"Thy Faith hath made thee whole"
Comprehensive Catholic Commentary
Fr. George Leo Haydock
Editor's Note: 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 provided by John Gregory with the cogent comprehensive Catholic Commentary penned by Father George Leo Haydock on the Douay-Rheims version of the New Testament. The commentary for Quinquagesima Sunday deals with both charity and faith. The epistle focuses on St. Paul's words to the Corinthians that works without charity, true charity rooted in love of God, is empty as "a tinkling cymbal." It was charity that prompted Our Lord to recognize the blind man when the crowd and authorities sought to be uncharitable in preventing him from "disturbing" the Master. But the man's faith drove him to persevere and it was such that touched Jesus to heal Him for he knew the hearts of all men and knew the faith of the blind man who saw better than all the rest in the crowd.
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
If I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Commentary on Verse 1 A tinkling cymbal. Which may give notice, and be beneficial to others, but not to itself. (Witham) – Without charity, both towards every individual, and especially towards the common body of the Church, none of the aforesaid gifts will be available. (Bristow)
And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries, and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Commentary on Verse 2-3
These prove that faith without good works, and especially charity for God and our neighbour, cannot avail to eternal life; faith and charity are both essentially necessary. Hence Saint Augustine declares, that where there is not true faith, there cannot be justice; because the just man liveth by faith: and where charity is not, there can be no justice, which if they had, they would never tear in pieces the body of Christ, which is the Church. (De fid. Ad Pet. Chapter 39)
Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up;
Commentary on Verse 4 Charity . . . dealeth not perversely. The Greek word here seems taken from the Latin. Saint John Chrysostom expounds it, is not rash, but acteth prudently and considerately. Others, it is not light or inconstant. Others, it braggeth, or vaunteth not, as in the Protestant translation. (Witham)
Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil;
Commentary on Verse 5 Is not ambitious; which is also the sense of some Greek copies, but in others, and in Saint Chrysostom, it signifies, it is not ashamed of any one. (Witham)
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed.
Commentary on Verse 8 Prophecies and tongues last no longer than this life. – Knowledge shall be destroyed, that is, that imperfect knowledge we have in this world. For now we know only in part, we only see, as it were, through a glass, and imperfectly. – Faith, which is of things that appear not, and hope, which is of things that we enjoy not, will cease in Heaven, but charity, the greater, or greatest even of these three, will remain, and be increased in Heaven. (Witham)
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.
Commentary on Verse 10 Saint Augustine proves from this text, that the saints in Heaven have a more perfect knowledge of what passes here below, than when they sojourned on earth. (De Civit. Dei. Lib. 22 chapter 29)
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child.
Commentary on Verse 11 When I was a child. I, like you, formerly judged of the goodness and excellency of these spiritual gifts by the advantages they procured; but after the Almighty had bestowed upon me His particular light, my opinion was far otherwise. Prophecy, and the gifts of languages are certainly very estimable gifts, yet charity is much more excellent. (Calmet) – It is by charity we approach near to God, that we become His true image. Can we, then, wonder at the magnificent praises, glorious prerogatives, and surprising effects Saint Paul gives to this all necessary virtue?
We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known.
And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.
Gospel: St. Luke 18: 31-43
At that time, Jesus took unto Him the twelve, and said to them: Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of man.
For He shall be delivered to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and scourged, and spit upon:
And after they have scourged Him, they will put Him to death; and the third day He shall rise again.
And they understood none of these things, and this word was hid from them, and they understood not the things that were said.
Commentary on Verse 34 They understood well enough the sense of the words He spoke to them. But they could not understand how they would be reconciled with the idea they had previously conceived of the Messias. They were scandalized in the first place, to think that God should suffer any thing inflicted by man; they were scandalized in the second place, to hear that sufferings and death could lead to victory and empire; and lastly, they were scandalized, (their own feelings taking the alarm) lest they should be forced to imitate their Master in this part which He had chosen for Himself. (Haydock)
Now it came to pass, when He drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the way side, begging.
Commentary on Verse 35 This blind man is, according to some interpreters, different from the other two whom Jesus Christ cured as He was going out of Jericho. (Bible de Vence) – See Matthew 20: 29 and Mark 10: 46 et dein.
And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant.
And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.
And he cried out, saying: Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.
And they that went before, rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out much more: Son of David, have mercy on me.
And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto Him. And when he was come near, He asked him,
saying, What wilt thou that I do to thee? But he said: Lord, that I may see.
And Jesus said to him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole.
And immediately he saw, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.