Wednesday, 13 August 2014

St Luke 11: 5-13

5 Et ait ad illos: Quis vestrum habebit amicum, et ibit ad illum media nocte, et dicet illi: Amice, commoda mihi tres panes, 6 quoniam amicus meus venit de via ad me, et non habeo quod ponam ante illum, 7 et ille de intus respondens dicat: Noli mihi molestus esse, jam ostium clausum est, et pueri mei mecum sunt in cubili: non possum surgere, et dare tibi. 8 Et si ille perseveraverit pulsans: dico vobis, etsi non dabit illi surgens eo quod amicus ejus sit, propter improbitatem tamen ejus surget, et dabit illi quotquot habet necessarios. 9 Et ego dico vobis: Petite, et dabitur vobis; quærite, et invenietis; pulsate, et aperietur vobis. 10 Omnis enim qui petit, accipit: et qui quærit, invenit: et pulsanti aperietur. 11 Quis autem ex vobis patrem petit panem, numquid lapidem dabit illi? aut piscem, numquid pro pisce serpentem dabit illi? 12 aut si petierit ovum, numquid porriget illi scorpionem? 13 Si ergo vos, cum sitis mali, nostis bona data dare filiis vestris: quanto magis Pater vester de cælo dabit spiritum bonum petentibus se?

 [5] And he said to them: Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves,[6] Because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him. [7] And he from within should answer, and say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. [8] Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth. [9] And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. [10] For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. [11] And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? [12] Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion? [13] If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him?

Commentary (de Lapide)

Ver. 5.—And He said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight.
At midnight, i.e. at a most inconvenient time.

Christ puts forth this parable to teach His disciples not to be disheartened, nor to cease to pray because their petitions are unanswered, but to persevere, for if they do this, God will listen to their prayers and grant them their requests.

Ver. 6.—For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him. My friend, hungry and wearied with his journey, seeks refreshment, and I have nothing to set before him.

Ver. 7.—And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not. He makes excuse that he cannot wake his children from their sleep and disturb his household.

Ver. 8.—I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

Importunity—α̉ναίδειαν, i.e., impudence, used as the Latin word impudens—e.g., labour impudens (i.e. unceasing labour) omnia vincit.

Here S. Augustine asks, “Why because of his importunity? Because he continued to knock and did not go away because his request was denied him. He who was unwilling to give what his friend had need of, gave at last because the other continued his demands. Much more then will God who in His goodness bids us make known our requests to Him, and is displeased with those who seek Him not, grant our requests.”

God wills that we should continue instant in prayer, and is pleased with our “importunity,” for persistent prayer is “violence pleasing to God.” Tertullian.

Ver. 9.—And I say unto you, ask and it shall be given you. (See S. Matt. vii. 7.)

Ver. 12.—Or if he shall ask an egg. This verse is omitted by S. Matthew. An ege, because of the nourishment it contains.

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