Monday, 18 August 2014

Luke 12:1-12

St Luke 12 opens as follows:

1 Multis autem turbis circumstantibus, ita ut se invicem conculcarent, cœpit dicere ad discipulos suos: Attendite a fermento pharisæorum, quod est hypocrisis. 2 Nihil autem opertum est, quod non reveletur: neque absconditum, quod non sciatur. 3 Quoniam quæ in tenebris dixistis, in lumine dicentur: et quod in aurem locuti estis in cubiculis, prædicabitur in tectis. 4 Dico autem vobis amicis meis: Ne terreamini ab his qui occidunt corpus, et post hæc non habent amplius quid faciant. 5 Ostendam autem vobis quem timeatis: timete eum qui, postquam occiderit, habet potestatem mittere in gehennam: ita dico vobis, hunc timete. 6 Nonne quinque passeres veneunt dipondio, et unus ex illis non est in oblivione coram Deo? 7 sed et capilli capitis vestri omnes numerati sunt. Nolite ergo timere: multis passeribus pluris estis vos. 8 Dico autem vobis: Omnis quicumque confessus fuerit me coram hominibus, et Filius hominis confitebitur illum coram angelis Dei: 9 qui autem negaverit me coram hominibus, negabitur coram angelis Dei. 10 Et omnis qui dicit verbum in Filium hominis, remittetur illi: ei autem qui in Spiritum Sanctum blasphemaverit, non remittetur. 11 Cum autem inducent vos in synagogas, et ad magistratus, et potestates, nolite solliciti esse qualiter, aut quid respondeatis, aut quid dicatis. 12 Spiritus enim Sanctus docebit vos in ipsa hora quid oporteat vos dicere.

1] And when great multitudes stood about him, so that they trod one upon another, he began to say to his disciples: Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. [2] For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed: nor hidden, that shall not be known. [3] For whatsoever things you have spoken in darkness, shall be published in the light: and that which you have spoken in the ear in the chambers, shall be preached on the housetops. [4] And I say to you, my friends: Be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. [5] But I will shew you whom you shall fear: fear ye him, who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him.
[6] Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? [7] Yea, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows. [8] And I say to you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God. [9] But he that shall deny me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God. [10] And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but to him that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven.[11] And when they shall bring you into the synagogues, and to magistrates and powers, be not solicitous how or what you shall answer, or what you shall say; [12] For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you must say. 

Commentary 

(de Lapide)

Ver. 1.—In the mean time when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people. The Greek has “the myriads of the multitude.” A myriad contains exactly ten thousand, and is consequently taken for an innumerable multitude, as here.

Ver. 2.—Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees. Beware, says Bede, that you do not imitate the hypocrites, for the time will certainly come when both your virtue and their hypocrisy will be revealed to all. I have explained the remainder on Matt. x. 26.

(Catena Aurea)

GREG. NAZ. When leaven is praised it is as composing the bread of life, but when blamed it signifies a lasting and bitter maliciousness. 

THEOPHYL. He calls their hypocrisy leaven, as perverting and corrupting the intentions of the men in whom it has sprung up. For nothing so changes the characters of men as hypocrisy. 

BEDE; For as a little leaven leavens a whole lump of meal, so hypocrisy will rob the mind of all the purity and integrity of its virtues. 

AMBROSE; Our Lord has introduced a most forcible argument for preserving simplicity, and being zealous for the faith, that we should not after the manner of faithless Jews put one thing in practice, while in words we pretend another, namely, that at the last day the hidden thoughts accusing or else excusing one another, shall be seen to reveal the secrets of our mind. Whence it is added, There is nothing hid which shall not be revealed. 

ORIGEN; He either then says this concerning that time when God shall judge the secrets of men, or He says it because however much a man may endeavor to hide the good deeds of another by discredit, good of its own nature cannot be concealed. 

CHRYS. As if He says to His disciples, Although now some call you deceivers and wizards, time shall reveal all things and convict them of calumny, while it makes known your virtue. Therefore whatsoever things I have spoken to you in the small corner of Palestine, these boldly and with open brow, casting away all fear, proclaim to the whole world. And therefore He adds, Whatsoever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in light...

AMBROSE; Since unbelief springs from two causes, either from a deeply-seated malice or a sudden fear; lest any one from terror should be compelled to deny the God whom he acknowledges in his heart, He well adds, And I say to you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, &c. 

CYRIL; For it is not absolutely to every one that this discourse seems to apply, but to those who love God with their whole heart to whom it belongs to say, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? But they who are not such, are tottering, and ready to fall down. Moreover out Lord says, Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. How then is it not most ungrateful to Christ not to repay Him what we receive? 

AMBROSE; He tells us also, that that death is not terrible for which at a far more costly rate of interest immortality is to be purchased.

CYRIL; We must then consider that crowns and honors are prepared for the labors of those upon whom men are continually venting forth their indignation, and to them the death of the body is the end of their persecutions. Whence He adds, And after this have nothing more that they can do... 

AUG. Or if it were here said, "Who has spoken any blasphemy whatever against the Holy Spirit," we ought then to understand thereby "all blasphemy;" but because it was said, who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, let it be understood of him that blasphemed not in any way, but in such a manner that it can never be pardoned him. For so when it was said, The Lord tempts no man, that is not spoken of every, but only of a certain kind of temptation. Now what that kind of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is, let us see. The first blessing of believers is forgiveness of sins in the Holy Spirit. Against this free gift the impenitent heart speaks. Impenitence itself therefore is blasphemy against the Spirit, which is neither forgiven in this world, nor in that which is to come; for repentance gains that forgiveness in this world which is to avail in the world to come...

CYRIL; But the Lord after having inspired such great fear, and prepared men to resist those who depart from a right confession, commanded them for the rest to take no care what they should answer, because for those who are faithfully disposed, the Holy Spirit frames fit words, as their teacher, and dwelling within them. Whence it follows, And when they shall bring you into synagogues, take no thought how or what you shall answer. 

CHRYS. But elsewhere it is said, Be ready to answer every one who shall ask you for a reason of the hope that is in you. When indeed a contest or strife arises among friends, He bids us take thought, but when there are the terrors of a court of justice and fear on every side, He gives His own strength so as to inspire boldness and utterance, but not dismay. 

THEOPHYL. Since then our weakness is twofold, and either from fear of punishment we shun martyrdom, or because we are ignorant and can not give a reason of our faith, he has excluded both; the fear of punishment in that He said, Fear not them which kill the body, but the fear of ignorance, when He said, Take no thought how or what you shall answer, &c.

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