June 1, 2008
vol 19, no. 153

Comprehensive Catholic Commentary
Fr. George Leo Haydock
provided by
John Gregory

      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. Today for the Third Sunday after Pentecost, we encounter one of the most oft quoted passages of Sacred Scripture, the eighth verse of chapter five of the first epistle of St. Peter whereby Christ's chosen first Pope employs the imagery of the devil being like a roaring lion always on the prowl to devour souls. That is why it ties in so well with today's Gospel of the rejoicing of one sinner returning to the fold. With satan roaming it truly is a victory worth celebrating when a soul is saved from this savage unearthly beast.

Epistle: 1 St. Peter 5: 6-11

6 Be you humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in the time of visitation:

7 Casting all your care upon Him, for He hath care of you.

8 Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.

9 Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world.

10 But the God of all grace, Who hath called us into His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will Himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you.

11 To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel: St. Luke 15: 1-10

1 Now the publicans and sinners drew near unto Him to hear Him.

2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying: This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

3 And He spoke to them this parable, saying:

4 What man of you that hath an hundred sheep: and if he shall lose one of them, doth he not leave the ninety-nine in the desert, and go after that which was lost, until he find it?

    Commentary on Verse 4 What man, & c. Christ left the ninety-nine in the desert, when He descended from the angelic choirs, in order to seek last man on the earth, that He might fill up the number of the sheepfold of Heaven, from which His sins had excluded Him. St. Ambrose. Neither did His affection for the last sheep make Him behave cruelly to the rest; for He left them in safety, under the protection of His omnipotent hand. St. Cyril ex D. Thomas Aquinas.
5 And when he hath found it, lay it upon his shoulders, rejoicing:

6 And coming home, call together his friends and neighbors, saying to them: Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.

7 I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in Heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.

    Commentary on Verse 7 Joy in Heaven, & c. What incitement ought it not to be to us to practice virtue, when we reflect that our conversion causes joy to the troops of blessed spirits, whose protection we should always seek, and whose presence we should always revere. St. Ambrose. There is greater joy for the conversion of a sinner, than for the perseverance of the just; but it frequently happens, that these being free from the chain of sin, remain indeed in the path of justice, but press not on eagerly to their heavenly country; whilst such as have been sinners, are stung with grief at the remembrance of their former transgressions, and calling to mind how they have forsaken their God, endeavour by present fervour to compensate for their past misconduct. But it must be remembered that there are many just, whose lives cause such joy to the heavenly court, that all the penitential exercises of sinners cannot be preferred before them.? St. Gregory, hom. xxxiv.
8 Or what woman having ten groats; if she lose one groat, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it?

9 And when she hath found it, call together her friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me, because I have found the groat which I had lost.

10 So I say to you, there shall be joy before the angels of God upon one sinner doing penance.

    Commentary on Verse 10 Before the angels. By this it is plain that the spirits in Heaven have a concern for us below, and a joy at our repentance, and consequently a knowledge of it. C.

    June 1, 2008
    vol 19, no. 153