| Love Conquers All |
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost Comprehensive Catholic Commentary
Fr. George Leo Haydock
Editor's Note: We continue with this special feature provided by John Gregory with the Haydock Commentary found at the bottom of each page of the Douay-Rheims Bible. We publish it here in conjunction with the Epistle and Gospel for the Sunday Mass, with the cogent comprehensive Catholic Commentary penned by Father George Leo Haydock. The focus of the Commentary for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost is the virtue of love. St. Paul introduces this greatest of Christian virtues to the Ephesians, the very same command Our Lord announces to all. It catches the Pharisees off guard as they try to trick Him, but we all know you cannot fool God. You'll note, from that time on they didn't question Christ again until, of course, He had been arrested and thrust into a Kangaroo court, so to speak. At all times He edified the kind of love we must extend to all, including our enemy in praying for their eternal salvation.
Epistle: Ephesians 4: 1-6
1 I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called,
Commentary on Verse 1 Here begins the second part of this epistle, in which he exhorts them to the practice of Christian virtues. (Witham) 2 With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity.
3 Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling.
Commentary on Verse 4 In one hope of your vocation. The three great reasons that we have to love one another are contained in this verse, because we have but one body, of which Christ is the head. We are all animated by the same spirit, viz. the Holy Ghost, who is given to us all, and we all live in the same hope of eternal happiness. (Calmet) 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.
Commentary on Verse 5 This contains some more reasons why Christians should love one another. We are all the servants of the same God, believe the same mysteries, and receive the same sacraments, whoever may be the dispenser of them. --- One faith. As rebellion is the bane of commonwealths and kingdoms, and peace and concord the preservation of the same; so is schism, and diversity of faith or fellowship in the service of God, the calamity of the Church: and peace, unity, and uniformity, the special blessing of God therein. St. Cyprian, in his book on the unity of the Church, writeth thus: "One Church, for one is my dove. This unity of the Church, he that holdeth not, doth he think he holdeth the faith? He that withstandeth or resisteth the Church, he that resisteth Peter's chair, upon which the Church was built, doth he trust that he is in the Church?" And again, Ep. xl. "There is one God, and one Christ, and one Church, and one chair, by our Lord's voice founded upon Peter. To set up another altar, or to constitute another priesthood, besides the one altar and the one priesthood, is impossible. Whosever gathereth elsewhere scattereth. It is adulterous, it is impious, it is sacrilegious, whatsoever is instituted by man to the breach of God's disposition. Get ye far from such men: they are blind, and leaders of the blind." St. Hilary also applies this text against the Arians thus: "Perilous and miserable it is that there are now among them as many faiths as wills, and as many doctrines as manners; whilst modes of faith are written as men will, or as they will, so are understood. Whereas the one truth teaches there is but one God, one Lord, one baptism, and also one faith: hence whilst more faiths are made, they begin by falling from that which is the only faith, and end in having no faith at all." (St. Hilary, lib. ad Constantium Augustum.) 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.
Gospel: St. Matthew 22: 34-46
34 At that time, the Pharisees hearing that Jesus had silenced their adversaries, the Sadducees, came together:
35 And one of them, a doctor of the law, asking Him, tempting Him:
Commentary on Verse 34-35 The Pharisees heard that he had silenced their adversaries, the Sadducees, &c. Some of them, says St. Luke, (xx. 39.) applauded him, saying, Master, Thou hast said well. (Witham) --- 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, (St. Chrysostom) asked Him, tempting Him, if he were really possessed of that wisdom and that knowledge which people so much admired in him. (Bible de Vence)
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 neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.
Commentary on Verse 40 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 neighbor, 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. (Bristow) 41 And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying,
42 What think you of Christ? Whose son is He? They said 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?
Commentary on Verse 45 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 the Lord as well as the son of David: and this is what they could not answer to. (Witham) --- 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. (Tirinus) --- 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 Son, but what is much more, the Lord also, of David. (St. 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.
Haydock Commentary for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost