And He was subject to them

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

      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 Holy Family Sunday, the First Sunday after Epiphany and still Within the Octave, the focus is on the love of God and God's love for us shown so beautifully in the fifth Joyful Mystery of the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. Here we see the obedience He gave to His earthly parents in exhibiting the kind of humility expected of each of His children in obedience to God and the rightful superiors God places in our care asking us to have charity in our hearts as we can see from St. Paul's epistle in bearing with one another in love for charity is the paramount virtue.

    Epistle: Colossians 3: 12-17

    12 Put ye on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience:

    13 Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also.

    14 But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection:

      Commentary on Verse 14 Above all these things have charity, the love of God, and of your neighbor, which is the bond of perfection, the end of all virtues, which unites the hearts of all to God. (Witham)
    15 And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful.
      Commentary on Verse 15 The peace of Christ rejoice: reign, conquer, bear away the prize. (Witham)

    16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom, teaching, and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God.

      Commentary on Verse 16 Employ yourselves in studying and reading the Scriptures; meditate on what our Savior has done and suffered for you. It is a calumny of our enemies, that we forbid the reading of the Testament. But the Church, fearing lest the faithful should read to their own destruction what was ordained for their salvation, wisely ordains that they should have recourse to their pastors, and receive from them those versions which she approves as most conformable to the Latin Vulgate, which has received the sanction of the holy Catholic Church, and at the same time forbids them those which might corrupt their faith. In this she acts the part of a good and provident mother, conducting her children to the rich and salutary pastures of peace and plenty, and carefully guarding then from others where tempting but noxious weeds luxuriantly grow up, watered with the baneful streams of polluted and poisoned sources.
      If pure be the steams from the fountain,
      As purely the river will flow;
      If noxious the stream from the mountain,
      It poisons the valley below.
    17 Giving thanks always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God and the Father:
      Commentary on Verse 17 Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let all be done for His honor and glory. See 1 Corinthians x. 31. (Witham)

    Gospel: St. Luke 2: 42-52

    42 And when He was twelve years [about the year A.D. 12.; A.D. 8, according to the Vulgate.] old, they went up to Jerusalem, according to the custom of the feast.

    43 And after they had fulfilled the days, when they returned, the child, Jesus, remained in Jerusalem, and His parents knew it not.

      Commentary on Verse 43 : It may be asked how the blessed Virgin and St. Joseph could possibly have come so far without missing Him; but we must take notice, that when the people went up to the temple from remote parts of Judea, the men went in one company, and the women in a separate company, whilst the children went in either company indifferently: so that St. Joseph imagined that He was with Mary, His mother, whilst she imagined He was with St. Joseph. (Nicholas of Lyra)

    44 And thinking that He was in the company, they came a day's journey, and sought Him among their kinsfolks and acquaintance.

    45 And not finding Him, they returned into Jerusalem, seeking Him.

    46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions.

    47 And all, that heard Him, were astonished at His wisdom, and His answers.

    48 And seeing Him, they wondered. And His mother said to Him: Son, why hast thou done so to us? behold, thy father and I have sought Thee, sorrowing.

    49 And He said to them: How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know, that I must be about the things that are My Father's?

      Commentary on Verse 49 I must be about the things that are My Father's? By these words He shewed, that not St. Joseph, but only God, was His father. (Witham)

    50 And they understood not the word that He spoke unto them.

      Commentary on Verse 50 They understood not, &c. That is, knew not when, or by what means, Christ designed to make Himself known to the world. (Witham)

    51 And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth: and was subject to them. And His mother kept all these words in her heart.

      Commentary on Verse 51 Was subject to them. Astonishing humility! which the Son of God was pleased to teach by His example, as also obedience to parents. (Witham) --- The evangelist relates nothing of our Savior from the age of twelve till the age of thirty, except that He was subject to St. Joseph and the blessed Virgin. The divine Spirit shewing by this, that nothing is so great and amiable in Christians, as ready obedience to the directions of their superiors. (Barradius) --- All children are hereby taught what subjection and obedience is due from them to their parents.

    52 And Jesus increased in wisdom, and age, and grace with God and men.

      Commentary on Verse 52 Not that He was wiser at any future period of His life, than He was at the moment of His conception, but this is said, because He chose to manifest increasing signs of wisdom as He increased in years. --- In the same manner also He increased in grace, by displaying, as He advanced in age, the gifts of grace with which He was endowed; and by this excited men to the praise of God, from the consideration of favors God had bestowed upon Him; and thus He conduced to the honor of God, and the salvation of men. (St. Gregory) --- The sun, always equally brilliant in itself, is said to increase in splendor, till it has reached its meridian brilliancy.

    Haydock Commentary for Holy Family Sunday