Sunday, April 15, 2018

Dominica II post Pascha: "I am the Good Shepherd"

From the Holy Gospel according to John
John 10:11-16
At that time, Jesus said unto the Pharisees: "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for His sheep." And so on.

Homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great.
14th on the Gospels
Dearly beloved brethren, ye have heard from the Holy Gospel what is at once your instruction, and our danger. Behold, how He Who, not by the varying gifts of nature, but of the very essence of His being, is Good, behold how He saith: I am the Good Shepherd. And then He saith what is the character of His goodness, even of that goodness of His which we must strive to copy: The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the Sheep. As He had foretold, even so did He; as He had commanded, so gave He example. The Good Shepherd gave His life for the sheep, and made His Own Body and His Own Blood to be our Sacramental Food, pasturing upon His Own Flesh the sheep whom He had bought.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Dominica in Albis: "That Body of the Lord, Which came into the assembly of the disciples through closed doors, was the Same, Which at Its birth, had become manifest to the eyes of men by passing out of the cloister of the Virgin's womb"

"When we hear this passage of the Gospel read, a question straightway knocketh at the door of our mind. How was it that the Body of the Risen Lord was a real Body, if It was able to pass through closed doors into the assembly of His disciples? But we ought to know that the works of God are no more wonderful when they can be understood by man's reason, and faith has lost her worth when her subject-matter is the subject-matter of human demonstration. Nevertheless, those very works of our Redeemer which are in themselves impossible to be understood, must be thought over in connection with other of His works, that we may be led to believe in things wonderful, by mean of things more wonderful still. That Body of the Lord, Which came into the assembly of the disciples through closed doors, was the Same, Which at Its birth, had become manifest to the eyes of men by passing out of the cloister of the Virgin's womb without breaking the seal thereof. What wonder is it if that Body Which had come out of the Virgin's womb, without opening the matrix, albeit It was then on Its way to die, now that It was risen again from the dead and instinct for ever with undying life, what wonder is it, I say, if that Body passed through closed doors? "

- Homily by Pope St Gregory 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday: "Jesus has died for me."

"Jesus has died for me. He loves me so much that he sacrificed his life for me. Yet, so that I might not lose the memory of his love, he has willed to institute the Eucharistic Sacrifice, by which Calvary is commemorated and all its merits are applied to me. For this reason the Church celebrates every day the death of Jesus, as She, in the same way that as Eve came forth from the side of Adam while sleeping, springs forth from the adorable Heart of Jesus on the Cross. What profound mysteries are hidden in today's liturgy! Jesus dies and the Church is born. He breathes his last, naked, and pours forth his blood to the last drop to clothe the Church with the stole of immortality and to fill it with the joy of an everlasting youth. In response to Jesus’ excess of love we should profess a tender devotion to the Eucharistic Sacrifice, as well as to the image of the Divine Crucifix, which we should never heed without letting it soften our hearts unto tears of gratitude for so many blessings. Every time we behold the effigy of the Cross, the Eternal Father, as was revealed by St. Gertrude, is moved to great pity for us sinners."


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Sabato infra Hebdomadam Passionis: "the chief priests thought to kill Lazarus"

John 12:10-36
In that time, the chief priests thought to kill Lazarus also: Because many of the Jews, by reason of him, went away, and believed in Jesus. And so on.

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop (of Hippo)
50th Tract on John.
When they saw Lazarus who had been raised from the dead, and knew that the miracle which the Lord had worked was so great, spread about by so many witnesses, and so plain and manifest that it could neither be concealed nor denied, they invented an expedient; and see here what it was: “But the chief Priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death." What stupidity of thought, what blindness of cruelty is here! If the Lord Christ had raised up again a man who had died a natural death, could He not also raise up one that had died by violence? Would killing Lazarus paralyse the Lord? But if ye consider that there is a difference between a man dead of disease, and a man killed, behold, the Lord hath raised up both for He first raised up Lazarus, who had died a natural death, and then Himself, after a violent one.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Passion Sunday: "The Truth commandeth us to long for a Fatherland in heaven "

From the Holy Gospel according to John
John 8:46-59
At that time, Jesus said to the multitude of Jews: Which of you shall convince me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me? And so on.

Homily by Pope St. Gregory (the Great)
18th on the Gospels.
Dearly beloved brethren, consider the gentleness of God. He came to take away sins, and He saith Which of you convinceth Me of sin? He Who, through the might of His Godhead, was able to justify sinners, was contented to show by argument that He was not Himself a sinner. But exceeding dread is that which followeth. He that is of God heareth God's words; ye, therefore, hear them not, because ye are not of God. If, then, whosoever is of God heareth God's words, and whosoever is not of Him cannot hear His words, let each one ask himself if he, in the ear of his heart, heareth God's words, and understandeth Whose words they are? The Truth commandeth us to long for a Fatherland in heaven, to bridle the lusts of the flesh, to turn away from the glory of the world, to seek no man's goods, and to give away our own. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Our nature brings sin with it and all men, "according to the spirit", are thus "born blind".

Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John
John 9:1-38
At that time, Jesus, passing by, saw a man, who was blind from his birth. And so on.

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
44th Tract on John.
Dread and wondrous are all the things which our Lord Jesus Christ did, both His works and His words; the works, because He wrought them; the words, because they are deep. If, therefore, we consider the meaning of this work of His, we see that that man which was blind from his birth was a figure of mankind. This spiritual blindness was the consequence of the sin of the first man, from whom we all inherit by birth, not death only, but depravity also. For if blindness be unbelief, and faith, light, whom, when Christ came, did He find faithful? May, the Apostle who had himself been born of the race of which the Prophets came, saith: We also were by nature children of wrath, even as others. Eph. ii. 3. And if children of wrath, then children also of vengeance, children of damnation, children of hell. And wherefore so by nature, unless it were that the sin of the first man had made all his descendants to be born in sin, in that they partook of his nature? If, then, our nature bring sin with it, all men, according to the spirit, are born blind.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Dominica IV in Quadragesima, "Laetare"

From the holy gospel according to St John

John 6:1-15

In that time, Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is that of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And so on. 

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. 24th Tract on John.

The miracles which our Lord Jesus Christ did were the very works of God, and they enlighten the mind of man by mean of things which are seen, that he may know more of God. God is Himself of such a Substance as eye cannot see, and the miracles, by the which He ruleth the whole world continually, and satisfieth the need of everything that He hath made, are by use become so common, that scarce any will vouchsafe to see that there are wonderful and amazing works of God in every grain of seed of grass. According to His mercy He kept some works to be done in their due season, but out of the common course and order of nature, that men might see them and be astonished, not because they are greater, but because they are rarer than those which they lightly esteem, since they see them day by day.