessary that Christ, by His most wise providence, should provide for His Church, which is ever being sifted and tempted by the devil, and that not only in the time of Peter, but at all times henceforth, even to the end of the world, an oracle of the true faith which she might consult in every doubt and by which she might be taught and confirmed in the faith, otherwise the Church might err in faith, quod absit! For she is as S. Paul said to Timothy, “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. iii 15). This oracle of the Church then is Peter, and all successive bishops of Rome. This promise made to Peter, and his successors, most especially applies to the time when Peter, as the successor of Christ, began to be the head of the Church, that is, after the death of Christ.

And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. “From the sifting of Satan, that is from his temptation and from the sin by which thou wilt deny Me; for by this thou wilt be turned aside from Me, and My grace and love.” So Euthymius, Theophylact, Jansen, F. Lucas, and others.
Some take this converted (conversus) as meaning “again” (iterum). So Bede, “Do thou, 0 Peter, again confirm the Apostles thy brethren, in the faith after My death, whom I now, while alive, strengthen by My words.” For the Hebrew often uses the verb for the adverb. So Ps. lxxxv. 6.

Strengthen thy brethren. Thy brethren, and therefore Mine. The condescension of Christ here is wonderful. He does not call the Apostles sons although He spiritually begot them to God, but brothers: as well because Christ as man, was the brother of all men, being a sharer of the same human nature, as because the Apostles in their apostleship and preaching of the Gospel, were the brothers and colleagues of Christ; for they did the same work as He. Hence the Fathers, whom I have cited, and the Doctors of the Church conclude that Peter was set over the other Apostles by Christ, and consequently was made the head and chief over the whole Church, that he might build up, perfect, and confirm the Church in the faith and religion of Christ.

Ver. 36.—But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip. A purse filled with money, a scrip with food, that they might have support in the impending persecution; for they will never find either, “because men will fly from Me, who am bound and accused, and consequently from My disciples as men wicked and condemned.”

And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. Christ, in these words, did not command them to take a purse and a scrip, and to sell their garment and buy a sword, for He soon after forbade Peter to draw his sword; but they were a warning of the fierce persecution which was about to fall upon Himself and the apostles, and which was so heavy to those that regarded the difficulty of the case with the eyes of mere human wisdom, that food and weapons would appear things absolutely necessary for the preservation of life. The meaning therefore is this, “Everything, so far, has happened to you, 0 my Apostles, well and prosperously; for when I sent you to preach the Gospel without purse, or scrip, or sword, you were kindly received by most, fed, and sheltered, and had no need of these things. But now so grievous a persecution is impending over you, and so great is the danger to your lives, that in human prudence it may seem necessary to each to think of the preservation of his life, and therefore to take a scrip and purse for provision, and a weapon for defence, and to sell his cloak, and buy a sword. But to Me, who weigh circumstances by the design and decree of God the Father, there is no need of such things; for I go voluntarily to the cross, and to death, and I offer Myself of My own free will, to those who will persecute Me and crucify Me, so that I may conform Myself to the will of My Father.” So S. Chrysostom (Hom. 85 on S. Matt.), and from him Theophylact on this passage, Jansen, Maldonatus, and others. S. Ambrose says well, “0 Lord, why commandest Thou me to buy a sword, and forbiddest me to strike, unless that I may be prepared for my defence, and that Thou mayest appear able to avenge though Thou wouldst not?”

Ver. 38.—And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. They did not understand the mind and words of Christ clearly. He did not mean that they should buy swords, but He wished to show them the impending danger. Christ did not explain His meaning to the Apostles, but concealed it, saying, “It is enough,” meaning that Peter and the other Apostles might carry these swords, and even cut off Malchus’ ear, which He Himself afterwards restored and healed, showing that He was not compelled by force, but was urged by love, willingly and freely to suffer and die. Some think that they were not military swords, but rather large butchers’ knives, which the apostles used for the slaughtering, sacrificing, and disjointing of the Paschal Lamb. So S. Chrysostom, from whom I have said more on Matt. xxvii.

Monday, 15 September 2014

St Luke 22:1-23

St Luke 22:

1 Appropinquabat autem dies festus azymorum, qui dicitur Pascha: 2 et quærebant principes sacerdotum, et scribæ, quomodo Jesum interficerent: timebant vero plebem. 3 Intravit autem Satanas in Judam, qui cognominabatur Iscariotes, unum de duodecim: 4 et abiit, et locutus est cum principibus sacerdotum, et magistratibus, quemadmodum illum traderet eis. 5 Et gavisi sunt, et pacti sunt pecuniam illi dare. 6 Et spopondit, et quærebat opportunitatem ut traderet illum sine turbis.7 Venit autem dies azymorum, in qua necesse erat occidi pascha. 8 Et misit Petrum et Joannem, dicens: Euntes parate nobis pascha, ut manducemus. 9 At illi dixerunt: Ubi vis paremus? 10 Et dixit ad eos: Ecce introëuntibus vobis in civitatem occurret vobis homo quidam amphoram aquæ portans: sequimini eum in domum, in quam intrat, 11 et dicetis patrifamilias domus: Dicit tibi Magister: Ubi est diversorium, ubi pascha cum discipulis meis manducem? 12 Et ipse ostendet vobis cœnaculum magnum stratum, et ibi parate. 13 Euntes autem invenerunt sicut dixit illis, et paraverunt pascha. 14 Et cum facta esset hora, discubuit, et duodecim apostoli cum eo.15 Et ait illis: Desiderio desideravi hoc pascha manducare vobiscum, antequam patiar. 16 Dico enim vobis, quia ex hoc non manducabo illud, donec impleatur in regno Dei. 17 Et accepto calice gratias egit, et dixit: Accipite, et dividite inter vos. 18 Dico enim vobis quod non bibam de generatione vitis donec regnum Dei veniat. 19 Et accepto pane gratias egit, et fregit, et dedit eis, dicens: Hoc est corpus meum, quod pro vobis datur: hoc facite in meam commemorationem. 20 Similiter et calicem, postquam cœnavit, dicens: Hic est calix novum testamentum in sanguine meo, qui pro vobis fundetur. 21 Verumtamen ecce manus tradentis me, mecum est in mensa. 22 Et quidem Filius hominis, secundum quod definitum est, vadit: verumtamen væ homini illi per quem tradetur. 23 Et ipsi cœperunt quærere inter se quis esset ex eis qui hoc facturus esset.

1] Now the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the pasch, was at hand. [2] And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put Jesus to death: but they feared the people. [3] And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve. [4] And he went, and discoursed with the chief priests and the magistrates, how he might betray him to them. [5] And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.[6] And he promised. And he sought opportunity to betray him in the absence of the multitude. [7] And the day of the unleavened bread came, on which it was necessary that the pasch should be killed. [8] And he sent Peter and John, saying: Go, and prepare for us the pasch, that we may eat. [9] But they said: Where wilt thou that we prepare? [10] And he said to them: Behold, as you go into the city, there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water: follow him into the house where he entereth in.[11] And you shall say to the goodman of the house: The master saith to thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? [12] And he will shew you a large dining room, furnished; and there prepare. [13] And they going, found as he had said to them, and made ready the pasch. [14] And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. [15] And he said to them: With desire I have desired to eat this pasch with you, before I suffer.[16] For I say to you, that from this time I will not eat it, till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. [17] And having taken the chalice, he gave thanks, and said: Take, and divide it among you: [18] For I say to you, that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come. [19] And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. [20] In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.[21] But yet behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. [22] And the Son of man indeed goeth, according to that which is determined: but yet, woe to that man by whom he shall be betrayed. [23] And they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.

Commentary

 de Lapide:

Ver.6.—And he sought opportunity to betray Him unto them. Judas sold Jesus Christ on the fourth day of the week, the day of Mercury; on the following day, or the day of Jupiter, he delivered Him to them. Thence followed “the day of unleavened bread.” See how sudden was the wickedness of the Jews, and equally cunning and crafty. For they knew that Christ would celebrate the Passover, according to His custom, on the day following at Jerusalem, and that it would therefore be most convenient to deliver Him up then to the Jews at Jerusalem.

Ver. 20.—This cup is the new Testament in My blood. That is, this cup is the authentic instrument, and, as it were, the chart and tabula testamentaria, in which My new covenant is written and signed for giving you My heavenly inheritance, written, I say, not with ink, but in My blood. 1 Cor. xi. 23, &c.

Catena Aurea:

BEDE; Now the Passover, which is called in Hebrew "Phase," is not so named from the Passion, but from the passing over, because the destroying angel, seeing the blood on the doors of the Israelites, passed over them, and touched not their first-born. Or the Lord Himself, giving assistance to His people, walked over them. But herein is the difference between the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread, that by the Passover is meant that day alone on which the lamb was slain towards the evening, that is, on the fourteenth day of the first month, but on the fifteenth, when the Israelites went out of Egypt, followed the feast of unleavened bread for seven days, up to the twenty-first of the same month. Hence the writers of the Gospel substitute one indifferently for the other. As here it is said, The day of unleavened bread, which is called the Passover. But it is signified by a mystery, that Christ having suffered once for us, has commanded us through the whole time of this world which is passed in seven days, to live in the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth....

BOST. Satan entered into Judas not by force, but finding the door open. For forgetful of all that he had seen, Judas now turned his thoughts solely to covetousness.... 

CHRYS. By covetousness then Judas became what he was, for it follows, And they covenanted to give him money. Such are the evil passions which covetousness engenders, it makes men irreligious, and compels them to lose all knowledge of God, though they have received a thousand benefits from Him, nay, even to injure Him, as it follows, And he contracted with them. 

THEOPHYL. That is, he bargained and promised. And sought opportunity to betray him to them, without the crowds, that is, when he saw Him standing by Himself apart, in the absence of the multitude. 

BEDE; Now many shudder at the wickedness of Judas, yet do not guard against it. For whosoever despises the laws of truth and love, betrays Christ who is truth and love. Above all, when he sins not from infirmity or ignorance but after the likeness of Judas seeks opportunity, when no one is present, to change truth for a lie, virtue for crime...

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Exaltation of Holy Cross

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of Holy Cross, for which the Gospel is St John 12: 31-36:

31 Nunc judicium est mundi: nunc princeps hujus mundi ejicietur foras. 32 Et ego, si exaltatus fuero a terra, omnia traham ad meipsum. 33 (Hoc autem dicebat, significans qua morte esset moriturus.)34 Respondit ei turba: Nos audivimus ex lege, quia Christus manet in æternum: et quomodo tu dicis: Oportet exaltari Filium hominis? quis est iste Filius hominis? 35 Dixit ergo eis Jesus: Adhuc modicum, lumen in vobis est. Ambulate dum lucem habetis, ut non vos tenebræ comprehendant; et qui ambulat in tenebris, nescit quo vadat. 36 Dum lucem habetis, credite in lucem, ut filii lucis sitis. Hæc locutus est Jesus, et abiit et abscondit se ab eis.

31 Sentence is now being passed on this world; now is the time when the prince of this world is to be cast out. 32 Yes, if only I am lifted up from the earth, I will attract all men to myself. 33 (In saying this, he prophesied the death he was to die.)34 The multitude answered him, We have been told, out of the law, that Christ is to remain undisturbed for ever;[5] what dost thou mean by saying that the Son of Man must be lifted up? What Son of Man is this? 35 And Jesus said to them, The light is among you still, but only for a short time. Finish your journey while you still have the light, for fear darkness should overtake you; he who journeys in darkness cannot tell which way he is going. 36 While you still have the light, have faith in the light, that so you may become children of the light. So much Jesus told them, and then went away, and was lost to their view.

Matins readings (Pope St Leo the Great)

Reading 9: Dearly beloved brethren, when we gaze upon Christ lifted up upon the Cross, the eyes of our mind see more than that which appeared before the wicked, unto whom it was said through Moses: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee, and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life. They saw in the crucified Lord nothing but the work of their own wickedness, and they feared greatly, not with that faith which giveth earnest of life by justification, but with that whereby the evil conscience is tortured. 

Reading 10: But our understanding is enlightened by the Spirit of truth, and with pure and open hearts we see the glory of the Cross shining over heaven and earth, and discern by inward glance what the Lord meant when His Passion was nigh at hand, and He said Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all things unto Me. How wonderful is the power of the Cross! O how unutterable is the glory of the Passion, wherein standeth the Lord's judgment - seat, and the judgment of this world, and the might of the Crucified! Lord! Thou hast drawn all things unto thee! Thou didst spread out thine Hands all the day unto an unbelieving and gainsaying people, but the world hath felt and owned thy Majesty! Lord! 

Reading 11: Thou hast drawn all things unto thee! All the elements gave one wild cry of horror at the iniquity of the Jews the lights of the firmament were darkened, day turned into night, earth quaked with strange tremblings, and all God's work refused to serve the guilty. Lord! Thou hast drawn all things unto thee! The veil of the Temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, the Holy of Holies denied itself as a Sanctuary for the ministration of unworthy Priests, that the shadow might be changed for the substance, prophecy for realization, and the Law for the Gospel.