Sunday, January 13, 2019

Sanctae Familiae Mariae Jesu Joseph: God was subject to man

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.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

In Epiphania Domini: "the Gentiles without, being as brutes, are roused not by a voice, but by a sign, that is, a star."

Homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great.
10th on the Gospels.
Dearly beloved brethren, hear ye from the Gospel lesson how, when the King of heaven was born, the king of earth was troubled? The heights of heaven are opened and the depths of earth are stirred. Let us now consider the question, why, when the Redeemer was born, an angel brought the news to the shepherds of Judea, but a star led the wise men of the East to worship Him. It seemeth as if the Jews as reasonable creatures received a revelation from a reasonable being, that is, an angel, but the Gentiles without, being as brutes, are roused not by a voice, but by a sign, that is, a star. Hence Paul hath it: a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. 1 Cor. xiv. 22. So the prophesying, that is, of the angel was given to them that believed, and the sign to them that believed not.

Thus also we remark that afterwards the Redeemer was preached among the Gentiles not by Himself, but by His Apostles, even as, when a little Child, He is shown to them, not by the voice of angels, but merely by the vision of a star. When He Himself had begun to speak He was made known to us by speakers, but when He lay silent in the manger, by that silent testimony in heaven. But whether we consider the signs which accompanied His birth or His death, this thing is wonderful, namely, the hardness of heart of the Jews, who would not believe in Him either for prophesying or for miracles.

All things which He had made, bore witness that their Maker was come. Let me reckon them after the manner of men. The heavens knew that He was God, and sent a star to shine over where He lay. The sea knew it, and bore Him up when He walked upon it. The earth knew it, and quaked when He died. The sun knew it, and was darkened. The rocks and walls knew it, and rent at the hour of His death. Hell knew it, and gave up the dead that were in it. And yet up to this very hour the hearts of the unbelieving Jews will not acknowledge that He to Whom all nature testified is their God, and, being more hardened than the rocks, refuse to be rent by repentance.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Circumcision of the Lord

From the Sermons of Pope St. Leo the Great.
7th for Christmas
Dearly beloved brethren, whosoever will keep truly and honour piously this day's festival, it is necessary for him neither to think falsely of the Lord's Incarnation, nor meanly of the Lord's Godhead. For as there is danger, on the one hand, of denying the truth of Christ's participation of our nature, so is there no less danger, on the other, of doing despite to the equality of His glory with the glory of the Father. Wherefore, when we draw near to understand the mystery of Christ's Birth, wherein He was born of the Virgin Mary, we must leave the clouds of earthly imagination behind and pierce the fog of human wisdom with the eye of enlightened faith.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Dominica III Adventus: "While he humbly strove to confess his own weakness, he earned by his simplicity a part in the grandeur of his Master."

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.

(Homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great)

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Dominica II Adventus: "Art thou he that art to come?"

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.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Dominica I Adventus: "if we will not fear God in our prosperity, we may at least be scourged into fearing His judgment when it is at hand"

Reading 3
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.

Homily by Father Kevin M. Cusick

What is this "scourging" of which he speaks?

Scourges are suffering, another’s if not our own. Suffering can be accepted with merit as a sign of the detachment necessary even from this life and all that is a part of it if we are to be saved, share forever in the eternal life of God.
In the Holy Eucharist the Judge Himself becomes Savior through His own suffering, scourging and death, to prepare us for the life He promises and which awaits us.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Dominica XXIV et ultima post Pentecosten: "ye shall see the abomination of desolation"

From the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Matt 24:15-35
At that time, Jesus said unto his disciples: When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, stand in the Holy Place, (whoso readeth, let him understand.) And so on.

Homily by St. Jerome, Priest at Bethlehem.
Bk. iv. Comm. on Matth. xxiv.
This injunction to whoso readeth, to understand, showeth that there is here something mysterious. In Daniel we read as followeth: "And in the midst of the week the sacrifice and the oblations shall be taken away and in the temple there shall be the abomination of desolation, even until the consummation of the time and a consummation shall be given to the desolation." ix. 27. It is of this same thing that the Apostle speaketh, when he saith that a man of iniquity, even an adversary, shall be exalted against whatsoever is called God, or is worshipped so that he shall even dare to stand in the temple of God, and to show himself as God whose coming shall, according to the working of Satan, destroy and banish away from God all who shall receive him.