Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sententiae Patristicae: Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year C

The Fathers of the Church on the Readings of the Lectionary

First Reading Isaiah 62:1–5
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 12:4–11
Gospel John 2:1–11

Origen comments on the unity of work of the Trinity demonstrated in 1 Co 12:
This is most clearly pointed out by the Apostle Paul, when demonstrating that the power of the Trinity is one and the same, in the words, “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; there are diversities of administrations, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God who worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit: withal.” (1 Co 12:4-7) From which it most clearly follows that there is no difference in the Trinity, but that which is called the gift of the Spirit is made known through the Son, and operated by God the Father. “But all these worketh that one and the self-same Spirit, dividing to every one severally as He will.” (1 Co 12:11) (Origen, De Principiis, 1.3.7, ANF, vol. 4, pg. 255)

St. John Chrysostom on how the diversity of gifts ought not to cause us to be envious:
Wherefore as [St. Paul] comforted them, when he said, that “there are diversities of ministrations, but the same Lord; and diversities of operations, but the same God;” so also when he said above, “there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit;” and after this again when he said, “But all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

“Let us not, I pray you, be at a loss,” saith he; “neither let us grieve, saying, ‘Why have I received this and not received that?’ neither let us demand an account of the Holy Spirit. For if thou knowest that he vouchsafed it from providential care, consider that from the same care he hath given also the measure of it, and be content and rejoice in what thou hast received: but murmur not at what thou hast not received; yea, rather confess God’s favor that thou hast not received things beyond thy power. (Chrysostom, Hom. 1 Cor 29.7, NPNF1, vol. 12, pg. 173)

St. Irenaeus argues from Christ's use of earthly materials in his miracles against Gnostics who deny the goodness of creation and hold that the God of the New Testament is not the same as the Creator revealed in the Old:
That wine, which was produced by God in a vineyard, and which was first consumed, was good. None (Jn 2:3) of those who drank of it found fault with it; and the Lord partook of it also. But that wine was better which the Word made from water, on the moment, and simply for the use of those who had been called to the marriage. For although the Lord had the power to supply wine to those feasting, independently of any created substance, and to fill with food those who were hungry, He did not adopt this course; but, taking the loaves which the earth had produced, and giving thanks, (Jn 6:11) and on the other occasion making water wine, He satisfied those who were reclining [at table], and gave drink to those who had been invited to the marriage; showing that the God who made the earth, and commanded it to bring forth fruit, who established the waters, and brought forth the fountains, was He who in these last times bestowed upon mankind, by His Son, the blessing of food and the favour of drink: the Incomprehensible [acting thus] by means of the comprehensible, and the Invisible by the visible; since there is none beyond Him, but He exists in the bosom of the Father. (Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., 3.11.5, ANF, vol. 1 pg. 427)

St. Augustine observes that God's work in creation is, to the believer, as marvelous as Our Lord's miracles:
The miracle indeed of our Lord Jesus Christ, whereby He made the water into wine, is not marvellous to those who know that it was God’s doing. For He who made wine on that day at the marriage feast, in those six water-pots, which He commanded to be filled with water, the self-same does this every year in vines. For even as that which the servants put into the water-pots was turned into wine by the doing of the Lord, so in like manner also is what the clouds pour forth changed into wine by the doing of the same Lord. But we do not wonder at the latter, because it happens every year: it has lost its marvellousness by its constant recurrence. And yet it suggests a greater consideration than that which was done in the water-pots. For who is there that considers the works of God, whereby this whole world is governed and regulated, who is not amazed and overwhelmed with miracles? (Augustine, Tract. in ev. Joan 8.1, NPNF1, vol. 7, pg. 57)

St. John Chrysostom on Our Lord's "hour":
Christ did not say, “Mine hour is not yet come,” as being subject to the necessity of seasons, or the observance of an “hour”; how can He be so, who is Maker of seasons, and Creator of the times and the ages? To what else then did He allude? He desires to show this; that He works all things at their convenient season, not doing all at once; because a kind of confusion and disorder would have ensued, if, instead of working all at their proper seasons, He had mixed all together, His Birth, His Resurrection, and His coming to Judgment. (Chrysostom, Hom. Jn. 22.1, NPNF1, vol. 14, pg. 76)

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