Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Catholic Caucus: Sunday Mass Readings, 02-20-11, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time American Bible ^ | 02-20-11 | New American Bible

Posted on 02/19/2011 9:27:33 PM PST by Salvation

February 20, 2011

Sunday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time


Reading 1
Responsorial Psalm
Reading 2

Reading 1

Lv 19:1-2, 17-18

The LORD said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

“You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”

Responsorial Psalm

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Merciful and gracious is the LORD,
slow to anger and abounding in kindness.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Reading 2

Brothers and sisters:
Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

Let no one deceive himself.
If any one among you considers himself wise in this age,
let him become a fool, so as to become wise.
For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God,
for it is written:
God catches the wise in their own ruses,
and again:
The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise,
that they are vain.

So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you,
Paul or Apollos or Cephas,
or the world or life or death,
or the present or the future:
all belong to you, and you to Christ, and Christ to God.


Jesus said to his disciples:
“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand over your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

“You have heard that it was said,
 You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; catholiclist; ordinarytime; prayer
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-47 next last
To: All
Sunday Gospel Reflections

7th Sunday of Ordinary Time
Reading I:
Levi 19:1-2,17-18 II: 1Cor 3:16-23
Matthew 5:38-48

38 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.'
39 But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also;
40 and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well;
41 and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
42 Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.
43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Interesting Details
  • "Eye for an eye" is considered cruel, but originally was designed to limit violence: if he plucks your eye out, don't do more than plucking his eye.
  • "Right cheek" would be struck by the left (weaker) hand, so the main intent is to shame, not to hurt physically.
  • "Shirt" here is worn next to the skin and covers the whole body, sometimes the only covering a person has (Ex 22:27).
  • "Force you to go one mile": Roman soldiers had the right to make people carry things for them.
  • "Give" refers to Dt 15:7-11: "You shall give to him freely."
  • "Tax collectors" were considered dishonest and collaborating with the enemy, the Romans. They were classified along with Gentiles (18:17), sinners (9:10), and harlots (21:31-32).
  • "Gentiles" means those outside the descendants of Abraham.

One Main Point

Jesus brings God's law to perfection (continued). Lask week's reading presents four pairs of antitheses, showing that Jesus does not abolish the law but makes it perfect. This week's reading continues with two more pairs of antitheses on the same theme. The images aim to express an overall spirit of perfection rather than set specific rules.

  1. Listen to Jesus' words and tone and gestures. Does he mean what he says? Am I shocked?
  2. Can I follow Jesus in my situation? Do I want to?
  3. How would I be, with the world and in my heart, if I try to follow Jesus to perfection?

21 posted on 02/19/2011 10:40:01 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: All
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading:
Second Reading:
Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18
Psalm 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13
1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Matthew 5:38-48

Grace can do nothing without the will and the will can do nothing without grace.

-- St. John Chrysostom

22 posted on 02/19/2011 10:41:15 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: All

The Angelus 

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: 
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen. 

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word. 

Hail Mary . . . 

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us. 

Hail Mary . . . 

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray: 

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.


23 posted on 02/19/2011 10:42:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: All
Did you pray in front of a
Planned Parenthood Clinic
Please pray for an
end to abortion in the United States.
Click to see pro-life march video in Aurora - 1-16-10

24 posted on 02/19/2011 10:43:20 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: All
Office of Readings and Invitatory Psalm

Office of Readings

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Hail, day! whereon the One in Three
First formed the earth by sure decree,
The day its Maker rose again,
And vanquished death, and burst our chain.
Away with sleep and slothful ease!
We raise our hearts and bend our knees,
And early seek the Lord of all,
Obedient to the Prophet’s call:
That he may hearken to our prayer,
Stretch forth his strong right arm to spare,
And, every past offense forgiven,
Restore us to our home in heaven.
Assembled here this holy day,
This holiest hour we raise the lay;
And, O, that he to whom we sing,
May now reward our offering!
Most Holy Father, hear our cry,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord most High
Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee
Doth live and reign eternally.

Psalm 144 (145)
The greatness and goodness of God
I will bless you day after day, O Lord. Alleluia.
I will praise you to the heights, O God, my king –
  I will bless your name for ever and for all time.
I will bless you, O God, day after day –
  I will praise your name for ever and all time.
The Lord is great, to him all praise is due –
  he is great beyond measuring.
Generation will pass to generation the praise of your deeds,
  and tell the wonders you have done.
They will tell of your overwhelming power,
  and pass on the tale of your greatness.
They will cry out the story of your great kindness,
  they will celebrate your judgements.
The Lord takes pity, his heart is merciful,
  he is patient and endlessly kind.
The Lord is gentle to all –
  he shows his kindness to all his creation.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
I will bless you day after day, O Lord. Alleluia.

Psalm 144 (145)
Your kingdom, Lord, is an everlasting kingdom, alleluia.
Let all your creatures proclaim you, O Lord,
  let your chosen ones bless you.
Let them tell of the glory of your reign,
  let them speak of your power –
so that the children of men may know what you can do,
  see the glory of your kingdom and its greatness.
Your kingdom stands firm for all ages,
  your rule lasts for ever and ever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Your kingdom, Lord, is an everlasting kingdom, alleluia.

Psalm 144 (145)
The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds. Alleluia.
The Lord is faithful in all his words,
  the Lord is holy in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who are falling,
  the Lord lifts up all who are oppressed.
All look to you for help,
  and you give them their food in due season.
In your goodness you open your hand,
  and give every creature its fill.
The Lord is just in all his ways,
  the Lord is kind in all that he does.
The Lord is near to those who call on him,
  to all those who call on him in truth.
For those that honour him,
  he does what they ask,
  he hears all their prayers,
  and he keeps them safe.
The Lord keeps safe all who love him,
  but he dooms all the wicked to destruction.
My mouth shall tell the praises of the Lord.
Let all flesh bless his holy name,
  for ever and ever.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
The Lord is faithful in all his words and loving in all his deeds. Alleluia.

My son, listen to my words.
Turn your ear to what I am saying.

Reading Ecclesiastes 1:1-18 ©
The words of Qoheleth son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, Qoheleth says. Vanity of vanities. All is vanity! For all his toil, his toil under the sun, what does man gain by it?
  A generation goes, a generation comes, yet the earth stands firm for ever. The sun rises, the sun sets; then to its place it speeds and there it rises. Southward goes the wind, then turns to the north; it turns and turns again; back then to its circling goes the wind. Into the sea all the rivers go, and yet the sea is never filled, and still to their goal the rivers go. All things are wearisome. No man can say that eyes have not had enough of seeing, ears their fill of hearing. What was will be again; what has been done will be done again; and there is nothing new under the sun. Take anything of which it may be said, ‘Look now, this is new.’ Already, long before our time, it existed. Only no memory remains of earlier times, just as in times to come next year itself will not be remembered.
  I, Qoheleth, have reigned in Jerusalem over Israel. With the help of wisdom I have been at pains to study all that is done under heaven; oh, what a weary task God has given mankind to labour at! I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and what vanity it all is, what chasing of the wind!
What is twisted cannot be straightened,
what is not there cannot be counted.
I thought to myself, ‘I have acquired a greater stock of wisdom than any of my predecessors in Jerusalem. I have great experience of wisdom and learning. Wisdom has been my careful study; stupidity, too, and folly. And now I have come to recognise that even this is chasing of the wind.
Much wisdom, much grief,
the more knowledge, the more sorrow.
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and what vanity it all is, what chasing of the wind! Naked from his mother’s womb a man comes; as naked as he comes he will depart again, nothing to take away with him.
We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. Naked from his mother’s womb a man comes; as naked as he comes he will depart again, nothing to take away with him.

Reading A treatise on Charity by St Maximus the Confessor
Without love everything is in vain
Charity is a right attitude of mind which prefers nothing to the knowledge of God. If a man possesses any strong attachment to the things of this earth, he cannot possess true charity. For anyone who really loves God prefers to know and experience God rather than his creatures. The whole set and longing of his mind is ever directed toward him.
  For God is far superior to all his creation, since everything which exists has been made by God and for him. And so, in deserting God, who is beyond compare, for the inferior works of creation, a man shows that he values God, the author of creation, less than creation itself.
  The Lord himself reminds us: Whoever loves me will keep my commandments. And this is my commandment: that you love one another. So the man who does not love his neighbour does not obey God’s command. But one who does not obey his command cannot love God. A man is blessed if he can love all men equally. Moreover, if he truly loves God, he must love his neighbour absolutely. Such a man cannot hoard his wealth. Rather, like God himself, he generously gives from his own resources to each man according to his needs.
  Since he imitates God’s generosity, the only distinction he draws is the person’s need. He does not distinguish between a good man and a bad one, a just man and one who is unjust. Yet his own goodness of will makes him prefer the man who strives after virtue to the one who is depraved.
  A charitable mind is not displayed simply in giving money; it is manifested still more by personal service as well as by the communication of God’s word to others: In fact, if a man’s service toward his brothers is genuine and if he really renounces worldly concerns, he is freed from selfish desires. For he now shares in God’s own knowledge and love. Since he does possess God’s love, he does not experience weariness as he follows the Lord his God. Rather, following the prophet Jeremiah, he withstands every type of reproach and hardship without even harbouring an evil thought toward any man.
  For Jeremiah warns us: Do not say: “We are the Lord’s temple.” Neither should you say: “Faith alone in our Lord Jesus Christ can save me.” By itself faith accomplishes nothing. For even the devils believe and shudder.
  No, faith must be joined to an active love of God which is expressed in good works. The charitable man is distinguished by sincere and long-suffering service to his fellow man: it also means using things aright.
I give you a new commandment: love one another as I have loved you. Anyone who loves his brother lives in the light.
We can be sure that we know Christ only by keeping his commandments. Anyone who loves his brother lives in the light.

Hymn Te Deum
God, we praise you; Lord, we proclaim you!
You, the Father, the eternal –
all the earth venerates you.
All the angels, all the heavens, every power –
The cherubim, the seraphim –
unceasingly, they cry:
“Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts:
heaven and earth are full of the majesty of your glory!”
The glorious choir of Apostles –
The noble ranks of prophets –
The shining army of martyrs –
all praise you.
Throughout the world your holy Church proclaims you.
– Father of immeasurable majesty,
– True Son, only-begotten, worthy of worship,
– Holy Spirit, our Advocate.
You, Christ:
– You are the king of glory.
– You are the Father’s eternal Son.
– You, to free mankind, did not disdain a Virgin’s womb.
– You defeated the sharp spear of Death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to those who believe in you.
– You sit at God’s right hand, in the glory of the Father.
– You will come, so we believe, as our Judge.
And so we ask of you: give help to your servants, whom you set free at the price of your precious blood.
Number them among your chosen ones in eternal glory.
The final part of the hymn may be omitted:
Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.
Rule them and lift them high for ever.
Day by day we bless you, Lord: we praise you for ever and for ever.
Of your goodness, Lord, keep us without sin for today.
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us.
Let your pity, Lord, be upon us, as much as we trust in you.
In you, Lord, I trust: let me never be put to shame.

Let us pray.
Grant, almighty God,
that with our thoughts always on the things of the Spirit
  we may please you in all that we say and do.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.

25 posted on 02/20/2011 2:31:56 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: All

Sunday, February 20

Liturgical Color: Green

Today the Church recalls St. Winnoc, monk. He was born into nobility but offered manual labor as penance. St. Winnoc often took on the worst tasks at the monastery for himself, continuing until his death in the early 700's A.D.

26 posted on 02/20/2011 2:43:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: All

Spiritual Bouquet - Meditations by Pade Pio

Spiritual Bouquet
A different meditation each time you click.

Meditations by Padre Pio

Always do a little work. The wise man praises the valiant woman. Her fingers, he says, worked the spindle. Your distaff is the sum of your desires. Spin a little therefore every day; make your design thread by thread till they are all used up and you shall infallibly see their completion. But see that you do not hurry, because you might twist the thread with knots and you would entangle your spindle. Work, therefore, and though you keep on advancing slowly, you will nevertheless go a long way.

27 posted on 02/20/2011 2:46:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: All
Catholic Culture

Daily Readings for: February 20, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)

Collect: Father, keep before us the wisdom and love you have revealed in your Son. Help us to be like him in word and deed, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Ordinary Time: February 20th 

  Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Old Calendar: Septuagesima Sunday

Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well.

Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Book of Leviticus 19:1-2. 17-18. Today, we hear one of the rules of conduct which are set out in chapter 19; that of love of neighbor. Other rules included reverence for parents, observance of the Sabbath, avoidance of idolatry, upon harvesting leaving some of the grain in the fields for the poor, and the practice of justice and charity in social dealings.

The second reading is from the first Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians 3:16-23. As we work our way through the first part of 1st Corinthians, last week we heard Saint Paul tell of the true wisdom of God. This week he again addresses the divisions in the people of God and reminds the Corinthians (and us) who we really belong to.

The Gospel is taken from St. Matthew (5:38-48). The lesson we have to learn from today's gospel hardly needs any emphasizing. We must, if we are truly Christian, forgive those who offend or injure us. We must love all men, whether they be friends or enemies. G. K. Chesterton says : "We are commanded to love our neighbors and our enemies; they are generally the same people." This is very true for all of us. It is very easy for me to love (in a theoretical way) all Japanese, Chinese, Russians and most Europeans–they never come in contact with me and never tread on my corns. But it is my neighbors, those among whom I live and work, who are liable to injure me and thus become my enemies.

Charity begins at home, because it is here that it can and should be learned and practiced. It is first and foremost necessary for Christian peace in the home. Husband and wife must learn to understand and tolerate each other's imperfections and faults. If one offends in what the other would regard as something serious, the offended one should not demand an apology but should show forgiveness before the other has humbly to apologize. No two persons in the world, not even identical twins, can agree on all things, so it is vain and unrealistic to expect even one's married partner to agree with one in all points. Christian charity alone can cover the multitude of faults of both partners.

If there is peace and harmony between husband and wife, as there will be if both are truly charitable, the children will learn too to be understanding and forgiving. Such a home will be a truly happy home even if it has little of the world's riches.

Our charity must spread from the home to our neighbors–to all those with whom we have contact. It is easy to get on with most people, but in every neighborhood and in every village or town there will always be those who are difficult. There will be the dishonest, the tale-bearers, the quarrelsome, the critic of everyone and everything. It is when we have dealings with such people that all our Christian charity is necessary. Most likely we will never be able to change their ways of acting, but charity will enable us to tolerate their faults and will move us to pray for their eternal welfare.

Life for many, if not for most people, has many dark, gloomy and despairing moments. The man or woman who is moved by true Christian charity can bring a beam of sunshine, a ray of hope, into the lives of these people. Fr. Faber in a booklet on kindness has a poem which we could all learn and practice with great profit for ourselves and for a neighbor in need of kindness. He says:

"It was but a sunny smile,
And little it cost in the giving,
But it scattered the night like the morning light
And made the day worth living.

It was but a kindly word,
A word that was lightly spoken,
et not in vain for it chilled the pain
Of a heart that was nearly broken.

It was but a helping hand,
And it seemed of little availing,
But its clasp was warm, it saved from harm

A brother whose strength was failing."

Try the sunny smile of true love, the kindly word of Christian encouragement, the helping hand of true charity, and not only will you brighten the darkness and lighten the load of your brother but you will be imitating in your own small way the perfect Father of love who is in heaven.

Excerpted from The Sunday Readings by Fr. Kevin O'Sullivan, O.F.M.


28 posted on 02/20/2011 3:06:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: All
Lauds -- Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer (Lauds)

If this is the first Hour that you are reciting today, you should precede it with the Invitatory Psalm.

O God, come to my aid.
  O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Amen. Alleluia.

Father, we praise thee, now the night is over,
Active and watchful, stand we all before thee;
Singing we offer prayer and meditation:
  Thus we adore thee.
Monarch of all things, fit us for thy mansions;
Banish our weakness, health and wholeness sending;
Bring us to heaven, where thy saints united
  Joy without ending.
All-holy Father, Son and Equal Spirit,
Trinity blessed, send us thy salvation;
Thine is the glory, gleaming and resounding
  Through all creation.

Psalm 92 (93)
The magnificence of the Creator
The Lord is wonderful on high. Alleluia.
The Lord reigns! He is robed in splendour,
  clothed in glory and wrapped round in might.
He set the earth on its foundations:
  it will not be shaken.
Your throne is secure from the beginning;
  from the beginning of time, Lord, you are.
The rivers have raised, O Lord,
  the rivers have raised their voices.
  The rivers have raised their clamour.
Over the voices of many waters,
  over the powerful swell of the sea,
  you are the Lord, powerful on high.
All your promises are to be trusted:
  and holy is your habitation,
  O Lord, to the end of time.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
The Lord is wonderful on high. Alleluia.

Canticle Daniel 3
All creatures, bless the Lord
May you be praised, Lord, and extolled for ever. Alleluia.
Bless the Lord, all his works,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you heavens;
  all his angels, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, you waters above the heavens;
  all his powers, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, sun and moon;
  all stars of the sky, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, rain and dew;
  all you winds, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, fire and heat;
  cold and warmth, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, dew and frost;
  ice and cold, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, ice and snow;
  day and night, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, light and darkness;
  lightning and storm-clouds, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, all the earth,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, mountains and hills;
  all growing things, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, seas and rivers;
  springs and fountains, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, whales and fish;
  birds of the air, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, wild beasts and tame;
  sons of men, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, O Israel,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, his priests;
  all his servants, bless the Lord.
Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the just;
  all who are holy and humble, bless the Lord.
Ananias, Azarias, Mishael, bless the Lord,
  praise and exalt him for ever.
Let us bless Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
  praise and exalt them for ever.
Bless the Lord in the firmament of heaven,
  praise and glorify him for ever.
May you be praised, Lord, and extolled for ever. Alleluia.

Psalm 148
An anthem to the Lord, the Creator
Praise the Lord from the heavens. Alleluia.
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
  praise him in the highest heavens.
Praise him, all his angels;
  praise him, all his powers.
Praise him, sun and moon,
  praise him, all stars that shine.
Praise him, waters of the heavens,
  and all the waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
  for he commanded and they were made.
He set them firm for all ages,
  he made a decree that will last for ever.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
  sea-serpents and depths of the sea,
fire, hail, snow and fog,
  storms and gales that obey his word,
mountains and hills,
  fruit-trees and cedars,
wild beasts and tame,
  serpents and birds.
Kings of the earth, all peoples,
  all leaders and judges of the earth,
young men and women,
  old people with the young –
praise the name of the Lord,
  for his name alone is exalted.
His splendour is above heaven and earth,
  he has raised up the strength of his people.
This song is for all his chosen ones,
  the children of Israel, the people close to him.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
Praise the Lord from the heavens. Alleluia.

Short reading Ezekiel 37:12-14 ©
The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.

Short Responsory
Christ, Son of the living God, take pity on us.
Christ, Son of the living God, take pity on us.
You are seated at the right hand of the Father.
Christ, Son of the living God, take pity on us.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
Christ, Son of the living God, take pity on us.

Canticle Benedictus
The Messiah and his forerunner
God causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
  for he has come to his people and brought about their redemption.
He has raised up the sign of salvation
  in the house of his servant David,
as he promised through the mouth of the holy ones,
  his prophets through the ages:
to rescue us from our enemies
  and all who hate us,
to take pity on our fathers,
  to remember his holy covenant
and the oath he swore to Abraham our father,
  that he would give himself to us,
that we could serve him without fear
 – freed from the hands of our enemies –
in uprightness and holiness before him,
  for all of our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High:
  for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his path,
to let his people know their salvation,
  so that their sins may be forgiven.
Through the bottomless mercy of our God,
  one born on high will visit us
to give light to those who walk in darkness,
  who live in the shadow of death;
  to lead our feet in the path of peace.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
  as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
  world without end.
God causes his sun to rise on bad men as well as good, and his rain to fall on honest and dishonest men alike.

Prayers and Intercessions
Let us pray to God, who sent the Holy Spirit to be a light shining in every heart:
Lord, be our light.
Blessed are you, God our light:
  for the sake of your glory you have brought us to this new day.
Lord, be our light.
By the incarnation of your Son you sent light into this world:
  through your Church, spread that light to all mankind.
Lord, be our light.
You enlightened your Son’s disciples by your Spirit:
  send your Spirit into the Church and keep her faithful to you.
Lord, be our light.
Light of the nations, remember those who dawdle in the shadows:
  open their eyes and their hearts, so that they see you are the one true God.
Lord, be our light.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
  hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
  Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
  and forgive us our trespasses,
  as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
  but deliver us from evil.

Grant, almighty God,
that with our thoughts always on the things of the Spirit
  we may please you in all that we say and do.
[We make our prayer] through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
  who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
  God for ever and ever.

May the Lord bless us and keep us from all harm; and may he lead us to eternal life.


29 posted on 02/20/2011 3:11:08 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: All
The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 5:38-48

“Love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44)

Can you picture getting to heaven, and the first person you meet is the one you liked least on earth? It’s possible. After all, God loves that person just as much as he loves you. Or what about all the evil characters you’ve read about in the Bible— people like Pharaoh, or Jezebel, or King Herod? They don’t fall outside the scope of God’s loving intentions either. What God wants for you is what he also wants for your aggravating neighbor, as well as history’s worst tyrants—that they be “perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).

Here’s another surprise: Your enemy can help you move toward that daunting goal of perfection. Jesus’ command to be perfect appears right after he explains how to treat those who hate us: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:44-45). In other words, if you want to be perfect, begin by loving your enemies.

Are you thinking, “This is too much”? Of course it is! It’s beyond human powers—or it would be, if Jesus hadn’t suffered and died for us.

Try to cooperate with the Lord today. Instead of harboring spiteful thoughts, say a short prayer for someone who provokes you. Think about whether there are other people you should be loving more than you do—not “enemies” exactly but people you may take for granted, look down on, or consider undeserving.

Start with those you live and work with. Pay attention to the thoughts that cross your mind as you read the newspaper or see a homeless person on the street. Ask God’s forgiveness when you discover your failures. Take advantage of every invitation to love, and the perfection of God will begin to shine out in you.

“Thank you, Father, for creating me for your love. Today, let me accept your transforming grace and take another step toward the perfection to which you are calling me.”

Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(Leviticus 19:1-2,17-18; Psalm 103:1-4,8,10,12-13; 1 Corinthians 3:16-23; Matthew 5:38-48)

1. In the first reading from Leviticus 19, the Lord commands us to: “Be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy.” He then provides some commands on how to be holy including: “You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart” and “You shall love your enemy as yourself.” How are you doing in living up to these commands? What steps can you take to do better?

2. In the Responsorial Psalm, we hear these words regarding the Lords forgiveness and mercy: “He pardons all your iniquities, heals all your ills” and “He redeems your life from destruction, crowns you with kindness and compassion.” In what ways have you experienced the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy? How has it impacted your own ability to forgive others as the Lord has forgiven you?

3. In the second reading, St. Paul tells us that we are “the temple of God” and “the Spirit of God dwells in you.” He goes on to say that “the temple of God, which you are, is holy.” What role does the Holy Spirit, the love of God poured into our hearts (Romans 5:5), play in how you love and forgive others?

4. The Gospel reading presents us with these daunting commands: “love your enemy” and “be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Why is it necessary to personally know and experience the Lord’s love and forgiveness, in order to forgive those who have wronged you?

5. In the meditation, we hear these words: “Your enemy can help you move toward that daunting goal of perfection. Jesus’ command to be perfect appears right after he explains how to treat those who hate us: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:44-45). What do these words mean to you?

6. Take some time to pray that you would experience more deeply your heavenly Father’s transforming love and grace. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point,

30 posted on 02/20/2011 3:18:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: All


(A biblical refection on THE 7th ORDINARY SUNDAY [YEAR A], 20 February 2011) 

Gospel Reading: Mt 5:38-48 

First Reading: Lev  19:1-2,17-18; Psalms: Ps 103:1-4,10,12-13; Second Reading: 1Cor 3:16-23 

The Scripture Text

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have you cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise  on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mt 5:38-48 RSV) 

The Old Testament law of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” may seem brutal to us (Ex 21:23-24). Even at the time of Jesus, however, it was common practice that an injury could be made up for by the payment of a sum of money. But this law was intended to restrict the amount of vengeance that a person could exact when injured. This law prevented excessive punishment and limited retaliation to just one eye for one eye! 

Jesus taught and personally witnessed to a new way which still fulfils the law (Mt 5:17-18); He said that we should not respond to evil or insult with violence (Mt 5:39-40). This is the way of love which Jesus Himself lived out during His passion. He was struck on the cheek but did not respond in kind (Mt 26:67); He was subjected to a cruel and painful death, but instead of hating His persecutors, He asked forgiveness for them (Lk 23:34). Jesus did not just fulfil the old law by what He said, He also lived it out practically, showing us what it means truly to love God and to love one’s neighbour. 

As children of the Father through Jesus, we are called to live in the midst of evil with patient endurance. It is clear today that violence in our societies is a great problem. Revenge is often proportional to the harm done, and it is rare that we see instances of people turning the other cheek; reports of murders and assaults crowd the newspapers. What if people were to practice what Jesus taught and respond to violence as He did? Imagine if people did turn the cheek – did not get angry when offended! What if patience and kindness became the norm for relationships? This would have a radical effect on the cycle of violence that is destroying individuals, families and societies. Jesus even instructs us to love our enemies. This is one more way that Jesus brings to perfect completion the moral teaching which God began with the ‘Ten Commandments’. The Israelites were not expected to love everyone – just their fellow chosen people. But with Jesus’ offer of salvation to all, He makes all of humanity our neighbours. We must love them – friend and foe alike. 

The words of our Gospel reading end with Jesus saying, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48). These words are not a call to endless frustration and despair, but to a daily taking up and carrying of our Cross. We are perfected by love and doing our best to love. The first reading from Leviticus calls for forgiveness and love of the neighbour. The Sermon on the Mount, however, goes even further: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Mt 5:44). This is very specific and challenging. Just think of the person who made your life uncomfortable. Just think of the enemy with whom you want to even the score. Now, if you really want to be holy (see Lev 19:2), forgive and pray for them. Moreover, do not seek revenge, but give of yourself or your resources to them when they ask. 

Only in Jesus are we given the grace to live as He lived and to respond to others in love, rather than with violence. The Holy Spirit in us brings about the great power of Jesus to enable us to live this new way; without this, on our own, we cannot respond to others in love. 

Short Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach us to love when we are not loved, for then we will be most like You. Let Your kindness and patience shine through us as a sign of the coming of the kingdom. Amen. 

31 posted on 02/20/2011 3:42:09 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: All
Marriage = One Man and One Woman

Daily Marriage Tip for February 20, 2011:

Morality is more than just “Thou shalt nots.” It includes “thou shalt’s” like, “Thou shalt speak kindly of your mother-in-law.” “Thou shalt appreciate your spouse’s cooking.” “Thou shalt give money to charity and the beggar.” “Thou shalt overlook minor faults.” “Thou shalt read marriage tips every day.”

32 posted on 02/20/2011 5:04:47 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: All
Sunday Scripture Study

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

February 20, 2011

Click here for USCCB readings

Opening Prayer  

First Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18

Psalm: 103:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13

Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:16-23

Gospel Reading: Matthew 5:38-48

  • Continuing with the Sermon on the Mount we have been hearing from in the last several weeks, this Sunday we will hear the remainder of the section of Matthew 5 sometimes called “the Six Antitheses”. Each antithesis follows a similar format: Jesus citing the Old Law, saying “you have heard it was said…”, and responding with the refrain “…But I say to you”. Jesus is thus established as the new Moses and the lawgiver of the New Covenant.
  • In verses 38-42, Jesus speaks about the law of retaliation. The command “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (taken from Exodus 21:24) sounds harsh to our ears, but in the context of the ancient Middle East, it was actually an enlightened improvement on the prevailing practice which allowed unlimited retaliation for offenses committed. Even so, Jesus goes even further in eliminating the policy of private retaliation from the personal life of the disciple (Romans 12:17).
  • In verses 43-48, Jesus reminds his hearers of what was considered one of the two greatest commandments (Mt 22:39), that is, to love one’s neighbor as oneself (see Lev 19:18) along with the common belief that one should “hate” their enemies (the Jews of the time had a very definition of “neighbor”, restricting it to fellow Jews; thus the parable of the Good Samaritan. See Luke 10:29-37). Jesus, in this instance, removes limits on to whom they are to extend their charity. In fact, they (and we) are to strive to imitate the perfection of God the Father who has solicitude for all (verses 45, 48).



  • In the 1st Reading, how is the commandment given by Moses, though good, still limited? In what way or ways is the new commandment given by Jesus superior?
  • In the 2nd Reading, what is the basis of our dignity in the Lord (verse 16)? In the context of verse 17 and Mt 5:48, how should we conduct ourselves?
  • What was the original intent of “an eye for an eye”? How is this law being perverted? What qualities should replace those desires for revenge?
  • Although the standards Jesus gives are not a new law we must attain before God will have mercy on us, what do they suggest about the direction God wants us to grow after we have received his mercy? Which of these qualities do you want to cultivate most right now? How would your life be different as God helps you to do this?
  • What “enemies” has God given you to love? How can you love them? Why does he command you to love them?

Closing Prayer

Catechism of the Catholic Church: §§ 1693, 1825, 1933, 1968, 2013, 2054, 2262, 2303, 2443, 2608, 2844


Your duty is to sanctify yourself.  Yes, even you.  Who thinks that this task is only for priests and religious?  To everyone, without exception, our Lord said: `Be ye perfect, as My Heavenly Father is perfect'.

-St Josemaria Escriva

33 posted on 02/20/2011 5:08:38 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: All

Encounter with an Unseen World

Pastor’s Column

7th Sunday Ordinary Time

February 20, 2011

 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God.

                                                            from 1 Cor3:16-23 (2nd reading at Mass) 

            The world is not as it appears to be on the surface.  We as Christians know this to be true: God exists; the angels exist; our loved ones continue to live, but not where we are.  We know all of these things from scripture, and although we have constant interactions with our guardian angels, who are always with us, they seldom manifest themselves to us.  This is so that we will have the opportunity to live by faith: once we have seen them, a life of faith will never be possible again.  But, at times, when God wills it, we do have encounters with a world that the worldly, those who scoff at God and never listen to scripture, are certain does not exist. 

          I had an extraordinary encounter this week.  Tuesday was an atypical day filled with sick calls as well as a burial.  I had all the places I needed to visit on sheets of paper stuffed in my pocket, and there were many of them.  The last call was to the home of an elderly lady who , as it turned out, was actively dying.  As I prepared to head for her house, I suddenly found to my dismay that her name, address and phone were missing!  No one at the office knew the details, and I couldn’t remember a thing!  I frantically searched my pockets again and again, even going so far as to turn each of them inside out, because no priest wants someone to die without the sacraments because of a goof like this!  Where had I left those papers? 

          When I got back to the office, it was as I expected.  No one had a clue who this lady was that was dying.  How many of us have been in situations where we could go no further, even though the need was urgent?  So I offered the situation to God.  Then, instinctively, I checked my jacket pocket again, the same one I had turned inside out a half hour earlier, even though it was manifestly useless to do so, and there in my pocket were the (large) papers with this lady’s name and address!  I will go to my death saying that those papers were not in that pocket and yet now, inexplicably, suddenly, there they were!  What can we make of this? 

          Obviously, an unseen hand was at work, no doubt this lady’s guardian angel, who wished that a priest be present at her death.  I have had this kind of experience before, as have many other priests.  I am equally sure that this same “unseen hand” has helped you innumerable times, though you perhaps did not notice it!  All of this can be accomplished without our being made aware of it, but I believe that God permits this at times to give encouragement to those  facing grave difficulties in their lives right now.  God really does love you and is working many miracles in your life, most of which you are not even aware of!  Pay attention to those times when God permits you to see, obliquely, what he is doing for you.  If we only knew how much assistance God gives us and how great is the unseen world around us, we would never cease to praise God!  The “world” is totally unaware of this, but we Christians know the truth. 

                                                                                          Father Gary

34 posted on 02/20/2011 5:32:57 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: All
7th Sunday: Love is an act of the will
Pope John Paul II forgives Mehmet Ali Agca, his attempted assassin
"But I say to you, love your enemies . . ."Year A

Lv 19: 1-2, 17-18
1 Cor 3: 16-23
Mt 5: 38-48

The entertaining Broadway play, Fiddler on the Roof, stands among the most popular in American theatrical history. The two main characters are a poor, Jewish married couple, Tevye and Golde, whose daughter has sought her father’s permission to marry a non-Jewish man. The Father is deeply upset at his daughter’s choice: “Tradition!,” he sings.

In a touching and humorous scene, Tevye questions his wife: “Golde, do you love me?” Golde is shocked by this question. “Do I love you?” she queries. As Tevye awaits her answer, she ticks off all that she has done: “I’ve washed your clothes; cooked your meals, cleaned the house, given you children, milked your cow . . . for twenty five years I’ve lived with him, fought with him, starved with him . . . if that’s not love what is?”

Tevye responds, “Then you love me!” and Golde affectionately chimes back, “I suppose I do.” Finally, Tevye with a smile on his face agrees, “And I suppose I love you, too.”

While such a tender scene brings a smile to our face and the usual warm feelings of appreciation, it portrays a popular sentiment about the meaning of love: that we show our love through the actions we do for another. In marriage it’s all the practical, mundane everyday tasks of life that symbolize a shared respect for one’s spouse. In the priesthood, it is the sacrifice of the daily tasks and responsibilities that keep the parish going, the prayer offered by the priest for his people. Even in the case of Tevye and Golde, an arranged marriage, they learned to love each other. Maybe that begins a discussion on this Sunday’s readings. That love is a choice we make. It is an act of the will.

While there is truth to that of course, our readings today challenge us to go beyond the mere pragmatic signs of love. To go farther than just choosing to love those who we presume will return the same. While this type of love should be found in marriage we hear today that true love goes beyond the obvious to the unexpected, to the heroic in fact. Put simply we are to love as Christ loves which is as God loves us. Such an act of the will is beyond marriage only.

How hard is it to respect people that you detest? Well, it can be very hard and it does not come naturally. We don’t instinctively return love in the face of hate, harm, violence, rejection, criticism, or whatever form of “enemies” may come our way. We feel threatened. We put up our guard, become defensive, seek retribution, hold a grudge, judge more harshly than we have been judged, conspire to defame the character of another, or gossip about them before we ever consider forgiveness – which may be never or at best long in coming. Yet, Jesus calls us to a higher and more un-natural kind of love – to a more God-like sort of love for which Jesus himself is the prime example.

We hear Jesus call us to this level of high moral choice: “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you . . . so be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt. 5: 44, 48). And our first reading implies a similar connection between love and holiness: “Be holy, for I the Lord, your God, am holy. You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister . . . take no revenge and cherish no grudge . . .”

Yet, we are limited by our own language at times. We say we “love” many things – people, food, cars, places, money, beautiful women and handsome men, palatial homes, etc. We tend to blur the lines between like and love many times. If we say we like someone, what we mean is that we are comfortable with, enjoy the company of, find a common bond with, or share the same interests with, someone we “like.” So to like someone is based in my feelings for them.

Today’s passage presents to us a choice beyond mere feelings. While love for another does involve our emotions, in the case of our enemies, it is an act of the will, a choice I make for another. When confronted with harm, with those who I feel have it out for me, I have a choice of how to respond. Jesus offers us a choice that will reveal our own standard of faith and our own character – our integrity as a follower of Christ.

In the end, am I willing to forgive? Sometimes, it may involve keeping my distance from another and at the same time wishing no harm come upon them. I can pray for those who have done wrong to me. I may by my Christ-like example of heroic love bring someone to conversion. They may think twice about inflicting harm upon me or another person and reconsider their behavior. Even if they do not, I have a conscience clear of revenge and I know that my prayer for them is not wasted.

Our Eucharist has come to us through the example of Jesus who forgave all those who did him harm: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Lk 23: 34). Though it may feel as a great challenge, an almost unsustainable level of moral choice, at least we can try. We are marked with the cross at our baptism and we must carry that sign to others around us. Who knows how many hard hearts may be softened by our example of heroic love?
Fr. Tim

35 posted on 02/20/2011 5:45:55 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
  English: Douay-Rheims Latin: Vulgata Clementina Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
  Matthew 5
38 You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Audistis quia dictum est : Oculum pro oculo, et dentem pro dente. ηκουσατε οτι ερρεθη οφθαλμον αντι οφθαλμου και οδοντα αντι οδοντος
39 But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other: Ego autem dico vobis, non resistere malo : sed si quis te percusserit in dexteram maxillam tuam, præbe illi et alteram : εγω δε λεγω υμιν μη αντιστηναι τω πονηρω αλλ οστις σε ραπισει επι την δεξιαν [σου] σιαγονα στρεψον αυτω και την αλλην
40 And if a man will contend with thee in judgment, and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him. et ei, qui vult tecum judicio contendere, et tunicam tuam tollere, dimitte ei et pallium : και τω θελοντι σοι κριθηναι και τον χιτωνα σου λαβειν αφες αυτω και το ιματιον
41 And whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two, et quicumque te angariaverit mille passus, vade cum illo et alia duo. και οστις σε αγγαρευσει μιλιον εν υπαγε μετ αυτου δυο
42 Give to him that asketh of thee and from him that would borrow of thee turn not away. Qui petit a te, da ei : et volenti mutuari a te, ne avertaris. τω αιτουντι σε διδου και τον θελοντα απο σου δανεισασθαι μη αποστραφης
43 You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy. Audistis quia dictum est : Diliges proximum tuum, et odio habebis inimicum tuum. ηκουσατε οτι ερρεθη αγαπησεις τον πλησιον σου και μισησεις τον εχθρον σου
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: Ego autem dico vobis : Diligite inimicos vestros, benefacite his qui oderunt vos, et orate pro persequentibus et calumniantibus vos : εγω δε λεγω υμιν αγαπατε τους εχθρους υμων ευλογειτε τους καταρωμενους υμας καλως ποιειτε τοις μισουσιν υμας και προσευχεσθε υπερ των επηρεαζοντων υμας και διωκοντων υμας
45 That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust. ut sitis filii Patris vestri, qui in cælis est : qui solem suum oriri facit super bonos et malos : et pluit super justos et injustos. οπως γενησθε υιοι του πατρος υμων του εν [τοις] ουρανοις οτι τον ηλιον αυτου ανατελλει επι πονηρους και αγαθους και βρεχει επι δικαιους και αδικους
46 For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this? Si enim diligitis eos qui vos diligunt, quam mercedem habebitis ? nonne et publicani hoc faciunt ? εαν γαρ αγαπησητε τους αγαπωντας υμας τινα μισθον εχετε ουχι και οι τελωναι το αυτο ποιουσιν
47 And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this? Et si salutaveritis fratres vestros tantum, quid amplius facitis ? nonne et ethnici hoc faciunt ? και εαν ασπασησθε τους φιλους υμων μονον τι περισσον ποιειτε ουχι και οι τελωναι ουτως ποιουσιν
48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. Estote ergo vos perfecti, sicut et Pater vester cælestis perfectus est. εσεσθε ουν υμεις τελειοι ωσπερ ο πατηρ υμων ο εν τοις ουρανοις τελειος εστιν

36 posted on 02/20/2011 5:51:55 PM PST by annalex (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex
38. You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;
39. But I say to you, That you resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40. And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also.
41. And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him twain.
42. Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not away.

GLOSS. The Lord having taught that we are not to offer injury to our neighbor or irreverence to the Lord, now proceeds to show the Christian should demean himself to those that injure him.

AUG. This law, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, was enacted to repress the flames of mutual hate, and to be a check on their undisciplined spirits. For who when he would take revenge, was ever content to return just so much harm as he had received? Do we not see men who have suffered some trifling hurt, straightway plot murder, thirst for blood, and hardly find evil enough that they can do to their enemies for the satisfying of their rage? To this immeasured and cruel fury the Law puts bounds when it enacts a lex talionis; that is, that whatever wrong or hurt any man has done to another, he should suffer just the same in return. This is not to encourage but to check rage; for it does not rekindle what was extinguished, but hinders the flames already kindled from further spread. It enacts a just retaliation, properly due to him who has suffered the wrong. But that mercy forgives any debt, does not make it unjust that payment had been sought. Since then he sins who seeks an unmeasured vengeance, but he does not sin who desires only a just one; he is therefore further from sin who seeks no retribution at all. I might state it yet thus: It was said to them of old time, You shall not take unequal retaliation; But I say to you, You shall not retaliate; this is a completion of the Law, if in these words something is added to the Law which was wanting to it; yea, rather that which the Law sought to do, namely, to put an end to unequal revenge, is more safely secured when there is no revenge at all.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. For without this command, the commands of the Law could not stand. For if according to the Law we begin all of us to render evil for evil, we shall all become evil, since they do hurt abound. But if according to Christ we resist not evil, though they that are evil be not amended, yet they that are good remain good.

JEROME; Thus our Lord by doing away all retaliation, cuts off the beginnings of sin. So the Law corrects faults, the Gospel removes their occasions.

GLOSS. Or it may be said that the Lord said this, adding somewhat to the righteousness of the old Law.

AUG. For the righteousness of the Pharisees is a less righteousness, not to transgress the measure of equal retribution; and this is the beginning of peace; but perfect peace is to refuse all such retribution. Between that first manner then, which was not according to the Law, to wit, that a greater evil should be returned for a less, and this which the Lord enjoins to make His disciples perfect, to wit, that no evil should be returned for evil, a middle place is held by this, that an equal evil should be returned, which was thus the passage from extremist discord to extremist peace. Whoso then first does evil to another departs furthest from righteousness; and who does not first do any wrong, but when wronged repays with a heavier wrong, has departed somewhat from extreme injustice; he who repays only what he has received, gives up yet something more, for it were but strict right that he whom is the first aggressor should receive a greater hurt than he inflicted. This righteousness thus partly begun, He perfects, who is come to fulfill the Law. The two steps that intervene He leaves to be understood; for there is who does not repay so much, but less; and there is yet above him, he who repays not at all; yet this seems too little to the Lord, if you be not also ready to suffer wrong. Therefore He says not, Render not evil for evil, but, Resist not against evil, not only repay not what is offered to you, but do not resist that it should not be done to you. For thus accordingly He explains that saying, If any man smite you on your right cheek, offer to him the left also. Which as being a high part of mercy is known to those who serve such as they love much; from whom, being morose, or insane, they endure many things, and if it be for their health they offer themselves to endure more. The Lord then, the Physician of souls, teaches His disciples to endure with patience the sicknesses of those for whose spiritual health they should provide. For all wickedness comes of a sickness of the mind; nothing is more innocent than he who is sound and of perfect health in virtue.

ID. The things which are done by the Saints in the New Testament profit for examples of understanding those Scriptures which are modeled into the form of precepts. Thus we read in Luke; Whoso smites you on the one cheek, turn to him the other also (Luke 6:29). Now there is no example of patience more perfect than that of the Lord; yet He, when he was smitten, said not, 'Behold the other cheek,' but, If I have spoken amiss, accuse me wherein it is amiss; but if well, why do you smite me (John 18:23)? hereby showing us that that turning of the other cheek should be in the heart.

ID. For the Lord was ready not only to be smitten on the other cheek for the salvation of men, but to be crucified with His whole body. It may be asked, What does the right cheek expressly signify? As the face is that whereby any man is known, to be smitten on the face is according to the Apostle to be condemned and despised. But as But as we cannot say, 'right face,' and 'left face,' and yet we have a name twofold, one before God, and one before the world, it is distributed as it were into the right cheek, and left cheek, that whoever of Christ's disciples is despised for that he is a Christian, may be ready to be yet more despised for any of this world's honors that he may have. All things wherein we suffer any wrong are divided into two kinds, of which one is what cannot be restored, the other what may be restored. In that kind which cannot be restored, we are wont to seek the solace of revenge. For what does it boot if when smitten you smite again, is the hurt done to your body thereby repaid to you? But the mind swollen with rage seeks such assuagements.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Or has your return blow at all restrained him from striking you again? It has rather roused him to another blow. For anger is not checked by meeting anger, but is only more irritated.

AUG. Whence the Lord judges that others' weakness should rather be born with compassion, than that our own should be soothed by others' pain. For that retribution which tends to correction is not here forbidden, for such is indeed a part of mercy; nor does such intention hinder that he, who seeks to correct another, is not at the same time ready himself to take more at his hands. But it is required that he should inflict the punishment to whom the power is given by the course of things, and with such a mind as the father has to a child in correcting him whom it is impossible he should hate. And holy men have punished some sins with death, in order that a wholesome fear might be struck into the living, and so that not his death, but the likelihood of increase of his sin had he lived, was the hurt of the criminal. Thus Elias punished many with death, and when the disciples would take example from him, they were rebuked by the Lord, who did not censure this example of the Prophet, but their ignorant use of it, seeing them to desire the punishment not for correction's sake, but angry hate. But after He had inculcated love of their neighbor and had given them the Holy Spirit, there wanted not instances of such vengeance, as Ananias and his wife who fell down dead at the words of Peter, and the Apostle Paul delivered some to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. Yet do some, with a kind of blind opposition, rage against the temporal punishments of the Old Testament, not knowing with what mind they were inflicted.

ID. But who that is of sober mind would say to kings, "It is nothing of your concern who will live religiously, or who profanely"? It cannot even be said to them, that it is not their concern who will live chastely, or who unchastely. It is indeed better that men should be led to serve God by right teaching than by penalties; yet has it benefited many, as experience has approved to us, to be first coerced by pain and fear, that they might be taught after, or to be made to conform in deed to what they had learned in words. The better men indeed are led of love, but the more part of men are wrought on by fear. Let them learn in the case of the Apostle Paul, how Christ first constrained, and after taught him.

ID.Therefore in this kind of injuries which are wont to rouse vengeance Christians will observe such a mean, that hate shall not be caused by the injuries they may receive, and yet wholesome correction be not foregone by Him who has right of either counsel or power.

JEROME; Mystically interpreted, when we are smitten on the right cheek, He said not, offer to him the left, but the other; for the righteous has not a left. That is, if a heretic has smitten us in disputation, and would wound us in a right hand doctrine, let him be met with another testimony from Scripture.

AUG. The other kind of injuries are those in which full restitution can be made, of which there are two kinds: one relates to money, the other to work; of the first of these it is He speaks when He continues, Whoever will sue you for your coat, let him have your cloak likewise. As by the cheek are denoted such injuries of the wicked as admit of no restitution but revenge, so by this similitude of the garments is denoted such injury as admits restitution. And this, as the former, is rightly taken of preparation of the heart, not of the show of the outward action. And what is commanded respecting our garments, is to be observed in all things that by any right we call our own in worldly property. For if the command be expressed in these necessary articles of life, how much more does it hold in the case of superfluities and luxuries? And when He says, He who will sue you, He clearly intends to include everything for which it is possible that we should be sued. It may be made a question whether it is to be understood of slaves, for a Christian ought not to possess his slave on the same footing as his horse; though it might be that the horse was worth the more money. And if your slave have a milder master in you than he would have in him who seeks to take him from you, I do not know that he ought to be given up as lightly as your coat.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. For it were an unworthy thing that a believer should stand in his cause before an unbelieving judge. Or if one who is a believer, though (as he must be) a worldly man, though he should have reverenced you for the worthiness of the faith, sues you because the cause is a necessary one, you will lose the worthiness of Christ for the business of the world. Further, every lawsuit irritates the heart and excites bad thoughts; for when you see dishonesty or bribery employed against you, you hasten to support your own cause by like means, though originally, you might have intended nothing of the sort.

AUG. The Lord here forbids his disciples to have lawsuits with others for worldly property. Yet as the Apostle allows such kind of causes to be decided between brethren, and before arbiters who are brethren, but utterly disallows them without the Church, it is manifest what is conceded to infirmity as pardonable.

GREG. There are, who are so far to be endured, as they rob us of our worldly goods; but there are whom we ought to hinder, and that without breaking the law of charity, not only that we may not be robbed of what is ours, but lest they by robbing others destroy themselves. We ought to fear much more for the men who rob us, than to be eager to save the inanimate things they take from us. When peace with our neighbor is banished the heart on the matter of worldly possessions, it is plain that our estate is more loved than our neighbor.

AUG. The third kind of wrongs, which is in the matter of labor, consists of both such as admit restitution, and such as do not - or with or without revenge - for he who forcibly presses a man's service, and makes him give his aid against his will, can either be punished for his crime, or return the labor. In this kind of wrongs then, the Lord teaches that the Christian mind is most patient, and prepared to endure yet more than is offered; If a man constrain you to go with him a mile, go with him yet another two. This likewise is meant not so much of actual service with your feet , as of readiness of mind.

CHRYS.The word here used signifies to drag unjustly, without cause, and with insult.

AUG. Let us suppose it therefore said, Go with him other two, that the number three might be completed; by which number perfection is signified; that whoever does this might remember that he is fulfilling perfect righteousness. For which reason he conveys this precept under three examples, and in this third example, he adds a twofold measure to the one single measure, that the threefold number may be complete. Or we may so consider as though in enforcing this duty, He had begun with what was easiest to bear, and had advanced gradually. For finest He commanded that when the right cheek was smitten we should turn the other also; therein showing ourselves ready to endure another wrong less than that you have already received. Secondly, to him that would take your coat, He bids you part with your cloak (or garment, as some copies read), which is either just as great a loss, or perhaps a little greater). In the third, He doubles the additional wrong which He would have us ready to endure. And seeing it is a small thing not to hurt unless you further show kindness, He adds, To him that asks of you, give.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.Because wealth is not ours but God's, God would have us stewards of His wealth. and not lords.

JEROME; If we understand this only of alms, it cannot stand with the estate of the most part of men who are poor; even the rich if they have been always giving, will not be able to continue always to give.

AUG. Therefore, He says not, 'Give all things to him that asks, but, Give to every one that asks; that you should only give what you can give honestly and rightly. For what if one ask for money to employ in oppressing the innocent man? What if he ask your consent to unclean sin? We must give then only what will hurt neither ourselves or others, as far as man can judge; and when you have refused an inadmissible request, that you may not send away empty him that asked, show the righteousness of your refusal; and such correction of the unlawful petitioner will often be a better gift than the granting of his suit.

ID. For with more benefit is food taken from the hunger, if certainty of provision causes him to neglect righteousness, than that food should be supplied to him that he may consent to a deed of violence and wrong.

JEROME; But it may be understood of the wealth of doctrine: wealth which never fails but the more of it is given away, the more it abounds.

AUG. That He commands, And from him that would borrow of you, turn not away, must be referred to the mind; for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7). And everyone that receives indeed borrows, though it is not he that shall pay, but God who restores to the merciful many fold. Or, if you like to understand by borrowing, only taking with promise to repay, we must understand the Lord's command as embracing both these kinds of affording aid; whether we give outright, or lend to receive again. And of this last kind of showing mercy it is well-said, Turn not away, that is, do not be therefore backward to lend, as though, because man shall repay you, therefore God shall not; for what you do by God's command cannot be without fruit.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. Christ bids us lend but not on usury; for he who gives on such terms does not bestow his own, but takes of another; he looses from one chain to bind with many, and gives not for God's righteousness sake, but for his own gain. For money taken on usury is like the bite of an asp; as the asp's poison secretly consumes the limbs, so usury turns all our possessions into debt.

AUG. Some object that this command of Christ is altogether inconsistent with civil life in Commonwealths; who, say they, would suffer, when he could hinder it, the pillage of his estate by an enemy; or would not repay the evil suffered by a plundered province of Rome on the plunderers according to the rights of war? But these precepts of patience are to be observed in readiness of the heart, and that mercy, not to return evil for evil, must be always fulfilled by the will. Yet must we often use a merciful sharpness in dealing with the headstrong. And in this way, if the earthly commonwealth will keep the Christian commandments, even war will not be waged without good charities, to the establishing among the vanquished peaceful harmony of godliness and righteousness. For that victory is beneficial to him from whom it snatches license to sin; since nothing is more unfortunate for sinners, than the good fortune of their sins, which nourishes an impunity that brings punishment after it, and an evil will is strengthened, as it were some internal enemy.

43. You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.
44. But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you;
45. That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46. For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? Do not even the Publicans do the same?
47. And if you salute your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Publicans do so?
48. Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.

GLOSS. The Lord has taught above that we must not resist one who offers any injury, but must be ready even to suffer more; He now further requires us to show to them that do us wrong both love and its effects. And as the things that have gone before pertain to the completion of the righteousness of the Law, in like manner this last precept is to be referred to the completion of the law of love, which, according to the Apostle, is the fulfilling of the Law.

AUG. That by the command, You shall love your neighbor, all mankind were intended, the Lord showed in the parable of the man who was left half dead, which teaches us that our neighbor is every one who may happen at any time to stand in need of our offices of mercy; and this who does not see must be denied to none, when the Lord says, Do good to them that hate you.

ID. That there were degrees in the righteousness of the Pharisees which was under the old Law is seen herein, that many hated even those by whom they were loved. He therefore who loves his neighbor, has ascended one degree, though as yet he hates his enemy; which is expressed in that, and shall hate your enemy, which is not to be understood as a command to the justified, but a concession to the weak.

ID. I ask the Manichaeans why they would have this peculiar to the Mosaic Law, that was said by them of old time, you shall hate your enemy? Has not Paul said of certain men that they were hateful to God? We must inquire then how we may understand that, after the example of God, to whom the Apostle here affirms some men to be hateful, our enemies are to be hated; and again after the same pattern of Him who makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, our enemies are to be loved. Here then is the rule by which we may at once hate our enemy for the evil's sake that is in him, that is, his iniquity, and love him for the good's sake that is in him, that is, his rational part. This then, thus uttered by them of old, being heard, but not understood, hurried men on to the hatred of man, when they should have hated nothing but vice. Such the Lord corrects as He proceeds, saying, I say to you, Love your enemies. He who had just declared that He came not to subvert the Law, but to fulfill it, by bidding us love our enemies, brought us to the understanding of how we may at once hate the same man for his sins whom we love for his human nature.

GLOSS. But it should be known that in the whole body of the Law it is nowhere written, You shall hate your enemy. But it is to be referred to the tradition of the Scribes, who thought good to add this to the Law, because the Lord bade the children of Israel pursue their enemies, and destroy Amalek from under Heaven.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. As that, You shall not lust, was not spoken to the flesh, but to the spirit, so in this the flesh indeed is not able to love its enemy, but the spirit is able; for the love and hate of the flesh is in the sense, but of the spirit is in the understanding. If then we feel hate to one who has wronged us, and yet will not to act upon that feeling, know that our flesh hates our enemy, but our soul loves him.

GREG. Love to an enemy is then observed when we are not sorrowful at his success, or rejoice in his fall. We hate him whom we wish not to he bettered, and pursue with ill wishes the prosperity of the man in whose fall we rejoice. Yet it may often happen that without any sacrifice of charity, the fall of an enemy may gladden us, and again his exaltation make us sorrowful without any suspicion of envy; when, namely, by his fall any deserving man is raised up, or by his success any undeservedly depressed. But herein a strict measure of discernment must be observed, lest in following out our own hates, we hide it from ourselves under the specious pretense of another's benefit. We should balance how much we owe to the fall of the sinner, how much to the justice of the Judge. For when the Almighty has struck any hardened sinner, we must at once magnify His justice as Judge, and feel with the other's suffering who perishes.

GLOSS. They who stand against the Church oppose her in three ways: with hate, with words, and with bodily tortures. The Church on the other hand loves them, as it is here, Love your enemies; does good to them, as it is, Do good to them that hate you; and prays for them, as it is, Pray for them that persecute you and accuse you falsely.

JEROME; Many measuring the commandments of God by their own weakness, not by the strength of the saints, hold these commands for impossible, and say that it is virtue enough not to hate our enemies; but to love them is a command beyond human nature to obey. But it must be understood that Christ enjoins not impossibilities but perfection. Such was the temper of David towards Saul and Absalom; the Martyr Stephen also prayed for his enemies while they stoned him, and Paul wished himself anathema for the sake of his persecutors. Jesus both taught and did the same, saying, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

AUG. These indeed are examples of the perfect sons of God; yet to this should every believer aim, and seek by prayer to God, and struggles with himself to raise his human spirit to this temper. Yet this so great blessing is not given to all those multitudes which we believe are heard when they pray, Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

ID. Here arises a question, that this commandment of the Lord, by which He bids us pray for our enemies, seems opposed by many other parts of Scripture. In the Prophets are found many imprecations upon enemies; such as that in the 109th Psalm, Let his children be orphans (Ps 109:9). But it should be known, that the Prophets are wont to foretell things to come in the form of prayer or wish. This has more weight as a difficulty that John says, There is a sin to death, I say not that he shall pray for it (1 John 5:16); plainly showing that there are some brethren for whom he does not bid us pray; for what went before was, If any know his brother sin a sin, &c. Yet the Lord bids us pray for our persecutors. This question can only be resolved, if we admit that there are some sins in brethren more grievous than the sin of persecution in our enemies. For thus Stephen prays for those that stoned him, because they had not yet believed on Christ; but the Apostle Paul does not pray for Alexander though he was a brother, but had sinned by attacking the brotherhood through jealousy. But for whom you pray not, you do not therein pray against him. What must we say then of those against whom we know that the saints have prayed, and that not that they should be corrected (for that would be rather to have prayed for them), but for their eternal damnation; not as that prayer of the Prophet against the Lord's betrayer, for that is a prophecy of the future, not an imprecation of punishment; but as when we read in the Apocalypse the Martyrs' prayer that they may be avenged. But we ought not to let this affect us. For who may dare to affirm that they prayed against those persons themselves, and not against the kingdom of sin? For that would be both a just and a merciful avenging of the Martyrs, to overthrow that kingdom of sin, under the continuance of which they endured all those evils. And it is overthrown by correction of some, and damnation of such as abide in sin. Does not Paul seem to you to have avenged Stephen on his on his own body, as he speaks, I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection.

PSEUDO-AUG. And the souls of them that are slain cry out to be avenged; as the blood of Abel cried out of the ground not with a voice, but in spirit. As the work is said to laud tine workman, when he delights himself in the view thereof; for the saints are not so impatient as to urge what they know will come to pass at the appointed time.

CHRYS. Note through what steps we have now ascended here, and how he has set us on the very pinnacle of virtue. The first step is not to begin to do wrong to any; the second, that in avenging a wrong done to us we be content with retaliating equal; the third, to return nothing of what we have suffered; the fourth, to offer one's self to the endurance of evil; the fifth, to be ready to suffer even more evil than the oppressor desires to inflict; the sixth, not to hate him of whom we suffer such things; the seventh, to love him; the eighth, to do him good; the ninth, to pray for him. And because the command is great, the reward proposed is also great, namely, to be made like to God, You shall be the sons of your Father which is in heaven.

JEROME; For whoever keeps the commandments of God is thereby made the son of God; he then of whom he here speaks is not by nature his son, but by his own will.

AUG. After that rule we must here understand of which John speaks, He gave them power to be made the sons of God. One is His Son by nature; we are made sons by the power which we have received; that is, so far as we fulfill those things that we are commanded. So He says not, Do these things because you are sons, but, do these things that you may become sons. In calling us to this then, He calls us to His likeness, for He says, He makes His sun to rise on the righteous and the unrighteous. By the sun we may understand not this visible, but that of which it is said, To you that fear the name of the Lord, the Sun of righteousness shall arise (Mal 4:2); and by the rain, the water of the doctrine of truth; for Christ was seen, and was preached to good as well as bad.

HILARY; Or, the sun and rain have reference to the baptism with water and Spirit.

AUG. Or we may take it of this visible sun, and of the rain by which the fruits are nourished, as the wicked mourn in the book of Wisdom, The Sun has not risen for us (Wisdom 5:6). And of the rain it is said, I will command the clouds that they rain not on it (Is 5:6). But whether it be this or that, it is of the great goodness of God, which is set forth for our imitation. He says not, 'the sun,' but His sun, that is, the sun which Himself has made, that hence we may be admonished with how great liberality we ought to supply those things that we have not created, but received as a boon from Him.

ID.But as we laud Him for his gifts, let us also consider how He chastises those whom He loves. For not everyone who spares is a friend, nor everyone who chastises an enemy; it is better to love with severity than to use lenity wherewith to deceive.

PSEUDO-CHRYS. He was careful to say, On the righteous and the unrighteous, and not 'on the unrighteous as on the righteous'; for God gives all good gifts not for men's sake, but for the saints' sake, as likewise chastisements for the sake of sinners. In bestowing His good gifts, He does not separate the sinners from the righteous that they should not despair; so in His infliction not the righteous from sinners that they should be made proud; and that the more, since the wicket are not profited by the good things they receive, but turn them to their hurt by their evil lives; nor are the good hurt by evil things, but rather profit to increase of righteousness.

AUG. For the good man is not puffed up by worldly goods, nor broken by worldly calamity. But the bad man is punished in temporal losses, because he is corrupted by temporal gains. Or for another reason he would have good and evil common to both sorts of men, that good things might not be sought with vehement desire, when they were enjoyed even by the wicked; nor the evil things shamefully avoided, when even the righteous are afflicted by them.

GLOSS.To love one that loves us is of nature, but to love our enemy of charity. If you love them who love you, what reward have you? to wit, in heaven. None truly, for of each it is said, You have received your reward. But these things we ought to do, and not leave the other undone.

RABAN.If then sinners be led by nature to show kindness to those that love them, with how much greater show of affection ought you not to embrace those that do not love you? For it follows, Do not even the publicans do so? The publicans are those who collect the public imposts; or perhaps those who pursue the public business or the gain of this world.

GLOSS. But if you only pray for them that are your kinsfolk, what more has your benevolence than that of the unbelieving? Salutation is a kind of prayer.

RABAN. Ethnici, that is, the Gentiles, for the Greek word is translated 'gens' in Latin; those, that is, who abide such as they were born, to wit, under sin.

REMIG. Because the utmost perfection of love cannot go beyond the love of enemies, therefore as soon as the Lord has bid us love our enemies, He proceeds, Be you then perfect, as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. He indeed is perfect, as being omnipotent - man, as being aided by the Omnipotent. For the word ' as' is used in Scripture, sometimes for identity, and equality, as in that, As I was with Moses, so will I be with you (Joshua 1:5); sometimes to express likeness only as here.

PSEUDO-CHRYS.For as our sons after the flesh resemble their fathers in some part of their bodily shape, so do spiritual sons resemble their father God, in holiness.

Catena Aurea Matthew 5
37 posted on 02/20/2011 5:52:47 PM PST by annalex (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: annalex

Scenes from the Life of St Francis (Scene 3, south wall)

Benozzo Gozzoli

Fresco, 270 x 220 cm
Apsidal chapel, San Francesco, Montefalco

The Vision of San Damiano (on the lost stained-glass window) is followed by the Renunciation of Worldly Goods, the last of the scenes from the saint's youth. The scene takes place before the backdrop of a city.

The saint's father and his retinue take up two thirds of the foreground. On his left arm he carries his son's clothes, in the right he is holding his belt. A narrow space separates him from Francis, who is seen by the observer in a frontal view at prayer. A bishop is covering the saint with his pluvial, which indicates the religious nature of the scene, for it was worn by priests and bishops on ceremonial occasions other than Mass. The contrasting depiction of the father and son expresses the dramatic nature of their conflict, supported by the arrangement of two opposing groups of figures: the secular group is in movement, the religious one frozen. The explanatory inscription reads: QUALITER B. F. CORA(M) EPISCOPO ASISII REN(UNTIA)VIT PATRI HEREDITATEM PATERNAM ET O(M)NIA VESTIMENTA ET FEMORALIA PATRI REIECIT - "How St Francis renounces his father's inheritance before the bishop of Assisi and his father, and throws his upper garment and hose down before his father."


38 posted on 02/20/2011 5:53:44 PM PST by annalex (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

The Lord is generous in His compassion to us. Amen.

39 posted on 02/20/2011 7:23:17 PM PST by Ciexyz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: annalex
Secret Harbor ~ Portus Secretioris

19 February 2011

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading, Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18
Our heavenly Father is calling us to be like Him – holy. We may have an idea as to what constitutes holiness, but to be holy like God is holy is beyond our full understanding, and without Him, completely impossible. In fact, if not for the Incarnation, it still would not be possible; but Jesus came and destroyed all the walls that prevented us from becoming like Him. The only obstacle He left alone, because of His love for us, is our free will. The word of God encourages us to reprove our brothers and sisters in the Lord to avoid harboring hatred for them in our heart. Saint Augustine reminds us, however, in accordance with God’s law, that love should regulate any complaints against another brother or sister. Philo of Alexandria, an ancient Jewish biblical scholar, understands our Lord’s law in this way: 'O Lord, we do not rejoice at the misfortunes of our enemy, having learned from Your holy laws to be compassionate towards the distress of others. We thank You for delivering us from our afflictions'.

Second Reading, 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
Like the First Reading, holiness is a key ingredient to this Reading as well. But again, it’s a brand of holiness that is beyond the grasp of full human comprehension. We all know that we bumble many things, do things we shouldn’t do and get caught up in things we have no business entertaining. And yet, Saint Paul is trying to sell the idea that we are a temple of God – and holy. The holy apostle surely understood this apparent contradiction by writing: 'Let no one deceive himself'. Everyone likes to be 'in' with the 'in crowd' but Saint Paul is teaching us that to be 'in' with heaven’s crowd is to preserve ourselves in innocence of morality and purity of faith – quite a radically different environment from today’s moral structure. It is only by the grace of God, dwelling within us, that we are able to guard ourselves from the things which deceptively seek our ruin. To be fools in this age is a call to return to simplicity – making good use of the gifts of this world – for as Saint Paul assures us: 'Everything belongs to you'. Jesus came to make known the glory of God and all His perfections, to which He calls us to share in. Each of us, as baptized members of the body of Christ, are disciples, like Paul and Cephas. We are sent to promote salvation, which is completely in harmony with the Church’s mission of evangelization.

Gospel, Saint Matthew 5:38-48
What is offered here by our Saviour are admonitions for the banner of authentic Christianity: to forgive one another and to bear our sufferings with patience. These are not easy words to hear from our Lord, and perhaps it’s worth mentioning that these words were also difficult, if not more difficult to hear, by the witnesses of Jesus’ teaching, because of how they understood the old Law. One of the great weaknesses of being human is our stubborn inability to accept a different take on something that has already been engraved into our minds. In action/adventure movies, for example, we like to see the bad guy get what he deserves in the end. To see the victim forgive his/her assailant makes for a disappointing conclusion to the movie. In this Gospel passage and others, this is the Jesus in which we are tempted to keep a safe distance from. It’s a blast to follow Him from town to town and read about the miracles He performed; but suddenly we get a Jesus Who is delivering difficult words – not only difficult to hear – but He wants us to embrace them. After all, a watered down Christianity is much easier to live – isn’t it? But really what Jesus is saying to us is that the way of the world is not the way of God, and we, therefore, have to be radically different. True discipleship demands that each day, little by little, we are being transformed into the Image of Jesus. What makes the difficult sayings of Jesus so difficult is that we’re not divine beings; but, what makes not being divine bearable is that there is a sacrament of healing. Otherwise, love for Jesus could end up in an abyss of disappointment and self-pity due to our failings. Christianity is a courageous act. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches: 'Christ Jesus always did what was pleasing to the Father, and always lived in perfect communion with Him. Likewise Christ’s disciples are invited to live in the sight of the Father Who sees in secret, in order to become perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect' (CCC 1693). Our Redeemer’s words are about love – not pacifism. Every human being has dignity and is loved by God. Thus, to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect requires love. We’re well-trained at voicing four letters words at those who perpetrate something contrary to decency. Our heavenly Father, however, looks at such a person with love and sees him/her as someone who in human weakness succumbed to evil. That is love and that is perfection. Isn’t that really the point of Christ being tempted in the desert: to draw out into the daylight the one who hides in darkness, who crawls under rocks and gets others to do his dirty work – in other words, the real enemy?

40 posted on 02/20/2011 7:29:46 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-47 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson