Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sententiae Patristicae: Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

The Fathers of the Church on the Readings of the Lectionary

First Reading  Isaiah 66:10–14c
Second Reading  Galatians 6:14–18
Gospel  Luke 10:1–12, 17–20 or Luke 10:1–9

St. Clement of Alexandria on the motherhood of the Church and the fatherhood of God to the believer:
‎“Their children,” it is said, “shall be borne upon their shoulders, and fondled on their knees; as one whom his mother comforteth, so also shall I comfort you.” (Isa. 66:12, 13) The mother draws the children to herself; and we seek our mother the Church. Whatever is feeble and tender, as needing help on account of its feebleness, is kindly looked on, and is sweet and pleasant, anger changing into help in the case of such: for thus horses’ colts, and the little calves of cows, and the lion’s whelp, and the stag’s fawn, and the child of man, are looked upon with pleasure by their fathers and mothers. Thus also the Father of the universe cherishes affection towards those who have fled to Him; and having begotten them again by His Spirit to the adoption of children, knows them as gentle, and loves those alone, and aids and fights for them; and therefore He bestows on them the name of child. (Clem. Alex. Paed. 1.5, ANF, vol. 2, pg. 214)

St. Augustine--the Lord shall flow down as a river of peace at the resurrection and judgment:
‎In His promise to the good he says that He will flow down as a river of peace, that is to say, in the greatest possible abundance of peace. With this peace we shall in the end be refreshed; but of this we have spoken abundantly in the preceding book. It is this river in which he says He shall flow down upon those to whom He promises so great happiness, that we may understand that in the region of that felicity, which is in heaven, all things are satisfied from this river. But because there shall thence flow, even upon earthly bodies, the peace of incorruption and immortality, therefore he says that He shall flow down as this river, that He may as it were pour Himself from things above to things beneath, and make men the equals of the angels. By “Jerusalem,” too, we should understand not that which serves with her children, but that which, according to the apostle, is our free mother, eternal in the heavens. (Gal 4:26) In her we shall be comforted as we pass toilworn from earth’s cards and calamities, and be taken up as her children on her knees and shoulders. (Augustine, De civ. Dei 20.21.1, NPNF1, vol. 7, pg. 440)

Tertullian on being crucified to the world:
‎Moreover, “the world is crucified unto me,” who am a servant of the Creator—“the world,” (I say,) but not the God who made the world—“and I unto the world,” (Gal 6:14) (not unto the God who made the world. The world, in the apostle’s sense, here means life and conversation according to worldly principles; it is in renouncing these that we and they are mutually crucified and mutually slain. He calls them “persecutors of Christ.” (cf. Gal 6:17) But when he adds, that “he bare in his body the scars of Christ”—since scars, of course, are accidents of body—he therefore expressed the truth, that the flesh of Christ is not putative, but real and substantial, the scars of which he represents as borne upon his body. (Tertullian, Against Marcion 5.4, ANF, vol. 3, pg. 438)

St. John Chrysostom--like Paul, we ought to bear the marks of Jesus with delight:
‎The soldier who has received numberless wounds and is come home again, will he not return with exceeding delight, with his wounds as his title for speaking up boldly, and as evidence of his glory and renown? And thou, if thou be able to exclaim as Paul does, “I bear the marks of Jesus” (Gal. vi. 17), wilt be able to become great and glorious and renowned. “But there is no persecution.” Make thy stand against glory: and should any one speak anything against thee, fear not to be evil-spoken of for Christ’s sake: make thy stand against the tyranny of pride, against the fighting of anger, against the torment of concupiscence. These also are “marks,” these also are torments. For, I ask, what is the worst in tortures? Is it not, that the soul is pained, and is on fire? For in the other case, the body too has its share: but in this, the whole belongs to the soul. (Chrysostom, Hom. Ac. 15, NPNF1, vol. 11, pg. 98)

St. John Chrysostom on the boast of the Cross:
And what is the boast of the Cross? That Christ for my sake took on Him the form of a slave, and bore His sufferings for me the slave, the enemy, the unfeeling one; yea He so loved me as to give Himself up to a curse for me. What can be comparable to this! If servants who only receive praise from their masters, to whom they are akin by nature, are elated thereby, how must we not boast when the Master who is very God is not ashamed of the Cross which was endured for us. Let us then not be ashamed of His unspeakable tenderness; He was not ashamed of being crucified for thy sake, and wilt thou be ashamed to confess His infinite solicitude? (Chrysostom, Hom. Gal. 6, NPNF1, vol. 13, pg. 46)

St. Clement of Alexandria--we must be unencumbered on our journey to the truth:
We, then, on our journey to the truth, must be unencumbered. “Carry not,” said the Lord, “purse, nor scalp, nor shoes;” (Lk 10:4) that is, possess not wealth, which is only treasured up in a purse; fill not your own stores, as if laying up produce in a bag, but communicate to those who have need. Do not trouble yourselves about horses and servants, who, as bearing burdens when the rich are travelling, are allegorically called shoes. (Clem. Alex., Paed. 3.7, ANF, vol. 2, pg. 281)

Origen on the fall of Satan:
[Jesus] compares him to lightning, and says that he fell from heaven, that He might show by this that he had been at one time in heaven, and had had a place among the saints, and had enjoyed a share in that light in which all the saints participate, by which they are made angels. of light, and by which the apostles are termed by the Lord the light of the world. In this manner, then, did that being once exist as light before he went astray, and fell to this place, and had his glory turned into dust, which is peculiarly the mark of the wicked. (Origen, De princ. 1.5.5, ANF, vol. 5, pg. 259)

St. Gregory the Great on the Luke 10:20:
For we ought to remember how, when the disciples returned with joy from preaching, and said to their heavenly Master, Lord, in thy name even the devils are subject unto us (Luke 10:17), they straightway heard, In this rejoice not; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). For they had set their minds on private and temporal gladness, when they rejoiced in the miracles. But they are recalled from private to common, from temporal to eternal gladness, when it is said to them, In this rejoice ye, because your names are written in heaven. For not all the elect work miracles; and yet the names of all of them are kept enrolled in heaven. For to the disciples of the Truth there should not be joy, save for that good which they have in common with all, and in which they have no end to their gladness. (Gregory the Great, Regist. 11.28, NPNF2, vol. 13, pg. 55)

St. Augustine--the 72 signify the order of presbyters:
As also in twenty-four hours the whole world moves round and receives light, so the mystery of enlightening the world by the Gospel of the Trinity, is hinted at in the seventy-two disciples. For three times twenty-four makes seventy-two. Now as no one doubts that the twelve Apostles foreshadowed the order of Bishops, so also we must know that these seventy-two represented the presbytery, (that is, the second order of priests.) Nevertheless, in the earliest times of the Church, as the Apostolical writings bear witness, both were called presbyters, both also called bishops, the former of these signifying “ripeness of wisdom,” the latter, “diligence in the pastoral care.” (Augustine, de Quaest. Ev. 50.2, q. 14, in Cat. Aur. 3.1, page 344-345)

No comments: