September 7, 2008
vol 19, no. 251

"On these two commandments dependeth the whole law"

    Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Comprehensive Catholic Commentary
Fr. George Leo Haydock
provided by
John Gregory

      Editor's Note: We resume 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 Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost Father brings out the importance of the two greatest commandments on which the sum of the law is based. It dovetails with St. Paul's words in the Epistle to the Ephesians of "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." The Pharisees sought to trip Jesus up in any way they could, thinking they could trap Him into blasphemy, but our Lord nailed them with love - love of God and love of neighbor, the latter something they found difficult to stomach in their pompous ways of practicing the old law of an eye for an eye.

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. (Wi.)

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 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. Saint 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. Whoever gathereth elsewhere scattereth. It is adulterous, it is impious, it is sacrilegious, whatever 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.” Saint Hilary also applies this text against the Arians thus: “Perilous and miserable is it 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.” (Saint Hilary, l. 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: 35-46

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.

    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. (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?

    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. (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 Son, but what is much more, the Lord also, of David. (Saint John Chrysostom, hom. lxxii.)

    September 7, 2008
    vol 19, no. 251
    Haydock Commentary for Sunday's Proper