December 19 2010 Fourth Sunday of Advent
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Douay-Rheims Challoner Text
And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying:
Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God, either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above.
And Achaz said:
I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord.
And he said:
Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel.
Psalm 23:1-6 (Psalm 24 Heb/NAB)
The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof:
the world, and all they that dwell therein.
For he hath founded it upon the seas;
and hath prepared it upon the rivers.
Who shall ascend into the mountain of the Lord:
or who shall stand in his holy place?
The innocent in hands, and clean of heart,
who hath not taken his soul in vain,
nor sworn deceitfully to his neighbour.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord,
and mercy from God his Saviour.
This is the generation of them that seek him,
of them that seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Haydock New Testament
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, Which he had promised before by his prophets in the holy Scriptures, Concerning his Son, who was made to him of the seed of David, according to the flesh, Who was predestinated the Son of God in power, according to the spirit of sanctification, by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith, in all nations for his name, Among whom are you also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that are at Rome, the beloved of God, called to be saints. Grace to you, and peace from God, our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gospel According to Saint Matthew 1:18-24
Now the birth of Christ was thus: When Mary, his mother, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying:
“Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Now all this was done that the word might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying:
“Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife.
Haydock Commentary Isaiah 7:10-14
- Ver. 10. Sodom. Juda is so styled reproachfully, (C.) because the princes imitated the crimes of that devoted city. Ezec. xvi. 49. Inf. c. ii. 6. and iii. 9. M.
- Ver. 11. Victims. Without piety, they are useless. God tolerated bloody victims to withdraw the people from idolatry, but he often shewed that they were not of much importance, in order that they might be brought to offer the sacrifice of the new law, which eminently includes all the rest. S. Jerome Ps. xlix. 9. Am. v. 21. Jer. vi. 20. Theod.
- Ver. 14. Bearing. Heb. &c. “pardoning,” (C.) or “bearing.” Sept. “I will no longer pardon your sins.” H.
Haydock Commentary Romans 1:1-7
- Ver. 1. Called to be an apostle, or a called apostle. That is, not only having the name of an apostle, but having his call to this high function, and his mission from God.—Separated unto the gospel of God. He means that he was separated from others, and appointed by the Holy Ghost to preach the gospel, as we read Acts 8:2 when the Holy Ghost to those of the Church at Antioch said, Separate me Saul and Barnabas, for the work unto which I have taken them. Wi
- Ver. 2. Which he had promised before, &c. That is, God before, in the Scriptures, promised the blessings, which are now come by the preaching of the gospel, and that they should come by his Son. Wi.
- Ver. 3. Who was made to him of the seed of David, according to the flesh. The sense is, that God promised, that he who was his true and only Son from eternity, should also become his son, as man; that the same son should be man, as well as God, when the word was made flesh, or when that divine person should be united to our human nature. Thus the same person, who was his only begotten Son from eternity, being made man, and of the seed of David, by his incarnation, was still his Son, both as God, and also as man. Wi.—The Greek text has not the particle ei, (to him) but only τοῦ γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυῒδ. But S. Irenæus, (lib. iii. ch. 18.) S. Ambrose, S. Jerome read, Qui factus est ei. And also S. Aug. in his unfinished exposition of the epistle to the Romans; though before in his book against Faustus, (lib. xi. ch. 14.) he reads it otherwise. Calmet.
- Ver. 4. Who was predestinated the Son of God. The learned bishop of Meaux, Bossuet, in his second Pastoral Instruction, in which he condemned the French translation of Mons. Simon, (p. 127.) takes notice, that according to S. Paul, and the constant doctrine of S. Aug. and S. Thomas, Christ as man, or the human nature of Christ united to his divine person, was predestinated without any precedent merits, by a free and liberal predestination of God’s goodness. Wi.—Christ, as man, was predestinated to be the Son of God; and declared to be so (as the apostle here signifies) first by power, that is, by his working stupendous miracles; secondly, by the spirit of sanctification, that is, by his infinite sanctity; thirdly, by his resurrection, or raising himself from the dead. Ch.
- Ver. 5. By whom, i.e. by this same Jesus Christ, God and man, we, I, and the rest of the apostles, have received this grace and apostleship, this mission and commission from him, of preaching his gospel, and teaching his doctrine.—for obedience to the faith in all nations; that is, to bring all nations to the obedience and profession of his new law and doctrine. Wi.
- Ver. 6. Among whom are you also the called of Jesus. That is, you also are a part of those, who by his mercy, are called to this faith and belief in him. All beginning from those words in the third verse, who was made to him, &c. till the end of the sixth verse, are to be taken as within a parenthesis, which is not unusual in the style of S. Paul. Then he goes on after this long parenthesis. Wi.
- Ver. 7. To all that are at Rome … called to be saints. That is, who not only are named saints, but who by such a call from God, are to be sanctified by his grace, and to become holy, or saints. Wi.
Haydock Commentary Matthew 1:18-24
- Ver. 18. The account of the birth of Jesus Christ follows his genealogy. From these words, “before they came together,” Helvidius and others have started objections, which have been answered long ago by S. Jerome, where he shews in many examples front Scripture, that the words before and until do not signify what happened afterwards; for that point is left indefinite, but only what was done before, or not done. Thus when it is said, Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool, Ps. cix by no means signifies, that after the subjection of his enemies, the Son of God is no longer to sit at the right hand of his Father. In common conversation, when we say that a man died before he reached his 30th year, we do not mean that he afterwards attained it. Or, should we say that Helvidius died before he did penance, we cannot mean that he afterwards did penance: the same conclusion should be deduced front the words, “before they came together,” the end being accomplished by the power of the operation of the Holy Ghost, without their going together. If we should advance, that such a man was cured before he went to a physician, the natural inference would be, that he did not go to a physician at all. Thus also in the language of Scripture, the word first-begotten does not mean after whom others were born, but before whom no one was born, whether there were further issue or not. And the reason is, because the law required that a sacrifice should be offered for the first-born, and that he should be redeemed very soon after his birth; nor did it allow the parents to wait and see if any other son should be born. K—True and perfect marriage, and continual living iii the same, without knowing each other. S. Aug. l. ii. Consen. Evang. c. i. B.
- Ver. 19. And Joseph her husband, knowing her strict virtue, was surprised at this her pregnancy, but “being a just man,” and not willing to expose her, by denouncing her, or giving her a bill of divorce, he had a mind to dismiss her privately, committing the whole cause to God. Let us learn from Joseph to be ever tender of our neighbour’s reputation, and never to entertain any injurious thoughts, or any suspicions to his prejudice. A.
- Ver. 20. Fear not to take, &c. i.e. fear not to marry her, if we suppose them not yet married, or if married already, the sense is, fear not to keep and remain with thy chaste wife; lay aside all thoughts of dismissing and leaving her. Wi— As the incarnation of the Son of God was effected by the whole blessed Trinity, it may be asked why this operation is peculiarly attributed to the Holy Ghost, not only here, but in Luke ii, and in the apostles creed? The answer is, because as power is attributed to the Father, wisdom to the Son, so goodness is attributed to the Holy Ghost, and the gifts of grace which proceed from it. Estius in diff. loca.
- Ver. 21. Jesus… he shall save, &c. The characteristic name of Saviour was peculiar to the Messias, by which he was distinguished, as well as by the adorable name of Jesus. The expectations of both Jew and Gentile looked forward to a saviour. S. Augustine, in the 18th book 23d chapter, de Civitate Dei, introduces a curious anecdote. He mentions there, that he received from the eloquent and learned Proconsul Flactianus, a book containing in Greek the verses of one of the Sybils, which related to the coming of Christ. The substance of them is much the same as occurs in the prophecies of Isaiah, from which Virgil has likewise copied into his Pollio, many of the sublime thoughts which we find in that beautiful eclogue. It is remarkable that of the initials of these verses, S. Augustine had formed an acrostic to the following import, (some Greek);that is, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Saviour. A.
- Ver. 22. The Greeks in general, after S. John Chrysostom, look upon this as a continuation of the angel’s speech to S. Joseph. The other Fathers and commentators think it a reflection of the evangelist.
- Ver. 23. Behold a virgin, || &c. The Jews sometimes objected, as we see in S. Justin’s dialogue with Tryphon, that the Hebrew word alma, in the prophet Isaias, signified no more than a young woman. But S. Jerome tells us that alma signifies a virgin kept close up. Let the Jews, says he, shew me any place in which the Hebrew word alma, is applied to any one that is not a virgin, and I will own my ignorance. Besides the very circumstances in the text of the prophet, are more than a sufficient confutation of this Jewish exposition; for there a sign, or miracle, is promised to Achaz; and what miracle would it be for a young woman to have a child, when she had ceased to be a virgin? Wi.—How happens it that nowhere in the gospels, or in any other part, do we find Christ called Emmanuel? I answer, that in the Greek expression the name is given for the thing signified; and the meaning is: He shall be a true Emmanuel, i.e.. a God with us, true God and true man. E.—The text says, they shall call, i. a. still men shall look upon Him as an Emmanuel. Again, his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty, the Prince of peace, &c. i. e. He shall be all these, not so much nominally, as really and in effect. A.
- Ver. 24. The heretic Helvidius argues from this text, and from what we read in the gospel of Christ’s brethren, that Christ had brothers, and Mary other sons. But it is evident that in the style of the Scriptures, they who were no more than cousins were called brothers and sisters.