February 25 2008 Monday 3rd Week of Lent
About the sources used. The readings on this site are not official for the Mass of Roman Rite of the Catholic Church in the USA, 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 for your own personal study. Readings vary depending on your local calendar.
Official Readings of the Liturgy at – http://www.usccb.org/nab/022508.shtml – Note. The Official Liturgical readings may not match the current NAB you may have.
2 Kings 5:1-15ab
Douay-Rheims Challoner Text
1 Naaman, general of the army, of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable: for by him the Lord gave deliverance to Syria: and he was a valiant man, and rich, but a leper.
2 Now there had gone out robbers from Syria, and had led away captive out of the land of Israel, a little maid, and she waited upon Naaman’s wife.
3 And she said to her mistress: I wish my master had been with the prophet that is in Samaria: he would certainly have healed him of the leprosy which he hath.
4 Then Naaman went in to his lord, and told him, saying: Thus and thus said the girl from the land of Israel.
5 And the king of Syria said to him: Go; and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment;
6 And brought the letter to the king of Israel, in these words: When thou shalt receive this letter, know that I have sent to thee Naaman, my servant, that thou mayst heal him of his leprosy.
7 And when the king of Israel had read the letter, he rent his garments, and said: Am I God, to be able to kill and give life, that this man hath sent to me to heal a man of his leprosy? mark, and see how he seeketh occasions against me.
8 And when Eliseus (Elisha), the man of God, had heard this, to wit, that the king of Israel had rent his garments, he sent to him, saying: Why hast thou rent thy garments? let him come to me, and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel.
9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Eliseus (Elisha):
10 And Eliseus sent a messenger to him, saying: Go, and wash seven times in the Jordan, and thy flesh shall recover health, and thou shalt be clean.
11 Naaman was angry, and went away, saying: I thought he would have come out to me, and standing, would have invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me.
12 Are not the Abana, and the Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel, that I may wash in them, and be made clean? So as he turned, and was going away with indignation,
13 His servants came to him, and said to him: Father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, surely thou shouldst have done it: how much rather what he now hath said to thee: Wash, and thou shalt be clean?
14 Then he went down, and washed in the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of God; and his flesh was restored, like the flesh of a little child: and he was made clean.
15 And returning to the man of God, with all his train, he came, and stood before him, and said: In truth, I know there is no other God, in all the earth, but only in Israel.
Responsorial Psalm 41:2, 3; 42:3, 4 (Heb Ps 42, 43)
DR Challoner Text Only
As the hart panteth after the fountains of water;
so my soul panteth after thee, O God.
My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God;
when shall I come and appear before the face of God?
Sent forth thy light and thy truth:
they have conducted me,
and brought me unto thy holy hill,
and into thy tabernacles.
And I will go in to the altar of God:
to God who giveth joy to my youth.
The Gospel According to Saint Luke 4:24-30
24 And he said:
Amen, I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 In truth I say to you, there were many widows in the days of Elijah, in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months: when there was a great famine throughout all the land: 26 And to none of them was Elijah sent, but to a widow at Sarepta of Sidon. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha, the prophet: and none of them was cleansed by Naaman, the Syrian.
28 And all they in the synagogue, hearing these things, were filled with anger. 29 And they rose up, and thrust him out of the city: and they brought him to the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 30 But he passing through the midst of them, went his way.
Haydock Commentary 2 Kings 5:1-15ab
- Ver. 1. King, Benadad, who had defeated Achab, and was slain by Hazael; (C. viii. T.) or, according to Salien, Hazael was already king. M.—Josephus passes over this history. It is not known for what reason, (C.) unless he was staggered at the petition of Naaman, v. 18. 19. H.—Syria. The Rabbins say, by killing Achab. 3 K. xxii. 34. But their authority is very small; (H.) and he might signalize himself on many other occasions.—Leper. This malady did not exclude him from court. The Hebrews allowed such to appear in public, till the priests had declared them unclean; and other nations viewed the leprosy with less horror.
- Ver. 2. Robbers; soldiers. T. 2 K. iv. 2.—Such invaded the dominions of Joachin. C. xxiv. 2. Irruptions of this natures were then very common, (see Judges xi. 3. Job i. 15.) and regarded as noble military exploits. When the Greeks first became acquainted with navigation, they exercised themselves in this manner; (Thucyd. 1.) and the Germans allowed their citizens to take from other people. Juventutis exercendœ ac desidiœ minuendœ causâ. Cæsar. Bel. Gal. vi. Those who had been plundered, were allowed to redeem their goods. Strabo. Xi.—The Arabs still maintain their right to live upon their neighbours. C.—The Christian religion has introduced more gentle manners.—Maid. It seems, however, she was well informed of the miraculous powers and goodness of Elisha. H.
- Ver. 5. Raiment; the tunic and the cloak, (C.) of a finer sort. T.
- Ver. 7. Leprosy. The cure was deemed very difficult; as it generally kept gaining ground, and destroyed the constitution. See Num. xii. 12. Isaiah liii. 4. C.—Me. The letter was, in effect, written in a haughty style, (M.) and the king might naturally infer that war would be the consequence. H.
- Ver. 8. Israel; able to perform much greater wonders, by God’s assistance. M.
- Ver. 10. Messenger. Elisha supports the dignity of God’s envoy, and shews the general that his cure was to be attributed, not to the presence of the prophet, but to the will and goodness of God.
- Ver. 12. Pharphar. Benjamin (p. 53) informs us that the former river serves to water the city, and the second the surrounding gardens. Maundrell could discover no vestiges of these names in Syria, but he describes the Barrady, which supplies Damascus with abundance of water. Stephanus calls it Bardine; and others, the Chrysorroas. The Orontes, which is supposed to be one of these rivers, flows by Antioch into the Mediterranean sea. C.
- Ver. 13. Father; a title given to masters, kings, &c. The Roman senators were styled, “conscript fathers;” and Homer calls kings “the fathers and shepherds of the people.” See Gen. xlv. 8. C.—Masters may often derive benefit from the observations of their servants, as Naaman did repeatedly, v. 2. This may serve to correct their pride. H.—Clean. The patient ought not to prescribe rules to his physician. M.—How justly might these words be addressed to delicate penitents! H.
- Ver. 14. Clean. If bathing seven times in the Jordan had been an infallible remedy, there would soon have been no lepers in the land; and our Saviour plainly intimates that the cure was miraculous. Luke iv. 27. The leprosy of Naaman, though inveterate, was cured in an instant. To bathe in a rapid stream, is allowed to be very salutary for removing the diseases of the skin. C. Vales. 38.—The fathers discover in this miracle, a figure of the Gentiles called to the faith by the Synagogue, which is in servitude. Gal. iv. 25. Baptism cleanses us from all the seven capital sins, (Tert. c. Marc. 4.) so that no vestiges remain. S. Amb. &c. C.
- Ver. 15. A blessing. (this refers to text that is not included here, but the last part of the verse. I typed it before realizing that and am leaving it. You can check it against your Douay-Rheims if you like.) A present, (Ch.) accompanied with wishes of happiness, on both sides. We have seen that the prophets generally received such presents. But Elisha acts with more reserve in regard of this stranger, as S. Paul did towards the new converts; though he received some sustenance from those, who would be less in danger of suspecting that he was actuated by selfish views in preaching the gospel. 2 Cor. x. 7. and xii. 14. Matt. x. 8. C.—They abstained from every appearance of evil, (H.) though they ight lawfully have accepted such presents. Elisha wished to convince Naaman that God’s grace was not to be purchased, and to leave a lesson of moderation to future teachers. M.
Haydock Commentary Luke 4:24-30
- Ver. 30. Passing through the midst of them, went his way. Perhaps by making himself on a sudden invisible, or by striking them with blindness, or by changing their minds, and hearts, as he pleased. Wi.—All commentators observe on these words, that the evangelist wished to shew that Christ worked a miracle on this occasion, and by it proved his divinity. This is the opinion of SS. Euthymius, Ambrose, and Thomas. S. Ambrose says, we must observe that Christ did not suffer from necessity, but because he wished it. He was not taken by the Jews, but delivered up himself; at his own pleasure he is seized, and at his own pleasure he escapes; when he wills it, he is condemned; and when he wills it, he is freed. The more common opinion is, that he rendered himself invisible on this occasion; though others imagine that he changed their wills, or withheld their hands. Maldon.—When we observe the outrageous treatment Jesus Christ met with from the people of Nazareth, we are not surprised that he should shut up the fountain of his beneficence against them for their incredulity, and return to Capharnaum. A.
Due to lack of Haydock Commentary I am including the Catena Aurea for today’s reading. This is copied from Catechetics Online, and you can click here to get to their website, who put a lot of work into making this available. Please visit their site as it is a tremendous resource.
Catena Aurea Luke 4:24-30
AMBROSE; But the Savior purposely excuses Himself for not working miracles in His own country, that no one might suppose that love of country is a thing to be lightly esteemed by us. For it follows, But he says, Verily I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country.
CYRIL; As if He says, You wish me to work many miracles among you, in whose country I have been brought up, but I am aware of a very common failing in the minds of many. To a certain extent it always happens, that even the very best things are despised when they fall to a man’s lot, not scantily, but ever at his will. So it happens also with respect to men. For a friend who is ever at hand, does not meet with the respect due to him.
THEOPHYL; Now that Christ is called a Prophet in the Scriptures, Moses bears witness, saying, God shall raise up a Prophet to you from among your brethren.
AMBROSE; But this is given for an example, that in vain can you expect the aid of Divine mercy, if you grudge to others the fruits of their virtue. The Lord despises the envious, and withdraws the miracles of His power from them that are jealous of His divine blessings in others. For our Lord’s Incarnation is an evidence of His divinity, and His invisible things are proved to us by those which are visible. See then what evils envy produces. For envy a country is deemed unworthy of the works of its citizen, which was worthy of the conception of the Son of God.
ORIGEN; As far as Luke’s narrative is concerned, our Lord is not yet said to have worked any miracle in Capernaum. For before He came to Capernaum, He is said to have lived at Nazareth. I cannot but think therefore that in these words, “whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum,” there lies a mystery concealed, and that Nazareth is a type of the Jews, Capernaum of the Gentiles. For the time will come when the people of Israel shall say, “The things which you have shown to the whole world, show also to us.” Preach your word to the people of Israel, that then at least, when the fullness of the Gentiles has entered, all Israel may be saved. Our Savior seems to me to have well answered, No prophet is accepted in his own country, but rather according to the type than the letter; though neither was Jeremiah accepted in Anathoth his country, nor the rest of the Prophets. But it seems rather to be meant that we should say, that the people of the circumcision were the countrymen of all the Prophets. And the Gentiles indeed accepted the prophecy of Jesus Christ, esteeming Moses and the Prophets who preached of Christ, far higher than they who would not from these receive Jesus.
AMBROSE; By a very apt comparison the arrogance of envious citizens is put to shame, and our Lord’s conduct shown to agree with the ancient Scriptures. For it follows, But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias: not that the days were his, but that he performed his works in them.
CHRYS. He himself, an earthly angel, a heavenly man, who had neither house, nor food, nor clothing like others, carries the keys of the heavens on his tongue. And this is what follows, When the heaven was shut. But as soon as he had closed the heavens and made the earth barren, hunger reigned and bodies wasted away, as it follows, when there was as famine through the land.
BASIL; For when he beheld the great disgrace that arose from universal plenty, he brought a famine that the people might fast, by which he checked their sin which was exceeding great. But crows were made the ministers of food to the righteous, which are wont to steal the food of others.
CHRYS. But when the stream was dried up by which the cup of the righteous man was filled, God said, Go to Sarepta, a city of Sidon; there I will command a widow woman to feed you. As it follows, But to none of them was Elias sent, save to Sarepta, a city of Sidon, to a woman that was a widow. And this was brought to pass by a particular appointment of God. For God made him go a long journey, as far as Sidon, in order that having seen the famine of the country he should ask for rain from the Lord. But there were many rich men at that time, but none of them did any thing like the widow. For in the respect shown by the woman toward the prophet, consisted her riches not of lands, but of good will.
AMBROSE; But he says in a mystery, “In the days of Elias,” because Elias brought the day to them who saw in his works the light of spiritual grace, and so the heaven was opened to them that beheld the divine mystery, but was shut when there was famine, because there was no fruitfulness in acknowledging God. But in that widow to whom Elias was sent was prefigured a type of the Church.
ORIGEN; For when a famine came upon the people of Israel, i.e. of hearing the word of God, a prophet came to a widow, of whom it is said, For the I desolate has many more children than she which has an husband; and when he had come, he multiplies her bread and her nourishment.
THEOPHYL; Sidonia signifies a vain pursuit, Sarepta fire, or scarcity of bread. By all which things the Gentiles are signified, who, given up to vain pursuits, (following gain and worldly business,) were suffering from the flames of fleshly lusts, and the want of spiritual bread, until Elias, (i.e. the word of prophecy,) now that the interpretation of the Scriptures had ceased because of the faithlessness of the Jews, came to the Church, that being received into the hearts of believers he might feed and refresh them.
BASIL; Every widowed soul, bereft of virtue and divine knowledge, as soon as she receives the divine word, knowing her own failings, learns to nourish it with the bread of virtue, and to water the teaching of virtue from the fountain of life.
ORIGEN; He cites also another similar example, adding, And there were many lepers in Israel at the time of Eliseus the Prophet, and none of them were cleansed but Naaman the Syrian, who indeed was not of Israel.
AMBROSE; Now in a mystery the people pollute the Church, that another people might succeed, gathered together from foreigners, leprous indeed at first before it is baptized in the mystical stream, but which after the sacrament of baptism, washed from the stains of body and soul, begins to be a virgin without spot or wrinkle.
THEOPHYL; For Naaman, which means beautiful, represents the Gentile people, who is ordered to be washed seven times, because that baptism saves which the seven-fold Spirit renews. His flesh after washing began to appear as a child’s, because grace like a mother begets all to one childhood, or because he is conformed to Christ, of whom it is said, to us a Child is born.
CYRIL; He convicted them of their evil intentions, and therefore they are enraged, and hence what follows, And all they in the synagogue when they heard these things were filled with wrath. Because He had said, This day is this prophecy fulfilled, they thought that He compared Himself to the prophets, and are therefore enraged, and expel Him out of their city, as it follows, And they rose up, and cast him out.
AMBROSE; It can not be wondered at that they lost their salvation who cast the Savior out of their city. But the Lord who taught His Apostles by the example of Himself to be all things to all men, neither repels the willing, nor chooses the unwilling; neither struggles against those who cast Him out, nor refuses to hear those who supplicate Him. But that conduct was the result of no slight enmity, which, forgetful of the feelings of fellow citizens, converts the causes of love into the bitterest hatred. For when the Lord Himself was extending His blessings among the people, they began to inflict injuries upon Him, as it follows, And they led him to the brow of the hill, that they might cast him down.
THEOPHYL; Worse are the Jewish disciples than their master the Devil. For he says, Cast yourself down; they actually attempt to cast Him down. But Jesus having suddenly changed His mind, or seized with astonishment, went away, since He still reserves for them a place of repentance. Hence it follows, He passing through the midst of them went his way.
CHRYS. Herein He shows both His human nature and His divine. To stand in the midst of those who were plotting against Him, and not be seized, betokened the loftiness of His divinity; but His departure declared the mystery of the dispensation, i.e. His incarnation.
AMBROSE; At the same time we must understand that this bodily endurance was not necessary, but voluntary. When He wills, He is taken, when He wills, He escapes. For how could He be held by a few who was not held by a whole people? But He would have the impiety to be the deed of the many, in order that by a few indeed He might be afflicted, but might die for the whole world. Moreover, He had still rather heal the Jews than destroy them, that by the fruitless issue of their rage they might be dissuaded from wishing what they could not accomplish.
THEOPHYL; The hour of His Passion had not yet come, which was to be on the preparation of the Passover, nor had He yet come to the place of His Passion, which not at Nazareth, but at Jerusalem, was prefigured by the blood of the victims; nor had He chosen this kind of death, of whom it was prophesied that He should be crucified by the world.