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38 Loose on earth. The loosing the bands of temporal punishments due to sins is called an indulgence; the power of which is here granted.
39 As a grain of mustard-seed. That is, a perfect faith, which in its properties and its fruits resembles the grain of mustard-seed in the parable.
40 Shall scandalise. That is, shall put a stumbling-block in their way, and cause them to fall into sin.
41 It must needs be-viz, considering the wickedness and corruption of the world.
42 Scandalise thee. That is, cause thee to offend. • 43 There am I in the midst of them. This is understood of such assemblies only as are gathered in the name and authority of Christ, and in unity of the Church of Christ. St. Cyprian de Unitate Ecclesiæ.
44 Unprofitable servants. Because our service is of no profit to our master; and he justly claims it as our bounden duty. But though we are unprofitable to him, our serving him is not unprofitable to us; for he is pleased to give by his grace a value to our good works, which, in consequence of his promise, entitles them to an eternal reward.
45 I am come. Not that Christ came for that end, that any one should be made blind; but that the Jews, by the abuse of his coming, and by their not receiving him, brought upon themselves this judgment of blindness.
46 If you were blind. If you were invincibly ignorant, and had neither read the Scriptures nor seen my miracles, you would not be guilty of the sin of infidelity ; but now, as you boast of your knowledge of the Scriptures, you are inexcusable.
47 Build the sepulchres. This is not blamed, as if it were in itself evil to build or adorn the monuments of the prophets; but the hypocrisy of the Pharisees is here taxed, who, whilst they pretended to honour the memory of the prophets, were persecuting even unto death the Lord of the prophets.
48 That upon you may come. Not that they should suffer more than their own sins justly deserved, but that the justice of God should now fall upon them with such a final vengeance, once for all, as might comprise all the different kinds of judgments and punishments that had at any time before been inflicted for the shedding of just blood.
49 Wo to you who build. Not that the building of the monuments of the prophets was in itself blameworthy, but only the intention of these unhappy men, who made use of this outward show of religion and piety as a means to carry on their wicked designs against the Prince of Prophets.
50 I and the Father are one. That is, one divine nature, but two distinct Persons.
51 Shall seek. Shall desire to be saved; but for want of taking sufficient pains, and being thoroughly in earnest, shall not attain to it.
52 Hate not. The law of Christ does not allow us to hate even our enemies, much less our parents; but the meaning of the text is, that we must be in that disposition of soul, as to be willing to renounce and part with every thing, how near or dear soever it may be to us, that would keep us from following Christ.
63 Before the angels. By this it is plain that the spirits in heaven have a concern for us below, and a joy at our repentance, and consequently a knowledge of it.
54 Mammon of iniquity. Mammon signifies riches. They are here called the Mammon of iniquity, because oftentimes ill-gotten, ill-bestowed, or an occasion of evil; and at the best but worldly and false, and not the true riches of a Christian.-Ibid. They may receive. By this we see, that the poor servants of God, whom we have relieved by our alms, may hereafter, by their intercession, bring our souls to heaven.
55 Except it be. In the case of fornication, that is, of adulterry, the wife may be put away; but even then the husband cannot marry another as long as the wife is living.
56 All men take not this word. That is, all receive not the " gift of living singly and chastely unless they pray for the grace of God to enable them to live so; and for some it may be necessary to that end to fast as well as pray: and to those it is given from above.
57 There are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven. This text is not to be taken in the literal sense; but means, that there are such who have taken a firm and commendable resolution of leading a single and chaste life, in order to serve God in a more perfect state than those who marry, as St. Paul clearly shows. 1 Cor. vii. 37, 38.
58 Abraham's bosom. The place of rest where the souls of the Saints dwelt till Christ had opened heaven by his death.
69 Avenge. That is, do me justice. It is a Hebraism.
60 None is good-of himself entirely and essentially, but God alone; men may be good also, but only by participation of God's goodness.
61 What I will-viz. with my own, and in matters that depend upon my own bounty.
62 Me you have not always-viz. in a visible manner, as when conversant here on earth; and as we have the poor, whom we may daily assist and relieve.
63 Call none your father; neither be ye called masters. The meaning is, that our Father in heaven is incomparably more to be regarded than any father upon earth; and no master to be followed who would lead us away from Christ. But this does not hinder but that we are by the law of God to have a due respect both for our parents and spiritual fathers (1 Cor. iv. 15), and for our masters and teachers.
64 Wheresoever. The coming of Christ shall be sudden and manifest to all the world, like lightning; and wheresoever he shall come, thither shall all mankind be gathered to him, as eagles are gathered about a dead body.
65 The stars. Or flaming meteors resembling stars. 66 The sign. The cross of Christ.
67 Shall pass. Because they shall be changed at the end of the world into a new heaven and new earth.
68 Nor the Son. Not that the Son of God is absolutely ig. norant of the day of judgment, but that he knoweth it not, as our teacher : i. e. he knoweth it not so as to teach it to us, as not being expedient.
69 This is my body. He does not say, this is wie figure of my body, but this is my body (2 Council of Nice, Act. vi). Neither does he say, in this, or with this is my body; but absolutely, this is my body; which plainly implies transubstantiation.
70 Do this for a commemoration of me. This sacrifice and sacrament is to be continued in the Church to the end of the world, to show forth the death of Christ, until he cometh. But this commemoration, or remembrance, is by no means inconsistent with the real presence of his body
and blood under these sacramental veils, which represent his death; on the contrary, it is the manner that he himself hath commanded, of commemorating and celebrating his death, by offering in sacrifice, and receiving in the sacrament, that body and blood by which we were redeemed.
71 Drink ye all of this. This was spoken to the twelve apostles, who were the all then present; and they all drank of it, says St. Mark, xiv. 23. But it no way follows from these words spoken to the apostles that all the faithful are here commanded to drink of the chalice; any more than that all the faithful are commanded to consecrate, offer, and administer this sacrament, because Christ, upon this same occasion and at the same time bid the apostles do so, in these words, St. Luke xxii. 19, Do this in commemoration of me.
72 Blood of the New Testament. As the Old Testament was dedicated with the blood of victims by Moses, in these words, this is the blood of the Testament, Hebrews ix. 20, so here is the dedication and institution of the New Testament in the blood of Christ, here mystically shed, by these words, this is the blood of the New Testament.
73 Fruit of the vine. These words, by the account of St. Luke, xxii. 18, were not spoken of the sacramental cup, but of the wine that was drank with the paschal lamb. Though the sacramental cup might also be called the fruit of the vine, because it was consecrated from wine, and retains the likeness and all the accidents or qualities of wine.
74 That which thou dost do quickly. It is not a license, much less a command, to go about his treason; but a signification to him that Christ would not hinder or resist what he was about; but was both ready and desirous to suffer for our redemption.
75 Paraclete. That is a comforter, or also an advocate : inasmuch as by inspiring prayer, He prays, as it were, in us, and pleads for us.–For «ver. Hence it is evident that this Spirit of truth was not only promised to the persons of the apostles, but also to their successors through all generations.
76 Teach you all things. Here the Holy Ghost is promised to the apostles and their successors particularly, in order to teach them all truth, and to preserve them from error.
77 For the Father is greater than I. It is evident that Christ our Lord speaks here of himself as he is made man; for as God he is equal to the Father. (See Phil. ii.) Any difficulty of understanding the meaning of these words will vanish, when the relative circumstances of the text here are considered; for Christ being at this time shortly to suffer death, signified to his apostles his human nature by these very words; for as God he could not die. And therefore, as he was both God and man, it must follow that according to his humanity he was to die, which the apostles were soon to see and believe, as he expresses, ver. 29: And now I have told you before it come to pass, that when it shall come to pass you may believe.
78 Whom I will send. This proves, against the modern Greeks, that the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Son as well as from the Father, otherwise he could not be sent by the Son.
79 He will convince the world of sin. The Holy Ghost, by his coming, brought over many thousands, 1st, to a sense of their sin in not believing in Christ; 2dly, to a conviction of the justice of Christ, now sitting at the right hand of his Father; and 3dly, to a right apprehension of the judgment prepared for them that choose to follow Satan, who is already judged and condemned.
80 In Paradise. That is, in the happy state of rest, joy, and peace everlasting. Christ was pleased, by a special privilege, to reward the faith and confession of the penitent thief with a full discharge of all his sins, both as to the guilt and punishment, and to introduce him immediately after death into the happy society of the saints, whose limbo, that is, the place of their confinement, was now made a paradise by our Lord's going thither.
81 Whose sins. See here the commission, stamped by the broad seal of heaven, by virtue of which the pastors of Christ's Church absolve repenting sinners upon their confession.
82 Fred my sheep. Our Lord had promised the spiritual supremacy to St. Peter, St. Matt. xvi. 19; and here he fulfils that promise, by charging him with the superintendency of all his sheep, without exception; and consequently of his whole flock, that is, of his whole Church.
83 All power. See here the warrant and commission of the apostles and their successors, the bishops and pastors of Christ's Church. He received from his father all power in