Sunday, January 14, 2018

Second Sunday after Epiphany: "and there was a wedding at Cana Jesus was invited also"


From the Holy Gospel according to John
John 2:1-11
At that time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples, to the marriage. And so on.

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
Tract. 9. in John.
Even setting aside any mystical interpretation, the fact that the Lord was pleased to be asked, and to go to a marriage, showeth plainly enough that He is the Author and Blesser of marriage. There were yet to be those of whom the Apostle hath warned us as forbidding to marry; who say that marriage is a bad thing in itself, and a work of the devil. Yet we read in the Gospel that when the Lord was asked, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? He answered that it was not lawful, except it were for fornication. In which answer ye will remember that He used these words: What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sanctae Familae, Jesu, Marié, Joseph

From the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Luke 2:42-52
And when he was twelve years old, they going up into Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast, And having fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child Jesus remained in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not. And so on.

Homily of St. Bernard Abbot
Homilia super Missus est, n. 7-8
And he was subject unto them. Who was subject? And to whom? God to man! God, I repeat, to whom the Angels are subject, whom the Principalities and Powers do obey, was subject to Mary; and not only to Mary, but to Joseph also for Mary's sake. Marvel, therefore, both at God and man, and choose that which giveth greater wonder, whether it be the most loving condescension of the Son, or the exceeding great dignity of his Mother. Both amaze us, both are marvellous. That God should obey a woman is lowliness without parallel, that woman should rule over God, an elevation beyond comparison. In praise of virgins it is sung of them alone, that they follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Of what praise do ye judge that woman to be worthy who is thus placed before the Lamb of God.

Learn, O man, to obey! Learn, O earth, to be subject! Learn, O dust, to submit! The Evangelist speaking of thy Creator saith: And he was subject unto them. And there is no doubt that this sheweth us that God was subject to Mary and Joseph. Shame on you, ye proud entities of dust and ashes! God abaseth himself, and dost thou, O creature sprung from the earth, exalt thyself? God maketh himself subject to man, and dost thou, who art always so eager to lord it over men, set up thyself to lord it over thy Creator? For as often soever as I desire pre-eminency over men, so often do I strive to excel God. For of him it was said: And he was subject unto them. If thou disdainest, O man, to follow the example of man, at least thou canst follow thy Creator without dishonour. If thou canst not, perchance, follow him whithersoever he goeth, deign at least to follow him in this thing wherein he hath emptied himself, and made himself of no reputation, for the sake of such as thou.

If thou canst not enter upon the lofty paths of virginity, at least follow God by the most safe road of humility. If any turn aside from this straight way, though they be virgins, they do not follow the Lamb, if the truth be told, whithersoever he goeth. The humble man, though stained with sin, followeth the Lamb; the virgin, though proud, also followeth; but neither of these twain followeth whithersoever he goeth. The former cannot attain unto the purity of the Lamb, for he is without spot; the latter deigneth not to descend to his meekness, who was dumb, not before the shearer, but before the murderer. Yet the sinner who followeth in humility hath chosen a more saving way than the proud man who followeth in virginity; for the humble one maketh satisfaction, and is cleansed of his impurity, but the proud one's chastity is stained by his pride.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Dominica Infra Octavam Nativitatis: " according to our individual works will the True and Just Judge apportion to us punishment or reward"

Luke 2: 33-40
In that time, his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning him. And so on.

Homily by St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan.
Bk. ii. on Luke ii.
We see that God's abounding grace is poured forth on all by the birth of the Lord, and that the gift of prophecy is not denied to the righteous, but to the unbelieving. Simeon prophesieth that our Lord Jesus Christ is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, setting forth that the just and the unjust reap different fruits from the coming of the Saviour; so will it be with us; according to our individual works will the True and Just Judge apportion to us punishment or reward.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Saint Jerome on the Gospel of St Matthew for the Vigil of the Nativity of DNIC

Reading 1
Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matt 1:18-21
When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. And so on.

Homily by St. Jerome, Priest 
at Bethlehem.
Book of Commentaries, on Matth. i.
Why was the Lord conceived of an espoused virgin rather than of a free? First, for the sake of the genealogy of Mary, which we have obtained by that of Joseph. Secondly, because she was thus saved from being stoned by the Jews as an adulteress. Thirdly, that Himself and His mother might have a guardian on their journey into Egypt. To these, Ignatius, the martyr of Antioch, has added a fourth reason namely, that the birth might take place unknown to the devil, who would naturally suppose that Mary had conceived by Joseph.
Before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. She was found, that is, by Joseph, but by no one else. He had already almost an husband's privilege to know all that concerned her. Before they came together. This doth not imply that they ever did come together the Scripture merely showeth the absolute fact that up to this time they had not done so
Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. If any man be joined to a fornicatress they become one body; and according to the law they that are privy to a crime are thereby guilty. How then can it be that Joseph is described as a just man, at the very time he was compounding the criminality of his espoused? It must have been that he knew her to be pure, and yet understood not the mystery of her pregnancy, but, while he wondered at that which had happened, was willing to hold his peace.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Gaudete Sunday: MCITL "his very truth-speaking made him a member of Him Whose title he would not by falsehood take"

From the Holy Gospel according to John
John 1:19-28
In that time were sent from Jerusalem priests and Levites to John, to ask him: Who art thou? And so on.

Homily by Pope St. Gregory (the Great)
7th on the Gospels.
Dearly beloved brethren, the first thing which striketh us in today's Gospel is the lowly-mindedness of John. He was so great that it was thought he might be the Christ; yet he soberly chose rather to seem only what he really was, than to let the belief of men invest him with a dignity which did not belong to him; for he confessed, and denied not, but confessed, I am not the Christ, at the same time he would not deny what he was in reality; and thus his very truth-speaking made him a member of Him Whose title he would not by falsehood take. In that he arrogated not to himself the name of Christ, he became a member of Christ. While he humbly strove to confess his own weakness, he earned by his simplicity a part in the grandeur of his Master.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dominica Secunda Adventus: For the more humbling God hath undergone for man's sake, the more worthy is He that man should worship Him.

From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matt 11:2-10
In that time, when John had heard in prison the works of Christ: sending two of his disciples he said to him: Art thou he that art to come, or look we for another? And so on.

Homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great.
6th Homily on the Gospels.
The sight of so many signs and so many mighty works should have been a source of wonder, and not a stumbling-block. And yet the unfaithful Jer. xxxi. 5. found these very works a rock of offence, when they afterwards saw Him Who had worked so many miracles dying on the Cross. Hence Paul saith: "We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling-block and unto the Gentiles foolishness." 1 Cor. i. 23. It is indeed folly in the eyes of men to say that the Author of life died for men and thus men put as a stumbling-block to hinder them from coming to Jesus, the very thing that doth oblige them the most unto Him. For the more humbling God hath undergone for man's sake, the more worthy is He that man should worship Him.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Dominica Prima Adventus: "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars"

From the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Luke 21:25-33
In that time, Jesus said to his disciples: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations. And so on.

Homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great,
1st on the Gospels.
Our Lord and Saviour wisheth to find us ready at His second coming. Therefore He telleth us what will be the evils of the world as it groweth old, that He may wean our hearts from worldly affections. Here we read what great convulsions will go before the end, that, if we will not fear God in our prosperity, we may at least be scourged into fearing His judgment when it is at hand.