"Thy faith hath made thee whole" |
Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost
Comprehensive Catholic Commentary
Fr. George Leo Haydock
Editor's Note: We continue this special feature provided by John Gregory with the Haydock Commentary found at the bottom of each page of the Douay-Rheims Bible. With the type so small in most bibles, we publish it here in larger type in conjunction with the Epistle and Gospel for the Sunday Mass, with the cogent comprehensive Catholic Commentary penned by Father George Leo Haydock. For the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost Father Haydock provides a few commentaries that have been abandoned by the conciliar church, so intent on playing down, if not omitting miracles. In today's Gospel two miracles are performed by Christ, one who had the faith but to touch our Lord's garment which, of course, Jesus, by His divine nature, knew immmediately what was in her heart. So also with the young girl whom He had compassion on and rose from the dead, playing it down to diminish the sensational by merely saying "back up and put away your mourning for she is only sleeping." Of course, she was not, but as Fr. Haydock points out it is a way of saying that
Christ alone can restore grace to the soul. It symbolizes that she was dead to mortal sin, but revived by sanctifying grace from the touch of our Lord for Christ is the key to all things in life and in death. Something we should all remember well in these times when man places so much emphasis on the temporal and turning to the finite for answers that can only be provided by the Infinite.
Epistle: Philippians 3: 17 4: 3
Be ye followers of me, brethren, and observe them who walk so as you have our model.
Commentary on Verse 17 Be followers of me, always in distrust of your own merits, and always eager to advance in perfection, as I am. It is a happy thing when a pastor can thus in all sincerity and simplicity address his flock. He exhorts them to follow him in what he had taught them, and in the model of a good life, which he had set before them.
For many walk, of whom I have told you often (and now tell you weeping), that they are enemies of the cross of Christ;
Commentary on Verse 18 He repeats to them, with tears, what he had formerly told them, that many walk and conduct themselves as enemies to the cross of Christ, to Christ crucified, by abandoning themselves to the pleasures of a sensual life, who glory in things they ought to be ashamed of. He hints at the disciples of Simon Magus, or of the Jewish doctors. (Wi)
Whose end is destruction; whose God is their belly; and whose glory is in their shame; who mind earthly things.
But our conversation is in Heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who will reform the body of our lowness, made like to the body of His glory, according to the operation whereby also He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.
Therefore, my dearly beloved brethren, and most desired, my joy and my crown; so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
I beg of Evodia, and I beseech Syntyche, to be of one mind in the Lord.
Commentary on Verse 2 I beg of. Saint John Chrysostom, Theod, and many others, think that these were two ladies particularly famous in the Church at Philippi, for their virtue and good works. Some critics are of opinion that Syntyche was a man. It is certain, at least, that this name agrees amongst the Greek better with a man than a woman; and perhaps the latter of these two may be the husband of Evodia.
And I entreat thee also, my sincere companion, help those women who have labored with me in the gospel, with Clement and the rest of my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.
Commentary on Verse 3 I entreat thee, my sincere companion. Saint John Chrysostom expounds it of his fellow laborer or fellow soldier, and says that some pretended that by it was meant Saint Pauls wife; but this he absolutely rejects, as do all the ancient interpreters, who teach us that Saint Paul was never married, if we accept the particular opinion of Clement of Alexandria, (l. 3. strom. P. 448. Edit. Heinsii) who at the same time tells us, that Saint Paul and those ministers of the gospel who had wives, lived with them as if they had been their sisters. The pretended reformers, who bring this place to shew that bishops and priests may marry, will they be for living after this manner? See 1 Corinthians 7: 7-8. But even Calvin, Beza, and Dr. Hammond, expound this of some man that labored with Saint Paul. (Wi.) It seems probable that Saint Paul is here speaking to one of the persons mentioned in the previous verse. Others think that he is speaking to the gaoler whom he converted at Philippi. It seems most probable, however, that Saint Paul is here speaking to the bishop of the Church, at Philippi. As to the opinion that he is speaking to his wife, we have elsewhere refuted that sentiment. (Calmet) Saint Paul says of himself that he had not wife, (1 Corinthians 7:8) and all the Greek Fathers are very positive on this point. With Clement. Saint Jerome, Estius, and some others, believe that this Clement was the fourth pope that governed the Church, after Saints Linus and Cletus: this at least is the common opinion. Those women who have labored with me in the gospel, not by preaching, but by assisting other ways to promote the gospel. (Wi.)
Gospel: St. Matthew 9: 18-26
At that time as Jesus was speaking to the multitudes, behold a certain ruler came up, and adored Him, saying: Lord, my daughter is even now dead; but come, lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
Commentary on Verse 18 A certain ruler. Literally, a prince of a synagogue. He is called Jairus. (Mark 5 and Luke 8) My daughter is just now dead: or, as the other evangelists express it, is at the point of death; and her father having left her dying, he might think and say she was already dead. (Wi.) In effect, news was shortly after brought him that she was dead. It is thus that some commentators explain the apparent difference found in Mark 5: 22, and Luke 8: 41. But come, lay thy hand, & c. Let us admire and imitate the humility and kindness of our Redeemer; no sooner had He heard the request of the ruler, but rising up, He followed him. Though, says Saint John Chrysostom, He saw His earthly disposition, requesting Him to come and lay His hand upon her.
And Jesus rising up followed him, with His disciples.
And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment.
Commentary on Verse 20 And behold a woman. This woman, according to Eusebius, came from Caesarea Philippi, who, in honour of her miraculous cure, afterwards erected a brazen monument, descriptive of this event, before the door of her house in Caesarea Philippi. (Euseb.)
For she said within herself: If I shall touch only His garment, I shall be healed.
But Jesus turning and seeing her, said: Be of good heart, daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Commentary on Verse 22 (Greek wording) turning about and seeing, as if He were ignorant, and wished to see who it was that had touched Him, as the other evangelists relate. In Saint Mark (5: 29,) we see she was cured on touching the garment; and Jesus only confirms the cure by what He says in verse 34. But Jesus turning about. Our divine Savior, fearing lest He might alarm the woman by His words, says immediately to her, Take courage; and at the same time calls her His daughter, because her faith had rendered her such. (Saint John Chrysostom)
And when Jesus was come into the house of the ruler, and saw the minstrels and the multitude making a rout,
Commentary on Verse 23 And when
saw the minstrels. It was a custom among the Jews at funerals to hire persons to make some doleful music, and great lamentations. (Wi.) Ovid also mentions the lugubrious music attendant on funerals. Cantabat moestis tibia funeribus. (4. Fast.)
He said: Give place, for the girl is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn.
Commentary on Verse 24 The girl is not dead. Christ, by saying so, insinuated that she was not dead in such a manner as they imagined; that is, so as to remain dead, but presently to return to life, as if she had been only asleep. (Wi.) But sleepeth. In the 11th chapter of Saint John, Christ again calls death a sleep. Our friend Lazarus sleepeth. Thus He teaches us to be no longer in dread of death, since it was reduced to the condition of a sleep. If you believe this, why do you vainly weep? why do you afflict yourself? this the Gentiles do, who have not faith. Your child is asleep, not dead, is gone to a place of rest, not to destruction. Therefore the royal prophet says, Turn, O my soul, into thy rest, for the Lord hath been bountiful to thee. (Psalm 114) If then it is a kindness, why should you weep? what else could you do at the death of an adversary, an enemy, the object of your greatest aversion? (Saint John Chrysostom, homily 32) Christ here asserts that the girl is only asleep, to shew that it was as easy for Him to raise her from death as from sleep. (Theophylactus)
And when the multitude was put forth, He went in, and took her by the hand. And the maid arose.
Commentary on Verse 25 He took her by the hand, and in His hands is the key both to life and death, (Apocalypse 1: 18,) so He commanded the soul to return and the girl to arise. (A.) And when the multitude, & c. That is, if after a sinful and worldly life we wish to rise again, and be cleansed from the miserable condition of mortal sin, denoted by the girl who was dead, we must cast out of our minds the great multitude of worldly concerns; for whilst these have possession, the mind in unable to recollect itself and apply seriously to consideration. (Saint Gregory)