Saturday, 28 March 2015

John 20: 19-31

Caravaggio
Today's concluding section of Chapter 20 of St John's Gospel includes the story of Doubting Thomas.

The text

The New Advent page provides the Greek, Latin and Knox English in a parallel text version.  You can listen to the Latin here  and the Greek here.  Here is the Latin:

19 Cum ergo sero esset die illo, una sabbatorum, et fores essent clausæ, ubi erant discipuli congregati propter metum Judæorum: venit Jesus, et stetit in medio, et dixit eis: Pax vobis. 20 Et cum hoc dixisset, ostendit eis manus et latus. Gavisi sunt ergo discipuli, viso Domino. 21 Dixit ergo eis iterum: Pax vobis. Sicut misit me Pater, et ego mitto vos. 22 Hæc cum dixisset, insufflavit, et dixit eis: Accipite Spiritum Sanctum: 23 quorum remiseritis peccata, remittuntur eis: et quorum retinueritis, retenta sunt. 24 Thomas autem unus ex duodecim, qui dicitur Didymus, non erat cum eis quando venit Jesus. 25 Dixerunt ergo ei alii discipuli: Vidimus Dominum. Ille autem dixit eis: Nisi videro in manibus ejus fixuram clavorum, et mittam digitum meum in locum clavorum, et mittam manum meam in latus ejus, non credam. 26 Et post dies octo, iterum erant discipuli ejus intus, et Thomas cum eis. Venit Jesus januis clausis, et stetit in medio, et dixit: Pax vobis. 27 Deinde dicit Thomæ: Infer digitum tuum huc, et vide manus meas, et affer manum tuam, et mitte in latus meum: et noli esse incredulus, sed fidelis. 28 Respondit Thomas, et dixit ei: Dominus meus et Deus meus. 29 Dixit ei Jesus: Quia vidisti me, Thoma, credidisti: beati qui non viderunt, et crediderunt.30 Multa quidem et alia signa fecit Jesus in conspectu discipulorum suorum, quæ non sunt scripta in libro hoc. 31 Hæc autem scripta sunt ut credatis, quia Jesus est Christus Filius Dei: et ut credentes, vitam habeatis in nomine ejus.

The Douay-Rheims:

[19] Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. [20] And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord.[21] He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. [22] When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. [23] Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. [24] Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. [25] The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.[26] And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. [27] Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. [28] Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. [29] Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed. [30] Many other signs also did Jesus in the sight of his disciples, which are not written in this book.[31] But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name.

Commentary

The Catena Aurea's commentaries highlight the weakness of the apostles:

CHRYS. The disciples, when they heard what Mary told them, were obliged either to disbelieve, or, if they believed, to grieve that He did not count them worthy to have the sight of Him. He did not let them however pass a whole day in such reflections, but in the midst of their longing trembling desires to see Him, presented Himself to them: Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews. 

BEDE. Wherein is strewn the infirmity of the Apostles. They assembled with doors shut, through that same fear of the Jews, which had before scattered them: Came Jesus, and stood in the midst. He came in the evening, because they would be the most afraid at that time... 

CHRYS. It is wonderful that they did not think him a phantom. But Mary had provided against this, by the faith she had wrought in them. And He Himself too showed Himself so openly, and strengthened their wavering minds by His voice: And says to them, Peace be to you, i.e. Be not disturbed. Wherein too He reminds them; of what He had said before His crucifixion; My peace I give to you; and again, In Me you shall have peace. 

GREG. And because their faith wavered even with the material body before them, He showed them His hands and side: And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. 

The significance of his breathing on them:

CHRYS. Having then given them confidence by His own miracles, and appealing to Him who sent Him, He uses a prayer to the Father, but of His own authority gives them power: And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and says to them, Receive you the Holy Ghost. 

AUG. That corporeal breath was not the substance of the Holy Ghost, but to show, by meet symbol, that the Holy Ghost proceeded not only from the Father, but the Son. For who would be so mad as to say, that it was one Spirit which He gave by breathing, and another which He sent after His ascension? 

GREG. But why is He first given too the disciples on earth, and afterwards sent from heaven? Because there are two commandments of love, to love God, and to love our neighbor. The spirit to love our neighbor is given on earth, the spirit to love God is given from heaven. As then love is one, and there are two commandments; so the Spirit is one, and there are two gifts of the Spirit. And the first is given by our Lord while yet upon earth, the second from heaven, because by the love of our neighbor we learn how to arrive at the love of God. 

CHRYS. Some say that by breathing He did not give them the Spirit, but made them meet to receive the Spirit. For if Daniel's senses were so overpowered by the sight of the Angel, how would they have been overwhelmed in receiving that unutterable gift, if He had not first prepared them for it! It would not be wrong however to say that they received then the gift of a certain spiritual power, not to raise the dead and do miracles, but to remit sins: Whosoever sins you remit, they are remitted to them, and whosoever sins you retain, they are retained. 

AUG. The love of the Church, which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, remits the sins of those who partake of it; but retains the sins of those who do not. Where then He has said, Receive you the Holy Ghost, He instantly makes mention of the remission and retaining of sins. 

GREG. We must understand that those who first received the Holy Ghost, for innocence of life in themselves, and preaching to a few others, received it openly after the resurrection, that they might profit not a few only, but many. The disciples who were called to such works of humility, to what a height of glory are they led! Lo, not only have they salvation for themselves, but are admitted to the powers of the supreme Judgment-seat; so that, in the place of God, they retain some men's sins, and remit others. Their place in the Church, the Bishops now hold; who receive the authority to bind, when they are admitted to the ram; of government. Great the honor, but heavy the burden of the place. It is ill if one who knows not how to govern his own life, shall be judge of another's. 

On Thomas' doubts: 

ALCUIN. Didymus, double or doubtful, because he doubted in believing: Thomas, depth, because with most sure faith he penetrated into the depth of our Lord's divinity. 

GREG. It was not an accident that that particular disciple was not present. The Divine mercy ordained that a doubting disciple should, by feeling in his Master the wounds of the flesh heal in us the wounds of unbelief. The unbelief of Thomas is more profitable to our faith, than the belief of the other disciples; for, the touch by which he is brought to believe, confirming our minds in belief, beyond all question. 

CHRYS. As to believe directly, and any how, is the mark of too easy a mind, so is too much inquiring of a gross one: and this is Thomas's fault. For when the Apostle said, We have seen the Lord, he did not believe, not because he discredited them, but from an idea of the impossibility of the thing itself: The other disciples therefore said to him, We have seen the Lord. But he said to them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. Being the grossest of all, he required the evidence of the grossest sense, viz. the touch, and would not even believe his eyes: for he does not say only, Except I shall see, but adds, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side.

AUG. He might, had He pleased, have wiped all spot and trace of wound from His glorified body; but He had reasons for retaining them. He showed them to Thomas, who would not believe except he saw and touched, and He will show them to His enemies, not to say, as He did to Thomas, Because you have seen, you have believed, but to convict them: Behold the Man whom you crucified, see the wounds which you inflicted, recognize the side which you pierced, that it was by you, and for you, that it was opened, and yet you cannot enter there. 

GREG. Our Lord gave that flesh to be touched which He had introduced through shut doors: wherein two wonderful, and, according to human reason, contradictory things appear, viz. that after the resurrection He had a body incorruptible, and yet palpable. For that which is palpable must be corruptible, and that which is incorruptible must be impalpable. But He showed Himself incorruptible and yet palpable, to prove that His body after His resurrection was the same in nature as before, but different in glory. 

AUG. Thomas saw and touched the man, and confessed the. God whom he neither saw nor touched. By means of the one he believed the other undoubtingly: Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and My God. 

THEOPHYL. He who had been before unbelieving, after touching the body showed himself the best divine; for he asserted the twofold nature and one Person of Christ; by saying, My Lord, the human nature by saying, My God, the divine, and by joining them both, confessed that one and the same Person was Lord and God.

Friday, 27 March 2015

John 20: 11-18



At the end of the last section, the Apostles, having viewed the empty sepulchre but without understanding what it meant, departed the scene. Mary Magdalene, however, remained behind.

The text

The New Advent page provides the Greek, Latin and Knox English in a parallel text version.  You can listen to the Latin here  and the Greek here.  Here is the Latin:

11 Maria autem stabat ad monumentum foris, plorans. Dum ergo fleret, inclinavit se, et prospexit in monumentum: 12 et vidit duos angelos in albis sedentes, unum ad caput, et unum ad pedes, ubi positum fuerat corpus Jesu. 13 Dicunt ei illi: Mulier, quid ploras? Dicit eis: Quia tulerunt Dominum meum: et nescio ubi posuerunt eum. 14 Hæc cum dixisset, conversa est retrorsum, et vidit Jesum stantem: et non sciebat quia Jesus est. 15 Dicit ei Jesus: Mulier, quid ploras? quem quæris? Illa existimans quia hortulanus esset, dicit ei: Domine, si tu sustulisti eum, dicito mihi ubi posuisti eum, et ego eum tollam. 16 Dicit ei Jesus: Maria. Conversa illa, dicit ei: Rabboni (quod dicitur Magister). 17 Dicit ei Jesus: Noli me tangere, nondum enim ascendi ad Patrem meum: vade autem ad fratres meos, et dic eis: Ascendo ad Patrem meum, et Patrem vestrum, Deum meum, et Deum vestrum.18 Venit Maria Magdalene annuntians discipulis: Quia vidi Dominum, et hæc dixit mihi.

Douay-Rheims:

[11] But Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, [12] And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. [13] They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him. [14] When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing; and she knew not that it was Jesus. [15] Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, thinking it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. [16] Jesus saith to her: Mary. She turning, saith to him: Rabboni (which is to say, Master). [17] Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God. [18] Mary Magdalen cometh, and telleth the disciples: I have seen the Lord, and these things he said to me.

Commentaries

From the Catena Aurea:

CHRYS. The sight of the sepulcher itself was some consolation. Nay, behold her, to console herself still more, stooping down, to see the very place where the body lay: And as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher.

GREG. For to have looked once is not enough for love. Love makes one desire to look over and over again.


AUG. In her too great grief she could believe neither her own eyes, nor the disciples. Or was it a divine impulse which caused her to look in?


GREG. She sought the body, and found it not; she persevered in seeking; and so it came to pass that she found. Her longings growing the stronger, the more they were disappointed, at last found and laid hold on their object. For holy longings ever gain strength by delay, did they not, they would not be longings. Mary so loved, that not content with seeing the sepulcher, she stooped down and looked in: let us see the fruit which came of this persevering love: And sees two Angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain,


CHRYS. As her understanding was not so raised as to be able to gather from the napkins the fact of the resurrection, she is given the sight of Angels in bright apparel, who soothe her sorrow


The significance of the angels:

AUG. But why did one sit at the head, the other at the feet? To signify that the glad tidings of Christ's Gospel was to be delivered from the head to the feet, from the beginning to the end. The Greek word Angel means one who delivers news.

GREG. The Angel sits at the head when the Apostles preach that in the beginning was the Word: he sits, as it were, at the feet, when it is said, The Word was made flesh. By the two Angels too we may understand the two testaments; both of which proclaim alike the incarnation, death, and resurrection of our Lord. The Old seems to sit at the head, the New at the feet.


CHRYS. The Angels who appear say nothing about the resurrection; but by degrees the subject is entered on. First of all they address her compassionately, to prevent her from being overpowered by a spectacle of such extraordinary brightness: And they say to her, Woman, why weep you? The Angels forbade tears, and announced, as it were, the joy that was at hand: Why weep you? As if to say, Weep not.


Noli me tangere:

GREG The Evangelist does not add what she did upon recognizing Him, but we know from what our Lord said to her: Jesus says to her, Touch Me not. Mary then had tried to embrace His feet, but was not allowed. Why not? The reason follows: For I am not yet ascended to My Father.

AUG. But if standing upon the earth, He is not touched, how shall He be touched sitting in heaven? And did He not before His ascension offer Himself to the touch of the disciples: Handle Me and see, for a spirit has not flesh and bones? Who can be so absurd as to suppose that He was willing that disciples should touch Him before He ascended to His Father, and unwilling that women should till after Nay, we read of women after the resurrection, and before He ascended to His Father, touching Him, one of whom was Mary Magdalene herself, according to Matthew. Either then Mary here is a type of the Gentile Church, which did not believe in Christ till after His ascension: or the meaning is that Jesus is to be believed in, i.e. spiritually touched, in no other way, but as being one with the Father. He ascends to the Father mystically, as it were, in the mind of him who has so far advanced as to acknowledge that He is equal to the Father. But how could Mary believe in Him otherwise than carnally, when she wept for Him as a man?


AUG. Touch is as it were the end of knowledge and He was unwilling that a soul intent upon Him should have its end, in thinking Him only what He seemed to be.


CHRYS. Mary wished to be as familiar with Christ now, as she was before His Passion; forgetting, in her joy, that His body was made much more holy by its resurrection. So, Touch Me not, He says, to remind her of this, and make her feel awe in talking with Him. For which reason too He no longer keeps company with His disciples, viz. that they might look upon Him with the greater awe. Again, by saying I have not yet ascended, He shows that He is hastening there. And He who was going to depart and live no more with men, ought not to be regarded with the same feeling that He was before: But go to My brethren, and say to them, I ascend to My Father, and you Father; and to My God, and your God.


Apostle to the apostles:

AUG. She then went away from. the sepulcher, i.e. from that part of the garden before the rock which had been hollowed out, and with her the other women. But these, according to Mark, were seized with trembling and amazement, and said nothing to any man: Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

GREG. So the sin of mankind is buried in the very place whence it came forth. For whereas in Paradise the woman gave the man the deadly fruit, a woman from the sepulcher announced life to men; a woman delivers the message of Him who raises us from the dead, as a woman had delivered the words of the serpent who slew us.


AUG. While she was going with the other women, according to Matthew, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. So we gather that there were two visions of Angels ; and that our Lord too was seen twice once when Mary took Him for the gardener, and again, when He met them by the way, and by this repeating His presence confirmed their faith. And so Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples, not alone, but with the other women whom Luke mentions.


BEDE. Mystically, Mary, which name signifies, mistress, enlightened, enlightener, star of the sea, stands for the Church, which is also Magdalene, i.e. towered, (Magdalene being Greek for tower) as we read in the Psalms, you have been a strong tower for me. In that she announced Christ's resurrection to the disciples, all, especially those to whom the office of preaching is committed are admonished to be zealous in setting forth to others whatever is revealed from above.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

John 20: 1-10

Chapter 20 of St John's Gospel is about the announcement of the Resurrection.  This part of the testimony of the Gospel is surely the most critical, for as St Paul points out, if the Resurrection is not true, our faith is in vain.  Yet the gradual unveiling of events, and the disciples' mourning, confusion and disbelief surely makes this account all the more convincing.

In this section of the chapter, the apostles are confronted with the empty tomb, but falsely conclude that the authorities have stolen away Jesus' body.

The text

The New Advent page provides the Greek, Latin and Knox English in a parallel text version.  You can listen to the Latin here  and the Greek here.  Here is the Latin:

Una autem sabbati, Maria Magdalene venit mane, cum adhuc tenebræ essent, ad monumentum: et vidit lapidem sublatum a monumento. 2 Cucurrit ergo, et venit ad Simonem Petrum, et ad alium discipulum, quem amabat Jesus, et dicit illis: Tulerunt Dominum de monumento, et nescimus ubi posuerunt eum. 3 Exiit ergo Petrus, et ille alius discipulus, et venerunt ad monumentum. 4 Currebant autem duo simul, et ille alius discipulus præcucurrit citius Petro, et venit primus ad monumentum. 5 Et cum se inclinasset, vidit posita linteamina: non tamen introivit. 6 Venit ergo Simon Petrus sequens eum, et introivit in monumentum, et vidit linteamina posita, 7 et sudarium, quod fuerat super caput ejus, non cum linteaminibus positum, sed separatim involutum in unum locum. 8 Tunc ergo introivit et ille discipulus qui venerat primus ad monumentum: et vidit, et credidit: 9 nondum enim sciebant Scripturam, quia oportebat eum a mortuis resurgere. 10. Abierunt ergo iterum discipuli ad semetipsos.


The Douay-Rheims:

And on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre; and she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre. [2] She ran, therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith to them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. [3] Peter therefore went out, and that other disciple, and they came to the sepulchre. [4] And they both ran together, and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. [5] And when he stooped down, he saw the linen cloths lying; but yet he went not in.[6] Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and saw the linen cloths lying, [7] And the napkin that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but apart, wrapped up into one place. [8] Then that other disciple also went in, who came first to the sepulchre: and he saw, and believed. [9] For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. [10] The disciples therefore departed again to their home.

Commentary

The Catena Aurea's commentaries highlight St Mary Magdalene's great love and fervour, and role as 'apostle to the apostles':

CHRYS. The Sabbath being now over, during which it was unlawful to be there, Mary Magdalene could rest no longer, but came very early in the morning, to seek consolation at the grave: The first day of the week comes Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, to the sepulcher.

AUG. Mary Magdalene, undoubtedly the most fervent in love, of all the women that ministered to our Lord; so that John deservedly mentions her only, and says nothing of the others who were with her, as we know from the other Evangelists.


AUG. What Mark says, Very early in the morning, at the rising of the sun, does not contradict John's words, when it was yet dark. At the dawn of day, there are yet remains of darkness, which disappear as the light breaks in. We must not understand Mark's words, Very early in the morning, at the rising of the sun, to mean that the sun was above the horizon, but rather what we ourselves ordinarily mean by the phrase, when we want any thing to be done very early, we say at the rising of the sun, i.e. some time before the sun is risen.

GREG. It is well said, When it was yet dark: Mary was seeking the Creator of all things in the tomb, and because she found Him not, thought He was stolen. Truly it was yet dark when she came to the sepulcher.


 And sees the stone taken away from the sepulcher.


AUG. Now took place what Matthew only relates, the earthquake, and rolling away of the stone, and fight of the guards.


CHRYS. Our Lord rose while the stone and seal were still on the sepulcher. But as it was necessary that others should be certified of this, the sepulcher is opened after the resurrection, and so the fact confirmed. This it was which roused Mary. For when she saw the stone taken away, she entered not nor looked in, but ran to the disciples with all the speed of love. But as yet she knew nothing for certain about the resurrection, but thought that His body had been carried off.


GLOSS. And therefore she ran to tell the disciples, that they might seek Him with her, or grieve with her: Then she runs, and comes to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved.


CHRYS. The Evangelist does not deprive the woman of this praise, nor leaves out from shame, that they had the news first from her. As soon as they hear it, they hasten to the sepulcher.

St Gregory explains the mystical meaning of the text:

GREG. But this account of the Evangelist must not be thought to be without some mystical meaning. By John, the younger of the two, the synagogue; by Peter, the elder, the Gentile Church is represented: for as though the synagogue was before the Gentile Church as regards the worship of God, as regards time the Gentile world was before the synagogue. They ran together, because the Gentile world ran side by side with the synagogue from first to last, in respect of purity and community of life, though a purity and community of understanding they had not.

The synagogue came first to the sepulcher, but entered not: it knew the commandments of the law, and had heard the prophecies of our Lord's incarnation and death, but would not believe in Him who died. Then comes Simon Peter, and entered into the sepulcher: the Gentile Church both knew Jesus Christ as dead man, and believed in Him as living God. The napkin about our Lord's head is not found with the linen clothes, i.e. God, the Head of Christ, and the incomprehensible mysteries of the Godhead are removed from our poor knowledge; His power transcends the nature of the creature. And it is found not only apart, but also wrapped together; because of the linen wrapped together, neither beginning nor end is seen; and the height of the Divine nature had neither beginning nor end. And it is into one place: for where there is division, God is not; and they merit His grace, who do not occasion scandal by dividing themselves into sects.


But as a napkin is what is used in laboring to wipe the sweat of the brow, by the napkin here we may understand the labor of God: which napkin is found apart, because the suffering of our Redeemer is far removed from ours; inasmuch as He suffered innocently, that which we suffer justly; He submitted Himself to death voluntarily, we by necessity. But after Peter entered, John entered too; for at the end of the world even Judea shall be gathered in to the true faith.


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

John 19: 28-42



The New Advent page has the Greek, Latin and Knox translation of Chapter 19 of St John's Gospel in parallel text.  The New Advent page provides the Greek, Latin and Knox translation.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.  Here is the Latin Vulgate:

28 Postea sciens Jesus quia omnia consummata sunt, ut consummaretur Scriptura, dixit: Sitio. 29 Vas ergo erat positum aceto plenum. Illi autem spongiam plenam aceto, hyssopo circumponentes, obtulerunt ori ejus. 30 Cum ergo accepisset Jesus acetum, dixit: Consummatum est. Et inclinato capite tradidit spiritum.31 Judæi ergo (quoniam parasceve erat) ut non remanerent in cruce corpora sabbato (erat enim magnus dies ille sabbati), rogaverunt Pilatum ut frangerentur eorum crura, et tollerentur. 32 Venerunt ergo milites: et primi quidem fregerunt crura, et alterius, qui crucifixus est cum eo. 33 Ad Jesum autem cum venissent, ut viderunt eum jam mortuum, non fregerunt ejus crura, 34 sed unus militum lancea latus ejus aperuit, et continuo exivit sanguis et aqua. 35 Et qui vidit, testimonium perhibuit: et verum est testimonium ejus. Et ille scit quia vera dicit: ut et vos credatis. 36 Facta sunt enim hæc ut Scriptura impleretur: Os non comminuetis ex eo. 37 Et iterum alia Scriptura dicit: Videbunt in quem transfixerunt.38 Post hæc autem rogavit Pilatum Joseph ab Arimathæa (eo quod esset discipulus Jesu, occultus autem propter metum Judæorum), ut tolleret corpus Jesu. Et permisit Pilatus. Venit ergo, et tulit corpus Jesu. 39 Venit autem et Nicodemus, qui venerat ad Jesum nocte primum, ferens mixturam myrrhæ et aloës, quasi libras centum. 40 Acceperunt ergo corpus Jesu, et ligaverunt illud linteis cum aromatibus, sicut mos est Judæis sepelire. 41 Erat autem in loco, ubi crucifixus est, hortus: et in horto monumentum novum, in quo nondum quisquam positus erat. 42 Ibi ergo propter parasceven Judæorum, quia juxta erat monumentum, posuerunt Jesum.

Douay-Rheims:

 [28] Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. [29] Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar and hyssop, put it to his mouth. [30] Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.[31] Then the Jews, (because it was the parasceve,) that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that was a great sabbath day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. [32] The soldiers therefore came; and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. [33] But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. [34] But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water. [35] And he that saw it, hath given testimony, and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true; that you also may believe.[36] For these things were done, that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him. [37] And again another scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced.[38] And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews) besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. [39] And Nicodemus also came, (he who at the first came to Jesus by night,) bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. [40] They took therefore the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.[41] Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. [42] There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

From the Catena Aurea on the fulfillment of the prophesy:

CHRYS. They were not softened at all by what they saw, but were the more enraged, and gave Him the cup to drink, as they did to criminals, i.e. with a hyssop. 

AUG. The hyssop around which they put the sponge full of vinegar, being a mean herb, taken to purge the breast, represents the humility of Christ, which they hemmed in and thought they had circumvented. For we are made clean by Christ s humility. Nor let it perplex you that they were able to reach His mouth when He was such a height above the ground: for we read in the other Evangelists, what John omits to mention, that the sponge was put upon a reed. 


THEOPHYL. Some say that the hyssop is put here for reed, its leaves being like a reed.


 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished. 


AUG. viz. what prophecy had foretold so long before. 


BEDE. It may be asked here, why it is said, When Jesus had received the vinegar, when another Evangelists says, He would not drink. But this is easily settled. He did not receive the vinegar, to drink it, but fulfill the prophecy. 


On the death of Our Lord:

AUG. Then as there was nothing left Him to do before He died, it follows, And He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost, only dying when He had nothing more to do, like Him who had to lay down His life, and to take it up again. 

GREG. Ghost is put here for soul: for had the Evangelist meant any thing else by it, though the ghost departed, in the soul might still have remained. 


CHRYS. He did not bow His head because He gave up the ghost, but He gave up the ghost because at that moment He bowed His head. Whereby the Evangelist intimates that He was Lord of all. 


AUG. For whoever had such power to sleep when he wished, as our Lord had to die when He wished? What power must He have, for our good or evil, Who had such power dying? 


THEOPHYL. Our Lord gave up His ghost to God the Father, showing that the souls of the saints do not remain in the tomb, but go into the hand of the Father of all while sinners are reserved - for the place of punishment, i.e. hell.


On the removal of Christ from the Cross:

CHRYS. The Jews who strained at a gnat and swallowed a camel after their audacious wickedness, reason scrupulously about the day: The Jews therefore because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath.

BEDE. Parasceue, i. e. preparation: the sixth day was so called because the children of Israel prepared twice the number of loaves on that day. For that Sabbath day was an high day, i. e. on account of the feast of the passover.


 Besought Pilate that their legs might be broken.


AUG. Not in order to take away the legs, but to cause death, that they might be taken down from the cross, and the feast day not be defiled by the sight of such horrid torments.


THEOPHYL. For it was commanded in the Law that the sun should not set on the punishment of anyone; or they were unwilling to appear tormentors and homicides on a feast day.


CHRYS. How forcible is truth: their own devices it is that accomplish the fulfillment of prophecy: Then came the soldiers and broke the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with Him.

But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they broke not His legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side.

THEOPHYL. To please the Jews, they pierce Christ, thus insulting even His lifeless body. But the insult issues in a miracle: for a miracle it is that blood should flow from a dead body.


AUG. The Evangelist has expressed himself cautiously; not struck, or wounded, but opened His side: whereby was opened the gate of life, from whence the sacraments of the Church flowed, without which we cannot enter into that life which is the true life: And forthwith came thereout blood and water. That blood was shed for the remission of sins, that water tempers the cup of salvation. This it was which was prefigured when Noah was commanded to make a door in the side of the ark, by which the animals that were not to perish by the deluge entered; which animals prefigured the Church. To shadow forth this, the woman was made out of the side of the sleeping man; for this second Adam bowed His head, and slept on the cross, that out of that which came therefrom, there might be formed a wife for Him. O death, by which the dead are quickened, what can be purer than that blood, what more salutary than that wound!


CHRYS. This being the source whence the holy mysteries are derived, when you approach the awful cup, approach it as if you were about to drink out of Christ's side.


Joseph of Arimathea:

CHRYS. Joseph thinking that the hatred of the Jews would be appeased by His crucifixion, went with confidence to ask permission to take charge of His burial: And after this Joseph of Arimathea besought Pilate.

BEDE. Arimathea is the same as Ramatha, the city of Elkanah, and Samuel. It was providentially ordered that he should be rich, in order that he might have access to the governor, and just, in order that he might merit the charge of our Lord's body: That he might take the body of Jesus, because he was His disciple.


CHRYS. He was not of the twelve, but of the seventy, for none of the twelve came near. Not that their fear kept them back, for Joseph was a disciple, secretly for: fear of the Jews. But Joseph was a person of rank, and known to Pilate; so he went to him, and the favor was granted, and afterwards believed Him, not as a condemned man, but as a great and wonderful Person: He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.


AUG. In performing this last office to our Lord, he showed a bold indifference to the Jews, though he had avoided our Lord's company when alive, for fear of incurring their hatred.


BEDE. Their ferocity being appeased for the time by their success, he sought the body of Christ. He did not come as a disciple, but simply to perform a work of mercy, which is due to the evil as well as to the good. Nicodemus joined him: And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.


AUG. We must not read the words, at the first, first bringing a mixture of myrrh, but attach the first to the former clause. For Nicodemus at the first came to Jesus by night, as John relates in the former part of the Gospel. From these words then we are to infer that that was not the only time that Nicodemus went to our Lord, but simply the first time; and that he came afterwards and heard Christ's discourses, and became a disciple.


CHRYS. They bring the spices most efficacious for preserving the body from corruption, treating Him as a mere man. Yet this show great love.


BEDE. We must observe however that it was simple ointment; for they were not allowed to mix many ingredients together. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.



AUG. Wherein the Evangelist intimates, that in paying the last offices of the dead, the custom of the nation is to be followed. It was the custom of the Jewish nation to embalm their dead bodies, in order that they might keep the longer.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

John 19: 17-27



The New Advent page has the Greek, Latin and Knox translation in parallel text.  The New Advent page provides the Greek, Latin and Knox translation.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.  Here is the Latin Vulgate:

17 Et bajulans sibi crucem exivit in eum, qui dicitur Calvariæ locum, hebraice autem Golgotha: 18 ubi crucifixerunt eum, et cum eo alios duos hinc et hinc, medium autem Jesum. 19 Scripsit autem et titulum Pilatus, et posuit super crucem. Erat autem scriptum: Jesus Nazarenus, Rex Judæorum. 20 Hunc ergo titulum multi Judæorum legerunt: quia prope civitatem erat locus, ubi crucifixus est Jesus, et erat scriptum hebraice, græce, et latine. 21 Dicebant ergo Pilato pontifices Judæorum: Noli scribere: Rex Judæorum: sed quia ipse dixit: Rex sum Judæorum. 22 Respondit Pilatus: Quod scripsi, scripsi.23 Milites ergo cum crucifixissent eum, acceperunt vestimenta ejus (et fecerunt quatuor partes, unicuique militi partem) et tunicam. Erat autem tunica inconsutilis, desuper contexta per totum. 24 Dixerunt ergo ad invicem: Non scindamus eam, sed sortiamur de illa cujus sit. Ut Scriptura impleretur, dicens: Partiti sunt vestimenta mea sibi: et in vestem meam miserunt sortem. Et milites quidem hæc fecerunt. 25 Stabant autem juxta crucem Jesu mater ejus, et soror matris ejus, Maria Cleophæ, et Maria Magdalene. 26 Cum vidisset ergo Jesus matrem, et discipulum stantem, quem diligebat, dicit matri suæ: Mulier, ecce filius tuus. 27 Deinde dicit discipulo: Ecce mater tua. Et ex illa hora accepit eam discipulus in sua.

Douay-Rheims:

And bearing his own cross, he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha. [18] Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst. [19] And Pilate wrote a title also, and he put it upon the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. [20] This title therefore many of the Jews did read: because the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin.[21] Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate: Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am the King of the Jews. [22] Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written.[23] The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. [24] They said then one to another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lots. And the soldiers indeed did these things. [25] Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother' s sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.[26] When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. [27] After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.

Commentary

From the Catena Aurea:

GLOSS. By the command of the governor, the soldiers took Christ to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led Him away.

AUG. They, i.e. the soldiers, the guards of the governor, as appears more clearly afterwards; Then the soldiers when they had crucified Jesus; though the Evangelist might justly have attributed the whole to the Jews, who were really the authors of what they procured to be done.


CHRYS. They compel Jesus to bear the cross, regarding it as unholy, and therefore avoiding the touch of it themselves. And He bearing His cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in Hebrew Golgotha, where they crucified Him. The same was done typically by Isaac, who carried the wood. But then the matter only proceeded as far as his father's good pleasure ordered, but now it was fully accomplished, for the reality had appeared.


CHRYS. He carried the badge of victory on His shoulders, was conquerors do. Some say that the place of Calvary was where Adam died and was buried; so that in the very place on where death reigned, there Jesus erected His trophy.

On the inscription on the Cross:

CHRYS. As letters are inscribed on a trophy declaring the victory, so Pilate wrote a title on Christ's cross. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross: thus at once distinguishing Christ from the thieves with Him, and exposing the malice of the Jews in rising up against their King: And the writing was, Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.

BEDE. Wherein was strewn that His kingdom was not, as they thought, destroyed, but rather strengthened.


AUG. But was Christ the King of the Jews only? or of the Gentiles too? Of the Gentiles too, as we read in the Psalms, Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Sion; after which it follows, Demand of Me, and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance. So this title expresses a great mystery, viz. that the wild olive-tree was made partaker of the fatness of the olive-tree, not the olive-tree made partaker of the bitterness of the wild olive-tree. Christ then is King of the Jews according to the circumcision not of the flesh, but of the heart; not in the letter, but in the spirit.


This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city.


CHRYS. It is probable that many Gentiles as well as Jews had come up to the feast. So the title was written in three languages, that all might read it: And it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.


THEOPHYL. The title written in three languages signifies that our Lord was King of the whole world; practical, natural, and spiritual. The Latin denotes the practical, because the Roman empire; was the most powerful, and best managed one; the Greek the physical, the Greeks being the best physical philosophers; and, lastly, the Hebrew the theological, because the Jews had been made the depositories of religious knowledge.

CHRYS. But the Jews grudged our Lord this title: Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that He said, I am King of the Jews. For as Pilate wrote it, it was a plain and single declaration that he was King, but the addition of; that he said, made it a charge against Him of petulance and vain glory.


But Pilate was firm: Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.


AUG. O ineffable working of Divine power even in the hearts of ignorant men. Did not some hidden voice sound from within, and, if we may say so, with clamorous silence, saying to Pilate in the prophetic words of the Psalm, Alter not the inscription of the title? But what say you, you mad priests: will the title be the less true, because Jesus said I am the King of the Jews? If that which Pilate wrote cannot be altered, can that be altered which the Truth spoke? Pilate wrote what he wrote, because our Lord said what He said.


On the division of Our Lord's clothes:

AUG. Why they cast lots for it, next appears: They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it whose it should be. It seems then that the other garments were made up of equal parts, as it was not necessary to rend them; the tunic only having to be rent in order to give each an equal share of it; to avoid which they preferred casting lots for it, and one having it all. This answered to the prophecy: That the Scripture might be fulfilled which says, They parted My raiment among them, and for My vesture they did cast lots.

CHRYS. Behold the sureness of prophecy. The Prophet foretold not only what they would part, but what they would not. They parted the raiment, but cast lots for the vesture.


AUG. Matthew in saying, They parted His garments, casting lots, means us to understand the whole division of the garments, including the tunic also for which they cast lots. Luke says the same: They parted His raiment, and cast lots. In parting His garments they came to the tunic, for which they cast lots. Mark is the only one that raises any question: They parted His garments, casting upon them what every man should take: as if they cast lots for all the garments, and not the tunic only. But it is his brevity that creates the difficulty. Casting lots upon them: as if it was, casting lots when they were parting the garments. What every man should take: i.e. who should take the tunic; as if the whole stood thus: Casting lots upon them, who should take the tunic which remained over and above the equal shares, into which the rest of the garments were divided. The fourfold division of our Lord's garment represents His Church, spread over the four quarters of the globe, and distributed equally, i.e. in concord, to all. The tunic for which they cast lots signifies the unity of all the parts, which is contained in the bond of love. And if love is the more excellent way, above knowledge, and above all other commandments, according to Colossians, Above all things have charity, the garment by which this is denoted, is well said to be woven from above. Through the whole, is added, because no one is void of it, who belongs to that whole, from which the Church Catholic is named. It is without seam again, so that it can never come unsown, and is in one piece, i.e. brings all together into one. By the lot is signified the grace of God: for God elects not with respect to person or merits, but according to His own secrets counsel.


CHRYS. According to some, The tunic without seam, woven from above throughout, is an allegory strewing that He who was crucified was not simply man, but also had Divinity from above.


THEOPHYL. The garment without seam denotes the body of Christ, which was woven from above; for the Holy Ghost came upon the Virgin, and the power of the Highest overshadowed her. This holy body of Christ then is indivisible: for though it be distributed for every one to partake of, and to sanctify the soul and body of each one individually, yet it subsists in all wholly and indivisibly. The world consisting of four elements, the garments of Christ must be understood to represent the visible creation, which the devils divide amongst themselves, as often as they deliver to death the word of God which dwells in us, and by worldly allurements bring us over to their Side.


On Our Lady:

THEOPHYL. While the soldiers were doing their cruel work, He was thinking anxiously of His mother: These things therefore the soldiers did.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.


AMBROSE. Mary the mother of our Lord stood before the cross of her Son. None of the Evangelists hath told me this except John. The others have related how that at our Lord's Passion the earth quaked, the heaven was overspread with darkness, the sun fled, the thief was taken into paradise after confession. John hath told us, what the others have not, how that from the cross whereon He hung, He called to His mother. He thought it a greater thing to show Him victorious over punishment, fulfilling the offices of piety to His mother, than giving the kingdom of heaven and eternal life to the thief. For if it was religious to give life to the thief, a much richer work of piety it is for a son to honor his mother with such affection. Behold, He says, your son; behold your mother. Christ made His Testament from the cross, and divided the offices of piety between the Mother and the disciples. Our Lord made not only a public, but also a domestic Testament. And this His Testament John sealed a witness worthy of such a Testator. A good testament it was, not of money, but of eternal life, which was not written with ink, but with tile spirit of the living God: My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Mary, as became the mother of our Lord, stood before the cross, when the Apostles fled and With pitiful eyes beheld the wounds of her Son. For she looked not on the death of the Hostage, but on the salvation of the world; end perhaps knowing that her Son's death would bring this salvation, she who had been the habitation of the King, thought that by her death she might add to that universal gift.


 But Jesus did not need any help for saving the v world, as you read in the Psalm, I have been even as a man with no help, free among the dead. He received indeed the affection of a parent, but He did not seek another's help. Imitate her, you holy matrons, who, as towards here only most beloved Son, has set you an example of such virtue: for you have not sweeter sons, nor did the Virgin seek consolation in again becoming a mother.


JEROME. The Mary which in Mark and Matthew is called the mother of James and Joses was the wife of Alpheus, and sister of Mary the mother of our Lord: which Mary John here designates of Cleophas, either from her father, or family, or for some other reason. She need not be thought a different person, because she is called in one place Mary the mother of James the less, and here Mary of Cleophas, for it is customary in Scripture to give different names to the same person.


CHRYS. Observe how the weaker sex is the stronger; standing by the cross when the disciples fly.


CHRYS. Though there were other women by, He makes no mention of any of them, but only of His mother, to show us that v, e should specially honor our mothers. Our parents indeed, if they actually oppose the truth, are not even to be known: but otherwise we should pay them all attention, and honor them above all the world beside: When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, He says to His mother, Woman, behold your son!

Monday, 23 March 2015

John 19:1-16



Chapter 19  describes the cruel events leading up to the crucifixion, as well as its immediate aftermath.  Today's section deals with Our Lord's scourging and the mob's rejection of Pilate's attempt to free him.

The New Advent page provides the Greek, Latin and Knox translation.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here.  Here is the Latin Vulgate:

1 Tunc ergo apprehendit Pilatus Jesum, et flagellavit. 2 Et milites plectentes coronam de spinis, imposuerunt capiti ejus: et veste purpurea circumdederunt eum. 3 Et veniebant ad eum, et dicebant: Ave, rex Judæorum: et dabant ei alapas. 4 Exivit ergo iterum Pilatus foras, et dicit eis: Ecce adduco vobis eum foras, ut cognoscatis quia nullam invenio in eo causam. 5 (Exivit ergo Jesus portans coronam spineam, et purpureum vestimentum.) Et dicit eis: Ecce homo. 6 Cum ergo vidissent eum pontifices et ministri, clamabant, dicentes: Crucifige, crucifige eum. Dicit eis Pilatus: Accipite eum vos, et crucifigite: ego enim non invenio in eo causam. 7 Responderunt ei Judæi: Nos legem habemus, et secundum legem debet mori, quia Filium Dei se fecit. 8 Cum ergo audisset Pilatus hunc sermonem, magis timuit. 9 Et ingressus est prætorium iterum: et dixit ad Jesum: Unde es tu? Jesus autem responsum non dedit ei. 10 Dicit ergo ei Pilatus: Mihi non loqueris? nescis quia potestatem habeo crucifigere te, et potestatem habeo dimittere te? 11 Respondit Jesus: Non haberes potestatem adversum me ullam, nisi tibi datum esset desuper. Propterea qui me tradidit tibi, majus peccatum habet. 12 Et exinde quærebat Pilatus dimittere eum. Judæi autem clamabant dicentes: Si hunc dimittis, non es amicus Cæsaris. Omnis enim qui se regem facit, contradicit Cæsari. 13 Pilatus autem cum audisset hos sermones, adduxit foras Jesum: et sedit pro tribunali, in loco qui dicitur Lithostrotos, hebraice autem Gabbatha. 14 Erat autem parasceve Paschæ, hora quasi sexta, et dicit Judæis: Ecce rex vester. 15 Illi autem clamabant: Tolle, tolle, crucifige eum. Dicit eis Pilatus: Regem vestrum crucifigam? Responderunt pontifices: Non habemus regem, nisi Cæsarem. 16 Tunc ergo tradidit eis illum ut crucifigeretur. Susceperunt autem Jesum, et eduxerunt.

The English of the Challoner Douay Rheims:

Then therefore, Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him. [2] And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head; and they put on him a purple garment. [3] And they came to him, and said: Hail, king of the Jews; and they gave him blows. [4] Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith to them: Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him. [5] (Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them: Behold the Man.
[6] When the chief priests, therefore, and the servants, had seen him, they cried out, saying: Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Take him you, and crucify him: for I find no cause in him. [7] The Jews answered him: We have a law; and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. [8] When Pilate therefore had heard this saying, he feared the more. [9] And he entered into the hall again, and he said to Jesus: Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. [10] Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest thou not to me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee?[11] Jesus answered: Thou shouldst not have any power against me, unless it were given thee from above. Therefore, he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin. [12] And from henceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying: If thou release this man, thou art not Caesar' s friend. For whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar. [13] Now when Pilate had heard these words, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in the place that is called Lithostrotos, and in Hebrew Gabbatha. [14] And it was the parasceve of the pasch, about the sixth hour, and he saith to the Jews: Behold your king. [15] But they cried out: Away with him; away with him; crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Shall I crucify your king? The chief priests answered: We have no king but Caesar.[16] Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him forth.

The Catena Aurea on the mocking of Jesus:

BEDE. For instead of a diadem, they put upon Him a crown of thorns, and a purple robe to represent the purple robe which kings wear. Matthew says, a scarlet robe, but scarlet and purple are different names for the same color. And though the soldiers did this in mockery, yet to us their acts have a meaning. For by the crown of thorns is signified the taking of our sins upon Him, the thorns which the earth of our body brings forth. And the purple robe signifies the flesh crucified. For our Lord is robed in purple, wherever He is glorified by the triumphs of holy martyrs.

CHRYS. It was not at the command of the governor that they did this, but in order to gratify the Jews. For neither were they commanded by him to go to the garden in the night, but the Jews gave them money to go. He bore however all these insults silently. Yet do you, when you hear of them keep stedfastly in your mind the King of the whole earth, and Lord of Angels bearing all these contumelies in silence, and imitate His example.


AUG. Thus were fulfilled what Christ had prophesied of Himself; thus were martyrs taught to suffer all that the malice of persecutors could inflict; thus that kingdom which was not of this world conquers the proud world, not by fierce fighting, but by patient suffering.


CHRYS. That the Jews might cease from their fury, seeing Him thus insulted, Pilate brought out Jesus before them crowned: Pilate therefore went forth again and says to them, Behold, I bring Him forth to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him,.


AUG. The envy of the Jews does not subside at Christ's disgraces; yea, rather rises: When the chief priests therefore and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, Crucify Him, crucify Him.


CHRYS. Pilate saw then that it was all in vain: Pilate says to them, Take you Him, and crucify Him. This is the speech of a man abhorring the deed, and urging others to do a deed which he abhors himself. They had brought our, Lord indeed to him that He might be put to death by his sentence, but the very contrary was the result; the governor acquitted Him: For I find no fault in Him. He clears Him immediately from all charges: which shows that he had only permitted the former outrages, to humor the madness of the Jews.


But nothing could shame the Jewish hounds: The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by out law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.


What were Pilate's motivations?

CHRYS Then Pilate begins to fear that what had been said might be true, and that he might appear; to be administering justice improperly: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid.

BEDE. It was not the law that he was afraid of, as he was a stranger: but he was more afraid, lest he should slay the Son of God


CHRYS. They were not afraid to say this, that He made Himself the Son of God: but they kill Him for the very reasons for which they ought to have worshipped Him.


CHRYS. Pilate, agitated with fear, begins again examining Him: And went again into the judgment hall, and says to Jesus, Where are you? He no longer asks, What hast you done? But Jesus gave him no answer. For he who had heard, To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, and, My kingdom is not from here ought to have resisted, and rescued Him, instead of which he had yielded to the fury of the Jews. Wherefore seeing that he asked questions without object, He answers him no more indeed at other times He was unwilling to give reasons and defend Himself by argument, when His works testified so strongly for Him; thus showing that He came voluntarily to His work.


AUG. The Jews thought they could alarm Pilate more by the mention of Caesar, than by telling him of their law, as they had done above; We have a law, and by that law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God. So it follows. But the Jews cried out, saying, you let this Man go, you are not Caesar's friend; whosoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.


CHRYS. But how can you prove this? By His purple, His diadem, His chariot, His guards? Did He not wall; about with His twelve disciples only, and every thing mean about Him, food, dress, and habitation?


AUG. Pilate was before afraid not of violating their law by sparing Him, but of killing the Son of God, in killing Him. But he could not treat his master Caesar with the same contempt with which he treated the law of a foreign nation: When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.


AUG. Pilate still tries to overcome their apprehensions on Caesar's account; Pilate says to them, Shall I crucify your King? He tries to shame them into doing what he had not been able to soften them into by putting Christ to shame.


The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.




AUG. But Pilate is at last overcome by fear: Then delivered he Him therefore to them to be crucified. For it would be taking part openly against Caesar, if when the Jews declared that they had no king but Caesar, he wished to put another king over them, as he would appear to do if he let go unpunished a Man whom they had delivered to him for punishment on this very ground. It is not however, delivered Him to them to crucify Him, but, to be crucified, i.e. by the sentence and authority of the governor. The Evangelist says, delivered to them, to show that they were implicated in the guilt from which they tried to escape. For Pilate would not have done this except to please them.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

First Passion Sunday

The Gospel for Passion Sunday is St John 8: 46-59:

46 Quis ex vobis arguet me de peccato? si veritatem dico vobis, quare non creditis mihi? 47 Qui ex Deo est, verba Dei audit. Propterea vos non auditis, quia ex Deo non estis.48 Responderunt ergo Judæi, et dixerunt ei: Nonne bene dicimus nos quia Samaritanus es tu, et dæmonium habes? 49 Respondit Jesus: Ego dæmonium non habeo: sed honorifico Patrem meum, et vos inhonorastis me. 50 Ego autem non quæro gloriam meam: est qui quærat, et judicet.51 Amen, amen dico vobis: si quis sermonem meum servaverit, mortem non videbit in æternum. 52 Dixerunt ergo Judæi: Nunc cognovimus quia dæmonium habes. Abraham mortuus est, et prophetæ; et tu dicis: Si quis sermonem meum servaverit, non gustabit mortem in æternum. 53 Numquid tu major es patre nostro Abraham, qui mortuus est? et prophetæ mortui sunt. Quem teipsum facis? 54 Respondit Jesus: Si ego glorifico meipsum, gloria mea nihil est: est Pater meus, qui glorificat me, quem vos dicitis quia Deus vester est, 55 et non cognovistis eum: ego autem novi eum. Et si dixero quia non scio eum, ero similis vobis, mendax. Sed scio eum, et sermonem ejus servo. 56 Abraham pater vester exsultavit ut videret diem meum: vidit, et gavisus est. 57 Dixerunt ergo Judæi ad eum: Quinquaginta annos nondum habes, et Abraham vidisti? 58 Dixit eis Jesus: Amen, amen dico vobis, antequam Abraham fieret, ego sum. 59 Tulerunt ergo lapides, ut jacerent in eum: Jesus autem abscondit se, et exivit de templo.

[46] Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me? [47] He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God. [48] The Jews therefore answered, and said to him: Do not we say well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? [49] Jesus answered: I have not a devil: but I honour my Father, and you have dishonoured me. [50] But I seek not my own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. [51] Amen, amen I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever. [52] The Jews therefore said: Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest: If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever. [53] Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself? [54] Jesus answered: If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that he is your God. [55] And you have not known him, but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him, and do keep his word. [56] Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad. [57] The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? [58] Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am. [59] They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

The Matins readings (from St Gregory)

Reading 9: Dearly beloved brethren, consider the gentleness of God. He came to take away sins, and He saith Which of you convinceth Me of sin? He Who, through the might of His Godhead, was able to justify sinners, was contented to show by argument that He was not Himself a sinner. But exceeding dread is that which followeth. He that is of God heareth God's words; ye, therefore, hear them not, because ye are not of God. If, then, whosoever is of God heareth God's words, and whosoever is not of Him cannot hear His words, let each one ask himself if he, in the ear of his heart, heareth God's words, and understandeth Whose words they are? 

Reading 10: The Truth commandeth us to long for a Fatherland in heaven, to bridle the lusts of the flesh, to turn away from the glory of the world, to seek no man's goods, and to give away our ownLet each of you, therefore, think within himself if this voice of God is heard in the ear of his heart, and if he knoweth already if he is of God. For some there be, whom it pleaseth not to hear the commandments of God even with their bodily ears. And some there be, who receive the same with their bodily ears, but whose heart is far from them. And some also there be, who hear the words of God with joy, so that they are moved thereby even to tears; but when their fit of weeping is past they turn again to iniquity. 

Reading 11: They hear not the words of God, who despise to do them. Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, call up your own life before your mind's eye, and then ponder with trembling those awful words which the mouth of the Truth spake Ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.The Truth speaketh these words concerning the reprobate; but the reprobate make manifest the same thing concerning themselves, by their evil works. Thus immediately followeth Then answered the Jews, and said unto Him Say we not well that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? 

Reading 12: But let us hear what the Lord said to this insult. I have not a devil, but I honour My Father, and ye do dishonour Me. The Lord said I have not a devil, but He did not say I am not a Samaritan, for in a sense a Samaritan He was indeed, since the word Samaritan, in the Hebrew tongue, signifieth, being interpreted, a Watcher, and the Lord is that Watcher, of Whom the Psalmist saith that unless He keep the city, other watchman waketh but in vain. He also is that Watchman unto Whom crieth Isaiah: Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night? Therefore the Lord said I have not a devil, but not I am not a Samaritan. Of the two things brought against Him He denied one; but by His silence, admitted the other.