(Ezekiel) Ezechiel 36:23-28
|1 And thou son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say: Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord:||Israel. The restoration of the Jews and the redemption of Christ, constitute this fourth division. W. -- Edom has seized parts of the country, as if I had abandoned my people for ever.
|2 Thus saith the Lord God: Because the enemy hath said of you: Aha, the everlasting heights are given to us for an inheritance.||Heights. Sept. "deserts." The mountains are often styled eternal, as being the best symbols of durability. Deut. xxxiii. 15.
|3 Therefore prophesy, and say: Thus saith the Lord God: Because you have been desolate, and trodden under foot on every side, and made an inheritance to the rest of the nations, and are become the subject of the talk, and the reproach of the people:||Reproach. This God had repeatedly threatened. Deut. xxviii. 37. C. Jer. xxiv. 9. --- People talked of their distress. W.
|4 Therefore, ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God: Thus saith the Lord God to the mountains, and to the hills, to the brooks, and to the valleys, and to desolate places, and ruinous walls, and to the cities that are forsaken, that are spoiled, and derided by the rest of the nations round about.|
|5 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: In the fire of my zeal I have spoken of the rest of the nations, and of all Edom, who have taken my land to themselves, for an inheritance with joy, and with all the heart, and with the mind: and have cast it out to lay it waste.|
|6 Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say to the mountains, and to the hills, to the ridges, and to the valleys: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I have spoken in my zeal, and in my indignation, because you have borne the shame of the Gentiles.|
|7 Therefore thus saith the Lord God: I have lifted up my hand, that the Gentiles who are round about you, shall themselves bear their shame.|
|8 But as for you, O mountains of Israel, shoot ye forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel: for they are at hand to come.||Israel. Some apply what follows to the captives returning; others, perceiving that the expressions were not then literally verified, have recourse to the reign of 1000 years. Others again explain the whole of Christ's Church. But some expressions refer to it, and others to the captives; which, though mixed together, induce no confusion, as what belongs to the Jews was a figure of what regarded Christ; and the predictions of the Messias might be applied to the Jews in a hyperbolical sense. S. Aug. Doct. iii. 34. S. Jer. M. T. C.
|9 For lo I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be ploughed and sown.|
|10 And I will multiply men upon you, and all the house of Israel: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the ruinous places shall be repaired.|
|11 And I will make you abound with men and with beasts: and they shall be multiplied, and increased: and I will settle you as from the beginning, and will give you greater gifts, than you had from the beginning: and you shall know that I am the Lord.||Greater. Sept. "similar." H. --- It would be difficult to shew that the Jews arrived at greater eminence after the captivity than before, (C.) though they were less addicted to idolatry. Their kingdom was not independent: they had no prophets, &c. But the superior numbers and excellence of the Christian Church is manifest.
|12 And I will bring men upon you, my people Israel, and they shall possess thee for their inheritance: and thou shalt be their inheritance, and shalt no more henceforth be without them.||Them. Antiochus and the Romans laid waste the country; (C.) and Adrian would not allow the Jews to come near Jerusalem. S. Jer. Eus. iv. 6. --- The people were not indeed removed together, as they had been. But all this is verified only in the Church, which in the midst of persecutions always subsists. Theodoret thinks these promises were conditional with respect to the Jews.
|13 Thus saith the Lord God: Because they say of you: Thou art a devourer of men, and one that suffocatest thy nation:||Men. This remark was very ancient. Num. xiii. 33. Wars had almost always raged in the country. C.
|14 Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, nor destroy thy nation any more, saith the Lord God:|
|15 Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the nations any more, nor shalt thou bear the reproach of the people, nor lose thy nation any more, saith the Lord God.||More. This whole promise principally relates to the Church of Christ, and God's perpetual protection of her; for to the carnal Jews, they have been removed out of their land these sixteen hundred years. Ch.
|16 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:|
|17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it with their ways, and with their doings: their way was before me like the uncleanness of a menstruous woman.|
|18 And I poured out my indignation upon them for the blood which they had shed upon the land, and with their idols they defiled it.||Blood of their own children, and of the innocent. C. xvi. 36. and xxii. 2. and xxxiii. 25.
|19 And I scattered them among the nations, and they are dispersed through the countries: I have judged them according to their ways, and their devices.|
|20 And when they entered among the nations whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when it was said of them: This is the people of the Lord, and they are come forth out of his land.||Land. Yet their conduct was no better than that of infidels. Thus they throw the blame on the law, and upon God himself. Jer. xlviii. 9. &c. C. --- The Jews had provoked God to punish them with captivity; and hence the nations took occasion to blaspheme, that he could not protect them. W.
|21 And I have regarded my own holy name, which the house of Israel hath profaned among the nations to which they went in.|
|22 Therefore thou shalt say to the house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord God: It is not for your sake that I will do this, O house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake, which you have profaned among the nations whither you went.||Holy, that my attributes of justice and mercy may be confessed. Is. xlviii. 2. Dan. iii. 49. Judith viii. 24.
|23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the Gentiles, which you have profaned in the midst of them: that the Gentiles may know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord of hosts, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.|
|24 For I will take you from among the Gentiles, and will gather you together out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.|
|25 And I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols.||Water. R. David and the Chal. explain this of the remission of sin; and all Christians understand it of baptism in water, remitting all offences. Eph. v. 26. Tit. iii. 5. W. --- He alludes to the purification of the Jews, which prefigured baptism and penance, in which the blood of Christ is applied to our souls. This of course was only fulfilled in his church.
|26 And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh.||Flesh. The Jews at their return fell not so often into the sins of idolatry, &c. of which the prophets complained. But yet they were far from answering this character. Great irregularities prevailed under Nehemias, and in the days of the Machabees the priests publicly worshipped idols. 1 Esd. ix. and 2 Esd. v. and viii. and 2 Mac. iv. and v. Christ enables his servants to act with purity unto the end, by the influence of his all-powerful grace. C.
|27 And I will put my spirit in the midst of you: and I will cause you to walk in my commandments, and to keep my judgments, and do them.||Do them. Hence the efficacy of grace appears, (S. Aug. H.) and hereby some keep the commandments. W. --- God assists our free-will. Theod. A.Lap. C.
|28 And you shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.|
|29 And I will save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for corn, and will multiply it, and will lay no famine upon you.|
|30 And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you bear no more the reproach of famine among the nations.|
|31 And you shall remember your wicked ways, and your doings that were not good: and your iniquities, and your wicked deeds shall displease you.|
|32 It is not for your sakes that I will do this, saith the Lord God, be it known to you: be confounded, and ashamed at your own ways, O house of Israel.|
|33 Thus saith the Lord God: In the day that I shall cleanse you from all your iniquities, and shall cause the cities to be inhabited, and shall repair the ruinous places,|
|34 And the desolate land shall be tilled, which before was waste in the sight of all that passed by,|
|35 They shall say: This land that was untilled is become as a garden of pleasure: and the cities that were abandoned, and desolate, and destroyed, are peopled and fenced.|
|36 And the nations, that shall be left round about you, shall know that I the Lord have built up what was destroyed, and planted what was desolate, that I the Lord have spoken and done it.|
|37 Thus saith the Lord God: Moreover in this shall the house of Israel find me, that I will do it for them: I will multiply them as a flock of men,||
Heb. "seek." I will cause great multitudes to come to the solemn feast. This was seen still more after the conversion of the Gentiles. C.
|38 As a holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts: so shall the waste cities be full of flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord.|
|1 And Jesus answering, spoke again in parables to them, saying:||Jesus answered, and spoke to them again in parables, and concludes his discourse with again describing, 1st. the reprobation of the Jews; 2d. the calling of the Gentiles to the true faith; and 3d. the final judgment of both the one and the other. In this parable of the marriage feast, says S. Chrysostom, our Saviour again declares to the Jews their reprobation, and the vocation of the Gentiles, their great ingratitude, and his tender solicitude for them. For he did not send them a single invitation only; he repeatedly invited them. Say, says he, to the invited; and afterwards, call the invited; thus evincing the greatness of their obstinacy, in resisting all the calls and pressing invitations of the Almighty. Hom. lxx. — This parable is certainly not the same as that mentioned in S. Luke xiv. 16, as every one that will be at the pains to examine and compare all the circumstances of each, will easily discover, though they are very much alike. M.
|2 The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who made a marriage for his son.||Is like to a man being a king, &c. This parable seems different from that of Luke xiv. 16. See S. Aug. l. ii. de Cons. Evang. c. lxx. The main design in this parable, is to shew the Jews that they were all invited to believe in Christ; though so few of them believed. The king is God; his son is Jesus Christ; the spouse is the Church; the marriage is Christ's incarnation; the feast, the grace of God in this life, and his glory in the next. His servants were the prophets; and lastly his precursor, S. John. — My fatlings, which I have prepared, and made fat for the feast: but this is but an ornament of the parable. Wi. — The same takes place in the kingdom of heaven, as when a king makes a marriage feast for his son. Jesus Christ seems to have had two things in view in this parable: 1st. that many are called to the kingdom of heaven, i.e. his Church, and that few come, as he concludes, v. 14, many are called, &c; 2d.
that not all that come when called will be saved, i.e. will be reputed worthy of the celestial feast; because some have not on the wedding-garment, as he shews, v. 11. M. — Thus the conduct of God in the formation of his Church, and in the vocation of men to glory which himself has prepared for them in the kingdom of heaven, is like to that of a king, wishing to celebrate the marriage of his son. V. — Marriage is here mentioned, says S. Chrysostom to shew there is nothing sorrowful in the kingdom of God, but all full of the greatest spiritual joy. S. John Baptist likewise calls our Saviour the spouse; and S. Paul says, I have espoused thee to one man, 2 Cor. xi. S. Chrys. hom. lxx. See also Eph. v. 25. and Apoc. xxi. 2. and 9. The nuptials in this place do not signify the union of marriage, or the incarnation of Jesus Christ, by which the Church is made his spouse; but the marriage feast, to which men are said to be invited. This is no other than the doctrines,
the sacraments and graces, with which God feeds and nourishes our souls, united to him by faith in this life, and by eternal joy and glory in the next. Jans. — This union is begun here on earth by faith, is cemented by charity in all such as are united to Christ in the profession of the one true faith he came down to establish, and will be consummated and made perpetual hereafter by the eternal enjoyment of Christ in his heavenly kingdom.
|3 And he sent his servants, to call them that were invited to the marriage; and they would not come.||His servants. John the Baptist and Christ himself, who took the form of a servant, to call such as had been formerly invited to the nuptials that were to be celebrated in his time. The Jews were invited by Moses and the prophets, and were instructed to believe that the Messias would celebrate this happy feast. On the predetermined day, they were again called by his servants, saying: Do penance; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand: come to the feast, i.e. become members of his Church, by believing in Christ. Jans. — In the same manner, S. Chrysostom says that the Jews had been invited by the voice of the prophets, and afterwards by the Baptist, who declared to all, that Christ should increase, but that he himself should decrease. At length, they were invited by the Son in person, crying aloud to them: come to me all you that labour, and are heavily laden, and I will refresh you. Mat. xi. 28. And again: if any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. S.
John vii. 37. — And not by his words only, but by his actions also did he call them; and after his resurrection, by the ministry of Peter and the rest of the apostles (hom. lxx,) he informed the invited Jews that the banquet was ready; because the Christian religion being now established, the way to eternal happiness was laid open to mankind.
|4 Again he sent other servants, saying: Tell them that were invited, Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my beeves and fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come ye to the marriage.|
|5 But they neglected, and went their own ways, one to his farm, and another to his merchandise.||One to his farm. After they had put to death the Son of God, still did the Almighty invite them to the marriage-feast; but they with futile excuses declined and slighted the proffered favour, wholly taken up with their temporal concerns and sensual enjoyments, their oxen, lands and wives. From the punishment inflicted on these, we learn, that no consideration, how specious soever it may appear, can prove a legitimate excuse for neglecting our spiritual duties. S. John. Chrys. hom. lxx. — Such as refuse to be reconciled to the holy Catholic Church, allege vain pretexts and impediments; but all these originating in pride, indolence, or human respects, will not serve at the day of general retribution and strict scrutiny.
|6 And the rest laid hands on his servants, and having treated them contumeliously, put them to death.||Put them to death. Thus the Jews had many times treated the prophets. Wi. — These were by far the most impious and the most ungrateful; tenuerunt Servos ejus , as is related in the Acts, with regard to the death of James, and Stephen, and Paul. M.
|7 But when the king had heard of it, he was angry, and sending his armies, he destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city.||Sending his armies. Here our Redeemer predicts the destruction of Jerusalem, by the armies of Vespasian and Titus, sent against them by the Almighty, in punishment of their incredulity and impiety. S. Chrys. hom. lxx. — Thus the king destroyed those murderers, and burnt their city; for sooner or later God is observed to exert his vengeance on all such as despise his word, or persecute his ministers. See the miseries to which the Jews were reduced in Josephus, book the 6th, c. ix, Hist. of the Jewish war; who declares, that in the last siege of Jerusalem 1,100,000 persons perished, and that the city was completely destroyed. Other interpreters suppose that the evil spirits are here meant, by whom God punishes man, according to Psalm lxxvii, v. 49. M. and Maldonatus.
|8 Then he saith to his servants: The marriage indeed is ready; but they that were invited were not worthy.||Were not worthy. The Almighty knew full well that they were not worthy; he still sent them these frequently repeated invitations, that they might be left without any excuse. S. Chry. hom. lxx. — More is signified here than the bare letter conveys; they were not only less worthy of the nuptials, but by their very great obstinacy, ingratitude and impiety, quite unworthy. Not so the Gentiles. Jans. — Hence Christ says:
|9 Go ye therefore into the highways; and as many as you shall find, call to the marriage.||Go ye therefore into the highways. The apostles first kept themselves within the precincts of Judea, but the Jews continually sought their destruction. Therefore S. Paul said to them, (Acts xiii. 46.) to you it behoved us first to speak the word of God, but seeing you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold we turn to the Gentiles. S. Chrys. hom lxx.
|10 And his servants going forth into the ways, gathered together all that they found, both bad and good: and the marriage was filled with guests.||Both bad and good. Christ had before told the Jews that harlots and publicans should, in preference to them, inherit the kingdom of heaven, and that the first should be last, and the last first, which preference of the Gentiles, tormented the Jews more than even the destruction of their city. Chrys. lxx. — Good and bad, persons of every tribe, tongue, people, nation, sex and profession, without any exception of persons or conditions. Hence it is evident that the Church of God doth not consist of the elect only; and, that faith alone, without the habit of charity and good works, will not suffice to save us. B.
|11 And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment.||Wedding garment, which Calvin erroneously understands of faith, for he came by faith to the nuptials. S. Augustine says it is the honour and glory of the spouse, which each one should seek, and not his own; and he shews this, in a sermon on the marriage feast, to be charity. This is the sentiment of the ancients, of S. Gregory, S. Ambrose, and others. What S. Chrysostom expounds it, viz. an immaculate life, or a life shining with virtues, and free from the filth of sin, is nearly the same; for charity cannot exist without a good life, nor the purity of a good life, without charity. In his 70th homily on S. Matthew, he says that the garment of life is our works; and this is here mentioned, that none might presume, (like Calvin and his followers) that faith alone was sufficient for salvation. When, therefore we are called by the grace of God, we are clothed with a white garment, to preserve which from every stain, from every grievous sin, depends upon the diligence (the
watching and praying) of every individual. S. John. Chrys. — It was the custom then, as it still is in every civilized nation, not to appear at a marriage feast, or at a dinner of ceremony, except in the very best attire. V.
|12 And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent.||Not having a wedding garment. By this one person, are represented all sinner void of the grace of God. Wi. — To enter with unclean garments, is to depart out of this life in the guilt of sin. For those are no less guilty of manifesting a contempt for the Deity, who presume to sit down in the filth of an unclean conscience, than those who neglected to answer the invitations of the Almighty. He is said to be silent, because having nothing to advance in his own defence, he remains self-condemned, and is hurried away to torments; the horrors of which words can never express. S. Chrys. hom. lxx.
|13 Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.|
|14 For many are called, but few are chosen.|
|15 Then the Pharisees going, consulted among themselves how to insnare him in his speech.||This is the third conference which Jesus Christ had with the Jews. It relates to the civil conduct of mankind, as directed and influenced by religion.
|16 And they sent to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou dost not regard the person of men.||The Herodians. That is, some that belonged to Herod, and that joined with him in standing up for the necessity of paying tribute to Cæsar; that is, to the Roman emperor. Some are of opinion that there was a sect among the Jews called Herodians, from their maintaining that Herod was the Messias. Ch. — These soldiers had come to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, which was to take place in a very few days. The Pharisees sent their disciples with these soldiers, that immediately as the former ensnared him in his discourse, the latter might apprehend him. It is worthy of remark, that these blood-thirsty miscreants sought to ensnare him in his words, not able to discover a fault in any action of his whole life. Nic. de Lyra. and S. Chrys. — Master, we know. The Pharisees had instructed their disciples and the Herodians to speak in this seemingly friendly manner to our Saviour, that they might put him off his guard, and thereby ensnare him; thinking that Jesus, like
other men, could be led away by flattery. Thus do all hypocrites act. They first praise those they want to destroy; and thus by their deceitful words, lead them aside from the true path, into all kinds of evils and miseries. Ita S. Chrys. Tostatus, &c.
|17 Tell us therefore what dost thou think, is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?||Is it lawful, reasonable and just, to give tribute to Cæsar? It was at that time a question much agitated among the Jews, whether they, being the peculiar people of God, ought to be subject and pay taxes to Cæsar, or to any prince whatsoever, or be exempt from them. Wi. — Judas Galilæus, about the time of Christ's birth, stirred up the people to a revolt, which though suppressed by violent measures, and himself slain by the Romans, yet the doctrine he broached did not expire with him. Some even among the Pharisees were of opinion, that it was unlawful for the people of God to serve strangers and idolaters, as we learn from Josephus. The question, therefore, proposed to our Saviour was insidious in the extreme, and not easy to be answered, without incurring the displeasure of one or other of the parties. For, if he answered that it was lawful, he would expose himself to the hatred of the Jews, who were aggrieved with what generally thought an unjust extortion, and a mark
of servitude injurious to God; if he denied the legality of this hated capitation-tax, he would incur the displeasure of the Herodians, and be denounced to Cæsar. This latter appears to have been their wish; as, in that case, it would have been very easy to persuade Pilate, that Christ and his disciples coming from Galilee, were favourers of that sect, who, from the name of their founder, Judas Galilæus, were called Galilæans; and some of whom, as we read in S. Luke (c. xiii. 1,) Pilate put to death, whose blood he mingled with their sacrifices. Indeed so determined were the enemies of Christ to injure him with Pilate on this subject, that notwithstanding his answer was plainly in favour of the tribute, yet they blushed not a few days after to accuse him to Pilate of teaching it to be unlawful to pay tribute; we have found him, say they, forbidding tribute to be paid to Cæsar. T. and Dion. Carth.
|18 But Jesus knowing their wickedness, said: Why do you tempt me, ye hypocrites?||Ye hypocrites? Our divine Saviour knowing their malice, and that it was their wish in proposing this question, to render him odious to the people, or a suspicious character to the prince, answers them in these severe words. . . . Another motive was, to let them see that the secrets of their inmost heart were open to him, and thus induce them to be converted from their wickedness; for, certainly, if they perceived that he could read their hearts, they must thence concluded that he was something more than human. This severe reprehension, according to S. Chrysostom, shews, that it is better for man that God should chastise him here in this life, than spare him here to chastise him hereafter. Tostatus.
|19 Shew me the coin of the tribute. And they offered him a penny.|
|20 And Jesus saith to them: Whose image and inscription is this?|
|21 They say to him: Caesar's. Then he saith to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God, the things that are God's.||Render therefore to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's. He neither directly decided the question, nor offended the Herodians. They admired his wisdom, were quite disappointed, and retired with confusion. Wi. — The reasoning of Christ appears to be this: As you are the subjects of Cæsar, which you plainly acknowledge by admitting his coin, upon which he inscribes himself lord of Asia, Syria, and Judæa, &c. it is but just you pay him the tribute due from subjects to their sovereign; nor have you any reason to object on the plea of religion, since he demands of you for the exigencies of the public service only temporal things, and such as are in some respects already his own, by being stamped with his own image and superscription. But spiritual things, which belong to God alone, as your souls, stamped with his image, divine worship, religious homage, &c. God, not Cæsar, demands of you. "Give therefore to Cæsar what belongeth to Cæsar, and to God what belongeth to God." T. —
What our Saviour here commands us to give to God, is nothing else but our heart and affections. Here our divine Lord likewise shews us, how we are to steer the middle course between the two extremes, into which some persons fall. Some say that all must be given to God, and nothing to Cæsar, i.e. all our time must be given to the care of our soul, and none to the care of the body; but Christ teaches that some must be given to the one, and part to the other. Origen. — Although Christ clearly establishes here the strict obligation of paying to Cæsar what belongs to Cæsar, yet he is afterwards accused, as we have mentioned above, (see note on v. 17) as if he forbade tribute to be paid to Cæsar. In like manner, in spite of the most explicit declarations of the Catholic Church, respecting her loyalty and subjection to temporal powers, her enemies fail not to calumniate her doctrine as inimical to the state, and subversive of due subordination. But let our opponents attend to the following
authority and public declaration of Pope Clement XIV. addressed to all Catholic bishops in the Christian world. "Be careful," says he, "that those whose instruction in the law of the gospel is committed to your charge, be made sensible from their very infancy of their sacred obligation of loyalty to their kings, of respect to their authority, and of submission to their laws, not only for wrath, but for conscience sake." — But princes should not exact, and subjects should not affect to give them ecclesiastical jurisdiction. S. Athanasius quotes the following strong words from an epistle of the famous confessor Hosius, to Constantius, the Arian emperor: "Cease, I beseech thee, and remember that thou art mortal. Fear the day of judgment, and meddle not with ecclesiastical matters; neither do thou command us in this kind, but rather learn them of us. To thee God hath committed the empire; to us he hath committed what belongs to the Church. And as he who, with a malicious eye, hath designs
upon thine empire, opposeth the ordinance of God; so do thou also beware lest, by an improper interference in ecclesiastical matters, thou be made guilty of a great crime. For it is written, Give to Cæsar, &c. Therefore, neither is it lawful for us on earth to hold the empire, neither hast thou, O emperor, power over incense and sacred things." Athan. ep. ad solit. vitam agentes. — And S. Ambrose to Valentinian, the emperor, (who by the ill counsel of his mother Justina, an Arian, required of S. Ambrose to have one church in Milan made over to the Arian heretics) saith: "We pay that which is Cæsar's to Cæsar, and that which is God's to God. Tribute is Cæsar's; it is not denied. The Church is God's; it cannot verily be yielded to Cæsar; because the temple of God cannot be Cæsar's right. Be it said, as all must allow to the honour of the emperor, for what is more honourable than that the emperor be said to be the son of the Church? A good emperor is within the Church, but not
above the Church." Ambros. l. v. epist. Orat. de Basil, trad.
|22 And hearing this they wondered, and leaving him, went their ways.|
|23 That day there came to him the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection; and asked him,|
|24 Saying: Master, Moses said: If a man die having no son, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up issue to his brother.||Raise up issue to his brother, to be heirs of his name and of his effects, as we read in Ruth, c. iv, v. 10: suscitare nomen defuncti, &c. to raise up the name of the deceased in his inheritance, lest his name be cut off from among his family, and his brethren, and his people. A.
|25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first having married a wife, died; and not having issue, left his wife to his brother.|
|26 In like manner the second, and the third, and so on to the seventh.|
|27 And last of all the woman died also.|
|28 At the resurrection therefore whose wife of the seven shall she be? for they all had her.|
|29 And Jesus answering, said to them: You err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.||You err. The Sadducees erred in supposing that there would be no resurrection, or if there was, that the future state would be like the present. Unable to conceive any thing else, they thought themselves justified in concluding that the soul would not survive the body. Had they known the Scriptures, they would not have fallen into this error; since therein are found abundant testimonies of a resurrection, as Job xiv and xix, Isaias xxvi, Ezechiel xxxvii, Daniel xii. The power of God also, had they paid sufficient attention to that consideration, would have taught them the same truth. It cannot be difficult for that power, which created and formed all things from nothing, to raise the body again after it has been reduced to ashes: nor impossible to prepare in a future state, rewards and enjoyments superior to and widely different from any thing that is seen in our present stage of existence. Jansenius.
|30 For in the resurrection they shall neither marry nor be married; but shall be as the angels of God in heaven.||As the angels. Not in every respect, for the body shall be likewise raised with the soul, whilst the angels are pure spirits: but in this we shall be like unto angels, we shall be endowed with immortality, and impassibility; and our joys, like those of the angels, shall be wholly spiritual. Jans. — If not to marry, nor to be married, be like unto angels, the state of religious persons, and of priests, is justly styled by the Fathers an angelic life. S. Cyp. l. ii. de discip. et hab. Virg. sub finem. B.
|31 And concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken by God, saying to you:|
|32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.||He is not the God of the dead. Jesus Christ here proves the resurrection of the body by the immortality of the soul; because in effect these two tenets are inseparable. The soul being immortal, ought necessarily to be one day reunited to the body, to receive therein the recompense or punishment which it has merited in this same body, when it was clothed with it. — By this text S. Jerom refutes the heretic Vigilantius, and in him many of modern date, who to diminish the honour Catholics pay to the saints, call them designedly dead men. But the Almighty is not the God of the dead; of consequence these patriarchs, dead as they are in our eyes as to their bodies, are still alive in the eyes of God as to their souls, which he has created immortal, and which he will undoubtedly have the power of reuniting to their bodies. — The Sadducees were a profane sect, who denied the resurrection of the body, and the existence of angels and spirits, and any future state in another
world: (see Acts xxiii. 8.) nor did they receive any books but the five books of Moses. Christ therefore, from a passage Exod. iii. 15, shewed them that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, had still a being; because God, 200 years after the death of the last, said thus to Moses, I am the God of Abraham, &c. He did not say, (as S. Chrys. takes notice) I was the God of Abraham, &c. Therefore these souls had a being: for the Lord would not call himself the God of those who were not at all: no one calling himself lord or king of those who are no more. Wi.
|33 And the multitudes hearing it, were in admiration at his doctrine.|
|34 But the Pharisees hearing that he had silenced the Sadducees, came together:||The Pharisees heard that he had silenced their adversaries, the Sadducees, &c. Some of them, says S. Luke, (xx. 39.) applauded him, saying, Master, thou hast said well. Wi. — The Pharisees assembled themselves together, that they might confound him by their numbers, whom they could not by their arguments. Wherefore they said one to another: let one speak for all, and all speak by one, that if one be reduced to silence, he alone may appear to be refuted; and, if he is victorious, we may all appear conquerors. Hence it is said, And one of them, a doctor of the law, (S. Chrysostom) asked him, tempting him, if he were really possessed of that wisdom and that knowledge which people so much admired in him. V.
|35 And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking him, tempting him:|
|36 Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?|
|37 Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.|
|38 This is the greatest and the first commandment.|
|39 And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.|
|40 On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.||On these two, &c. Whereby it is evident that all dependeth not upon faith only, though faith be the first, but much more upon charity, which is the love of God and of our neighbour, and which is the sum of all the law and the prophets; because he that hath this double charity, expressed here by these two principal commandments, fulfilleth all that is commanded in the law and the prophets. B.
|41 And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them,|
|42 Saying: What think you of Christ? whose son is he? They say to him: David's.|
|43 He saith to them: How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying:|
|44 The Lord said to my Lord, Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool?|
|45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?||
If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?
It was allowed of as a certain truth, that the Messias was to be the son of David. Christ shews them by David's own words, that he was
as well as the
son of David:
and this is what they could not answer to. Wi. — Jesus Christ here inculcates to the Pharisees, that two natures must be admitted in the Messias; in one of which, viz. in his human nature, he is the son of David, and as such inferior to him; and in the other, viz. in his divine nature, he is the son of God, and consequently superior to David; whence this latter, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, justly calls him Lord. T. — Jesus Christ does not wish them to think that the Messias is not the son of David, but only wished to rectify their opinion concerning him. When therefore he asks how he is the son, he teaches them that he is not after the manner they understand it, the mere
but what is much more, the
also, of David. S. John Chrysostom, hom. lxxii.
|46 And no man was able to answer him a word; neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.|