Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 01-28-2021 (CORRECT THREAD), memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Doctor
Posted on 01/28/2021 6:40:46 AM PST by annalex
Liturgical Colour: White.
Readings for the feria
Readings for the memorial
These are the readings for the feria
|Hebrews 10:19-25 ©|
|Psalm 23(24):1-6 ©|
|Gospel||Mark 4:21-25 ©|
These are the readings for the memorial
|Wisdom 7:7-10,15-16 ©|
|Psalm 118(119):9-14 ©|
|Gospel||Matthew 23:8-12 ©|
The readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.
You can also view this page with the Gospel in Greek and English.
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|English: Douay-Rheims||Latin: Vulgata Clementina||Greek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)|
|21.||And he said to them: Doth a candle come in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?||Et dicebat illis : Numquid venit lucerna ut sub modo ponatur, aut sub lecto ? nonne ut super candelabrum ponatur ?||και ελεγεν αυτοις μητι ο λυχνος ερχεται ινα υπο τον μοδιον τεθη η υπο την κλινην ουχ ινα επι την λυχνιαν επιτεθη|
|22.||For there is nothing hid, which shall not be made manifest: neither was it made secret, but that it may come abroad.||Non est enim aliquid absconditum, quod non manifestetur : nec factum est occultum, sed ut in palam veniat.||ου γαρ εστιν τι κρυπτον ο εαν μη φανερωθη ουδε εγενετο αποκρυφον αλλ ινα εις φανερον ελθη|
|23.||If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.||Si quis habet aures audiendi, audiat.||ει τις εχει ωτα ακουειν ακουετω|
|24.||And he said to them: Take heed what you hear. In what measure you shall mete, it shall be measured to you again, and more shall be given to you.||Et dicebat illis : Videte quid audiatis. In qua mensura mensi fueritis, remetietur vobis, et adjicietur vobis.||και ελεγεν αυτοις βλεπετε τι ακουετε εν ω μετρω μετρειτε μετρηθησεται υμιν και προστεθησεται υμιν τοις ακουουσιν|
|25.||For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, that also which he hath shall be taken away from him.||Qui enim habet, dabitur illi : et qui non habet, etiam quod habet auferetur ab eo.||ος γαρ αν εχη δοθησεται αυτω και ος ουκ εχει και ο εχει αρθησεται απ αυτου|
21. And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?
22. For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.
23. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.
24. And he saith unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
25. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
CHRYSOSTOM. (non occ.) After the question of the disciples concerning the parable, and its explanation, He well subjoins, And he said unto them, Is a candle brought, &c. As if he said, A parable is given, not that it should remain obscure, and hidden as if under a bed or a bushel, but that it should be manifested to those who are worthy. The candle within us is that of our intellectual nature, and it shines either clearly or obscurely according to the proportion of our illumination. For if meditations which feed the light, and the recollection with which such a light is kindled, are neglected, it is presently extinguished.
PSEUDO-JEROME. Or else the candle is the discourse concerning the three sorts of seed. The bushel or the bed is the hearing of the disobedient. The Apostles are the candlestick, whom the word of the Lord hath enlightened; wherefore it goes on, For there is nothing hidden, &c. The hidden and secret thing is the parable of the seed, which comes forth to light, when it is spoken of by the Lord.
THEOPHYLACT. Or else the Lord warns His disciples to be as light, in their life and conversation; as if He said, As a candle is put so as to give light, so all will look to your life. Therefore be diligent to lead a good life; sit not in corners, but be ye a candle. For a candle gives light, not when placed under a bed, but on a candlestick; this light indeed must be placed on a candlestick, that is, on the eminence of a godly life, that it may be able to give light to others. Not under a bushel, that is, in things pertaining to the palate, nor under a bed, that is, in idleness. For no one who seeks after the delights of his palate and loves rest can be a light shining over all.
BEDE. (in Marc. i. 20) Or, because the time of our life is contained under a certain measurement of Divine Providence, it is rightly compared to a bushel. But the bed of the soul is the body, in which it dwells and reposes for a time. He therefore who hides the word of God under the love of this transitory life, and of carnal allurements, covers his candle with a bushel or a bed. But he puts his light on a candlestick, who employs his body in the ministry of the word of God; therefore under these words He typically teaches them a figure of preaching. Wherefore it goes on, For there is nothing hidden, which shall not be revealed, nor is there any thing made secret, which shall not come abroad. As if He said, Be not ashamed of the Gospel, but amidst the darkness of persecution raise the light of the word of God upon the candlestick of your body, keeping fixedly in your mind that day, when the Lord will throw light upon the hidden places of darkness, for then everlasting praise awaits you, and everlasting punishment your adversaries.
CHRYSOSTOM. (in Matt. Hom. 15) Or else, There is nothing hid; as if He said, If ye conduct your life with care, accusation will not be able to obscure your light.
THEOPHYLACT. For each of us, whether he have done good or evil, is brought to light in this life, much more in that which is to come. For what can be more hidden than God, nevertheless He Himself is manifested in the flesh. It continues, If any man have ears to ear, let him hear.
BEDE. (ubi sup.) That is, if any man have a sense for understanding the word of God, let him not withdraw himself, let him not turn his ear to fables, but let him lend his ear to search those things which truth hath spoken, his hands for fulfilling them, his tongue for preaching them. There follows, And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear.
THEOPHYLACT. That is, that none of those things which are said to you by me should escape you. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you, that is, whatsoever degree of application ye bring, in that degree ye will receive profit.
BEDE. (ubi sup.) Or else, If ye diligently endeavour to do all the good which ye can, and to teach it to your neighbours, the mercy of God will come in, to give you both in the present life a sense to take in higher things, and a will to do better things, and will add for the future an everlasting reward. And therefore it is subjoined, And to you shall more be given.
PSEUDO-JEROME. According to the measure of his faith the understanding of mysteries is divided to every man, and the virtues of knowledge will also be added to them. It goes on: For he that hath, to him shall be given; that is, he who hath faith shall have virtue, and he who hath obedience to the word, shall also have the understanding of the mystery. Again, he who, on the other hand, has not faith, fails in virtue; and he who has not obedience to the word, shall not have the understanding of it; and if he does not understand, he might as well not have heard.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) Or else, He who has the desire and wish to hear and to seek, to him shall be given. But he who has not the desire of hearing divine things, even what he happens to have of the written law is taken from him.
BEDE. (ubi sup.) For sometimes a clever reader by neglecting his mind, deprives himself of wisdom, of which he tastes the sweetness, who, though slow in intellect, works more diligently.
CHRYSOSTOM. (non occ.) Again it may be said, that he hath not, who has not truth. But our Lord says that he hath, because he has a lie, for every one whose understanding believes a lie, thinks that he has something.
26. And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27. And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
29. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) A parable occurred, a little above, about the three seeds which perished in various ways, and the one which was saved; in which last He also shews three differences, according to the proportion of faith and practice. Here, however, He puts forth a parable concerning those only who are saved. Wherefore it is said, And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground, &c.
PSEUDO-JEROME. The kingdom of God is the Church, which is ruled by God, and herself rules over men, and treads down the powers which are contrary to her, and all wickedness.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) Or else He calls by the name of kingdom of God, faith in Him, and in the economy of His Incarnation; which kingdom indeed is as if a man should throw seed. For He Himself being God and the Son of God, having without change been made man, has cast seed upon the earth, that is, He has enlightened the whole world by the word of divine knowledge.
PSEUDO-JEROME. For the seed is the word of life, the ground is the human heart, and the sleep of the man means the death of the Saviour. The seed springs up night and day, because after the sleep of Christ, the number of Christians, through calamity and prosperity, continued to flourish more and more in faith, and to wax greater in deed.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) Or Christ Himself is the man who rises, for He sat waiting with patience, that they who received seed should bear fruit. He rises, that is, by the word of His love, He makes us grow to the bringing forth fruit, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand, by which is meant the day, and on the left, by which is meant the night of persecution; for by these the seed springs up, and does not wither. (2 Cor. 6:7)
THEOPHYLACT. Or else Christ sleeps, that is, ascends into heaven, where, though He seem to sleep, yet He rises by night, when through temptations He raises us up to the knowledge of Himself; and in the day time, when on account of our prayers, He sets in order our salvation.
PSEUDO-JEROME. But when He says, He knoweth not how, He is speaking in a figure; that is, He does not make known to us, who amongst us will produce fruit unto the end.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) Or else He says, He knoweth not, that He may shew the free-will of those who receive the word, for He commits a work to our will, and does not work the whole Himself alone, lest the good should seem involuntary. For the earth brings forth fruits of its own accord, that is, she is brought to bear fruit without being compelled by a necessity contrary to her will. First the blade.
PSEUDO-JEROME. That is, fear. For the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Then the full corn in the ear; (Ps. 111:10. Rom. 13:8) that is, charity, for charity is the fulfilling of the Law.
PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) Or, first it produces the blade, in the law of nature, by degrees growing up to advancement; afterwards it brings forth the ears, which are to be collected into a bundle, and to be offered on an altar to the Lord, that is, in the law of Moses; afterwards the full-fruit, in the Gospel. Or because we must not only put forth leaves by obedience, but also learn prudence, and, like the stalk of corn, remain upright without minding the winds which blow us about. We must also take heed to our soul by a diligent recollection, that, like the ears, we may bear fruit, that is, shew forth the perfect operation of virtue.
THEOPHYLACT. For we put forth the blade, when we shew a principle of good; then the ear, when we can resist temptations; then comes the fruit, when a man works something perfect. It goes on: and when it has brought forth the fruit, immediately he sendeth the sickle, because the harvest is come.
PSEUDO-JEROME. The sickle is death or the judgment, which cuts down all things; the harvest is the end of the world.
GREGORY. (in Ezech. 2. Hom. 3) Or else; Man casts seed into the ground, when he places a good intention in his heart; and he sleeps, when he already rests in the hope which attends on a good work. But he rises night and day, because he advances amidst prosperity and adversity, though he knows it not, for he is as yet unable to measure his increase, and yet virtue, once conceived, goes on increasing. When therefore we conceive good desires, we put seed into the ground; when we begin to work rightly, we are the blade. When we increase to the perfection of good works, we arrive at the ear; when we are firmly fixed in the perfection of the same working, we already put forth the full corn in the ear.
30. And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?
31. It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:
32. But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.
33. And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.
34. But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.
GLOSS. (non occ.) After having narrated the parable concerning the coming forth of the fruit from the seed of the Gospel, he here subjoins another parable, to shew the excellence of the doctrine of the Gospel before all other doctrines. Wherefore it is said, And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God?
THEOPHYLACT. Most brief indeed is the word of faith; Believe in God, and thou shalt be saved. But the preaching of it has been spread far and wide over the earth, and increased so, that the birds of heaven, that is, contemplative men, sublime in understanding and knowledge, dwell under it. For how many wise men among the Gentiles, quitting their wisdom, have found rest in the preaching of the Gospel! Its preaching then is greater than all.
CHRYSOSTOM. (non occ. leg. ap. Possin. Cyril.) And also because the wisdom spoken amongst the perfect expands, to an extent greater than all other sayings, that which was told to men in short discourses, for there is nothing greater than this truth.
THEOPHYLACT. Again, it put forth great boughs, for the Apostles were divided off as the boughs of a tree, some to Rome, some to India, some to other parts of the world.
PSEUDO-JEROME. Or else, that seed is very small in fear, but great when it has grown into charity, which is greater than all herbs; for God is love, (1 John 4:16) whilst all flesh is grass. (Isa. 40:6 But the boughs which it puts forth are those of mercy and compassion, since under its shade the poor of Christ, who are meant by the living creatures of the heavens, delight to dwell.
BEDE. (ubi sup.) Again, the man who sows is by many taken to mean the Saviour Himself, by others, man himself sowing in his own heart.
CHRYSOSTOM. (non occ. sed v. Cat. in Marc.) Then after this, Mark, who delights in brevity, to shew the nature of the parables, subjoins, And with many such parables spake he the word unto them as they could hear him.
THEOPHYLACT. For since the multitude was unlearned, he instructs them from objects of food and familiar names, and for this reason he adds, But without a parable spake he not unto them, that is, in order that they might be induced to approach and to ask Him. It goes on; And when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples, that is, all things about which they were ignorant and asked Him, not simply all, whether obscure or not.
PSEUDO-JEROME. For they were worthy to hear mysteries apart, in the most secret haunt of wisdom, for they were men, who, removed from the crowds of evil thoughts, remained in the solitude of virtue; and wisdom is received in a time of quiet.
35. And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
36. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
37. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41. And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
PSEUDO-JEROME. After His teaching, they come from that place to the sea, and are tossed by the waves. Wherefore it is said, And the same day, when the even was come, &c.
REMIGIUS. For the Lord is said to have had three places of refuge, namely, the ship, the mountain, and the desert. As often as He was pressed upon by the multitude, he used to fly to one of these. When therefore the Lord saw many crowds about Him, as man, He wished to avoid their importunity, and ordered His disciples to go over to the other side. There follows: And sending away the multitudes, they took him, &c,
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. in Matt. 28) The Lord took the disciples indeed, that they might be spectators of the miracle which was coming, but He took them alone, that no others might see that they were of such little faith. Wherefore, to shew that others went across separately, it is said, And there were also with him other ships. Lest again the disciples might be proud of being alone taken, He permits them to be in danger; and besides this, in order that they might learn to bear temptations manfully. Wherefore it goes on, And there arose a great storm of wind; and that He might impress upon them a greater sense of the miracle which was to be done, He gives time for their fear, by sleeping. Wherefore there follows, And he was himself in the hinder part of the ship, &c. For if He had been awake, they would either not have feared, nor have asked Him to save them when the storm arose, or they would not have thought that He could do any such things.
THEOPHYLACT. Therefore He allowed them to fall into the fear of danger, that they might experience His power in themselves, who saw others benefitted by Him. But He was sleeping upon the pillow of the ship, that is, on a wooden one.
CHRYSOSTOM. (Hom. in Matt. 28) Shewing His humility, and thus teaching us many lessons of wisdom. But not yet did the disciples who remained about Him know His glory; they thought indeed that if He arose He could command the winds, but could by no means do so reposing or asleep. And therefore there follows, And they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
THEOPHYLACT. But He arising, rebukes first the wind, which was raising the tempest of the sea, and causing the waves to swell, and this is expressed in what follows, And he arose, and rebuked the wind; then He commands the sea; wherefore it goes on, And he said to the sea, Peace, be still.
GLOSS. (non occ.) For from the troubling of the sea there arises a certain sound, which appears to be its voice threatening danger, and therefore, by a sort of metaphor, He fitly commands tranquillity by a word signifying silence: just as in the restraining of the winds, which trouble the sea with their violence, He uses a rebuke. For men who are in power are accustomed to curb those, who rudely disturb the peace of mankind, by threatening to punish them; by this, therefore, we are given to understand, that, as a king can repress violent men by threats, and by his edicts sooth the murmurs of his people, so Christ, the King of all creatures, by His threats restrained the violence of the winds, and compelled the sea to be silent. And immediately the effect followed, for it continues, And the wind ceased, which He had threatened, and there arose a great calm, that is, in the sea, to which He had commanded silence.
THEOPHYLACT. He rebuked His disciples, for not having faith; for it goes on, And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have not faith? For if they had had faith, they would have believed that even when sleeping, He could preserve them safe. There follows, And they feared with a great fear, and said one to another, &c. For they were in doubt about Him, for since He stilled the sea, not with a rod like Moses, nor with prayers as Elisha at the Jordan, nor with the ark as Joshua, the son of Nun, on this account they thought Him truly God, but since He was asleep, they thought Him a man.
PSEUDO-JEROME. Mystically, however, the hinder part of the ship is the beginning of the Church, in which the Lord sleeps in the body only, for He never sleepeth who keepeth Israel; for the ship with its skins of dead animals keeps in the living, and keeps out the waves, and is bound together by wood, that is, by the cross and the death of the Lord the Church is saved. The pillow is the body of the Lord, on which His Divinity, which is as His head, has come down. But the wind and the sea are devils and persecutors, to whom He says Peace, when He restrains the edicts of impious kings, as He will. The great calm is the peace of the Church after oppression, or a contemplative after an active life.
BEDE. (ubi sup.) Or else the ship into which He embarked, is taken to mean the tree of His passion, by which the faithful attain to the security of the safe shore. The other ships which are said to have been with the Lord, signify those, who are imbued with faith in the cross of Christ, and are not beaten about by the whirlwind of tribulation; or who, after the storms of temptation, are enjoying the serenity of peace. And whilst His disciples are sailing on, Christ is asleep, because the time of our Lord’s Passion came on His faithful ones, when they were meditating on the rest of His future reign. Wherefore it is related, that it took place late, that not only the sleep of our Lord, but the hour itself of departing light, might signify the setting of the true Sun. Again, when He ascended the cross, of which the stern of the ship was a type, His blaspheming persecutors rose like the waves against Him, driven on by the storms of the devils, by which, however, His own patience is not disturbed, but His foolish disciples are struck with amazement. The disciples awake the Lord, because they sought, with most earnest wishes, the resurrection of Him whom they had seen die. Rising up, He threatened the wind, because when He had triumphed in His resurrection, He prostrated the pride of the devil. He ordered the sea to be still, that is, in rising again, He cast down the rage of the Jews. The disciples are blamed, because after His resurrection, He chid them for their unbelief. And we also when being marked with the sign of the Lord’s cross, we determine to quit the world, embark in the ship with Christ; we attempt to cross the sea; but, He goes to sleep, as we are sailing amidst the roaring of the waters, when amidst the strivings of our virtues, or amidst the attacks of evil spirits, of wicked men, or of our own thoughts, the flame of our love grows cold. Amongst storms of this sort, let us diligently strive to awake Him; He will soon restrain the tempest, pour down peace upon us, give us the harbour of salvation.
Catena Aurea Mark 4
Lord, we seek your mercy and forgiveness. Open the eyes of this stiff-necked people. Bless all who serve you. Please strengthen and protect all patriots. Smite the people of the lie. Heal Salvation. Help suffering children. I ask all this in Jesus’ name. Amen
By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor.
At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents’ hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot. In 1239, he was sent to Naples to complete his studies. It was here that he was first attracted to Aristotle’s philosophy.
By 1243, Thomas abandoned his family’s plans for him and joined the Dominicans, much to his mother’s dismay. On her order, Thomas was captured by his brother and kept at home for over a year.
Once free, he went to Paris and then to Cologne, where he finished his studies with Albert the Great. He held two professorships at Paris, lived at the court of Pope Urban IV, directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, combated adversaries of the mendicants, as well as the Averroists, and argued with some Franciscans about Aristotelianism.
His greatest contribution to the Catholic Church is his writings. The unity, harmony, and continuity of faith and reason, of revealed and natural human knowledge, pervades his writings. One might expect Thomas, as a man of the gospel, to be an ardent defender of revealed truth. But he was broad enough, deep enough, to see the whole natural order as coming from God the Creator, and to see reason as a divine gift to be highly cherished.
The Summa Theologiae, his last and, unfortunately, uncompleted work, deals with the whole of Catholic theology. He stopped work on it after celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. When asked why he stopped writing, he replied, “I cannot go on…. All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” He died March 7, 1274.
We can look to Thomas Aquinas as a towering example of Catholicism in the sense of broadness, universality, and inclusiveness. We should be determined anew to exercise the divine gift of reason in us, our power to know, learn, and understand. At the same time we should thank God for the gift of his revelation, especially in Jesus Christ.
Saint Thomas Aquinas is the Patron Saint of:
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)
For: Thursday, January 28, 2021br> 3rd Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial: St Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor
From: Hebrews 10:19-25
Motives for Perseverance
 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus,  by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,  and since we have a great priest over the house of God,  let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful;  and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
19-21. Throughout the epistle there is a constant interweaving of dogmatic and moral considerations, with the former points often giving rise to exhortations to the faithful to be unwavering in faith and hope. The epistle now moves on from its theological reflections on Christ's priesthood to its practical application in the Christian life: the Christian should put his trust in the efficacy of Christ's sacrifice, and through faith, hope and charity associate himself with Christ's priesthood.
He should do this for three reasons -- the redemptive value of the blood of Jesus, the access to glory signified by his entry into the sanctuary of heaven, and Christ's enthronement at the right hand of the Father. The sprinkling of the blood of Christ gives the believer full assurance that he too will enter heaven, because the paschal mystery of Christ -- his passion, death and resurrection -- has made this possible.
"The new and living way": a translation of the original Greek expression, which literally reads "the recently sacrificed and living way"; this is a metaphorical expression indicating that Christ is a way, and that this way has been recently opened up, has been sacrificed and is alive. There is, then, a personification of "way" which recalls what Jesus said about his being "the way, and the truth, and the life" (Jn 14:6); and there is also a reference to Christ's sacrifice, to the fact that his body did not experience corruption and that he lives for ever (cf. Heb 7:25).
The "Pius V Catechism", referring to the benefits brought us by Christ's passion, specifies how he opened to us the gates of heaven, closed due to mankind's sin: "Nor are we without a type and figure of this mystery in the Old Law. For those who were prohibited to return into their native country before the death of the high priest (cf. Num 35:25) typified that no one, however just and holy may have been his life, could gain admission into the celestial country until the eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, had died, and by his death immediately opened heaven to those who, purified by the sacraments and gifted with faith, hope and charity, become partakers of his passion" (I, 5, 14).
The reference to Christ's flesh as a "curtain" not only recalls the curtain in the temple separating the Holy of Holies from the rest of the sanctuary, but also points to the fact that the deepest dimension of Christ is his Godhead, in which the Christian must believe, but without separating it from his humanity. Christ's human nature is at the same time a "way" because it reveals his divinity, and a "curtain" because it masks it. "Just as the priest (of the Old Law) entered the Holy of Holies, so too if we want to enter holy glory, we must enter by way of Christ's flesh, the curtain (concealing) his divinity [...]. For, faith in the one God is insufficient if one does not have faith in the Incarnation" (St Thomas Aquinas, "Commentary on Heb., ad loc.").
22-25. The epistle now exhorts its readers to purity of heart, steadfastness in faith and mutual charity.
It speaks of a clean heart, recalling the purity which the water of Baptism brings. The Christian should stay true to the faith he received and professed at Baptism, and maintain the purity which it brings. To live in this way the baptized should count on the help provided by the Church and on the grace God continually gives. As Vatican I teaches, referring to those who have received the light of faith, "God does not abandon them, unless he is abandoned [...]. Therefore, the position of those who have embraced Catholic truth by the heavenly gift of faith, and of those who have been misled by human opinions and follow a false religion is by no means the same, for the former, who have accepted the faith under the teaching authority of the Church, can never have just reason for changing that faith or calling it into question" ("Dei Filius", chap. 3).
Along with its exhortation to practise the three theological virtues, the passage includes a call not to neglect to attend Christian assemblies. We know that the first Christians were expected to come together daily or weekly (cf. Acts 2:46; 20:7) and, as we can see here, some gave up going to those meetings through carelessness, or because they preferred private to public prayer, or because they did not want others to know they were Christians. In Judaism much emphasis was placed on the duty to attend synagogue meetings. The meetings referred to in this passage, whether for the celebration of the Christian liturgy or for instruction in apostolic teaching, had a clearly eschatological focus in the sense that they built up people's hope in the coming of our Lord (cf. 1 Thess 5:4; 1 Cor 3:13; Rom 13:12; Phil 4:5; Jas 5:8; 1 Pet 4:7). The author's insistence on the need to meet together recalls another exhortation which goes back to the early Church: "Now that you are members of Christ, do not choose to cut yourselves off from the Church by failing to attend the assembly; having Christ your head present and in touch with you, as he promised, do not underestimate yourselves or choose to separate the Savior from his members, or divide or scatter his body, or give your everyday needs more importance than the Word of God; rather, on the Lord's Day leave everything aside and come to the Church" ("The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles"). On the basis of the apostolic tradition, the Church has established a grave obligation to attend Mass on Sundays (cf. "Code of Canon Law", can. 1247). "On this day Christ's faithful are bound to come together into one place. They should listen to the word of God and take part in the Eucharist, thus calling to mind the passion, resurrection and glory of the Lord Jesus and giving thanks to God, 'who has begotten them anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead'" (1 Pet 1:3) (Vatican II, "Sacrosanctum Concilium", 106).
In the same way -- by listening to and meditating on the Word of God -- Christians fulfill their equally serious obligation to improve their understanding of Christian doctrine.
Parables of the Lamp and the Measure
 And He (Jesus) said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand?  For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light.  If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."  And He said to them, "Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.  For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away."
21. A "bushel" was a container used for measuring cereals and vegetables. It held a little over eight liters (two gallons).
22. This parable contains a double teaching. Firstly, it says that Christ's doctrine should not be kept hidden; rather, it must be preached throughout the whole world. We find the same idea elsewhere in the Gospels: "what you hear whispered, proclaim it upon the house-tops" (Matthew 10:27); "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole of creation..." (Mark 16:15). The other teaching is that the Kingdom which Christ proclaims has such ability to penetrate all hearts that, at the end of time, when Jesus comes again, not a single human action, in favor or against Christ, will not become public and manifest.
24-25. Our Lord never gets tired of asking the Apostles, the seed which will produce the Church, to listen carefully to the teaching He is giving: they are receiving a treasure for which they will be held to account. "To him who has will more be given...": he who responds to grace will be given more grace and will yield more and more fruit; but he who does not will become more and more impoverished (cf. Matthew 25:14-30). Therefore, there is no limit to the development of the theological virtues: "If you say 'Enough,' you are already dead" (St. Augustine, "Sermon 51"). A soul who wants to make progress in the interior life will pray along these lines: "Lord, may I have due measure in everything, except in Love" (St. J. Escriva, "The Way", 247).
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