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Sept 21 2007 Friday 24th Week Ordinary Time.
The readings on this site are not official for the Mass of Roman Catholic Church, but are from sources free from copyright. They are here to present the comparable readings alongside traditional Catholic commentary as published in the Haydock Bible.
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Ephesians 4:1-13 (amended) Haydock NT
He exhorts them to unity; to put on the new man; and to fly sin.
I THEREFORE, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you, that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called. 2 With all humility, and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity, 3 Careful to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. 4 One body, and one spirit: as you are called in one hope of your vocation. 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism. 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all. 7 But to every one of us is given grace, according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith: Ascending on high, he led captivity captive: he gave gifts to men. 9 Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the same also who ascended above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.
11 And he gave some indeed apostles, and some prophets, and others evangelists, and others pastors and teachers, 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edification of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all meet in the unity of faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we may no more be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, in the wickedness of men, in craftiness, to the machination of error. (v. 14. added to match the inconveniently combined notes, but it is not in the reading today, thus italicized.)
Haydock Commentary Ephesians 4:1-13
- Ver. 1. Here begins the second part of this epistle, in which he exhorts them to the practice of Christian virtues. Wi.
- Ver. 4. In one hope of your vocation. The three great reasons that we have to love one another are contained in this verse, because we have but one body, of which Christ is the head. We are all animated by the same spirit, viz. the Holy Ghost, who is given to us all, and we all live in the same hope of eternal happiness. Calmet.
- Ver. 5. This contains some more reasons why Christians should love one another. We are all the servants of the same God, believe the same mysteries, and receive the same sacraments, whoever may be the dispenser of them.—One faith. As rebellion is the bane of commonwealths and kingdoms, and peace and concord the preservation of the same; so is schism, and diversity of faith or fellowship in the service of God, the calamity of the Church: and peace, unity, and uniformity, the special blessing of God therein. S. Cyprian, in his book on the unity of the Church, writeth thus: “One Church, for one is my dove. This unity of the Church, he that holdeth not, doth he think he holdeth the faith? He that withstandeth or resisteth the Church, he that resisteth Peter’s chair, upon which the church was built, doth he trust that he is in the Church?” And again, Ep. xl. “There is one God, and one Christ, and one Church, and one chair, by our Lord’s voice founded upon Peter. To set up another altar, or to constitute another priesthood, besides the one altar and the one priesthood, is impossible. Whosoever gathereth elsewhere scattereth. It is adulterous, it is impious, it is sacrilegious, whatsoever is instituted by man to the breach of God’s disposition. Get ye far from such men: they are blind, and leaders of the blind.” S. Hilary also applies this text against the Arians thus: “Perilous and miserable it is that there are now among them as many faiths as wills, and as many doctrines as manners; whilst modes of faith are written as men will, or as they will, so are understood. Whereas the one truth teaches there is but one God, one Lord, on baptism, and also one faith: hence whilst more faiths are made, they begin by falling from that which is the only faith, and end in having no faith at all.” S. Hilary, l. ad Constantium Augustum.
- Ver. 7. To every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. That is, as it hath pleased Christ to bestow his free gifts upon us; to shew, says S. Chrys. that it was not according to any merit of ours. The words also shew that Christ is the giver and author of graces, and consequently the true God. Wi.—We must endeavour by all means in our power to preserve this unity, especially by avoiding jealousy, or being envious of the graces which have been given to our neighbour; considering that they all proceed from the same God, who divides to each one as he pleaseth. Tirinus.
- Ver. 8. He led captivity captive. S. Jerome and others expound these words of Christ’s delivering the pious souls that had died before his ascension, and which were detained in a place of rest which is called Lumbus Patrum.—He gave gifts to men. Having delivered men from the captivity of sin, he bestowed upon them his gifts and graces. Wi.—Wherefore he, David, in Ps. lxvii. makes use of these words, in order to shew that these gifts were gratuitous, and that no person had a right to complain that another had received more: after this the apostle proceeds to shew that Christ even descended to the lower parts of the earth, in order to teach us humility; whence he concludes that we ought to be humble and live in union with our brethren, which is the chief subject of the present chapter. Tirinus.
- Ver. 9. Into the lower parts of the earth. This cannot signify into the grave only, especially since in that which we look upon as the apostles’ creed, we first profess to believe that he was buried, and afterwards that he descended into hell. Wi.
- Ver. 11. Some indeed he gave to be apostles, &c. It is said (1 Cor. xii. 28) that God (even with the Greek article) gave some to be apostles, &c. and here it is said of Christ: another proof that Christ is the true God. Wi.
- Ver. 13-14. Unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the age of the fulness of Christ; that is, according to the measure of the full and perfect age of Christ. Of the ancient interpreters, some expound this of what shall happen in the next world, after the resurrection, when all the elect shall have bodies every way perfect; and as some conjecture, (when all who rise by a happy resurrection) shall seem to be about thirty, of the statue and age of Christ when he suffered. But others, especially the Greek interpreters, understand this verse of a spiritual perfection in this life, by which the members of Christ’s mystical body meet in the unity of faith, and increase in grace and virtue by imitating Christ, and following his doctrine and example. And this seems more agreeable to what follows: that we may not now be children, tossed to and fro by the wickedness of men. The Greek word, as S. Jerome observes, may signify by the deceit or fallacy of men; by illusion, says S. Aug. And S. Chrys. tells us it is spoken by a metaphor, taken from those who cheat at dice, to gain all to themselves, to draw men into errors and heresies. Such, about that time, were the disciples of Simon the magician. Wi.—Every one must labour to become perfect in the state in which he is placed, by increasing in the knowledge and love of God, which knowledge and love of God constitute the full measure of a Christian. S. Chrysostom.—S. Austin also admits of another interpretation of this place, but prefers the former. According to him, it may mean: that all people, at the resurrection, will be raised in such a state as they would have had if they lived to the age of Christ, viz. thirty-three years. S. Thomas.—This text of the apostle, assuring to the one true Church a perpetual and visible succession of pastors, in the ministry, successors of the apostles, warranted the holy Fathers in the early ages of the Church, as it does Catholics of the present day, to try all seceders by the most famous succession of the popes or bishops of Rome. See this in S. Irenaeus, l. iii. c. 3. Tertul. In prescript. Optatus. l. ii. cont. Parmen. S. Austin, cont. ep. Manic. c. iv. Ep. 165 & alibi. S. Epiphan. haeras. 27.
Matthew 9:9-13 Haydock NT
9 And when Jesus passed on from thence, he saw a man sitting in the custom-house, named Matthew: and he saith to him:
And he rose up, and followed him. 10 And it came to pass as he was sitting at table in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came, and sat down with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And the Pharisees seeing it, said to his disciples:
Why doth your master eat with publicans and sinners?
12 But Jesus hearing it, said:
They that are in health, need not a physicians, but they that are ill. 13 Go then and learn what this meaneth: I will have mercy, and not sacrifice. For I am not come to call the just, but sinners.
Haydock Commentary Matthew 9:9-13
- Ver. 9. Named Matthew. ‘Tis remarked by S. Jerome, that the other evangelist, out of respect to this apostle, did not call him Matthew, (the name he generally went by) but Levi; whereas he, in his own gospel, to shew the goodness of God, who from a publican had made him an apostle, styles himself Matthew the publican. S. Thos. Aquin.—S. Austin. de Concor. Evan. It is most probable, says S. Austin, that S. Matthew does not mention what had happened to him, before he began to follow Jesus; for it is supposed that this evangelist was called antecedent to the sermon on the mount; for S. Luke named the 12 that were chosen, and calls them apostles. S. Matthew mentions his vocation to the apostleship as one of the miracles that Jesus performed, for certainly it was a great miracle for a publican to become an apostle.—Rose up, and followed him. When we hear the voice of God calling us to virtue, we must not delay. The devil, says S. Basil, does not advise us to turn entirely from God, but only to put off our conversion to a future time. He steals away our present time, and gives us hopes of the future. But when that comes, he steals that also in the same manner; and thus by giving us present pleasure, he robs us of our whole life. S. Basil—Sitting in the custom-house. Jesus called S. Matthew with two words only, follow me; and presently he left all, and became his disciple; doubtless by a particular inspiration and motion of divine grace. Wi.
- Ver. 12. They that are in health. The explication of which is, I converse with sinners, that I may heal their souls from incredulity. M.
- Ver. 13. I am not come. The just appear to be mentioned ironically, as it is said in Genesis, Behold Adam is become as one of us: and if I hunger, I will not tell thee. Psalm xlix. For S. Paul asserts, that none on the earth were just: all have sinned, and need the glory of God. Rom. iii. S. Chrysos. Hom. xxxi.—Christ came to call all men, both just and unjust, since he called Nathanael, who was a just man. But the meaning of these words is, I came not to call you, Scribes and Phariseees, who esteem yourselves just, and despise others, and who think you have no need of a physician; but I came to call those who acknowledge themselves sinners. Theophylactus.—Or the meaning may be, “I came not to call the just to penance, of which they have no need;” thus in S. Luke, (c. v.) I came not to call the just, but sinners to repentance. Or again, the meaning may be, I came not to call the just because there are none just of themselves, and who stand not in need of my coming. S. Paul says, All have sinned, as above. M.—Mercy, and not sacrifice. Christ here prefers mercy to sacrifice; for, as S. Ambrose says, there is no virtue so becoming a Christian as mercy, but chiefly mercy to the poor. For if we give money to the poor, we at the same time give him life: if we clothe the naked, we adorn our souls with the robe of justice: if we receive the poor harbourless under our roof, we shall at the same time make friends with the saints in heaven, and shall afterwards be received by them into their eternal habitations. S. Ambrose.—I will have mercy and not sacrifice: these words occur in the prophet Osee, c. vi. The Pharisees though they were making a great sacrifice, and acceptable to God, by breaking off all commerce with sinners; but God prefers the mercy of the charitable physician, who frequents the company of sinners, but merely to cure them. V.