Father Boylan's Commentary on Hebrews 10:4-11

Posted 4/6/2013

Heb 10:4. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin.

This principle the author supposes to be perfectly clear to his readers. Between the offerings, and the result, or effect, in question there is, and can be, no proportion. The death of an irrational creature cannot be regarded as per se a real atonement for man’s sins. Such a victim is unwilling to die, and is incapable of realising in any fashion the purpose of its death when it is offered in sacrifice. Hence the animal sacrifices of the Old Law were nothing more than symbols of a sacrifice which could effect purification, and it was only as such symbols that they could produce any genuine effect, But the writer’s purpose here is not to inquire into the purifying power belonging to the sacrifices of the Old Testament as a divinely established system, but only to point out that there is per se no relation between the shedding of an animal’s blood and the atoning for human sin.

Heb 10:5. Hence He saith when entering into ttie world:
Heb 10:6. Sacrifice and offering Thou hast not desired, But a body Thou preparedst for me. In holocausts and sin-offerings Thou hadst no pleasure.
Heb 10:7. Then I said: Lo, I am come (in the volume it is written of me) To do, O God, Thy will.

5—7. The text of Psalm 40:7-9 which is here quoted is not handed down in the same form in the Hebrew and Greek tradition. Yet the general sense of the
passage is clear, and is substantially alike in Hebrew, Greek, and Vulgate. It contrasts with the system of Old Testament sacrifices the sacrificial will of Christ — the absolute submission of the will of Jesus to that of the Father in the Messianic work which the Father had given Him to do. The sacrifice of obedience, the unconditional submission of the will of the Messias, was the sacrifice in which the Father really took pleasure.

‘When entering into the world’ (verse 5) refers not to the entering into public life of Our Lord, nor to any other period during the earthly life of Jesus, but to the Incarnation itself. The words are regarded here as having a sort of dramatic character, as being the expression of Jesus’ abiding attitude of submission and obedience, rather than as a solemn utterance of Our Lord at some particular point of time. The sacrifice which Jesus offered is to take the place not merely of the sacrifice of Atonement Day, but of all Jewish sacrifices — the ‘holocausts’ and ‘sin offerings’, the ‘sacrifices’ and ‘offerings’.

The text as quoted teaches that the body of Jesus was fashioned to be, as it were, the instrument by which the sacrificial will of the Messias should express itself.  The whole passage proves that the sacrifice of Jesus was well-pleasing to the Father for three reasons: (a) it was worthy of God’s majesty, for it was the sacrifice of the Son of God; (b) it was a fit and proper sacrifice of atonement for man’s sins, since it involved the offering of a human body — of a body specially fashioned for that sacrifice; (c) the sacrifice was an expression of the most absolute submission to the divine will.

‘In the volume it is written of me’ is to be read as a parenthesis. The roll or volume, is the Old Testament in general as a Book of Prophecy.

The text of the Hebrew reads, ‘Ears Thou hast digged for me’: the Vulgate has, Aures . . . perfecisti mihi. Both of these text-forms convey the idea of the
complete obedience of Christ. (See my Commentary on Psalms). The whole purpose of the coming of the Messias, according to the Psalm-text, was to carry out the will of the Father. Cf. John 5:19; 8:28. The highest offering to God is the offering of the will, and Jesus made that offering without reserve. Cf. the celebrated passage Philippians 2:5—9.

Heb 10:8. While He saith earlier: ‘Sacrifices and offerings, and holocausts and sin-offerings Thou desiredst not, nor hadst pleasure in,’ — which yet are all offered according to the Law,
Heb 10:9. He saith, in the next place: ‘Lo, I am come to do Thy will;’ He annuleth the first in order to make valid the second.
Heb 10:10. In virtue of this will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all.
Heb 10:11. And every priest standeth forth daily to minister, offering often the same sacrifices which can never take away sin.

8—11. The Psalm-text proves that the fulfilment of God’s will by Christ has taken the place of the Old Testament sacrifices. By Christ’s sacrifice, fulfilling as it did absolutely the Father’s will, we are sanctified once for all. Verse 10 again emphasizes the thought that the body of Jesus was specially fashioned for His sacrifice. The ‘will’ in verse 10 is the will of the Father: it is the causa prima of our salvation: the sacrifice of the cross is the causa secunda of that salvation.

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Bishop MacEvilly's Commentary on Luke 1:26-38

Posted 4/6/2013

 Luk 1:26  And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth,

The Evangelist minutely describes the circumstances of time, place, persons, & c., in order to gain greater credibility, and more clearly demonstrate the divine origin of the history he is about to give of the adorable mystery of the Incarnation, and of the reparation of the human race.

The sixth month, is generally computed by interpreters from the conception of Elizabeth. It was usual with the Hebrews, as well as with the Romans, to compute time from some very remarkable epoch or occurrence. The conception of the Baptist, which was the inception of a new order of things, the beginning of a second and more exalted creation, whereby God was to renew the face of the earth, was deservedly regarded as the most remarkable occurrence from which to date the conception of the Son of God. Moreover, God wished that the relations between John the Baptist and his Eternal Son should be so intimate that the years of the .latter should be counted in connexion with the former. This sixth month, is understood as completed, and the order of events so arranged, that John, who was to be our Lord’s Precursor, to bear testimony of Him in due time, could commence to do so even from his mother s womb (v. 41).

The Angel Gabriel. The same who had promised Zachary a son (v. 13). Although of the highest rank of Archangels, he is still called an Angel by St. Luke, as this latter term designates his office of messenger, which, in this instance, was tho highest privilege he could enjoy. Gabriel, the name signifies the strength of God, well befitting him who was to announce the coming of the Almighty. The same messenger who predicted to Daniel the coming of the Son of God at a distant futurity, is now employed to announce His immediate coming in the flesh. To an Angel was this exalted message to an immaculate Virgin appropriately intrusted.

Sent from God, immediately without the intervention of any higher angelic spirit, as when he was formerly sent to Daniel (8:16), to show the great importance of the mission confided to him. God, the Blessed Trinity, this mission being an actus ad extra, common to the three Persons of the adorable Trinity.

To a city of Galilee named Nazareth. It was situated in Lower Galilee, in the Tribe of Zabulon (see Matt 2:23).

Luk 1:27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin’s name was Mary.

To a virgin espoused to a man. The Greek word for espoused μεμνηστευμενην, also means, married, a signification the word bears (chap. 2:5), (see Matt 1:18). The word is meant to convey, that although married, she continued a virgin, free from all carnal intercourse or defilement.

Whose name was Joseph. The Holy Ghost designates him as a just man (Matthew 1:19). He was fitly typified by the great Patriarch Joseph, whose affecting history is recorded (Genesis 27:1) The life of the one may be regarded as the counterpart of the life of the other. Both were singular models of chastity, of patient endurance, and of all supernatural virtues. The Joseph of Egypt, preserving food for his people, plentifully supplied them with bread in the day of dire distress. Our Joseph guarded the Bread of Life, which he gave to a famishing world. The power which Pharaoh, bestowed on the Patriarch Joseph, though very great, was  but a feeble type of the great intercessory power of our Joseph, who, next to his Virgin Spouse, exalted to an inconceivable degree above all created beings, is our most powerful intercessor in the high court of heaven. As Pharaoh of old, when the famishing multitudes cried to him for bread, referred them to Joseph, Ite ad
Joseph (“go to Joseph” Genesis 41:55); so does the Almighty refer us in our spiritual necessities to His foster-father, the guardian and protector of His helpless infancy, when he was forced to fly from the wrath of a sanguinary tyrant. To us does he say, as Pharaoh said of old, Ite ad Joseph.

Of the house of David. A descendant of David, from whom the Messiah was to spring. Joseph and Mary were both of the family of David (see Matthew 1:16). What the Angel says (v. 32), The Lord God shall give him the throne of his Father David was said of our Lord in virtue of His maternal descent, for He had no father on earth. Mary, His mother, must therefore be of the same family of David with her husband Joseph, who is also called elsewhere, the Son of David " (Matthew 1:20), and said to be of the house and family of David (2:4).

And the virgin’s name was Mary. t. Jerome (de nom. Heb.), tells us, that Mary, in the Greek, μαριαμ, an indeclinable noun, derived from the Hebrew Miriam, signifies, in Hebrew, Star of the Sea, also, bitter sea; and in Chaldaic, Lady. Both meanings admirably befitting her who is the glorious Queen of Heaven and Earth, and our Star to guide us amidst the storms and darkness of this world to the haven of eternal security and rest. At all times, Christians address the Blessed Virgin with the peculiar title of Our Lady. St. Bernard tells us, that of such virtue and excellence is this name, “that the heavens exult, the earth rejoices, and the angels send up hymns of praise when the name of Mary is mentioned”(Hom, super missa est]; and in the same place this seraphic advocate of Mary calls on those who are in tribulation of mind or body, “to look up to this Star, to call on Mary,” &c. There is no other name, after the adorable name of Jesus, so venerable, so calculated to inspire all saints and sinners with such hope, such unbounded confidence during life, and especially at the decisive moment of death, when the devil, knowing he has but a short time, puts forth all his strength to compass our ruin. Then it is, that she who is powerful (ipsa enim potens est), shall shield her devout children under the protecting shadow of her wing, and put to flight our infernal adversary.

Luk 1:28  And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And the angel being come in. From this it is commonly inferred, and indeed, it is asserted by the Holy Fathers, that the Angel found the Blessed Virgin alone in her private closet. Although there is nothing said here of how she was occupied, it is regarded as certain that she was not idle, but rather occupied with some employment becoming a pure virgin. Not unlikely, she was engaged in prayer, as she is usually represented in all pictures of the Annunciation, and in devotional exercises having reference to the long-expected Messiah, the future deliverer of her people. St. Ambrose (L. 2 in Lucam) remarks, “She was alone in her private closet, where no man could see her, but only an Angel could find her.” It is generally supposed that, owing to the angelio gift of subtilty, the Angel having invisibly penetrated the walls of her dwelling, and appearing in a visible form, reverently and on bended knees, saluted as his Queen, Her who was shortly to be constituted Queen of men and angels. Some hold that this occurred in the silence of night, while she was engaged in prayer, before retiring to rest. It was at this hour also Christ was born. It was “while all things were in great silence, and the night was in the midst of her course, thy omnipotent ivord leapt down from heaven from thy royal throne” (Wisdom 18:14-15). Likely, he filled the chamber with heavenly effulgence, as happened when the Angels announced the birth of the Son of God to the shepherds (2:9).

Said to her, the words to her,should likely be connected not with said, but with being come in, to her, or where she was alone in secret (as it is in the Syriac, and found in Holy Fathers, Ambrose, hie, and St. Bernard, on the words, missus est. Said, Hail, full ofgrace, &c., ingressusAngelus adeam,dixit; ave gratia plena, &c., employing the very words communicated by God, when sending him on this most solemn and important message.

Hail. The corresponding Hebrew form, shalom lach, which latter form very likely was used by the Angel, ειρηνη σοι, pax tibi, signifies peace to thee; or, joy to thee, and may be either precatory of good, “may joy or peace be to thee,” pax vel gaudium sit tibi, wishing her the abundance of all blessings, spiritual and temporal, or congratulatory, on account of the abundant blessings of peace and joy she already possesses, pax vel gaudium est tibi. In this form, which was usual with the Hebrews at the meeting of friends, the Angel conveys to the Virgin, that his entrance was of a pacific character; that he was a good and not a bad Angel; the bearer of joyous and not of evil tidings, such as the Angels afterwards came to announce, at the birth of the Son of God, Peace and tidings of great joy to all the people. St. Luke instead of ειρηνη σοι, employs  χαιρε, which latter form was more conformable to the idiom of the language then in use. The same is used by our Lord, or rather, His words are so rendered (Matthew 28:9). In this salutation, the Angel accomplished four things: 1. He reverently salutes the Virgin; 2. He propounds the subject of his message (v. 31); 3. He points out the mode of its accomplishment (v. 35); and thus, 4. He replies to the difficulty (v. 34) which presented itself to the mind of the Virgin. Some of the Holy Fathers (Origen, Hom. 6 in Lucam; Bede and Ambrose, hic) observe, that the whole message was singular and extraordinary, such as was never before addressed to any human being.

Full of gracegratia plena. This is the rendering given by all Catholics of the Greek, κεχαριτωμενη, which is the Perfect Passive participle of χαριτόω. This translation is confirmed by the authority of the Fathers, and by the most ancient copies of the Bible. It is the same in the Syriac and Arabic versions. Protestants, while rejecting the Vulgate rendering, differ nearly as widely among themselves on this point as they do from Catholics. Hardly any two of them agree on the precise translation of the word, which is found only in another passage of the New Testament (Eph 1:6) εχαριτωσεν ημας, and rendered gratificavit nos, “made us acceptable.” Besides the unanimous consent of the Fathers, the Catholic or Vulgate rendering, gratia plena, can be established on intrinsic grounds as well. The word κεχαριτωμενη, literally rendered, would signify, one made pleasing (gratificata), which involves (a) the state or condition of being thus rendered pleasing; and (b) the quality or thing that renders us pleasing. Now, that which makes us pleasing to God, is sanctifying grace; hence sanctifying grace is involved in the word κεχαριτωμενη. Secondly, the fulness of grace is conveyed in the very form of the verb; for, as is known to all Greek scholars, verbs terminating in όω, always denote plenitude, abundance either communicated or received or possessed, according as the verb may be used in the Active or Passive voice, as might be illustrated, if necessary, by numerous examples. Hence, on this principle, κεχαριτωμενη denotes abundance, fulness of grace. Again, from the Angel’s omitting to address the Virgin by the ordinary name of Mary, it is clear he applies κεχαριτωμενη to her as her peculiar title, her distinguishing characteristic epithet, applicable to her alone, and to no one else, as our Lord is called, the Just One; Solomon, the Wise One, because possessing these qualities in a degree not reached by any other human being. So here the application of Ke^aptrw/xev^ to the Blessed Virgin, never before applied to any one else, shows she possesses the quality or plenitude of grace conveyed in the word, peculiar to herself alone, and distinguishing her from the rest of mankind.

Although full of grace is applied to our Lord (John 1:17), and to St. Stephen (Acts 6:8 both using the words πληρης χαριτος, different from that used by Luke), still we must bear in mind, so far as our Lord is concerned, there can be no parallelism, since the plenitude must be interpreted, having due regard to persons; and hence, in our Lord, the plenitude of grace was, as St. Bonaventure observes, the fulness of the great, inexhaustible fountain, plenitudo superabundantiæ, while in the Blessed Virgin was the fulness of the great river next the source or inexhaustible fountain, plenitudo prerogativæ, and in all the rest of men, a plenitudo sufficientiæ, the rivulets sharing it in a limited degree, sufficient to procure the salvation of them all. As regards St. Stephen, besides that the fulness of grace predicated of him only denotes the grace required for him as minister and witness of God, and in regard to her it denotes the abundance of grace required for her dignity of Mother of God, πληρης χαριτος is not applied to him as his peculiar designation, as κεχαριτωμενη, is to the Blessed Virgin. That the term, κεχαριτωμενη, is assertive of her present state of acceptableness, owing to the fulness of grace she possesses, and not precatory of good in regard to future favours, is clear from the Greek which is in the passive past tense, and refers to past occurrences, the effect of which remains to the present. In the present instance, there is no limit to the period past; and hence, it implies, that the Virgin was full of grace from the very first moment of her conception or existence. The words, full of grace then imply 1st, perfect exemption from all sin, original or actual, even the slightest, and all inclinations to sin, from all passions whatsoever leading to sin; 2ndly, the possession of all virtues, of all graces, in a degree so supereminent, that no virtue, no grace, no gift of the Holy Ghost was ever granted to any human being that she did not possess in an eminent degree, although the exercise of them might not always take place. So that every action of her life was virtuous, praiseworthy, and she attained eminence in grace and sanctity to such a degree as rendered her worthy to conceive in her sacred womb and receive within her, the source and fountain of all grace and sanctity, the eternal Son of God Himself (Lucas Brugensis, and Menochius). Suarez, quoted on this passage by Lapide, asserts, that at the first instant of her conception, the Blessed Virgin received a greater grace than was ever conferred on the highest angel, and owing to her perfect correspondence and faithful co-operation from her conception till the hour of her death, she acquired such degrees of grace and merit as exceeded that of all angels and men together, and God, therefore, loved the Blessed Virgin more than the entire Church, militant and triumphant, including men and angels.

The Lord is with thee. This was an ancient form of salutation in use among the Jews (Judges 6:13; Ruth 2:4). The words are understood by some commentators of the future abode of our Lord, in her chaste womb, in the mystery of the Incarnation, which it is clear from v. 31, did not yet take place. But taken in connexion with the context, and the words, full of grace, blessed art thou amongst women, which are in the present, the phrase must be understood of her present condition. They express the cause of her being full of grace. She was so, because the Lord was with her. These words imply a singular and special assistance on the part of God, which preserved her from all sin, filled her with all grace, and fitted her for the great end for which she was destined. The words, the Lord is with thee, and the like, both in the Old Testament and in the New, when uttered by God, or by one commissioned by Him, always denote a special assistance on the part of God, and His presence with, the person addressed, for the purpose of effectually accomplishing the end for which such assistance is given (see Murray, de Eccles. vol. i., 200-214).
Hence, as the end, for which, these graces were conferred on the Blessed Virgin, was the most exalted, that God ever accomplished, viz., the Incarnation of His Son, these graces, which thus fitted her and rendered her worthy, were the greatest ever conferred on any mere creature. The words, however, although denoting the present abundance of grace arising from God’s special favour and assistance, very likely, imply also God’s special future dwelling in her in His Incarnation, in view of which the present graces were so abundantly given, just as the following words, Blessed art thou amongst &c., although referring to the present, clearly have reference to the future Incarnation: for, it is with reference to it, St. Elizabeth addresses the Virgin in these identical words, after she had received the Son of God within her sacred womb (v. 42).

Blessed art thou among women. These words are omitted in some few MSS., the Vatican among the rest. But they are found in most MSS., and generally quoted by the early Fathers. Blessed by the Lord, who is with thee. This benediction is subjoined, as the effect of the Divine favour, and implies the amplest gifts and benefits bestowed on her by God at the present moment. It does not refer to the great respect and reverence which the Blessed Virgin was to receive from men in after ages. The form, benedicta tu, is, by a Hebrew usage, equivalent to, benedicta es. For, the Hebrews employed the demonstrative pronoun in place of the verb substantive of the present tense; and she was thus blessed at that moment in the singular graces she then possessed, that rendered her worthy to be the dwelling-place of the Son of God, and of the destination in store for her, to be immediately accomplished.

Among women. Above all other women. The comparison is not between her and the rest of mankind, but only between her and all other women. Hence our Lord is not included in the comparison. This benediction contains a tacit opposition to the curse pronounced against women in general (Genesis 3:16); and the special benediction, which distinguishes the Blessed Virgin from all other women, consists in her being a mother and a virgin at the same time; a virgin, whose great purity and humility attracted from heaven into her sacred womb, the God of all sanctity; the mother, of the Eternal Son of God. She has all the blessings, and none of the losses. She was blessed beyond virgins, widows, mothers; beyond virgins, who have the curse of sterility ; beyond widows, who while gaining the blessing of freedom of mind, suffer the loss of society, while she with the greatest freedom, enjoyed the society of her holy and chaste spouse Joseph; beyond mothers, who with the blessing of fecundity, suffer the loss of virginity. Mary had the one without losing the other. From v. 31, it is clear, the Incarnation had not yet taken place. Hence, the special blessedness here predicated of Mary, had reference to her future destination to become Mother of God, and to her having been so prepared by God with such an abundance of grace and the gifts of sanctity, as rendered her fit to become His dwelling-place, an incomparable blessing which was immediately to be conferred on her.

Luk 1:29  Who having heard, was troubled at his saying and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.

Who having heard. The ordinary Greek has ιδουσα, having seen him. This reading is preferred by St. Ambrose, as if it meant to convey, that the sight of the Angel, his brilliant appearance in the form of a young man a form to which she was unaccustomed, although, doubtless, often before favoured with visions and conversations of angels caused this pure virgin uneasiness. “But mark the Virgin by her bashfulness; it is the habit of virgins to tremble and to be ever afraid at the presence of man, and to be shy when he addresses her. Mary feared even the salutation of an angel” (St. Ambrose). The Greek reading may be easily united with the Vulgate, having heard, and both together will convey the full sense of the passage. The Blessed Virgin was troubled at seeing the brilliant form of the young man, but she was still more so, when she heard the eulogistic language he addressed to her, which jarred on her humility and modesty. From the text it is clear, that it was the words of the Angel that chiefly caused her uneasiness. She was troubled at his saying. This humblest of virgins was troubled at the praises bestowed on her, while she regarded herself as undeserving of any praise whatsoever. It may be, too, that she had some fears regarding the design and tendency of such language. For she could not have failed to remember how another Angel, putting on the appearance of light, seduced another virgin, Eve, and entailed on mankind all the ills to which flesh is heir; and very likely this was the train of thought referred to in the words, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. The Greek for thought means, reasoned with herself, with calm deliberation, implying that she retained the full use of her faculties, the disturbance notwithstanding. Unlike Eve (Genesis 3:2), she prudently refrained from speaking or making any reply until she could more clearly see what was meant, before rejecting or accepting this salutation.  What manner of salutation this should be, of which she deemed herself unworthy. She seriously meditated whether it was sincere or deceitful, illusory or divine.

Luk 1:30  And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

And, means, “then,” the Angel said to her: Fear not, Mary &c. The Angel enlightened by God, saw the thoughts that passed through her mind. He might have divined the same from her countenance, hesitation, &c. Her virginal modesty was disturbed at the sight of a young man suddenly appearing in her presence; her profound humility, at the language of praise addressed to her. Seeing this, the Angel tells her to fear neither his appearance, nor his words. Having addressed her, at the commencement of the salutation, with the high and exalted epithet, of, full of grace, he now addresses her familiarly by her well-known name of Mary, conveying, that she was well known to him, and that she, and she alone, was the person, to whom he was sent on a message from God.

For thou has found favor with God, and therefore, sure of His Divine protection. In these words is assigned the reason of the high eulogium passed on her, while they would, at the same time, calm her uneasiness. As full of grace &c., she was acceptable to God, beloved by God how unworthy soever, she might seem in her own eyes to whose gratuitous favour, enriching her with all grace and merit, all this was due. In these words, the Angel expresses what was omitted in the words, full of grace, viz., that it was in the eyes of God, she was so.

Luk 1:31  Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus.

The Angel now shows the effect of her being thus singularly pleasing to God, and also furnishes a proof demonstrating how she was blessed beyond all other women. Behold thou shall conceiveBehold, points to something new and unexpected, which was to occur at once. It also points to the fulfilment of the Prophecy of Isaias, and conveys that she was the virgin referred to by Isaias seven hundred years before. Behold a virgin shall conceive &c. (Isaias 7:14.) Thou shalt conceive, Thou shall bring forth, Thou shalt call &c., are the identical words employed in the Prophecy of Isaias, with a change of person.

In thy womb, to show there was question of real, physical conception of Him as a child, whom she had long borne in her heart. It shows, our Lord took real flesh in the chaste womb of the Virgin, as happens in all other conceptions in the womb of a woman.

And bring forth a son, who, in virtue of His conception and birth, shall be really your son, and you really His mother. And thou shalt call His name Jesus Thou, preferably to Joseph, as thou art His real mother, and He has no father on earth (see Matthew 1:23).

Luk 1:32  He shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father: and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever.

He shall be great. By the union of the human nature with the Divinity at His conception and Incarnation, He shall be great  by nature; that is, He shall be absolutely and intrinsically, the greatest human being in existence, being Himself God as well as man. Unlike John, who was great before the Lord  (v. 15), He Himself shall be that Lord who conferred limited greatness on John.

And shall be called son of the Most High. He shall really be and shall be recognised and proclaimed, both in life and death, but especially after His glorious Resurrection and Ascension, by angels, men, and devils, the Eternal Son of God.

And the Lord shall give unto him. He shall not obtain it by violence, tyranny, conquest, or unjust means of any kind, but He shall receive from the Lord Himself, through whom kings reign, ike peaceable and abiding possession, as legitimate heir, of, the throne of David his father, that is, the throne promised to David, and given to him in his seed, Christ (Ps 132:11; 2 Sam 7:12; Isaias 9:6-7; Amos 9:14), not the temporal throne, on which Christ did not sit, now transferred to a stranger, Herod, but the spiritual throne, of which David’ temporal throne was a mere type, a mere shadow. Hence, Christ is often called David  by the Prophets (Jeremias 30:9 ; Ezek 34:23; 27:24-25; Hos 3:5). No doubt, the Blessed Virgin was well acquainted with these promises; and hence, as all the Jewish people were at this time expecting the Messiah, who was to restore and raise up the throne of David (Mark 11:10), that had by this time passed into the hands of strangers, she at once concluded that the Angel referred to His coming. Our Lord was said, in another sense, to sit on the throne of David, inasmuch as His reign was, in the first place, to commence with those, over whom, David, from whom he and they had sprung, had reigned the lost sheep of the house of Israel and from them to extend to all the tribes of the earth.

His father. Our Lord was the lineal descendant of David. In Him, the promises made to David were to be fulfilled.

And he shall reign in the house of Jacob. His reign will not be confined to merely two tribes, as happened some of David s successors. It shall comprise the twelve tribes of Israel, the sons of Jacob. It shall also embrace the spiritual Israel, who are to be aggregated to the Church from all nations to the end of time (Rev 4:7-9). Jew and Gentile shall be united under Him (Hos 1:11).

This power was granted the Man-God at His conception, partly, exercised in life, but consummated after His glorious Ascension,when He sat at the right hand of His Father in glory.

For ever. Unlike David, who reigned only forty years; whose kingdom after him was subject to division, casualties and interruptions, and at length ceased in the days of Herod, He shall reign of Himself, and not through successors like David. The duration of His reign shall be eternal, not waiting to be succeeded by a better. It shall be absolute, and not contingent and conditional, like David’s (Ps 132:12).

Luk 1:33  And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

And of his kingdom there shall be no end, more fully explains and corroborates, forever. It shall never terminate either as to the Ruler or His subjects, either in this world or in the world to come. This was the eternal duration promised to David in his seed, Christ (Psa 89:4, 5, 30, 36, 37; Daniel 2:44; 7:14).

Luk 1:34  And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?

And Mary said to the angel-she now knew him to be an Angel from God-How shall this be done?  This question she puts not from a feeling of unbelief or distrust, like Zachary, who said, How am I to know this? or, what sign do you give me of this event regarding which I entertain some doubts? Mary did not doubt. She fully believed, blessed art thou that hast believed (v. 45). She sought for no sign. She only prudently wished to know the order of the compliance which was sought from her (Bede). She believed the announcement, but only doubted in regard to its accomplishment, consistently with her vow of chastity known to God, of whom Gabriel was the messenger accredited to her.

Because I know not man. viz., her husband Joseph, or any other. These words convey, that she would not, or rather could not, consistently with her duty to God, know him; otherwise, supposing it to be lawful for her to know him at any time, as it was hereafter she was to conceive, thou shalt conceive, there would be no meaning in her question, since the Angel might rejoin; you can for the purpose of conception know him hereafter. The present tense, I know not, embraces all time, past, present, and future. Thus we say of a man, who resolves not to drink wine either now or at any future time, he does not drink wine. In the present instance, the words have a future reference. For, the Angel does not say, thou dost now conceive, but, thou shalt conceive, arising from future agency. The Holy Fathers and Commentators infer from this, that Mary had made a perpetual vow of virginity. Indeed, this is implied in the question, how shall this be done? since such a vow is the only thing that would make it impossible in a moral sense, that is to say, unlawful for her to conceive of her husband in the ordinary way (there being no precept or law to inhibit it); the only thing that could secure inviolably her firm purpose to observe the virtue of chastity. When it was she made this vow, which is also attested by a most certain ecclesiastical tradition, is uncertain. It is most likely, before her espousals as is maintained by St. Augustine and that having apprized the chaste Joseph of it, she engaged in marriage with him on the condition of securing her chastity. It was not the custom with the Hebrews to make such vows. Hence, Mary espoused Joseph, who, far from attempting to deprive her of what she vowed, would rather guard and protect her against any attempts on the part of others. She fully believed the words of the Angel, from whom she clearly learned that she was to be the mother of the long-expected Messiah. She knew that she had vowed chastity to God. She also knew that a virgin was to conceive and bring forth a Son (Isaias 7).  Hence, she inquires, not from curiosity, but from an anxiety to know, the order of divine economy in the accomplishment of an event in which she herself was to be prominently instrumental, and also from a feeling of anxiety lest she might suffer in chastity. She continued an Immaculate Virgin, etiam post partum. “She read,” says St. Ambrose, “behold a virgin shall conceive, but how, she had not hitherto read.” “How great must have been the Virgin s love for chastity, since for its preservation, she would forfeit the most exalted dignity of Mother of God” (St. Anselm). It was only after the assurance that her virginity would be intact, she consented, Ecce ancilla Domini, &c.

Luk 1:35  And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The Angel now informs her of the mode in which the mystery can be accomplished without detriment to her virginity, and thus calms her apprehensions on that head. The Holy Ghost-whom thou hast already with thee, by the superabundance of grace, producing in thee effects different from fecundity, which He is now to superadd-shall come upon thee. Shall descend from Heaven, to impart to thee new efficacy, fecundity, and miraculous powers of conception.

And the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. These words are explanatory of the preceding, showing the peculiar way in which the Holy Ghost was to descend on her, viz., by His Almighty power, imparting to her the efficacy of conceiving a Son in her womb, without passion or carnal corruption of any kind, chastely supplying the place usually assigned to man in human conception, forming out of the chaste blood of the Virgin a perfect human body, into which was simultaneously infused a created soul, and at one and the same indivisible instant, both body and soul, perfect man, united under one personality to the Divine Person of the Eternal Word. The peculiar metaphorical meaning of επισκιασει, overshadow, as expressive of this wonderful conception by the Virgin through the power of the Holy Ghost, is differently explained by Commentators. Literally, the word means, to overshadow, to surround, to assist and exert an influence, as here. Some explain it: the Holy Ghost shall invisibly and mysteriously accomplish this in such a way, that no one can perceive it, just as a cloud prevents us from seeing beyond it. Others explain it thus: as the clouds discharge rain and fertilize the earth, so shall the Almighty power of God render thee fruitful, and cause thee to conceive in thy womb. But whatever maybe the peculiar reason for using the word, overshadow, one thing is clearly denoted by it, viz., that the Holy Ghost will miraculously cause her to conceive a son in her womb without human intervention or carnal corruption of any sort. Although the Incarnation of the Son of God is common to the entire Blessed Trinity, as being an actus ad extra, it is by appropriation ascribed to the Holy Ghost, as being an act of boundless love, just as acts of wisdom are appropriated to the Son; of power, to the Father.

And therefore also the Holy, which shall be born of thee, &c. The Greek for born  is γεννωμενον, what is born or rather conceived; for it is of the conception by the Virgin the Angel is treating. The present is employed, as the conception is to take place immediately, and is virtually present. The Holy is used in the neuter αγιον, sanctum, to convey, that, taken in its total comprehension, this holy offspring, would not merely be man, but God also. (St. Gregory, St. Leo, &c.) The masculine, qui, would naturally refer to man. The words mean: therefore, in virtue of this pure operation of the Holy Ghost, without the intervention of man, the Being to be conceived, and, in due time, brought forth in this pure and holy way, free from all corruption and defilement, shall be in reality in consequence of the union of the Divinity with the Humanity, the Son of God, and shall be called, such, shall be I reclaimed and acknowledged all over the world, to the end of time, as the Son of God, the same who was begotten of the Father by an eternal generation.

Shall be born of thee. The words, of thee, which express the real conception of our Lord in the Virgin s womb, are generally missing in Greek MSS.

Luk 1:36  And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren.

And behold thy cousin Elizabeth. The Angel from himself adduces the example of the supernatural and miraculous conception by Elizabeth of the Baptist, not for the purpose of begetting faith in the Blessed Virgin, who had already believed, but only to strengthen her faith in the still more miraculous and exalted privilege of fecundity conferred on herself. God has shown His miraculous power on Elizabeth, who being beyond the age of child bearing, and moreover, barren, could not therefore, naturally conceive a son. As then Elizabeth, old and sterile, conceived against nature; so, the Virgin’s humility ought not to shrink from a similar blessing being conferred on herself. As her kinswoman was blessed; so might she also. The Angel refers to the example of Elizabeth, preferably to the miraculous instances of child bearing in past ages Sara, Rachel, Rebecca, &c., because the example of Elizabeth was present to her, she could see her pregnancy, and did so in a few days; and moreover, being of a domestic and family nature, it would be more apt to affect her.

Thy cousin Elizabeth. Elizabeth, whose father was of the Tribe of Levi, she was of the daughters of Aaron (v. 5), might be cousin to Mary, of the Tribe of Juda, inasmuch as one of Elizabeth’s parents in the maternal line, might have married a man of the Tribe of Juda, and vice versa, which was not prohibited save in case of heiresses. Thus Joiada, High Priest, married Josebeth, of the Tribe of Juda (2 Chron 22:11), David married Michol, daughter of King Saul, of the Tribe of Benjamin.

This is the sixth month. She is advanced in her sixth month of pregnancy, which now cannot be concealed. That is called barren, who has been barren, and has been called, and reputed, and well known to be such, by all, so as to go by the name of the barren one. And, as she who was remarkable for her barrenness, has conceived a son, and that at a time, when another natural obstacle intervened, viz., old age; there is nothing repugnant in your becoming a mother, still remaining a virgin; since in both cases, it is the effect of the power of God.

Luk 1:37  Because no word shall be impossible with God.

By word some understand His promise; He is able to fulfil everything He promises. Others, understand it of a thing; a sense quite common in SS. Scriptures. For, with God to say, is to do. Nothing within the range of possibility exceeds His power. Hence, He can as easily bring about miraculously and supernaturally the conception of a son by a virgin, as by an old woman, who was also naturally sterile. If there be any thing, which God cannot do, such as to deceive, to tell a lie, these are exceptions from the general assertion regarding God’s omnipotence; since they are excepted not only by Scripture itself, but by the very nature of things and their absolute repugnance to the attributes of God. Such exceptions, if included within the range of God s omnipotence, would prove God was not omnipotent, but absolutely impotent; since they would prove Him not to be God at all (St. Augustine de Civitate Dei, c. 10, and contra Faustum, Lib. 26, c. 5).

Luk 1:38  And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

It was only after she was informed that this great mystery was to be accomplished by the operation of the Holy Ghost, without detriment to her virginal chastity, she gives her consent, upon which hung the destiny of the world a consent which Heaven was awaiting with breathless expectation. For, had she refused assent to the words of the Angel, most probably, the world would never have been redeemed.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Behold, here I am ready for the divine command-a form usual among the Jews. Behold I am at hand, the handmaid of the Lord,  ready, at His disposal, to be dealt with, as He pleases, placing myself and my services in His hand. He is my Sovereign Lord, having full power, control and authority over me; I am His servant. All the singular gifts and priceless privileges already conferred, and still destined for me, are His, the gifts of His grace and Sovereign beneficence. I surrender myself into His hands. I give myself over to His will; let Him do with me what He pleases. Behold, &c., may also mean, I acknowledge myself as the handmaid of the Lord, and therefore, bound not to disobey or contradict, but to execute His will; or, I offer myself to the Lord, to act as His obedient handmaid. I even wish that what He proposes be done. Be it done unto me according to thy word. In the depth of her humility, she refrains from recounting the things spoken to her by the Angel, so full of her praises: she merely sums up all in the brief phrase, according to thy word, as thou hast stated or promised, I am ready to become Mother of God, my chastity being secured. Undoubtedly, the Virgin, specially enlightened from above, understood fully the nature of the Angel’s announcement and message. What an example of humility the Virgin leaves us here! She is addressed, as full of grace, destined to become Mother of God; she calls herself, His handmaid; of obedience, ready as His handmaid to do what God pleases; of modesty, charity and thorough resignation to the Divine will.

No sooner had she uttered these words of consent, than the Holy Ghost formed out of her pure blood in her chaste womb, a body, perfectly and in every respect organized, which at the same indivisible instant was animated by a created rational soul; and at one and the same instant, this body and soul, perfect man, was united to the Person of the Divine Word, before it began to subsist by human personality: For it subsisted in the Personality of the Son of God alone. It had no human personality, but only the Personality of the Eternal Son of God, who became united not to the human Person for there was no such but to the human nature of Christ. It was after the Virgin uttered these words, and not before, the mystery of the Incarnation took place, as is clear from the entire context. Almighty God, who disposes all things sweetly, was pleased to await the Virgin s consent, before His Eternal Son took flesh of her. Had she refused, it is hard to say, what might have become of the human race. How the Powers of Heaven must have hung with awful, wonderful suspense upon the expression of the Virgin’s consent; and how much are we indebted to her whose consent to the will of Heaven has been instrumental in procuring for us the ineffable blessings of Redemption! At the Almighty’s original fiat the first creation sprang into existence. On the Virgin‘s fiat, was made to depend the second and more sublime Creation in the work of Redemption, and reparation of the blighting evils entailed by sin on the original creation.

And the angel departed from her, having now successfully discharged his mission, which concluded with the ineffable Mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God. It is piously believed, that the Angel on bended knees addressed the Virgin; by this reverential posture, paying homage to her, who was in the designs of God, destined to become soon the Mother of God, and Queen of the whole hosts of Heaven.

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Father Matt: Funeral Announcement and Biography

Posted 4/1/2013

I have fought a good fight: I have finished my course: I have kept the faith. As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love his coming (2 Tim4:7-8).

On Holy Saturday evening-the Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter- March 30, 2013, Father Matthew Luczycki fell asleep in the Lord. His body will lay in state at St Joseph’s Church on Thursday, April 4, from 2 to 7 PM, at which time Vespers will be celebrated. The funeral Mass will take place at St Joseph’s on Friday, April 5, at 10:30 AM, followed by a reception at the Parish Center.

Dear to God and men, Matthew, whose memory is held in benediction. God’s honor devolved upon him, and the Lord strengthened him with priestly powers. He feared God and stood in awe of his name. True doctrine was found in his mouth, and no dishonesty was found upon his lips; he walked with me in integrity and in uprightness, and turned many away from evil. He was a priest who kept knowledge, and instruction was found in his mouth, because he was a messenger of the Lord of Hosts (see Sirach 45:1-2; Malachi 2:5-7).

Monsignor Matthew Luczycki was born on May 17, 192o in Binghamton, New York. He attended St. Stanislaus’ Parish School through the eighth grade and graduated from Johnson City High School in 1938. Upon graduating he attended St Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, Michigan, completing his seminary studies at St Bernard’s Seminary, Rochester, New York.

Father Matt, according to his own testimony, considered several life goals while growing up, including becoming a doctor of dentistry; but in the end he discerned a higher calling which came to fruition on December 22, 1945, when he was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. In a 2010 interview with the Oneida Daily Dispatch on the occasion of the 65th anniversary of his ordination he stated: It seems like I always wanted to be a priest. That was my main desire. I considered other possibilities but the priesthood always won out.   “It was,” he said, in a 2011 interview with the Catholic Sun, “a tremendously wonderful feeling. I was finally doing what I was meant to do. I was able to bless my family and parents.”

During the course of his active ministry he served at St Stanislaus in Utica (1945-1947), Transfiguration in Rome (1947-1953), Sacred Heart in Syracuse (1953-1958), Holy Trinity in Utica (1958-61). He served again at Transfiguration in Rome from 1961-1964. Beginning in 1964 he began serving at both St Joseph’s in Oriskany Falls and St Agnes’ in Vernon Center. In 1970 Father Matt began his third stint at Transfiguration Church in Rome, serving there until his retirement. During the course of these years he also served on the Ecumenical Commission, Priests Senate, Board of Advisers, and as a chairperson on the Diocesan Personnel Board. In recognition of his many years of varied service he was honored in 1972 with the title of Monsignor.

On July 1, 1989 a “retired” Father Matt became Senior Priest in Residence at St Joseph’s Parish in Oneida, New York. Father Matt’s so-called “retirement” proved a great spiritual blessing for the parishioners of St Joes. His presence afforded them a second daily Mass, a second confessor, a second source of comfort, counseling and spiritual advice. He acted as Spiritual Adviser to Holy Cross Academy and, when necessary, acted as a substitute teacher for out parish’s CCD classes. For years he held a weekly bible study focusing on the Sunday Mass readings. Besides serving the people of St Joseph’s in his “retirement,” Father Matt also acted as chaplain on many cruises and pilgrimages, becoming a world traveler. He took up photography and delighted in showing the StJoseph’s Senior Group slides of his travels.  Father Matt considered his “retirement” as nothing more than an opportunity to recommit himself to the priestly office, unencumbered by administrative tasks: “I was relieved of that duty and could spend most of my time just doing priestly work. Besides preaching and saying Mass here, I volunteered as chaplain at Madison County Jail for 16 years.” Retirement, it seems, didn’t suit him: “I feel like I’m a 39 year old with 51 years of experience.”



Heavenly Father, we thank and praise you for the preistly ministry of Father Matthew Luczycki, a faithful steward in the service of your Son, Jesus Christ. For more than sixty-five years he poured himself out as a libation in sacrificial service to the faithful, caught between the two desires St Paul spoke of: dying, so as to be with Christ, or remaining, so as to be of benefit to your people. He fought the good fight; he competed well, he finished the race, he kept the faith. Bestow on him the crown of righteousness. Bring him into Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, amidsty countless angels in festal gathering, into the assembly of the first-born enrolled in heaven, and among the spirits of the souls made just, into the presence of Jesus, the Mediator of the New Covenant he served so tirelessly. We ask that you grant us the grace to imitate his faithful way of life through Jesus Christ, your Son.

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This Week's Posts: Sunday, March 31--Sunday, April 7 2013 (Easter Sunday--Divine Mercy Sunday)

Posted 3/31/2013

Dominica Resurrectionis ~ I. classis
Let us sing to the Lord: for he is gloriously magnified…Despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open shew, triumphing over them in himself  ~Ex 15:1, Col 2:15.

Easter Sunday Mass Resources (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Rite).

Last Week’s Resources (i.e., Holy Week~Ordinary & Extraordinary Forms).

Suggested Books, Podcasts and Resources for the Easter Season. Books, podcasts, etc.

Die II infra octavam Paschae ~ Dies Octavae I classis (EF)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy hath regenerated us unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead:  Unto an inheritance, incorruptible, and undefiled and that cannot fade, reserved in heaven for you~1 Pt 1:3-4



Die III infra octavam Paschae ~ Dies Octavae I classis (EF)
Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him: and on them that hope in his mercy. To deliver their souls from death; and feed them in famine~Ps 33:18-19


  • Pending: St John Chrysostom’s Homiletic Commentary on Today’s First Reading (Acts 2:36-41).


Die IV infra octavam Paschae ~ Dies Octavae I classis (EF)
In the fulness of time it was His will to become what we are, so that we might inherit the eternity He promised and live with Him forever~Office of Readings, from an ancient homily



Die V infra octavam Paschae ~ Dies Octavae I classis (EF)
Christ is not a sovereign who makes himself be served, but who serves and consecrates himself for others~Pope John Paul II.



Die VI infra octavam Paschae ~ Dies Octavae I classis
O praise ye the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever~Psalm 118.



Sabbato in Albis ~ Dies Octavae I classis



Dominica in Albis in Octava Paschae ~ I. classis (EF)

RESOURCES FOR SUNDAY MASS (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms). Usually posted on Tues., Wed., or Thurs. evening.

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Sunday, April 7~Resources for Sunday Mass: Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms (Divine Mercy Sunday)

Posted 3/30/2013

PLEASE NOTE: Links to other sites should not be construed as endorsements of their content or views. Simply put, I do not have the time to read or listen to all the resources listed, your own discretion regarding the sites is necessary.



  • Anglican Use Daily Office. ”Briefly, it is a provision for an “Anglican style” liturgy similar to the Book of Common Prayer as an ecclesiastically approved variant on the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.” More info.



  • Pending: St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 118. Whole psalm.

COMMENTARIES ON THE SECOND READING: Revelation 1:9-11a, 12-13, 17-19.

COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: John 20:19-31. Please note that the Gospel reading this week is the same for the two forms. You may wish to consult the homilies on the Gospel listed under the Extraordinary Form (bottom of the post).

  • St Cyril Of Alexandria’s Commentary On John 20:19-31 in Two Parts:

Part 1On 20:19-23.
Part 2On 20:24-31.

GENERAL RESOURCES: sites that usually deal with the readings as a whole (with some occasional specialty studies).

  • SacerdosGives the theme of the readings, the doctrinal message, and pastoral application.
  • Lector Notes. Brief historical and theological background on the readings. Can be printed out, copied, and used as bulletin insert.
  • Scripture Speaks. Since the site doesn’t post every week I’ve linked to the archive.
  • The Bible Workshop. Links to several relevant articles, contains a reading guide to the gospel text, a comparison of the readings, suggestions for a lesson (i.e., homily).
  • The Wednesday WordIt’s about the Sunday readings, but the document is posted on Wednesday, hence the name. Designed for prayer and reflection, the pdf document ends with Father Dom Henry Wansbrough’s reflections on the first and second readings. Fr. Wansbrough is General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible and contributed commentaries on Matt, Mark, and the Pastorals in A New Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture.
  • Pending: Sacred Page Blog. Reflection on the readings by a Catholic biblical scholar.


  • Catholic MomScroll down to this Sunday. Resources appear oriented towards 7-14 years of age.
  • Word Sunday’s Children’s Reading. Please note only the gospel reading is applicable this year. Usually has two very short stories seeking to draw a lesson from the first and Gospel readings.
  • We Believe. Activities geared towards Kindergarten through 8th grade. Also has resources for catechists, clergy, etc.
  • Domestic Church. Lent and Easter activities arranged for families, younger children, older children.


  • St Irenaeus Ministries Podcast Study of John in Two Parts:

Part 1 on John 20:1-23. Click on POD icon or direct download link.Part 2 on John 20:24-21:25. Click on POD icon or direct download link.

  • Sunday Gospel Scripture Study. Not yet available. Consistently excellent resource looks at the gospel reading in detail.

Dominica in Albis in Octava Paschae ~ I. classis



COMMENTARIES ON THE GOSPEL: John 20:19-31. Please note that this reading is identical to that used in the Ordinary Form. You may wish to consult some of the Ordinary Form links under the headings “General Resources” and “Podcasts”.

  • St Cyril Of Alexandria’s Commentary On John 20:19-31 in Two Parts:

Part 1On 20:19-23.
Part 2On 20:24-31.


  • The following six homilies are from Father Johann Evangelist Zollner:

Homiletic Sketch On FaithPrefaced by Epistle reading (1 Jn 5:4-10).
Homiletic Sketch On The Two Apparitions Of The Lord. Prefaced by Gospel.
Dogmatical Sketch On Faith. Based on Gospel. May have to scroll down slightly.
Liturgical Sketch On The Renewal Of Baptismal Promises. Based on Epistle.
Symbolical Sketch On The Wounds Of Christ As Mementos Of Our Peace. Based on the Gospel.
Moral Sketch On Peace. Based on the Gospel.

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This Week’s Posts: Sunday, March 24—Sunday, March 31 2013~Palm Sunday thru Easter Sunday

Posted 3/24/2013


Dominica II Passionis seu in Palmis ~ I. classis

RESOURCES PALM/PASSION SUNDAY (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms).

Last Week’s Posts: Sunday, March 17–Sunday, March 24.

Feria Secunda Hebdomadæ Sanctæ ~ I. classis



  • Roman Missal. Latin and English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.
  • Roman Breviary. Latin and English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.

Feria Tertia Hebdomadæ Sanctæ ~ I. classis


  • Pending: My Notes on Today’s Responsorial (Ps 71:1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17).


  • Roman Missal. Latin and English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.
  • Roman Breviary. Latin and English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.
  • Father Donald Senior’s Commentary on Mark’s Passion Narrative in Six Parts:

1. Fidelity and Betrayal: The Passion Begins.

2. The Final Passover.

3. Gethsemane: Prayer and Arrest.

4. Confession and Denial: Interrogation by the Sanhedrin.

5. The Roman Trial.


Feria Quarta Hebdomadæ Sanctæ ~ I. classis


  • Pending: Father Boylan’s Introduction to Today’s Responsorial (Ps 69).


  • Roman Missal. Latin and English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.
  • Roman Breviary. Latin and English side by side. Be sure correct date is set.
  • St Cyril Of Alexandria’s Exegetical Homilies On The Passion Of Luke in 7 Parts:

On Luke 21:37-22:16.  Two homilies in one post.
On Luke 22:17-30.
On Luke 22:31-38.
On Luke 22:39-53.
On Luke 22:54-71.
On Luke 23:1-31.
On Luke 23:32-43The last part of this homily has not come down to us.  Likewise, the last few homilies in this series have survived only in fragments, which I have included in this post.

  • Father Donald Senior’s Commentary on Luke in 6 Parts:

1. The Last Supper (Luke 22:1-38).
2. The Hour of Darkness (Luke 22:39-65).
3. Jesus on Trial (Luke 22:66-23:25).
4. The Way of the Cross (Luke 23:26-32).
5. The Death of the Just Man (Luke 23:33-49).
6. Death and Victory (Luke 23:50-56). Site misidentifies the passage as 22:1-38, so don’t let if fool you.

Feria Quinta in Coena Domini ~ I. classis

ORDINARY FORM: Included below are resources for the Chrism Mass and the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper.


Chrism Mass Readings.

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper Readings.

Today’s Divine Office.

The Last Supper and the Forgiveness of Sins. Blog post by Catholic biblical scholar Dr. Michael Barber.


Navarre Bible Commentary on Isaiah 61:1-3a, 6a, 8b-9.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 89.

My Notes on the Responsorial (Ps 89:21-22, 25, 27). Includes notes on 20 & 26 also.

Bede the Venerable on Revelation 1:5-8.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Revelation 1:5-8.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 4:16-21. This was previously published and includes commentary on verse 14, 15, 22.

Cornelius a Lapide on Luke 4:16-21.

Navarre Bible Commentary on Luke 4:16-21.


Navarre Bible Commentary on Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14.

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 116.

Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Cor 11:23-26.

Navarre Bible Commentary on 1 Cor 11:23-26.

St Thomas Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on John 13:1-15.

St Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John 13:1-15.

Navarre Bible Commentary on John 13:1-15.

EXTRAORDINARY FORM: Commentaries on 1 Cor 11:20-32 pending.

Feria Sexta in Parasceve ~ I. classis

Resources for Good Friday (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms). Due to the number of resources I’ll have available, I decided to place them in a separate post.

Sabbato Sancto ~ I. classis



Dominica Resurrectionis ~ I. classis

Easter Sunday Mass Resources (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Rite).

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This Week's Posts: Sunday, March 17--Sunday, March 24 2013

Posted 3/16/2013

Dominica I Passionis ~ I. classis

Mass Resources for the Fifth Sunday of Lent (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms). On site.

Last Week’s Posts: Sunday, March 10–Sunday, March 17. On site.

Feria Secunda infra Hebdomadam Passionis ~ III. classis
Commemoratio: S. Cyrilli Episc. Hierosolymitani Eccl. Doct.




S. Joseph Sponsi B.M.V. Confessoris ~ I. classis
Commemoratio: Feria Tertia infra Hebdomadam Passionis



Feria Quarta infra Hebdomadam Passionis ~ III. classis



Feria Quinta infra Hebdomadam Passionis ~ III. classis
Commemoratio: S. Benedicti Abbatis



Feria Sexta infra Hebdomadam Passionis ~ III. classis



Sabbato infra Hebdomadam Passionis ~ III. classis


  • Pending (maybe): My Notes on Today’s 1stReading (Ezekiel 37:21-28).


Commentaries on Today’s Gospel (John 12:10-36) pending.

Dominica II Passionis seu in Palmis ~ I. classis

RESOURCES PALM/PASSION SUNDAY (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms). On site.

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Sunday March 24~Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms)

Posted 3/16/2013

Most of the links found here were previously posted and I did not have time to check if all the links are still working. If you find a broken link please notify me in the comment box. I hope to have all posts and headings marked “Pending” finished by Thursday, March 21. Further resources will be marked “Update”. For those who wish to get a head start on the readings for the Holy Saturday~Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter go here for my list of resources.




Commentary on the Procession with the Palms Reading. Luke 19:28-40.

Commentaries on the First Reading: Isaiah 50:4-7.

  • Pending (maybe): Some thoughts on Isaiah 50:4-7 for Homilies and Meditation.

Commentaries on the Responsorial: Psalm 22.

  • Pending: Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 22.
  • A Patristic/Medieval Commentary on Psalm 22. Pdf document. The commentary on the text actually begins near the bottom of page 2. What precedes the actual commentary is a presentation of the various uses made of the Psalm in the ancient liturgies and, also, the various antiphons used.

Commentaries on the Second Reading: Philippians 2:6-11.

Commentaries on the Gospel Reading: Luke 22:14-23:56. A shorter reading, Luke 23:1-49 is allowed .

  • Pending: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 22:14-23:56.
  • FATHER DONALD SENIOR ON THE PASSION ACCORDING TO LUKE IN SIX PARTS: A Synopsis of his famous study The Passion of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke.

1. The last Supper Luke 22:1-38.
2. The Hour of Darkness Luke 22:39-65.
3. Jesus on Trial Luke 22:66-23:25.
4. The Way of the Cross Luke 23:26-32.
5. The Death of the Just Man Luke 23:33-49.
6. Death and Victory Luke 23:50-56. The scripture text is misidentified as Luke 22:1-38.

Pending: GENERAL RESOURCES: These sites mostly treat of the  3 readings in a single post and so are not listed under the individual headings above. Will post before/on Thursday.

Pending: CHILDREN’S RESOURCES: Will post before/on Thursday.

PODCASTS: Bible studies, homilies, reflections.

  • Pending. Dr. Scott Hahn’s Podcast. Audio (text too). Brief, does good job of highlighting the themes.

HOMILIES, ETC: Includes both text and audio resources.

Dominica II Passionis seu in Palmis ~ I. classis


Commentaries on Psalm 24 (23): Used during the distribution of the palms.

Commentaries on Psalm 47 (46): Also used during distribution of the palms.

Commentaries on Matthew 21:1-9: the Palm Procession Reading

Commentaries on Psalm 147: 12-20:

Commentaries on the Epistle Reading: Philippians 2:6-11


  • The Mental Sufferings of our Lord in His Passion. A homily by St John Henry Cardinal Newman from his Discourses to Mixed congregations.
  • Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.  Three talks delivered on Good Friday in 1977.  These are only lengthy parts of a three hour talk and not the full presentation, nonetheless, they are excellent.
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Father Boylan's Introduction to Psalm 18

Posted 3/16/2013


THE royal poet will sing a song of heartfelt praise and thanks for the special favours and mercies which God has granted to him. He has been rescued from many perils, and raised to the highest honours. In verses 2-7 we have a sort of summary of the psalm. The poet was in extreme peril through the plotting of his foes: he called on the Lord for help and was rescued. In verses 8-20 he describes the manner of his rescue. In a thunderstorm the Lord came down, and overwhelmed, and scattered his enemies. In verses 21-25 we are told that the merciful intervention of the Lord was due to the poet’s piety, and loyalty to God’s Law; for (as is shown in verses 26-31) to the pious God showeth favour, and dealeth out mercy. Once more (verses 32-46) the singer returns to what God has done for him. He has protected him in battle, smitten his foes, and humbled strange peoples beneath his rule. The poem closes (verses 47-51) with the solemnly expressed resolution of the psalmist to praise his Lord among the gentiles.

This poem appears also in 2 Samuel 22, as a poem of David. Though the text of 2 Sam 22, differs in a number of small points from the psalm-text, it is obviously the same poem as the one we have here. The Davidic origin of Psalm 18 is thus assured in a very satisfactory fashion. Internally the poem points to such an author as David. The poet is a general, and a king, and a victorious leader, who subdues peoples hitherto unknown to Israel. All this suits David better than any other king of Israel. The description of the coming of God in the thunderstorm reminds one of Hebrew poetry of the most ancient period (cf. Judges 5:4-5, and the Song of Deborah generally). We may, therefore, confidently accept the Davidic authorship of this poem. The circumstances of its composition (verse 1) are described in 2 Sam 22, in the same way as here.

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St John Chrysostom's Commentary on John 8:51-59

Posted 3/16/2013

The following is taken from St John Chrysostom’s 55th Homily on the Gospel of John. Some viewer of this blog may have read these comments in an earlier post because the Gospel reading for Passion Sunday in the Extraordinary Form of the Rite was on verses 46-59.

Jn 8:51. Amen, amen, I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever.

Here He speaketh not of faith only, but of a pure life. Above He said, “shall have everlasting life,” but here, “shall not see death.” (cf. Jn 6:40). At the same time He hinteth to them that they could do nothing against Him, for if the man that should keep His saying should not die, much less should He Himself. At least they understood it so, and said to Him,

Jn 8:52. The Jews therefore said: Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets: and thou sayest: If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever.

That is, “they who heard the word of God are dead, and shall they who have heard thine not die?”

Jn 8:53 “Art thou greater than our father Abraham?”

Alas for their vainglory! Again do they betake themselves to his relationship. Yet it would have been suitable to say, “Art thou greater than God? or they who have heard thee than Abraham?” But they say not this, because they thought that He was even less than Abraham. At first, therefore, He showed that they were murderers, and so led them away from the relationship; but when they persevered, He contrived this in another way, showing that they labored uselessly. And concerning the “death,” He said nothing to them, neither did He reveal or tell them what kind of death He meant, but in the meantime He would have them believe, that He is greater than Abraham, that even by this He may put them to shame. “Certainly,” He saith, “were I a common man I ought not to die, having done no wrong; but when I speak the truth, and have no sin, am sent from God, and am greater than Abraham, are ye not mad, do ye not labor in vain when ye attempt to kill Me?” What then is their reply? “Now we know that thou hast a devil.” Not so spake the woman of Samaria. She said not to Him, “Thou hast a devil”; but only, “Art thou greater than our father Jacob?” ( Jn 4:12). For these men were insolent and accursed, while she desired to learn; wherefore she doubted and answered with proper moderation, and called Him, “Lord.” For one who promised far greater things, and who was worthy of credit, ought not to have been insulted, but even admired; yet these men said that He had a devil. Those expressions of the Samaritan woman were those of one in doubt; these were the words of men unbelieving and perverse. “Art thou greater than our father Abraham?” so that this (which He had said) maketh Him to be greater than Abraham. “When therefore ye have seen Him lifted up, ye shall confess that He is greater.” On this account He said,“When ye have lifted Me up, ye shall know that I Am.” (Jn 8:28). And observe His wisdom. Having first rent them away from Abraham’s kindred, He showeth that He is greater than Abraham, that so He may be seen to be very exceedingly greater than the Prophets also. Indeed it was because they continually called Him a prophet that He said, “My word hath no place in you.” (Jn 8:37). In that other place7 He declared that He raiseth the dead, but here He saith, “He that believeth shall never see death,” which was a much greater thing than not to allow believers to be holden, by death. Wherefore the Jews were the more enraged. What then say they?

“Whom makest thou thyself?”

And this too in an insulting manner. “Thou art taking somewhat upon thyself,” saith one of them. To this then Christ replieth;

Jn 8:54. Jesus answered: If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.

What say the heretics here? That He heard the question, “Art thou greater than our father Abraham?” and dared not to say to them, “Yea, I am greater,” but did so in a covert manner. What then? Is His honor “nothing”? With respect to them it is nothing. And as He said, “My witness is not true” (Jn 5:31), with reference to the opinion they would form of it, so also doth He speak here. “There is One that honoreth Me.”

And wherefore said He not, “The Father that sent Me,” as He did before, but, “Of whom ye say that He is your God.”

Jn 8:55And you have not known him: but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him and do keep his word.

“So that to say, ‘I know Him,’ is not a boast, while to say, ‘I know Him not,’ would be a falsehood; but ye when ye say that ye know Him, lie; as then ye, when ye say that ye know Him, lie, so also should I, were I to say that I know Him not.”

“If I honor Myself.” Since they said, “Whom makest thou thyself?” He replieth, “If I make (Myself anything,) My honor is nothing. As then I know Him exactly, so ye know Him not.” And as in the case of Abraham, He did not take away their whole assertion, but said, “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed,” so as to make the charge against them heavier; thus here He doth not remove the whole, but what? “Whom ye say.” By granting to them their boast of words, He increaseth the force of the accusation against them. How then do ye “not know Him”? “Because ye insult One who saith and doeth everything that He may be glorified, even when that One is sent from Him.” This assertion is unsupported by testimony, but what follows serves to establish it.

“I do keep His word.”

Here they might, if at least they had anything to say, have refuted Him, for it was the strongest proof of His having been sent by God.

Jn 8:56  Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it and was glad.

Again, He showeth that they were aliens from the race of Abraham, if they grieved at what he rejoiced in. “My day,” seems to me to mean the day of the Crucifixion, which Abraham foreshowed typically by the offering of the ram and of Isaac. What do they reply?

Jn 8:57. “Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast Thou seen Abraham?”
Jn 8:58-59. Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I AM. They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Seest thou how He proved Himself to be greater than Abraham? For the man who rejoiced to see His day, and made this an object of earnest desire, plainly did so because it was a day that should be for a benefit, and belonging to one greater than himself. Because they had said, “The carpenter’s son” (Matt 13:55), and imagined nothing more concerning Him, He leadeth them by degrees to an exalted notion of Him. Therefore when they heard the words, “Ye know not God,” they were not grieved; but when they heard, “before Abraham was, I Am,” as though the nobility of their descent were debased, they became furious, and would have stoned Him.

“He saw My day, and was glad.” He showeth, that not unwillingly He came to His Passion, since He praiseth him who was gladdened at the Cross. For this was the salvation of the world. But they cast stones at Him; so ready were they for murder, and they did this of their own accord, without enquiry.

But wherefore said He not, “Before Abraham was, I was,” instead of “I Am”? As the Father useth this expression, “I Am,” so also doth Christ; for it signifieth continuous Being, irrespective of all time. On which account the expression seemed to them to be blasphemous. Now if they could not bear the comparison with Abraham, although this was but a trifling one, had He continually made Himself equal to the Father, would they ever have ceased casting stones at Him?

After this, again He fleeth as a man, and concealeth Himself, having laid before them sufficient instruction: and having accomplished His work, He went forth from the Temple, and departed to heal the blind, proving by His actions that He is before Abraham. But perhaps some one will say,“Why did He not paralyze their strength? So they would have believed.” He healed the paralytic, yet they believed not; nay, He wrought ten thousand wonders; at the very Passion He cast them to the ground, and darkened their eyes, yet they believed not; and how would they have believed if He had paralyzed their strength? There is nothing worse than a soul hardened in desperation; though it see signs and wonders, it still perseveres in retaining the same shamelessness. Thus Pharaoh, who received ten thousand strokes, was sobered only while being punished, and continued of this character until the last day of his life, pursuing those whom he had let go. Wherefore Paul continually saith, “Lest any of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb 3:13). For as the callosities of the body, when formed, become dead, and possess no sensation; so the soul, when it is occupied by many passions, becomes dead to virtue; and apply what you will to it, it gets no perception of the matter, but whether you threaten punishment or anything else, continues insensible.

Wherefore I beseech you, while we have hopes of salvation, while we can turn, to use every means to do so. For men who have become past feeling, are after that in the blind state 16 of despairing pilots, who give up their vessel to the wind, and themselves contribute no assistance. Thus the envious man looks to one thing only, that is, to satisfy his lust, and though he be like to be punished or even slain, still he is possessed solely by that passion; and in like manner the intemperate and avaricious. But if the sovereignty of the passions be so great, much greater is that of virtue; if for them we despise death, much more for this; if they (sinners) regard not their own lives, much less ought we to do so in the cause of our salvation. For what shall we have to say, if when they who perish are so active about their own perdition, we for our own salvation manifest not even an equal activity, but ever continue wasting with envy? Nothing is worse than envy; to destroy another it destroys itself also. The eye of the envious wastes away in grief, he lives in a continual death, he deems all men, even those who have never wronged him, his enemies. He grieves that God is honored, he rejoices in what the devil rejoices in. Is any honored among men? This is not honor, envy him not. But is he honored by God? Strive and be thou like him. Thou wilt not? Why then dost thou destroy thyself too? Why castest thou away what thou hast? Canst thou not be like unto him, nor gain any good thing? Why then dost thou besides this take for thyself evil, when thou oughtest to rejoice with him, that so even if thou be not able to share his toils, thou mayest profit by rejoicing with Him? For often even the will is able to effect great good. At least Ezekiel saith, that the Moabites were punished because they rejoiced over the Israelites, and that certain others were saved because they mourned over the misfortunes of their neighbors. (Ezek 25:8). Now if there be any comfort for those who mourn over the woes of others, much more for those who rejoice at the honors of others. He charged the Moabites with having exulted over the Israelites, yet it was God that punished them; but not even when He punisheth will He have us rejoice over those that are punished. For it is not His wish to punish them. Now if we must condole with those who are punished, much more must we avoid envying. those who are honored. Thus, for example, Corah and Dathan perished with their company, making those whom they envied brighter, and giving themselves up to punishment. For a venomous beast is envy, an unclean beast, a deliberate vice which admits not of pardon, a wickedness stripped of excuse, the cause and mother of all evils. Wherefore let us pluck it up by the roots, that we may be freed from evil here, and may obtain blessings hereafter; through the grace and loving-kindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom and with whom, to the Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory now and ever and world without end. Amen.

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