Friday, 12 August 2016

Hebrews 13:17-25 - The God of peace

Hebrews 13:17-19
Obey those who have charge of you, and yield to their will; they are keeping unwearied watch over your souls, because they know they will have an account to give. Make it a grateful task for them: it is your own loss if they find it a laborious effort. Pray for us; we trust we have a clear conscience, and the will to be honourable in all our dealings. And I make this request the more earnestly, in the hope of being restored to you the sooner. 
Obedite præpositis vestris, et subjacete eis. Ipsi enim pervigilant quasi rationem pro animabus vestris reddituri, ut cum gaudio hoc faciant, et non gementes: hoc enim non expedit vobis. Orate pro nobis: confidimus enim quia bonam conscientiam habemus in omnibus bene volentes conversari. Amplius autem deprecor vos hoc facere, quo celerius restituar vobis. 
Aquinas:

Obey your leaders [prelates]: Here it should be noted that there are two things we owe our prelates, namely, obedience to their precepts; hence, he says, obey: ‘Obedience is better than victims’, and reverence, so that we honor them as fathers and subject ourselves to their discipline. Therefore, he says, and be subject to them: ‘Be subject to every human creature’; ‘He that resists the power, resists God’s ordinance’.

Prelates will be held to account: ...for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give an account.. For prelates will render an account of those committed to them, when on the day of judgement, they will be asked: ‘Where is the flock that is given you, your beautiful cattle? What will you say in your heart? For you taught them against you (by saying good things are doing evil) you instructed them against your head by your bad example’...

Pray for us: Thus does the Apostle tell them how they should act in regard to him: for he asks that they pray for him...Therefore, in asking that they pray for him the Apostle, who was certain that he was acceptable to God, was striking at the pride of those who scorned asking prayers of others, as a Gloss says.

Hebrews 13:20-21
May God, the author of peace, who has raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, that great shepherd, whose flock was bought with the blood of an eternal covenant, grant you every capacity for good, to do his will. May he carry out in you the design he sees best, through Jesus Christ, to whom glory belongs throughout all ages, Amen.
Deus autem pacis, qui eduxit de mortuis pastorem magnum ovium, in sanguine testamenti æterni, Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, aptet vos in omni bono, ut faciatis ejus voluntatem: faciens in vobis quod placeat coram se per Jesum Christum: cui est gloria in sæcula sæculorum. Amen. 
Peace:  In regard to the first he describes the One Whom he seeks, saying the God peace. For God’s proper effect is to make peace, because ‘he is not a God of dissension but of peace’ and ‘have peace: and the God of peace and love shall be with you’. For peace is nothing more than unity of affections, which God alone can make one, because hearts are united by charity, which is from God alone. For God knows how to gather and unite, because God is love, which is the bond of perfection. Hence, ‘he makes men of one manner to dwell in a house’. For man made peace between himself and God through the ministry of Christ.

Raised from the dead: ...But sometimes Christ is said to have been raised up by the Father’s power: ‘If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus Christ from the dead’; and sometimes He is said to have raised Himself: ‘I have slept and taken my rest: and I have risen up’ (Ps. 3:6). But these statements are not contrary, because He rose by God’s power, which is one in the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. Therefore, he brought him again from the dead, i.e., from the tomb, which is the place of the dead: ‘As Christ rose from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also shall walk in the newness of life'.

The great shepherd of the sheep:... i.e., of the faithful and the humble: ‘I am the good shepherd, and I know mine, and mine know me’; for the sheep are they who obey God: ‘And my sheep hear my voice’. But he calls him the great shepherd, because all others are His vicars, for He feeds His own sheep, but the others feed Christ’s sheep: ‘Feed my sheep’; ‘When the prince of pastors shall appear, you shall receive a never fading crown of glory’.

The blood of the eternal covenant, i.e., in virtue of the blood of Christ by Whom is confirmed the New Covenant, in which eternal things are promised, but not in the Old. For Christ calls His blood the blood of the New Covenant; but the Apostle says, of the everlasting covenant. Therefore, both are mentioned in the words of the consecration of the Blood. But Christ by His passion merited the glory of His resurrection for Himself and for us; hence, he says, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus. . . by the blood of the eternal covenant: ‘He humbled himself, being made obedient unto death’; ‘By the blood of your testament you have sent forth your prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water’.

May he equip [fit] you with everything good. For the human will, since it is the inclination of reason, is the principle of human acts, as heaviness is the principle of downward movement of heavy bodies; hence it is related to the acts of human reason as a natural inclination to natural acts. But a natural thing is said to be fit for that to which it has an inclination. So, too, man, when he has the will to do good, is said to be fit for it. God, too, when He inserts a good will in a man, fits him, i.e., makes him fit. Therefore, he says, May God fit you with every good that you may do his will, i.e., make you will every good: ‘The desire of the just is every good’ (Pr. 2:3). For this is God’s will, namely, what God wills us to will; otherwise, our will is not good. But the will of God is our good: ‘This is the will of God, your sanctification’; ‘That you may prove what is the good and acceptable and the perfect will of God’...

Hebrews 13: 22-25
I entreat you, brethren, bear patiently with all these words of warning; it is but a brief letter I am sending you.You must know that our brother Timothy has been set at liberty; if he comes soon, I will bring him with me when I visit you. Greet all those who are in authority, and all the saints. The brethren from Italy send you their greetings. Grace be with you all, Amen. 
Rogo autem vos fratres, ut sufferatis verbum solatii. Etenim perpaucis scripsi vobis.  Cognoscite fratrem nostrum Timotheum dimissum: cum quo (si celerius venerit) videbo vos.  Salutate omnes præpositos vestros, et omnes sanctos. Salutant vos de Italia fratres.  Gratia cum omnibus vobis. Amen

Conclusion to the epistle: Then  he adds a petition in which he excuses himself; then he concludes the epistle. In regard to the first he does three things: first, he gives his excuse; secondly, he recommends the messenger through whom he writes; thirdly, he sends several greetings...Then he concludes in his accustomed manner, as though sealing it with a personal greeting: Grace be with all of you. Amen, i.e., the remission of sins and any other of God’s gifts, which are obtained through the grace of God, be firmly with all of you. The Amen is a confirmation of everything.

Next up!

And that brings to an end this series of notes from St Thomas Aquinas on \the Epistle to the Hebrews.

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