Monday, 1 September 2014

St Luke 18:1-30

St Luke 18:

1 Dicebat autem et parabolam ad illos, quoniam oportet semper orare et non deficere, 2 dicens: Judex quidam erat in quadam civitate, qui Deum non timebat, et hominem non reverebatur. 3 Vidua autem quædam erat in civitate illa, et veniebat ad eum, dicens: Vindica me de adversario meo. 4 Et nolebat per multum tempus. Post hæc autem dixit intra se: Etsi Deum non timeo, nec hominem revereor: 5 tamen quia molesta est mihi hæc vidua, vindicabo illam, ne in novissimo veniens sugillet me. 6 Ait autem Dominus: Audite quid judex iniquitatis dicit: 7 Deus autem non faciet vindictam electorum suorum clamantium ad se die ac nocte, et patientiam habebit in illis? 8 Dico vobis quia cito faciet vindictam illorum. Verumtamen Filius hominis veniens, putas, inveniet fidem in terra?9 Dixit autem et ad quosdam qui in se confidebant tamquam justi, et aspernabantur ceteros, parabolam istam: 10 Duo homines ascenderunt in templum ut orarent: unus pharisæus et alter publicanus. 11 Pharisæus stans, hæc apud se orabat: Deus, gratias ago tibi, quia non sum sicut ceteri hominum: raptores, injusti, adulteri, velut etiam hic publicanus: 12 jejuno bis in sabbato, decimas do omnium quæ possideo. 13 Et publicanus a longe stans, nolebat nec oculos ad cælum levare: sed percutiebat pectus suum, dicens: Deus propitius esto mihi peccatori. 14 Dico vobis, descendit hic justificatus in domum suam ab illo: quia omnis qui se exaltat, humiliabitur, et qui se humiliat, exaltabitur.15 Afferebant autem ad illum et infantes, ut eos tangeret. Quod cum viderent discipuli, increpabant illos. 16 Jesus autem convocans illos, dixit: Sinite pueros venire ad me, et nolite vetare eos: talium est enim regnum Dei. 17 Amen dico vobis, quicumque non acceperit regnum Dei sicut puer, non intrabit in illud. 18 Et interrogavit eum quidam princeps, dicens: Magister bone, quid faciens vitam æternam possidebo? 19 Dixit autem ei Jesus: Quid me dicis bonum? nemo bonus nisi solus Deus. 20 Mandata nosti: non occides; non mœchaberis; non furtum facies; non falsum testimonium dices; honora patrem tuum et matrem. 21 Qui ait: Hæc omnia custodivi a juventute mea. 22 Quo audito, Jesus ait ei: Adhuc unum tibi deest: omnia quæcumque habes vende, et da pauperibus, et habebis thesaurum in cælo: et veni, sequere me. 23 His ille auditis, contristatus est: quia dives erat valde. 24 Videns autem Jesus illum tristem factum, dixit: Quam difficile, qui pecunias habent, in regnum Dei intrabunt! 25 facilius est enim camelum per foramen acus transire quam divitem intrare in regnum Dei. 26 Et dixerunt qui audiebant: Et quis potest salvus fieri? 27 Ait illis: Quæ impossibilia sunt apud homines, possibilia sunt apud Deum.28 Ait autem Petrus: Ecce nos dimisimus omnia et secuti sumus te. 29 Qui dixit eis: Amen dico vobis, nemo est qui reliquit domum, aut parentes, aut fratres, aut uxorem, aut filios propter regnum Dei, 30 et non recipiat multo plura in hoc tempore, et in sæculo venturo vitam æternam.

1] And he spoke also a parable to them, that we ought always to pray, and not to faint, [2] Saying: There was a judge in a certain city, who feared not God, nor regarded man. [3] And there was a certain widow in that city, and she came to him, saying: Avenge me of my adversary. [4] And he would not for a long time. But afterwards he said within himself: Although I fear not God, nor regard man, [5] Yet because this widow is troublesome to me, I will avenge her, lest continually coming she weary me.
[6] And the Lord said: Hear what the unjust judge saith. [7] And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard? [8] I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth? [9] And to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others, he spoke also this parable: [10] Two men went up into the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.[11] The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican. [12] I fast twice in a week: I give tithes of all that I possess. [13] And the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven; but struck his breast, saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. [14] I say to you, this man went down into his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled: and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted. [15] And they brought unto him also infants, that he might touch them. Which when the disciples saw, they rebuked them.[16] But Jesus, calling them together, said: Suffer children to come to me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. [17] Amen, I say to you: Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a child, shall not enter into it. [18] And a certain ruler asked him, saying: Good master, what shall I do to possess everlasting life? [19] And Jesus said to him: Why dost thou call me good? None is good but God alone. [20] Thou knowest the commandments: Thou shalt not kill: Thou shalt not commit adultery: Thou shalt not steal: Thou shalt not bear false witness: Honour thy father and mother.[21] Who said: All these things have I kept from my youth. [22] Which when Jesus had heard, he said to him: Yet one thing is wanting to thee: sell all whatever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. [23] He having heard these things, became sorrowful; for he was very rich. [24] And Jesus seeing him become sorrowful, said: How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God. [25] For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.[26] And they that heard it, said: Who then can be saved? [27] He said to them: The things that are impossible with men, are possible with God. [28] Then Peter said: Behold, we have left all things, and have followed thee. [29] Who said to them: Amen, I say to you, there is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God' s sake, [30] Who shall not receive much more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Commentary (de Lapide)

Ver.1.—He spake a parable unto them to the end that. Christ had said, at the end of the last chapter, that the Apostles and the faithful should suffer persecutions, in which they should wish for His presence that they might seek and receive help from Him. He now names a remedy for all their sufferings, prayer, for He both hears them and grants what they ask, for He teaches, directs, strengthens.

Always to pray. Hence the heretics called Euchitæ wished, but without reason, to be always praying and to do no manual work. But it is written, “If any man will not work, neither let him eat” (2 Thess. iii. 10). “Always” here seems to mean sedulously, perseveringly, diligently, assiduously as in other things, and at befitting times, especially when temptation, persecution, and affliction are hard at hand. 

It is impossible for us to pray always and at all times. We must have a time for eating, drinking, labouring, &c. The word “always” means, therefore, not continuance but perseverance in prayer: that is, that we should set apart fit times for prayer, and not cease to pray until we have obtained what we need and what we ask for. 

Our Lord adds, “and not to faint” or in the Greek “be weary.” The reason is that we daily meet so many difficulties and troubles that our whole lives appear to be one temptation and warfare. And as we are infirm and unable to overcome them we ought to ask help and strength from God through prayer. Thus our whole Christian life seems as it were one prayer. 

Again, “always,” that is frequently, at the hours appointed by the Church, that we may do nothing without prayer—nothing that we do not ascribe to the glory of God. Bede says, mystically, “He prays always who works for God always;” and the Gloss, “He prays always who lives virtuously always.” 

S. Chrysostom: “The Lord would have you to obtain by prayer that which He wishes to give you. The palace and the ears of princes are open to few. The ears of God are open to all who will.” He refers to Ecclus. xxxv. 20. 

So the apostle, Ephes. vi. 18; 1 Thess. v. 17. See what I have said on those three passages, Climachus: Gradu xxviii.: 

“Prayer, if we regard its nature or quality, is the familiar conversation and union of man with God, but if we consider its force and efficacy it is the conservation of the world, our reconciliation with God, the mother, at once, and daughter of tears, the propitiation of sins, the bridge of escape from temptation, the bulwark against the attacks of afflictions, the destruction of war, the office of angels, the food of all spirits-future joy, continual action, the fountain of virtues, the reconciler and authoress of divine graces.” 

Not content, he speaks more highly, exaltedly, nobly still: 

“It is spiritual progress, the food of the soul, the illumination of the mind, the axe of despair, the demonstration of hope, the distinction of sorrow, the wealth of monks, the treasure of solitaries, the decreasing of anger, the mirror of religious growth, the index of our stature, the declaration of our condition, the signification of things future, the proof of the glory to come.” So the Church sings of S. Cæcilia: She always bore the evangel of Christ in her bosom, and neither by day nor by night did she cease from divine conversation and prayer, and when the organs sounded Cæcilia sang to the Lord, “Cleanse thou my heart, that I may not be confounded.” Valerian her husband found her on her bed praying, with an angel. By this increasing prayer she merited to be given to the angel for the preservation of her virginity, the conversion of her espoused husband Valerian, of Tiburtius and 400 others, and lastly a glorious martyrdom with them all....

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