Monday, December 27, 2010

Sententiae Patristicae: Holy Family, Year A

The Fathers of the Church on the Readings of the Lectionary

First Reading Sirach 3:2–7, 12–14
Second Reading Colossians 3:12–21 or Colossians 3:12–17
Gospel Matthew 2:13–15, 19–23

For the First and Second Readings, see Holy Family, Year C

St. John Chrysostom on the reasons for the flight into Egypt:
But wherefore, it may be said, is the young Child sent into Egypt? In the first place, the evangelist himself hath mentioned the cause, saying,” That it might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt have I called my Son.” And at the same time beginnings of fair hopes were thenceforth proclaimed before to the world. That is, since Babylon and Egypt, most in the whole earth, were burnt up with the flame of ungodliness, He, signifying from the first that He means to correct and amend both, and inducing men hereby to expect His bounties in regard of the whole world likewise, sent to the one the wise men, the other He Himself visited with His mother. (Chrysostom, Hom. Mt. 8.3, NPNF1, vol. 10, pg. 51)

St. John Chrysostom on the the faith of St. Joseph:
Now the angel having thus appeared, talks not with Mary, but with Joseph; and what saith he? “Arise, and take the young Child and His mother.” Here, he saith not any more, “thy wife,” but “His mother.” For after that the birth had taken place, and the suspicion was done away, and the husband appeased, thenceforth the angel talks openly, calling neither child nor wife his, but “take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt;” and he mentions the cause of the flight: “For Herod,” saith he, “will seek the young Child’s life.”
‎Joseph, when he had heard these things, was not offended, nether did he say. “The thing is hard to understand: Didst thou not say just now, that He should ‘save His people?’ and now He saves not even Himself: but we must fly, and go far from home, and be a long time away: the facts are contrary to the promise.” Nay, none of these things doth he say (for the man was faithful): neither is he curious about the time of his return; and this though the angel had put it indefinitely thus: “Be thou there until I tell thee.” But nevertheless, not even at this did he shudder, but submits and obeys, undergoing all the trials with joy. (Chrysostom, Hom. Mt. 8.4, NPNF1, vol. 10, pg. 52)

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