Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Hebrews 13:1-8

St Thomas Aquinas summarises the final chapter of Hebrews as follows:
Having instructed them how to bear with evil, the Apostle now tells them how to act in doing good. Hence, according to a Gloss he is beginning his moral instruction after commending and urging them to imitate him. in regard to this he does two things: first, he urges them to good; secondly, he prays for them (v. 20). In regard to the first he does three things: first, he shows them how to do good to their neighbor; secondly, to themselves (v. 4); thirdly, to prelates (v. 7).  He says, therefore: Thus, we have said that an immovable kingdom has been promised to us. If we would enter it, we must have charity...
Hebrews 13: 1-5
Let the charity of the brotherhood abide in you. And hospitality do not forget; for by this some, being not aware of it, have entertained angels.  Remember them that are in bands, as if you were bound with them; and them that labour, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage honourable in all, and the bed undefiled. For fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your manners be without covetousness, contented with such things as you have; for he hath said: I will not leave thee, neither will I forsake thee.
Caritas fraternitatis maneat in vobis, et hospitalitatem nolite oblivisci: per hanc enim latuerunt quidam, angelis hospitio receptis. Mementote vinctorum, tamquam simul vincti: et laborantium, tamquam et ipsi in corpore morantes. Honorabile connubium in omnibus, et thorus immaculatus. Fornicatores enim, et adulteros judicabit Deus. Sint mores sine avaritia, contenti præsentibus: ipse enim dixit: Non te deseram, neque derelinquam: 
Aquinas:

The importance of hospitality: ...He makes special mention of hospitality, because a person who receives travelers does three acts of charity at once, because he receives and feeds and gives them drink: ‘Using hospitality one towards another without murmuring’ (1 Pt 4:9). He gives the reason when he says, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares, as in the case of Abraham and Lot (Gen. 18 & 19).

Those imprisoned for love of God: Remember them that are in prison, i.e., those who for the love of God were sent to prison. Remember them by visiting and redeeming, as though in prison with them: ‘I was in prison and you visited me’... But it particularly pertains to a work of mercy to regard another’s suffering as one’s own.

Those that are ill-treated [labor] either with bodily labor: Remember, since you are also in the body, by which you have experienced what those who labor need: ‘Judge of the disposition of your neighbor by yourself'; ‘All things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you also to them’.

Sexual sins: ..sin in regard to sex occurs in two ways: in one way by the illicit union of one married person with another; as to this he says, Let marriage be held in honor among all who would not be continent: not fornication... In another way by violating the marriage bed, as when a husband approaches another man’s wife, or a woman another’s husband...for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

he forbids them to covet external goods: in regard to which one might sin in two ways: in one way by being niggardly; in another way by being covetous. For liberality is a virtue which inclines one to the happy medium between giving and retaining money.

Don't be anxious: do what lies in our power with trust in God’s help: for he has said: ‘I will not leave you, without giving you what you need; neither will I forsake you, lest you perish from hunger’; ‘I have not seen the just forsaken, not his seed seeking bread’. Or I will not forsake you without freeing you from evil. This causes confidence in the heart so that we can confidently say, ‘I will deal confidently and will not fear’.

Hebrews 13:6-8
So that we may confidently say: The Lord is my helper: I will not fear what man shall do to me.  Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation, Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever. 
ita ut confidenter dicamus: Dominus mihi adjutor: non timebo quid faciat mihi homo. Mementote præpositorum vestrorum, qui vobis locuti sunt verbum Dei: quorum intuentes exitum conversationis, imitamini fidem. Jesus Christus heri, et hodie: ipse et in sæcula.

And what shall we say? The words of Ps. 117: ‘The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me.’ He is a helper inasmuch as He delivers from evil: ‘A helper in troubles, which have found us exceedingly’; therefore, I will not fear what man shall do to me, i.e., any carnal adversary: ‘Who are you to be afraid of a mortal man?’; or the devil who is called a man overcome by a man, as Scipio was called African, because he was defeated in Africa: ‘A hostile man has done this’.

Prelates: ...he shows how they should act in regard to their dead prelates, namely, follow their example; secondly, in regard to those living, namely, obey them...Remember your leaders [prelates], those who spoke to you the word of God, i.e., the apostles, who have preached to you: ‘Look unto Abraham, your father, and to Sarah that bore you’. But they not only preached by word, by showed what to do by action... But imitate not only the outcome of their life, so as to suffer patiently for Christ, but also their manner of life: for a good life leads to a good death: Whose faith follow and do not depart from it.

Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today: and the same forever: the Apostle says that Christ remains; hence, he says that we should serve Him. And so he says, Jesus Christ, yesterday, namely, in the time of the first apostles, and today, namely, in their time, and the same forever: ‘I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world’; ‘Says the Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty’ (Rev. 1:8); ‘But you are always the selfsame, and your years shall not fail’. In these words he shows the eternity of Christ.



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