April 30 2008 Wednesday Sixth Week of Easter
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/readings/043008.shtml – Note. The Official Liturgical readings may not match the current NAB you may have.
The Acts of the Apostles 17:15, 22—18:1
Haydock New Testament
And they that conducted Paul, brought him as far as Athens, and receiving a commandment from him to Silas and Timothy, that they should come to him with all speed, they departed. But Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said:
Ye men of Athens, I perceive that ye are in all things over-religious. For passing by, and seeing your idols, I found an altar also, on which was written:
TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
What, therefore, you worship without knowing it, that I preach to you. God, who made the world and all things therein, he being the Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands. Nor is he served by the hands of men, as thou he needed any thing, seeing it is he who giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one, all mankind, to dwell upon the whole face of the earth, determining appointed times, and the limits of their habitation. That they should seek God, if haply they may feel after him or find him: although he be not far from every one of us. For in him we live, and move, and have our being: as some also of your own poets said: For we are also his offspring. Being, therefore, the offspring of God, we must not suppose the Divinity to be like unto gold or silver, or stone, the grave of art, and device of man. And God, indeed, having overlooked the times of this ignorance, now declareth to me, that all should every where do penance, Because he hath appointed a day wherein he will judge the world in equity, by the man, whom he hath appointed, giving faith to all, by raising him up from the dead.
And when they had heard of the resurrection of the dead, some indeed mocked: but others said:
We will hear thee again concerning this matter.
So Paul went out from among them. But certain men adhered to him and believed: among whom was also Dionysius, the Areopagite, and a woman, named Damaris, and others with them. AFTER these things, departing from Athens, he came to Corinth.
Responsorial Psalm 148:1-2, 11-14
DR Challoner Text Only
Praise ye the Lord from the heavens:
praise ye him in the high places.
Praise ye him, all his angels,
praise ye him, all his hosts.
Kings of the earth and all people:
princes and all judges of the earth:
Young men and maidens:
let the old with the younger,
praise the name of the Lord:
For his name alone is exalted.
The praise of him is above heaven and earth:
and he hath exalted the horn of his people.
A hymn to all his saints to the children of Israel,
a people approaching to him. Alleluia.
The Gospel According to Saint John 16:12-15
I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak: and the things that are to come, he will shew you. He shall glorify me: because he shall receive of mine, and will declare it to you. All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine. Therefore, I said, that he shall receive of mine, and will shew it to you.
Haydock Commentary Acts 17:15, 22—18:1
Notes copied from Haydock Commentary Site
- Ver. 22. Over-religious. Or very superstitious. To be superstitious, or given to superstition, is commonly taken for a vain and groundless religious worship, but it is also sometimes used in a good sense. And perhaps S. Paul, in the beginning of his speech to so many men of learning, does not so openly blame them for being vainly and foolishly superstitious, but by their inscription, to the unknown God, he take notice how nice and exact they pretended to be, in not omitting to pay some kind of homage to any god, or gods of all other nations, whom they might not know. For some interpreters think, that by this altar they designed to worship every god of any nation, who was not come to their knowledge: or to worship that great God hinted at in the writings of Plato: or as others conjecture, that God of the Jews, of whom they might have heard such wonders, and whose name the Jews themselves said to be unknown and ineffable. However, from this inscription S. Paul takes an occasion, with wonderful dexterity, with sublime reflections, and with that solid eloquence, of which he was master, and which he employed, as often as it was necessary, to inform them, and instruct them, concerning the works of the one true God, of whom they had little knowledge, by their own fault: that this one true God made the world, and all things in it: that from one man he raised all mankind: that his presence is not confined to temples made by the hands of men, being every where, and in all creatures, preserving them every moment: that in him we live, move, and have our being, or subsist: that it is he, who hath determined the time, limits, or bounds of every empire, and kingdom, and of every man’s life: that this true God, who made, preserves, and governs all things in heaven and on earth, cannot be like to gold, silver, or any thing made by the art, or fancy of men. He puts them in mind that according even to one of their own heathen poets, Aratus, men themselves are the offspring of God, being blessed with a being and knowledge above all other creatures in this world: who by the light of reason ought to seek God, and by considering the visible effects of Providence over the world, and the creatures in it, might come to the knowledge of this one God, the author of all, at least to an imperfect knowledge of him, as men find out things by feeling, or as it were, groping in the dark. He then adds, (v. 30.) that having, as it were, overlooked, and permitted men for many ages to run on in this ignorance and blindness, in punishment of their sins, (this their ignorance of one true God, the author of all things, being wilful and inexcusable) now the same true God hath been pleased to announce to all men, that henceforward they acknowledge, and worship him, that they repent, and do penance for their sins. Wi.
- Ver. 23. It may be asked, why they had not implicit faith, worshipping the true, though unknown, God? 1st. because the worship of the true God can never exist with the worship of idols; 2d. because an explicit faith in God is required of all; 3d. because it is repugnant to implicit faith, to admit any thing contrary to it, as comparing this unknown God with the pagan idols; for God to be at all, must be one. Lucan towards the end of his 2d book, hath these words:
- Et dedita sacris
- Incerti Judæa Dei.
- — What, therefore, you improperly worship, that I preach to you, and instruct you in the true worship, far different from what you pay to your strange gods.
- Ver. 24. God . . . dwelleth not in temples. He who is infinite cannot be confined to space; nor stand in need of what human hands can furnish. Temples are not for God, but for man. It is the latter who derives assistance from them. The same may be observed of all exterior acts of worship. They are serviceable, inasmuch as they proceed from, or powerfully assist, interior devotion, by the impressions which exterior objects leave upon the soul. The reciprocal action of one upon the other, in our present state of existence, is great and inevitable. A. See c. vii. sup. v. 48. — God, indeed, dwelleth in the temple, yes, and in the soul of the just man, but his is not confined there, as the idols were to their temples. Hence the prayer of Solomon at the consecration of the temple: if heaven, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thy immensity, how much less this house, which I have erected? God dwelleth there, then, to receive the prayers and sacrifices of the faithful, but not as though he needed any thing. See v. 25. — God is not contained in temples; so as to need them for his dwelling, or any other uses, as the heathens imagined. Yet by his omnipresence, he is bother there and every where. Ch.
- Ver. 27. Feel after him. Si forte attrectent eum, ei arage yhlafhseian. It signifies palpare quasi in tenebris. Wi.
- Ver. 28. S. Paul here cites Aratus, a Greek poet, and his own countryman, a native of Cilicia.
- Ver. 29. Cherubim, which extended wings, were ordered by God to be made, and placed over the propitiatory; (Exod. xxxvii. 7.) the brazen serpent is declared by Jesus Christ himself to have been a figure of him; therefore to blame the universally received practice of the Catholic Church, with regard to pictures and images, betrays either great prevention, or great ignorance. S. Gregory says: “What writing does for readers, that a picture does for the ignorant; for in it they see what they ought to follow, and in it they read, who know no letters.” And he sharply rebukes Serenus’s indiscreet zeal for removing pictures, instead of teaching the people what use may be made of them. l. ix. ep. 9.
- Ver. 30. Overlooked. Despiciens, uperidwn. It may either signify looking down on the ignorant world, and so taking pity of it; or rather that God having overlooked, and permitted mankind to go on so long in their sins, now invites them to repentance, by sending Jesus, their Saviour and Redeemer. See the Analysis, dissert. xxxiv. Wi.
- Ver. 31. Because he hath appointed a day for judging all men with equity, by the man, to wit, Christ Jesus, a man, and also his true Son, whom he has appointed to be their judge; and by raising him (Jesus) from the dead, he hath made it credible, and given sufficient proofs of this truth, that every one shall rise from death. Wi.
- Ver. 32. When they heard of the resurrection of the dead. This seemed so impossible, even to the philosophers among them, that some of them presently laughed, and made a jest of it. Others said, we will hear thee on this another time, and some believed. Wi.
- Ver. 34. Dionysius the Areopagite. This illustrious convert was made the first bishop of Athens. They martyrologies say, S. Paul raised him to that dignity. It is the same person, who, observing the convulsions of nature, which paid homage, as it were, to its God, expiring upon the cross, and not knowing the cause, is said to have exclaimed: Either the universe is falling to ruin, or the God of nature must be suffering. It appears from his writings, that he was, previous to his conversion, of the Platonic school. Ven. Bede was mistaken in supposing that he was afterwards the bishop of Corinth, of that name, who so successfully employed his pen for the good of the Church. This Dionysius lived a whole century after the Areopagite. Estius.
Haydock Commentary John 16:12-15
- Ver. 13. When he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will teach you all truth; will direct you and the Church, in the ways of truth. For he shall not speak of himself, or of himself only, because, says S. Aug. he is not from himself, but proceedeth from the Father and the Son. Whatsoever he shall hear, he shall speak; this his hearing, says S. Aug. is his knowledge, and his knowledge is his essence, or being, which from eternity is from the Father and the Son. The like expressions are applied to the Son, as proceeding from the Father. Jo. v. 30. and viii. 16. &c. Wi. — If he shall teach all truth, and that for ever, (c. xi. v. 26.) how is it possible, that the Church can err, or hath erred in matters of faith, at any time, or in any point of doctrine? In this supposition, would not the Holy Ghost have forfeited his title of Spirit of Truth?
- Ver. 15. All things whatsoever the Father hath, are mine. The obvious sense of these words, shews, that the Son hath the same nature, and the same substance with the Father, and that he is one, and the same God with him. And by Christ’s adding: therefore he (the Holy Ghost) shall receive of mine, we are taught, that the third person proceeds from both the Father, and the Son, and that he receives, and has the same perfections. Wi.