Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 07-11-20, M, St. Benedict, Abbot
Posted on 07/10/2020 10:18:44 PM PDT by Salvation
In the year King Uzziah died,
I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne,
with the train of his garment filling the temple.
Seraphim were stationed above; each of them had six wings:
with two they veiled their faces,
with two they veiled their feet,
and with two they hovered aloft.
They cried one to the other,
Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!
All the earth is filled with his glory!
At the sound of that cry, the frame of the door shook
and the house was filled with smoke.
Then I said, Woe is me, I am doomed!
For I am a man of unclean lips,
living among a people of unclean lips;
yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!
Then one of the seraphim flew to me,
holding an ember that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
He touched my mouth with it and said,
See, now that this has touched your lips,
your wickedness is removed, your sin purged.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?
Here I am, I said; send me!
R. (1a) The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
The LORD is king, in splendor robed;
robed is the LORD and girt about with strength.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
And he has made the world firm,
not to be moved.
Your throne stands firm from of old;
from everlasting you are, O LORD.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
Your decrees are worthy of trust indeed:
holiness befits your house,
O LORD, for length of days.
R. The Lord is king; he is robed in majesty.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you,
for the Spirit of God rests upon you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus said to his Apostles:
No disciple is above his teacher,
no slave above his master.
It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher,
for the slave that he become like his master.
If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,
how much more those of his household!
Therefore do not be afraid of them.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Fathers knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.
For the readings of the Memorial of Saint Benedict, please go here.
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From: Isaiah 6:1-8
The Lord calls Isaiah
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.  And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
 Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar.  And he touched my mouth, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.”  And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
6:1-13. As an introduction to what is called the “Book of Immanuel” (7:1-12:6) we get this account of how the Lord called Isaiah to he a prophet, sending him to his people at the time of the Syrian-Ephraimite coalition to explain to them what is going on and how they should act.
The account begins with a theophany (vv. 1-4), which is one of the key points in this book’s message. God manifests himself seated in the manner of eastern kings, surrounded by his angelic court (the “seraphim”), who extol the holiness of the Lord: he clearly is Lord of all. In this vision, God is depicted as the thrice holy (v. 3), the highest form of superlative available in Hebrew. Being holy implies standing apart — standing above everything else. God stands far above all other beings and he is their creator. In Hebrew “holy includes the idea of “sacred”. It means that God has none of the limitations and imperfections that created beings have.
The holiness and majesty of God fill Isaiah with a sense of his own uncleanness and that of his people (v. 5). Typically, visions of God in biblical history induce feelings of fear in the seer; we even see this in the angel’s announcement to Mary (cf. Lk 1:30): “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God.”
“Faced with God’s fascinating and mysterious presence, man discovers his own insignificance. Before the burning bush, Moses takes off his sandals and veils his face (cf. Ex 3:5-6) in the presence of God’s holiness. Before the glory of the thrice-holy God, Isaiah cries out: ‘Woe is me! I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips’ (Is 6:5). Before the divine signs wrought by Jesus, Peter exclaims: ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord’ (Lk 5:8). But because God is holy, he can forgive the man who realizes that he is a sinner before him: ‘I will not execute my fierce anger . . . for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst (Hos 11:9)’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 208).
Isaiah is cleansed and consoled as soon as he humbly acknowledges his unworthiness and insignificance before God (vv. 6-7). His instinctive sense of fear is immediately replaced by a generous and trusting response on the prophet’s part: he is ready to do what God wants (v. 8). “In their ‘one to one’ encounters with God the prophets draw light and strength for their mission. Their prayer is not flight from this unfaithful world, but rather attentiveness to the Word of God. At times their prayer is an argument or a complaint, but it is always an intercession that awaits and prepares for the intervention of the Saviour God, the Lord of history (cf. Amos 7:2, 5; Is 6:5, 8, 11; Jer 1:6; 15:15-18; 20:7-18)” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2584).
Finally, the Lord entrusts him with his mission. The message he is to deliver is hard-hitting and full of paradoxes (vv. 9-10). The task given him is not, as one might at first think, to render the people incapable of hearing and understanding the word of God that could move their hearts. It is, rather, to tell them that if they fail to listen to the word of God, their hearts will he blinded: they will not he able to see things right and, because of that, the sinner will feel no need to take stock of his position and be converted. The Synoptic Gospels interpret Jesus’ preaching as a fulfillment of what is said here in vv. 9-10 (Mt 13:13-15; Mk 4:11-12). The Gospel of St John sees these same words as anticipating what will happen to those who reject Jesus’ message: “Therefore they could not believe. For Isaiah again said, ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.’ Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke of him” (Jn 12:27-
41). And St Paul also uses vv. 9-10 to reproach the Jews of Rome for rejecting the Good News of salvation in Christ which he is proclaiming to them (cf. Acts 28:23-28).
The people’s hardness of heart will merit severe punishment; cities and houses will he laid waste, but all will not be lost: a holy seed will remain and from it the tree will grow back again (v. 11-13). These verses carry a message for people in all ages. Isaiah approaches God in all humility, showing him every reverence, and at the same time he puts his trust in God. For his part, the Lord cleanses his chosen ones and sends them out to help in his work of salvation. Origen, who commented on this passage a number of times, points out: “May burning coals he brought from the altar of heaven to burn my lips. If the burning coals of the Lord touch my lips, they will he purified; and when they are purified and cleansed of all sin, [ ] my mouth will he opened to the Word of God and I will not utter another impure word [...]. The seraphim who was sent to purify the prophet’s lips did not purify the lips of the people [ ]; therefore, they continued to live in sin, and now they deny the Lord Jesus Christ and curse him from their unclean mouths. For my part, I pray that the seraphim will come to cleanse my lips (Homiliae in Isaiam, 1, 4). All we need is the same humble docility that Isaiah had: “Having received the grace God, he did not want it to be a gift granted to him to no avail, without being put to work in everything that needed to he done. Seeing the seraphim and the Lord of hosts seated on high,on his throne of glory, he said: ‘Woe me ...’. By speaking thus and making himself ‘unworthy’, he received the help of God because He took in account his humility” (ibid., 6:2). And St John Chrysostom, commenting on Isaiah’s response to God, says that the prophet shows readiness to carry out his mission to the people because “since the saints are friends of God, they, too, love all men dearly” (In Isaiam, 6, 5).
From: Matthew 10:24-33
Jesus’ Instructions to the Apostles (Continuation)
 “So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  What I tell you in the dark, utter in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim upon the housetops.  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s will.  But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.  So every one who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father who is in heaven;  but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father who is in heaven.”
24-25. Jesus uses these two proverbs to hint at the future that awaits His disciples: their greatest glory will consist in imitating the Master, being identified with Him, even if this means being despised and persecuted as He was before them: His example is what guides a Christian; as He Himself said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).
Beelzebul (cf. Luke 11:15) was the name of the idol of the ancient Philistine city of Ekron. The Jews later used the word to describe the devil or the prince of devils (cf. Matthew 12:24), and their hatred of Jesus led them to the extreme of applying it to Him.
To equip them for the persecution and misunderstanding which Christians will suffer (John 15:18), Jesus encourages them by promising to stay close to them. Towards the end of His life He will call them His friends (John 15:15) and little children (John 13:33).
26-27. Jesus tells His disciples not to be afraid of calumny and detraction. A day will come when everyone will come to know the whole truth about everyone else, their real intentions, the true dispositions of their souls. In the meantime, those who belong to God may be misrepresented by those who resort to lies, out of malice or passion. These are the hidden things which will be made known.
Christ also tells the Apostles to speak out clearly. Jesus’ divine teaching method led Him to speak to the crowds in parables so that they came to discover His true personality by easy stages. After the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:8), the Apostles would have to preach from the rooftops about what Jesus had taught them.
We too have to make Christ’s doctrine known in its entirety, without any ambiguity, without being influenced by false prudence or fear of the consequences.
28. Using this and other Gospel texts (Matthew 5:22, 29; 18:9; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5), the Church teaches that hell exists; there those who die in mortal sin suffer eternal punishment (cf. “St. Pius V Catechism”, I, 6, 3), in a manner not known to us in this life (cf. St. Teresa of Avila, “Life”, Chapter 32). See notes on Luke 16:19-31.
Therefore, out Lord warns His disciples against false fear. We should not fear those who can only kill the body. Only God can cast body and soul into hell. Therefore God is the only one we should fear and respect; He is our Prince and Supreme Judge—not men. The martyrs have obeyed this precept of the Lord in the fullest way, well aware that eternal life is worth much more than earthly life.
29-31. An “as” (translated here as “penny”) was a small coin of very little value. Christ uses it to illustrate how much God loves His creatures. As St. Jerome says (”Comm. in Matth.”, 10:29-31): “If little birds, which are of such little value, still come under the providence and care of God, how is it that you, who, given the nature of your soul, are immortal, can fear that you are not looked after carefully by Him whom you respect as your Father?” Jesus again teaches us about the fatherly providence of God, which He spoke about at length in the Sermon on the Mount (cf. Matthew 6:19-34).
32-33. Here Jesus tells us that public confession of our faith in Him—whatever the consequences—is an indispensable condition for eternal salvation. After the Judgment, Christ will welcome those who have given testimony of their faith and condemn those whom fear caused to be ashamed of Him (cf. Matthew 7:23; 25:41; Revelation 21:8). The Church honors as “confessors” those Saints who have not gone physical martyrdom but whose lives bore witness to the Catholic faith. Although every Christian should be ready to die for his faith, most Christians are called to be confessors of the faith.
Liturgical Colour: White.
These are the readings for the feria
|First reading||Isaiah 6:1-8 ©|
|Psalm 92(93):1-2,5 ©|
|Matthew 10:24-33 ©|
I’m the lector tomorrow (Saturday) morning :)!
|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|24.||The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord.||Non est discipulus super magistrum, nec servus super dominum suum :||ουκ εστιν μαθητης υπερ τον διδασκαλον ουδε δουλος υπερ τον κυριον αυτου|
|25.||It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the goodman of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?||sufficit discipulo ut sit sicut magister ejus, et servo, sicut dominus ejus. Si patremfamilias Beelzebub vocaverunt, quanto magis domesticos ejus ?||αρκετον τω μαθητη ινα γενηται ως ο διδασκαλος αυτου και ο δουλος ως ο κυριος αυτου ει τον οικοδεσποτην βεελζεβουλ εκαλεσαν ποσω μαλλον τους οικειακους αυτου|
|26.||Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known.||Ne ergo timueritis eos. Nihil enim est opertum, quod non revelabitur : et occultum, quod non scietur.||μη ουν φοβηθητε αυτους ουδεν γαρ εστιν κεκαλυμμενον ο ουκ αποκαλυφθησεται και κρυπτον ο ου γνωσθησεται|
|27.||That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops.||Quod dico vobis in tenebris, dicite in lumine : et quod in aure auditis, prædicate super tecta.||ο λεγω υμιν εν τη σκοτια ειπατε εν τω φωτι και ο εις το ους ακουετε κηρυξατε επι των δωματων|
|28.||And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.||Et nolite timere eos qui occidunt corpus, animam autem non possunt occidere : sed potius timete eum, qui potest et animam et corpus perdere in gehennam.||και μη φοβεισθε απο των αποκτενοντων το σωμα την δε ψυχην μη δυναμενων αποκτειναι φοβηθητε δε μαλλον τον δυναμενον και [την] ψυχην και [το] σωμα απολεσαι εν γεεννη|
|29.||Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father.||Nonne duo passeres asse veneunt ? et unus ex illis non cadet super terram sine Patre vestro.||ουχι δυο στρουθια ασσαριου πωλειται και εν εξ αυτων ου πεσειται επι την γην ανευ του πατρος υμων|
|30.||But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.||Vestri autem capilli capitis omnes numerati sunt.||υμων δε και αι τριχες της κεφαλης πασαι ηριθμημεναι εισιν|
|31.||Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows.||Nolite ergo timere : multis passeribus meliores estis vos.||μη ουν φοβηθητε πολλων στρουθιων διαφερετε υμεις|
|32.||Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven.||Omnis ergo qui confitebitur me coram hominibus, confitebor et ego eum coram Patre meo, qui in cælis est.||πας ουν οστις ομολογησει εν εμοι εμπροσθεν των ανθρωπων ομολογησω καγω εν αυτω εμπροσθεν του πατρος μου του εν ουρανοις|
|33.||But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.||Qui autem negaverit me coram hominibus, negabo et ego eum coram Patre meo, qui in cælis est.||οστις δ αν αρνησηται με εμπροσθεν των ανθρωπων αρνησομαι αυτον καγω εμπροσθεν του πατρος μου του εν ουρανοις|
24. The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
25. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
CHRYSOSTOM. Because it should come to pass that His disciples among their other persecutions should suffer loss of character, which to many is the most grievous of all calamities, He consoles them from His own example, and those things that were spoken of Him; a comfort to which no other can be compared.
HILARY. For the Lord, the Light eternal, the Captain of the faithful, the Parent of immortality, set before His disciples this solace of the sufferings that should come upon them, that we should embrace it as our glory when we are made like to our Lord in suffering; whence He says, The disciple is not above his master, nor the slave above his lord.
CHRYSOSTOM. Understand, so long as he is a disciple or servant, he is not above his master or lord by the nature of honour. And do not here object to me such cases as rarely happen, but receive this according to the common course of things.
REMIGIUS. He calls Himself master and lord; by disciple and servant He denotes His Apostles.
GLOSS. (ord.) As much as to say, Be not indignant that ye suffer things, which I also suffer, because I am your lord, who do what I will, and your master, who teach you what I know to be profitable for you.
REMIGIUS. And because this sentence seemed not to agree with the foregoing words, He shews what they mean by adding, If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more they of his household?
CHRYSOSTOM. He said not here slaves, but those of his household, to shew how dear they were to Him; as elsewhere He said, I will not call you slaves, but my friends. (John 15:15.)
REMIGIUS. As much as to say, Ye therefore will not seek worldly honours and human glory, while you see me pursuing the redemption of mankind through mocking and contumely.
CHRYSOSTOM. And He says not only, If they have reviled the master of the house, but expresses the very words of railing, for they had called Him Beelzebub.
JEROME. Beelzebub is the idol of Accaron who is called in the book of Kings, the God of flies; Bel, signifying idol; (2 Kings 1:3.) zebub, a fly. The Prince of the dæmons He calls by the name of the foulest of idols, which is so called because of the uncleanness of the fly, which destroys the sweetness of ointment.
26. Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
27. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
REMIGIUS. To the foregoing consolation He adds another no less, saying, Fear ye not them, namely, the persecutors. And why they were not to fear, He adds, For there is nothing hid which shall not be revealed, nothing secret which shall not be known.
JEROME. How is it then that in the present world, the sins of so many are unknown? It is of the time to come that this is said; the time when God shall judge the hidden things of men, shall enlighten the hidden places of darkness, and shall make manifest the secrets of hearts. The sense is, Fear not the cruelty of the persecutor, or the rage of the blasphemer, for there shall come a day of judgment in which your virtue and their wickedness will be made known.
HILARY. Therefore neither threatening, nor evil speaking, nor power of their enemies should move them, seeing the judgment-day will disclose how empty, how nought all these were.
CHRYSOSTOM. Otherwise; It might seem that what is here said should be applied generally; but it is by no means intended as a general maxim, but is spoken solely with reference to what had gone before with this meaning; If you are grieved when men revile you, think that in a little time you will be delivered from this evil. They call you indeed impostors, sorcerers, seducers, but have a little patience, and all men shall call you the saviours of the world, when in the course of things you shall be found to have been their benefactors, for men will not judge by their words but by the truth of things.
REMIGIUS. Some indeed think that these words convey a promise from our Lord to His disciples, that through them all hidden mysteries should be revealed, which lay beneath the veil of the letter of the Law; whence the Apostle speaks, When they have turned to Christ, then the veil shall be taken away. (2 Cor 3:16.) So the sense would be, Ought you to fear your persecutors, when you are thought worthy that by you the hidden mysteries of the Law and the Prophets should be made manifest?
CHRYSOSTOM. Then having delivered them from all fear, and set them above all calumny, He follows this up appropriately with commanding that their preaching should be free and unreserved; What I say to you in darkness, that speak ye in the light; what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
JEROME. We do not read that the Lord was wont to discourse to them by night, or to deliver his doctrine in the dark; but He said this because all His discourse is dark to the carnal, and His word night to the unbelieving. What had been spoken by Him they were to deliver again with the confidence of faith and confession.
REMIGIUS. The meaning therefore is, What I say to you in darkness, that is, among the unbelieving Jews, that speak ye in the light, that is, preach it to the believing; what ye hear in the ear, that is, what I say unto you secretly, that preach ye upon the housetops, that is, openly before all men. It is a common phrase, To speak in ones ear, that is, to speak to him privately.
RABANUS. And what He says, Preach ye upon the housetops, is spoken after the manner of the province of Palestine, where they use to sit upon the roofs of the houses, which are not pointed but flat. That then may be said to be preached upon the housetops which is spoken in the hearing of all men.
GLOSS. (ord.) Otherwise; What I say unto you while you are yet held under carnal fear, that speak ye in the confidence of truth, after ye shall be enlightened by the Holy Spirit; what you have only heard, that preach by doing the same, being raised above your bodies, which are the dwellings of your souls.
JEROME. Otherwise; What you hear in mystery, that teach in plainness of speech; what I have taught you in a corner of Judæa, that proclaim boldly in all quarters of the world.
CHRYSOSTOM. As He said, He that believeth on me, the works that I do he shall do also, and greater things than these shall he do; (John 14:12.) so here He shews that He works all things through them more than through Himself; as though He had said, I have made a beginning, but what is beyond, that I will to complete through your means. So that this is not a command but a prediction, shewing them that they shall overcome all things.
HILARY. Therefore they ought to inculcate constantly the knowledge of God, and the profound secret of evangelic doctrine, to be revealed by the light of preaching; having no fear of those who have power only over the body, but cannot reach the soul; Fear not those that kill the body, but cannot kill the soul.
CHRYSOSTOM. Observe how He sets them above all others, encouraging them to set at nought cares, reproaches, perils, yea even the most terrible of all things, death itself, in comparison of the fear of God. But rather fear him, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
JEROME. This word is not found in the Old Scriptures, but it is first used by the Saviour. Let us enquire then into its origin. We read in more than one place that the idol Baal was near Jerusalem, at the foot of Mount Moriah, by which the brook Siloc flows. This valley and a small level plain was watered and woody, a delightful spot, and a grove in it was consecrated to the idol. To so great folly and madness had the people of Israel come, that, forsaking the neighbourhood of the Temple, they offered their sacrifices there, and concealing an austere ritual under a voluptuous life, they burned their sons in honour of a dæmon. This place was called Gehennom, that is, The valley of the children of Hinnom. These things are fully described in Kings and Chronicles, and the Prophet Jeremiah. (2 Kings 23:10. 2 Chron. 28:3. Jer. 7:32; 32:35.) God threatens that He will fill the place with the carcases of the dead, that it be no more called Tophet and Baal, but Polyandrion, i. e. The tomb of the dead. Hence the torments and eternal pains with which sinners shall be punished are signified by this word.
AUGUSTINE. (De Civ. Dei, xiii. 2.) This cannot be before the soul is so joined to the body, that nothing may sever them. Yet it is rightly called the death of the soul, because it does not live of God; and the death of the body, because though man does not cease to feel, yet because this his feeling has neither pleasure, nor health, but is a pain and a punishment, it is better named death than life.
CHRYSOSTOM. Note also, that He does not hold out to them deliverance from death, but encourages them to despise it; which is a much greater thing than to be rescued from death; also this discourse aids in fixing in their minds the doctrine of immortality.
29. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
CHRYSOSTOM. Having set aside fear of death, that the Apostles should not think that if they were put to death they were deserted by God, He passes to discourse of Gods providence, saying, Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and one of them does not fall to the ground without your Father?
JEROME. If these little creations fall not without Gods superintendence and providence, and if things made to perish, perish not without Gods will, you who are immortal ought not to fear that you live without His providence.
HILARY. Figuratively; That which is sold is our soul and body, and that to which it is sold, is sin. They then who sell two sparrows for a farthing, are they who sell themselves for the smallest sin, born for flight, and for reaching heaven with spiritual wings. (vid. Ps. 124:7.) Caught by the bait of present pleasures, and sold to the enjoyment of the world, they barter away their whole selves in such a market. It is of the will of God that one of them rather soar aloft; but the law proceeding according to Gods appointment decrees that one of them should fall. In like manner as, if they soared aloft they would become one spiritual body; so, when sold under sin, the soul gathers earthly matter from the pollution of vice, and there is made of them one body which is committed to earth.
JEROME. That He says, The hairs of your head are all numbered, shews the boundless providence of God towards man, and a care unspeakable that nothing of ours is hid from God.
HILARY. For when any thing is numbered it is carefully watched over.
CHRYSOSTOM. Not that God reckons our hairs, but to shew His diligent knowledge, and great carefulness over us.
JEROME. Those who deny the resurrection of the flesh ridicule the sense of the Church on this place, as if we affirmed that every hair that has ever been cut off by the razor rises again, when the Saviour says, Every hair of your headnot is saved, butis numbered. Where there is number, knowledge of that number is implied, but not preservation of the same hairs.
AUGUSTINE. (De Civ. Dei, xxii. 19.) Though we may fairly enquire concerning our hair, whether all that has ever been shorn from us will return; for who would not dread such disfigurement. When it is once understood that nothing of our body shall be lost, so as that the form and perfectness of all the parts should be preserved, we at the same time understand that all that would have disfigured our body is to be united or taken up by the whole mass, not affixed to particular parts so as to destroy the frame of the limbs; just as a vessel made of clay, and again reduced to clay, is once more reformed into a vessel, it needs not that that portion of clay which had formed the handle should again form it, or that which had composed the bottom, should again go to the bottom, so long as the whole was remoulded into the whole, the whole clay into the whole vessel, no part being lost. Wherefore if the hair so often shorn away would be a deformity if restored to the place it had been taken from, it will not be restored to that place, but all the materials of the old body will be revived in the new, whatever place they may occupy so as to preserve the mutual fitness of parts. Though what is said in Luke, Not a hair of your head shall fall to the ground, (Luke 21:18.) may be taken of the number, not the length of the hairs, as here also it is said, The hairs of your head are all numbered.
HILARY. For it is an unworthy task to number things that are to perish. Therefore that we should know that nothing of us should perish, we are told that our very hairs are numbered. No accident then that can befal our bodies is to be feared; thus He adds, Fear not, ye are better than many sparrows.
JEROME. This expresses still more clearly the sense as it was above explained, that they should not fear those who can kill the body, for if the least animal falls not without Gods knowledge, how much less a man who is dignified with the Apostolic rank?
HILARY. Or this, ye are better than many sparrows, teaches that the elect faithful are better than the multitude of the unbelieving, for the one fall to earth, the other fly to heaven.
REMIGIUS. Figuratively; Christ is the head, the Apostles the hairs, who are well said to be numbered, because the names of the saints are written in heaven.
32. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
CHRYSOSTOM. The Lord having banished that fear which haunted the minds of His disciples, adds further comfort in what follows, not only casting out fear, but by hope of greater rewards encouraging them to a free proclamation of the truth, saying, Every man who shall confess me before men, I also will confess him before my Father which is in heaven. And it is not properly shall confess me, but as it is in the Greek, shall confess in me, shewing that it is not by your own strength but by grace from above, that you confess Him whom you do confess.
HILARY. This He says in conclusion, because it behoves them after being confirmed by such teaching, to have a confident freedom in confessing God.
REMIGIUS. Here is to be understood that confession of which the Apostle speaks, With the heart men believe unto justification, with the month confession is made unto salvation. (Rom. 10:10.) That none therefore might suppose that he could be saved without confession of the mouth, He says not only, He that shall confess me, but adds, before men; and again, He that shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
HILARY. This teaches us, that in what measure we have borne witness to Him upon earth, in the same shall we have Him to bear witness to us in heaven before the face of God the Father.
CHRYSOSTOM. Here observe that the punishment is manifold more than the evil done, and the reward more than the good done. As much as to say, your deed was more abundant in confessing or denying Me here; so shall My deed to you-ward be more abundant in confessing or denying you there. Wherefore if you have done any good thing, and have not received retribution, be not troubled, for a manifold reward awaits you in the time to come. And if you have done any evil, and have not paid the punishment thereof, do not think that you have escaped, for punishment will overtake you, unless you are changed and become better.
RABANUS. It should be known that not even Pagans can deny the existence of God, but the infidels may deny that the Son as well as the Father is God. The Son confesses men before the Father, because by the Son we have access to the Father, and because the Son saith, Come, ye blessed of my Father. (Mat. 25:34.)
REMIGIUS. And thus He will deny the man that hath denied Him, in that he shall not have access to the Father through Him, and shall be banished from seeing either the Son or the Father in their divine nature.
CHRYSOSTOM. He not only requires faith which is of the mind, but confession which is by the mouth, that He may exalt us higher, and raise us to a more open utterance, and a larger measure of love. For this is spoken not to the Apostles only, but to all; He gives strength not to them only, but to their disciples. And he that observes this precept will not only teach with free utterance, but will easily convince all; for the observance of this command drew many to the Apostles.
RABANUS. Or, He confesses Jesus who by that faith that worketh by love, obediently fulfils His commands; he denies Him who is disobedient.
Catena Aurea Matthew 10
It is unfortunate that no contemporary biography was written of a man who has exercised the greatest influence on monasticism in the West. Benedict is well recognized in the later Dialogues of Saint Gregory, but these are sketches to illustrate miraculous elements of his career.
Benedict was born into a distinguished family in central Italy, studied at Rome, and early in life was drawn to monasticism. At first he became a hermit, leaving a depressing worldpagan armies on the march, the Church torn by schism, people suffering from war, morality at a low ebb.
He soon realized that he could not live a hidden life in a small town any better than in a large city, so he withdrew to a cave high in the mountains for three years. Some monks chose Benedict as their leader for a while, but found his strictness not to their taste. Still the shift from hermit to community life had begun for him. He had an idea of gathering various families of monks into one Grand Monastery to give them the benefit of unity, fraternity, and permanent worship in one house. Finally he began to build what was to become one of the most famous monasteries in the worldMonte Cassino, commanding three narrow valleys running toward the mountains north of Naples.
The Rule that gradually developed prescribed a life of liturgical prayer, study, manual labor, and living together in community under a common abbot. Benedictine asceticism is known for its moderation, and Benedictine charity has always shown concern for the people in the surrounding countryside. In the course of the Middle Ages, all monasticism in the West was gradually brought under the Rule of St. Benedict.
Today the Benedictine family is represented by two branches: the Benedictine Federation encompassing the men and women of the Order of St. Benedict, and the Cistercians, men and women of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance.
The Church has been blessed through Benedictine devotion to the liturgy, not only in its actual celebration with rich and proper ceremony in the great abbeys, but also through the scholarly studies of many of its members. Liturgy is sometimes confused with guitars or choirs, Latin or Bach. We should be grateful to those who both preserve and adapt the genuine tradition of worship in the Church.
Pray for Pope Francis.
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We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests
This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
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