« AnteriorContinuar »
(FROM THE DOUAY TESTAMENT.)
1 What is it to me. These words of our Saviour, spoken to his blessed mother, have been understood by some commentators as harsh, they not considering the next following verse: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye; which plainly shows that she knew of the miracle that he was to perform, and that it was at her request he wrought it; besides which must be considered the manner of speaking the words, as to the tone, and expression of countenance, which could only be known to those who were present, or from what had followed; for words indicating anger in one tone of voice, would be understood quite the reverse in another.
2 Unless a man be born again. Our Saviour here declares the necessity of Baptism; and by the word water, it is evident that the application of it is necessary with the words.
3 Is not judged. He that believes, viz. by a faith working through charity, is not judged, that is, is not condemned; but the obstinate unbeliever is judged, that is, condemned already, by severing himself from the society of Christ and his Church.
4 The judgment. That is, the cause of his condemnation.
5 He that doth truth-i. e. he that acts according to truth, which here signifies the Law of God. Thy law is truth. Ps. cxviii. 142.
6 Unto the resurrection of judgment. That is, condemna
7 Or, You search the Scriptures. It is not a command for all to read the Scriptures; but a reproach to the Pharisees, that reading the Scriptures as they did, and thinking to find everlasting life in them, they would not receive him to whom all those Scriptures gave testimony, and through whom alone they could have that true life.
8 The poor in spirit. That is, the humble; and they whose spirit is not set upon riches.
9 To fulfil. By accomplishing all the figures and prophecies, and perfecting all that was imperfect.
10 Shall be in danger of the judgment. That is, shall deserve to be punished by that lesser tribunal among the Jews, called the judgment, which took cognizance of such crimes.
11 Raca: A word expressing great indignation or contempt.-Shall be in danger of the Council : That is, shall deserve to be punished by the highest court of judicature, called the Council or Sanhedrim, consisting of seventy-two persons, where the highest causes were tried and judged, which was at Jerusalem.--Ibid. Thou fool: This was then looked upon as a heinous injury, when uttered with contempt, spite, or malice; and therefore is here so severely condemned.-Shall be in danger of hell fire: Literally, according to the Greek, shall deserve to be cast into the Gehenna of fire; which words our Saviour made use of to express the fire and punislıment of hell.
12 Scandalise thee. That is, if it be a stumbling-block, or occasion of sin to thee. By which we are taught to fly the immediate occasions of sin, though they be as dear to us, or as necessary as a hand or an eye.
13 Not to swear at all. We are not here forbidden to swear in truth, justice, and judgment; to the honour of God, or our own or neighbour's just defence; but only to swear rashly or profanely in common discourse, and without necessity.
14 Not to resist evil. What is here commanded is a Christian patience under injuries and affronts, and to be willing even to suffer still more, rather than to indulge the desire of revenge: but what is further added does not strictly oblige according to the letter, for neither did Christ nor St. Paul turn the other cheek. St. John xviii. and Acts xxiii.
15 Your justice, i. e. works of justice, viz. fasting, prayer, and alms-deeds; which ought to be performed, not out of ostentation, or a view to please men, but solely to please God.
16 Supersubstantial bread. In St. Like the same word is rendered daily bread. It is understood of the bread of life, which we receive in the Blessed Sacrament.
17 Lead us not into temptation. That is, suffer us not to be overcome by temptation.
18 Scandalised in me. That is, who shall not take occasion of scandal or offence from my humility, and the disgraceful death of the cross, which I shall endure.
19 Suffereth violence. It is not to be obtained but by main force, by using violence upon ourselves, by mortification and penance, and resisting our perverse inclinations.
20 He is Elias. Not in person, but in spirit. Luke i. 17.
21 Because she hath loved much. In the Scripture an effect sometimes seems attributed to one only caise, when there are divers other concurring dispositions; for the sins of this woman, in this verse, are said to be forgiven, because she loved much: but verse 50, Christ tells her, thy faith hath muide thee safe. Hence in a true conversion are joined faith, hope, love, sorrow for sin, and other pious dispositions.
22 The blasphemy of the Spirit. The sin here spoken of is that blasphemy by which the Pharisees attributed the miracles of Christ, wrought by the Spirit of God, to Beelzebub the prince of devils. Now this kind of sin is usually accompanied with so much obstinacy, and such wilful opposing of the Spirit of God, and the known truth, that men who are guilty of it are seldom or never converted : and therefore are never forgiven, because they will not repent. Otherwise there is no sin which God cannot or will not forgive to such as sincerely repent, and have recourse to the keys of the Church.
23 Nor in the world to come. From these words St. Augustine (De Civ. 1. xxi. c. 13), and St. Gregory (Dialog. iv. c. 39) gather, that some sins may be remitted in the world to come; and, consequently, that there is a purgatory or a middle place.
24 Every idle word. This shows there must be a place of temporal punishment hereafter, where these slighter faults shall be punished.
25 A sign. That is, a miracle from heaven. St. Luke xi. 16.
26 Three days. Not complete days and nights, but part of three days and three nights, taken according to the way that the Hebrews counted their days and nights, viz, from evening to evening.
27 Who is my mother This was not spoken by way of slighting his mother, but to show that we are never to suffer ourselves to be taken from the service of God, by any inordinate affection to our earthly parents; and that which our Lord chiefly regarded in his mother was her doing the will of his Father in heaven. It may also further allude to the reprobation of the Jews, his carnal kindred, and the election of the Gentiles.
28 That seeing they may see. In punislıment of their wilfully shutting their eyes, God justly withdrew those lights and graces, which otherwise he would have given them for their effectual conversion.
29 I came to set a man at variance. Not that this was the end or design of the coming of our Saviour; but that his coming and his doctrine would have this effect, by reason of the obstinate resistance that many would make, and of their persecuting all such as should adhere to him.
30 Draw him. Not by compulsion, nor by laying the free-will under any necessity, but by the strong and sweet motions of his heavenly grace.
31 Except you eat. To receive the Body and Blood of Christ, is a divine precept, insinuated in this text; which the faithful fulfil, though they receive but in one kind; because in one kind they receive both Body and Blood, which cannot be separated from each other. Hence, life eternal is here promised to the worthy receiving, though but in one kind. Thus, ver. 52. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give, is my fish, for the life of the world. Ver. 58. He that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. Ver. 59. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.
32 If then you shall see. Christ, by mentioning his ascension, by this instance of his power and divinity, would confirm the truth of what he had before asserted; and at the same time correct their gross apprehension of eating his flesh, and drinking his blood, in a vulgar and carnal manner, by letting them know he should take his whole body living with him to heaven; and consequently not suffer it
to be, as they supposed, divided, manyled, and consumed upon earth.
33 The flesh profiteth nothing. Dead flesh separated from the spirit, in the gross manner they supposed they were to eat his flesh, would profit nothing. Neither does man's flesh, that is to say, man's natural and carnal apprehension (which refuses to be subject to the spirit and words of Christ) profit any thing. But it would be the height of blasphemy, to say the living flesh of Christ (which we receive in the Blessed Sacrament, with his spirit, that is, with his soul and divinity) profits nothing. For if Christ's flesh had profited us nothing, he would never have taken flesh for us, nor died in the flesh for us.-Ibid. Are spirit and life. By proposing to you a heavenly sacrament, in which you shall receive, in a wonderful manner, spirit, grace, and life, in its very fountain.
34 Commandments of men. The doctrines and commandments here reprehended are such as are either contrary to the law of God-as that of neglecting parents under pretence of giving to God, or at least are frivolous, unprofitable, and no ways conducing to true piety, as that of often washing hands, &c., without regard to the purity of the heart. But as to the rules and ordinances of the holy Church, touching fasts, festivals, &c., these are no ways repugnant to, but highly agreeable to God's holy Word, and all Christian piety; neither are they to be counted among the doctrines and commandments of men, because they proceed not from mere human authority, but from that which Christ has established in his church, whose pastors he has commanded us to hear and obey even as himself. St. Luke x. 16; St. Matt. xviii. 17. * 35 Corban. That is, the offering that I shall make to God shall be instead of that which should be expended for thy profit. This tradition of the Pharisees was calculated to enrich themselves, by exempting children from giving any further assistance to their parents if they once offered to the temple and the priests that which should have been the support of their parents. But this was a violation of the law of God, and of nature, which our Saviour here condemns.
36 There is nothing. No uncleanness in meat, nor any dirt contracted by eating it with unwashed hands, can defile the soul; but sin alone, or a disobedience of the heart to the ordinance and will of God. And thus when Adam took