Some biblical exegesis you might find helpful June 23, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Bible, catachesis, Ecumenism, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Our Lady, sanctity, Spiritual Warfare, Tradition, Virtue.
The commentary in the Haydock Study Bible is sometimes criticized for being a bit too on the nose and obvious, but, at other times, it delves deeply into the sublime. I found that to be the case in re-reading Acts of the Apostles Chapter 3, especially some of the commentary from verses 1, 6 and 21.
In the below, first the relevant verse (or verse plus a few preceding, for context) and then the commentary:
1 Now Peter and John went up to the temple at the ninth hour of prayer.
In Catholic countries, the toll of a bell at morning, noon, and evening, announces the time for the recital of the Angelus Domini, a short prayer, in honour of the incarnation. At these moments, all, however employed, whether at labour in the field, or at home, all cease from their employment, till they have recited the prayer. The repetition of this, and similar practices, cannot be too strongly recommended to Catholics of the present day. They are of singular advantage in recalling the soul, which is too easily dissipated and distracted, to God, her first beginning, and her last end. [oh that this tolling had not been forgotten in the awful changes that have overtaken the Church in the past century! What a glorious and pious custom this was, and should still be! I understand that in parts of Germany Angelus bells still toll, at least at certain times of year, though I’ve never seen/heard such.]
2 And a certain man who was lame from his mother’s womb, was carried; whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple, which is called the Beautiful, that he might beg alms of them that went into the temple.
3 *He, when he had seen Peter and John about to go into the temple, begged to receive an alms………
…..6 But Peter said; Silver and gold I have none: but what I have, I give thee: in the name of Jesus Christ, of Nazareth, rise up, and walk.
……Not without reason is this Name in the Canticles compared to oil, in its three-fold properties, of affording light, food, and medicine. When preached, it enlightens; thought on, it feeds us; and called on, it assuages our grief. Whence has such a sudden light of faith spread over the world, but in preaching the Name of Jesus? How did this light shine, and attract the eyes of all, when proceeding like lightning from the mouth of Peter, it strengthened the weakness of the lame man’s feet, and enlightened the minds of many spiritually blind? Did he not then scatter fire, when he exclaimed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, arise and walk? This name is food too. Are you not refreshed, as often as you recall it to your mind? What is as powerful in consoling the mind? What so soon repairs our wearied senses, and gives new vigour to our strength; encourages virtues, cherishes chaste affections? All food is dry to me, if not seasoned with this oil; insipid, unless sprinkled with this salt. If you write, I relish it not, unless I read the name of Jesus. If your read, or speak, I take no pleasure in it, unless I hear the name of Jesus. Jesus is honey in the mouth, music to the ear, but ecstasy to the heart. This is also my medicine. Are you sad? let Jesus enter your heart, and thence ascend upon your tongue. And behold, at the rising of this star, every cloud will retire, and serenity return. Do you fall into a crime, or run on the brink of despair: call on this name of life, and you shall be restored to life, &c. [Most of the above taken from St. Bernard’s Sermon xv Cant. prope’ medium]
20 That when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send him who hath been preached unto you, Jesus Christ,
21 Whom heaven indeed must receive, until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets from the beginning of the world.
Whom heaven indeed must receive, as also in the Protestant translation not contain: nor can any argument be drawn from hence, that Christ’s body cannot be truly at the same time in the holy Sacrament, especially after a different manner. The true sense of these words is, that heaven is the place of Christ’s abode, till the day of judgment, and that it was in vain for them to think that he would come to take possession of any temporal kingdom. (Witham) — The restitution of all things. Jesus remains in heaven, till his second coming to judge the living and the dead. That is the great day, when every thing shall be finally settled, and restored to its proper order. He shall avenge the injuries done to God; restore peace to the afflicted just men of the earth, and justice to their persecutors. He shall exalt his Church, and himself receive the homage of adoration, from every tribe of men. (Calmet) — See 2 Peter iii. 13. which text, together with what we read in this place, joins inseparably the last coming of Jesus Christ, with the universal re-establishment promised in both these passages, and completely excludes the Millennium, which some erroneously expect to take place between the accomplishment of the first and second of these events. See Bossuet’s reflexions on the 20th chapter of the Apocalypse, where the errors of many Protestant writers, especially of Dodwell, are refuted. To shew that the error of the Millennium cannot be assigned as a general cause which impelled the primitive Christians to martyrdom, it will suffice to produce this decisive passage of St. Justin, who after Papias, was the first supporter of that system: speaking to Tryphon concerning this temporal kingdom, which Christ was to enjoy here below, in the re-established Jerusalem with the saints risen from the dead, for a thousand years, he says: “I have already confessed that many others, with myself, were of this opinion; … but there are many others, and persons of sound faith, and exemplary conduct, who reject this opinion.” (In dialog. cum Tryph. n. 84.) — Clement of Alexandria, St. Cyprian, and Origen, lay down principles diametrically opposite to this system. It has also been expressly combated by Caius, and St. Denis of Alexandria, one of the greatest luminaries of the third century, as we learn from Eusebius, and St. Jerome. [So, the idea of a peaceful 1000 year long reign of Christ on earth after goofy things like “the rapture” and general tribulation by during the final days (Parousia) have been judged by the Church to be false, even though the idea did carry some currency among some early Christians. Yet again, protestants have merely dusted off an ancient heresy and called it new, as they have in so many other places.]
So, that’s it, a nice exhortation to the Angelus, some spirituality via St. Bernard, and refutation of a key protestant error. All from one chapter of Acts of the Apostles! Ahh, Scripture, the gift that keeps on giving.