Thomas Aquinas

Translated by John Henry Newman
except Prooemium and bracketed portions by Joseph Kenny, O.P.

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Prooemium Prologue
Induam caelos tenebris, et saccum ponam operimentum eorum. Dominus dedit mihi linguam eruditam, ut sciam sustentare eum qui lapsus est verbo. Erigit mane, mane erigit mihi aurem, ut audiam quasi magistrum. (Isaias 50:3-4)
I will clothe the heavens with darkness, and place a sack as their covering. The Lord gave me an erudite tongue, so that I can sustain the fallen by my word. He awakens me in the morning; in the morning he awakens my ear, that I may hear him as my teacher.
Glossa: Inter cetera incarnationis Christi mysteria, quae Isaias propheta diligenter et aperte praenuntiat, dicit induam caelos tenebris etc., ex quibus verbis accipere possumus Evangelii secundum Lucam materiam, modum scribendi, finem et conditionem scriptoris. Gloss: Among the mysteries of the incarnation of Christ, which Isaiah diligently and openly foretold, he says: "I will clothe the heavens" etc. From these words we can gather, for the Gospel according to Luke, the matter, the manner of writing, the purpose and the condition of the writer.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Lucas enim circa sacerdotalem domini stirpem atque personam magis occupatus videtur, unde per vitulum significatus est, propter maximam victimam sacerdotis. Augustine, On the consistency of the Gospel: For Luke seems preoccupied with the royal lineage and person of the Lord. Therefore he is typified by the bull, because it is the chief victim of the priest.
Ambrosius in Luc: Vitulus enim sacerdotalis est victima, unde bene congruit vitulo hic Evangelii liber, qui a sacerdotibus inchoavit et consummavit in vitulo, qui omnium peccata suscipiens pro totius mundi vita est immolatus; et ipsam vituli immolationem Lucas stylo quodam pleniore diffudit. Ambrose, on Luke: For the priestly boois is the victim; therefore this Gospel book fits the bull well, because it starts from priests and vinishes in the book who took the sins of all and was sacrificed for the life of the world. And Luke gave a fuller treatment to the immolation of the bull.
Glossa: Quia igitur passionem Christi principaliter exponere Lucas intendit, huius Evangelii materia significari potest in eo quod dicitur induam caelos tenebris, et saccum ponam operimentum eorum; nam ad litteram in passione Christi tenebrae factae sunt, et in discipulis fides obscurata est. Gloss: Because Luke principally intended to treat of the passion of Christ, the matter of this Gospel can be represented by the statement: "I will clothe the heavens with darkness, and place a sack as their covering," for in the passion of Christ darkness literally took pllace, and the faith of the disciples was darkened.
Hieronymus super Isaiam: Et Christus despectus erat et ignobilis quando pendebat in cruce; et absconditus est vultus eius atque despectus, ut humano corpore divina potentia celaretur. Jerome, on Isaiah: Christ was despised and without honor when he hung on the cross. His face was hidden and despised, so that the divine power would be hidden by a human body.
Hieronymus de viris illustribus Sermo autem Lucae tam in Evangelio quam in actibus apostolorum comptior est et saeculari redolet eloquentia. Unde subditur dominus dedit mihi linguam eruditam. Jerome, on illustrious men: Luke's narration, both in the Gospel and in the Acts of the Apostles, is refined and full of secular eloquence. Therefore Isaiah adds: "The Lord gave me an eloquent tongue."
Ambrosius in Luc: Nam licet Scriptura divina mundanae evacuet sapientiae disciplinam, quod maiore fucata verborum ambitu quam rerum ratione subnixa sit; tamen si quis in Scripturis divinis etiam illa quae imitanda illi putant, quaerat, inveniet. Sanctus enim Lucas velut quemdam historicum ordinem tenuit, et plura nobis gestorum domini miracula revelavit; ita tamen ut omnes sapientiae virtutes Evangelii ipsius complecteretur historia. Quid enim praecellentius ad sapientiam naturalem, quam quod spiritum sanctum creatorem etiam dominicae incarnationis extitisse reseravit? Docet moralia in eodem libro, quemadmodum scilicet amare inimicum debeam; docet etiam rationalia, cum lego quoniam qui fidelis est in minimo, et in magno fidelis est. Ambrose, on Luke: Although Scripture defeats human wisdom, which relies more on a rich vocabulary than on reality, nevertheless, if anyone looks in divine Scripture for what they think should be imitated, he will find it. For St. Luke held to an historical order, and made known to us very many miracles worked by the Lord. At the same time the historical narration of this Gospel embraces all the powers of wisdom. For what could surpass natural wisdom more than that he brought into play the Holy Creator Spirit also for the Lord's incarnation. He teaches morals in the same book, such as that I must love my enemy. He also teaches reasonable things, as when I read that he who is faithful in little things, will be faithful in great things.
Eusebius in Eccles. Hist Is ergo genere quidem Antiochenus, arte medicus, secundum hanc medicinam quam ex apostolorum vel societate vel traditione susceperat, duos nobis medicinales libros, quibus non corpora sed animae curentur explicuit. Unde sequitur ut sciam sustentare eum qui lapsus est verbo. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History: From Antiochene stock, he was a medical practitioner, according to the medicine that he learned from the company of the apostles or from tradtion. He left us two medical books, where he explained how not bodies, but souls are cured. Therefore, Isaiah continues: "so that I can sustain the fallen by my word."
Hieronymus super Isaiam: Dicit enim se a domino accepisse sermonem, quomodo lapsum errantemque populum sustentet, et revocet ad salutem. Jerome, on Isaiah: He says that he received from the Lord his account on how to raise up a falling and erring people, and call them back to salvation.
Graecus expositor: Cum autem Lucas bonae indolis esset et capacitatis strenuae, Graecorum scientiam consecutus est. Grammaticam siquidem atque poesim adeptus perfecte, rethoricam autem et persuadendi leporem assecutus ad plenum, neque philosophiae muneribus caruit; denique et medicinam acquirit, et quoniam naturae velocitate satis de humana gustaverat sapientia, ad altiorem convolat. Accelerat igitur ad Iudaeam, et visibiliter et verbo tenus Christum adit. Cumque veritatem cognosceret, verus efficitur Christi discipulus, plurimum magistro commoratus. A Greek expositor: Since Luke was well endowed and could work hard, he acquired Greek learning. He fully mastered grammar, poetry, rhetoric and the ability to persuade, nor did he lack philosophical talent. Lastly, he acquired medical science, and since by natural precosity he tasted his full of human wisdom, he flew to a higher level. So he hurred to Judaea, and went to Christ, seeing him and hearing him. Since he knew the truth, he became a true disciple of Christ, staying with his Master for a long time.
Glossa: Unde subditur erigit mane, quasi a iuventute ad saecularem sapientiam; mane erigit mihi aurem ad divina, ut audiam quasi magistrum, scilicet ipsum Christum. Gloss: There follows: "He awakens me in the morning," that is, from his youth with secular wisdom. He awakens me to divine things, so that I may hear him as a Master, that is, Christ himself.
Eusebius in Eccles. Hist: Tradunt autem quod Evangelium suum ex Pauli ore conscripserit, sicut et Marcus quae ex Petri ore fuerant praedicata conscripsit. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History: The tradition is that he wrote his Gospel from the mouth of Paul, as Mark wrote what Peter preached.
Chrysostomus super Matthaeum: Uterque autem eorum magistrum imitatus est; hic quidem Paulum super flumina fluentem, ille autem Petrum breviloquio studentem. Chrysostom, on Matthew: Each of them imitated their master, Luke imitating Paul flowing on the rivers, Mark imitating Peter who kept to brief speech.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Eo autem tempore scripserunt quo non solum ab Ecclesia Christi, verum etiam ab ipsis adhuc in carne manentibus apostolis probari meruerunt. Augustine, on the consistency of the Gospels: At that time they wrote, they received the approbation no only of the Church of Christ, but also of the apostles who were still living.
Et haec prooemialiter dicta sufficiant. And this suffices as an introduction.

Lectio 1
1 ἐπειδήπερ πολλοὶ ἐπεχείρησαν ἀνατάξασθαι διήγησιν περὶ τῶνπεπληροφορημένων ἐν ἡμῖν πραγμάτων, 2 καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν οἱ ἀπ' ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι τοῦ λόγου, 3 ἔδοξε κἀμοὶ παρηκολουθηκότι ἄνωθεν πᾶσιν ἀκριβῶς καθεξῆς σοι γράψαι, κράτιστε θεόφιλε, 4 ἵνα ἐπιγνῷς περὶ ὧν κατηχήθης λόγων τὴν ἀσφάλειαν.
1. Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2. Even as they delivered them to us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word: 3. It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4. That you might know the certainty of those things, wherein you have been instructed.

Eusebius Eccles. Hist: Lucas in initio Evangelii sui, causam cur scripserit indicavit, videlicet quoniam multi alii temere praesumpserant enarrare res quae sibi magis erant ad liquidum compertae: et hoc est quod dicit quoniam quidem multi conati sunt ordinare narrationem rerum. EUSEBIUS; St. Luke at the commencement of his Gospel has told us the reason of his writing, which was, that many others had rashly taken upon themselves to give accounts of those things of which he had a more certain knowledge. And this is his meaning when he says, Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of things.
Ambrosius in prooem. in Lucam: Nam sicut multi in Iudaeorum populo divino infusi spiritu prophetaverunt, alii autem pseudoprophetae erant potius quam prophetae; sic et nunc in novo testamento multi Evangelia scribere conati sunt, quae boni nummularii non probarunt: et aliud quidem fertur Evangelium quod duodecim scripsisse dicuntur: ausus est etiam Basilides Evangelium scribere: fertur aliud secundum Thomam, et aliud secundum Matthiam. AMBROSE; For as many among the Jewish people prophesied by inspiration of the Spirit of God, but others were false prophets rather than prophets, so now also travel many attempted to write Gospels which the good moneychanger refuses to pass. One gospel is mentioned which the twelve Apostles are said to have written; another Basilides presumed to write; and another is said to have been by Matthias.
Beda: Multos ergo eos non tam numerositate quam haereseos multifariae diversitate connumerat, qui non spiritus sancti munere donati, sed vacuo labore conati, magis ordinaverunt narrationem, quam historiae texuerunt veritatem. BEDE; The many who are mentioned, he reckons not so much by their number, as by the variety of their manifold heresies; men who were not endued with the gift of the Holy Spirit, but engaging in a vain work, have rather set forth in order a relation of events, than woven a true history
Ambrosius: Qui enim conatus est ordinare, suo labore conatus est, nec implevit suo conatu: sine conatu sunt enim donationes et gratia Dei, quae ubi se infuderit, rigare consuevit, ut non egeat, sed redundet scriptoris ingenium: et ideo bene dicit rerum quae in nobis completae sunt, vel quae in nobis redundant: quod enim redundat, nulli deficit, et de completo nemo dubitat, cum fidem effectus astruat, exitus prodat. AMBROSE; Now they who have attempted to set forth these things in order have labored by themselves, and have not succeeded in what they attempted. For without the assistance of man come the gifts and the grace of God, which, when it is infused, is wont so to flow, that the genius of the writer is not exhausted, but ever abounding. He well says therefore, Of things which have been fully accomplished among us, or which abound among us. For that which abounds is lacking to none, and no one doubts about that which is fulfilled, since the accomplishment builds up our faith, and the end manifests it.
Origenes in Lucam: Dicit autem rerum, quia non secundum phantasiam, iuxta haereticos, exercuit Iesus carnalem ipsius adventum; sed cum veritas esset, revera negotium prosecutus est.

Affectum autem suum indicat ex hoc quod ait quae in nobis completae sunt; idest, quae in nobis manifestissimae sunt ostensae: id enim quod Graece legitur peplirophorimenon uno verbo Latinus sermo non explicat: certa enim fide et ratione cognoverat, neque in aliquo fluctuabat.

TITUS BOSTRENSIS; He says, of things, because not by shadows, as the heretics say, did Jesus accomplish His advent in the flesh, but being as He was the Truth, so in very truth He performed His work.

ORIGEN; The effect upon his own mind, St. Luke explains by the expression, of the things which have been fully accomplished among us, i.e. have had their full manifestation among us, (as the Greek word signifies, which the Latin cannot not express in one word,) for he had been convinced of them by sure faith and reason, and wavered not in

Chrysostomus: Evangelista autem non solum testimonio contentus est proprio, sed ad apostolos totum refert, inde robur venatur sermoni; et ideo subdit sicut tradiderunt nobis qui ab initio ipsi viderunt. any thing. CHRYSOSTOM; The Evangelist was so far from being content with his single testimony, that he refers the whole to the Apostles, seeking from them a confirmation of his words; and therefore he adds, as they handed them down to us, who were themselves from the beginning eyewitnesses.
Eusebius Eccles. Hist: Certus est quod veritatem, vel Paulo exponente, vel aliis apostolis qui ab initio ipsi viderant, vel sibi tradiderant, consecutus sit. EUSEBIUS; Luke is a sure witness, because he obtained his knowledge of the truth either from St. Paul’s instructions, or the instructions and traditions of the other Apostles, who were themselves eyewitnesses from the beginning.
Chrysostomus: Dicit autem viderunt, quia hoc maxime robur nanciscitur credulitatis, quod addiscitur ab his qui praesentialiter viderunt. CHRYS. He says, were eyewitnesses, because this is our chief ground for believing in a thing, that we derive it from those who were actually eyewitnesses.
Origenes: Palam est autem quod cuiusdam doctrinae finis est in ipsa doctrina, sicut geometriae; alterius vero doctrinae finis in opere computatur, sicut medicinae; et ita est in sermone Dei. Et ideo postquam significaverat scientiam ex hoc quod dixerat ipsi viderunt, demonstrat opera ex hoc quod sequitur: et ministri fuerunt sermonis vel verbi. ORIGEN; It is plain that of one kind of knowledge, the end is in the knowledge itself, as in geometry; but of another kind, the end is counted to be in the work, as in medicine; and so it is in the word of God, and therefore having signified the knowledge by the words were themselves eyewitnesses, he points out the work by what follows, and were ministers of the word.
Ambrosius: Nam congruit ista locutio, ut maius mysterium verbi quam auditum esse credamus; sed quia non prolativum verbum, sed substantiale significatur, non vulgare verbum, sed caeleste intelligamus, cui apostoli ministrarunt. AMBROSE; This expression is used, not that we should suppose the ministry of the word to consist rather in seeing than hearing, but that, because by the word was meant not a word that can be spoken by the mouth, but one of real existence, we may understand that to have been not a common, but a Heavenly Word, to which the Apostles ministered.
Cyrillus: Quod autem dicit, huius verbi visores fuisse apostolos, concordat cum Ioanne, qui dicit: verbum caro factum est, et habitavit in nobis, et vidimus gloriam eius. Verbum namque, mediante carne, visibile factum est. CYRIL; In what he says of the Apostles having been eyewitnesses of the word, he agrees with John, who says, The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory. For the Word by means of the flesh was made visible.
Ambrosius: Non solum autem secundum corpus viderunt dominum, sed etiam secundum verbum. Viderunt enim verbum, qui cum Moyse et Elia viderunt gloriam verbi; alii non viderunt, qui corpus tantummodo videre potuerunt. AMBROSE; Now not only did they see the Lord in the body, but also in the Word. For they saw the Word, who with Moses and Elias saw the glory of the Word. Others did not see it, who could only see the body.
Origenes: Et in Exodo quidem scriptum est: populus videbat vocem domini; vox autem auditur potius quam videtur. Sed propterea ita scriptum est ut ostenderetur nobis aliis videri oculis vocem domini, quibus illi aspiciunt qui merentur. Porro in Evangelio non vox cernitur, sed sermo qui voce praestantior est. ORIGEN; It is written in Exodus, The people saw the voice of the Lord. Now a voice is rather heard than seen. But it was so written, to show us that men see the voice of the Lord with other eyes, which they only have who are worthy of them. Again in the Gospel, it is not the voice that is perceived, but the Word, which is more excellent than the voice.
Theophylactus: Ex hoc enim manifeste innuitur quod Lucas non fuit discipulus ab initio, sed processu temporis; alii autem fuerunt discipuli ab initio, ut Petrus et filii Zebedaei. THEOPHYLACT; By these words it is plainly implied, that Luke was not a disciple from the beginning but became one in course of time; others were disciples from the beginning, as Peter, and the sons of Zebedee.
Beda in Lucam: Et tamen Matthaeus quoque et Ioannes in multis quae scriberent, ab his qui infantiam, pueritiam, genealogiamque eius scire et gestis interesse potuerant, audire opus habebant. BEDE; Nevertheless both Matthew and John were obliged in many things that they wrote to consult those who had had means of knowing the infancy, childhood, and genealogy of our Lord, and of seeing the things which he did.
Origenes: Deinde facultatem scribendi replicat: quoniam ea quae scripsit, non rumore cognoverit, sed ab initio fuerit ipse consecutus: unde sequitur visum est et mihi, assecuto a principio omnia diligenter, ex ordine tibi scribere, optime Theophile. ORIGEN; St. Luke hereby explains to us the source of his writing; seeing that what things he wrote, he gained not from report, but had himself traced them up from the beginning. Hence it follows, It seemed good to me also, having carefully investigated every thing from the very first, to write to you in order, most excellent Theophilus.
Ambrosius: Cum dicit visum est et mihi, non negat Deo visum: a Deo enim praeparatur voluntas hominum. Prolixiorem autem hunc Evangelii librum quam ceteros esse nemo dubitaverit; et ideo non ea quae falsa sunt, sed quae vera, sibi vindicat: et ideo dicit assecuto quidem omnia visum est scribere: non omnia, sed ex omnibus: quia quae fecit Iesus si scribantur omnia, nec ipsum mundum capere arbitror. Consulto autem quae ab aliis sunt scripta praeteriit, ut propriis quibusdam singuli Evangeliorum libri mysteriorum gestorumque miraculis eminerent. AMBROSE; When he says, It seemed good to me, he does not deny that it seemed good to God for it is God who predisposes the wills of men. Now no one has doubted that this book of the Gospel is more full of details than the others; by these words then he claims to himself, not any thing that is false, but the truth; and therefore he says, “It seemed good to me, having investigated every thing, to write.” Not to write every thing, but from a review of every thing; “for if all the things which Jesus did were written, I do not think the world itself could contain them.” But purposely has Luke passed by things that were written by others, in order that each book of the Gospel might be distinguished by certain mysteries and miracles peculiar to itself.
Theophylactus: Scribit autem ad Theophilum virum inclytum, fortassis et principem, quia quod dicit cratiste, idest optime, sive strenue, non dicebatur nisi principibus et praesidibus; sicut et Paulus Festo praesidi dixit: cratiste (hoc est optime vel strenue) Feste. THEOPHYLACT; He writes to Theophilus, a man probably of some distinction, and a governor; for the form, Most excellent, was not used except to rulers and governors. As for example, Paul says to Festus, Most excellent Festus.
Beda: Theophilus autem interpretatur amans Deum vel amatus a Deo. Quisquis ergo amat Deum, sive a Deo se desiderat amari, ad se scriptum putet Evangelium, et ut sibi datum munus, sibique commendatum pignus conservet. Non autem novorum quorumlibet eidem Theophilo et velut ignotorum ratio pandenda; sed eorum de quibus eruditus est, verborum promittitur veritas exprimenda, cum subditur ut cognoscas eorum verborum de quibus eruditus es, veritatem; scilicet, ut quo quid ordine a domino gestum dictumve sit, agnoscere queas. BEDE; Theophilus means, “loving God,” or “being loved by God.” Whoever then loses God, or desires to be loved by Him, let him think this Gospel to have been written to him, and preserve it as a gift presented to him, a pledge entrusted to his care. The promise was not to explain the meaning of certain new and strange things to Theophilus, but to set forth the truth of those words in which he had been instructed; as it is added, That you might know the truth of those words in which you have been instructed; that is, “that you might be able to know in what order each thing was said or done by the Lord.”
Chrysostomus: Vel aliter. Ut certitudinem habeas, et securus existas, quae auditu perceperas, prospiciens in Scriptura. CHRYSOSTOM; Or it may be, “That you might feel certain and satisfied as to the truth of those things which you have heard, now that you behold the same in writing.”
Theophylactus in Lucam: Plerumque enim cum sine scripto aliquid dicitur, calumniantur illud quasi falsum; cum vero quis quae dicit scripserit, tunc magis credimus: quia nisi putaret vera, non scriberet. THEOPHYLACT; For frequently, when a thing is asserted by any one, and not expressed in writing, we suspect it of falsehood; but when a man has written what he asserts, we are the more inclined to believe it, as if, unless he thought it to be true, he would not commit it to writing.
Chrysostomus: Vel aliter. Totum Evangelistae prooemium duo continet: conditionem eorum qui ante eum Evangelium scripserant, puta Matthaei et Marci; et rursum cur et ipse scribere proposuit. Cum vero dixisset conati sunt, vocabulum protulit potens applicari et ad praesumptuose aggredientes materiam, et ad honeste pertractantes illam. Duabus enim additionibus dubiam sententiam certificat. Primo quidem quia dixit quae in nobis completae sunt rerum; secundo quia dixit sicut tradiderunt nobis qui ab initio ipsi viderunt. Simul autem hoc quod dico tradiderunt indicare mihi videtur quod et ipsi moneantur propagare; velut enim illi tradiderunt, ipsos quoque oportebit accipientes seriatim ad invicem promulgare. Nondum autem commendantibus Scripturae quae tradita fuerint, contingebat inconvenientia plurima provenire diuturnitate temporis, unde merito quae de primis visoribus verbi et ministris verbi acceperant, in scriptis universo mundo traditionem praestiterunt, et calumnias propellentes, et oblivionem destruentes, et ex ipsa traditione integritatem accomodantes. GREEK EX. The whole preface of in this Evangelist contains two things; first, the condition of those who wrote Gospels before him, (Matthew and Mark for example;) secondly, the reason why he also himself proposed to write one. Having said, “attempted,” a word which may be applied both to those who presumptuously engage upon a subject, and those who reverently handle it, he determines the doubtful expression by two additions; first, by the words, Of things which have been fully accomplished among us; and secondly, As they handed them down to us, who were eyewitnesses from the beginning. The word handed down seems to show, that the eye-witnesses themselves had a commission to transmit the truth. For as they handed it down, so it became others also receiving it in due order, in their turn to publish it. But from the not depositing in writing what had been delivered, several difficulties through lapse of time sprang up. Rightly then did those who had received the tradition from the first eye-witnesses of the Word, establish it in writing for the whole world; thereby repelling falsehood, destroying forgetfulness, and making up from tradition itself a perfect whole.

Lectio 2
5 ἐγένετο ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἡρῴδου βασιλέως τῆς ἰουδαίας ἱερεύς τις ὀνόματι ζαχαρίας ἐξ ἐφημερίας ἀβιά, καὶ γυνὴ αὐτῷ ἐκ τῶν θυγατέρων ἀαρών, καὶ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτῆς ἐλισάβετ. 6 ἦσαν δὲ δίκαιοι ἀμφότεροι ἐναντίον τοῦ θεοῦ, πορευόμενοι ἐν πάσαις ταῖς ἐντολαῖς καὶ δικαιώμασιν τοῦ κυρίου ἄμεμπτοι. 7 καὶ οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τέκνον, καθότι ἦν ἡ ἐλισάβετ στεῖρα, καὶ ἀμφότεροι προβεβηκότες ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις αὐτῶν ἦσαν.
5. There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7. And they had no child, because that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

Chrysostomus: Evangelicae narrationis exordium a Zacharia sumit et nativitate Ioannis, mirum ante mirum edisserens, minus ante maius, nam quoniam virgo paritura erat, praeparavit gratia ut vetus prius conciperet. Declarat autem tempus, cum dicit fuit in diebus Herodis; et adicit dignitatem, cum subdit regis Iudaeae. Alius autem Herodes fuit qui Ioannem occidit; sed ille tetrarcha fuit, hic autem rex. CHRYSOSTOM; St. Luke commences the history of his Gospel with Zacharias and the birth of John; relating one marvelous event before another, the less before the greater. For since a virgin was about to become a mother, it had been fore-ordained by grace that the old should previously conceive. He fixes the time, when he says, In the days of Herod, and in the following words adds his rank, king of Judea. There was another Herod, who killed John; he was tetrarch, whereas this one was king.
Euthymius: Rex, inquam, ille qui infantes occidit, pater illius Herodis, qui praecursorem interemit. [ Euthymius: A king, that is, who killed the infants, the father of the Herod who killed the Precursor.]
Beda in Lucam: Tempus autem Herodis alienigenae regis dominico attestatur adventui; praedictum namque fuerat quia non deficiet princeps de Iuda, neque dux de femore eius, donec veniat qui mittendus est. Ex quo enim patres ex Aegypto exierunt, suae gentis iudicibus usque ad Samuelem prophetam, ac deinde regibus usque ad transmigrationem Babyloniae regebantur. Post reditum vero Babyloniae pontifices rerum summam gerebant usque ad Hircanum regem simul et pontificem, quo ab Herode interempto, Iudaeae regnum ipsi Herodi alienigenae iussu Augusti Caesaris traditur gubernandum; cuius trigesimo primo anno, iuxta prophetiam supradictam, qui mittendus erat advenit. BEDE; Now the time of Herod, i. c. of a foreign king, bears witness to our Lord’s coming, for it had been foretold, The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come. For from the time that our fathers came out of Egypt, they were governed by judges of their own nation, until the Prophet Samuel; and then by kings, until the carrying away to Babylon. But after the return from Babylon, the chief power was in the hands of priests, until the time of Hyrcanus, who was both king and high priest. He was slain by Herod, after which the government of the kingdom was delivered over by the command of Augustus Caesar to this same Herod, a foreigner, in whose thirty-first year, according to the prophecy we have mentioned, Shiloh came.
Ambrosius: Docet autem nos divina Scriptura, non solum mores in his qui praedicabiles sunt, sed etiam parentes oportere laudari: ut veluti transmissa immaculatae puritatis hereditas, in his quos volumus laudare, praecellat. Non solum igitur a parentibus, sed etiam a maioribus sancti Ioannis nobilitas propagatur, non saeculari potestate sublimis, sed religionis successione venerabilis. Plena est igitur laudatio, quae genus, mores, officium, factum, iudicium comprehendit. Officium in sacerdotio: unde dicit sacerdos quidam nomine Zacharias. AMBROSE; Divine Scripture teaches us with respect to those whom we commemorate, that not only the characters of the men themselves, but of their parents also, ought to be praised, that they might be distinguished by an inheritance, as it were, handed down to them of unspotted purity. Now not only from his parents, but also from his ancestors, St. John derives his illustrious descent, a descent not exalted by secular power, but venerable from its sanctity. Complete then is that praise which comprehends birth, character, office, actions, and judgments. The office was that of the Priesthood, as it is said, A certain Priest of the name of Zacharias.
Beda: De sacerdotali enim prosapia Ioannes ortus est, ut eo potentius imitationem sacerdotii praeconizaret, quo ipsum ad sacerdotale genus pertinere claresceret. BEDE; For John was allotted a Priestly tribe, that he might with the more authority herald forth a change of priesthood.
Ambrosius: Genus autem comprehendit in maioribus: unde sequitur de vice Abia, idest nobilis inter familias. AMBROSE; His birth is implied in the mention made of his ancestors. Of the course of Abia, i.e. of high rank among the noblest families.
Beda: Erant enim principes sanctuarii, idest summi sacerdotes, tam de filiis Eleazar quam de filiis Ithamar, quorum vices, secundum ministeria sua, ut ingrederentur domum Dei, vigintiquatuor sortibus David distinxit; in quibus familiae Abia, de qua Zacharias ortus est, sors contingit octava. Non autem frustra primus novi testamenti praeco in octavae sortis iure nascitur: quia sicut septenario saepe numero propter sabbatum vetus testamentum, sic novum aliquoties per octonarium propter sacramentum dominicae vel nostrae resurrectionis exprimitur. BEDE; There were Princes of the Sanctuary or High Priests, both of the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Thamar, whose courses according to their respective services when they entered into the House of God David divided into twenty-four lots, of which the family of Abia (from which Zacharias was descended) obtained the eighth lot. But it was not without meaning that the first preacher of the new covenant was born with the rights of the eighth lot; because as the old Covenant is often expressed by the seventh number on account of the Sabbath, so frequently is the new Covenant by the eighth, because of the sacrament of our Lord’s or our resurrection.
Theophylactus: Volens etiam ostendere quod ab utroque parente legaliter ex sacerdotali genere erat, subdit et uxor illius de filiabus Aaron, et nomen eius Elisabeth. Non enim permittebatur de alia tribu uxorem accipere, sed de sua. Elisabeth interpretatur Dei requies. Zacharias vero memoria domini. THEOPHYLACT; Wishing to show also that John was legally of Priestly descent, Luke adds, And his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth, for it was not permitted to the Jews to take a wife from any other tribe but their own. Elisabeth by interpretation signifies “rest,” Zacharias “the remembrance of the land.”
Beda: Iustis enim parentibus Ioannes est genitus, ut eo confidentius iustitiae praecepta populis daret, quo haec ipsa non quasi novitia didicisset, sed velut hereditario iure a progenitoribus accepta servaret. Unde sequitur erant autem ambo iusti ante Deum. BEDE; John was born of just parents, that so he might the more boldly give precepts of justice to the people, which he had not learnt as novelties, but had received by right of inheritance from his ancestors. Hence it follows, And they were both just before God.
Ambrosius in Lucam: Et sic mores in aequitate comprehendit. Bene autem dicit ante Deum. Fieri enim potest ut aliquis affectata bonitate populari iustus videatur mihi, iustus autem ante Deum non sit, si iustitia non ex mentis simplicitate formetur, sed adulatione simuletur. Perfecta igitur laus est ante Deum iustum esse: solus enim perfectior est qui ab eo probatur qui non potest falli. Factum autem comprehendit in mandato, in iustificatione iudicium. Unde sequitur incedentes in omnibus mandatis et iustificationibus domini. Cum enim mandatis caelestibus obedimus, in mandatis domini incedimus; cum congrue iudicamus, tenere domini iustificationes videmur. Providere autem oportet bona non solum coram Deo, sed etiam coram hominibus. Unde sequitur sine querela. Nulla enim querela est ubi et mentis bonitas concordat et facti, et plerumque iustitia durior hominum querelam excitat. AMBROSE; Here their whole character is comprehended in their justice, but it is well said before God, for a man by affecting a popular good-will might seem just to me, but not be just before God, if that justice instead of springing from simpleness of heart, was a mere presence carried on by flattery. Perfect then is the praise, “that a man is just before God;” for he only is perfect who is approved by Him who cannot be deceived. St. Luke comprehends the action in the commandment, the doing justice in the justification. Hence it follows, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord. For when we obey the command of heaven we walk in the commandments of the Lord, when we observe justice we seem to possess the justification of the Lord. But to be “blameless” we must “provide things honest”, not only before God, but also before men; there is no blame when both motive and action are alike good, but a too austere righteousness often provokes censure.
Origenes in Lucam: Potest etiam aliquid iustum iniuste fieri, ut si iactantiae causa quis pauperi elargiatur; quod non est sine querela. Sequitur et non erat illis filius, eo quod esset sterilis Elisabeth, et ambo processissent in diebus suis. A righteous act may also be done unrighteously, as when a man out of ostentation gives largely to the poor, which is not without just cause of blame. It follows, And they had no son, because Elizabeth was barren.
Chrysostomus: Non solum autem Elisabeth erat sterilis, sed et patriarcharum coniuges, Sara, Rebecca, Rachel; quod dedecus erat antiquis: nec enim possumus dicere quod peccati effectus esset sterilitas, quia cuncti iusti, cuncti virtuosi. Haec autem fuit sterilitatis causa, ut cum videris virginem parientem dominum, non sis incredulus, exercitans mentem tuam in alvo sterilium. CHRYSOSTOM; Not only Elisabeth, but the wives of the Patriarchs also, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, were barren, which was counted a disgrace among the ancients. Not that their barrenness was the effect of sin, since all were just and virtuous, but ordained rather for our benefit, that when you saw a virgin giving birth to the Lord, you might not be faithless, or perplexing your mind with respect to the womb of the barren.
Theophylactus: Et ut etiam tu addisceres quod lex Dei multiplicationem filiorum non appetit corporalem, sed magis spiritualem. Processerant autem ambo, non secundum corpus, sed secundum spiritum, ascensiones in corde ponentes, et vitam suam ut diem et non ut noctem habentes, quasi in die honeste ambulantes. THEOPHYLACT; And that you might learn that the law of God seeks not a bodily increase of sons but a spiritual, both were far advanced, not only in the body but in the Spirit, “making ascents in their heart,” having their life as the day not as the night, and walking honestly as in the day.

Lectio 3
8 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ ἱερατεύειν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ τάξει τῆς ἐφημερίας αὐτοῦ ἔναντι τοῦ θεοῦ, 9 κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἱερατείας ἔλαχε τοῦ θυμιᾶσαι εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν ναὸν τοῦ κυρίου, 10 καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος:
8. And it came to pass, that while he executed the Priest’s office before God in the order of his course, 9. According to the custom of the Priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

Beda: Per Moysen dominus unum constituit summum sacerdotem, cui mortuo unum succedere iussit; et hoc usque ad David tempora servatum est, a quo plures fieri domino agente decretum est: unde nunc Zacharias in ordine vicis suae sacerdotio functus esse asseritur cum dicitur factum est autem cum sacerdotio fungeretur Zacharias in ordine vicis suae ante Deum, secundum consuetudinem sacerdotalem, sorte exiit ut incensum poneret ingressus in templum domini. BEDE; The Lord appointed by the hand of Moses one High Priest, at whose death another was to succeed in due order. This was observed until the time of David, who by the command of the Lord increased the number of the Priests; and so at this time Zacharias is said to have been performing his Priest’s office in the order of his course, as it follows: But it came to pass, when Zacharias was performing the Priest’s office in the order of his course before God, according to the custom of the Priesthood, his lot was, &c.
Ambrosius: Videtur autem hic Zacharias summus designari sacerdos: quia semel in anno solus summus sacerdos in secundo sanctuario intrabat, non sine sanguine, quem offerret pro se, et pro populi delictis. AMBROSE; Zacharias seems here to be designated High Priest, because into the second tabernacle went the High Priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and the sins of the people.
Beda: Non autem nunc nova sorte electus est cum incensum esset adolendum, sed prisca sorte, cum ex ordine sui pontificatus in vicem Abia succederet. Sequitur et omnis multitudo populi erat orans foris hora incensi. Incensum in sancta sanctorum a pontifice deferri, expectante foris templum omni populo, decimo die septimi mensis est iussum, et hanc diem expiationis sive propitiationis vocari; cuius diei mysterium apostolus ad Hebraeos pandens, Iesum ostendit pontificem esse verum, qui in sanguine proprio caeli secreta subiit, ut propitium nobis faceret patrem, et interpellaret pro peccatis eorum qui adhuc prae foribus orantes expectant. BEDE; It was not by a new lot that he was chosen when the incense was to be burnt, but by the old lot, whereby according to the order of his Priesthood he succeeded in the course of Abia. It follows, And all the multitude of the people, &c. Incense was ordered to be carried into the Holy of Holies by the High Priest, the whole people waiting without the temple. It was to be on the tenth day of the seventh month, and this day was to be called the day of expiation or propitiation, the mystery of which day the Apostle explaining to the Hebrews, points to Jesus as the true High Priest, who in His own blood has entered the secret places of heaven that he might reconcile the Father to us, and intercede for the sins of those who still wait praying before the doors.
Ambrosius: Hic est autem ille summus sacerdos qui adhuc forte quaeritur, quia verus adhuc ignoratur: qui enim sorte eligitur, humano iudicio non comprehenditur. Ille igitur quaerebatur, et alius figurabatur, verus in aeternum sacerdos, qui non hostiarum cruore, sed proprio, patrem Deum generi reconciliaret humano: et tunc quidem vices erant, nunc autem est perpetuitas. AMBROSE; This then is that High Priest who is still sought by lot, for as yet the true High Priest is unknown; for he who is chosen by lot is not obtained by man’s judgment. That High Priest therefore was sought for, and another typified, the true High Priest for ever, who not by the blood of victims, but by His own blood, was to reconcile God the Father to mankind. Then indeed there were changes in the Priesthood, now it is unchangeable.

Lectio 4
11 ὤφθη δὲ αὐτῷ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἑστὼς ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου τοῦ θυμιάματος. 12 καὶ ἐταράχθη ζαχαρίας ἰδών, καὶ φόβος ἐπέπεσεν ἐπ' αὐτόν. 13 εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ ἄγγελος, μὴ φοβοῦ, ζαχαρία, διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου, καὶ ἡ γυνή σου ἐλισάβετ γεννήσει υἱόν σοι, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ ἰωάννην. 14 καὶ ἔσται χαρά σοι καὶ ἀγαλλίασις, καὶ πολλοὶ ἐπὶ τῇ γενέσει αὐτοῦ χαρήσονται:
11. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. 13. But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14. And you shall have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

Chrysostomus: Ingressus Zacharias in templum ut preces ferret pro cunctis ad Deum, et quasi Dei et hominum mediator, vidit Angelum intus stantem: unde dicitur apparuit autem illi Angelus domini stans a dextris altaris incensi. CHRYSOSTOM; When Zacharias entered into the temple to offer up prayers to God for all men, interceding between God and man, he saw an angel standing within, as it is said, And there appeared to him an angel.
Ambrosius: Bene apparuisse dicitur ei qui eum repente conspexit; et hoc specialiter aut de Angelis aut de Deo Scriptura divina tenere consuevit; ut quod non potest praevideri, apparere dicatur. Non enim similiter sensibilia videntur, et is cuius in voluntate situm est videri, et cuius naturae est non videri. AMBROSE; It is well said that there appeared an angel to Zacharias, who suddenly beheld him; and this is the expression especially used by Divine Scripture with respect to angels or God, that what cannot be seen beforehand may be said to appear. For things which are the objects of our senses are not seen as He is seen, Who is seen only as He will, and Whose nature is not to be seen.
Origenes in Lucam: Et hoc tantum in praesenti saeculo dicimus, sed et in futuro cum migraverimus a mundo, non omnibus vel Deus vel Angeli apparebunt: sed ille tantum videbit qui mundum habuit cor. Locus autem nec nocere poterit quemquam, nec iuvare. ORIGEN; And we speak thus not only of the present time, but also of the future. When we shall have passed from the world, God will not appear to all men, nor will the angels, but to him only who has a clean heart. The place will neither hinder nor serve any one.
Chrysostomus: Manifeste autem apparuit, non in somnis: eo quod nimis arduum annuntiabatur, unde manifestiori et mirabiliori visione egebat. CHRYSOSTOM; But the angel evidently came not in a dream, because the tidings he brought were too hard to be understood, and needed therefore a more visible and marvelous manifestation.
Damascenus de fide Orth: Tamen Angeli non ut sunt, hominibus patefiunt, sed transfigurati, prout possunt visores aspicere in quodcumque iusserit dominus. DAMASCENE; Angels, however, are revealed not as they really are, but transformed (as men are able to behold them) into whatever the Lord commands.
Basilius: Dicit autem altaris incensi, eo quod alterum erat altare deputatum ad holocausta. THEOPHYLACT; It is said the altar of incense, because the other altar was set apart for burnt offerings.
Ambrosius: Non immerito autem Angelus videtur in templo, quia veri sacerdotis annuntiabatur iam adventus, et caeleste sacrificium parabatur, in quo Angeli ministrarent: non enim dubites assistere Angelum quando Christus immolatur. Apparuit autem a dextris altaris incensi, quia divinae insigne misericordiae deferebat: dominus enim a dextris est mihi, ne commovear. AMBROSE; It was not without good reason that the angel appeared in the temple, for the coming of the true High Priest was now announced, and the Heavenly Sacrifice was preparing at which angels were to minister. For one cannot doubt that an angel stands by where Christ is sacrificed. But he appeared at the right hand of the altar of incense, because he brought down the token of Divine mercy. For the Lord is on my right hand, so that I should not be moved.
Chrysostomus: Non potest autem homo, quantumcumque sit iustus, absque timore cernere Angelum: unde et nunc Zacharias aspectum non tolerans praesentiae Angeli, nec fulgorem illum valens sufferre, turbatur: et hoc est quod subditur et Zacharias turbatus est videns. Sicut autem auriga perterrito, loraque dimittente, corruunt equi praecipites, totaque quadriga pervertitur; sic accidere consuevit animae quoties ab aliquo stupore vel sollicitudine deprimitur: unde et hic subditur et timor irruit super eum. CHRYSOSTOM; The justest of men can not without fear behold an angel; Zacharias therefore, not sustaining the sight of the angel’s presence, nor able to withstand his brightness, is troubled, as it is added, Zacharias was troubled. But as it happens, when a charioteer is frightened, and has let loose his reins, the horses run headlong, and the chariot is overturned; so is it with the soul, when it is taken by any surprise or alarm; as it is here added and fear fell upon him.
Origenes in Lucam: Nova quippe facies humanis se obtutibus praebens turbat mentem, animumque consternat: unde Angelus sciens hanc humanam esse naturam, primum perturbationi medetur: nam sequitur ait autem ad illum Angelus: ne timeas, Zacharia. ORIGEN; A new face suddenly presenting itself to the human eye, troubles and startles the mind. The angel knowing this to be the nature of man, first dispels the alarm, as it follows, But the angel said to him, Fear not.
Athanasius in vita Antonii: Unde non difficilis est bonorum spirituum malorumque discretio: si enim post timorem successerit gaudium, a domino venisse sciamus auxilium, quia securitas animae praesentis maiestatis indicium est; si autem incussa formido permanserit, hostis est qui videtur.

Non solum autem trepidantem refocillat, sed etiam novo laetificat nuntio, subdens quoniam exaudita est deprecatio tua, et uxor tua Elisabeth pariet tibi filium.

ATHANASIUS; Whereby it is not difficult to discern between good and bad spirits, for if joy has succeeded to fear, we may know that relief has come from God, because the peace of the soul is a sign of the Divine Presence; but if the fear remains unshaken, it is an enemy who is seen,

ORIGEN; The angel not only soothes his fears, but gladdens him with good tidings, adding, For your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear a son.

Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Ubi primo hoc attendendum est, quia non est verisimile ut cum pro peccatis populi vel salute vel redemptione sacrificium ille offerret, potuerit publicis votis relictis homo senex, uxorem habens, pro accipiendis filiis orare praesertim; nam nemo orat accipere quod accepturum esse desperat. Usque adeo autem ille iam se habiturum filios desperabat, ut hoc Angelo promittenti non crederet. Ergo quod ei dicitur exaudita est deprecatio tua, pro populo intelligendum est; cuius populi quoniam salus et redemptio et peccatorum abolitio per Christum futura erat, adhuc nuntiatur Zachariae nasciturus filius, quia praecursor Christi destinabatur. AUGUSTINE; Now here we must first consider that it is not likely that Zacharias, when offering sacrifice for the sins or for the salvation or redemption of the people, would neglect the public petitions, to pray (though himself an old man, and his wife also old) that he might receive children; and, next, above all that no one prays for what he despairs of ever obtaining. And even up to this time, so much had he despaired of ever having children, that he would not believe, even when an angel promised it to him The words, Your prayer is heard, must be understood therefore to refer to the people; and as salvation, redemption, and the putting away of the sins of the people was to be through Christ, it is told Zacharias that a son shall be born to him, because that son was ordained to be the forerunner of Christ.
Chrysostomus: Vel quod exaudita sit eius deprecatio, probat per hoc quod gignendus erat ei filius, clamans: ecce agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi. CHRYSOSTOM; Or it means, that this was to be the proof of his prayer having been heard, namely, that a son should be born to him, crying, Behold the Lamb of God!
Theophylactus: Quasi ipso dicente: unde erit mihi hoc manifestum? Ait Angelus: ex hoc quod Elisabeth pariet tibi filium, credes quod peccata populo sunt remissa. THEOPHYLACT; As if when Zacharias asks, How shall I know this? the angel answers, Because Elisabeth shall bring forth a son, you shall believe that the sins of your people are forgiven.
Ambrosius: Vel aliter. Plena semper et redundantia sunt divina beneficia, non exiguo constricta munere, sed uberi bonorum coacervata congestu, ut hic, ubi primum precationis fructus promittitur, deinde sterilis partus uxoris: cuius nomen praenuntiat subdens et vocabis nomen eius Ioannem. AMBROSE; Or, as follows; Divine mercy is ever full and overflowing, not narrowed to a single gift, but pouring in an abundant store of blessings; as in this case, where first the fruit of his prayer is promised; and next, that his barren wife shall bear a child, whose name is announced as follows; And you shall call his name John.
Beda: Singularis meriti indicium datur, quoties hominibus a Deo vel imponitur nomen vel nuntiatur. BEDE; It is meant as a token of particular merit, when a man has a name given him or changed by God.
Chrysostomus in Ioannem: Illud quoque oportet exprimere, quoniam in quibus ab ipsa teneritate infantiae virtus refulgere debebat, a principio divinitus sumebant nomina; his vero qui postea debebant excrescere, nomen postea imponebatur. CHRYSOSTOM; Which must be the meaning here, for those who from their earliest years were destined to shine forth in virtue, received their names at the very first from a divine source; while those who were to rise up in later years, had a name given them afterwards.
Beda: Ioannes ergo interpretatur in quo est gratia, vel domini gratia: quo nomine declaratur primo parentibus eius gratiam, quibus decrepitis nasceretur filius, esse donatam; deinde ipsi Ioanni, qui magnus coram domino erat futurus; postremo etiam filiis Israel, quos ad dominum erat conversurus: unde sequitur et erit gaudium tibi et exultatio. BEDE; John is therefore interpreted, “one in whom is grace, or the grace of God;” by which name it is declared, first, that grace was given to his parents, to whom in their old age a son was to be born, next, to John himself, who was to become great before the Lord; lastly, also to the children of Israel, whom he was to convert to the Lord. Hence it follows, And he shall be a joy to you, and a cause of rejoicing.
Origenes: Quando enim iustus oritur in mundo, ministri nativitatis eius laetantur: quando vero ille nascitur qui quasi ad poenas et ergastulum relegatur, minister consternatur et concidit. ORIGEN; For when a just man is born into the world, the authors of his birth rejoice; but when one is born who is to be as it were an exile to labor and punishment, they are struck with terror and dismay.
Ambrosius: Sanctus autem non solum parentum gratia, sed etiam salus est plurimorum: unde sequitur et multi in nativitate eius gaudebunt. Admonemur hoc loco, sanctorum generatione laetari, admonentur parentes gratias agere: non enim mediocre munus est Dei, dare liberos, propagatores generis, successionis heredes. AMBROSE; But a saint is not only the blessing of his parents, but also the salvation of many; as it follows, And many shall rejoice at his birth, Parents are reminded here to rejoice at the birth of saints, and to give thanks. For it is no slight gift of God to vouchsafe to us children, to be the transmitters of our race, to be the heirs of succession.

Lectio 5
15 ἔσται γὰρ μέγας ἐνώπιον [τοῦ] κυρίου, καὶ οἶνον καὶ σίκερα οὐ μὴ πίῃ, καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου πλησθήσεται ἔτι ἐκ κοιλίας μητρὸς αὐτοῦ, 16 καὶ πολλοὺς τῶν υἱῶν Ἰσραὴλ ἐπιστρέψει ἐπὶ κύριον τὸν θεὸν αὐτῶν. 17 καὶ αὐτὸς προελεύσεται ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ ἐν πνεύματι καὶ δυνάμει ἠλίου, ἐπιστρέψαι καρδίας πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα καὶ ἀπειθεῖς ἐν φρονήσει δικαίων, ἑτοιμάσαι κυρίῳ λαὸν κατεσκευασμένον.
15. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Ambrosius: Post laetitiam plurimorum, magnitudo virtutis promittitur, cum dicitur erit enim magnus coram domino. Non corporis, sed animae magnitudinem declaravit: est coram domino magnitudo animae, magnitudo virtutis. AMBROSE; Next to his becoming the rejoicing of many, the greatness his virtue is prophesied; as it is said, For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord. The greatness signified is not of the body, but of the soul. Greatness in the sight of the Lord is greatness of soul, greatness of virtue.
Theophylactus: Multi namque magni dicuntur, sed coram hominibus, non coram Deo, sicut hypocritae: ita etiam et parentes Ioannis iusti coram domino dicti sunt. THEOPHYLACT; For many are called great before men, but not before God, as the hypocrites. And so in like manner was John called great, as the parents of John were called just, before the Lord.
Ambrosius: Deinde non fines alicuius propagavit imperii, non triumphos bellici certaminis reportavit; sed, quod est amplius, praedicans in deserto, delicias hominum corporisque lasciviam magna animi virtute depressit: unde sequitur et vinum et siceram non bibet. AMBROSE; He extended not the boundaries of an empire, nor brought back in triumph the spoils of war, (but, what is far greater,) preaching in the desert he overcame by his great virtue the delights of the world, and the lusts of the flesh. Hence it follows; And he shall drink no wine nor strong drink.
Beda: Sicera interpretatur ebrietas; quo vocabulo Hebraei omne quod inebriare potest populum, sive de frugibus seu de qualibet alia materia confectum, significant. Proprium vero in lege Nazaraeorum erat, vino et sicera tempore obsecrationis abstinere: unde Ioannes, ceterique tales, ut semper Nazaraei, idest sancti, manere possint, semper his abstinere satagunt: non enim decet vino, in quo est luxuria, inebriari eum qui musto spiritus sancti desiderat impleri: unde recte cui vini ebrietas tollitur, spiritus gratia cumulatur. Sequitur autem et spiritu sancto replebitur adhuc ex utero matris suae. BEDE; Sicera is interpreted “drunkenness,” and by the word the Hebrews understand any drink that can intoxicate, (whether made from fruits, corn, or any other thing.) But it was part of the law of the Nazarites to give up wine and strong drink at the time of their consecration. Hence John, and others like him, that they might always remain Nazarites, (i.e. holy,) are careful always to abstain from these things. For he ought not to be drunk with wine (in which is licentiousness) who desires to be filled with the new wine of the Holy Spirit; rightly then is he, from whom all drunkenness with wine is utterly put away, filled with the grace of the Spirit. But it follows, And he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Ambrosius: Cui spiritus sanctus infunditur, magnarum est plenitudo virtutum. Siquidem sanctus Ioannes antequam nasceretur, matris adhuc in utero positus, spiritus accepti gratiam designavit, cum in utero parentis exiliens domini evangelizavit adventum. Alius est spiritus vitae huius, alius gratiae; ille nascendo sumit exordium, moriendo defectum; iste non aetatibus coercetur, non obitu extinguitur, non alvo matris excluditur. AMBROSE; On whomsoever the Holy Spirit is poured, in him there is fullness of great virtue; as in St. John, who before he was born, when yet in his mother’s womb, bore witness to the grace of the Spirit which he had received, when leaping in the womb of his parent he hailed the glad tidings of the coming of the Lord. There is one spirit of this life, another of grace. The former has its beginning at birth, its end at death; the latter is not tied down to times and seasons, is not quenched by death, is not shut out of the womb.
Graecus: Quod autem erit opus Ioannis, quidve per spiritum sanctum peraget, ostendit subdens et multos filiorum Israel convertet ad dominum Deum ipsorum. GREEK EXPOSITOR; But what John’s work is to be, and what he will do through the Holy Spirit, is shown as follows; And many of the children of Israel shall he turn, &c.
Origenes in Lucam: Ioannes quidem plurimos convertit; domini autem opus est ut omnes ad Deum patrem convertat. ORIGEN; John indeed turned many, but it is the Lord’s work to turn all to God their Father.
Beda: Cum autem Ioannes, qui Christo testimonium perhibens, in eius fide populos baptizabat, dicitur filios Israel ad dominum Deum ipsorum convertisse, patet Christum dominum Deum esse Israel: unde desinant Ariani Christum dominum Deum esse negare: erubescant Photiniani Christo ex virgine principium dare: cessent Manichaei alium populi Israel, atque alium Christianorum Deum credere. BEDE; Now since John (who, bearing witness to Christ, baptized the people in His faith) is said to have turned the children of Israel to the Lord their God, it is plain that Christ is the God of Israel. Let the Arians then cease to deny that Christ our Lord is God. Let the Photinians blush to ascribe Christ’s beginning to the Virgin. Let the Manichaeans no longer believe that there is one God of the people of Israel, another of the Christians.
Ambrosius: Non autem egemus testimonio, quod plurimorum sanctus Ioannes corda convertit, in quo nobis propheticae Scripturae et evangelicae suffragantur: vox enim clamantis in deserto: parate viam domino: non enim de se, sed de domino praedicabat praenuntius Christi; et ideo sequitur et ipse praecedet ante illum in spiritu et virtute Eliae. Bene praecedet ante illum, qui praenuntius natus, praenuntius mortuus est. Bene etiam iungitur in spiritu et virtute Eliae. AMBROSE; But we need no testimony that St. John turned the hearts of many, for to this point we have the express witness of both prophetic and evangelical Scriptures. For the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, and make His paths straight; and his baptisms thronged by the people, declare the rapid progress of conversion. For the forerunner of Christ preached, not himself, but the Lord; and therefore it follows, And he shall go before Him. It was well said, that he shall go before Him, who both in birth and in death was His forerunner.
Origenes in Lucam: Non dicit in anima Eliae, sed in spiritu et in virtute: spiritus enim qui fuerat in Elia, venit in Ioannem, et similiter virtus eius. ORIGEN; In the spirit and power of Elijah. - He says not, in the mind of Elijah, but in the spirit and power For the spirit which was in Elijah came upon John, and in like manner his power.
Ambrosius: Nunquam enim sine virtute spiritus, vel sine spiritu virtus: et ideo in spiritu et virtute, quia sanctus Elias et virtutem habuit magnam, et gratiam: virtutem, ut ad fidem animos populorum a perfidia retorqueret, virtutem abstinentiae atque patientiae, et spiritum prophetandi. In deserto Elias, in deserto Ioannes; ille Achab regis gratiam non quaesivit, hic sprevit Herodis; ille Iordanem divisit, hic ad lavacrum salutare convertit; hic prioris, ille sequentis domini praecursor adventus. AMBROSE; For never is the spirit without power, nor power without the spirit. And therefore it is said, in the spirit and power; because holy Elijah had great power and grace. Power, so that he turned back the false hearts of the people to faith; power of abstinence, and patience, and the spirit of prophecy. Elijah was in the wilderness, in the wilderness also was John. The one sought not the favor of king Ahab; the other despised that of Herod. The one divided Jordan; the other brought men to the Saving waters; John, the forerunner of our Lord’s first coming; Elijah of His latter.
Beda: Quod autem de Elia per Malachiam praedictum est, hoc per Angelum de Ioanne dicitur, cum subditur ut convertat corda patrum in filios; spiritualem antiquorum sanctorum scientiam populis praedicando infundens; et incredulos ad prudentiam iustorum; quae est non de legis operibus iustitiam praesumere, sed ex fide salutem quaerere. BEDE; But what was foretold of Elias by Malachi, is now spoken by the angel of John; as it follows, That he should turn the hearts of the parents to the children; pouring into the minds of the people, by his preaching, the spiritual knowledge of the ancient saints. And the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; i.e. not laying claim to righteousness from the works of the law, but seeking salvation by faith.
Graecus: Vel aliter. Parentes Ioannis et apostolorum Iudaei fuerunt; sed tamen contra Evangelium ex superbia et infidelitate saeviebant. Itaque tamquam benigni filii Ioannes prius et apostoli consequenter eis veritatem monstrabant, in propriam iustitiam et prudentiam eos attrahentes: sic etiam Elias reliquias Hebraeorum convertet ad apostolorum veritatem. GREEK EX. Or else; The Jews were the parents of John and the Apostles; but, nevertheless, from pride and infidelity raged violently against the Gospel. Therefore, like dutiful children, John first, and the Apostles after him, declared to them the truth, winning them over to their own righteousness and wisdom. So also will Elias convert the remnant of Hebrews to the truth of the Apostles.
Beda: Quia vero Zachariam pro plebe supplicantem dixerat exauditum, subiungit parare domino plebem perfectam: in quo docet quo ordine plebs eadem salvari et perfici debeat, ad praedicationem scilicet Ioannis poenitendo, et credendo in Christum. BEDE; But because he had said that Zacharias’ prayer for the people was heard, he adds, To make ready a people prepared for the Lord; by which he teaches in what manner the same people must be healed and prepared; namely, by repenting at the preaching of John and believing on Christ.
Theophylactus: Vel aliter. Ioannes plebem paravit, non incredulam, sed perfectam, idest praeparatam ad suscipiendum Christum. THEOPHYL. Or, John made ready a people not disbelieving but prepared, that is, previously fitted to receive Christ.
Origenes: Sacramentum autem Ioannis usque nunc expletur in mundo; quicumque enim crediturus est in Iesum Christum, antea spiritus et virtus Ioannis ad animam illius venit, et praeparat domino populum perfectum. ORIGEN; This sacrament of preparation is even now fulfilled in the world, for even now the spirit and power of John must come upon the soul, before it believes in Jesus Christ.

Lectio 6
18 καὶ εἶπεν ζαχαρίας πρὸς τὸν ἄγγελον, κατὰ τί γνώσομαι τοῦτο; ἐγὼ γάρ εἰμι πρεσβύτης καὶ ἡ γυνή μου προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις αὐτῆς. 19 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῷ, ἐγώ εἰμι γαβριὴλ ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ ἀπεστάλην λαλῆσαι πρὸς σὲ καὶ εὐαγγελίσασθαί σοι ταῦτα: 20 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἔσῃ σιωπῶν καὶ μὴ δυνάμενος λαλῆσαι ἄχρι ἧς ἡμέρας γένηται ταῦτα, ἀνθ' ὧν οὐκ ἐπίστευσας τοῖς λόγοις μου, οἵτινες πληρωθήσονται εἰς τὸν καιρὸν αὐτῶν. 21 καὶ ἦν ὁ λαὸς προσδοκῶν τὸν ζαχαρίαν, καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐν τῷ χρονίζειν ἐν τῷ ναῷ αὐτόν. 22 ἐξελθὼν δὲ οὐκ ἐδύνατο λαλῆσαι αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν ὅτι ὀπτασίαν ἑώρακεν ἐν τῷ ναῷ: καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διανεύων αὐτοῖς, καὶ διέμενεν κωφός.
18. And Zacharias said to the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 19. And the angel answering said to him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak to you, and to show you these glad tidings. 20. And, behold, you shall be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because you believe not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season. 21. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he tarried so long in the temple. 22. And when he came out, he could not speak to them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned to them, and remained speechless.

Chrysostomus: Habito respectu Zacharias ad propriam aetatem, quin etiam coniugis sterilitate conspecta, diffisus est: unde dicitur et dixit Zacharias ad Angelum: unde hoc sciam? Quasi dicat: quomodo hoc fiet? Et causam dubitationis subdit ego enim sum senex, et uxor mea processit in diebus suis; quasi dicat: aetas intempesta, natura inepta; ego generans debilis, terra sterilis. Non autem censetur propter hoc dignus esse venia sacerdos, dum seriem rerum expostulat: quandocumque enim Deus aliquid indicat, oportet in fide suscipere; nam super huiusmodi disceptare contumacis est animae: unde sequitur et respondens Angelus dixit ei: ego sum Gabriel, qui asto ante Deum. CHRYSOSTOM; Considering his own age, and moreover the barrenness of his wife, Zacharias doubted; as it is said, And Zacharias said to the angel, Whereby shall I know this? as if he said, “How shall this be?” And he adds the reason of his doubting; For I am an old man. An unseasonable time of life, an ill-suited nature; the planter infirm, the soil barren. But it is thought by some a thing unpardonable. in the priest, that he raises a course of objections; for whenever God declares any thing, it becomes us to receive it in faith, and moreover, disputes of this kind are the mark of a rebellious spirit. Hence it follows; And the angel answering said to him, I am Gabriel, who stand before God.
Beda: Quasi dicat: si homo talia signa promitteret, impune signum flagitare liceret; at cum Angelus promittat, iam dubitare non decet. Sequitur et missus sum loqui ad te, et haec tibi evangelizare. BEDE; As if he says, “If it were man who promised these miracles, one might with impunity demand a sign, but when an angel promises, it is then not right to doubt. It follows; And I am sent to speak to you.
Chrysostomus: Ut cum audias me a Deo missum fore, nihil humanum aestimes ex his quae tibi dicuntur: neque enim ex me loquor, sed mittentis relata denuntio; haec est enim nuntii bonitas, ut nihil ex se referat. CHRYS. That when you hear that I am sent from God, you should deem none of the things which are said to you to be of man, for I speak not of myself, but declare the message of Him who sends me. And this is the merit and excellence of a messenger to relate nothing of his own.
Beda: Ubi notandum est, quod Angelus se et ante Deum stare, et ad evangelizandum Zachariae missum esse testatur. BEDE; Here we must remark, that the angel testifies, that he both stands before God, and is sent to bring good tidings to Zacharias.
Gregorius in Evang: Quia et cum ad nos veniunt Angeli, sic exterius implent ministerium, ut tamen nunquam interius desint per contemplationem: quia etsi circumscriptus est angelicus spiritus, summus tamen spiritus, qui Deus est, circumscriptus non est. Angeli itaque etiam missi ante ipsum sunt: quia quomodolibet missi veniant, intra ipsum currunt. GREG. For when angels come to us, they so outwardly fulfill their ministry, as at the same time inwardly to be never absent from His sight; since, though the angelic spirit is circumscribed, the highest Spirit, which is God, is not circumscribed. The angels therefore even when sent are before Him, because on whatever mission they go, they pass within Him.
Beda: Dat autem ei signum quod rogatur: ut qui discredendo locutus est, iam tacendo credere discat: unde sequitur et ecce eris tacens, et non poteris loqui. BEDE; But he gives him the sign which he asks for, that he who spoke in unbelief, might now by silence learn to believe; as it follows; and, behold, you shall be dumb.
Chrysostomus: Ut a vi generativa ad organa vocalia vincula transferantur. Nec intuitu sacerdotii ei parcitur; sed ob hoc plectebatur amplius: quia circa fidem ceteris praeesse debebat. CHRYS. That the bonds might be transferred from the powers of generation to the vocal organs. From no regard to the priesthood was he spared, but for this reason was the more smitten, because in a matter of faith he ought to have set an example to others.
Theophylactus: Sed quia verbum kophos, quod etiam infra subiungitur, potest tam surdum quam mutum significare, bene ait eris surdus, et non poteris loqui. Convenienter enim haec duo passus est: tamquam enim inobediens surditatem incurrit, et tamquam contradictor taciturnitatem. THEOPHYL. Because the word in the Greek may also signify deaf, he well says, Because you believe not, you shall be deaf, and shall not be able to speak. For most reasonably he suffered these two things; as disobedient, he incurs the penalty of deafness; as an objector, of silence.
Chrysostomus: Dicit autem et ecce, quasi dicat: in hoc instanti. Sed considera miserationem domini in hoc quod sequitur usque in diem quo haec fient; quasi dicat: cum per eventus rerum quod dico ostendero, et noveris te iure punitum; tunc te de poena eripiam. Et causam poenae ostendit cum subditur pro eo quod non credidisti verbis meis, quae implebuntur in tempore suo; non attendens virtutem eius qui misit me, cui ego assisto. Si autem is qui erga nativitatem mortalem incredulus erat punitur; qualiter qui caelestem, et ineffabilem calumniatur, vitabit ultionem? CHRYS. But the Angel says, And, behold; in other words, “At this instant.” But mark the mercy of God in what follows: Until the day in which these things shall be performed. As if he said, “When by the issues of events I shall have proved my words, and you shall perceive that you are lightly punished, I will remove the punishment from you.” And he points out the cause of the punishment, adding, Because you believe not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season; not considering His power Who sent me, and before Whom I stand. But if he who was incredulous about a mortal birth is punished how shall he escape vengeance, who speaks falsely of the heavenly and unspeakable birth?
Graecus: Dum autem haec intrinsecus agerentur, dilatio temporis admirari cogebat expectantem forinsecus multitudinem: unde sequitur et erat plebs expectans Zachariam, et mirabatur quod tardaret ipse in templo. Cumque per diversa vagaretur suspicio, quilibet dictabat ad libitum, donec Zacharias egrediens docuit silendo quod latendo perpessus est: unde sequitur egressus autem non poterat loqui ad illos: et cognoverunt quod visionem vidisset in templo. GREEK EX. Now while these things were going on within the delay excited surprise among the multitudes who were waiting without, as it follows: And the people waited for Zacharias, an marveled that he tarried. And while various -suspicions were going about, each man repeating them as it pleased him, Zacharias coming forth told by his silence what he secretly endured. Hence it follows, And when he came out, he could not speak.
Theophylactus: Innuebat autem populo Zacharias forte causam taciturnitatis interroganti, quam loqui non valens, per nutum declarabat: unde sequitur et ipse erat innuens illis, et permansit mutus. THEOPHYL. But Zacharias beckoned to the people, who perhaps inquired the cause of his silence, which, as he was not able to speak, he signified to them by nodding. Hence it follows, And he beckoned to them, and remained speechless.
Ambrosius: Est autem nutus quidam sine verbo corporalis actus, indicare moliens, nec exprimens voluntatem. AMBROSE; But a nod is a certain action of the body, without speech endeavoring to declare the will, yet not expressing it.

Lectio 7
23 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τῆς λειτουργίας αὐτοῦ ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ. 24 μετὰ δὲ ταύτας τὰς ἡμέρας συνέλαβεν ἐλισάβετ ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ: καὶ περιέκρυβεν ἑαυτὴν μῆνας πέντε, λέγουσα 25 ὅτι οὕτως μοι πεποίηκεν κύριος ἐν ἡμέραις αἷς ἐπεῖδεν ἀφελεῖν ὄνειδός μου ἐν ἀνθρώποις.
23. And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 24. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25. Thus has the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

Beda: Vicis suae tempore pontifices templi tantum officiis mancipati, non solum a complexu uxorum, sed ab ipso quoque domorum suarum abstinebant ingressu; unde dicitur et factum est ut impleti sunt dies officii eius, abiit in domum suam. Quia enim tunc sacerdotalis ex stirpe Aaron successio quaerebatur, necessario tempus substituendae soboli procurabatur. At quia nunc non carnalis successio, sed profectio spiritualis inquiritur, sacerdotibus, ut semper altari queant assistere, semper castitas observanda praecipitur. Sequitur post hos autem dies concepit Elisabeth uxor eius: post dies scilicet officii Zachariae completos. Gesta sunt autem haec mense Septembri, octavo Calendas Octobris, quando oportebat Iudaeos ieiunium Scenopegiae celebrare, imminente aequinoctio, in quo incipit nox esse maior quam dies: quia Christum oportet crescere, Ioannem autem minui. Nec frustra tunc dies ieiuniorum erat, quia per Ioannem erat hominibus afflictio poenitentiae praedicanda. Sequitur et occultabat se mensibus quinque. BEDE; During the time of their course, the priests of the temple were so occupied by their office, that they kept themselves not only from the society of their wives, but even from the very threshold of their houses. Hence it is said, And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days were accomplished, &c. For as there was then required a priestly succession from the root of Aaron, of necessity then a time was appointed for keeping up the inheritance. But as now not a carnal succession, but spiritual perfection, is looked for, the priests are enjoined (in order that they might ever be able to serve the altar) the perpetual observance of chastity. It follows: But after those days, &c. that is, after the days of Zacharias’s ministration were completed. But these things were done in the month of September, the twenty-second day of the month, upon which the Jews were bound to observe the feast of the Tabernacles, just before the equinox, at which the night began to be longer than the day, because Christ must increase, but John must decrease And those days of fasting were not without their meaning; for by the mouth of John, repentance and mortification were to be preached to men. It follows: And she hid, herself.
Ambrosius: Quae causa occultationis nisi pudor? Sunt enim quaedam tempora praescripta coniugio, quando dare operam procreandis liberis sit decorum, dum anni vigent, dum suscipiendorum liberorum spes est. At ubi et matura aevi senectus successerit, et aetas est regendis liberis habilior quam creandis, pudor est legitimi licet coitus gestare indicia, et gravari alienae aetatis onere, et tumescere alvum non sui temporis fructu. Pudebat ergo eam propter aetatem: unde intelligi potest causa, quia iam non conveniebant inter se concubitu coniugali: neque enim ea quae senilem non erubesceret coitum, erubesceret partum; haec tamen erubescit onus parentis, quamdiu nescit mysterium religionis. Sed quae occultabat se quia conceperat filium, iactare se coepit, quia generabat prophetam. AMBROSE; What reason then for concealment, except shame? For there are certain allowed times in wedlock, when it is becoming to attend to the begetting of children; while the years thrive, while there is hope of child-bearing. But when in good time old age has come on, and the period of life is more fitted for governing children, than begetting them, it is a shame to bear about the signs of pregnancy, however lawful. It is a shame to be laden with the burden of another age, and for the womb to swell with the fruit of not one’s own time of life. It was a shame then to her on account of her age; and hence we may understand the reason why they did not at this time come together, for surely she who blushed not at their coming together in their old age, would not blush at her child-bearing; and yet she blushes at the parental burden, while she yet is unconscious of the religious mystery. But she who hid herself because she had conceived a son, began to glory that she carried in her womb a prophet.
Origenes in Lucam: Et ideo dicit mensibus quinque; idest, donec Maria conciperet, et fetus eius exultans cum gaudio prophetaret. ORIGEN; And therefore he says, Five months, that is, until Mary should conceive, and her babe leaping with joy should prophesy.
Ambrosius: Et quamvis partus sui erubesceret aetatem, rursus caruisse se gaudebat opprobrio, dicens quia sic fecit mihi dominus. AMBROSE; And though she might blush at the time of her child-bearing, on the other hand she rejoiced that she was free from reproach, saying, Thus has the Lord, dealt with me.
Chrysostomus: Scilicet solvit sterilitatem, donum supra naturam concessit, et petra infructuosa spicas virentes produxit: abstulit dedecus dum genitricem fecit: unde sequitur in diebus quibus respexit auferre opprobrium meum inter homines. CHRYS. Truly He has loosed her barrenness, a supernatural gift He has bestowed upon her, and the unfruitful rock has produced the green blade. He has taken away her disgrace, in that He has made her to bring forth. Hence it follows: In the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
Ambrosius: Pudor enim est feminis nuptiarum praemia non habere, quibus haec sola est causa nubendi. AMBROSE; For it is a shame among women not to receive that reward of marriage, which is the only cause of their being married.
Chrysostomus: Dupliciter igitur gaudet, dum et a nota sterilitatis ipsam eripuit dominus, et quoniam illustrem partum enixa est. Non enim ut in ceteris gignentium solus concubitus intervenit, sed gratia caelestis huius ortus fuit exordium. CHRYS. Her joy therefore is twofold. of old. The Lord has taken away from her the mark of barrenness, and also given her an illustrious offspring. In the case of other births, the coming together of the parents only occurs; this birth was the effect of heavenly grace.
Beda: Mystice autem per Zachariam sacerdotium Iudaeorum, per Elisabeth potest lex ipsa designari, quae sacerdotum doctrinis exercitata spirituales Deo filios gignere debebat, sed non valebat; quia neminem ad perfectionem adduxit lex. Erant ambo iusti, quia bona est lex, et sacerdotium pro illo tempore sanctum: ambo processerant in diebus suis, quia adveniente Christo iam incurvantur ad senium. Ingreditur Zacharias templum, quia sacerdotum est intrare in sanctuarium mysteriorum caelestium; foris erat multitudo, quia mystica penetrare nequit. Dum altari thymiama imponit, nasciturum Ioannem agnoscit: quia dum doctores flamma divinae lectionis ardent, gratiam Dei per Iesum prodituram reperiunt; et hoc per Angelum, quia lex per Angelos ordinata est. BEDE; Now mystically by Zacharias may be signified the Jewish Priesthood, by Elisabeth the law itself; which, well administered by the teaching of the Priests, ought to have borne spiritual children to God, but was not able, because the Law made no one perfect. Both were just, because the law is good, and the Priesthood for that time holy; both were well stricken in years, because at Christ’s coming both the Law and Priesthood were just bending to old age. Zacharias enters the temple, because it is the priest’s office to enter into the sanctuary of heavenly mysteries. There was a multitude without the doors, because the multitude cannot penetrate mysteries. When he places frankincense on the altar, he discovers that John will be born; for while the teachers are kindled with the flame of divine reading, they find the grace of God flow to them through Jesus: and this is done by all angel, for the Law was ordained by angels.
Ambrosius: In uno autem vox totius plebis obmutuit, quia in uno totus ad Deum loquebatur populus: transivit enim ad nos Dei verbum, et in nobis non tacet. Mutus est qui non intelligit legem. Cur enim tibi magis videatur mutus esse qui sermonem quam qui mysterium nescit? Innuenti similis est populus Iudaeorum, qui actuum suorum praestare non potest rationem. AMBROSE; But in one man the voice of the people was put to silence, because in one man the whole people was addressing God. For the word of God has come over to us, and in us is not silent. He is dumb who understands not the Law; for why should you think the man who knows not a sound, to be more dumb than him who knows not a mystery. The Jewish people are like to one beckoning, who cannot make his actions intelligible.
Beda: Et tamen Elisabeth concipit Ioannem, quia interiora legis sacramentis Christi abundant: conceptum quinque mensibus occultat, quia Moyses quinque libris mysteria Christi designat, seu quia Christi dispensatio in quinque mundi aetatibus per sanctorum dicta vel facta figuratur. BEDE; And yet Elisabeth conceives John, because the more inward parts of the Law abound with sacraments of Christ. She conceals her conception five months, because Moses in five books set forth the mysteries of Christ; or because the dispensation of Christ is represented by the words or deeds of the saints, in the five ages of the world.

Lectio 8
26 ἐν δὲ τῷ μηνὶ τῷ ἕκτῳ ἀπεστάλη ὁ ἄγγελος γαβριὴλ ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰς πόλιν τῆς γαλιλαίας ᾗ ὄνομα ναζαρὲθ 27 πρὸς παρθένον ἐμνηστευμένην ἀνδρὶ ᾧ ὄνομα ἰωσὴφ ἐξ οἴκου δαυίδ, καὶ τὸ ὄνομα τῆς παρθένου μαριάμ.
26. And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27. To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

Beda: Quia Christi incarnatio vel sexta aetate saeculi futura, vel ad impletionem legis erat profutura, recte sexto mense concepti Ioannis missus ad Mariam Angelus nasciturum nuntiat salvatorem: unde dicitur in mense autem sexto. Mensem sextum Martium intellige, cuius vigesima quinta die dominus noster et conceptus traditur et passus, sicut et vigesima quinta die mensis Decembris natus. Quod si vel hoc die, ut nonnulli arbitrantur, aequinoctium vernale, vel illo solstitium brumale fieri credamus; convenit cum lucis incremento concipi vel nasci eum qui illuminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum. At si quis ante dominicae nativitatis et conceptionis tempus considerat lucem vel crescere, vel tenebras superare convicerit, dicimus et nos, quia Ioannes ante faciem adventus eius regnum caelorum evangelizabat. BEDE; Because either the Incarnation of Christ was to be in the sixth age of the world, or because it was to serve to the fulfilling of the law, rightly in the sixth month of John’s conception was an angel sent to Mary, to tell her that a Savior should be born. Hence it is said, And in the sixth month, &c. We must understand the sixth month to be March, on the twenty-fifth day of which our Lord is reported to have been conceived, and to have suffered, as also to have been born on the twenty-fifth day of December. But if either the one day we believe to be the vernal equinox, or the other the winter solstice, it happens that with the increase of light He was conceived or born Who lightens every man that comes into the world. But if any one shall prove, that before the time of our Lord’s nativity or conception, light began either to increase, or supersede the darkness, we then say, that it was because John, before the appearance of His coming, began to preach the kingdom of heaven.
Basilius: Adeunt autem nos caelestes spiritus, non quasi ex seipsis, sed ex eo quod divinae sapientiae decorem conspiciunt; unde sequitur missus est Angelus Gabriel a Deo. BASIL. The heavenly spirits visit us, not as it seems fit to them, but as the occasion conduces to our advantage, for they are ever looking upon the glory and fullness of the Divine Wisdom;; hence it follows, The angel Gabriel was sent.
Gregorius in Evang: Ad Mariam enim virginem non quilibet Angelus, sed Gabriel Archangelus mittitur: ad hoc quippe ministerium summum Angelum venire dignum fuerat qui summum omnium nuntiabat: qui idcirco privato nomine censetur, ut signetur per vocabulum in operatione quid valeat. Gabriel enim Dei fortitudo nominatur; per Dei ergo fortitudinem nuntiandus erat qui virtutum dominus et potens in praelio ad debellandas potestates aereas veniebat. GREG. To the virgin Mary was sent, not any one of the angels, but the archangel Gabriel; for upon this service it was meet that the highest angel should come, as being the bearer of the highest of all tidings. He is therefore marked by a particular name, to signify what was his effectual part in the work. For Gabriel is interpreted, “the strength of God.” By the strength of God then was He to be announced Who was coming as the God of strength, and mighty in battle, to put down the powers of the air.
Glossa: Additur autem et locus quo mittitur, cum subditur in civitate Galilaeae, cui nomen Nazareth: Nazaraeus enim, idest sanctus sanctorum, nuntiabatur venturus. GLOSS. But the place is also added whither he is sent, as it follows, To a city, Nazareth. For it was told that He would come a Nazarite, (i.e. the holy of the holy.)
Beda: Aptum autem humanae restaurationis principium, ut Angelus a Deo mitteretur ad virginem partu consecrandam divino: quia prima perditionis humanae fuit causa, cum serpens a Diabolo mittebatur ad mulierem spiritu superbiae decipiendam: unde sequitur ad virginem. BEDE; It was as a fit beginning for man’s restoration, that an angel should be sent down from God to consecrate a virgin by a divine birth, for the first cause of man’s perdition was the Devil sending a serpent to deceive a woman by the spirit of pride.
Augustinus de sancta Virgin: Illum enim solum virginitas decenter parere potuit qui in sua nativitate parem habere non potuit. Oportebat enim caput nostrum propter insigne miraculum secundum corpus nasci de virgine, quod significaret membra sua de virgine Ecclesia secundum spiritum nascitura. AUG. To a virgin, for Christ could be born from virginity alone, seeing He could not have an equal in His birth. It was necessary for our Head by this mighty miracle to be born according to the flesh of a virgin gin’ that He might signify that his members were to be born in the spirit of a virgin Church.
Hieronymus: Et bene Angelus ad virginem mittitur, quia semper est Angelis cognata virginitas. Profecto in carne praeter carnem vivere, non terrena vita est, sed caelestis. JEROME; And rightly an angel is sent to the virgin, because the virgin state is ever akin to that of angels. Surely in the flesh to live beyond the flesh is not a life on earth but in heaven.
Chrysostomus super Matth: Non autem Angelus post partum annuntiat virgini, ne nimium exinde turbaretur: et ideo ante conceptionem illam alloquitur, non in somnis, immo visibiliter assistit: nam quasi magnam valde relationem accipiens egebat ante rei eventum visione solemni. CHRYS. The angel announces the birth to the virgin not after the conception, lest she should be thereby too much troubled, but before the conception he addresses her, not in a dream, but standing by her in visible shape. For as great indeed were the tidings she receives, she needed before the issue of the event an extraordinary visible manifestation.
Ambrosius: Bene autem utrumque posuit Scriptura, ut et desponsata esset, et virgo: virgo, ut expers virilis consortii videretur; desponsata, ne temeratae virginitatis adureretur infamia, cui gravis alvus corruptelae videretur insigne praeferre. Maluit autem dominus aliquos de suo ortu quam de matris pudore dubitare: sciebat enim teneram esse virginis verecundiam et lubricam famam pudoris nec putavit ortus sui fidem matris iniuriis astruendam. Servatur itaque sanctae Mariae sicut pudore integra, ita et inviolabilis opinione virginitas: nec decuit sinistra virginibus opinione viventibus velamen excusationis relinqui, quod infamata mater quoque domini videretur. Quid autem Iudaeis, quid Herodi posset ascribi, si natum viderentur ex adulterio persecuti? Quemadmodum autem ipse diceret: non veni legem solvere, sed adimplere, si videretur coepisse a legis iniuria, cum partus innuptae lege damnetur? Quid quod etiam fides Mariae verbis maior adsciscitur, et mendacii causa removetur? Videretur enim culpam obumbrare voluisse mendacio innupta praegnans. Causam autem mentiendi desponsata non habuit, cum coniugii praemium et gratia nuptiarum partus sit feminarum. Non mediocris quoque causa est ut virginitas Mariae falleret principem mundi, qui cum desponsatam viro cerneret, partum non potuit habere suspectum. AMBROSE; Scripture has rightly mentioned that she was espoused, as well as a virgin, a virgin, that she might appear free from all connection with man; espoused, that she might not be branded with the disgrace of sullied virginity, whose swelling womb seemed to bear evident marks of her corruption. But the Lord had rather that men should cast a doubt upon His birth than upon His mother’s purity. He knew how tender is a virgin’s modesty, and how easily assailed the reputation of her chastity, nor did He think the credit of His birth was to be built up by His mother’s wrongs. It follows therefore, that the holy Mary’s virginity was of as untainted purity as it was also of unblemished reputation. Nor ought there, by an erroneous opinion, to be left the shadow of an excuse to living virgins, that the mother of our Lord even seemed to be evil spoken of. But what could be imputed to the Jews, or to Herod, if they should seen to have persecuted an adulterous offspring? And how could He Himself say, I came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, if He should seem to have had his beginning from a violation of the law, for the issue of an unmarried person is condemned by the law? Not to add that also greater credit is given to the words of Mary, and the cause of falsehood removed? For it might seem that unmarried becoming pregnant, she had wished to shade her guilt by a lie; but an espoused person has no reason for lying, since to women child-birth is the reward of wedlock, the grace of the marriage bed. Again, the virginity of Mary was meant to baffle the prince of the world, who, when he perceived her espoused to a mall, could cast no suspicion on her offspring.
Origenes in Lucam: Si enim non habuisset sponsum, statim cogitatio tacita Diabolum surrepsisset, quomodo quae non accubuit cum viro, praegnans esset. Debet iste conceptus esse divinus, debet aliquid humana natura esse sublimius. ORIGEN; For if she had had no husband, soon would the thought have stolen into the Devil’s mind, how she who had known no man could be pregnant. It was right that the conception should be Divine, something more exalted than human nature.
Ambrosius: Sed tamen magis fefellit principes saeculi: Daemonum enim malitia facile etiam occulta deprehendit; at vero qui saecularibus vanitatibus occupantur, scire divina non possunt. Quin etiam locupletior testis pudoris maritus adhibetur, qui posset et delere iniuriam et vindicare opprobrium, si non agnosceret sacramentum: de quo subditur cui nomen erat Ioseph de domo David. AMBROSE; But still more has it baffled the princes of the world, for the malice of devils soon detects even hidden things, while they who are occupied in worldly vanities, can not know the things of God. But moreover, a more powerful witness of her purity is adduced, her husband, who might both have been indignant at the injury, and revenged the dishonor, if he also had not acknowledged the mystery; of whom it is added, Whose name was Joseph, of the house of David.
Beda: Quod non tantum ad Ioseph, sed etiam pertinet ad Mariam. Legis namque erat praeceptum ut de sua quisque tribu aut familia acciperet uxorem. Sequitur et nomen virginis Maria. BEDE; Which last applies not only to Joseph, but also to Mary, for the Law commanded that every one should take a wife out of his own tribe or family. It follows, And the virgin’s name was Mary.
Beda: Maria Hebraice stella maris, Syriace vero domina vocatur; et merito: quia et totius mundi dominum, et lucem saeculis meruit generare perennem. ID. Maria, in Hebrew, is the star of the sea; but in Syriac it is interpreted Mistress, and well, because Mary was thought worthy to be the mother of the Lord of the whole world, and the light of endless ages.

Lectio 9
28 καὶ εἰσελθὼν πρὸς αὐτὴν εἶπεν, χαῖρε, κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ κύριος μετὰ σοῦ. 29 ἡ δὲ ἐπὶ τῷ λόγῳ διεταράχθη καὶ διελογίζετο ποταπὸς εἴη ὁ ἀσπασμὸς οὗτος.
28. And the angel came in to her, and said, Hail, you that are highly favored, the Lord is with you: blessed are you among women. 29. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

Ambrosius: Disce virginem moribus; sola in penetralibus, quam nemo virorum videret, solus Angelus reperiret: unde dicitur et ingressus Angelus ad eam. Et ne quo degeneri depravaretur affatu, ab Angelo salutatur. AMBROSE; Mark the virgin by her manner of life. Alone in an inner chamber, unseen by the eyes of men, discovered only by an angel; as it is said, And the angel came in to her. That she might not be dishonored by any ignoble address, she is saluted by an angel.
Graecus: Contra vocem prius editam mulieri dirigitur nunc sermo ad virginem. In illa doloribus partus est causa peccati punita; in hac per gaudium moestitia pellitur: unde iucunditatem non absurde praenuntiat Angelus virgini, dicens ave.

Quod autem digna cognosceretur sponsalium, attestatur cum dicit gratia plena: quasi enim quaedam arrha aut dos sponsi ostenditur, quod fecunda sit gratiis. Horum enim quae dicit, haec sunt sponsae, alia sponsi.

GREG. NYSS. Far different then to the news formerly addressed to the woman, is the announcement now made to the Virgin. In the former, the cause of sin was punished by the pains of childbirth; In the latter, through gladness, sorrow is driven away. Hence the angel not unaptly proclaims joy to the Virgin, saying, Hail.

GREEK EX. But that she was judged worthy of the nuptials is attested by his saying, Full of grace. For it is signified as a kind of token or marriage gift of the bridegroom, that she was fruitful in graces. For of the things which he mentions, the one appertains to the bride, the other to the bridegroom.

Hieronymus: Et bene gratia plena: quia ceteris per partes praestatur; Mariae vero simul se totam infudit gratiae plenitudo. Vere gratia plena, per quam largo spiritus sancti imbre superfusa est omnis creatura. Iam autem erat cum virgine qui ad virginem mittebat Angelum, et praecessit nuntium suum dominus, nec teneri potuit locis qui omnibus habetur in locis: unde sequitur dominus tecum. JEROME; And it is well said, Full of grace, for to others, grace comes in part; into Mary at once the fullness of grace wholly infused itself. She truly is full of grace through whom has been poured forth upon every creature the abundant rain of the Holy Spirit. But already He was with the Virgin Who sent the angel to the Virgin. The Lord preceded His messenger, for He could not be confined by place Who dwells in all places. Whence it follows, The Lord is with you.
Augustinus: Magis quam mecum: ipse enim in tuo est corde, in tuo fit utero, adimplet mentem, adimplet ventrem. AUG. More I than with me, for He Himself is in your heart, He is (made) in you womb, He fills your soul, He fills your womb.
Graecus: Hoc autem est totum legationis complementum. Dei enim verbum, ut sponsus supra rationem unionem efficiens, tamquam ipse germinans, idemque germinatus, totam naturam humanam sibi ipsi conformavit. Ultimum vero ponitur tamquam perfectissimum et compendiosum benedicta tu in mulieribus: una scilicet prae cunctis mulieribus: ut etiam benedicantur in te mulieres, sicut mares in filio; sed magis uterque in utrisque. Velut enim per unam feminam et unum marem peccatum simul ac tristitia intravit: sic et nunc per unam et unum benedictio revocata est et laetitia et ad singulos est profusa. GREEK EX. But this is the sum of the whole message. The Word of God, as the Bridegroom, effecting an incomprehensible union, Himself, as it were, the same both planting, and being planted, has molded the whole nature of man into Himself. But comes last the most perfect and comprehensive salutation; Blessed are you among women. i.e. Alone, far before all other women; that women also should be blessed in you, as men are in your Son; but rather both in both. For as by one man and one woman came at once both sin and sorrow, so now also by one woman and one man has both blessing and joy been restored, and poured forth upon all.
Ambrosius de Salut. Ang: Disce autem virginem a verecundia, quia pavebat: nam sequitur quae cum audisset, turbata est in sermone eius. Trepidare virginum est, et ad omnes ingressus viri pavere, omnes viri affatus vereri. Disce, virgo, verborum vitare lasciviam: Maria etiam salutationem Angeli verebatur. AMBROSE; But mark the Virgin by her bashfulness, for she was afraid, as it follows; And when she heard, she was troubled. It is the habit of virgins to tremble, and to be ever afraid at the presence of man, and to be shy when he addresses her. Learn, O virgin, to avoid light talking. Mary feared even the salutation of an angel.
Graecus: Cum assueta foret his visionibus, Evangelista non visioni, sed relatibus turbationem attribuit, dicens turbata est in sermone eius. Attende autem virginis et pudicam et prudentem et animam simul et vocem. Audita laetitia dictum examinavit, et neque manifeste obstitit per incredulitatem, nec statim paret ex levitate; Evae levitatem evitans simul et duritiam Zachariae; unde sequitur et cogitabat qualis esse ista salutatio: non conceptio, nam adhuc ignorabat immensitatem mysterii, sed salutatio: numquid libidinosa, ut a viro ad virginem; an divina, dum Dei faceret mentionem dicens dominus tecum? GREEK EX. But as she might be accustomed to these visions, the Evangelist ascribes her agitation not to the vision, but to the things told her, saying, she was troubled at his words. Now observe both the modesty and wisdom of the Virgin; the soul, and at the same time the voice. When she heard the joyful words, she pondered them in her mind, and neither openly resisted through unbelief, nor forthwith lightly complied; avoiding equally the inconstancy of Eve, and the insensibility of Zacharias. Hence it is said, And she cast in her mind what manner of salutation this was, it is not said conception for as yet she knew not the vastness of the mystery. But the salutation, was there aught of passion in it as from a man to a virgin? or was it not of God, seeing that he makes mention of God, saying, The Lord is with you.
Ambrosius in Lucam: Benedictionis etiam novam formulam mirabatur, quae nusquam est ante comperta: soli Mariae hoc servabatur. AMBROSE; She wondered also at the new form of blessing, unheard of before, reserved for Mary alone.
Origenes in Lucam: Si enim scivisset Maria ad alium quempiam similem factum esse sermonem, utpote quae habebat legis scientiam, nunquam eam, quasi peregrinam, talis salutatio exterruisset. ORIGEN; For if Mary had known that similar words had been addressed to others, such a salutation would never have appeared to her so strange and alarming.

Lectio 10
30 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ ἄγγελος αὐτῇ, μὴ φοβοῦ, μαριάμ, εὗρες γὰρ χάριν παρὰ τῷ θεῷ: 31 καὶ ἰδοὺ συλλήμψῃ ἐν γαστρὶ καὶ τέξῃ υἱόν, καὶ καλέσεις τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν. 32 οὗτος ἔσται μέγας καὶ υἱὸς ὑψίστου κληθήσεται, καὶ δώσει αὐτῷ κύριος ὁ θεὸς τὸν θρόνον δαυὶδ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, 33 καὶ βασιλεύσει ἐπὶ τὸν οἶκον ἰακὼβ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, καὶ τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἔσται τέλος.
30. And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary for you have found favor with God. 31. And, behold, you shall conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and shall call his name JESUS. 32. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give to him the throne of his father David: 33. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Beda: Quia salutatione insolita virginem turbatam viderat, quasi familiarius notam vocans ex nomine, ne timere debeat iubet: unde dicitur et ait ei Angelus: ne timeas, Maria. When the angel saw that she was troubled at this unusual salutation, calling her by her name as if she was well known to him, he tells her she must not fear, as it follows, And the angel said, Fear not, Mary.
Graecus: Quasi dicat: non accessi decepturus, immo deceptionis absolutionem depromere; non veni praedaturus inviolabilem tuam virginitatem, sed conditori puritatis et custodi contubernia reserare; non sum serpentis minister, sed perimentis serpentem legatus; sponsalium tractator, non insidiarum molitor. Sic ergo nequaquam distrahentibus ipsam considerationibus vexari permisit, ne diiudicaretur infidus minister negotii. GREEK EX. As if he said, I came not to deceive you, nay rather to bring down deliverance from deception; I came not to rob you of your inviolable virginity, but to open a dwelling-place for the Author and Guardian of your purity, I am not a servant of the Devil but the ambassador of Him that destroys the Devil. I am come to form a marriage treaty, not to devise plots. So far then was he from allowing her to be harassed by distracting thoughts, lest he should be counted a servant unfaithful to his trust.
Chrysostomus: Qui autem apud Deum meretur gratiam, non habet quid timeat; unde sequitur invenisti enim gratiam apud Deum. Qualiter autem illam quisque reperiet, nisi humilitate mediante? Humilibus enim dat Deus gratiam. CHRYS. But he who earns favor in the sight of God has nothing to fear. Hence it follows, For you have found favor before God. But how shall any one find it, except through the means of his humility. For God gives grace to the humble.
Graecus: Inveniet enim gratiam virgo coram Deo, quia splendore pudicitiae propriam exornans animam, gratum Deo se habitaculum praeparavit; nec solum caelibatum inviolabilem conservavit, sed etiam immaculatam conscientiam custodivit. GREEK EX. For the Virgin found favor with God, in that decking her own soul in the bright robes of chastity, she prepared a dwelling-place pleasing to God. Not only did she retain her virginity inviolate, but her conscience also she kept from stain.
Origenes in Lucam: Invenerant enim plures gratiam ante eam; et ideo subdit quod proprium est, dicens ecce concipies in utero. As many had found favor before Mary, he goes on to state what was peculiar to her. Behold, you shall conceive in your womb.
Graecus: Quod dicitur ecce, celeritatem et praesentiam denotat, insinuans cum eius verbo celebratam esse conceptionem.

Dicit autem concipies in utero, ut demonstret, dominum ab ipso utero virginali et de nostra substantia carnem suscipere. Venit enim divinum verbum emundaturum naturam humanam, et partum, et nostrae generationis primordia; et ideo sine peccato et humano semine, per singula sicut nos in carne concipitur, et novem mensium spatio gestatur in utero.

GREEK EX. By the word behold, he denotes rapidity and actual presence, implying that with the utterance of the word the conception is accomplished.

GREEK EX. You shall conceive in your womb, that he might show that our Lord from the very Virgin’s womb, and of our substance, took our flesh upon Him. For the Divine Word came to purify man’s nature and birth, and the first elements of our generation. And so without sin and human seed, passing through every stage as we do, He is conceived in the flesh, and carried in the womb for the space of nine months.

Gregorius Nyssenus: Sed quoniam contingit specialiter divinum concipi spiritum, et spiritum parere salutarem, secundum prophetam; ideo addidit et paries filium. GREEK EX. But since it happens also that to the spiritual mind is given in an especial manner to conceive the Divine Spirit, and bring forth the Spirit of salvation, as says the Prophet; therefore he added, And you shall bring forth a Son.
Ambrosius: Non autem omnes sunt sicut Maria, ut dum de spiritu sancto concipitur, verbum pariant; sunt autem quae abortivum excludant verbum, antequam pariant; sunt quae in utero Christum habeant, sed nondum formaverint. AMBROSE; But all are not as Mary, that when they conceive the word of the Holy Spirit, they bring forth; for some put forth the word prematurely, others have Christ in the womb, but not yet formed.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Cum autem expectatio partus mulieribus timorem incutiat, sedat timoris metum dulcis partus relatio, cum subditur et vocabis nomen eius Iesum: salvatoris enim adventus est cuiuslibet
timoris propulsio.
GREG. NYSS. While the expectation of child-birth strikes a woman with terror, the sweet mention of her offspring calms her, as it is added, And you shall call his name Jesus. The coming of the Savior is the banishing of all fear.
Beda super Lucam: Iesus autem salvator sive salutaris interpretatur. BEDE; Jesus is interpreted Savior, or Healing.
Graecus: Dicit autem tu vocabis, non pater: patre enim caret quantum ad inferiorem generationem, sicut et matre respectu supernae. GREEK EX. And he says, You shall call, not His father shall call, for He is without a father as regards His lower birth, as He is without a mother in respect of the higher.
Cyrillus: Hoc autem nomen de novo fuit verbo impositum, nativitati congruens carnis, secundum illud propheticum: vocabitur tibi nomen novum quod os domini nominavit. CYRIL; But, this name was given anew to the Word in adaptation to His nativity in the flesh; as that prophecy said, You shall be called by a new name which the mouth of the Lord has named.
Graecus: Verum quia hoc nomen commune est sibi cum successore Moysi, idcirco innuens Angelus quod non erit secundum illius similitudinem, subiungit hic erit magnus. GREEK EX. But as this name was common to Him with the successor of Moses, the angel therefore implying that He should not be after Joshua’s likeness, adds, He shall be great.
Ambrosius: Dictum est quidem etiam de Ioanne quia erit magnus; sed ille quasi homo magnus, hic quasi Deus magnus. Late enim funditur Dei virtus, late caelestis substantiae magnitudo porrigitur: non loco clauditur, non opinione comprehenditur, non aestimatione concluditur, non aetate variatur. AMBROSE; It was said also of John, that he shall be great, but of him indeed as of a great man, of Christ, as of the great God. For abundantly is poured forth the power of God; widely the greatness of the heavenly substance extended, neither confined by place, nor grasped by thought; neither determined by calculation, nor altered by age.
Origenes: Vide ergo magnitudinem salvatoris quomodo in toto orbe diffusa sit: ascende in caelos, quomodo caelestia repleverit; descende cogitatione ad abyssos, et vide eum illuc descendisse: si hoc videris, pariter intueberis opere completum hic erit magnus. ORIGEN; See then the greatness of the Savior, how it is diffused over the whole world. Go up to heaven, see there how it has filled the heavenly places; carry your thoughts down to the deep, behold, there too He has descended. If you see this, then, in like manner, behold you fulfilled in very deed, He shall be great.
Graecus: Neque carnis assumptio deitatis derogat celsitudini; immo potius humanitatis humilitas sublimatur; unde sequitur et filius altissimi vocabitur. Non utique tu impones vocabulum, sed ipse vocabitur: a quo nisi a consubstantiali genitore? Nullus enim filium novit nisi pater. Penes quem vero infallibilis est notitia geniti, is verus interpres est erga impositionem congruam nominis: propter quod dicit: hic est filius meus dilectus, ab aeterno siquidem est, quamvis nunc ad nostram doctrinam nomen eius patuerit. Et ideo ait vocabitur, non: fiet vel generabitur: nam et ante saecula fuerat consubstantialis patri. Hunc ergo concipies, huius mater efficieris, hunc virginalis cella concludet, cuius caeleste spatium capax non extitit. GREEK EX. The assumption of our flesh does not diminish ought from the loftiness of the Deity, but rather exalts the lowness of man’s nature. Hence it follows, And he shall be called the Son of the Highest. Not, you shall give Him the name, but He Himself shall be called. By whom, but His Father of like substance with Himself? For no one has known the Son but the Father. But He in Whom exists the infallible knowledge of His Son, is the true interpreter as to the name which should be given Him, when He says, This is my beloved Son; for such indeed from everlasting He is, though His name was not revealed till now; therefore he says, He shall be called, not shall be made or begotten. For before the worlds He was of like substance with the Father. Him therefore you shall conceive; His mother you shall become; Him shall your virgin shrine enclose, Whom the heavens were not able to contain.
Chrysostomus: Ceterum si quidem enorme quibusdam videtur, Deum habitare corpus; nonne sol, cuius est corpus sensibile, quocumque radios mittit, non laeditur in propria puritate? Multo ergo magis iustitiae sol ex utero virginali mundissimum corpus assumens, non tantum contaminatus non est, immo etiam ipsam matrem sanctiorem ostendit. CHRYS. But since it seems shocking or unworthy to some men that God should inhabit a body, is the Sun, I would ask, the heat whereof is felt by each body that receives its rays, at all sullied as to its natural purity? Much more then does the Sun of Righteousness, in taking upon Himself a most pure body from the Virgin’s womb, escape not only defilement, but even show forth His own mother in greater holiness.
Graecus: Et ut virginem redderet memorem prophetarum, subdit et dabit illi dominus Deus sedem David patris eius, ut noscat liquido quoniam qui nasciturus est ab ea, ipse est Christus, quem illi promiserunt ex David semine nasciturum. GREEK EX. And to make the Virgin mindful of the prophets, he adds, And the Lord God shall give to him the seat of David, that she might know clearly, that He Who is to be born of her is that very Christ, Whom the prophets promised should be born of the seed of David.
Cyrillus: Non tamen ex Ioseph est editum corpus Christi mundissimum; secundum enim unam lineam cognationis profluxerant Ioseph et virgo, ex qua formam humanitatis unigenitus sumpsit. CYRIL; Not however from Joseph proceeded the most pure descent of Christ. For from one and the same line of connection had sprung both Joseph and the Virgin, and from this the only-begotten had taken the form of man.
Basilius: Non autem in materiali sede David sedit dominus, translato Iudaico regno ad Herodem; sed sedem appellat David, in qua resedit dominus, indissolubile regnum; unde sequitur et regnabit in domo Iacob in aeternum. BASIL; Our Lord sat not on the earthly throne of David, the Jewish kingdom having been transferred to Herod. The seat of David is that on which our Lord reestablished His spiritual kingdom which should never be destroyed. Hence it follows, And he shall reign over the house of Jacob.
Chrysostomus: Dicit autem ad praesens domum Iacob eos qui de numero Iudaeorum crediderunt in illum: ut enim Paulus dicit: non omnes qui ex Israel sunt, hi sunt Israelitae; sed qui sunt filii promissionis, computantur in semine. CHRYS. Now He assigns to the present house of Jacob all those who were of the number of the Jews that believed on Him. For as Paul says, They are not all Israel which are of Israel, but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Beda: Vel domum Iacob totam Ecclesiam dicit, quae vel de bona radice nata, vel cum oleaster esset, merito tamen fidei in bonam est inserta olivam. BEDE; Or by the house of Jacob he means the whole Church which either sprang from a good root, or though formerly a wild olive branch, has yet been for a reward of its faith grafted into the good olive tree.
Graecus: Nullius autem est in aeternum regnare, nisi Dei solius: quo fit ut etsi propter incarnationem dicatur David sedem accipere, tamen idem ipse, inquantum Deus, rex aeternus agnoscitur. Sequitur et regni eius non erit finis: non solum inquantum Deus est, sed etiam in eo quod homo: et in praesenti quidem habet regnum multorum, finaliter vero universorum, cum ei omnia subicientur. GREEK EX. But to reign for ever is of none save God alone; and hence though because of the incarnation- t nation Christ is said to receive the seat of David, yet as being Himself God He is acknowledged to be the eternal King. It follows, And his kingdom shall have no end, not in that He is God, but in that He is man also. Now indeed He has the kingdom of many nations, but finally he shall reign over all, when all things shall be put under Him.
Beda: Omittat ergo Nestorius dicere hominem tantum ex virgine natum, et hunc a verbo Dei non in unitatem personae esse receptum: Angelus enim qui ait eumdem ipsum patrem habere David, quem filium altissimi vocari praenuntiat, in duabus naturis unam Christi personam demonstrat. Non autem ideo futuri temporis verbis Angelus utitur, quia secundum haereticos Christus ante Mariam non fuerit, sed quia secundum eamdem personam homo cum Deo idem filii nomen sortitur. BEDE; Let Nestorius then cease to say that the Virgin’s Son is only man, and to deny that He is taken up by the Word of God into the unity of the Person. For the Angel when he says that the very same has David for His father whom he declares is called the Son of the Highest, demonstrates the one Person of Christ in two natures. The Angel uses the future tense not because, as the Heretics say, Christ was not before Mary, but because in the same person, man with God shares the same name of Son.

Lectio 11
34 εἶπεν δὲ μαριὰμ πρὸς τὸν ἄγγελον, πῶς ἔσται τοῦτο, ἐπεὶ ἄνδρα οὐ γινώσκω; 35 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ ἄγγελος εἶπεν αὐτῇ, πνεῦμα ἅγιον ἐπελεύσεται ἐπὶ σέ, καὶ δύναμις ὑψίστου ἐπισκιάσει σοι: διὸ καὶ τὸ γεννώμενον ἅγιον κληθήσεται, υἱὸς θεοῦ.
34. Then said Mary to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35. And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you: therefore also that holy thing which shall he born of you shall be called the Son of God.

Ambrosius: Neque non credere Angelo Maria debuit, neque tam temere usurpare divina; unde dicitur dixit autem Maria ad Angelum: quomodo fiet istud? Temperatior est ista responsio quam verba sacerdotis. Haec ait quomodo fiet istud? Ille respondit unde hoc sciam? Negat ille se credere, et quasi fidei adhuc alium quaerit auctorem; ista se facere profitetur, nec dubitat esse faciendum, quod quomodo fiat inquirit. Legerat Maria: ecce concipiet in utero, et pariet filium: ideo credidit futurum; sed quomodo fieret ante non legerat: non enim quemadmodum fieret vel prophetae tanto fuerat revelatum: tantum enim mysterium non hominis fuit, sed Angeli ore promendum. AMBROSE; It was Mary’s part neither to refuse belief in the Angel, nor too hastily take to herself the divine message. How subdued her answer is, compared with the words of the Priest. Then said Mary to the Angel, How shall this be? She says, How shall this be? He answers, Whereby shall I know this? He refuses to believe that which he says he does not know, and seeks as it were still further authority for belief. She avows herself willing to do that which she doubts not will be done, but how, she is anxious to know. Mary had read, Behold, she shall conceive and bear a son. She believed therefore that it should be but how it was to take place she had never read, for even to so great a prophet this had not been revealed. So great a mystery was not to be divulged by the mouth of man, but of an Angel.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Attende etiam mundae virginis vocem: partum annuntiat Angelus; ipsa vero virginitati innititur, praestantiorem incorruptibilitatem angelica visione diiudicans: unde dicit quoniam virum non cognosco. GREG NYSS. Hear the chaste words of the Virgin. The Angel tells her she shall bear a son, but she rests upon her virginity, deeming her inviolability a more precious thing than the Angel’s declaration. Hence she says, Seeing that I know not a man.
Basilius: Cognitio multifarie dicitur: dicitur enim cognitio nostri conditoris sapientia, ac magnalium suorum notitia, nec non mandatorum custodia, et quae fit apud eum appropinquatio, et copula nuptialis, ut hic accipitur. BASIL; Knowledge is spoken of in various ways. The wisdom of our Creator is called knowledge, and an acquaintance with His mighty works, the keeping also of His commandments, and the constant drawing near to Him; and besides these the marriage union is called knowledge as it is here.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Haec igitur Mariae verba indicium sunt eorum quae tractabat in mentis arcano: nam si causa copulae coniugalis Ioseph desponsari voluisset, cur admiratione ducta est dum sibi narratur conceptio? Cum nimirum ipsa praestolaretur ad tempus mater effici iuxta legis naturam. Verum quia oblatum corpus Deo quasi quoddam ex sacris inviolabile reservari decebat, ideo dicit quoniam virum non cognosco; quasi dicat: etsi sis Angelus, tamen quod virum cognoscam ex impossibilibus cernitur; qualiter igitur mater ero carens coniuge? Ioseph siquidem in sponsum agnovi. GREG NYSS. These words of Mary are a token of what she was pondering in the secrets of her heart; for if for the sake of the marriage union she had wished to be espoused to Joseph, why was she seized with astonishment when the conception was made known to her? seeing in truth she might herself be expecting at the time to become a mother according to the law of nature. But because it was meet that her body being presented to God as an holy offering should be kept inviolate, therefore she says, Seeing that I know not a man. As if she said, Notwithstanding that you who speak are an Angel, yet that I should know a man is plainly an impossible thing. How then can I be a mother, having no husband? For Joseph I have acknowledged as my betrothed.
Graecus: Sed considera qualiter virgini solvit dubium Angelus, ac explanat intemeratum connubium, et ineffabilem partum: sequitur enim et respondens Angelus dixit ei: spiritus sanctus superveniet in te. GREEK EX. But mark, how the Angel solves the Virgin’s doubts, and shows to her the unstained marriage and the unspeakable birth. And the Angel answered, and said to her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon you.
Chrysostomus: Quasi dicat: non quaeras ordinem naturalem ubi naturam transcendunt et superant quae tractantur. Dicis quomodo fiet istud, quoniam virum non cognosco? Quinimmo eo ipso continget quod es coniugis inexperta: nam si virum experta fuisses, non digna censereris hoc mysterio: non quia profanum sit coniugium, sed quia virginitas potior. Decebat enim communem omnium dominum, et in nativitate nobiscum participare, et ab ea discrepare: quod enim ex utero nasceretur, habuit commune nobiscum; quod autem absque concubitu nasceretur, plus a nobis obtinuit.

Quam beatum corpus illud quod ob exuberantem munditiam virginis Mariae, ut videtur, donum animae ad seipsum allexit. In singulis enim ceteris vix utique anima sincera sancti spiritus impetrabit praesentiam; sed nunc caro receptaculum efficitur spiritus.

CHRYS. As if he said, Look not for the order of nature in things which transcend and overpower nature. Do you say, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? Nay rather, shall it happen to you for this very reason, that you have never known a husband. For if you had, you would not have been thought worthy of the mystery, not that marriage is unholy, but virginity more excellent. It became the common Lord of all both to take part with us, and to differ with us in His nativity; for the being born from the womb, He shared in common with us, but in that He was born without cohabitation, He was exalted far above us.

GREG. NYSS. O blessed is that womb which because of the overflowing purity of the Virgin Mary has drawn to itself the gift of life! For in others scarcely indeed shall a pure soul obtain the presence of the Holy Spirit, but in her the flesh is made the receptacle of the Spirit.

Gregorius Nyssenus: Tabulas enim nostrae naturae quas culpa confregerat, denuo verus legislator de terra nostra sibi dolavit, absque concubitu divinitatis suae corpus susceptibile creans, quod divinus digitus sculpsit, scilicet spiritus superveniens virgini. ID. For the tables of our nature which guilt had broken, the true Lawgiver has formed anew to Himself from our dust without cohabitation, creating a body capable of taking, His divinity, which the finger of God has carved, that is to say, the Spirit coming upon the Virgin.
Chrysostomus: Insuper et virtus altissimi obumbrabit tibi. Altissimi regis virtus Christus est, qui per adventum spiritus sancti formatur in virgine. ID. Moreover, the power of the Highest shall overshadow you. Christ is the power of the most high King, who by the coming of the Holy Spirit is formed in the Virgin.
Gregorius Moralium: Per obumbrationis enim vocabulum, incarnandi Dei utraque natura significatur: umbra enim a lumine formatur et corpore; dominus autem per divinitatem lumen est: quia ergo lumen incorporeum in eius erat utero corporandum, recte ei dicitur virtus altissimi obumbrabit tibi; idest, corpus in te humanitatis accipiet incorporeum lumen divinitatis: hoc enim Mariae dicitur propter mentis refrigerium caelitus datum. GREG By the term overshadowing, both natures of the Incarnate God are signified. For shadow is formed by light and matter. But the Lord by His Divine nature is light. Because then immaterial light was to be embodied in the Virgin’s womb, it is well said to her, The power of the Highest shall overshadow you, that is, the human body in you shall receive an immaterial light of divinity. For this is said to Mary for the heavenly refreshing of her soul.
Beda: Non ergo virili, quod non cognoscis, semine, sed spiritus sancti, quo impleris, opere concipies: concupiscentiae in te non erit aestus, ubi umbram faciet spiritus sanctus. BEDE; You shall conceive then not by the seed of man whom you know not, but by the operation of the Holy Spirit with which you are filled. There shall be no flame of desire in you when the Holy Spirit shall overshadow you.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Vel dicit obumbrabit tibi: quia sicut corporis umbra praecedentium charactere conformatur, ita indicia deitatis filii ex virtute generandi patebunt. Sicut enim in nobis quaedam vivifica virtus in materia corporali conspicitur qua homo formatur, sic in virgine altissimi virtus per vivificantem spiritum pariter corpori insitam materiam carnis ex virgineo corpore ad formandum novum hominem assumpsit: unde sequitur ideoque et quod nascetur ex te sanctum. GREG. NYSS. Or he says, overshadow you, because as a shadow takes its shape from the character of those bodies which go before it, so the signs of the Son’s Deity will appear from the power of the Father. For as in us a certain life-giving power is seen in the material substance, by which man is formed; so in the Virgin, has the power of the Highest in like manner, by the life-giving Spirit, taken from the Virgin’s body a fleshly substance inherent in the body to form a new man. Hence it follows, Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of you.
Athanasius: Profitemur enim quoniam naturae humanae assumptum ex Maria corpus verissimum extitit, et idem secundum naturam corpori nostro: soror namque nostra Maria est, cum omnes ab Adam descenderimus. ATHAN. For we confess that which then was taken up from Mary to be of the nature of man and a most real body, the very same also according to nature with our own body. For Mary is our sister, seeing we have all descended from Adam.
Basilius Lib. de Spir. s.: Unde et Paulus dicit quoniam misit Deus filium suum natum non per mulierem, sed ex muliere. Nam hoc quod dico: per mulierem, transituram poterat indicare nativitatis sententiam; quod autem dicitur ex muliere, manifestat communionem naturae geniti respectu parentis. BASIL; Hence also, St. Paul says, God sent forth his Son, born not (by a woman) but of a woman. For the words by a woman might convey only a mere passing expression of birth, but when it is said, of a woman, there is openly declared a communion of nature between the son and the parent.
Gregorius Moralium: Ad distinctionem autem nostrae sanctitatis, Iesus singulariter sanctus nasciturus asseritur: nos quippe etsi sancti efficimur, non tamen nascimur, quia ipsa naturae corruptibilis cognatione constringimur: ille autem solus veraciter sanctus natus est qui ex coniunctione carnalis copulae conceptus non est; qui non, sicut haereticus desipit, alter in humanitate, alter in deitate est; ut purus homo conceptus atque editus, et post per meritum ut Deus esset accepit: sed nuntiante Angelo, et adveniente spiritu, mox verbum in utero, mox intra uterum verbum caro: unde sequitur vocabitur filius Dei. GREG. To distinguish His holiness from ours, Jesus is stated in an especial manner to be born holy. For we although indeed made holy, are not born so, for we are constrained by the very condition of our corruptible nature to cry out with the Prophet, Behold, I was conceived in iniquity. But He alone is in truth holy, who was not conceived by the cementing of a fleshly union, nor as the heretics rave, one person in His human nature, another in His divine; not conceived and brought forth a mere man, and afterwards by his merits, obtained that He should be God, but the Angel announcing and the Spirit coming, first the Word in the womb, afterwards within the womb the Word made flesh. Whence it follows, Shall be called the Son of God.
Theophylactus: Vide quomodo sanctam Trinitatem declaravit, non solum spiritum sanctum commemorans, sed et virtutem, idest filium, et altissimum, scilicet patrem. GREEK EX. But observe, how the Angel has declared the whole Trinity to the Virgin, making mention of the Holy Spirit, the Power, and the Most High, for the Trinity its indivisible.

Lectio 12
36 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐλισάβετ ἡ συγγενίς σου καὶ αὐτὴ συνείληφεν υἱὸν ἐν γήρει αὐτῆς, καὶ οὗτος μὴν ἕκτος ἐστὶν αὐτῇ τῇ καλουμένῃ στείρᾳ: 37 ὅτι οὐκ ἀδυνατήσει παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ πᾶν ῥῆμα. 38 εἶπεν δὲ μαριάμ, ἰδοὺ ἡ δούλη κυρίου: γένοιτό μοι κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου. καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ' αὐτῆς ὁ ἄγγελος.
36. And, behold, your cousin Elisabeth, she has also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37. For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.

Chrysostomus: Quoniam praecedens dictum superabat virginis mentem, ad humiliora declinavit sermonem, per sensibilia ipsi suadens: unde dicit et ecce Elisabeth cognata tua. Animadverte Gabrielis industriam: non memoravit eam Sarae vel Rebeccae vel Rachelis, quia antiquiora erant exempla: sed imminens factum inducit, ut eius mentem corroboret, et ob hoc et aetatem commemoravit, cum dicit et ipsa concepit filium in senectute sua: et defectum naturae, sequitur enim et hic mensis est sextus illi quae vocatur sterilis. Non enim a principio conceptus Elisabeth statim annuntiavit, sed acto sex mensium spatio, ut tumor ventris perhibeat argumentum. CHRYS. Seeing that his previous words had overcome the mind of the virgin, the angel drops his discourse to a humbler subject, persuading her by reference to sensible things. Hence he says, And, behold, Elisabeth your cousin, &c. Mark the discretion of Gabriel; he did not remind her of Sarah, or Rebecca, or Rachel, because they were examples of ancient times, but he brings forward a recent event, that he might the more forcibly strike her mind. For this reason also he noticed the age, saying, She also has conceived a son in her old age; and the natural infirmity also. As it follows, And this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For not immediately at the beginning of Elisabeth’s conception did he make this announcement, but after the space of six months, that the swelling of her womb might confirm its truth.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Sed quaeret aliquis: qualiter ad David Christus refertur? Siquidem Maria de sanguine manavit Aaron, cuius cognatam Angelus Elisabeth asseruit. Sed hoc nutu superno contingit ut regium genus sacerdotali stirpi iungeretur, ut Christus qui rex est et sacerdos, ab utrisque secundum carnem nasceretur. Legitur etiam in Exodo, quoniam Aaron primus secundum legem sacerdos duxit ex tribu Iudae coniugem Elisabeth filiam Aminadab; et attende sacratissimam spiritus administrationem, dum et hanc Zachariae coniugem statuit Elisabeth vocari, reducens nos ad illam Elisabeth quam duxerat Aaron. GREG. NAZ. But some one will ask, How is Christ related to David, since Mary sprang from the blood of Aaron, the angel having declared Elisabeth to be her kinswoman? But this was brought about by the Divine counsel, to the end that the royal race might be united to the priestly stock; that Christ, Who is both King and Priest, might be descended from both according to the flesh. For it is written, that Aaron, the first High Priest according to the law, took from the tribe of Judah for his wife Elisabeth, the daughter of Aminadab. And observe the most holy administration of the Spirit, in ordering that the wife of Zacharias should be called Elisabeth, so bringing us back to that Elisabeth whom Aaron married.
Beda: Sic ergo, ne virgo se parere posse diffidat, accepit exemplum sterilis anus pariturae, ut discat omnia Deo possibilia esse, etiam quae naturae ordini videntur esse contraria: unde sequitur quia non erit impossibile apud Deum omne verbum. BEDE; So it was then, lest the virgin should despair of being able to bear a son, that she received the example of one both old and barren about to bring forth, in order that she might learn that all things are possible with God, even those which seem to be opposed to the order of nature. Whence it follows, For there shall be no word impossible with God.
Chrysostomus: Ipse namque cum sit naturae dominus, cuncta potest cum velit, qui cuncta peragit et disponit, vitae mortisque lora gubernans. CHRYS. For the Lord of nature can do all things as He will, Who executes and disposes all things, holding the reins of life and death.
Augustinus contra Faustum: Quisquis autem dicit: si omnipotens Deus est, faciat ut ea quae facta sunt, facta non fuerint: non percipit se dicere ut ea quae vera sunt, eo ipso quod vera sunt, falsa sint. Potest enim facere quod aliquid non sit quod erat: velut cum aliquem qui coepit esse nascendo, faciat non esse moriendo. Quis autem dicat ut id quod iam non est, faciat non esse? Quidquid enim praeteritum est, iam non est; si de ipso fieri aliquid potest, adhuc est de quo fiat. Et si est, quomodo praeteritum est? Non ergo est quod vere diximus fuisse; sed ideo verum est illud fuisse, quia in nostra sententia verum est, non in ea re quae iam non est: hanc autem sententiam Deus falsam facere non potest. Omnipotentem autem Deum non ita dicimus ac si eum etiam mori posse credamus. Ille plane omnipotens vere solus dicitur qui vere est, et a quo solo est quidquid aliquo modo est. AUG, But whoever says, “If God is omnipotent, let Him cause those things which have been done to have not been done,” does not perceive that he says, “Let Him cause those things which are true, in that very respect in which they are true to be false.” For He may cause a thing not to be which was, as when He makes a man who began to be by birth, not to be by death. But who can say that He makes not to be that which no longer is in being? For whatever is past is no longer in being. But if aught can happen to a thing, that thing is still in being to which any thing happens, and if it is, how is it past? Therefore that is not in being which we have truly said has been, because the truth is, in our opinions, not in that thing which no longer is. But this opinion God can not make false; and we do not so call God omnipotent as supposing also that He could die. He plainly is alone truly called omnipotent, who truly is, and by whom alone that is, whatever in any wise exists, whether spirit or body.
Ambrosius: Vide autem humilitatem virginis, vide devotionem: sequitur enim dixit autem Maria: ecce ancilla domini. Ancillam se dicit quae mater eligitur, nec repentino exaltata promisso est. Mitem enim humilemque paritura, humilitatem debuit etiam ipsa praeferre: simul etiam ancillam se dicendo, nullam sibi praerogativam tantae gratiae vindicavit, quin faceret quod iuberetur: unde sequitur fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum. Habes obsequium, vide votum. Ecce ancilla domini, apparatus officii est; fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum, conceptus est voti. AMBROSE; Behold now the humility, the devotion of the virgin. For it follows, But Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord. She calls herself His handmaid, who is chosen to be His mother, so far was she from being exalted by the sudden promise. At the same time also by calling herself handmaid, she claimed to herself in no other way the prerogative of such great grace than that she might do what was commanded her. For about to bring forth One meek and lowly, she was bound herself to show forth lowliness. As it follows, Be it to me according to your word. You have her submission, you see her wish. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, signifies the readiness of duty. Be it to me according to your word, the conception of the wish.
Eusebius: Alius aliud quiddam in praesenti sermone virginis extollet apicibus; hic quidem constantiam, hic obedientiae promptitudinem; alius quod non allecta est tam splendidis et arduis per magnum Archangelum promissis pollicitis; alius quod non excessit modum in dando instantias, sed aequaliter cavit et Evae levitatem et Zachariae inobedientiam: mihi autem humilitatis profunditas non minus conspicitur admiranda. GREEK EX. Some men will highly extol one thing, some another, in these words of the virgin. One man, for example, her constancy, another her willingness of obedience; one man her not being tempted by the great and glorious promises of the great archangel; another, her self-command in not giving an instant assent, equally avoiding both the heedlessness of Eve and the disobedience of Zacharias. But to me the depth of her humility is an object no less worthy of admiration.
Gregorius Moralium: Per ineffabile namque sacramentum concepto sancto partu inviolabili secundum veritatem utriusque naturae, eadem virgo ancilla domini fuit et mater. GREG. Through an ineffable sacrament of a holy conception and a birth inviolable, agreeable to the truth of each nature, the same virgin was both the handmaid and mother of the Lord.
Beda: Accepto autem virginis consensu, mox Angelus caelestia repetit: unde sequitur et discessit ab illa Angelus. BEDE; Having received the consent of the virgin, the angel soon returns heavenward, as it follows, And the angel departed from her.
Eusebius: Non solum impetrans quod optabat, sed stupens in virginea forma, et virtutis plenitudine. EUSEBIUS. Not only having obtained what he wished, but wondering at her virgin beauty, and the ripeness of her virtue.

Lectio 13
39 ἀναστᾶσα δὲ μαριὰμ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὴν ὀρεινὴν μετὰ σπουδῆς εἰς πόλιν Ἰούδα, 40 καὶ εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον ζαχαρίου καὶ ἠσπάσατο τὴν ἐλισάβετ. 41 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς μαρίας ἡ ἐλισάβετ, ἐσκίρτησεν τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς, καὶ ἐπλήσθη πνεύματος ἁγίου ἡ ἐλισάβετ, 42 καὶ ἀνεφώνησεν κραυγῇ μεγάλῃ καὶ εἶπεν, εὐλογημένη σὺ ἐν γυναιξίν, καὶ εὐλογημένος ὁ καρπὸς τῆς κοιλίας σου. 43 καὶ πόθεν μοι τοῦτο ἵνα ἔλθῃ ἡ μήτηρ τοῦ κυρίου μου πρὸς ἐμέ; 44 ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὡς ἐγένετο ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ σου εἰς τὰ ὦτά μου, ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ μου. 45 καὶ μακαρία ἡ πιστεύσασα ὅτι ἔσται τελείωσις τοῖς λελαλημένοις αὐτῇ παρὰ κυρίου.
39. And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 40. And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 41. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 42. And she spoke out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44. For, lo, as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Ambrosius: Angelus cum abscondita nuntiaret, ut fides astrueretur, exemplo feminae sterilis conceptum virgini nuntiavit. Ubi hoc audivit Maria, non quasi incredula de oraculo, nec quasi incerta de nuntio, nec quasi dubitans de exemplo; sed quasi laeta pro voto, religiosa pro officio, festina prae gaudio in montana perrexit: unde dicitur exurgens autem Maria in diebus illis abiit in montana. Quo enim, iam Deo plena, nisi ad superiora cum festinatione conscenderet? AMBROSE; The Angel, when he announced the hidden mysteries to the Virgin, that he might build up her faith by an example, related to her the conception of a barren woman. When Mary heard it, it was not that she disbelieved the oracle, or was uncertain about the messenger, or doubtful of the example, but rejoicing in the fulfillment of her wish, and conscientious in the observance of her duty, she gladly went forth into the hill country. For what could Mary now, filled with God, but ascend into the higher parts with haste!
Origenes in Lucam: Iesus enim, qui in utero illius erat, festinabat adhuc in ventre matris Ioannem positum sanctificare: unde sequitur cum festinatione. ORIGEN; For Jesus who was in her womb hastened to sanctify John, still in the womb of his mother. Whence it follows, with haste.
Ambrosius: Nescit tarda molimina spiritus sancti gratia. Discite, virgines, non circumcursare per alienas aedes, non demorari in plateis, non aliquos in publico miscere sermones. AMBROSE; The grace of the Holy Spirit knows not of slow workings. Learn, you virgins, not to loiter in the streets, nor mix in public talk.
Theophylactus: Propter hoc abiit in montana, quia Zacharias in montanis habitabat, unde sequitur in civitatem Iuda, et intravit in domum Zachariae. THEOPHYL. She went into the mountains, because Zacharias dwelt there. As it follows, To a city of Juda, and entered into the house of Zacharias.
Ambrosius: Discite vos, sanctae mulieres, sedulitatem, quam praegnantibus debeatis exhibere cognatis. Mariam autem quae sola in intimis penetralibus versabatur, non a publico virginitatis pudor, non a studio asperitas montium, non ab officio prolixitas itineris retardavit. Discite etiam, virgines, humilitatem Mariae: venit propinqua ad proximam, iunior ad seniorem; nec solum venit, sed et prior salutavit: unde sequitur et salutavit Elisabeth. Decet enim ut quanto castior virgo, tanto humilior sit, noveritque deferre senioribus. Sit magistra humilitatis in qua est professio castitatis. Est etiam causa pietatis: quia superior venit ad inferiorem, ut inferior adiuvetur; Maria ad Elisabeth; Christus ad Ioannem. Learn, O holy women, the attention which you ought to show for your kinswomen with child. For Mary, who before dwelt alone in the secret of her chamber, neither virgin modesty caused to shrink from the public gaze, nor the rugged mountains from pursuing her purpose, nor the tediousness of the journey from performing her duty. Learn also, O virgins, the lowliness of Mary. She came a kinswoman to her next of kin, the younger to the elder, nor did she merely come to her, but was the first to give her salutations; as it follows, And she saluted, Elisabeth. For the more chaste a virgin is, the more humble she should be, and ready to give way to her elders. Let her then be the mistress of humility, in whom is the profession of chastity. Mary is also a cause of piety, in that the higher went to the lower, that the lower might be assisted, Mary to Elisabeth, Christ to John.
Chrysostomus super Matth: Vel aliter celabat quae supra dicta sunt in se virgo, nec cuiquam hominum pandit: non enim credebat ab aliis posse fidem adhiberi mirandis relatibus; immo magis putabat se pati convicia si diceret, quasi volens scelus proprium palliare. CHRYS. Or else the Virgin kept to herself all those things which have been said, not revealing them to any one, for she did not believe that any credit would be given to her wonderful story; nay, she rather thought she would suffer reproach if she told it, as if wishing to screen her own guilt.
Graecus: Ad solam autem refugit Elisabeth: sic enim consueverat propter cognationem, et propter ceteram huiusmodi coniunctionem. GREEK EX. But to Elisabeth alone she has recourse, as she was wont to do from their relationship, and other close bonds of union.
Ambrosius: Cito autem adventus Mariae, et praesentiae dominicae beneficia declarantur: nam sequitur et factum est, ut audivit salutationem Mariae Elisabeth, exultavit infans in utero eius. Vide distinctionem, singulorumque verborum proprietates. Vocem prior Elisabeth audivit, sed Ioannes prior gratiam sensit; illa naturae ordine audivit, iste exultavit ratione mysterii; illa Mariae, iste domini sensit adventum. AMBROSE; But soon the blessed fruits of Mary’s coming and our Lord’s presence are made evident. For it follows, And it came to pass, that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb. Mark the distinction and propriety of each word. Elisabeth first heard the word, but John first experienced the grace. She heard by the order of nature, he leaped by reason of the mystery. She perceived the coming of Mary, he the coming of the Lord.
Graecus: Propheta enim parente acutius videt et audit, salutatque prophetatum; sed quoniam verbis non poterat, saltat in utero; quod maximum existit in gaudio. Quis unquam novit tripudium nativitate antiquius? Insinuavit gratia quae naturae ignota extiterant; reclusus ventre miles agnovit dominum ac regem oriturum, ventris tegmine non obstante mysticae visioni: inspexit enim non palpebris, sed spiritu. GREEK EX. For the Prophet sees and hears more acutely than his mother, and salutes the chief of Prophets; but as he could not do this in words, he leaps in the womb, which was the greatest token of his joy. Who ever heard of leaping at a time previous to birth? Grace introduced things to which nature was a stranger. Shut up in the womb, the soldier acknowledged his Lord and King soon to be born, the womb’s covering being no obstacle to the mystical sight.
Origenes: Non autem antea repletus fuerat spiritu donec assisteret quae Christum gerebat in utero; tunc autem et spiritu erat plenus, et resultabat in parente: unde sequitur et repleta est spiritu sancto Elisabeth. Non autem dubium est quin quae tunc repleta est spiritu sancto, propter filium sit repleta. ORIGEN; He was not filled with the Spirit, until she stood near him who bore Christ in her womb. Then indeed he was both filled with the Spirit, and leaping imparted the grace to his mother; as it follows, And Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. But we cannot doubt that she who was then filled with the Holy Spirit, was filled because of her son.
Ambrosius: Illa autem quae se occultaverat et conceperat filium, iactare se coepit, quia gerebat prophetam; et quae erubescebat ante, benedicit: unde sequitur et exclamavit voce magna, et dixit: benedicta tu inter mulieres. Magna voce clamavit, ubi domini sensit adventum, quia religiosum credidit partum. AMBROSE; She who had hid herself because she conceived a son, began to glory that she carried in her womb a prophet, and she who had before blushed, now gives her blessing; as it follows, And she spoke out with a loud voice, Blessed are you among women. With a loud voice she exclaimed when she perceived the Lord’s coming, for she believed it to be a holy birth.
Origenes: Dicit autem benedicta tu inter mulieres: nulla enim unquam tantae fuit gratiae particeps aut esse poterit; unius enim divini germinis parens est unica. But she says, Blessed are you among women. For none was ever partaker of such grace or could be, since of the one Divine seed, there is one only parent.
Beda: Eadem autem voce ab Elisabeth qua a Gabriele benedicitur, quatenus et Angelis et hominibus veneranda monstretur. BEDE; Mary is blessed by Elisabeth with the same words as before by Gabriel, to show that she was to be reverenced both by men and angels.
Theophylactus: Quia vero aliae sanctae mulieres fuerunt, quae tamen genuerunt filios peccato inquinatos, subiungit et benedictus fructus ventris tui. Vel aliter intelligitur. Dixerat benedicta tu inter mulieres; deinde quasi interrogante aliquo, quare, subiungit et benedictus fructus ventris tui, sicut dicitur in Psalmo 117, 26-27: benedictus qui venit in nomine domini, Deus dominus, et illuxit nobis. Consuevit enim sacra Scriptura et pro quia recipere. THEOPHYL. But because there have been other holy women who yet have borne sons stained with sin, she adds, And blessed is the fruit of your womb. Or another interpretation is, having said, Blessed are you among women, she then, as if some one inquired the cause, answers, And blessed is the fruit of your womb: as it is said, Blessed be he that comes in the name of the Lord. The Lord God, and he has shown us light; for the Holy Scriptures often use "and" instead of "because".
Origenes: Fructum autem ventris Dei genitricis dominum dixit: quia nequaquam ex viro, sed ex sola Maria processit: nam qui semen sumpserunt a patribus, fructus eorum existunt. TITUS BOST. Now she rightly calls the Lord the fruit of the virgin’s womb, because He proceeded not from man, but from Mary alone. For they who are sown by their fathers are the fruits of their fathers.
Graecus: Solus ergo hic fructus benedictus: quia absque viro et absque peccato producitur. GREEK EX. This fruit alone then is blessed, because it is; produced without man, and without sin.
Beda: Iste est fructus, qui David promittitur: de fructu ventris tui ponam super sedem tuam. BEDE; This is the fruit which is promised to David, Of the fruit of your body will I set upon your throne.
Severus: In qua parte emergit Eutychis redargutio, dum fructus ventris Christus asseritur omnis enim fructus est eiusdem naturae cum planta: unde et virginem relinquitur eiusdem fuisse naturae cum secundo Adam, qui tollit peccata mundi. Sed et qui phantasticam opinionem de carne Christi confingunt, in vero Dei genitricis partu erubescant; nam ipse fructus ex ipsa substantia procedit arboris. Ubi sunt etiam dicentes, quasi per aquaeductum Christum transisse per virginem? Advertant ex dictis Elisabeth, quam replevit spiritus, Christum fructum fuisse ventris. Sequitur unde hoc mihi ut veniat mater domini mei ad me? From this place we derive the refutation of Eutyches, in that Christ is stated to be the fruit of the womb. For all fruit is of the same nature with the tree that bears it. It remains then that the virgin was also of the same nature with the second Adam, who takes away the sins of the world. But let those also who invent curious fictions concerning the flesh of Christ, blush when they hear of the real child-bearing of the mother of God. For the fruit itself proceeds from the very substance of the tree. Where too are those who say that Christ passed through the virgin as water through an aqueduct? Let these consider the words of Elisabeth who was filled with the Spirit, that Christ was the fruit of the womb. It follows, And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Ambrosius: Non quasi ignorans dicit: scit enim esse sancti spiritus gratiam et operationem, ut mater domini matrem prophetae ad profectum sui pignoris salutet: sed quasi non humani hoc meriti, sed divinae gratiae munus esse cognoscat, ita dicit unde hoc mihi: hoc est qua iustitia, quibus factis, pro quibus meritis? AMBROSE; She says it not ignorantly, for she knew it was by the grace and operation of the Holy Spirit that the mother of the prophet should be saluted by the mother of his Lord, to the advancement and growth of her own pledge; but being aware that this was of no human deserving, but a gift of Divine grace, she therefore says, Whence is this to me, that is, By what right of mine, by what that I have done, for what good deeds?
Origenes: Convenit autem hoc dicens cum filio; nam et Ioannes indignum se sentiebat adventu Christi ad ipsum. Matrem autem domini nuncupat adhuc virginem existentem, praeoccupans eventum ex dicto prophetico. Divina autem promissio duxerat Mariam ad Elisabeth, ut Ioannis testimonium ab utero perveniret ad dominum; ex tunc enim Ioannem dominus in prophetam constituit: unde sequitur ecce enim, ut facta est vox salutationis tuae in auribus meis, exultavit infans in utero meo. ORIGEN; Now in saying this, she coincides with her son. For John also felt that he was unworthy of our Lord’s coming to him. But she gives the name of “the mother of our Lord” to one still a virgin, thus forestalling the event by the words of prophecy. Divine foreknowledge brought Mary to Elisabeth, that the testimony of John might reach the Lord. For from that time Christ ordained John to be a prophet. Hence it follows, For, lo, as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded, &c.
Augustinus ad Dardanum: Hoc autem ut diceret, sicut Evangelista praelocutus est, repleta est spiritu sancto; quo proculdubio revelante cognovit quid illa exultatio significasset; idest, infantis illius venisse matrem, cuius ipse praecursor, et demonstrator esset futurus. Potuit ergo esse ista significatio rei tantae a maioribus cognoscendae, non a parvulo cognitae: non enim dixit: exultavit in fide infans in utero meo, sed exultavit in gaudio. Videmus autem exultationem non solum parvulorum, sed etiam pecorum: non utique de aliqua fide vel religione, vel quacumque rationabili cognitione venientem. Sed haec inusitata et nova extitit, quia in utero, et eius adventu quae omnium salvatorem fuerat paritura. Ideo haec exultatio, et tamquam matri domini reddita resalutatio, sicut solent miracula fieri, facta est divinitus in infante, non humanitus ab infante; quamquam etiam si usque adeo in illo puero est acceleratus usus rationis et voluntatis ut intra viscera materna iam posset agnoscere, credere et consentire, etiam hoc in miraculis habendum divinae potentiae, non ad humanae tradendum exemplar naturae. AUG. But in order to say this, as the Evangelist has premised, she was filled with the Holy Spirit, by whose revelation undoubtedly she knew what that leaping of the child meant; namely, that the mother of Him had come to her, whose forerunner and herald that child was to be. Such then might be the meaning of so great an event; to be known indeed by grown up persons, but not understood by a little child; for she said not, “The babe leaped in faith in my womb,” but leaped for joy. Now we see not only children leaping for joy, but even the cattle; not surely from any faith or religious feeling, or any rational knowledge. But this joy was strange and unwonted, for it was in the womb; and at the coming of her who was to bring forth the Savior of the world. This joy, therefore, and as it were reciprocal salutation to the mother of the Lord, was caused (as miracles are) by Divine influences in the child, not in any human way by him. For even supposing the exercise of reason and the will had been so far advanced in that child, as that he should be able in the bowels of his mother to know, believe, and assent; yet surely that must be placed among the miracles of Divine power, not referred to human examples.
Origenes: Venerat autem mater domini visura Elisabeth miraculosum conceptum, quem retulerat Angelus, ut per hoc sequatur credulitas potioris ad virginem manaturi: et ad hanc fidem facit sermo Elisabeth, dicentis et beata quae credidisti, quoniam perficientur ea quae dicta sunt tibi a domino. THEOPHYL. The mother of our Lord had come to see Elisabeth, as also the miraculous conception, from which the Angel had told her should result the belief of a far greater conception, to happen to herself; and to this belief the words of Elisabeth refer, And blessed are you who have believed, for there shall be a performance of those things which were told you from the Lord.
Ambrosius: Vides minime dubitasse Mariam, sed credidisse; et ideo fructum fidei consecutam. AMBROSE; You see that Mary doubted not but believed, and therefore the fruit of faith followed.
Beda: Nec mirum, si dominus redempturus mundum, operationem suam inchoavit a matre; ut per quam salus omnibus parabatur, eadem prima fructum salutis hauriret ex pignore. BEDE; Nor is it to be wondered at, that our Lord, about to redeem the world, commenced His mighty works with His mother, that she, through whom the salvation of all men was prepared, should herself be the first to reap the fruit of salvation from her pledge.
Ambrosius: Sed et vos beati qui audivistis et credidistis: quaecumque enim crediderit anima, et concipit et generat Dei verbum, et opera eius agnoscit. AMBROSE; But happy are you also who have heard and believed, for whatever soul has believed, both conceives and brings forth the word of God, and knows His works.
Beda: Omnis autem anima quae verbum Dei mente concepit, virtutum statim celsa cacumina gressu conscendit amoris, quatenus civitatem Iuda, idest confessionis et laudis arcem, penetrare, et usque ad perfectionem fidei, spei et caritatis, quasi tribus in ea mensibus valeat commorari. BEDE; But every soul which has conceived the word of God in the heart, straightway climbs the lofty summits of the virtues by the stairs of love, so as to be able to enter into the city of Juda, (into the citadel of prayer and praise, and abide as it were for three months in it,) to the perfection of faith, hope, and charity.
Gregorius super Ezech: Simul et de praeterito et de praesenti et de futuro per prophetiae spiritum tacta est, quae et eam promissionibus Angeli credidisse cognovit, et matrem nominans, quia redemptorem humani generis in utero portaret, intellexit: et cum omnia perficienda praediceret, quid etiam de futuro sequeretur aspexit. GREG. She was touched with the spirit of prophecy at once, both as to the past, present, and future. She knew that Mary had believed the promises of the Angel; she perceived when she gave her the name of mother, that Mary was carrying in her womb the Redeemer of mankind; and when she foretold that all things would be accomplished, she saw also what was as to follow in the future.

Lectio 14
46 καὶ εἶπεν μαριάμ, μεγαλύνει * ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν κύριον,
46. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord.

Ambrosius: Sicut peccatum a mulieribus coepit, ita et bona a mulieribus inchoantur: unde non otiosum videtur quod et ante Ioannem Elisabeth prophetizat, et Maria ante domini generationem. Sequitur autem ut Mariae quo persona melior, eo prophetia sit plenior. AMBROSE; As evil came into the world by a woman, so also is good introduced by women; and so it seems not without meaning, that both Elisabeth prophesies before John, and Mary before the birth of the Lord. But it follows, that as Mary was the greater person, so she uttered the fuller prophecy.
Basilius: Virgo enim intentione sublimi ac speculatione profunda immensitatem contemplans mysterii, quasi profundius gradiens, magnificat Deum: unde dicitur et ait Maria: magnificat anima mea dominum. BASIL; For the Virgin, with lofty thoughts and deep penetration, contemplates the boundless mystery, the further she advances, magnifying God; And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord.
Graecus: Quasi diceret: mirabilia quae Deus praenuntiavit, in meo corpore exercebit; sed anima mea infructuosa apud Deum non erit. Convenit autem mihi et voluntatis fructum afferre: nam quantum amplo doceor miraculo, tantum teneor glorificare in me mirabilia operantem. GREEK EX. As if she said, Marvelous things has the Lord declared that He will accomplish in my body, but neither shall my soul be unfruitful before God. It becomes me to offer Him the fruit also of my will, for inasmuch as I am obedient to a mighty miracle, am I bound to glorify Him who performs His mighty works in me.
Origenes in Lucam: Si autem dominus nec augmentum nec detrimentum recipere potest; quid est quod Maria loquitur magnificat anima mea dominum? Sed si considerem dominum salvatorem imaginem esse invisibilis Dei, et animam factam ad eius imaginem, ut sit imago imaginis: tunc videbo quoniam, in exemplo eorum qui solent imagines pingere, quando magnificavero animam meam opere, cogitatione, sermone, tunc imago Dei grandis efficitur, et ipse dominus, cuius imago est in anima mea, magnificatur. ORIGEN; Now if the Lord could neither receive increase or decrease, what is this that Mary speaks of, My soul doth magnify the Lord? But if I consider that the Lord our Savior is the image of the invisible God, and that the soul is created according to His image, so as to be an image of an image, then I shall see plainly, that as after the manner of those who are accustomed to paint images, each one of us forming his soul after the image of Christ, makes it great or little, base or noble, after the likeness of the original so when I have made my soul great in thought, word, and deed, the image of God is made great, and the Lord Himself whose image it is, is magnified in my soul.

Lectio 15
47 καὶ ἠγαλλίασεν τὸ πνεῦμά μου * ἐπὶ τῷ θεῷ τῷ σωτῆρί μου,
47. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.

Basilius: Primus spiritus fructus est pax et gaudium. Quia ergo virgo sancta totam sibi hauserat spiritus gratiam, merito subiungit et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo. Idem animam dicit et spiritum. Consueta autem in Scripturis exultationis prolatio insinuat alacrem quemdam et iocosum habitum animae in his qui digni sunt. Proinde virgo exultat in domino ineffabili cordis tripudio et resultatione in strepitu honesti affectus. Sequitur in Deo salutari meo. BASIL; The first-fruit of the Spirit is peace and joy. Because then the holy Virgin had drunk in all the graces of the Spirit, she rightly adds, And my spirit has leaped for joy. She means the same thing, soul and spirit. But the frequent mention of leaping for joy in the Scriptures implies a certain bright and cheerful state of mind in those who are worthy. Hence the Virgin exults in the Lord with an unspeakable springing (and bounding) of the heart for joy, and in the breaking forth into utterance of a noble affection It follows, in God my Savior.
Beda: Quia eiusdem Iesu, idest salvatoris, spiritus virginis aeterna divinitate laetatur, cuius caro temporali conceptione foetatur. BEDE; Because the spirit of the Virgin rejoices in the eternal Godhead of the same Jesus (i.e. the Savior,) whose flesh is formed in the womb by a temporal conception.
Ambrosius: Magnificat ergo anima Mariae dominum, et exultat spiritus eius in Deo: eo quod anima et spiritu patri filioque devota, unum Deum, per quem omnia, pio veneratur affectu. Sit autem in singulis Mariae anima, ut magnificet dominum, sit in singulis spiritus Mariae, ut exultet in domino. Si secundum carnem una mater est Christi, secundum fidem tamen omnium fructus est Christus: omnis enim anima accipit Dei verbum; si tamen immaculata et immunis a vitiis sit, et intemerato castimoniam pudore custodiat. AMBROSE; The soul of Mary therefore magnifies the Lord, and her spirit rejoiced in God, because with soul and spirit devoted to the Father and the Son, she worships with a pious affection the one God from whom are all things. But let every one have the spirit of Mary, so that he may rejoice in the Lord. If according to the flesh there is one mother of Christ, yet, according to faith, Christ is the fruit of all. For every soul receives the word of God if only he be unspotted and free from sin, and preserves it with unsullied purity.
Theophylactus: Ille autem Deum magnificat, qui digne sequitur Christum, et dum Christianus vocatur, Christi non minuit dignitatem, magna et caelestia operando; et tunc spiritus eius, idest spirituale chrisma exultabit, idest proficiet, et non mortificabitur. THEOPHYL. But he magnifies God who worthily follows Christ, and now that he is called Christian, lessens not the glory of Christ by acting unworthily, but does great and heavenly things; and then the Spirit (that is, the anointing of the Spirit) shall rejoice, (i.e. make him to prosper,) and shall not be withdrawn, so to say, and put to death.
Basilius: Si quando vero lux in cor suum irrepserit, et ad Deum diligendum, et contemnenda corporea per illam obscuram et brevem imaginem perfectam perceperit iustorum conscientiam, absque ulla difficultate consequetur in domino gaudium. BASIL; But if at any time light shall have crept into his heart, and loving God and despising bodily things he shall have gained the perfect standing of the just, without any difficulty shall he obtain joy in the Lord.
Origenes: Prius autem anima magnificat dominum, ut postea exultet in Deo: nisi enim antea crediderimus, exultare non possumus. ORIGEN; But the soul first magnifies the Lord, that it may afterwards rejoice in God; for unless we have first believed, we can not rejoice.

Lectio 16
48 ὅτι ἐπέβλεψεν ἐπὶ τὴν ταπείνωσιν * τῆς δούλης αὐτοῦ. ἰδοὺ γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν * μακαριοῦσίν με πᾶσαι αἱ γενεαί:
48. For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Graecus: Causam manifestat cur se magnificare Deum deceat ac exultare in illo, dicens quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae; quasi diceret: ipse providit, non ego expectavi; humilibus eram contenta. Nunc autem ad ineffabile consilium eligor, et exaltor de terra ad sidera. GREEK EX. She gives the reason why it becomes her to magnify God and to rejoice in Him, saying, For he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden; as if she said, “He Himself foresaw, therefore I did not look for Him.” I was content with things lowly, but now am I chosen to counsels unspeakable, and raised up from the earth to the stars.
Augustinus: O vera humilitas, quae Deum hominibus peperit, vitam mortalibus edidit, caelos innovavit, mundum purificavit, Paradisum aperuit, et hominum animas liberavit. Facta est Mariae humilitas scala caelestis, per quam Deus descendit ad terras. Quid enim est dicere respexit, nisi approbavit? Multi enim videntur in conspectu hominum humiles esse; sed eorum humilitas a domino non respicitur. Si enim veraciter humiles essent Deumque ab hominibus non se laudari vellent; non in hoc mundo, sed in Deo spiritus eorum exultaret. AUG. O true lowliness, which has borne God to men, has given life to mortals, made new heavens and a pure earth, opened the gates of Paradise, and set free the souls of men. The lowliness of Mary was made the heavenly ladder, by which God descended upon earth. For whet does regarded mean but “approved;” For many seem in my sight to be lowly, but their lowliness is not regarded by the Lord. For if they were truly lowly, their spirit would rejoice not in the world, but in God.
Origenes in Lucam: Sed quid humile atque deiectum habebat quae Dei filium gestabat in utero? Sed considera quoniam humilitas in Scripturis una de virtutibus praedicatur, quae a philosophis atyphia, sive metriotis, dicitur. Sed et nos eam possumus appellare quodam circuitu, cum aliquis non est inflatus, sed ipse se deicit. ORIGEN; But why was she lowly and cast down, who carried in her womb the Son of God? Consider that lowliness which in the Scriptures is particularly praised as one of the virtues, so called by the philosophers “modestia.” And we also may paraphrase it, that state of mind in which a man instead of being puffed up, casts himself down.
Beda: Cuius autem humilitas respicitur, recte beata ab omnibus cognominatur: unde sequitur ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes. BEDE, But she, whose humility is regarded, is rightly called blessed by all; as it follows, For, behold, from henceforth all shall call me blessed.
Athanasius: Si enim secundum prophetam beati sunt qui habent semen in Sion, et proximos in Ierusalem: quantum debet esse praeconium divinae ac sacrosanctae virginis Mariae, quae secundum carnem verbi genitrix est effecta? ATHAN. For if as the Prophet says, Blessed are they who have seed in Sion, and kinsfolk in Jerusalem, how great should be the celebration of the divine and ever holy Virgin Mary, who was made according to the flesh, the Mother of the Word?
Graecus: Non autem se beatam appellat inani vexata gloria: unde enim focus in ipsa superbiae, quae se ancillam domini nuncupavit? Sed sacro tacta spiritu quae futura sunt praescivit. GREEK EX. She does not call herself blessed from vain glory, for what room is there for pride in her who named herself the handmaid of the Lord? But, touched by the Holy Spirit, she foretold those things which were to come.
Beda: Decebat enim ut, sicut per superbiam primi parentis mors in mundum intravit, ita per humilitatem Mariae vitae introitus videretur. BEDE, For it was fitting, that as by the pride of our first parent death came into the world, so by the lowliness of Mary should be opened the entrance into life.
Theophylactus: Et ideo dicit omnes generationes; non solum Elisabeth, sed etiam omnes credentium nationes. THEOPHYL. And therefore she says, all generations, not only Elisabeth, but also every nation that believed.

Lectio 17
49 ὅτι ἐποίησέν μοι μεγάλα ὁ δυνατός, * καὶ ἅγιον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,
49. For he that is mighty has done to me great things; and holy is his name.

Theophylactus: Ostendit virgo non per suam virtutem se beatam praedicandam; sed causam assignat, dicens quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est.

Quae tibi magna fecit? Credo ut creatura ederes creatorem, famula dominum generares, ut per te mundum Deus redimeret, per te illuminaret, per te ad vitam revocaret.

THEOPHYL. The Virgin shows that not for her own virtue is she to be pronounced blessed, but she assigns the cause saying, For he that is mighty has magnified me.

AUG. What great things has He done to you; I believe that a creature you gave birth to the Creator, servant you brought forth the Lord, that through you God redeemed the world, through you He restored it to life.

Titus: Quomodo vero magna, nisi quod manens illibata concipio, superans nutu Dei naturam? Digna reputata sum sine viro, non quomodocumque genitrix effici, sed unigeniti salvatoris. TITUS BOST. But where are the great things, if they be not that I still a virgin conceive (by the will of God) overcoming nature. I have been accounted worthy, without being joined to a husband, to be made a mother, not a mother of any one, but of the only-begotten Savior.
Beda: Respicit autem hoc ad initium carminis, ubi dictum est magnificat anima mea dominum: sola enim anima illa cui dominus magna facere dignatur, dignis eum praeconiis magnificare potest. BEDE; But this has reference to the beginning of the hymn, where it is said, My soul doth magnify the Lord. For that soul can alone magnify the Lord with due praise, for whom he deigns to do mighty things.
Titus: Dicit autem qui potens est, ut si quis diffidat in conceptionis negotio, dum virgo manens concepit, retorqueat miraculum ad potentiam operantis. Nec quia unigenitus accessit ad feminam, ex hoc inquinatur: quia sanctum est nomen eius. TITUS BOST; But she says, that is mighty, that if men should disbelieve the work of her conception, namely, that while yet a virgin, she conceived, she might throw back the miracles upon the power of the Worker. Nor because the only-begotten Son has come to a woman is He thereby defiled, for holy is his name.
Basilius: Sanctum vero dicitur nomen Dei, non quia in syllabis quamdam significativam virtutem contineat, sed quia quomodolibet Dei speculatio sancta dignoscitur et sincera. BASIL. But holy is the name of God called, not because in its letters it contains any significant power, but because in whatever way we look at God we distinguish his purity and holiness.
Beda: Singularis enim potentiae culmine transcendit omnem creaturam, et ab universis quae fecit lege segregatur; quod Graeca locutione melius intelligitur: in quo ipsum verbum quod dicit agion, quasi extra terram esse significat. BEDE; For in the height of His marvelous power He is far beyond every creature, and is widely removed from all the works of His hands. This is better understood in the Greek tongue, in which the very word which means holy, signifies as it were to be “apart from the earth.”

Lectio 18
50 καὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς * τοῖς φοβουμένοις αὐτόν.
50. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Beda: A specialibus se donis ad generalia Dei iudicia convertens, totius humani generis statum describit, subdens et misericordia eius a progenie in progenies timentibus eum; quasi dicat: non solum mihi fecit magna qui potens est, sed et in omni gente qui timet Deum acceptus est illi. BEDE; Turning from God’s special gifts to His general dealings, she describes the condition of the whole hole human race, And his mercy is from generation to generation on them that fear him. As if she said, Not only for me has He that is mighty done great things, but in every nation he that fears God is accepted by Him.
Origenes in Lucam: Misericordia enim Dei, non in una generatione, sed in sempiternum extenditur a generatione in generationem. ORIGEN; For the mercy of God is not upon one generation, but extends to eternity from generation to generation.
Graecus: Et misericordia eius, quam habet in generationes generationum, ego concipio; ac ipse corpori animato coniungitur, nostram tractans salutem solius intuitu pietatis. Miseretur autem non qualitercumque, sed his quos timor eius compescuit in qualibet natione: unde dicitur timentibus eum; qui scilicet poenitentia ducti, ad fidem et poenitentiam convertuntur; nam qui obstinati sunt, incredulitatis vitio clauserunt sibi ianuam pietatis. GREEK EX. According to the mercy which He has upon generations of generations, I conceive, and He Himself is united to a living body, out of mercy alone undertaking our salvation. Nor is His mercy shown indiscriminately, but upon those who are constrained by the fear of Him in every nation; as it is said, upon those who fear him, that is, upon those who being brought by repentance are turned to faith and renewal for the obstinate unbelievers have by their sin shut against themselves the gate of mercy.
Theophylactus: Vel per hoc innuit, quod timentes misericordiam consequenter in generatione ista, idest in praesenti saeculo, et futura, idest in saeculo futuro; in hoc saeculo centuplum accipientes, in illo vero multo maiora. THEOPHYL. Or by this she means that they who fear shall obtain mercy, both in that generation, (that is, the present world,) and the generation which is to come, (i.e. the life everlasting.) For now they receive a hundred-fold, but hereafter far more.

Lectio 19
51 ἐποίησεν κράτος ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ, * διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν:
51. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Beda: Humani generis statum describens, quid superbi et quid humiles mereantur, ostendit dicens fecit potentiam in brachio suo, idest in ipso Dei filio: sicut enim tuum brachium est quo operaris, sic brachium Dei dictum est eius verbum, per quod operatus est mundum. BEDE; In describing the state of mankind, she shows what the proud deserve, and what the humble; saying, He has shown strength with his arm, &c. i.e. with the very Son of God. For as your arm is that whereby you work, so the arm of God is said to be His word by whom He made the world.
Origenes in Lucam: Timentibus autem se fecit potentiam in brachio suo: quia licet infirmus ad Deum accesseris, si timueris eum, promissam virtutem consequeris. ORIGEN; But to those that fear Him, He has done mighty things with His arm; though you come weak to God if you have feared Him you shall obtain the promised strength.
Theophylactus: In brachio suo, scilicet eius filio incarnato, potentiam fecit: quia natura devicta est, virgine pariente et Deo humanato. THEOPHYL. For in His arm, that is, His incarnate Son, He has shown strength, seeing that nature was vanquished, a virgin bringing forth, and God becoming man.
Graecus: Vel dicit fecit pro faciet potentiam; non ut dudum per Moysen contra Aegyptios, nec per Angelum, puta quando multa millia rebellium prostravit Assyriorum, nec quoquam alio mediante, nisi in proprio brachio triumphum docuit, intelligibiles hostes superando; unde sequitur dispersit superbos mente cordis sui, scilicet quamlibet mentem elatam, non parentem eius adventui; quin etiam aperuit, et vitiosas ostendit superbas cogitationes eorum. GREEK EX. Or she says, Has shown, for will show strength; not as long ago by the hand of Moses against the Egyptians, nor as by the Angel, (when he slew many thousand of the rebel Assyrians,) nor by any other instrument save His own power, He openly triumphed, overcoming spiritual enemies. Hence it follows, he has scattered, &c. that is to say, every heart that was puffed up and not obedient to His coming He has laid bare, and exposed the wickedness of their proud thoughts.
Cyrillus: Magis autem proprie de Daemonum hostili caterva intelligenda sunt haec: hos enim saevientes in terra dissipavit adveniens dominus, et compeditos ab eis obedientiae suae restituit. CYRIL OF JERUS. But these words may be more appropriately taken to refer to the hostile ranks of the evil spirits. For they were raging on the earth, when our Lord’s coming put them to flight, and restored those whom they had bound, to His obedience.
Theophylactus: Potest hoc etiam et de Iudaeis intelligi, quos in omnem dispersit regionem sicut nunc dispersi sunt. THEOPHYL. This might also be understood of the Jews whom He scattered into all lands as they are now scattered.

Lectio 20
52 καθεῖλεν δυνάστας ἀπὸ θρόνων * καὶ ὕψωσεν ταπεινούς,
52. He has put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

Beda: Quod dixit fecit potentiam in brachio suo, et quod praemiserat, et misericordia eius a progenie in progenies, his versiculis per singula continuata est annectendum: quia scilicet per omnes saeculi generationes et perire superbi, et humiles exaltari, pia iustaque divinae potentiae dispensatione non cessant: unde dicitur deposuit potentes de sede, et exaltavit humiles. BEDE; The words, He has showed strength with his arm, and those which went before, And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation, must be joined to this verse by a comma only. For truly through all generations of the world, by a merciful and just administration of Divine power, the proud do not cease to fall, and the humble to be exalted. As it is said, He has put down the mighty from their seat, he has exalted the humble and meek.
Cyrillus: Magna sapiebant Daemones et Diabolus, gentilium sapientes, Pharisaei et Scribae: hos tamen deposuit, erexitque humiliantes se sub potenti manu Dei, dans illis virtutem calcandi serpentes et scorpiones, omnemque potestatem inimici. Erant et quandoque Iudaei potestate superbi; sed prostravit hos incredulitas; ex gentibus autem ignobiles et humiles per fidem ad apicem conscenderunt. CYRIL; The mighty in knowledge were the evil spirits, the Devil, the wise ones of the Gentiles, the Scribes and Pharisees; yet these He has put down, and raised up those who humbled themselves under the mighty hand of God; giving them the power of treading upon serpents and scorpions and every power of the enemy. The Jews were also at one time puffed up with power, but unbelief slew them, and the mean and lowly of the Gentiles have through faith climbed up to the highest summit.
Graecus: Deitatis enim tribunal noster intellectus esse cognoscitur; sed iniquae virtutes post transgressionem incubuerunt praecordiis protoplasti, tamquam in proprio solio. Ob hoc ergo venit dominus, et spiritus iniquos eiecit a sedibus voluntatum, et prostratos a Daemoniis exaltavit, eorum conscientias purgans, et eorum mentem statuens propriam sedem. GREEK EX. For our understanding is acknowledge d to be the judgment-seat of God, but after the transgression, the powers of evil took their seat in the heart of the first man as on their own throne. For this reason then the Lord came and cast out the evil spirits from the seat of our will, and raised up those who were vanquished by devils, purging their consciences, and making their hearts his own dwelling place.

Lectio 21
53 πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν * καὶ πλουτοῦντας ἐξαπέστειλεν κενούς.
53. He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he has sent empty away.

Glossa: Quia humana prosperitas praecipue in honoribus potentatuum et in abundantia divitiarum consistere videtur, post deiectionem potentium et exaltationem humilium de divitum exinanitione et pauperum repletione mentionem facit, dicens esurientes implevit bonis, et divites dimisit inanes. GLOSS. Because human prosperity seems to consist chiefly in the honors of the mighty and the abundance of their riches, after speaking of the casting down of the mighty, and the exalting of the humble, he goes on to tell of the impoverishing of the rich and the filling of the poor, He has filled the hungry, &c.
Basilius super Psal: Disponit quidem nos praesens verbum etiam quoad sensibilia, edocens rerum mundanarum incertitudinem. Caduca siquidem sunt haec, sicut unda quae ab impetu ventorum hinc inde diffunditur. Intellectualiter autem sumendo, esuriebat genus humanum, exceptis Iudaeis: hos namque ditaverat legis traditio, et sanctorum dogmata prophetarum. Quia vero non humiliter haeserunt verbo humanato, dimissi sunt inanes, nihil deferentes, non fidem, non scientiam: et spe bonorum privati sunt, et a terrena Ierusalem et a vita futura exclusi. Quos vero de gentibus fames et sitis contriverat, cum haesissent domino, repleti sunt spiritualibus bonis. BASIL; These words regulate our conduct even with respect to sensible things, teaching the uncertainty of all worldly possessions, which are as short lived as the wave which is dashed about to and fro by the violence of the wind. But spiritually all mankind suffered hunger except the Jews; for they possessed the treasures of legal tradition and the teachings of the holy prophets. But because they did not rest humbly on the Incarnate Word they were sent away empty, carrying nothing with them neither faith nor knowledge, and were bereft of the hope of good things, being shut out both of the earthly Jerusalem and the life to come. But those of the Gentiles, who were roughs low by hunger and thirst, because they clung to the Lord, were filled with spiritual goods.
Glossa: Qui etiam aeterna toto studio quasi esurientes desiderant, saturabuntur, cum Christus apparuerit in gloria; sed qui terrenis gaudent, in fine totius beatitudinis inanes dimittentur. GLOSS. They also who desire eternal life with their whole soul, as it were hungering after it, shall be filled when Christ shall appear in glory; but they who rejoice in earthly things, shall at the end be sent away emptied of all happiness.

Lectio 22
54 ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ, * μνησθῆναι ἐλέους, 55 καθὼς ἐλάλησεν πρὸς τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν, * τῷ ἀβραὰμ καὶ τῷ σπέρματι αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.
54. He has holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; 55. As he spoke to our fathers, Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

Glossa: Post generalem divinae pietatis et iustitiae commemorationem, ad singularem novae incarnationis dispensationem convertit verba, dicens suscepit Israel puerum suum: quasi medicus aegrum, visibilis inter homines factus, ut faceret Israel, idest videntem Deum, puerum suum. GLOSS. After a general mention of the Divine mercy and holiness, the Virgin changes the subject to the strange and marvelous dispensation of the new incarnation, saying, He has holpen his servant Israel, &c. as a physician relieves the sick, becoming visible among men, that He might make Israel (i.e. him who sees God) His servant.
Beda: Obedientem scilicet, et humilem: nam qui contemnit humiliari, non potest salvari. BEDE; That is, obedient and humble; for he who disdains to be made humble, cannot be saved.
Basilius: Israel enim dicit non materialem, quem sola nobilitabat appellatio, sed spiritualem, qui nomen fidei retinebat, habens oculos tendentes ad Deum videndum per fidem.

Potest etiam ad Israel carnalem hoc adaptari, cum ex eo infiniti crediderunt. Hoc autem fecit recordatus misericordiae suae: hoc enim implevit quod Abrahae promisit, dicens: quoniam benedicentur in semine tuo omnes cognationes terrae. Huius ergo promissionis, Dei genitrix recordata dicebat sicut locutus est ad patres nostros, Abraham, et semini eius in saecula. Nam et Abrahae dictum est: statuam pactum meum inter me et te, et inter semen tuum post te in generationibus suis foedere sempiterno, ut sim Deus tuus et seminis tui post te.

BASIL; For by Israel she means not Israel after the flesh, whom their own title made noble, but the spiritual Israel, which retained the name of faith, straining their eyes to see God by faith.

THEOPHYL. It might also be applied to Israel after the flesh, seeing that out of that body multitudes believed. But this he did remembering His mercy, for He has fulfilled what he promised to Abraham, saying, For in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. This promise then the mother of God called to mind, saying, As he spoke to out father Abraham; for it was said to Abraham, I will place my covenant, that I shall be your God, and the God of your seed after you.

Beda: Semen autem dicit non tam carne progenitos, quam fidei eius vestigia secutos quibus adventus salvatoris in saecula promissus est. BEDE; But by seed he means not so much those who are begotten in the flesh, as those who have followed the steps of Abraham’s faith, to whom the Savior’s coming was promised for evermore.
Glossa: Quia ipsa promissio haereditatis nullo fine claudetur, et usque in finem saeculi credentes non deerunt, et beatitudinis gloria erit perennis. GLOSS. For this promise of heritage shall not be narrowed by any limits, but to the very end of time there shall never lack believers, the glory of whose happiness shall be everlasting.

Lectio 23
56 ἔμεινεν δὲ μαριὰμ σὺν αὐτῇ ὡς μῆνας τρεῖς, καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς.
56. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Ambrosius: Tamdiu mansit Maria, quamdiu Elisabeth pariendi tempus impleret; unde dicitur mansit autem Maria cum illa quasi mensibus tribus. AMBROSE; Mary abode with Elisabeth until she had accomplished the time of her bringing forth; as it is said, And Mary abode, &c.
Theophylactus: In sexto enim mense conceptionis praecursoris venit Angelus ad Mariam; quae mansit cum Elisabeth mensibus tribus; et sic novem menses implentur. THEOPHYL. For in the sixth month of the conception of the forerunner, the Angel came to Mary, and she abode with Elisabeth three months, and so the nine months are completed.
Ambrosius: Non autem sola familiaritas est causa quod diu mansit, sed etiam tanti vatis profectus: nam si primo ingressu tantus profectus extitit, ut ad salutationem Mariae exultaret infans in utero, repleretur spiritu sancto mater infantis; quantum putamus usu tanti temporis sanctae Mariae addidisse praesentiam? Bene ergo inducitur exhibuisse officium, et mysticum numerum custodisse. AMBROSE; Now it was not only for the sake of friendship that she abode so long, but for the increase also of so great a prophet. For if at her first coming the child had so far advanced, that at the salutation of Mary he leaped in the womb, and his mother was filled with the Holy Spirit, how much must we suppose the presence of the Virgin Mary to have added during the experience of so long a time? Rightly then is she represented as having shown kindness to Elisabeth, and preserved the mystical number.
Beda: Anima enim casta quae spiritualis verbi desiderium concipit, necesse est ut alta caelestis exercitus iuga subeat, et quasi trium mensium dies ibidem demorata, quousque fidei et spei et caritatis luce radietur, perseverare non desistat. BEDE, For the chaste soul which conceives a desire of the spiritual word must of necessity submit to the yoke of heavenly discipline, and sojourning for the days as it were of three months in the same place, cease not to persevere until it is illuminated by the light of faith, hope, and charity.
Theophylactus: Quando vero Elisabeth paritura erat, virgo recessit; unde sequitur et reversa est in domum suam; scilicet propter multitudinem quae ad partum congregari debebat; inconveniens autem erat in talibus virginem esse praesentem. THEOPHYL. But when Elisabeth was going to bring forth, the Virgin departed, as it follows, And she returned; or, probably because of the multitude, who were about to assemble at the birth. But it became not a virgin to be present on such an occasion.
Graecus: Mos enim est virginibus cedere quoties praegnans parit. Ut autem propriam applicuit domum, alio quidem nullatenus abiit; ibi vero manebat ulterius, donec adesse partus horam cognovit, ubique Ioseph dubitans ab Angelo edocetur. GREEK EX. For it is the custom for virgins to go away when the pregnant woman brings forth. But when she reached her own home, she went to no other place, but abode there until she knew the time of her delivery was at hand. And Joseph doubting, is instructed by an Angel.

Lectio 24
57 τῇ δὲ ἐλισάβετ ἐπλήσθη ὁ χρόνος τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν, καὶ ἐγέννησεν υἱόν. 58 καὶ ἤκουσαν οἱ περίοικοι καὶ οἱ συγγενεῖς αὐτῆς ὅτι ἐμεγάλυνεν κύριος τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ μετ' αὐτῆς, καὶ συνέχαιρον αὐτῇ.
57. Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had shown great mercy upon her and they rejoiced with her.

Ambrosius: Si diligenter advertas plenitudinis verbum, nusquam invenies positum nisi in generatione iustorum; unde et nunc dicitur Elisabeth autem impletum est tempus pariendi: plenitudinem enim habet iusti vita; inanes autem sunt dies impiorum. AMBROSE; If you carefully observe, you will find that the word signifying fullness is no where used except at the birth of the righteous. Hence it is said, Now Elisabeth’s full time came. For the life of the righteous has fullness, but the days of the wicked are empty.
Chrysostomus: Idcirco autem Deus Elisabeth partum retardavit, ut gaudium augeretur, et famosiorem faceret mulierem; unde sequitur et audierunt vicini et cognati eius quia magnificavit dominus misericordiam suam cum illa, et congratulabantur ei. Nam qui sterilitatem eius cognoverant, testes divinae gratiae sunt effecti. Nemo autem viso infante cum silentio discedebat; sed Deum, qui illum ex insperato concesserat, collaudabat. CHRYS. And for that reason the Lord kept back the delivery of Elisabeth, that her joy might be increased, and her fame the greater. Hence it follows, And her neighbors and cousins heard, &c. For they who had known her barrenness were made the witnesses of the Divine grace, and no one seeing the child departed in silence, but gave praise to God, Who had vouchsafed him beyond their expectation.
Ambrosius: Habet enim sanctorum editio laetitiam plurimorum, quoniam commune est bonum: iustitia enim communis est virtus; et ideo in ortu iusti futurae vitae insigne praemittitur, et gratia secuturae virtutis, exaltatione vicinorum praefigurante signatur. AMBROSE; For the bringing forth of saints causes the rejoicing of many; it is a common blessing; for justice is a public virtue, and therefore at the birth of a just man a sign of hi future life is sent beforehand and, the grace of the virtue which is to follow is represented, being foreshadowed by the rejoicing of the neighbors.

Lectio 25
59 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ ὀγδόῃ ἦλθον περιτεμεῖν τὸ παιδίον, καὶ ἐκάλουν αὐτὸ ἐπὶ τῷ ὀνόματι τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ ζαχαρίαν. 60 καὶ ἀποκριθεῖσα ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ εἶπεν, οὐχί, ἀλλὰ κληθήσεται ἰωάννης. 61 καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτὴν ὅτι οὐδείς ἐστιν ἐκ τῆς συγγενείας σου ὃς καλεῖται τῷ ὀνόματι τούτῳ. 62 ἐνένευον δὲ τῷ πατρὶ αὐτοῦ τὸ τί ἂν θέλοι καλεῖσθαι αὐτό. 63 καὶ αἰτήσας πινακίδιον ἔγραψεν λέγων, ἰωάννης ἐστὶν ὄνομα αὐτοῦ. καὶ ἐθαύμασαν πάντες. 64 ἀνεῴχθη δὲ τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ παραχρῆμα καὶ ἡ γλῶσσα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐλάλει εὐλογῶν τὸν θεόν.
59. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. 61. And they said to her, There is none of the kindred that is called by this name. 62. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 63. And he asked for a writing table, and wrote saying, His name is John. And they marveled all. 64. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, and praised God.

Chrysostomus: Circumcisionis norma primo tradita est Abrahae in signum distinctionis, ut genus patriarchae impermixtum conservetur, et sic promissa bona consequi valeant; ubi autem pacti consummatur negotium, appositum signum de medio tollitur: sic igitur et per Christum circumcisione cessante Baptismus succedit; sed antea Ioannem circumcidi decebat; unde dicitur et factum est, in die octavo venerunt circumcidere puerum. Dixerat enim dominus: infans octo dierum circumcidatur in vobis. Hanc autem temporis mensuram a divina clementia constitutam autumo duplici de causa: primo quidem ut in tenerrima aetate levius patiatur dolorem sectionis carnis; secundo ut ex ipsis operibus moneamur quoniam hoc agebatur in signum: tener enim puer minime discernit quae circa ipsum fiunt. Post circumcisionem autem nomen imponebatur; unde sequitur et vocabant eum nomine patris sui Zachariam. Hoc autem ideo fiebat, quia prius oportet sumere signaculum domini, et postea nomen humanum: vel quia nullus, nisi prius abiciat carnalia, quod significat circumcisio, dignus est quod in libro vitae nomen eius scribatur. CHRYS. The rite of circumcision was first delivered to Abraham as a sign of distinction, that the race of the Patriarch might be preserved in unmixed purity, and so might be able to obtain the promises. But now that the promise of the covenant is fulfilled, the sign attached to it is removed. So then through Christ circumcision ceased, and baptism came in its place; but first it was right that John should be circumcised; as it is said, And it came to pass, that on the eighth day, &c. For the Lord had said, Let the child of eight days be circumcised among you. But this measurement of time I conceive was ordered by Divine mercy for two reasons. First, because in its most tender years the child the more easily bears the cutting of the flesh. Secondly, that from the very operation itself we might be reminded that it was done for a sign; for the young child scarcely distinguishes any of the things that are around him. But after the circumcision, the name was conferred, as it follows, And they called him. But this was done because we must first receive the seal of the Lord, then the name of man. Or, because no man except he first cast aside his fleshly lusts, which circumcision signifies, is worthy to have his name written in the book of life.
Ambrosius: Mire autem sanctus Evangelista praemittendum putavit quod plurimi infantem patris nomine Zachariam appellandum putarunt; ut advertas, matri non nomen alicuius displicuisse de genere; sed id sancto infusum spiritu, quod ab Angelo ante Zachariae fuerat praenuntiatum. Et quidem ille mutus intimare vocabulum filii nequivit uxori; sed per prophetiam Elisabeth didicit quod non didicerat a marito: unde sequitur et respondens mater eius dixit: nequaquam; sed vocabitur Ioannes. Nec mireris, si nomen mulier quod non audivit asseruit, quando spiritus ei sanctus, qui Angelo mandaverat, revelavit: neque poterat domini ignorare praenuntium, qui prophetaverat Christum. Et bene sequitur et dixerunt ad illam: quia nemo est in cognatione tua qui vocetur hoc nomine: ut intelligas nomen non generis esse, sed vatis. Zacharias quoque nutu interrogatur: unde sequitur innuebant autem patri eius quem vellet vocari eum. Sed quia incredulitas ei affatum eripuerat, et auditum; quod voce non poterat, manu et litteris est locutus: unde sequitur et postulans pugillarem, scripsit dicens: Ioannes est nomen eius: hoc est, non ei nos nomen imponimus qui iam a Deo nomen accepit. AMBROSE; The holy Evangelist has especially remarked, that many thought the child should be called after his father Zacharias, in order that we might understand, not that any name of his kinsfolk was displeasing to his mother, but that the same word had been communicated to her by the Holy Spirit, which had been foretold by the Angel to Zacharias. And in truth, being dumb, Zacharias was unable to mention his son’s name to his wife, but Elisabeth obtained by prophecy what she had not learnt from her husband. Hence it follows, And she answered, &c. Marvel not that the woman pronounced the name which she had never heard, seeing the Holy Spirit who imparted it to the Angel revealed it to her; nor could she be ignorant of the forerunner of the Lord, who had prophesied of Christ. And it well follows, And they said to her, &c. that you might consider that the name belongs not to the family, but to the Prophet. Zacharias also is questioned, and signs made to him, as it follows, And they made signs to the father, &c. But since unbelief had so bereft him of utterance and hearing, that he could not use his voice, he spoke by his hand-writing, as it follows, And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John; that is, we give no name to him who has received his name from God.
Origenes in Lucam: Zacharias quidem interpretatur memor Dei; Ioannes autem significat demonstrantem: ceterum et absentis memoria, et praesentis demonstratio est. Debebat autem Ioannes non memoriam Dei ut absentis exprimere, immo digito demonstrare praesentem, dicens: ecce agnus Dei. ORIGEN; Zacharias is by interpretation “remembering God,” but John signifies “pointing to.” Now “memory” relates to something absent, “pointing to,” to something present. But John was not about to set forth the memory of God as absent, but with his finger to point him out as present, saying, Behold the Lamb of God.
Chrysostomus: Quin etiam hoc nomen Ioannes gratia Dei interpretatur. Quod ergo, gratia divina favente, non natura, Elisabeth hunc filium cepit, beneficii memoriam in nomine pueri conscripserunt. CHRYS. But the name John is also interpreted the grace of God. Because then by the favor of Divine grace not by nature, Elisabeth conceived this son, they engraved the memory of the benefit on the name of the child.
Theophylactus: Quia vero cum muliere circa hoc nomen pueri pater mutus concordavit, sequitur et mirati sunt universi: nemo enim huius nominis erat in cognatione eorum, ut aliquis diceret quod antea hoc ambo cogitassent. THEOPHYL. And because with the mother the dumb father also agreed as to the name of the child, it follows, And they all marveled. For there was no one of this name among their kinsfolk that any one could say that they had both previously determined upon it.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Editus ergo Ioannes Zachariae solvit silentium: unde sequitur apertum est autem illico os eius et lingua eius. Absurdum enim erat ut cum vox verbi progressa fuisset, pater maneret elinguis. GREG. NAZ. The birth of John then broke the silence of Zacharias, as it follows, And his mouth was opened. For it were unreasonable when the voice of the Word had come forth, that his father should remain speechless.
Ambrosius: Merito etiam continuo resoluta est lingua eius: quia quam vinxerat incredulitas, solvit fides. Credamus igitur et nos, ut lingua nostra, quae incredulitatis vinculis est ligata, rationis voce solvatur: scribamus spiritu mysteria, si volumus loqui. Scribamus praenuntium Christi, non in tabulis lapideis sed in tabulis cordis carnalibus: etenim qui Ioannem loquitur, Christum prophetizat: sequitur enim et loquebatur benedicens Deum. AMBROSE; Rightly also, from that moment was his tongue loosed for that which unbelief had bound, faith set free. Let us then also believe, in order that our tongue, which has been bound by the chains of unbelief, may be loosed by the voice of reason. Let us write mysteries by the Spirit if we wish to speak. Let us write the forerunner of Christ, not on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tablets of the heart. For he who names John, prophesies Christ. For he who names John prophesies Christ. For it follows, And he spoke, giving thanks.
Beda: Allegorice autem Ioannis celebrata nativitas, gratia novi testamenti est inchoata; cui vicini et cognati nomen patris quam Ioannis imponere malebant: quia Iudaei qui ei legis observatione, quasi affinitate, iuncti erant, magis iustitiam quae ex lege est sectari, quam fidei gratiam suscipere cupiebant. Sed Ioannis, hoc est gratiae Dei, vocabulum, mater verbis, pater litteris nuntiare satagunt: quia et lex ipsa Psalmique et prophetae apertis sententiarum vocibus gratiam Christi praedicant, et sacerdotium illud vetus figuratis caeremoniarum ac sacrificiorum umbris eidem testimonium perhibet. Pulchreque Zacharias octavo die prolis editae loquitur: quia per domini resurrectionem, quae octava die, hoc est post septimum sabbati, facta est, occulta legalis sacerdotii arcana patuerunt. BEDE; Now in an allegory, the celebration of John’s birth was the beginning of the grace of the New Covenant. His neighbors and kinsfolk had rather give him the name of his father than that of John. For the Jews, who by the observance of the Law were united to him as it were by ties of kindred, chose rather to follow the righteousness which is the Law, than receive the grace of faith. But the name of John, (i.e. the grace of God,) his mother in word, his father in writing, suffice to announce, for both the Law itself as well as the Psalms and the Prophecies, in the plainest language foretell the grace of Christ; and that ancient priesthood, by the foreshadowing of its ceremonies and sacrifices, bears testimony to the same. And well does Zacharias speak on the eighth day of the birth of his child, for by the resurrection of the Lord, which took place on the eighth day, i.e. the day after the sabbath, the hidden secrets of the legal priesthood were revealed.

Lectio 26
65 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐπὶ πάντας φόβος τοὺς περιοικοῦντας αὐτούς, καὶ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ ὀρεινῇ τῆς ἰουδαίας διελαλεῖτο πάντα τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα, 66 καὶ ἔθεντο πάντες οἱ ἀκούσαντες ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῶν, λέγοντες, τί ἄρα τὸ παιδίον τοῦτο ἔσται; καὶ γὰρ χεὶρ κυρίου ἦν μετ' αὐτοῦ.
65. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

Theophylactus: Sicut in taciturnitate Zachariae miratus est populus, ita et cum locutus est: unde dicitur et factus est timor super omnes vicinos eorum, et super omnia montana Iudaeae divulgabantur omnia verba haec: ut propter haec duo, magnum aliquid circa natum puerum universi existiment. Haec autem omnia dispensative fiebant, ut qui testis esse Christi debebat, existeret fide dignus: unde sequitur et posuerunt omnes qui audierant in corde suo, dicentes: quis, putas, puer iste erit? THEOPHYL. AS at the silence of Zacharias the people marveled, so likewise when he spoke. Hence it is said, And fear came upon all; that from these two circumstances all might believe there was something great in the child that was born. But all these things were ordained, to the end that he who was to bear witness of Christ might also be esteemed trustworthy. Hence it follows, And all they that heard them laid them up in their heart, saying What manner of child, &c.
Beda: Praecurrentia enim signa praebent iter praecursori veritatis, et futurus propheta praemissis commendatur auspiciis: unde sequitur etenim manus domini erat cum illo. BEDE; For fore-running signs prepare the way for the forerunner of the truth, and the future prophet is recommended by auspices sent before him; hence it follows, For the hand of the Lord was with him.
Glossa: Prodigia enim Deus in illo peragebat, quae non faciebat Ioannes, sed dextera divina. GREEK EX. For God worked miracles in John which he did not himself, but the right hand of God in him.
Graecus: Mystice autem tempore divinae resurrectionis, praedicata gratia Christi, salubris timor non solum Iudaeorum, qui erant vicini vel situ loci vel scientia legis, sed etiam exterarum gentium corda concussit; nec tantum montana Iudaeae, sed omnia mundani regni, mundanaeque sapientiae culmina Christi fama transcendit. GLOSS. But mystically, at the time of our Lord’s resurrection, by the preaching of the grace of Christ, a wholesome dread shook the hearts not only of the Jews, (who were neighbors, either from the place of their dwelling, or from the knowledge of the law,) but of the foreign nations also. The name of Christ surmounts not only the hilly country of Judea, but all the heights of worldly dominion and wisdom.

Lectio 27
67 καὶ ζαχαρίας ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ἐπλήσθη πνεύματος ἁγίου καὶ ἐπροφήτευσεν λέγων, 68 εὐλογητὸς κύριος ὁ θεὸς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, * ὅτι ἐπεσκέψατο καὶ ἐποίησεν λύτρωσιν τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ,
67. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he has visited and redeemed his people.

Ambrosius: Bonus Deus, et facilis indulgere peccatis, non solum ablata restituit, sed etiam insperata concedit. Nemo ergo diffidat, nemo veterum conscius delictorum praemia divina desperet. Novit Deus mutare sententiam, si tu noveris emendare delictum: ille siquidem dudum mutus prophetizat: unde dicitur et Zacharias pater eius repletus est spiritu sancto. AMBROSE; God in His mercy and readiness to pardon our sins, not only restores to us what He has taken away, but grants us favors even beyond our expectations. Let no one then distrust Him, let no one from consciousness of past sins despair of the Divine blessing. God knows how to change His sentence, if you have known how to correct your sin, seeing he that was long silent prophesies; as it is said, And Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Chrysostomus: Scilicet operatione sancti spiritus; nec quocumque modo gratiam spiritus sancti nactus, sed ad plenum; et fulgebat in eo prophetiae donum: unde sequitur et prophetavit. CHRYS. That is, “with the working of the Holy Spirit;” for he had obtained the grace of the Holy Spirit, not in any manner, but fully; and the gift of prophecy shone forth in trim; as it follows, And he prophesied.
Origenes in Lucam: Plenus autem spiritu sancto Zacharias duas prophetias generaliter nuntiat: primam de Christo, alteram de Ioanne: quod manifeste de verbis illius probatur, in quibus quasi de praesenti, et quasi iam versaretur in mundo, loquitur de Ioanne; et primo de salvatore, dicens benedictus dominus Deus Israel, quia visitavit et fecit redemptionem plebis suae. ORIGEN; Now Zacharias being filled with the Holy Spirit utters two prophecies, the first relating to Christ, the second to John. And this is plainly proved by those words in which he speaks of the Savior as present and already going about in the world, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited, &c.
Chrysostomus: Dum Deum benediceret Zacharias, visitationem dicit esse factam ab eo erga populum suum: sive materiales Israelitas quis velit accipere, venit enim ad oves quae perierant domus Israel; sive spirituales, idest fideles, qui digni fuerunt hac visitatione, efficacem erga se divinam provisionem facientes. CHRYS. Zacharias, when he is blessing God, says, that He has visited His people, meaning thereby either the Israelites in the flesh, for He came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; or the spiritual Israel, that is, the faithful, who were worthy of this visitation, making the providence of God of good effect towards them.
Beda: Visitavit autem dominus plebem suam quasi longa infirmitate tabescentem, et quasi venditam sub peccato, unici filii sui sanguine redemit: quod quia Zacharias proxime faciendum cognoverat, prophetico more quasi iam factum narrat. Dicit autem plebem suam, non quia veniens suam invenit, sed quia visitando suam fecit. BEDE; But the Lord visited His people who were pining away as it were from long sickness, and by the blood of His only begotten Son, redeemed them who were sold under sin. Which thing Zacharias, knowing that it would soon be accomplished, relates in the prophetic manner as if it were already passed. But he says, His people, not that when He came He found them His own,, but that by visiting He made them so.

Lectio 28
69 καὶ ἤγειρεν κέρας σωτηρίας ἡμῖν * ἐν οἴκῳ δαυὶδ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ,
69. And has raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David.

Theophylactus: Videbatur Deus dormire, peccata multa respiciens; sed in novissimis incarnatus temporibus excitatus est, et contrivit Daemones, qui nos oderant: unde dicitur et erexit cornu salutis nobis in domo David pueri sui. THEOPHYL. God seemed to be asleep, disregarding the sins of the multitude, but in these last times coming in the flesh, He has risen up and trodden down the evil spirits who hated us. Hence it is said, And he has raised up an horn of salvation to us in the house of his servant David.
Origenes in Lucam: Quia de semine David secundum carnem natus est Christus: unde dicitur cornu salutis nobis in domo David: sicut et alibi dictum est: vinea facta est in cornu, idest in Iesu Christo. ORIGEN; Because Christ was born of the seed of David, according to the flesh, it is said, A horn of salvation to us in the house of his servant David; as it has also elsewhere been said, A vineyard has been planted in a horn, i.e. in Jesus Christ.
Chrysostomus: Cornu autem nominat potestatem, gloriam et famam, metaphorice a brutis animalibus illud accipiens, quibus loco muniminis et gloriae cornua Deus dedit. CHRYS. Now by a horn he means power, glory, and honor, deriving it metaphorically from the brute creatures, to whom God has given horns for defense and glory.
Beda: Cornu etiam salutis regnum salvatoris Christi vocatur. Ossa siquidem omnia carne involuta sunt: cornu excedit carnem: et ideo cornu salutis regnum Christi vocatur, quo mundus et carnis gaudia superantur; in cuius figuram David et Salomon cornu olei sunt in regni gloriam consecrati. BEDE; The kingdom of our Savior Christ is called also the horn of salvation, because all our bones are clothed with flesh, but the horn alone stretches beyond the flesh; so the kingdom of Christ is called the horn of salvation, as reaching beyond the world and the delights of the flesh. According to which figure David and Solomon were consecrated by the horn of oil to the glory of the kingdom.

Lectio 29
70 καθὼς ἐλάλησεν διὰ στόματος τῶν ἁγίων * ἀπ' αἰῶνος προφητῶν αὐτοῦ,
70. As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets which have been since the world began.

Theophylactus: Quod de domo David Christus nasceretur, Michaeas mentionem facit dicens: et tu, Bethlehem, terra Iuda, nequaquam minima es; ex te enim exiet dux, qui regat populum meum Israel. Sed et omnes prophetae de incarnatione dixerunt: et ideo dicitur sicut locutus est per os sanctorum prophetarum. THEOPHYL. That Christ was born of the house of David, Micah relates, saying, And you, Bethlehem, are not the least in the city of Juda, for out of you shall come a governor who shall rule my people Israel. But all the prophets spoke of the Incarnation, and therefore it is said, As he spoke by the month of his holy prophets.
Graecus: Per quod innuit, Deum per illos esse locutum, et non esse humanum quod dixerunt. GREEK EX. Whereby he means that God spoke through them, and that their speech was not of man.
Beda: Dicit autem qui a saeculo sunt: quia tota veteris testamenti Scriptura prophetice de Christo processit: nam et ipse pater Adam, et ceteri patrum, factis suis eius dispensationi testimonium reddunt. BEDE; But he says, Which have been since the world began. Because all the Scriptures of the Old Testament were a constant prophecy of Christ. For both our father Adam himself, and the other fathers, by their deeds bore testimony to His dispensation.

Lectio 30
71 σωτηρίαν ἐξ ἐχθρῶν ἡμῶν * καὶ ἐκ χειρὸς πάντων τῶν μισούντων ἡμᾶς:
71. That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us.

Beda: Cum primo breviter praemisisset erexit cornu salutis nobis, continuo explanans quid dixerit, subdit salutem ex inimicis nostris; quasi dicat erexit nobis cornu, idest erexit nobis salutem ex inimicis nostris, et de manu omnium qui oderunt nos. BEDE; Having first briefly said, He has raised up a horn of salvation to us, he goes on to explain his words, adding, of salvation from our enemies. As if he said, He has raised up to us a horn, i.e. He has raised up to us salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us.
Origenes in Lucam: Non autem putemus nunc de corporalibus inimicis dici, sed de spiritualibus. Venit enim dominus Iesus fortis in praelio destruere omnes inimicos nostros, ut nos de eorum insidiis et tentationibus liberos faceret. ORIGEN; Let us not suppose that this refers to our bodily enemies, but our ghostly. For the Lord Jesus came mighty in battle to destroy all our enemies, that He might deliver us from their snares and temptation.

Lectio 31
72 ποιῆσαι ἔλεος μετὰ τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν * καὶ μνησθῆναι διαθήκης ἁγίας αὐτοῦ, 73 ὅρκον ὃν ὤμοσεν πρὸς ἀβραὰμ τὸν πατέρα ἡμῶν, * τοῦ δοῦναι ἡμῖν
72. To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers, and to remember his holy covenant; 73. The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, 74. That he would grant to us.

Beda: Dixerat dominum, iuxta eloquia prophetarum, in domo David nasciturum: dicit eumdem, ad explendum testamentum quod Abrahae disposuit, nos esse liberaturum: quia his praecipue patriarchis de suo semine vel congregatio gentium vel Christi est incarnatio promissa. Praemittitur autem David, quia Abrahae sanctus Ecclesiae coetus est promissus; David autem, quod ex eo Christus nasciturus esset, audivit. Et ideo post id quod dictum est de David, subdit de Abraham, dicens ad faciendam misericordiam cum patribus nostris. BEDE; Having announced that the Lord, according to the declaration of the Prophet, would be born of the house of David, he now says, that the same Lord to fulfill the covenant He made with Abraham will deliver us, because chiefly to these patriarchs of Abraham’s seed was promised the gathering of the Gentiles, or the incarnation of Christ. But David is put first, because to Abraham was promised the holy assembly of the Church; whereas to David it was told that from him Christ was to he born. And therefore after what was said of David, he adds concerning Abraham the words, To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, &c.
Origenes in Lucam: Ego puto quod in adventu domini salvatoris et Abraham et Isaac et Iacob fruiti sint misericordia Dei. Non est enim credibile ut qui prius viderunt diem illius et laetati sunt, postea in adventu ipsius nihil utilitatis acciperent: cum scriptum sit: pacem faciens per sanguinem crucis suae, sive super terram, sive in caelis. ORIGEN; I think that at the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, both Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were partakers of His mercy. For it is not to be believed, that they who had before seen His day, and were glad, should afterwards derive no advantage from His coming, since it is written, Having made peace through the blood of his Cross, whether in earth or in heaven.
Theophylactus: Christi etiam gratia se usque ad illos extendit qui mortui extiterunt quia per eum resurgemus non solum nos, sed et qui fuerunt ante mortui. Fecit et misericordiam cum patribus nostris, secundum quod eorum spem et desiderium implevit: unde sequitur et memorari testamenti sui sancti, illius scilicet de quo dicitur: benedicens benedicam tibi et multiplicabo te. Multiplicatus est enim Abraham in omnibus gentibus per imitationem fidei eius adoptatis in filios: sed etiam patres videntes suos filios talia beneficia recepisse, congaudent et recipiunt misericordiam in seipsis: unde sequitur iusiurandum quod iuravit ad Abraham patrem nostrum daturum se nobis. THEOPHYL. The grace of Christ extends even to those who are dead, because through Him we shall rise again, not only we, but they also who have been dead before us. He performed His mercy also to our forefathers in fulfilling all their hopes and desires. Hence it follows, And to remember his holy covenant, that covenant, namely, wherein he said, Blessing, I will bless you, and multiplying, I will multiply you. For Abraham was multiplied in all nations, who became his children by adoption, through following the example of his faith. But the fathers also, seeing their children enjoy these blessings, rejoice together with them, just as if they received the mercy in themselves. Hence it follows, The oath which he swore to our father Abraham, that he would grant to us.
Basilius: Nemo autem audiens quod iurasset dominus Abrahae, ad iurandum sit promptus: sicut enim furor de Deo dictus non significat passionem, sed punitionem; sic neque Deus iurat ut homo, sed verbum eius loco iuramenti nobis ad veritatem exprimitur immutabili sententia quod promissum est approbans. BASIL; But let no one, hearing that the Lord had sworn to Abraham, be tempted to swear. For as when the wrath of God is spoken of, it does not signify passion but punishment; so neither does God swear as man, but His word is in very truth expressed to us in place of an oath, confirming by an unchangeable sentence what He promised.

Lectio 32
74 ἀφόβως ἐκ χειρὸς ἐχθρῶν ῥυσθέντας * λατρεύειν αὐτῷ
74. That we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear.

Chrysostomus: Quia exortum nobis cornu salutis ex domo David dixerat, ostendit quod per ipsum et gloriam participamus, et dispendia inimici vitavimus: unde dicit ut sine timore, de manu inimicorum nostrorum liberati, serviamus illi. Duo praedicta non facile reperiet aliquis sese comitantia: plures enim evitant pericula, sed vita gloriosa privantur; sicut sceleris patratores, qui de carcere ex indulgentia regia absolvuntur: e contra gaudent alii gloria, sed ob hanc periclitari coguntur; sicut milites bellicosi vitam inclytam amplexantes, securitate multoties caruerunt. Sed hoc cornu et salvat et glorificat: salvat quidem eripiens a manibus hostium, non leviter, sed mirifice, ut non sit ultra timendum: et hoc est quod dicit ut sine timore. CHRYS. Having said that a horn of salvation had risen up to us from the house of David, he shows that through it we are partakers of His glory, and escape the assaults of the enemy As he says, That being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve him without fear. The two things above mentioned will not easily be found united. For many escape danger, but fail of a glorious life, as criminals discharged from prison by the king’s mercy. On the other hand, some reap glory, but are compelled for its sake to encounter dangers, as soldiers in war embracing a life of honor are oftentimes in the greatest peril. But the horn brings both safety and glory. Safety indeed as it rescues us from the hands of our enemies, not slightly but in a wonderful manner, insomuch that we have no more fear, which are his very words; that being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we might serve him without fear.
Origenes in Lucam: Vel aliter. Crebro de hostium manu aliqui liberantur, sed non absque timore: cum enim metus et discrimen ante praecesserint, et sic de inimicorum manu quis eruatur, liberatus est quidem, sed non sine timore: ideo dixit, quod Christi adventus sine timore nos a manibus hostium eripi fecit. Non enim eorum insidias sensimus, sed repente ab eis nos segregans eduxit ad sortis propriae mansionem. ORIGEN; Or in another way; Frequently are men delivered from the hands of the enemy, but not without fear. For when fear and peril have gone before, and a man is then plucked from the enemies’ hand, he is delivered indeed, but not without fear. Therefore said he, that the coming of Christ caused us to be snatched from the enemies’ hands without fear. For we suffered not from their evil designs, but He suddenly parting us from them, has led us out to our own allotted resting place.

Lectio 33
75 ἐν ὁσιότητι καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ * πάσαις ταῖς ἡμέραις ἡμῶν.
75. In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

Chrysostomus: Glorificat Zacharias dominum, quia fecit nos sibi servire cum plena fiducia, non carnaliter, ut Iudaei in sanguine victimarum, sed spiritualiter in bonis operibus: et hoc est quod dicit in sanctitate et iustitia: est enim sanctitas apta circa Deum aequitas; iustitia vero quae est circa homines, puta quod aliquis reverenter exequatur divina, et quo ad homines laudabiliter conversetur. Dicit autem non coram hominibus, ut hypocritae volentes hominibus placere, sed coram Deo, sicut hi quorum commendatio non est ab hominibus, sed a Deo; et hoc non semel aut ad tempus, sed singulis diebus et quamdiu vixerint: unde dicit omnibus diebus nostris. CHRYS. Zacharias glorifies the Lord, because He has made us to serve Him with full confidence, not in the flesh as Judah did with the blood of victims, but in the spirit with good works. And this is what he means by in holiness and righteousness. For holiness is, a proper observance of our duty towards God, righteousness of our duty towards man; as, for example, when a man devoutly performs the Divine commands, and lives honorably among his fellow men. But he does not say “before men,” as of hypocrites desirous to please men, but “before God,” as of those whose praise is not of men, but of God; and this not once or for a time; but all the days of their life, as it is said, all our days.
Beda: Nam qui vel ante mortem ab eius servitio discedit, vel immunditia qualibet sive iniustitia fidei suae sinceritatem commaculat, vel coram hominibus tantum et non coram Deo, sanctus et iustus esse contendit, nondum perfecte de manu spiritualium inimicorum liberatus domino servit, sed exemplo veterum Samaritanorum diis gentium pariter et domino servire conatur. BEDE; For whosoever either departs from God’s service before he dies, or by any uncleanness stains either the strictness or purity of his faith, or strives to be holy and righteous before men, and not before God, does not yet serve the Lord in perfect freedom from the hand of his spiritual enemies, but after the example of the old Samaritans endeavors to serve equally the Gods of the Gentiles, and his Lord.

Lectio 34
76 καὶ σὺ δέ, παιδίον, προφήτης ὑψίστου κληθήσῃ, * προπορεύσῃ γὰρ ἐνώπιον κυρίου ἑτοιμάσαι ὁδοὺς αὐτοῦ,
76. And you, child, shall be called the Prophet of the Highest: for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.

Ambrosius: Pulchre cum de domino prophetaret, ad prophetam sua verba convertit, ut hoc quoque beneficium esse domini designaret; ne cum publica numeraret, sua quasi ingratus tacuisse videretur; unde dicitur et tu, puer, propheta altissimi vocaberis. AMBROSE; In prophesying of the Lord he rightly addresses the prophet, showing that prophecy also is a gift of the Lord, in order that he might not, while enumerating public benefits, seen to be so ungrateful as to be silent of his own. Hence it is laid, And you, child, shall be called the Prophet of the Highest.
Origenes in Lucam: Ideo reor Zachariam festinasse ut loqueretur ad puerum, quia sciebat eum post paululum in eremo moraturum, nec se eius posse habere praesentiam. ORIGEN; The reason I suppose that Zacharias hastened to speak to his son, was because he knew that John was shortly about to be a sojourner in the wilderness, and that he himself should see him no more.
Ambrosius: Sed fortasse aliqui quasi irrationabilem mentis excessum putent quod octo dierum infantem alloquitur; verum si tenemus superiora, intelligimus profecto quod potuit vocem patris natus audire, qui Mariae salutationem antequam nasceretur audivit. Sciebat propheta alias esse aures prophetae, quae spiritu Dei, non corporis aetate reserantur. Habebat intelligendi sensum qui exultandi habebat affectum. AMBROSE; Now perhaps some may think it an absurd extravagance of the mind to address a child of eight days old. But if we keep our eyes fixed upon higher things, we surely can understand that the son might hear the voice of his father, who before he was born heard the salutation of Mary. The Prophet knew that there were certain organs of healing in a Prophet which were unclosed by the Spirit of God, not by the growth of the body. He possessed the faculty of understanding who was moved by the feeling of exultation.
Beda: Nisi forte putandus est Zacharias propter eos qui aderant potius instruendos futura sui filii munera, quae dudum per Angelum didicerat, mox ut loqui potuit, praedicare voluisse. Audiant Ariani, quod Christum quem Ioannes prophetando praeibat, altissimum vocat, sicut in Psalmo 86, 5 dicitur: homo natus est in ea, et ipse fundavit eam altissimus. BEDE; Unless indeed Zacharias be supposed to have wished as soon as he was able to speak, to proclaim for their instruction who were present, the future gifts of his son, which he had long before learnt from the Angel. Let the Arians however hear that our Lord Christ, whom John went before prophesying of Him, Zacharias calls “the Most High,” as it is said in the Psalms, A man was as born in her, and the most highest has established her.
Chrysostomus: Sicut autem regibus commilitones sunt qui eis viciniores existunt, sic Ioannes cum esset amicus sponsi, de prope eius adventum praecessit: et hoc est quod subditur praeibis enim ante faciem domini parare vias eius. Alii enim prophetae eminus Christi mysterium praedicaverunt; hic vero proprius praedicavit, ut et Christum videret, et eum ceteris indicaret. CHRYS. But as kings have their companions in arms, who stand nearest to them, so John, who was the friend of the Bridegroom, went before Him nigh to His coming. And this is what follows, For you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways. For some prophets have preached the mystery of Christ at a distance, but he preached it nearer the time, that he might both see Christ, and declare Him to others.
Gregorius Moralium: Quisquis autem praedicando a sordibus vitiorum corda audientium mundat, venienti sapientiae ad cor viam praeparat. GREG. But all they who by preaching cleanse the hearts of their hearers from the filth of their sins, prepare a way for the coming of wisdom into the heart.

Lectio 35
77 τοῦ δοῦναι γνῶσιν σωτηρίας τῷ λαῷ αὐτοῦ ἐν * ἀφέσει ἁμαρτιῶν αὐτῶν,
77. To give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins.

Theophylactus: Qualiter praecursor viam domini praeparavit, exponit subdens ad dandam scientiam salutis plebi eius. Salus dominus Iesus est; data est autem plebi scientia salutis idest Christi, a Ioanne, qui testimonium perhibebat de Christo. THEOPHYL. For the manner in which the forerunner prepared the way of the Lord he explains, adding, To give knowledge of salvation. The Lord Jesus is salvation, but the knowledge of salvation, i.e. of Christ, was given in John, who bore witness of Christ.
Beda: Quasi Iesu, idest salvatoris, nomen exponere et diligentius commendare desiderans, salutis mentionem frequentat. Sed ne temporalem salutem promitti putarent, subdit in remissionem peccatorum eorum. BEDE; For as if desiring to explain the name of Jesus, i.e. the Savior, he frequently makes mention of salvation, but lest men should think it was a temporal salvation which was promised, he adds, for the forgiveness of sins.
Theophylactus: Non enim aliter cognitus esset Deus, nisi plebi peccata dimisisset: Dei enim est peccata dimittere. THEOPHYL. For in no other way was He known to be God, but as having forgiven the sins of His people. For or it is of God alone to forgive sins.
Beda: Verum Iudaei non Christum suscipere, sed Antichristum malunt expectare: quia non intus a peccati dominio, sed foris ab humanae servitutis iugo cupiunt liberari. BEDE; But the Jews prefer not to receive Christ, but to wait for Antichrist; for they desire to be delivered not from the dominion of sin within, but from the yoke of man’s bondage without.

Lectio 36
78 διὰ σπλάγχνα ἐλέους θεοῦ ἡμῶν, * ἐν οἷς ἐπισκέψεται ἡμᾶς ἀνατολὴ ἐξ ὕψους,
78. Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high has visited us.

Theophylactus: Quia Deus peccata nobis dimisit, non propter opera nostra, sed propter misericordiam suam; ideo convenienter addidit per viscera misericordiae Dei nostri. THEOPHYL. Because God has forgiven our sins not for our works sake, but through His mercy, it is therefore fitly added, Through the tender mercy of our God.
Chrysostomus: Quam quidem misericordiam non ipsimet inquirentes invenimus: sed desuper nobis Deus aperuit; unde sequitur in quibus, scilicet misericordiae operibus, visitavit nos, assumpta carne, oriens ex alto. CHRYS. Which mercy we find not indeed by our own seeking, but God from on high has appeared to us, as it follows; Whereby (i.e. by His tender mercy) the day-spring from on high (that is, Christ) has visited us, taking upon Him our flesh.
Graecus: In altis permanens, tamen in terrenis praesens, non divisionem patiens neque circumscriptionem: quod intellectus noster comprehendere non potest, nec ulla serie verborum exprimere. GREEK EX. Abiding on high yet present upon the earth, suffering neither division nor limitation, which thing neither can our understanding embrace, nor any power of words express.

Lectio 37
79 ἐπιφᾶναι τοῖς ἐν σκότει καὶ σκιᾷ θανάτου καθημένοις, τοῦ κατευθῦναι τοὺς πόδας ἡμῶν εἰς ὁδὸν εἰρήνης.
79. To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Beda: Recte Christus oriens vocatur, quia nobis ortum verae lucis aperuit: unde sequitur illuminare his qui in tenebris et in umbra mortis sedent. BEDE; Christ is rightly called the Day-spring, because He has disclosed to us the rising of the true light, as it follows; To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
Chrysostomus: Tenebras hic appellat non materiales, sed errorem, et a fide distantiam. CHRYS. By darkness he means not material darkness, but error or and distance from the faith, or ungodliness.
Basilius: Tenebrosa enim erat plebs gentilis, quae idolorum cultu gravabatur, donec lux orta dispersit caliginem, et splendorem veritatis expandit. BASIL; For in thick darkness were the Gentile people sitting, who were sunk deep in idolatry, until the rising light dispersed the darkness, and spread abroad the brightness of truth.
Gregorius Moralium: Umbra vero mortis oblivio mentis accipitur: sicut enim mors hoc quod interficit, agit ut non sit in vita, ita oblivio hoc quod interficit, agit ut non sit in memoria: unde Iudaeorum populus, qui Dei oblitus fuerat, dicitur in umbra mortis sedere. Umbra etiam mortis mors carnis accipitur: quia sicut vera mors est qua anima separatur a Deo, ita umbra mortis est qua caro separatur ab anima: unde voce martyrum dicitur: operuit nos umbra mortis. Per umbram etiam mortis imitatio Diaboli, qui mors in Apocalypsi dicitur, designatur: quia sicut umbra iuxta qualitatem corporis ducitur, ita actiones iniquorum de specie imitationis eius exprimuntur. GREG. But the shadow of death is taken to mean the forgetfulness of the mind. For as death causes that which it kills to be no longer in life, so whatever oblivion touches ceases to be in the memory. Hence the Jewish people who were forgetful of God are said to sit in the shadow of death. The shadow of death is taken also for the death of the flesh, because as that is the true death, by which the soul is separated from God, so that is the shadow of death by which the flesh is separated from the soul. Hence in the words of the martyrs it is said, the shadow of death has come over us. By the shadow of death also is represented the following of the devil, who is called Death, in the Revelations, because as a shadow is formed according to the quality of the body, so the actions of the wicked are expressed according to the manner of their following him.
Chrysostomus: Recte autem dicit sedent: non enim ambulabamus in tenebris, sed sedebamus. CHRYS. He rightly says sitting, for we were not walking in darkness, but sitting down as having no hope of deliverance.
Theophylactus: Non solum autem oriens dominus his qui in tenebris sedent illuminat, sed aliquid amplius facit: unde sequitur ad dirigendos pedes nostros in viam pacis. Via pacis est via iustitiae, ad quam direxit pedes, idest affectus animarum nostrarum. THEOPHYL. But not only does the Lord at His rising give light to those who sit in darkness, but he says something further as it follows, to direct our feet in the way of peace. The way of peace is the way of righteousness, to which He has directed our feet, i.e. the affections of our souls.
Gregorius in Evang: Tunc enim gressus nostros in viam pacis dirigimus quando per illud actionum iter pergimus in quo ab auctoris nostri gratia non discordemus. GREG. For we guide our steps in the way of peace, when we walk in that line of conduct wherein we depart not from the grace of our Maker.
Ambrosius: Simul et illud adverte, quam paucis Elisabeth, quam multis Zacharias prophetizet; et uterque sancto impletus spiritu loquebatur; sed disciplina servatur, ut mulier discere magis quae divina sunt studeat quam docere. AMBROSE; Mark also, in how few words Elisabeth prophesies, in how many Zacharias, and yet each spoke filled with the Holy Spirit; but this discipline is preserved, that women may study rather to learn what are the Divine commands than to teach them.

Lectio 38
80 τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο πνεύματι, καὶ ἦν ἐν ταῖς ἐρήμοις ἕως ἡμέρας ἀναδείξεως αὐτοῦ πρὸς τὸν Ἰσραήλ.
80. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing to Israel.

Beda: Praedicator patientiae futurus, ut liberius auditores suos a mundi illecebris erudiendo sustollat, primaevam in desertis transigit vitam; unde dicitur puer autem crescebat. BEDE; The future preacher of repentance, that he might the more boldly reclaim his hearers from the allurements of the world, passes the first part of his life in the deserts. Hence it is said, And the child grew.
Theophylactus: Secundum corporalem aetatem. Et confortabatur spiritu: simul enim cum corpore spirituale donum crescebat, et spiritus operationes in eo magis ac magis ostendebantur. THEOPHYL. i.e. in bodily stature, and waxed strong in spirit, for together with his body at the same time his spiritual gift increased, and the workings of the Spirit were more and more manifested in him.
Origenes in Lucam: Vel crescebat spiritu, nec in eadem permanebat mensura qua coeperat; sed semper crescebat spiritus in eo, semper voluntas eius ad meliora tendens habebat profectus, et mens divinius aliquid contemplabatur. Exercebat se memoria, ut plura in thesauro suo reconderet. Addit autem et confortabatur: infirma enim est humana natura: legimus enim: caro autem infirma. Confortanda est itaque spiritu: spiritus enim promptus est. Multi confortantur carne; athleta autem Dei spiritu roborandus est, ut sapientiam carnis elidat: unde recessit, fugiens tumultum urbium propter frequentiam; sequitur enim et erat in desertis: ubi purior aer est, caelum apertius, et familiarior Deus: ut quia nondum Baptismi et praedicationis tempus advenerat, vacaret orationibus, et cum Angelis conversaretur, appellaret dominum, et illum audiret dicentem: ecce adsum. ORIGEN; Or he increased in spirit, remaining not in the same measure in which he had begun, but the Spirit was ever growing in him. His will ever tending to better things, was making its own advances, and his mind ever contemplating something more divine, while his memory was exercising itself, that it might lay up more and more things in its treasury, and more firmly retain them. But he adds, And he waxed strong. For human nature is weak, as we learn, the flesh is weak. It must therefore be made strong by the Spirit, for the Spirit is ready. Many wax strong in the flesh, but the wrestler of God must be strengthened by the Spirit that he may crush the wisdom of the flesh. He retires therefore to escape the noise of cities, and the thronging of the people. For it follows, And he was in the deserts. Where the air is purer, the sky more clear, and God a closer friend, that as the time had not yet arrived for his baptism and preaching, he might have leisure for praying, and might hold converse with the angels, calling upon God and fearing Him, saying, Behold, here am I.
Theophylactus: Vel erat in desertis ut extra multorum malitiam nutriretur, et ut neminem vereretur arguere: si enim fuisset in mundo, forte fuisset amicitia et conversatione hominum depravatus: simul etiam ut esset fide dignus qui praedicaturus erat Christum. Occultabatur autem in desertis, donec placuit Deo ipsum Israelitico populo demonstrare: unde sequitur usque ad diem ostensionis suae ad Israel. THEOPHYL. Or, he was in the deserts that he might be brought up beyond the reach of the malice of the multitude, and not be afraid of man. For if he had been in the world, perchance he had been corrupted by the friendship and conversation of the world. And secondly, that he who was to preach Christ might also be esteemed trust-worthy. But he was hid in the desert until it pleased God to show him forth to the people of Israel, as it follows, till the day of his showing forth to Israel.
Ambrosius: Pulchre autem tempus quo fuit in utero propheta describitur, ne Mariae praesentia taceatur, sed tempus siletur infantiae, eo quod praesentia matris domini in utero roboratur qui infantiae impedimenta nescivit. AMBROSE; And rightly is the time noted during which the prophet was in the womb, in order that the presence of Mary might not be passed over, while they are silent about the time of his childhood, because being strengthened in the womb by the presence of the Mother of the Lord, he knew not the struggles of childhood.

Lectio 1
1 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξῆλθεν δόγμα παρὰ καίσαρος αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην. 2 αὕτη ἀπογραφὴ πρώτη ἐγένετο ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς συρίας κυρηνίου. 3 καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι, ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ πόλιν. 4 ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῆς γαλιλαίας ἐκ πόλεως ναζαρὲθ εἰς τὴν ἰουδαίαν εἰς πόλιν δαυὶδ ἥτις καλεῖται βηθλέεμ, διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς δαυίδ, 5 ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν μαριὰμ τῇ ἐμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ.
1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 3. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Beda: Nasciturus in carne Dei filius, sicut de virgine natus virginitatis sibi decus ostendit esse gratissimum; ita pacatissimo tempore saeculi procreatur; quia pacem quaerere docuit, et pacis sectatores invisere dignatur. Nullum autem potuit magis esse pacis indicium quam una totum orbem descriptione concludi; cuius moderator Augustus, tanta duodecim annis circa tempus dominicae nativitatis pace regnavit ut, bellis toto orbe sopitis, prophetae praesagium ad litteram videatur implesse: unde dicitur factum est autem in diebus illis, exiit edictum a Caesare Augusto ut describeretur universus orbis. BEDE; The Son of God, about to be born in the flesh, as by His birth of a virgin He showed that the grace of virginity was most pleasing in His sight, is therefore begotten in the most peaceful time of the world, because He taught men to seek peace, and condescends to visit those who follow it. But there could be no greater sign of peace than for the whole world to be brought together under one taxing, while its ruler Augustus reigned with so great peace for the twelve years, about the time of our Lord’s nativity, that war having been quelled throughout the whole world, there seemed to be a literal fulfillment of the Prophet’s prediction, They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, &c.
Graecus: Tunc etiam nascitur Christus cum principes Iudaeorum defecerant, et ad Romanos principes translatum erat imperium, quibus Iudaei tributa solvebant; et sic impletur prophetia praedicens: non deficere ducem de Iuda, nec principem de femoribus eius, donec veniat qui mittendus est. Iam vero Caesare Augusto quadragesimum secundum annum imperii peragente, exiit ab eo edictum totum orbem conscribi ad tributa solvenda; quod cuidam Cyrino Caesar commiserat, quem Iudaeae et Syriae praesidem statuit: unde sequitur haec descriptio prima facta est a praeside Syriae Cyrino. GREEK EX. Christ is born also at a time when the princes of Judah had failed, and the kingdom was transferred to Roman governors, to whom the Jews paid tribute; and then was fulfilled the, prophecy, saying, There shall not fail a leader from Judah, nor a prince from between his feet, until he shall come who is to be sent. And now when Caesar Augustus was in the 42 nd year of his reign, there went forth an edict from him that all the world should be taxed for the payment of tribute, the management of which he committed to a certain Cyrinus whom he made governor of Judea and Syria; and so it follows, This taxing was first made, &c.
Beda: Signat hanc descriptionem vel primam esse earum quae totum orbem concluserint, quia pleraeque iam partes terrarum saepe leguntur fuisse descriptae; vel primo tunc coepisse quando Cyrinus in Syriam missus est. BEDE; St. Luke points out, that this taxing was either the first of those which comprehended the whole world, for before this very many parts of the earth are often mentioned as having been taxed; or first began at that time when Cyrinus was sent into Syria.
Ambrosius: Pulchre autem praesidis nomen addidit, ut seriem temporis designaret: nam si consules ascribuntur tabulis emptionis, quanto magis redemptioni omnium debuit tempus ascribi? AMBROSE; He has rightly added the name of the governor, to mark the course of time. For if the names of the Consuls are affixed to the tables of prices, how much more ought the time to be noted down, of that event which was the redemption of all men?
Beda: Superna autem dispensatione professio census ita descripta est ut in suam quisque patriam ire iuberetur: secundum quod sequitur et ibant omnes ut profiterentur singuli in civitatem suam: quod ideo factum est, ut dominus alibi conceptus, alibi natus, insidiantis Herodis furorem facilius evaderet: unde sequitur ascendit autem et Ioseph a Galilaea de civitate Nazareth in Iudaeam. BEDE; Now the registration of property was so appointed by Divine guidance, that every one was ordered to go into his own country, as it follows, And they all went to be taxed, every one to his own city. Which so came to pass, in order that the Lord, conceived in one place, born in another, might the more easily escape the fury of the crafty Herod. Hence it follows: Now Joseph also went up from Galilee.
Chrysostomus: Domino autem dirigente Augustus hoc edictum censuit, ut unigeniti praesentiae famuletur: nam hoc edictum matrem attrahebat in patriam quam prophetae praedixerant, scilicet in Bethlehem Iudae; unde dicit civitatem David quae vocatur Bethlehem. CHRYS. It was the Lord who directed Augustus to give this edict, that he might minister to the coming of the Only-begotten; for it was this edict that brought Christ’s mother into her country as the prophets had foretold, namely, to Bethlehem of Judea, according to the word, to a city of David, which is called Bethlehem.
Graecus: Ideo autem addidit civitatem David, ut promissionem factam David a Deo, quod ex fructu ventris eius rex perpetuus adveniret, esse completam annuntiet: unde sequitur eo quod esset de domo et familia David. Per hoc autem quod Ioseph erat de cognatione David, contentus fuit Evangelista ipsam quoque virginem de cognatione David promulgare, cum lex divina praeciperet coniugales copulas ex eadem progenie contrahi: unde sequitur cum Maria desponsata sibi uxore praegnante. GREEK EX. Now he added, a city of David, that he might declare that the promise made by God to David, namely, that from the fruit of his loins there should go before him a king for ever, was already fulfilled. Whence it follows, Because he was of the house and lineage of David. But since Joseph was of t e family of David, it pleased the Evangelist to make known also that the Virgin herself was of the same family, because the Divine law enjoined marriages between those of the same line; and therefore it follows, With Mary his espoused wife.
Cyrillus: Dicit autem eam fuisse desponsatam, innuens quod solis sponsalibus praecedentibus est conceptio subsecuta; neque enim ex virili semine sancta virgo concepit. CYRIL; It is said that she was espoused, to imply that nothing more than espousals preceded the conception; for it was not by man’s seed that the Holy Virgin conceived.
Gregorius in Evang: Mystice autem nascituro domino mundus describitur: quia ille apparebat in carne qui electos suos ascriberet in aeternitate. GREG. But the registering of the whole world when our Lord was about to be born was mystical; for He appeared in the flesh Who should write down the names of His own elect in eternity.
Ambrosius: Et dum professio saecularis ostenditur, spiritualis implicatur, non terrarum regi dicanda, sed caeli. Professio ista fidei, census animorum est: abolito enim synagogae censu vetusto, novus census Ecclesiae parabatur. Denique ut scias censum non Augusti esse, sed Christi, totus orbis profiteri iubetur. Quis autem poterat professionem totius orbis exigere, nisi qui totius orbis habebat imperium? Non enim Augusti, sed: domini est terra et plenitudo eius. AMBROSE; There is described a secular registration, implied a spiritual, to be laid before the King not of earth but of Heaven; a registering of faith: a census of souls. For the old census of the Synagogue was abolished, a new census of the Church was preparing. And to decide that the census was not of Augustus, but of Christ, the whole world is ordered to be registered. For who could demand the registration of the whole world but He who had dominion over it, for the earth is not of Augustus, but the earth is the Lord’s?
Beda: Qui etiam vocabulum Augusti perfectissime complevit, utputa suos et augere desiderans, et augere sufficiens. BEDE; And He most perfectly fulfilled what the name Augustus signifies, in that He was both desirous and able to increase His own.
Theophylactus: Conveniens etiam erat ut per Christum cultus multorum deorum deficeret, et unus Deus coleretur: unde unus rex orbi imperasse describitur. THEOPHYL. Because it was fit also that at Christ’s coming the worship of many Gods should cease, and one God only be worshipped, one king is described as ruling the world.
Origenes in Lucam: Diligentius autem intuenti sacramentum quoddam videtur figurari, quod in totius orbis professione describi oportuerit et Christum, ut cum omnibus scriptus sanctificaret omnes, et cum orbe relatus in censum communionem sui praeberet orbi. ORIGEN; To those who attentively consider it, there seems to be expressed a kind of sacrament, in its being necessary that Christ should be put down in the registration of the whole world; in order that His name being written with all, He might sanctify all, and being placed in the census with the whole world, He might impart to the world the communion of Himself.
Beda: Sicut autem tunc imperante Augusto et praesidente Cyrino, ibant singuli in suam civitatem ut profiterentur censum; sic, modo imperante Christo per doctores Ecclesiae praesides, profiteri debemus censum iustitiae. BEDE; As at that time in the reign of Augustus and under the governorship of Cyrinus, every one went to his own city to make returns of his property; so now when Christ reigns through His teachers (the governors of the Church) ought we to make returns of righteousness.
Ambrosius: Haec est ergo prima professio mentium domino, cui omnes profitentur, non praeconis evocatione, sed vatis dicentis: omnes gentes, plaudite manibus. Denique ut sciant censum esse iustitiae, veniunt ad eum Ioseph et Maria, hoc est iustus et virgo: ille qui verbum servaret, ista quae pareret. AMBROSE; This was then the first public enrollment of souls to the Lord, to Whom all enroll themselves not at the voice of the crier, but of the Prophet, who says, O clap your hands, all you people. But in order that men might know that the taxing was just, there came up to it Joseph and Mary, the just man and the virgin. He who kept the word and she who obeyed it.
Beda: Civitas nostra et patria est patria beata, ad quam crescentibus quotidie virtutibus ire debemus. Quotidie autem sancta Ecclesia suum comitata doctorem, de rota mundanae conversationis, quod Galilaea sonat, in civitatem Iuda, scilicet confessionis et laudis, ascendens, censum suae devotionis regi aeterno persolvit, quae, in exemplo beatae virginis Mariae, concipit nos virgo de spiritu; quae alii quidem desponsata ab alio fecundatur, dum praeposito sibi pontifici visibiliter iungitur, sed invisibilis spiritus virtute cumulatur. Unde et bene Ioseph auctus interpretatur, indicans ipso nomine, quod instantia loquentis magistri nil valet, nisi augmentum superni iuvaminis, ut audiatur, acceperit. BEDE; Our city and country is the resting-place of the blessed, to which we ought to be traveling with daily increasing virtues. But day by day does Holy Church wait upon her Teacher, and going up from the course of worldly business (which the name of Galilee signifies) to the city of Judah, i.e. the city of confession and praise, make returns of her devotion to the Eternal King. She, after the example of the blessed Virgin Mary, a Virgin has conceived us of the Spirit. Though espoused to another, she is made fruitful by Him; and while visibly joined to the Pontiff who is placed over her, is invisibly filled with the graces of the Spirit. And hence Joseph is well interpreted increased, declaring by his very name, that the earnestness of the master speaking is of no avail, except he receive increasing help from above, that he may be heard.

Lectio 2
6 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν, 7 καὶ ἔτεκεν τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον: καὶ ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἀνέκλινεν αὐτὸν ἐν φάτνῃ, διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι.
6. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Ambrosius: Breviter sanctus Lucas et quo modo et quo tempore et quo loco secundum carnem Christus natus sit explicavit dicens factum est autem cum essent ibi, impleti sunt dies ut pareret. Quo modo quidem, quia nupta concepit, sed virgo generavit. AMBROSE; St. Luke has briefly explained the manner, time, and also the place in which Christ was born in the flesh; the manner, that is, in which the espoused has conceived, a virgin has born offspring.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Apparens enim ut homo, non per omnia legibus humanae naturae subicitur: nam quod ex muliere nascitur, humilitatem redolet; virginitas vero, quae ortui deservivit, ostendit quam transcenderet hominem. Huius ergo iucunda portatio, ortus immaculatus, partus facilis, absque corruptela nativitas: nec ex luxu incipiens, nec doloribus edita: quia namque ea quae naturae nostrae mortem per culpam inseruit, damnata est ut cum doloribus pareret, oportebat parentem vitae cum gaudio partum perficere. Eo autem tempore per incorruptionem virgineam ad vitam transmigrat mortalium in quo diminui incipiunt tenebrae, et nocturna immensitas exuberantia radii deficere cogitur. Mors enim peccati finem pravitatis attigerat; sed de cetero tendit ad nihilum propter verae lucis praesentiam, quae radiis evangelicis totum orbem lustravit. GREG. NYSS. Though coming in the form of man, yet not in every thing is He subject to the laws of man’s nature; for while His being born of a woman, tells of human nature; virginity becoming capable of childbirth betokens something above man. Of Him then His mother’s burden was light, the birth immaculate, the delivery without pain, the nativity without defilement, neither beginning from wanton desire, nor brought to pass with sorrow. For as she who by her guilt engrafted death into our nature, was condemned to bring forth in trouble, it was meet that she who brought life into the world should accomplish her delivery with joy. But through a virgin’s purity He makes His passage into mortal life at a time in which the darkness was beginning to fail, and the vast expanse of night to fade away before the exceeding brightness of the light. For the death of sin had brought an end of wickedness which from henceforth tends to nothing by reason of the presence of the true light which has illuminated the whole world with the rays of the Gospel.
Beda: Eo etiam tempore dignatus est incarnari quo mox natus censu Caesaris ascriberetur, atque ob nostri liberationem ipse servitio subderetur: unde etiam non solum propter iudicium regii stemmatis, sed etiam propter nominis sacramentum dominus in Bethlehem nascitur. BEDE; He condescended to become incarnate at that time, that after His birth He might be enrolled in Caesar’s taxing, and in order to bring liberty to us might Himself become subject to slavery. It was well also that our Lord was born at Bethlehem, not only as a mark of the royal crown, but on account of the sacrament of the name.
Gregorius in Evang: Bethlehem quippe domus panis interpretatur: ipse namque est qui ait: ego sum panis vivus, qui de caelo descendi. Locus ergo in quo dominus nascitur, domus panis antea vocabatur, quia futurum erat ut ibi ille per naturam carnis appareret qui electorum mentes interna satietate reficeret. GREG. Bethlehem is by interpretation the house of c bread. For it is the Lord Himself who says, I am the bread of life which came down from heaven. The place therefore where the Lord was born was before called the house of bread, because it was there that He was to appear in His fleshly nature who should refresh the souls of the elect with spiritual fullness.
Beda: Sed et usque ad consummationem saeculi dominus in Nazareth concipi, in Bethlehem nasci non desinit cum quilibet audientium, verbi flore suscepto, domum in se aeterni panis efficit; quotidie in utero virginali, hoc est in animo credentium, per fidem concipitur, per Baptismum gignitur. Sequitur et peperit filium suum primogenitum. BEDE; But down to the very end of time, the Lord ceases not to be conceived at Nazareth, to be born at Bethlehem, whenever any of His hearers taking of the flour of the word makes himself a house of eternal bread. Daily in the Virgin’s womb, i.e. in the mind of believers, Christ is conceived by faith, born by baptism. It follows, and she brought forth her firstborn son.
Hieronymus contra Helvidium: Ex hoc Helvidius nititur approbare, primogenitum dici non posse nisi eum qui habeat et fratres, sicut unigenitus ille vocatur qui parentibus sit solus filius. Nos autem ita definimus. Unigenitus est primogenitus, non omnis primogenitus est unigenitus. Primogenitum non esse dicimus eum quem alii subsequuntur, sed ante quem nullus: alioquin si non est primogenitus nisi is quem sequantur et fratres, tamdiu sacerdotibus primogenita non debentur, quamdiu et alii fuerint procreati, ne forte partu postea non sequente, unigenitus sit, et non primogenitus. JEROME; From this Helvidius strives to prove that no one can be called firstborn who has not brothers, as he is called only-begotten who is the only son of his parents. But we thus determine the matter. Every only-begotten is firstborn, not every firstborn is only-begotten. We say not that he is first-begotten whom others follow, but before whom there is no one; (otherwise, supposing there is no firstborn but who has brothers following him, there are then no firstlings due to the priests as long as there are no others begotten;) lest perchance when no birth follows afterward, there should be an only-begotten and not a firstborn.
Beda: Est etiam unigenitus in substantia divinitatis, primogenitus susceptione humanitatis; primogenitus in gratia, unigenitus in natura. BEDE; He is also only-begotten in the substance of His divinity, firstborn in the taking upon Himself humanity, firstborn in grace, only begotten in nature.
Hieronymus: Nulla autem ibi obstetrix, nulla muliercularum sollicitudo intercessit. Ipsa pannis involvit infantem; ipsa mater et obstetrix fuit; unde sequitur et pannis eum involvit. JEROME; Now here was no midwife, no tender anxiety of women; she wrapped the Child up in swaddling clothes, herself both mother and midwife.
Beda: Qui totum mundum vario vestit ornatu, pannis vilibus involvitur, ut nos stolam primam recipere valeamus. Per quem omnia facta sunt, manus pedesque astringitur, ut nostrae manus ad opus bonum exertae, nostri sint pedes in viam pacis directi. BEDE; He who clothes the whole world with its varied beauty, is wrapped up in common linen, that we might be able to receive the best robe; He by Whom all things are made, is folded both hands and feet, that our hands might be raised up for every good work, and our feet directed in the way of peace.
Graecus: O admirabilem coarctationem et peregrinationem quam subiit qui continet orbem. Ab initio captat penuriam, et eam in seipso decorat.

Nimirum si voluisset, venire poterat movendo caelum, concutiendo terram, emittens fulmina; non autem sic processit: non enim perdere, sed salvare volebat, et ab ipsis primordiis humanam conculcare superbiam; atque ideo non tantum homo fit, sed etiam homo pauper; et pauperem matrem elegit, quae caret his quibus natum infantem reclinet; sequitur enim et reclinavit eum in praesepio.

GREEK EX. Oh the wonderful straitening and banishment which He underwent, Who holds the whole world in His hands! From the very beginning He seeks for poverty, and ennobles it in His own person.

CHRYS. Surely if He had so willed it, He might have come moving the heavens, making the earth to shake, and shooting forth His thunderbolts; but such was not the way of His going forth; His desire was not to destroy, but to save; and to trample upon human pride from its very birth, therefore He is not only man, but a poor man, and has chosen a poor mother, who had not even a cradle where she might lay her new born Child; as it follows, and she laid him in the manger.

Beda: Duri praesepis angustia continetur cui caelum sedes est, ut nos per caelestis regni gaudia dilatet. Qui panis est Angelorum, in praesepio reclinatur, ut nos quasi sancta animalia carnis suae frumento reficiat. BEDE; He is confined in the narrow space of a rude manger, whose seat is the heavens, that He may give us ample room in the joys of His heavenly kingdom. He Who is the bread of Angels is laid down in a manger, that He might feast us, as it were the sacred animals, with the bread of His flesh.
Cyrillus: Reperit etiam hominem factum bestialem in anima: et ideo in praesepio loco pabuli ponitur, ut vitam bestialem mutantes, ad consonam homini perducamur scientiam, pertingentes non fenum, sed panem caelestem, vitae corpus. CYRIL; He finds man in his corrupt affections become like the beasts that perish, and therefore He is laid in the manger, in the place of food, that we changing the life of beasts, might be brought to the knowledge that befits man, partaking not of hay, but of the heavenly bread, the life-giving body.
Beda: Qui autem ad dexteram patris sedet, in diversorio loco eget, ut nobis in domo patris sui multas mansiones praeparet; unde sequitur quia non erat eis locus in diversorio. Nascitur non in parentum domo, sed in diversorio, et in via: quia per incarnationis mysterium via factus est, qua nos ad patriam, ubi veritate et vita fruemur, adduceret. BEDE; He who sits at His Father’s right hand, finds no room in an inn, that He might prepare for us in His Father’s house many mansions; He is born not in His Father’s house, but in an inn and by the way side, because through the mystery of the incarnation He was made the way by which to bring us to our country, (where we shall enjoy the truth and the life.)
Gregorius in Evang: Et ut ostenderet quia per humanitatem quam assumpserat, quasi in alieno nascebatur, non secundum potestatem, sed secundum naturam. GREG. And that He might show that on account of the human form which He took upon Him, He was born as in a strange country, not according to His power but according to His nature.
Ambrosius: Propter te ergo infirmitas, in se potentia; propter te inopia, in se opulentia; noli hoc aestimare quod cernis, sed quod redimeris agnosce. Plus, domine Iesu, iniuriis tuis debeo quod redemptus sum, quam opibus quod creatus sum. Non prodesset nasci, nisi etiam redimi profuisset. AMBROSE; On your account then am I weak, in you am I strong. On your account am I poor, in you am I rich. Consider not what you see, but acknowledge that you are redeemed. I owe more, O Lord Jesus, to Your sufferings that I am redeemed, than to Your works that I am created. It were no advantage to be born, had it not advantaged me to be redeemed also.

Lectio 3
8 καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν. 9 καὶ ἄγγελος κυρίου ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς καὶ δόξα κυρίου περιέλαμψεν αὐτούς, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν. 10 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος, μὴ φοβεῖσθε, ἰδοὺ γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ, 11 ὅτι ἐτέχθη ὑμῖν σήμερον σωτὴρ ὅς ἐστιν Χριστὸς κύριος ἐν πόλει δαυίδ: 12 καὶ τοῦτο ὑμῖν τὸ σημεῖον, εὑρήσετε βρέφος ἐσπαργανωμένον καὶ κείμενον ἐν φάτνῃ.
8. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10. And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11. For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. 12. And this shall be a sign to you; you shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Ambrosius: Videte quemadmodum divina curia fidem astruat. Angelus Mariam, Angelus Ioseph, Angelus pastores edocet, de quibus dicitur et pastores erant in regione eadem vigilantes, et custodientes vigilias noctis super gregem suum. AMBROSE; Observe with what care God builds up our faith. An Angel teaches Mary; an Angel teaches Joseph; an Angel the shepherds also, of whom it is said, And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field.
Chrysostomus: Ioseph quidem in somnis apparuit Angelus; pastoribus autem visibiliter quasi rudioribus: non autem Angelus ivit Ierosolymam, non requisivit Scribas et Pharisaeos; erant enim corrupti, et prae invidia cruciabantur; sed hi erant sinceri, antiquam conversationem patriarcharum et Moysis colentes. Est autem semita quaedam ad philosophiam perducens innocentia. CHRYS. To Joseph the Angel appeared in a dream, as to one who might be easily brought to believe, but to the shepherds in visible shape as to men of a ruder nature. But the Angel went not to Jerusalem, sought not for Scribes and Pharisees, (for they were corrupt and tormented with envy.) But these were simple men living in the ancient practices of Moses and the Patriarchs. There is a certain road which leads by innocence to Philosophy.
Beda: Nusquam autem in tota veteris testamenti serie reperimus Angelos, qui tam sedulo apparuere patribus, cum luce apparuisse. Sed hoc privilegium recte huic tempori est servatum quando exortum est in tenebris lumen rectis corde: unde sequitur et claritas Dei circumfulsit illos. BEDE; No where; in the whole course of the Old Testament do we find that the Angels who so constantly appear to the Patriarchs, came in the day time. This privilege was rightly kept for this time, when there arose in the darkness a light to them that were s true of heart. Hence it follows, and the glory of God shone round about them.
Ambrosius: Ex utero funditur, sed coruscat a caelo; terreno in diversorio iacet, sed caelesti lumine viget. He is sent forth from the womb, but He shines from heaven. He lies in a common inn, but He lives in celestial light.
Graecus: Verum pavidi facti sunt in miraculo; unde sequitur et timuerunt timore magno. Sed Angelus, cum pavor ingruerit, fugat ipsum: unde sequitur et dixit illis Angelus: nolite timere. Non solum sedat terrorem, sed etiam alacritatem infundit: sequitur enim ecce enim evangelizo vobis gaudium magnum, quod erit omni populo: non soli populo Iudaeorum, sed etiam omnibus. Causa autem gaudii ostenditur, novus et admirabilis partus manifestatur ex ipsis nominibus: nam sequitur quia natus est vobis hodie salvator, qui est Christus dominus: quorum primum, idest salvator, est actionis; tertium autem, scilicet dominus, maiestatis. GREEK EX. They were alarmed at the miracle, as it follows, And they were afraid, &c. But the Angel dispels their rising fears. He not only soothes their terrors, but pours gladness into their hearts; for it follows, For, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, &c. not to the Jewish people only, but to all. The cause of their joy is declared; the new and wonderful birth is made manifest by the very names. It follows, For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. The first of these, i.e. the Savior, has reference to the action, the third, i.e. the Lord, to the dignity of the person.
Cyrillus de Incarn. Unigen: Sed id quod in medio ponitur, scilicet Christus, non naturam significat, sed hypostasim compositam. In Christo enim salvatore unctionem fore celebratam fatemur; non tamen figuralem, sicut olim in regibus ex oleo, quasi ex prophetica gratia, neque ad perfectionem alicuius negotii, iuxta illud: haec dicit dominus Christo meo Cyro, qui quamquam esset idololatra, dictus est Christus, ut caelesti censura totam occuparet Babyloniorum provinciam. Fuit autem unctus salvator spiritu sancto humanitus in forma servi; ungens autem ut Deus spiritu sancto credentes in eum. CYRIL; But that which is in the middle, namely, Christ, has reference to the adoration, and signifies not the nature, but the compound substance of two natures. For on Christ our Savior we confess the anointing to have been performed, not however figuratively, (as formerly on kings by the oil,) and as if by prophetic grace, nor for the accomplishment of any work, as it is said in Isaiah, Thus said the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus; who although he was an idolater was said to be anointed, that he might by the decree of Heaven take possession of the whole province of Babylon; but the Savior as man in the form of a servant, was anointed by the Holy Spirit as God He Himself by His Holy Spirit anoints those that believe in Him.
Graecus: Huius autem nativitatis et tempus ostendit cum dicit hodie, et locum cum subdit in civitate David, et signa cum subiungit et hoc vobis signum: invenietis infantem pannis involutum, et positum in praesepio. Ecce pastoribus Angeli pastorem praecipuum praedicant, tamquam agnum in antro manifestatum et editum. GREEK EX. He marks the time of our Lord’s nativity, when he says, Today, and the place when he adds In the city of David; and the signs thereof when it follows And there shall be a sign, &c. Now the Angels bring tidings to the shepherds of the Chief Shepherd,as of a lamb discovered and brought up in a cave.
Beda: Crebris autem infantia salvatoris et Angelorum praeconiis et Evangelistarum nobis est conculcata testimoniis, ut nostris altius cordibus quid pro nobis factum sit infigatur. Et notandum, quod signum nati salvatoris datur non Tyrio exceptum ostro, sed pannis squalentibus involutum: non in ornatis auro stratoriis, sed in praesepibus inveniendum. BEDE; The infancy of the Savior was impressed upon us, both by frequent heraldings of Angels and testimonies of Evangelists, that we might be the more deeply penetrated in our hearts by what has been done for us. And we may observe, that the sign given us of the newborn Savior was, that He would be found not clothed in Tyrian purple, but wrapped in poor swaddling clothes, not laying on gilded couches, but in a manger.
Maximus in Serm. Nativ: Sed si tibi panni fortassis vilescunt, Angelos collaudantes admirare: si praesepe despicis, erige parumper oculos, et novam in caelo stellam protestantem mundo nativitatem dominicam contuere: si credis vilia, crede mirifica: si de his quae humilitatis sunt disputas, quae alta sunt et caelestia venerare. MAXIMUS; But if perhaps the swaddling clothes are mean in your eyes, admire the Angels singing praises together If you despises” tile manger, raise your eyes a little, and behold the new star in heaven proclaiming to the world the Lord’s nativity. If you believe the mean things, believe also the mighty. If you dispute about those which betoken His lowliness, look with reverence on what is high and heavenly.
Gregorius in Evang: Mystice autem quod vigilantibus pastoribus Angelus apparet, eosque claritas Dei circumfulsit, hoc est quod illi prae ceteris videre sublimia merentur qui fidelibus gregibus praeesse sollicite sciunt: dumque ipsi pie super gregem vigilant, divina super eos latius gratia coruscat. GREG. It was in a mystery that the angel appeared to the shepherds while they were watching, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, implying that they are thought worthy above the rest to see sublime things who take a watchful care of their faithful flocks; and while they themselves are piously watching over them, the Divine grace shines widely round about them.
Beda: Significant enim mystice pastores isti gregum, doctores quosque ac rectores fidelium animarum. Nox, cuius vigilias custodiebant super gregem suum, pericula tentationum indicat, a quibus se suosque subiectos custodire non desistunt. Et bene, nato domino, pastores super gregem vigilant: quia natus est qui dicit: ego sum pastor bonus; sed et tempus imminebat quo idem pastor oves suas, quae dispersae erant, ad vitae pascua revocaret. BEDE; For in a mystery, those shepherds, and their flocks, signify all teachers and guides of faithful souls. The night in which they were keeping watch over their flocks, indicates the dangerous temptations from which they never cease to keep themselves, and those placed under their care. Well also at the birth of our Lord do shepherds watch over their flocks; for He was born who says, I am the good Shepherd: but the time also was at hand in which the same Shepherd was to recall His scattered sheep to the pastures of life.
Origenes in Lucam: Ceterum, si ad secretiorem oportet ascendere intellectum, dicam quosdam fuisse pastores Angelos qui res humanas regerent; et cum horum unusquisque suam custodiam conservaret, venisse Angelum nato domino, et annuntiasse pastoribus, quia verus esset pastor exortus. Angeli enim ante adventum salvatoris parum poterant commissis sibi utilitatis afferre: vix enim aliquis unus ex singulis gentibus credebat in Deum; nunc autem populi accedunt ad fidem Iesu. ORIGEN; But if we would rise to a more hidden meaning, I should say, that there were certain shepherd angels, who direct the affairs of men, and while each one of them was keeping his watch, an angel came at the birth of the Lord, and announced to the shepherds that the true Shepherd had arisen. For Angels before the coming of the Savior could bring little help to those entrusted to them, for scarcely did one single Gentile believe in God. But now whole nations come to the faith of Jesus.

Lectio 4
13 καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἐγένετο σὺν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ πλῆθος στρατιᾶς οὐρανίου αἰνούντων τὸν θεὸν καὶ λεγόντων, 14 δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας.
13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Beda: Ne parva unius Angeli videretur auctoritas, postquam unus sacramentum novae nativitatis edocuit, statim multitudo caelestium agminum affuit; unde dicitur et subito facta est cum Angelo multitudo militiae caelestis. Bene chorus adveniens Angelorum, militiae caelestis vocabulum accipit, qui et duci illi in praelio qui ad debellandas aereas potestates apparuit, humiliter obsecundat, et ipse potestates easdem contrarias, ne mortales tantum tentare valeant quantum volunt, fortiter armis caelestibus perturbat. Quia vero Deus et homo nascitur, hominibus pax et Deo gloria canitur; unde sequitur laudantium Deum, et dicentium: gloria in altissimis Deo. Uno Angelo, uno evangelizante nuntio natum in carne Deum, mox multitudo militiae caelestis in laudem creatoris prorumpit, ut et Christo devotionem impendat, et nos suo instruat exemplo, quoties aliquis fratrum sacrae eruditionis verbum insonuerit, vel ipsi quae pietatis sunt ad mentem reduxerimus, Deo statim laudes corde, ore et opere reddendas. BEDE; Lest the authority of a single Angel should appear small, as soon as one had revealed the sacrament of the new birth, straightway there was present a multitude of the heavenly host. Rightly has the attending Chorus of Angels received the name of heavenly host, seeing they both humbly bring their aid to that Leader mighty in battle, Who has appeared to put down the powers of the air, and also themselves by their celestial arms bravely vanquish those opposing powers lest they should prevail as they wish in tempting men. But because He is both God and man, rightly do they sing Peace to men and Glory to God. As it follows, Praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest. As soon as one Angel, one messenger, had brought the good tidings that God was born in the flesh, the multitude of the heavenly host broke forth in the praise of the Creator, in order both to fix their devotion on Christ, and to instruct us by their example, that as often as any of the brethren shall sound forth the word of sacred learning, or we ourselves shall have brought these holy things home to our minds, we should with our whole heart, our mouths and hands, return praise to God.
Chrysostomus: Et olim quidem Angeli ad puniendum mittebantur, puta ad Israelitas, ad David, ad Sodomitas, ad gemitus convallem; nunc e contra canunt in terra gratias agentes Deo: eo quod suum descensum ad homines eis reseravit. CHRYS. Of old, indeed, Angels were sent to punish, as, for instance to the Israelites, to David, to the men of Sodom, to the valley of weeping. Now on the other hand they sing the song of thanksgiving to God: because He has revealed to them His coming down to men.
Gregorius Moralium: Simul etiam laudant, quia redemptioni nostrae voces suae exultationis accommodant: simul etiam, quia dum nos conspiciunt recipi, suum gaudent numerum impleri. GREG. At the same time they also give praises because their voices of gladness accord well with our redemption, and while they behold our acceptance, they rejoice also that their number is completed.
Beda: Optant etiam pacem hominibus, cum subdunt et in terra pax hominibus: quia quos infirmos prius abiectosque despexerant, nascente in carne domino, iam socios venerantur. BEDE; They wish also peace to men, as they add, On earth peace to men, because those whom they had before despised as weak and abject, now that our Lord has come in the flesh they esteem as friends.
Cyrillus: Haec autem pax per Christum facta est: reconciliavit enim nos per se Deo et patri, culpam hostilem de medio auferens; duos populos in unum hominem pacificavit, ac caelicolas et terrenos in unum gregem composuit. CYRIL; This peace has been made through Christ, for He has reconciled us by Himself to God and our Father, having taken away our guilt, which was the ground of offense also. He has united two nations in one man, and has joined the heavenly and the earthly in one flock.
Beda: Quibus autem hominibus pacem poscant, exponunt dicentes bonae voluntatis, eis scilicet qui suscipiunt natum Christum: non enim est pax impiis, sed pax multa diligentibus nomen Dei. BEDE; For whom they ask peace is explained in the words, Of good will. For them, namely, who receive the new born Christ. For there is no peace to the ungodly, but much peace to them that love the name of God.
Origenes in Lucam: Sed diligens lector inquirat quomodo salvator dicat: non veni pacem mittere super terram; et nunc Angeli de eius nativitate cantent in terra pax hominibus. Sed hoc quod pax esse dicitur in hominibus bonae voluntatis, solvit quaestionem; pax enim quam non dat dominus super terram, non est pax bonae voluntatis. ORIGEN; But the attentive reader will ask, How then does the Savior say, I came not to send peace on the earth, whereas now the Angels’ song of His birth is, On earth peace to men? It is answered, that peace is said to be to men of goodwill. For the peace which the Lord does not give on the earth is not the peace of good will.
Augustinus de Trin: Pertinet enim iustitia ad bonam voluntatem. AUG. For righteousness belongs to good will.
Chrysostomus: Aspice autem mirandum processum: Angelos ad nos deduxit prius, ac deinde duxit hominem ad superna: factum est caelum terra, cum terrena deberet recipere. CHRYS. Behold the wonderful fill working of God. He first brings Angels down to men, and then brings men up to heaven. The heaven became earth, when it was about to receive earthly things.
Origenes in Lucam: Mystice autem videbant Angeli, se opus quod eis creditum fuerat, implere non posse absque eo qui vere salvare poterat; et medicinam suam inferiorem esse quam hominum cura poscebat: unde sicut si veniat aliquis archiater qui habeat summam in medicina notitiam: et illi qui prius sanari nequiverant, cernentes magistri manu putredines cessare vulnerum, non invideant, sed in laudes archiatri erumpant, et Dei, qui sibi aegrotantibusque tantae scientiae hominem miserit; sic multitudo Angelorum pro Christi adventu Deum laudat. ORIGEN; But in a mystery, the Angels saw that they could not accomplish the work committed to them without Him Who was truly able to save, and that their healing fell short of what the care of men required. And so it was as if there should come one who had great knowledge in medicine, and those who before were unable to heal, acknowledging now the hand of a master, grudge not to see the corruptions of wounds ceasing, but break forth into the praises of the Physician, and of that God who sent to them and to the sick a man of such knowledge; the multitudes of the Angels praised God for the coming of Christ.

Lectio 5
15 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἀπῆλθον ἀπ' αὐτῶν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν οἱ ἄγγελοι, οἱ ποιμένες ἐλάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους, διέλθωμεν δὴ ἕως βηθλέεμ καὶ ἴδωμεν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο τὸ γεγονὸς ὃ ὁ κύριος ἐγνώρισεν ἡμῖν. 16 καὶ ἦλθαν σπεύσαντες καὶ ἀνεῦραν τήν τε μαριὰμ καὶ τὸν ἰωσὴφ καὶ τὸ βρέφος κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ: 17 ἰδόντες δὲ ἐγνώρισαν περὶ τοῦ ῥήματος τοῦ λαληθέντος αὐτοῖς περὶ τοῦ παιδίου τούτου. 18 καὶ πάντες οἱ ἀκούσαντες ἐθαύμασαν περὶ τῶν λαληθέντων ὑπὸ τῶν ποιμένων πρὸς αὐτούς: 19 ἡ δὲ μαριὰμ πάντα συνετήρει τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα συμβάλλουσα ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῆς. 20 καὶ ὑπέστρεψαν οἱ ποιμένες δοξάζοντες καὶ αἰνοῦντες τὸν θεὸν ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἤκουσαν καὶ εἶδον καθὼς ἐλαλήθη πρὸς αὐτούς.
15. And it came pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even to Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. 16. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them.

Graecus: Quae visa sunt et relata stuporem ingesserunt pastoribus; et sic ovilia sua omiserunt, et profecti sunt nocte Bethlehem, lucem indagantes salvatoris; unde dicitur et factum est ut discesserunt ab eis Angeli in caelum, pastores loquebantur ad invicem: transeamus usque Bethlehem, et videamus hoc verbum quod factum est. GREEK EX. The shepherds were filled with astonishment at the things that they saw and heard, and so they left their sheepfolds, and set out by night to Bethlehem, seeking for the light of the Savior; and therefore it is said, They spoke one to another, &c.
Beda: Vere quasi vigilantes non dixerunt: videamus puerum, sed verbum quod factum est; idest, verbum quod semper erat videamus quomodo pro nobis caro factum est: siquidem hoc ipsum verbum dominus est; sequitur enim quod fecit dominus et ostendit nobis; idest, videamus quomodo verbum ipsum se fecerit, et ostenderit nobis carnem suam. BEDE; As men who were truly watching, they said not, Let us see (the child; but) the word which has come to pass, i.e. the Word which was from the beginning, let us see how it has been made flesh for us, since this very Word is the Lord. For it follows, Which the Lord has made, and has shown to us; i.e. Let us see how the Lord has made Himself, and has shown His flesh to us.
Ambrosius in Lucam: Vide quam singulariter Scriptura singulorum libret momenta verborum: etenim cum caro domini videtur, videtur verbum, quod est filius. Non mediocre fidei tibi hoc videatur exemplum: non vilis persona pastorum: simplicitas enim quaeritur, non ambitio desideratur. Sequitur et venerunt festinantes; nemo enim cum desidia Christum requirit. AMBROSE; How remarkably Scripture weighs the import of each word. For when we behold the flesh of the Lord, we behold the Word, which is the Son. Let not this seem to you a slight example of faith, because of the humble character of the shepherds. For simplicity is sought for, not pride. It follows, And they came in haste. For no one indolently seeks after Christ.
Origenes in Lucam: Quia vero festinantes venerunt, et non pedetentim, ideo sequitur et invenerunt Mariam, quae scilicet fudit Iesum in partu, et Ioseph, scilicet dispensatorem ortus dominici, et infantem positum in praesepio, scilicet ipsum salvatorem. ORIGEN; But because they came in haste, and not with loitering steps, it follows, They found Mary, (i.e. her who had brought Jesus into the world,) and Joseph, (i.e. the guardian of our Lord’s birth,) and the babe lying in the manger, (i.e. the Savior Himself.)
Beda: Est autem iusti ordinis, ut honore digno celebrata verbi incarnatione, ad ipsam quandoque verbi gloriam intuendam pertingatur; unde sequitur videntes autem cognoverunt de verbo quod dictum erat illis de puero hoc. BEDE; It seems to succeed in due order, that after having rightly celebrated the incarnation of the Word, we should at length come to behold the actual glory of that Word. Hence it follows: But when they saw it, they made known the word which had been spoken to them.
Graecus: Occulta scilicet fide felicia relata contuentes, nec contenti de veritate stupere, quae primitus viderant et perceperant Angelo nuntiante, non solum Mariae et Ioseph promebant, sed etiam ceteris; et, quod est amplius, eorum mentibus infigebant; unde sequitur et omnes qui audierunt mirati sunt, et de his quae dicta erant a pastoribus ad ipsos. Quomodo enim non erat mirandum videre caelicolam in terrenis, et terram pace conciliari caelestibus, et ineffabilem illum infantulum numine quidem caelestia, humanitate vero terrestria connectentem ad invicem, et sui compagine foedus mirandum praestantem? GREEK EX. Beholding with hidden faith indeed the happy events which had been told them, and not content with marveling at the reality of those things which at the very first they saw and embraced when the Angel told them, they began to relate them not only to Mary and Joseph, but to the others also (and what is more they impressed them on their minds,) as it follows, And all who heard it marveled. For how could it be otherwise, at the sight of one of the heavenly host upon earth, and earth in peace reconciled to heaven; and that ineffable Child binding together in one, by His divinity, heavenly things, by His humanity, earthly things, and by this conjunction of Himself ejecting a wonderful union!
Glossa: Nec solum mirantur de incarnationis mysterio, sed etiam de tanta pastorum attestatione qui fingere inaudita nescirent, sed simplici facundia vera praedicarent. GLOSS. Not only do they marvel at the mystery of the incarnation, but also at so wonderful an attestation of the shepherds, men who could not have devised these unheard of things, but were with simple eloquence proclaiming the truth.
Ambrosius: Nec contemnenda putes quasi vilia verba pastorum: a pastoribus enim Maria colligit fidem: unde sequitur Maria autem conservabat omnia verba haec, conferens in corde suo. Discamus sanctae virginis in omnibus castitatem, quae non minus ore pudica quam corpore argumenta fidei conferebat in corde. AMBROSE; Esteem not the words of the shepherds as mean and despicable For from the shepherds Mary increases her faith, as it follows: Mary kept all these sayings, and pondered them in her heart. Let us learn the chastity of the sacred Virgin in all things, who no less chaste in her words than in her body, gathered up in her heart the materials of faith.
Beda: Virginalis enim pudicitiae iura custodiens, secreta Christi quae noverat, nemini divulgare volebat; sed conferebat ea quae facienda legerat cum his quae iam facta cognovit; non ore promens, sed clausa in corde custodiens. BEDE; For keeping the laws of virgin modesty, she who had known the secrets of Christ would divulge them to no one, but comparing what she had read in prophecy with what she now acknowledged to have taken place, she did not utter them with the mouth, but preserved them shut up in her heart.
Graecus: Quicquid etiam ei retulerat Angelus, quicquid a pastoribus audierat, cuncta congerebat in mente; et ad invicem comparans, unam in omnibus mater sapientiae cernebat concordiam. Vere Deus erat qui natus erat ex ea. GREEK EX. Whatever the Angel had said to her, whatever she had heard from Zacharias, and Elisabeth, and the shepherds, she collected them all in her mind, and comparing them together, perceived in all one harmony. Truly, He was God who was born from her.
Athanasius: Singuli autem in Christi nativitate exultabant, non humanitus, sicut in puero nato soliti sunt homines congaudere, sed in Christi praesentia, et lucis divinae fulgore; unde sequitur et reversi sunt pastores glorificantes et laudantes Deum in omnibus quae audierant. ATHAN AS. But every one rejoiced in the nativity of Christ, not with human feelings, as men are wont to rejoice when a son is born, but at the presence of Christ and the luster of the Divine light. As it follows: And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for every thing they had heard, &c.
Beda: Scilicet ab Angelis; et viderant, scilicet in Bethlehem, sicut dictum est ad illos; idest in hoc glorificant quod non aliud venientes invenerant, quam dictum est ad illos: sive sicut dictum est ad illos, gloriam Deo laudesque referunt: etenim hoc illis facere dictum est ab Angelis, non quidem verbo imperantibus, sed formam suae devotionis offerentibus, cum Deo in excelsis gloriam resonarent. BEDE; That is to say, from the Angels, and had seen, i.e. in Bethlehem, as it was told them, i.e. they glory in this, that when they came they found it even as it was told them, or as it was told them they give praise and glory to God. For this they were told by the Angels to do, not in very word commanding them, but setting before them the form of devotion when they sung glory to God in the highest.
Beda: Mystice autem intellectualium pastores gregum, immo cuncti fideles, exemplo horum pastorum transeant cogitatione usque in Bethlehem, et incarnationem Christi dignis celebrent honoribus. Transeamus autem abiectis concupiscentiis carnalibus toto mentis desiderio usque in Bethlehem supernam, idest domum panis vivi; ut quem illi in praesepio videre vagientem, nos in patris solio mereamur videre regnantem; non est autem tanta beatitudo cum desidia ac torpore quaerenda; sed alacriter sunt Christi sequenda vestigia. Videntes autem cognoverunt. Et nos quae dicta sunt de salvatore nostro, plena dilectione festinemus amplecti, ut hoc in futuro perfectae cognitionis visu comprehendere valeamus. BEDE; To speak in a mystery, let the shepherds of spiritual flocks, (nay, all the faithful,) after the example of, these shepherds, go in thought even to Bethlehem, and celebrate the incarnation of Christ with due honors. Let us go indeed casting aside all fleshly lusts, with the whole desire of the mind even to the heavenly Bethlehem, (i.e. the house of the living bread,) that He whom they saw crying in the manger we may deserve to see reigning on the throne of His Father. And such bliss as this is not to be sought for with sloth and idleness, but with eagerness must we follow the footsteps of Christ. When they saw Him they knew Him; and let us haste to embrace in the fullness of our love those things which were spoken of our Savior, that when the time shall come that we shall see with perfect knowledge we may be able to comprehend them.
Beda: Dominici etiam gregis pastores praecedentium patrum vitam, in qua panis vitae servatur, quasi Bethlehem portas contemplando subeunt; nihilque in hac aliud reperiunt quam virginalem Ecclesiae pulchritudinem, quasi Mariam, virilem spiritualium doctorum coetum, quasi Ioseph, et humilem Christi adventum Scripturae paginis sacrae insertum, quasi in praesepio positum Christum infantem. BEDE; Again, the shepherds of the Lord’s flock by contemplating the life of the fathers who went before them, (which preserved the bread of life,) enter as it were the gates of Bethlehem, and find therein none other than the virgin beauty of the Church, that is, Mary; the manly company of spiritual doctors, that is, Joseph; and the lowly coming of Christ contained in the pages of Holy Scripture, that is, the infant child Christ, laid in the manger.
Origenes in Lucam: Vel praesepe illud Israel erat, secundum illud: cognovit bos possessorem suum, et asinus praesepe domini sui. ORIGEN; That was the manger which Israel knew not, according to those words of Isaiah, The ox knows his owner, and the ass his master’s crib.
Beda: Non celavere autem silentio pastores quae agnoverant: quia Ecclesiae pastores in hoc ordinati sunt ut quae in Scripturis didicerunt, auditoribus ostendant. BEDE; The shepherds did not hide in silence what they knew, because to this end have the Shepherds of the Church been ordained, that what they have learned in the Scriptures they might explain to their hearers.
Beda: Magistri etiam spiritualium gregum modo ceteris dormientibus contemplando caelestia subeunt, modo fidelium exempla quaerendo circumeunt, modo ad publicum pastoralis officii docendo revertuntur. BEDE; The masters of the spiritual flocks also, while others sleep, at one time by contemplation enter into the heavenly places, at another time pass around them by seeking the examples of the faithful, at another time by teaching return to the public duties of the pastoral office.
Beda: Unusquisque etiam qui privatus vivere creditur, pastoris officium tenet, si bonorum actuum cogitationumque mundarum aggregans multitudinem, hanc iusto moderamine gubernare, Scripturarum pastu nutrire, et contra Daemonum insidias servare contendit. BEDE; Every one of us, even he who is supposed to live as a private person, exercises the office of shepherd, if, keeping together a multitude of good actions and pure thoughts, he strive to rule them with due moderation, to feed them with the food of the Scriptures, and to preserve them against the snares of the devil.

Lectio 6
21 καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ τοῦ περιτεμεῖν αὐτόν, καὶ ἐκλήθη τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦς, τὸ κληθὲν ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀγγέλου πρὸ τοῦ συλλημφθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ.
21. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Beda: Exposita nativitate dominica, subiungit Evangelista atque ait et postquam consummati sunt dies octo ut circumcideretur puer. BEDE; Having related our Lord’s nativity, the Evangelist adds, And after that eight days were accomplished for the circumcision of the child.
Ambrosius: Quis puer, nisi ille de quo dictum est: puer natus est nobis, et filius datus est nobis et: factus est enim sub lege, ut eos qui sub lege erant lucrifaceret? AMBROSE; Who is this Child, but He of whom it was said, Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given? For He was made under the law, that He might redeem them who were under the law.
Epiphanius Adver. Haeres: Dicunt autem Ebionis et Cerinthi sequaces: sufficit discipulo, si sit sicut magister eius: circumcidit autem se Christus; tu ergo circumcidaris. Falluntur autem destruentes sua principia. Si enim fateretur Ebion Christum Deum caelitus descendentem octavo die fuisse circumcisum, tunc praeberet circumcisioni materiam argumenti; sed cum nudum hunc asserit hominem, non puer est causa ut circumcidatur, sicut nec infantes sunt suae circumcisionis auctores. Nos enim Deum ipsum fatemur caelitus descendentem, et in claustro virgineo moram debitam fetibus protraxisse, quoadusque sibi ex utero virgineo humanitatis carnem perfecte componeret, in qua circumcisus est veraciter, non apparenter octavo die, quatenus cum ad spiritualem effectum figurae pervenerint, tam ab ipso, quam a suis discipulis divulgentur non ultra figurae, sed veritas. EPIPHAN. Now the followers of Ebion and Cerinthus say, “It is enough for a disciple if he be as his Master. But Christ circumcised Himself. Be you therefore circumcised.” But herein do they deceive themselves, destroying their own principles; for if Ebion should confess that Christ as God descended from heaven and was circumcised on the eighth day, it might then afford the ground of an argument for circumcision; but since he affirms Him to be mere man, surely as a boy he cannot be the cause of Himself being circumcised, as neither are infants the authors of their own circumcision. But we confess that it is God Himself who has descended from heaven, and that enclosed in a virgin’s womb, He abode there the whole time necessary for her delivery, until He should perfectly form to Himself of the virgin’s womb a human body; and that in this body He was not in appearance but truly circumcised on the eighth day, in order that the figures having come to this spiritual fulfillment, both by Himself and His disciples, might now be spread abroad no longer the figures but the reality.
Origenes in Lucam: Sicut enim mortui sumus cum illo moriente, et consurreximus resurgenti; sic cum eo circumcisi sumus: unde nequaquam nunc indigemus circumcisione carnali. ORIGEN; As we have died with Him at His death, and risen together with Him at His resurrection, so with Him have we been circumcised, and therefore need not now circumcision in the flesh.
Epiphanius: Pluribus autem ex causis circumcisus est Christus. Et primo quidem ut ostendat carnis veritatem contra Manichaeum et illos qui apparenter eum dicunt prodiisse: deinde ut pateat quod nequaquam deitati consubstantiale corpus extiterit, ut fatur Apollinaris; neque caelitus detulit illud, ut asserit Valentinus: et ut confirmet circumcisionem, quam olim instituerat eius adventui servientem: quin etiam ut nulla sit Iudaeis excusatio: nam nisi circumcisus fuisset, obicere poterant quod non possent incircumcisum Christum recipere. EPIPHAN. Christ was circumcised for several reasons. First indeed to show the reality of His flesh, in opposition to Manichaus and those who say that He came forth in appearance only. Secondly, that He might prove that His body was not of the same substance with the Deity, according to Apollinaris, and that it descended not from heaven, as Valentinian said. Thirdly, to add a confirmation to circumcision which He had of old instituted to wait His coming. Lastly, to leave no excuse to the Jews. For had He not been circumcised, they might have objected that they could not receive Christ uncircumcised.
Beda: Ut etiam nobis obediendi virtutem commendaret exemplo, et ut eos qui sub lege positi legis onera portare nequiverant, sua compassione iuvaret; ut qui in similitudine carnis peccati advenit, remedium quo caro peccati consueverat mundari, non respuat. Idem enim salutiferae curationis auxilium circumcisio in lege contra originalis peccati vulnus agebat quod nunc Baptismus revelatae gratiae tempore consuevit; excepto quod regni caelestis ianuam nondum intrare poterant, sed in sinu Abrahae post mortem beata requie consolati supernae pacis ingressum spe felici expectabant. BEDE; He was circumcised also that He might enjoin upon us by His example the virtue of obedience and might take compassion on them who being placed under the law, were unable to bear the burdens of the law, to the end that He who came in the likeness of sinful flesh might not reject the remedy with which sinful flesh was wont to be healed. For circumcision brought in the law the same assistance of a saving cure to the wound of original sin which Baptism does in the time of the grace of revelation, except that as yet the circumcised could not enter the gates of the heavenly kingdom, but comforted after death with a blessed rest in Abraham’s bosom, they waited with a joyful hope for their entrance into eternal peace.
Athanasius: Nihil enim aliud exprimebat circumcisio nisi generationis vetustae spoliationem per hoc quod circumcidebatur pars corporis quae corporalis nativitatis causa existit. Hoc autem tunc temporis agebatur in signum futuri per Christum Baptismatis. Idcirco postquam venit signatum, cessavit figura: ubi namque tota vetustas tollitur per Baptismum, superfluum est quod partis sectio praefigurat. ATHAN. For circumcision expressed nothing else, but the stripping off of the old birth, seeing that part was circumcised which caused the birth of the body. And thus it was done at that time as a sign of the future baptism through Christ. Therefore as soon as that of which it was a sign came, the figure ceased. For since the whole of the old man Adam is taken away by baptism, there remains nothing which the cutting of a part prefigures.
Cyrillus: Octavo autem die consuetum erat carnalem celebrari circumcisionem: octavo enim die Christus a mortuis resurrexit, et insinuavit nobis spiritualem circumcisionem, dicens: euntes, docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos. CYRIL; It was the custom on the eighth day to perform the circumcision of the flesh. For on the eighth day Christ rose from the dead, and conveyed to us a spiritual circumcision, saying, Go and teach all nations, baptizing them.
Beda: In eius autem resurrectione praefigurata est utraque nostra resurrectio, et carnis et spiritus: Christus enim circumcisus nostram naturam docuit et nunc per ipsum a vitiorum labe purgandam, et in novissimo die a mortis peste restaurandam; et sicut dominus octava die, hoc est post septimam sabbati, resurrexit; ita et ipsi post sex huius saeculi aetates et septimam sabbati animarum, quae nunc interim in alia vita geritur, quasi octavo tempore surgemus. BEDE; Now in His resurrection was prefigured the resurrection of each of us both in the flesh and the Spirit, for Christ has taught us by being circumcised that our nature must both now in itself be purged from the stain of vice, and at the last day be restored from the plague of death. And as the Lord rose on the eighth day, i.e. the day after the seventh, (which is the Sabbath,) so we also after six ages of the world and after the seventh, which is the rest of souls, and is now carrying on in another life, shall rise as on the eighth day.
Cyrillus: Secundum legis praeceptum eodem die impositionem nominis recipit; unde sequitur vocatum est nomen eius Iesus, quod interpretatur salvator: editus enim fuit ad totius orbis salutem, quam sua circumcisione praefiguravit: secundum quod apostolus dicit: circumcisi estis circumcisione non manufacta in expoliatione corporis carnis, scilicet in circumcisione Christi. CYRIL; But according to the command of the law, on the same day He received the imposition of a name, as it follows, His name was called Jesus which is interpreted Savior. For He was brought forth for the salvation of the whole world, which by His circumcision He prefigured, as the Apostle says to the Colossians, “you are circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the stripping off of the body of the flesh, to wit, the circumcision of Christ.”
Beda: Sed et hoc quod eodem die suae circumcisionis nomen accepit, ad imitationem priscae observationis fecit: Abraham enim, qui primum circumcisionis sacramentum accepit, in die suae circumcisionis amplificatione nominis benedici promeruit. BEDE; That upon the day of His circumcision He also received the imposition of the name was likewise done in imitation of the old observances. For Abraham, who received the first sacrament of circumcision, was on the day of his circumcision thought worthy to be. blessed by the increase of his name.
Origenes in Lucam: Nomen autem Iesu gloriosum omnique cultu dignissimum, nomen quod est super omne nomen, non decuit primum ab hominibus appellari, neque ab eis afferri in mundum: unde signanter Evangelista subdit quod vocatum est ab Angelo priusquam in utero conciperetur. ORIGEN; But the name of Jesus, a glorious name and worthy of all honor, a name which is above every other, ought not first to be uttered by men, nor by them be brought into the world. Therefore significantly the Evangelist adds, which was called of the Angel, &c.
Beda: Huius autem nominis etiam electi in sua spirituali circumcisione participes existere gaudent; ut sicut a Christo Christiani, ita etiam a salvatore salvati vocentur; quod illis a Deo vocabulum non solum priusquam in utero Ecclesiae per fidem conciperentur, sed etiam ante tempora saecularia vocatum est. BEDE; Of this name the elect also in their spiritual circumcision rejoice to be partakers, that as from Christ they are called Christians, so also from the Savior they may be called saved, which title was given them of God not only before they were conceived through faith in the womb of the Church, but even before the world began.

Lectio 7
22 καὶ ὅτε ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸν νόμον μωϋσέως, ἀνήγαγον αὐτὸν εἰς ἱεροσόλυμα παραστῆσαι τῷ κυρίῳ, 23 καθὼς γέγραπται ἐν νόμῳ κυρίου ὅτι πᾶν ἄρσεν διανοῖγον μήτραν ἅγιον τῷ κυρίῳ κληθήσεται, 24 καὶ τοῦ δοῦναι θυσίαν κατὰ τὸ εἰρημένον ἐν τῷ νόμῳ κυρίου, ζεῦγος τρυγόνων ἢ δύο νοσσοὺς περιστερῶν.
22. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; 23. (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) 24. And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

Cyrillus: Post circumcisionem rursus expectatur purgationis tempus; unde dicitur et postquam impleti sunt dies purgationis eius secundum legem Moysi. CYRIL; Next after the circumcision they wait for the time of purification, as it is said, And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were come.
Beda: Si legis ipsius verba diligentius inspexeris, profecto reperies quod ipsa Dei genitrix, sicut a commixtione virili, sic et a legali fit iure immunis. Non enim omnis mulier pariens, sed ea quae suscepto semine peperit, designatur immunda, rituque docetur esse mundanda; ad distinctionem scilicet illius quae virgo concepit et peperit. Sed ut nos a legis vinculo solveremur, sicut Christus, ita et beata Maria legi est sponte subiecta. BEDE; If you diligently examine the words of the law, you will find indeed that the mother of God as she is free from all connection with man, so is she exempt from any obligation of the law. For not every woman who brings forth, but she who has received seed and brought forth, is pronounced unclean, and by the ordinances of the law is taught that she must be cleansed, in order to distinguish probably from her who though a virgin has conceived and brought forth. But that we might be loosed from the bonds of the law, as did Christ, so also Mary submitted herself of her own will to the law.
Titus: Unde eleganter Evangelista protulit, quod completi sunt dies purgationis eius secundum legem: nam revera non incumbebat necessitas virgini sacrae ut dies purgationis eius expectaretur, quae cum ex spiritu sancto concepisset, caruit coniugio. Sequitur tulerunt illum in Ierusalem, ut sisterent eum domino. TITUS BOST. Therefore the Evangelist has well observed, that the days of her purification were come according to the law, who since she had conceived of the Holy Spirit, was free from all uncleanness. It follows, They brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
Athanasius: Sed quando paternis aspectibus latuit dominus; aut quis locus excipitur ab eius imperio, ut ibi existendo semotus a patre sit, nisi afferatur Ierosolymam, et introducatur in templum? Sed forte causa nostri huiusmodi scripta sunt. Sicut enim non gratia sui homo factus est et circumcisus in carne, sed ut nos per gratiam faceret deos, et ut spiritualiter circumcidamur; sic propter nos sistitur domino, ut discamus Deo praesentare nosipsos. ATHAN. But when was the Lord hid from His Father’s eye, that He should not be seen by Him, or what place is excepted from His dominion, that by remaining there He should be separate from His Father unless brought to Jerusalem and introduced into the temple? But for us perhaps these things were written. For as not to confer grace on Himself was He made man and circumcised in the flesh, but to make us Gods through grace, and that we might be circumcised in the Spirit, so for our sakes is He presented to the Lord, that we also might learn to present ourselves to the Lord.
Beda: Post tricesimum autem et tertium circumcisionis diem domino sistitur, mystice insinuans neminem nisi circumcisum vitiis, dominicis dignum esse conspectibus; neminem nisi mortalitatis nexibus absolutum, supernae civitatis gaudia posse perfecte subire. Sequitur sicut scriptum est in lege domini. BEDE; On the thirty-third day after His circumcision He is presented to the Lord, signifying in a mystery that no one but he who is circumcised from his sins is worthy to come into the Lord’s sight, that no one who ho has not severed himself from all human ties can perfectly enter into the joys of the heavenly city. It follows, As it is written in the law of the Lord.
Origenes in Lucam: Ubi sunt qui Deum legis negant a Christo fuisse in Evangelio praedicatum? An putandum est quod filium suum bonus Deus sub lege inimici fecit, quam ipse non dederat? In lege enim Moysi scriptum est quod sequitur: quia omne masculinum adaperiens vulvam sanctum domino vocabitur. ORIGEN; Where are they who deny that Christ proclaimed in the Gospel the law to be of God, or can it be supposed that the righteous God made His own Son under a hostile law which He Himself had not given? It is written in the law of Moses as follows, Every male which opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.
Beda: Quod dicit adaperiens vulvam, et hominis et pecoris primogenitum significat; quod utrumque sanctum domino vocari, atque ideo sacerdotis esse, praeceptum est; ita dumtaxat ut pro hominis primogenito pretium acciperet et omne animal immundum redimi faceret. BEDE; By the words, opening the womb, he signifies the first-born both of man and beast, and each one of which was, according to the commandment, to be called holy to the Lord, and therefore to become the property of the priest, that is, so far that he was to receive a price for every first-born of man, and oblige every unclean animal to be ransomed.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Hoc autem legis decretum in solo incarnato Deo, singulariter et ab aliis differenter, impleri videtur: ipse namque solus ineffabiliter conceptus ac incomprehensibiliter editus, virginalem uterum aperuit, non ante a connubio reseratum; servans et post partum mirabile inviolabiliter signaculum castitatis. GREG. NYSS. Now this commandment of the law seems to have had its fulfillment in the incarnate God, in a very remarkable and peculiar manner. For He alone, ineffably conceived and incomprehensibly brought forth, opened the virgin’s womb, till then unopened by marriage, and after this birth miraculously retaining the seal of chastity.
Ambrosius in Lucam: Non enim virilis coitus vulvae virginalis secreta reseravit: sed immaculatum semen inviolabili utero spiritus sanctus infudit. Qui ergo vulvam sanctificavit alienam ut nasceretur propheta, hic est qui aperuit matri suae vulvam, ut immaculatus exiret. AMBROSE; For no union with man disclosed the secrets of the virgin’s womb, but the Holy Spirit infused the immaculate seed into an inviolate womb. He then who sanctified another womb in order that a prophet should be born, He it is who has opened the womb of His own mother, that the Immaculate should come forth.
Beda: Quod ergo ait adaperiens vulvam, consuetae nativitatis more loquitur; non quod dominus sacri ventris hospitium, quod ingressus sanctificarat, egressus devirginasse credendus sit. By the words opening the womb, he speaks of birth after the usual manner, not that the sacred abode of the virgin’s womb, which our Lord in entering sanctified, should now be thought by His proceeding forth from it to be deprived of its virginity.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Solus autem hic partus masculinus spiritualiter esse conspicitur qui nil de femineitate culpae portavit: unde revera sanctus vocatus est: unde et Gabriel quasi hoc decretum ad ipsum solum pertinere memorans, dicebat: quod ex te nascetur sanctum, vocabitur filius Dei. Et in ceteris quidem primogenitis sanctos illos vocari evangelica solertia statuit, tamquam oblatione divina sortitos huiusmodi nomen: at in totius primogenito creaturae, quod nascitur sanctum pronuntiat Angelus, quasi proprie sanctum existens. GREG. NYSS. But the offspring of this birth is alone seen to be spiritually male, as contracting no guilt from being born of a woman. Hence He is truly called holy, and therefore Gabriel, as if announcing that this commandment belonged to Him only, said, That Holy thing which shall be born of you shall be called, the Son of God. Now of other first-borns the wisdom of the Gospel has declared that they are called holy from their being offered to God. But the first-born of every creature, That holy thing which is born, &c. the Angel pronounces to be in the nature of its very being holy.
Ambrosius: Solus enim per omnia in natis de femina sanctus dominus Iesus, qui terrenae contagia corruptelae immaculati partus novitate non senserit, et caelesti maiestate depulerit: nam si litteram sequimur, quomodo sanctus omnis masculus, cum multos sceleratissimos fuisse non lateat? Sed ille sanctus quem in figura futuri mysterii legis divinae praescripta signabant; eo quod solus sanctae Ecclesiae virginis ad generandos populos aperiret genitale secretum. AMBROSE; For among those that are born of a woman, the Lord Jesus alone is in every thing holy, who in the newness of His immaculate birth experienced not the contagion of earthly defilement, but by His Heavenly Majesty dispelled it. For if we follow the letter, how can every male be holy, since it is undoubted that many have been most wicked? But He is holy whom in the figure of a future mystery the pious ordinances of the divine law prefigured, because He alone was to open the hidden womb of the holy virgin Church for the begetting of nations.
Cyrillus: O profunditas scientiarum sapientiae et scientiae Dei. Offert hostias qui per singulas hostias honoratur cum patre; figuras legis custodit veritas; qui legis est conditor sicut Deus, legem custodivit ut homo; unde sequitur et ut darent hostiam, secundum quod dictum erat in lege domini, par turturum, aut duos pullos columbarum. CYRIL; Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! He offers victims, Who in each victim is honored equally with the Father. The Truth preserves the figures of the law. He who as God is the Maker of the law, as man has kept the law. Hence it follows, And that they should give a victim as it was ordered in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.
Beda: Hostia autem haec pauperum erat; praecepit quippe dominus in lege ut qui possent agnum pro filio aut filia, simul et turturem sive columbam offerrent: qui vero non sufficiebant ad offerendum agnum, duos iam turtures vel duos columbae pullos offerrent. Ergo dominus cum dives esset, pauper fieri dignatus est, ut nos sua paupertate divitiarum suarum donaret esse participes. BEDE; Now this was the victim of the poor. For the Lord commanded in the law that they who were should offer a lamb for a son or a daughter as well as a turtle dove or pigeon; but they who were not able to offer a lamb should give two turtle doves or two young pigeons. Therefore the Lord, though he was rich, deigned to become poor, that by his poverty He might make us partakers of His riches.
Cyrillus: Videndum autem quid haec oblata insinuant. Nimirum loquacissima est turtur in avibus; et columba est animal mansuetum. Talis autem factus est erga nos salvator, mansuetudinem perfecte colens, et ut turtur orbem allexit, replens hortum suum propriis melodiis. Occidebatur ergo turtur aut columba, ut ipse per figuras nobis pandatur passurus in carne pro vita mundi. CYRIL; But let us see what these offerings mean. The turtle dove is the most vocal of birds, and the pigeon the gentlest. And such was the Savior made unto us; He was endowed with perfect meekness, and like the turtle dove entranced the world, filling His garden with His own melodies. There was killed then either a turtle dove or a pigeon, that by a figure He might be shown forth to us as about to suffer in the flesh for the life of the world.
Beda: Vel columba simplicitatem, turtur indicat castitatem: quia et columba simplicitatis, et castitatis amator est turtur; ita ut si coniugem casu perdiderit, non ultra aliam quaerere curet. Merito ergo turtur et columba domino offeruntur in hostiam: quia simplex et pudica fidelium conversatio est illi iustitiae sacrificium gratum. BEDE; Or the pigeon denotes simplicity, the turtle dove chastity, for the pigeon is a lover of simplicity, and the turtle dove of chastity, so that if by chance she has lost her mate, she heeds not to find another. Rightly then are the pigeon and turtle dove offered as victims to the Lord, because the simple and chaste conversation of the faithful is a sacrifice of righteousness well pleasing to Him.
Athanasius: Ideo vero bina iussit offerri, quia homine consistente ex anima et corpore, duplum a nobis poscit Deus, castitatem et mansuetudinem, non solum corporis, sed etiam animae: alioquin erit homo fictor et hypocrita, gerens in tegumentum occultae malitiae innocentiam apparentem. ATHAN. He ordered two things to be offered, because as man consists of both body and soul, the Lord requires a double return from us, chastity and meekness, not only of the body, but also of the soul. Otherwise, man will be a dissembler and hypocrite, wearing the face of innocence to mask his hidden malice.
Beda: Cum vero utraque avis propter consuetudinem gemendi praesentes sanctorum luctus designet; in hoc tamen differunt, quod turtur solivagus, columba autem gregatim volare consuevit; et ob id iste secretas orationum lacrymas, illa publicos Ecclesiae conventus insinuat. BEDE; But while each bird, from its habit of wailing, represents the present sorrows of the saints, in this they differ, that the turtle is solitary, but the pigeon flies about in flocks, and hence the one points to the secret tears of confession, the other to the public assembling of the Church.
Beda: Vel columba, quae gregatim volat, activae vitae frequentiam demonstrat; turtur qui singularitate gaudet, speculativae vitae culmina denuntiat. Et quia aeque utraque conditori accepta est hostia, consulte Lucas utrum turtures an pulli columbarum pro domino sint oblati non dixit, ne unum alteri vivendi ordinem praeferret, sed utrumque sequendum doceret. BEDE; Or the pigeon which flies in flocks sets forth the busy intercourse of active life. The turtle, which delights in solitariness, tells of the lofty heights of the contemplative life. But because each victim is equally accepted by the Creator, St. Luke has purposely omitted whether the turtles or young pigeons were offered for the Lord, that he might not prefer one mode of life before another, but teach that both ought to be followed.

Lectio 8
25 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος ἦν ἐν ἰερουσαλὴμ ᾧ ὄνομα συμεών, καὶ ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος καὶ εὐλαβής, προσδεχόμενος παράκλησιν τοῦ Ἰσραήλ, καὶ πνεῦμα ἦν ἅγιον ἐπ' αὐτόν: 26 καὶ ἦν αὐτῷ κεχρηματισμένον ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου μὴ ἰδεῖν θάνατον πρὶν [ἢ] ἂν ἴδῃ τὸν Χριστὸν κυρίου. 27 καὶ ἦλθεν ἐν τῷ πνεύματι εἰς τὸ ἱερόν: καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ 28 καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδέξατο αὐτὸ εἰς τὰς ἀγκάλας καὶ εὐλόγησεν τὸν θεὸν καὶ εἶπεν,
25. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. 26. And it was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, 28. Then took he him up in his arms.

Ambrosius in Lucam: Non solum ab Angelis et prophetis, a pastoribus et a parentibus, sed etiam a senioribus et iustis generatio domini accepit testimonium; unde dicitur et ecce homo erat in Ierusalem cui nomen Simeon, et homo iste iustus et timoratus. AMBROSE; Not only did Angels and Prophets, the shepherds and his parents, bear witness to the birth of the Lord, but the old men and the righteous. As it is said, And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and he was a just man, and one who feared God. For scarcely is righteousness preserved without fear, I mean not that fear which dreads the loss of worldly goods, (which perfect love casts out,) but that holy fear of the Lord which abides for ever, by which the righteous man, the more ardent his love to God, is so much the more careful not to offend Him.
Beda: Quia difficulter iustitia sine timore custoditur: non illum dico timorem qui temporalia sibi bona subtrahi perhorrescit, quem perfecta dilectio foras mittit; sed timorem domini sanctum qui manet in saecula, quo iustus Deum quanto ardentius diligit, tanto solertius offendere cavet.
Ambrosius: Et bene iustus, qui non suam sed populi gratiam requirebat; unde sequitur et expectans consolationem Israel. AMBROSE; Well is he called righteous who sought not his own good, but the good of his nation, as it follows, Waiting for the consolation of Israel.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Non utique mundanam felicitatem in consolationem Israel prudens Simeon expectabat; sed veram translationem ad veritatis decorem per separationem a legis umbra: habuerat namque per oracula quod visurus esset Christum domini priusquam de saeculo praesenti transmigraret; unde sequitur et spiritus sanctus erat in eo; a quo scilicet iustificabatur. Et responsum acceperat a spiritu sancto non visurum se mortem nisi prius videret Christum domini. GREG NYSS. It was not surely worldly happiness that the prudent Simeon was waiting for as the consolation of Israel, but a real happiness, that is, a passing over to the beauty of truth from the shadow of the law. For he had learnt from the sacred oracles that he would see the Lord’s Christ before he should depart out of this present life. Hence it follows, And the Holy Spirit was in him, (by which indeed he was justified,) and he received an answer from the Holy Spirit.
Ambrosius: Cupiebat ipse quidem corporeae vinculis fragilitatis absolvi; sed expectabat videre promissum; sciebat enim quia beati oculi qui eum viderent. AMBROSE; He desired indeed to be loosed from the chains of bodily infirmity, but he wails to see the promise, for he knew, Happy are those eyes which shall see it.
Gregorius Moralium: In quo etiam discimus quanto desiderio ex plebe Israelitica sancti viri incarnationis eius mysterium videre cupierunt. GREG. Hereby also we learn with what desire the holy men of Israel desired to see the mystery of His incarnation.
Beda: Videre autem mortem, experiri eam significat; multumque felix mortem videbit carnis quicumque Christum domini prius oculis carnis videre sategerit, conversationem habendo in caelesti Ierusalem, templi Dei limina frequentando, hoc est sanctorum, in quibus Deus habitat, exempla sectando. Eadem autem spiritus gratia, qua olim venturum praecognoverat, et nunc venientem cognovit; unde sequitur et venit in spiritu in templum. BEDE; To see death means to undergo it, and happy will he be to see the death of the flesh who has first been enabled to see with the eyes of his heart the Lord Christ, having his conversation in the heavenly Jerusalem, and frequently entering the doors of God’s temple, that is, following the examples of the saints in whom God dwells as in His temple. By the same grace of the Spirit whereby he foreknew Christ would come, he now acknowledges Him come, as it follows, And he came by the Spirit into the temple.
Origenes in Lucam: Et tu si vis tenere Iesum et amplexari manibus, omni labore nitere ut ducem habeas spiritum, veniasque ad templum Dei; sequitur enim et cum inducerent puerum Iesum parentes eius, scilicet Maria mater et Ioseph, qui putabatur pater, ut facerent secundum consuetudinem legis pro eo; et ipse accepit eum in ulnas suas. ORIGEN; If you will touch Jesus and grasp Him in your hands, strive with all your strength to have the Spirit for your guide, and come to the temple of God. For it follows, And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, (i.e. Mary His mother, and Joseph His reputed father,) to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Quam beatus ille sacer ad sacra introitus, per quem ad vitae terminum maturavit. Beatae manus quae verbum vitae palpaverunt, et ulnae quoque quas ad susceptionem paravit. GREG. NYSS. How blessed was that holy entrance to holy things through which he hastened on to the end of life, blessed those hands which handled the word of life, and the arms which were held out to receive Him!
Beda: Accepit autem iustus secundum legem puerum Iesum in ulnas suas, ut significet iustitiam operum, quae ex lege erat, per manus et brachia figuratorum, humili quidem, sed salutari fidei evangelicae gratia mutandum. Accepit senior infantem Christum, ut insinuet hoc saeculum quasi senio iam defessum, ad infantiam et innocentiam Christianae conversationis rediturum. BEDE; Now the righteous man, according to the law, received the Child Jesus in his arms, that he might signify that the legal righteousness of works under the figure of the hands and arms was to be changed for the lowly indeed but saving grace of Gospel faith The old man received the infant Christ, to convey thereby that this world, now worn out as it were with old age, should return to the childlike innocence of the Christian life.

Lectio 9
29 νῦν ἀπολύεις τὸν δοῦλόν σου, δέσποτα, * κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμά σου ἐν εἰρήνῃ: 30 ὅτι εἶδον οἱ ὀφθαλμοί μου τὸ σωτήριόν σου * 31 ὃ ἡτοίμασας κατὰ πρόσωπον πάντων τῶν λαῶν, 32 φῶς εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν ἐθνῶν * καὶ δόξαν λαοῦ σου Ἰσραήλ.
28. - and blessed God, and said, 29. Lord, now let you your servant depart in peace, according to your word: 30. For mine eyes have seen your salvation, 31. Which you have prepared before the face of all people; 32. A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

Origenes in Lucam: Si ad tactum fimbriae vestimenti mulier sanata est, quid putandum est de Simeone, qui in suas ulnas accepit infantem, et gaudebat videns parvulum a se gestari, qui venerat ad vinctos resolvendos, sciens neminem eum posse de claustro corporis emittere cum spe futurae vitae, nisi is quem in brachiis continebat; unde dicitur et benedixit Deum, et dixit: nunc dimittis servum tuum, domine. ORIGEN; If we marvel to hear that a woman was healed by touching the hem of a garment, what must we think of Simeon, who received an Infant in his arms, and rejoiced seeing that the little one he carried was He who had come to let loose the captive! Knowing that no one could release him from the chains of the body with the hope of future life, but He whom he held in his arms. Therefore it is said, And he blessed God, saying, Lord, now let you your servant depart.
Theophylactus: Quod dicit domine, confitentis est quod ipse mortis est et vitae dominus; et sic puerum quem suscepit, Deum confitetur. THEOPHYL. When he says Lord, he confesses that He is the very Lord of both life and death, and so acknowledges the Child whom he held in his arms to be God.
Origenes: Quasi dicat: quamdiu Christum non tenebam, clausus eram, et de vinculis exire non poteram. ORIGEN; As it he said, “As long as I held not Christ, I was in prison, and could not escape from my bonds.”
Basilius: Si autem voces iustorum inquiras, omnes super hoc mundo et eius flebili mora ingemiscunt. Heu mihi, dicit David, quia incolatus meus prolongatus est. BASIL; If you examine the words of the righteous, you will find that they all sorrow over this world and its mournful delay. Alas me! says David, that my habitation is prolonged.
Ambrosius: Vide ergo iustum velut corporeae carcere molis inclusum velle dissolvi, ut incipiat esse cum Christo. Sed qui vult dimitti, veniat in templum, veniat in Ierusalem, expectet Christum domini, accipiat in manibus verbum Dei, et complectatur velut quibusdam fidei suae brachiis; tunc dimittetur ut non videat mortem, qui viderit vitam. AMBROSE; Observe then that this just man, confined as it were in the prison house of his earthly frame, is longing to be loosed, that he may again be with Christ. But whoso would be cleansed, let him come into the temple; - into Jerusalem: let him wait for the Lord’s Christ, let him receive in his hands the word of God, and embrace it as it were with the arms of his faith. Then let him depart that he might not see death who has seen life.
Graecus: Simeon autem benedicebat Deum inter cetera, quod promissa sibi facta sortita erant efficaciae veritatem: nam consolationem Israel oculis prospicere meruit, et manibus portare: et ideo dicit secundum verbum tuum; idest, cum finem obtinuerim promissorum. At ubi visibiliter sensi quod desiderabam, nunc solvis tuum servum, nec gustu mortis attonitum, nec haesitationis cogitationibus conturbatum; et ideo subditur in pace. GREEK EX. Simeon blessed God also, because the promises made to him had received their true fulfillment. For He was reckoned worthy to see with his eyes, and to carry in his arms the consolation of Israel. And therefore he says, According to your word, i.e. since I have obtained the completion of your promises. And now that I have seen with my eyes what was my desire to see, now let you your servant depart, neither dismayed at the taste of death, nor harassed with doubting thoughts: as he adds, in peace.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Quia postquam Christus culpam hostilem destruxit, nos quoque patri reconciliavit, facta est translatio sanctorum in pace. GREG. NYSS. For since Christ has destroyed the enemy, which is sin, and has reconciled us to the Father, the removal of saints has been in peace.
Origenes: Quis est autem qui de saeculo isto recedit in pace, nisi is qui intelligit quod Deus erat in Christo mundum reconcilians sibi; nihilque habet inimicum Deo, sed omnem pacem bonis in se operibus assumpsit? ORIGEN; But who departs from this world in peace, but he who is persuaded that was Christ reconciling the world to Himself; who has nothing hostile to God, having derived to himself all peace by good works in himself?
Graecus: Fuerat autem sibi repromissum non visurum se mortem nisi prius videret Christum domini; et ideo hoc impletum ostendens, subdit quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum. GREEK EX. But it had been twice promised to him that he should not see death before ho should see the Lord’s Christ, and therefore he adds, to show that this promise was fulfilled, For mine eyes have seen your salvation.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Beati oculi tui tam animae quam corporis; hi quidem visibiliter Deum suspicientes, illi vero non solum quae visa sunt attendentes, immo illuminati fulgore spiritus domini, verbum in carne cognoscentes: salutare namque quod tuis oculis percepisti, ipse Iesus est, quo nomine salus declaratur. GREG. NYSS. Blessed are the eyes, both of your soul and your body. For the one visibly embrace God, but the others not considering those things which are seen, but enlightened by the brightness of the Spirit of the Lord, acknowledge the Word made flesh. For the salvation which you have perceived with your eyes is Jesus Himself, by which name salvation is declared.
Cyrillus: Fuerat autem Christi mysterium quod patuit in ultimis temporibus saeculi praeparatum ante mundi originem; unde sequitur quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum. CYRIL; But Christ was the mystery which has been revealed in the last times of the world, having been prepared before the foundation of the world. Hence it follows, which you have prepared before the face of all men.
Athanasius: Scilicet confectam toti mundo per Christum salutem. Qualiter ergo supra dictum est, quod expectabat Israel consolationem? Eo quod scilicet tunc futuram esse consolationem Israel agnovit in spiritu cum et omnibus populis paratum est salutare. ATHAN. That is to say, the salvation wrought by Christ for the whole world. How then was it said above that he was watching for the consolation of Israel, but because he truly perceived in the spirit that consolation would be to Israel at that time when salvation was prepared for all people.
Graecus: Attende etiam sagacitatem digni et venerandi senis: antequam dignus videretur beatae visionis, praestolabatur solamen Israel; ut autem quod sperabat obtinuit, exclamat se vidisse salutem omnium populorum: adeo enim infantis ineffabile iubar illustravit eum, ut processu temporis secutura mox sibi fierent nota. GREEK EX. Mark the wisdom of the good and venerable old man, who before that he was thought worthy of the blessed vision, was waiting for the consolation of Israel, but when he obtained that which he was looking for, exclaims that he saw the salvation of all people. So enlightened was he by the unspeakable radiance of the Child, that the perceived at a glance things that were to happen a long time after.
Theophylactus: Signanter autem dicit ante faciem, ut scilicet omnibus eius incarnatio appareret. Hoc autem salutare dicit esse gentium lumen et gloriam Israel; unde sequitur lumen ad revelationem gentium. THEOPHYL. By these words, Before the face, he signifies that our Lord’s incarnation would be visible to all men. And this salvation he says is to be the light of the Gentiles and the glory of Israel, as it follows, A light to lighten the Gentiles.
Athanasius: Gentes enim ante Christi adventum in ultimis tenebris erant constitutae, cognitione divina privatae. ATHAN. For the Gentiles before the coming of Christ were lying in the deepest darkness, being without the knowledge of God.
Cyrillus: Sed Christus adveniens factus est lux tenebrosis et erraticis, quos diabolica manus pressit. Vocati sunt autem a Deo patre ad notitiam filii, qui est lux vera. CYRIL; But Christ coming was made a light to them that sat in darkness, being sore oppressed by the power of the devil but they were called by God the Father to the knowledge of His Son, Who is the true light.
Athanasius: Israel autem, licet tenuiter, lege illuminabatur; et ideo non dicit quod lumen illis protulerit, sed subdit et gloriam plebis tuae Israel: memorans antiquam historiam, quod sicut olim Moyses dominum alloquendo gloriosam retulit faciem, sic et ipsi divinam humanitatis lucem pertingentes, vetus abicientes velamen, in eamdem imaginem transformarentur de gloria in gloriam. GREG. NYSS. Israel was enlightened though dimly by the law, so he says not that light came to them, but his words are, to be the glory of your people Israel. Calling to mind the ancient history that as of old Moses after speaking with God returned with his face glorious, so they also coming to the divine light of His human nature, casting away their old veil, might be transformed into the same image from glory to glory.
Cyrillus: Nam etsi quidam eorum inobedientes fuerint, tamen reliquiae salvae factae sunt, et per Christum pervenerunt ad gloriam. Harum primitiae fuere divini apostoli, quorum fulgores universum orbem illuminant. Fuit etiam Christus singulariter Israel gloria, quia secundum carnem ex eis processit; quamvis cunctis ut Deus praeesset per saecula benedictus. For although some of them were disobedient, yet a remnant were saved and came through Christ to glory, of which the Apostles were first-fruits, whose brightness illumines the whole world. For Christ was in a peculiar manner the glory of Israel, because according to the flesh He came forth from Israel, although as God He was over all blessed for ever.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Et ideo signanter dixit plebis tuae, quia non ab eis tantum est adoratus, sed insuper ex eis est secundum carnem natus. GREG. NYSS, He said therefore, of your people, signifying that not only was He adored by them, but moreover of them was He born according to the flesh.
Beda: Et bene revelatio gentium, Israelis gloriae praefertur, quia, cum plenitudo gentium introierit, tunc omnis Israel salvus erit. BEDE; And well is the enlightening of the Gentiles put before the glory of Israel, because when the fullness of the Gentiles shall have come in, then shall Israel be safe.

Lectio 10
33 καὶ ἦν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἡ μήτηρ θαυμάζοντες ἐπὶ τοῖς λαλουμένοις περὶ αὐτοῦ. 34 καὶ εὐλόγησεν αὐτοὺς συμεὼν καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς μαριὰμ τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ, ἰδοὺ οὗτος κεῖται εἰς πτῶσιν καὶ ἀνάστασιν πολλῶν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ καὶ εἰς σημεῖον ἀντιλεγόμενον 35 καὶ σοῦ [δὲ] αὐτῆς τὴν ψυχὴν διελεύσεται ῥομφαία, ὅπως ἂν ἀποκαλυφθῶσιν ἐκ πολλῶν καρδιῶν διαλογισμοί.
33. And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him. 34. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; 35. (Yea, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Graecus: Transcendentium rerum notitia quoties in memoriam venerit, toties renovat in mente miraculum; unde dicitur et erant pater eius et mater mirantes super his quae dicebantur de illo. GREEK EX. The knowledge of supernatural things, as often as it is brought to the recollection, renews the miracle in the mind, and hence it is said, His father and mother marveled at those things which were said of him.
Origenes: Qui simpliciter exponit, potest dicere in ruinam eum venisse infidelium, et in resurrectionem credentium.
Origenes in Lucam: Tam ab Angelo quam a multitudine caelestis exercitus, necnon et a pastoribus et ipso Simeone. ORIGEN; Both by the angel and the multitude of the heavenly host, by the shepherds also, and Simeon.
Beda: Patrem salvatoris appellat, non quod vere pater fuerit ei, sed quod ad famam Mariae conservandam pater sit ab omnibus aestimatus. BEDE; Joseph is called the father of the Savior, not because he was (as the Photinians say) His real father, but because from regard to the reputation of Mary, all men considered him so.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Quamvis et eo modo pater illius valeat dici, quo et vir Mariae recte intelligitur sine commixtione carnis, ipsa copulatione coniugii; multo videlicet coniunctius quam si esset aliunde adoptatus. Neque enim propterea non erat appellandus Ioseph pater Christi, quia non eum concumbendo genuerat; quandoquidem pater esset et ei quem non ex sua coniuge procreatum aliunde adoptasset. AUG. He however might be called His father in that light in which, he is rightly regarded as the husband of Mary, that is, not from any carnal connection, but by reason of the very bond of wedlock, a far closer relationship than that of adoption. For that Joseph was not to be called Christ’s father was not, because he had not begotten Him by cohabitation, since in truth he might be a father to one whom he had not begotten from his wife, but had adopted from another.
Origenes: Qui autem altius aliquid inquirit, potest dicere quoniam generationis ordo a David usque ad Ioseph deducitur; et ne videretur frustra Ioseph nominari, quia pater non fuerat salvatoris, ut generationis ordo haberet locum, pater domini appellatus est. ORIGEN; But they who look deeper into the matter may say, that since the genealogy is deduced from David to Joseph, therefore lest Joseph should seem to be mentioned for no purpose, as not being the father of the Savior, he was called His father, that the genealogy might maintain sup. its place.
Graecus: Laudibus autem divinis exhibitis, vertit se Simeon ad benedictionem adducentium puerum; unde sequitur et benedixit illis Simeon. Benedictione igitur utrumque donat; occultorum vero praesagia dirigit tantum ad matrem; quatenus per communem benedictionem non privetur Ioseph similitudine patris; per ea vero quae dicit matri seorsum a Ioseph, veram praedicet genitricem; unde sequitur et dixit ad matrem eius: ecce positus est hic in ruinam et in resurrectionem multorum in Israel. GREEK EX. Having given praise to God, Simeon now turns to bless them that brought the Child, as it follows, And Simeon blessed them. He gave to each a blessing, but his presage of hidden things he imparts only to the mother, in order that in the common blessing He might not deprive Joseph of the likeness of a father, but in what he says to the mother apart from Joseph he might proclaim her to be the true mother.
Ambrosius: Vide uberem in omnes gratiam domini in generatione diffusam, et prophetiam incredulis negatam esse, non iustis. Ecce et Simeon prophetizat, in ruinam et resurrectionem multorum venisse Christum Iesum. AMBROSE; Behold what abundant grace is extended to all men by the birth of the Lord, and how prophecy is withheld from the unbelievers, not from the righteous. Simeon also prophesies that Christ Jesus has come for the fall and rising again of many.
Origenes: Qui simpliciter exponit, potest dicere in ruinam eum venisse infidelium, et in resurrectionem credentium. ORIGEN; They who explain this simply, may say that He came for the fall of unbelievers, and the rising again of believers.
Chrysostomus: Sicut enim lux, etsi oculos debiles turbet, lux est; hoc modo salvator perseverat, etsi corruant plurimi; neque enim est eius officium destructio, sed eorum vesaniae. Quamobrem non solum ex salute bonorum, sed etiam ex malorum dissipatione virtus eius ostenditur; nam sol quoniam multum radiat, propterea visus debiles praecipue perturbat. CHRYS. As the light though it may annoy weak eyes, is still light; in like manner the Savior endures, though many fall away, for His office is not to destroy; but their way is madness. Wherefore not only by the salvation of the good but by the scattering of the wicked, is His power shown. For the sun the brighter it shines, is the more trying to the weak sight.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Attende autem distinctionis exquisitam prolationem: praeparatio quippe salutis dicitur coram omni populo; sed casus et sublevatio plurium. Divinum enim propositum est salus et deificatio singulorum: casus autem et sublevatio consistit in plurium intentione, credentium et non credentium. Quod autem iacentes et increduli subleventur, non est absurdum. GREG. NYSS. Mark the nice distinction here observed. Salvation is said to be prepared before the face of all people, but the falling and raising is of many; for the Divine purpose was the salvation and sanctification of every one whereas the falling and lifting up stands in the will of many believers and unbelievers. But that those who were lying in unbelief should be raised up again is not unreasonable.
Origenes: Qui autem curiosus interpres est, dicit nequaquam eum cadere qui ante non steterit. Da mihi igitur qui fuerit ille qui stetit, et in cuius ruinam salvator advenerit? ORIGEN; The careful interpreter will say, that no one falls who was not before standing. Tell me then, who were they who stood, for whose fall Christ came?
Gregorius Nyssenus: Sed per hoc designat ruinam ad infima: quasi non puniendos aequaliter ante incarnationis mysterium et post datam dispensationem et praedicationem. Et maxime hi sunt ex Israel, quos necesse erat et pristinis bonis carere, et poenas luere graviores quam omnes aliae gentes: eo quod dudum prophetatum in eis et adoratum et ex eis productum minime susceperunt. Idcirco specialiter eis minatur ruinam, non solum a spirituali salute, sed etiam propter destructionem urbis et habitantium civitatem. Resurrectio vero promittitur credentibus, partim quidem velut sub lege iacentibus, et ab eius servitute sublevandis; partim vero velut consepultis cum Christo, et ei consurgentibus.

His autem verbis intellige per concordiam intellectuum ad dicta prophetica, unum et eumdem Deum et legislatorem et in prophetis et in novo testamento locutum esse: lapidem namque ruinae et petram scandali futurum, ne confundantur credentes in eum, sermo propheticus declaravit.

GREG NYSS. But by this he signifies a fall to the very lowest, as if the punishment before the mystery of the incarnation, fell far short of that after the giving and preaching of the Gospel dispensation And those spoken of are chiefly of Israel, who must of necessity forfeit their ancient privileges, and pay a heavier penalty than any other nation, because they were so unwilling to receive Him Who had long been prophesied among them, had been worshipped, and had come forth from them. In a most especial manner then he threatens them with not only a fall from spiritual freedom, but also the destruction of their city, and of those who dwelt among them. But a resurrection is promised to believers, partly indeed as subject to the law, and about to be delivered from its bondage, but partly as buried together with Christ, and rising with Him.

GREG. NYSS. Now from these words, you may perceive through the agreement of men’s minds on the word of prophecy, that one and the same God and lawgiver has spoken both in the Prophets and the New Testament. For the language of prophecy declared that there shall be a stone of falling, and a rock of offense, that they who believe on Him should not be confounded. The fall therefore is to them who are offended with the meanness of His coming in the flesh; the rising again to those who acknowledge the steadfastness of the Divine purpose.

Origenes in Lucam: Est autem et altius quid intelligendum adversus eos qui contra conditorem latrant dicentes: ecce Deus legis et prophetarum, videte qualis sit. Ego, inquit, occidam, et ego vivificabo. Sed si propterea cruentus est iudex et crudelis conditor, quia haec dicit, manifestissimum est et Iesum esse illius filium; eadem siquidem de eo hic scripta sunt, quod veniat in ruinam et resurrectionem multorum. ORIGEN; There is also a deeper meaning aimed against those who raise their voices against their Creator, saying, Behold the God of the Law and the Prophets of what sort He is! He says, I kill, and I make alive. If God then is a bloody judge and a cruel master, it is most plain that Jesus is His Son, since the same things here are written of Him, namely, that He comes for the fall and rising again of many.
Ambrosius: Ut scilicet iustorum iniquorumque merita discernat, et pro nostrorum qualitate factorum iudex verus et iustus aut supplicia decernat aut praemia. AMBROSE; That is, to distinguish the merits of the just and the unjust, and according to the quality of our deeds, as a true and just Judge, to decree punishment or rewards.
Origenes: Videndum est autem ne forte salvator non aeque aliis in ruinam venerit et in resurrectionem: quia enim peccato stabam, primo mihi utilitas fuit ut caderem et peccato morerer. Denique et sancti prophetae cum augustius aliquid contemplabantur, cadebant in faciem suam, ut peccata per ruinam plenius purgarentur: hoc ipsum et salvator tibi primum concedit. Peccator eras; cadat in te peccator, ut possis dehinc resurgere et dicere: si commortui sumus, et convivemus. ORIGEN; But we must take care lest by chance the Savior should not come to some equally for the fall and rising again; for when I stood in sin, it was first good for me to fall, and die to sin. Lastly, Prophets and Saints when they were designing some great thing, used to fall on their faces, that by their fall their sins should be the more fully blotted out. This it is that the Savior first grants to you. You were a sinner, let that which is sin fall in you, that you may thence rise again, and say, If we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him.
Chrysostomus: Resurrectio quidem est conversatio nova: cum enim lascivus castus efficitur, avarus misericors, atrox mansuescit, resurrectio celebratur, mortuo quidem peccato, resurgente vero iustitia. Sequitur et in signum cui contradicetur. CHRYS. The resurrection is a new life and conversation. For when the sensual man becomes chaste, the covetous merciful, the cruel man gentle, a resurrection takes place. Sin being dead, righteousness rises again. It follows, And for a sign which shall be spoken against.
Basilius: Signum contradictionem accipiens proprie crux dicitur a Scriptura. Fecit enim, inquit, Moyses serpentem aeneum, et posuit pro signo. BASIL; The sign which is spoken against is called in Scripture, the cross. For Moses, it says, made a brazen serpent, and placed it for a sign.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Miscet autem dedecus gloriae. Huius enim rei nobis christicolis est hoc signum indicium; contradictionis vero, dum ab his quidem accipitur ut ridiculosum et horribile, ab his vero admodum venerandum. Vel forsan ipsum Christum nominat signum, tamquam supra naturam existentem et signorum auctorem. GREG. NYSS. He has joined together honor and dishonor. For to us Christians this sign is a token of honor, but it is a sign of contradiction, inasmuch by some indeed it is received as absurd and monstrous, by others with the greatest veneration. Or perhaps Christ Himself is termed a sign, as having a supernatural existence, and as the author of signs.
Basilius: Est enim signum alicuius rei mirabilis et occultae indicativum; visum quidem a simplicioribus, intellectum vero ab habentibus exercitatum intellectum. BASIL; For a sign betokens something marvelous and mysterious, which is seen indeed by the simple minded.
Origenes in Lucam: Omnia autem quae de Christo narrat historia, signum sunt cui contradicitur: non quod contradicant hi qui credunt in eum: nos quippe scimus omnia vera esse quae scripta sunt: sed quia apud incredulos universa quae de eo scripta sunt, signum sunt cui contradicetur. ORIGEN; But all the things which history relates of Christ are spoken against, not that those who believe on Him speak against Him, (for we know that all the things which are written of Him are true,) but that every thing which has been written of Him is with the unbelievers a sign which is spoken against.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Haec siquidem de filio dicuntur; spectant tamen ad eius genitricem, dum singula sibi assumit simul periclitata et glorificata: nec tantum prospera, sed illi denuntiat etiam dolorosa; nam sequitur et tuam ipsius animam pertransibit gladius. GREG. NYSS. Though these things are said of the Son, yet they have reference also to His mother, who takes each thing to herself, whether it be of danger or glory. He announces to her not only her prosperity, but her sorrows; for it follows, And a sword shall pierce through your own heart.
Origenes: Nulla docet historia beatam Mariam ex hac vita gladii occisione migrasse; praesertim cum non anima, sed corpus ferro soleat interfici: unde restat intelligi gladium illum de quo dicitur: et gladius in labiis eorum, hoc est, dolorem dominicae passionis animam eius pertransisse: quae etsi Christum utpote Dei filium sponte propria mori, mortemque ipsam non dubitaret esse devicturum: ex sua tamen carne procreatum, non sine doloris affectu potuit videre crucifigi. BEDE; No history tells us that Mary departed this life by being slain with the sword, therefore since not the soul but the body is killed with iron, we are left to understand that sword which is mentioned, And a sword in their lips, that is, grief because of our Lord’s passion passed through her soul, who although she saw Christ the very Son of God die a voluntary death, and doubted not that He who was begotten of her flesh would overcome death, could not without grief see Him crucified.
Ambrosius: Vel prudentiam Mariae non ignaram mysterii caelestis ostendit: vivum est enim verbum Dei, et validum et acutius omni gladio acutissimo. AMBROSE; Or it shows the wisdom of Mary, that she was not ignorant of the heavenly Majesty For the word of God is living and strong, and sharper than the sharpest sword.
Augustinus de quaest. Nov. et Vet. Testam: Vel per hoc significavit quod Maria, per quam gestum est incarnationis mysterium, in morte domini stupore quodam dubitavit, videns filium Dei sic humiliatum ut usque ad mortem descenderet. Et sicut gladius pertransiens iuxta hominem, timorem facit, non percutit; ita et dubitatio moestitiam fecit, non tamen occidit: quia non sedit in animo, sed pertransiit quasi per umbram. AUG. Or by this is signified that Mary also, through whom was performed the mystery of the incarnation, looked with doubt and astonishment at the death of her Lord, seeing the Son of God so humbled as to come down even to death. And as a sword passing close by a man causes fear, though it does not strike him; so doubt also causes sorrow, yet does not kill; for it is not fastened to the mind, but passes through it as through a shadow.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Sed nec ipsam solam in ea passione occupari significat cum subditur ut revelentur ex multis cordibus cogitationes. Quod dicit ut eventum designat; non autem causaliter ponitur. His enim omnibus evenientibus, secuta est erga multos intentionum detectio: quidam enim Deum fatebantur in cruce; alii nec sic ab infamiis et criminationibus desistebant. Vel hoc dictum est, quatenus tempore passionis pateant ex plurium cordibus meditationes, et emendentur per resurrectionem: velox enim illis post ambiguitatem certitudo supervenit: nisi forte revelationem illuminationem quis aestimet, ut solitum est Scripturae. GREG NYSS. But it is not meant that she alone was concerned in that passion, for it is added, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. The word that marks the non event; it is not used causatively; for when all these events took place, there followed the discovery of many men’s intentions. For some confessed God on the cross, others even then ceased not from their blasphemies and revilings. Or this was said, meaning that at the time of the passion the thoughts of men’s hearts should be laid open, and be corrected by the resurrection. For doubts are quickly superseded by certainty. Or perhaps by revealing may be meant, the enlightening of the thoughts, as it is often used in Scripture.
Beda: Sed et usque ad consummationem saeculi praesentis Ecclesiae animam gladius durissimae tribulationis pertransire non cessat, cum signo fidei ab improbis contradici; cum audito Dei verbo multos cum Christo resurgere, sed plures a credulitate ruere, gemebunda pertractat; cum revelatis multorum cordium cogitationibus, ubi optimum Evangelii sevit semen, ibi zizania vitiorum vel plus iusto praevalere, vel sola germinare conspicit. BEDE; But now even down to the close of the present time, the sword of the severest tribulation ceases not to go through the soul of the Church, when with bitter sorrow she experiences the evil speaking against the sign of faith, when hearing the word of God that many are raised with Christ, she finds still more falling from the faith, when at the revealing of the thoughts of many hearts, in which the good seed of the Gospel has been sown, she beholds the tares of vice overshooting it, spreading beyond it, or growing alone.
Origenes in Lucam: Cogitationes etiam malae in hominibus erant; quae propterea revelatae sunt, ut occideret eas ille qui pro nobis mortuus est. Quamdiu enim absconditae erant, impossibile erat eas penitus interfici; unde et nos si peccaverimus, debemus dicere: iniquitatem meam non abscondi. Si enim revelaverimus peccata nostra non solum Deo, sed his qui possunt mederi vulneribus nostris, delebuntur peccata nostra. ORIGEN; But the evil thoughts of men were revealed, that He Who died for us might slay them; for while they were hidden, it was impossible to utterly destroy them. Hence also when we have sinned we ought to say, Mine iniquity have I not hid. For if we make known our sins not only to God, but to whoever can heal our wounds, our sins will be blotted out.

Lectio 11
36 καὶ ἦν ἅννα προφῆτις, θυγάτηρ φανουήλ, ἐκ φυλῆς ἀσήρ: αὕτη προβεβηκυῖα ἐν ἡμέραις πολλαῖς, ζήσασα μετὰ ἀνδρὸς ἔτη ἑπτὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παρθενίας αὐτῆς, 37 καὶ αὐτὴ χήρα ἕως ἐτῶν ὀγδοήκοντα τεσσάρων, ἣ οὐκ ἀφίστατο τοῦ ἱεροῦ νηστείαις καὶ δεήσεσιν λατρεύουσα νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν. 38 καὶ αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἐπιστᾶσα ἀνθωμολογεῖτο τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἐλάλει περὶ αὐτοῦ πᾶσιν τοῖς προσδεχομένοις λύτρωσιν ἰερουσαλήμ.
36. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37. And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise to the Lord, and spoke of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Ambrosius in Lucam: Prophetaverat Simeon, prophetaverat copulata coniugio, prophetaverat virgo, debuit et vidua prophetare; nec qua professio deesset aut sexus; et ideo dicitur et erat Anna prophetissa filia Phanuel de tribu Aser. AMBROSE; Simeon had prophesied, a woman united in marriage had prophesied, a virgin had prophesied, it was meet also that a widow should prophesy, that there might lack no sex or condition of life, and therefore it is said, And there was one Anna a prophetess.
Theophylactus: Immoratur Evangelista circa Annae descriptionem, et patrem et tribum enarrans; testes quasi multos adducens qui patrem et tribum viderunt. THEOPHYL. The Evangelist dwells some time on the account of Anna, mentioning both her father’s tribe, and adding, as it were, many witnesses who knew her father and her tribe.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Vel quia tunc temporis cum hac aliae quaedam eodem nomine nuncupabantur. Ut igitur ad eam manifesta discretio fieret patrem eius commemorat, et generis qualitatem describit. GREG NYSS. Or because at that time there were several others who were called by the same name, that there might be a plain way of distinguishing her, he mentions her father, and describes the quality of her parents.
Ambrosius: Anna vero et stipendiis viduitatis et moribus talis inducitur ut digna fuisse credatur quae redemptorem omnium nuntiaret; unde sequitur haec processerat in diebus multis, et vixerat cum viro suo annis septem a virginitate sua, et haec vidua usque ad annos octuaginta quatuor. AMBROSE; Now Anna, both from the duties of her widowhood and her manner of life, is found to be such that she is thought worthy to announce the Redeemer of the world. As it follows, She was of a great age, and had lived with her husband, &c.
Origenes in Lucam: Neque enim spiritus sanctus fortuito habitavit in ea: bonum enim est primum si qua potest virginitatis gratiam possidere; si autem hoc non potuerit, sed evenerit ei ut perdat virum, vidua perseveret: quod quidem non solum post mortem viri, sed etiam cum ille vivit, debet habere in animo ut etiam si non evenerit, voluntas ipsius et propositum a domino coronetur, et dicat: hoc voveo, hoc promitto: si mihi humanum aliquid, quod non opto, contigerit, nihil aliud faciam quam incontaminata, et vidua perseverem. Iuste ergo sancta mulier spiritum prophetandi meruit accipere, quia longa castitate, longis etiam ieiuniis ad hoc culmen ascenderat; unde sequitur quae non discedebat de templo, ieiuniis et obsecrationibus serviens die ac nocte. ORIGEN; For the Holy Spirit dwelt not by chance in her. For the highest blessing, if any can possess it, is the grace of virginity, but if this cannot be, and it chance to a woman to lose her husband, let her remain a widow, which indeed not only after the death of her husband, but even while he is living, she ought to have in her mind, that supposing it should not happen, her will and determination might be crowned by the Lord, and her words should be, “This I vow, and promise, that if a certain condition of this life be mine, (which yet I wish not,) I will do nothing else but remain inviolate and a widow.” Most justly then was this holy woman thought worthy to receive the gift of prophecy, because by long chastity and long fastings she had ascended to this height of virtue, as It follows, Who departed not from the temple with fastings and prayers, &c.
Gregorius Nyssenus: In quo liquet quod ceterarum virtutum inerat ei congeries. Et aspice eam conformem Simeoni virtutibus: simul enim erant in templo, simul etiam digni reputati sunt prophetica gratia; unde sequitur et haec ipsa hora superveniens confitebatur domino;

hoc est, regratiabatur, videndo mundi salutem in Israel, et confitebatur de Iesu, quoniam ipse esset redemptor, idemque salvator; unde sequitur et loquebatur de illo omnibus qui expectabant redemptionem Israel.

Verum quia Anna prophetissa modicum aliquid et non nimis clarum de Christo disseruit, Evangelium non seriatim induxit quae ab ea sunt dicta. Forsan autem ob hoc aliquis Simeonem praevenisse fatebitur, eo quod is quidem formam legis gerebat: nam et ipsum nomen notat obedientiam; illa vero gratiae, quod interpretatio nominis manifestat: inter quos Christus medius erat: idcirco illum quidem dimisit cum lege morientem, hanc vero fovet ultra viventem per gratiam.

ORIGEN; From which it is plain that she possessed a multitude of other virtues, and mark how she resembles Simeon in his goodness, for they were both in the temple together, anti both counted worthy of prophetic grace, as it follows, And she coming in at this very instant, gave thanks to the Lord.

THEOPHYL. That is, returned thanks for seeing in Israel the Savior of the world, and she confessed of Jesus that He was the Redeemer and the Savior. Hence it follows, And she spoke of him to all, &c.

ORIGEN; But because Anna’s words were nothing remarkable, and of no great note respecting Christ, the Gospel does not give the particulars of what she said, and perhaps for this reason one may suppose that Simeon anticipated her, since he indeed bore the character of the law, (for his name signifies obedience,) but she the character of grace, (which her name is by interpretation,) and Christ came between them. Therefore He let Simeon depart dying with the law, but Anna he sustains living beyond through grace.

Beda: Iuxta intellectum etiam mysticum Anna Ecclesiam significat, quae in praesenti sponsi sui est morte quasi viduata. Numerus etiam annorum viduitatis eius tempus Ecclesiae designat, quo in corpore constituta peregrinatur a domino. Septies quippe duodeni octuaginta quatuor faciunt: et septem quidem ad huius saeculi cursum, qui diebus septem volvitur, duodecim vero ad perfectionem doctrinae apostolicae pertinent. Ideoque sive universalis Ecclesia, seu quaelibet anima fidelis, quae totum vitae suae tempus apostolicis curat mancipare institutis, octoginta quatuor annis domino servire laudatur. Tempus etiam septem annorum, quo cum viro suo manserat, congruit: nam propter dominicae privilegium maiestatis, quo in carne versatus docuit, in signum perfectionis simplex septem annorum est numerus expressus. Arridet etiam Ecclesiae mysteriis et Anna, quae gratia eius interpretatur, et filia est Phanuelis, qui facies Dei dicitur, et de tribu Aser, idest beati, descendit. BEDE; According to the mystical meaning, Anna signifies the Church, who at present is indeed a widow by the death of her Husband; the number also of the years of her widowhood marks the time of the Church, at which established in the body, she is separated from the Lord. For seven times twelve make eighty-four, seven indeed referring to the course of this world, which revolves in seven days; but twelve had reference to the perfection of Apostolic teaching, and therefore the Universal Church, or any faithful soul which strives to devote the whole period of its life to the following of Apostolic practice, is said to serve the Lord for eighty-four years. The term also of seven years, during which she lived with her husband, coincides. For through the prerogative of our Lord’s greatness, whereby abiding in the flesh, He taught, the simple number of seven years was taken to express the sign of perfection. Anna also favors the mysteries of the Church, being by interpretation its “grace,” and being both the daughter of Phanuel, who is called “the face of God,” and descended from the tribe of Aser, i.e. the blessed.

Lectio 12
39 καὶ ὡς ἐτέλεσαν πάντα τὰ κατὰ τὸν νόμον κυρίου, ἐπέστρεψαν εἰς τὴν γαλιλαίαν εἰς πόλιν ἑαυτῶν ναζαρέθ. 40 τὸ δὲ παιδίον ηὔξανεν καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο πληρούμενον σοφίᾳ, καὶ χάρις θεοῦ ἦν ἐπ' αὐτό. 41 καὶ ἐπορεύοντο οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ κατ' ἔτος εἰς ἰερουσαλὴμ τῇ ἑορτῇ τοῦ πάσχα.
39. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. 40. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. 41. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.

Beda: Praetermisit hoc loco Lucas quae a Matthaeo satis exposita noverat: dominum videlicet post hoc, ne ab Herode necandus inveniretur, in Aegyptum a parentibus esse delatum, defunctoque Herode, sic demum in Galilaeam reversum, Nazareth civitatem suam inhabitare coepisse. Solent enim Evangelistae singuli sic omittere quaedam quae vel ab aliis commemorata viderunt, vel ab aliis commemoranda in spiritu praeviderunt, ut continuata suae narrationis serie, quasi nulla praetermisisse videantur; quae tamen, alterius Evangelistae considerata Scriptura, quo loco transita fuerint, diligens lector inveniat. Unde multis praetermissis, Lucas dicit et ut perfecerunt omnia secundum legem domini, reversi sunt in Galilaeam in civitatem suam Nazareth. BEDE; Luke has omitted in this place what he knew to have been sufficiently set forth by Matthew, that the Lord after this, for fear that He should be discovered and put to death by Herod, was carried by His parents into Egypt, and at Herod’s death, having at length returned to Galilee, came to dwell in His own city Nazareth. For the Evangelists individually are wont to omit certain things which they either know to have been, or in the Spirit foresee will be, related by others, so that in the connected chain of their narrative, they seem as it were to have omitted nothing, whereas by examining the writings of another Evangelist, the careful reader may discover the places where the omissions have been. Thus after omitting many things, Luke says, And when they had accomplished all things, &c.
Theophylactus: Erat quidem eorum civitas Bethlehem sicut patria, Nazareth vero tamquam habitaculum. THEOPHYL. Bethlehem was indeed their city, their paternal city, Nazareth the place of their abode.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Forte autem hoc movet quomodo dicat Matthaeus propterea cum puero parentes eius iisse in Galilaeam, quia metu Archelai in Iudaeam ire noluerunt; cum propterea magis iisse in Galilaeam videantur, quia civitas eorum erat Nazareth Galilaeae, sicut Lucas hic non tacet. Sed intelligendum est, ubi Angelus in somnis in Aegypto dixit ad Ioseph: surge, et accipe puerum et matrem eius, et vade in terram Israel, sic intellectum primo esse a Ioseph, ut putaret iussum se esse pergere in Iudaeam: ipsa enim intelligi primitus potuit terra Israel. Porro autem postea, quoniam comperit illic regnare filium Herodis Archelaum, noluit obicere se illi periculo; cum posset terra Israel etiam sic intelligi, ut etiam Galilaea illi deputaretur, quia et ipsam populus Israel incolebat. AUG. Perhaps it may strike you as strange that Matthew should say that His parents went with the young Child into Galilee because they were unwilling to go to Judea for fear of Archelaus, when they seem to have gone into Galilee rather because their city was Nazareth in Galilee, as Luke in this place explains it. But we must consider, that when the Angel said in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Rise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, it was at first understood by Joseph as a command to go into Judea, for so at first sight the land of Israel might have been taken to mean. But when afterwards he finds that Herod’s son Archelaus was king, he was unwilling to be exposed to that danger, seeing the land of Israel might also be understood to include Galilee also as a part of it, for there also the people of Israel dwelt.
Graecus: Vel aliter. Enumerat hic Lucas tempus ante descensum in Aegyptum; neque enim ante purgationem eam Ioseph deduxisset. Ante vero quam in Aegyptum descenderent, non receperant per oracula ut Nazareth pergerent; immo quasi libentius in patria conversantes, illuc ultro pergebant. Cum enim ad nihil aliud ascensus in Bethlehem evenisset nisi causa descriptionis, expedito eo cuius causa ascenderant, descendunt in Nazareth. GREEK EX. Or again, Luke is here describing the time before the descent to Egypt, for before her purification Joseph had not taken Mary there But before they went down into Egypt, they were not told by God to go to Nazareth but as living more freely in their own country, thither of their own accord they went; for since the going up to Bethlehem was for no other reason but the taxing, when that was accomplished they go down to Nazareth.
Theophylactus: Poterat autem secundum corpus ex ipso utero in mensura maturae aetatis prodire; sed videretur hoc secundum phantasiam: propterea paulatim crescit; unde sequitur puer autem crescebat et confortabatur. THEOPHYL. Now our Lord might have come forth from the womb in the stature of mature age, but this would seem like something imaginary; therefore His growth is gradual, as it follows, And the child grew, and waxed strong.
Beda: Notanda est distinctio verborum: quia dominus Iesus Christus in eo quod puer erat, idest habitum humanae fragilitatis induerat, crescere et confortari habebat. BEDE; We must observe the distinction of words, that the Lord Jesus Christ in that He was a child, that is, had put on the condition of human weakness, was daily growing and being strengthened.
Athanasius contra Arianos: Ceterum si, secundum quosdam, caro in divinam naturam mutata est, quomodo capiebat augmentum? Increato enim augmentum attribuere nefarium est. ATHAN. But if as some say the flesh was changed into a Divine nature, how did it derive growth? for to attribute growth to an uncreated substance is impious.
Cyrillus: Decenter vero aetatis incremento sapientiae coniunxit augmentum, cum dicit et confortabatur, scilicet spiritu; nam iuxta mensuram aetatis corporeae, natura divina sapientiam propriam revelabat. CYRIL; Rightly with the A growth in age, St. Luke has united increase in wisdom, as he says, And he was strengthened, (i.e. in spirit.) For in proportion to the measure of bodily growth, the Divine nature developed its own wisdom.
Theophylactus: Si enim dum parvus aetate erat, omnem sapientiam demonstrasset, videretur prodigium; sed per profectum aetatis seipsum ostendebat, ut totum impleret orbem. Non autem quasi suscipiens sapientiam, spiritu confortari dicitur: quod enim ab initio perfectissimum est, quomodo potest deinde perfectius fieri? Unde sequitur plenus sapientia; et gratia Dei erat in illo. THEOPHYL. For if while yet a little child, He had displayed His wisdom, He would have seemed a miracle, but together with the advance of age He gradually showed Himself, so as to fill the whole world. For not as receiving wisdom is He said to be strengthened in spirit. For that which is most perfect in the beginning, how can that become any more perfect. Hence it follows, Filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was in him.
Beda: Sapientia quidem, quia in ipso habitat omnis plenitudo divinitatis corporaliter; gratia autem, quia homini Iesu Christo magna gratia donatum est ut ex quo homo fieri coepisset, perfectus esset et Deus; multo autem magis in eo quod verbum Dei et Deus erat, nec confortari indigebat, nec habebat augeri. Adhuc autem cum parvulus esset, habebat gratiam Dei; ut quomodo in illo omnia mirabilia fuerant, ita et pueritia mirabilis esset, ut Dei sapientia compleretur. Sequitur et ibant parentes eius per omnes annos in Ierusalem, in die solemni Paschae. BEDE; Wisdom truly, for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, but grace, because it was in great grace given to the man Christ Jesus, that from the time He began to be man He should be perfect man and perfect God. But much rather because He was the word of God, and God needed not to be strengthened, nor was in a state of growth. But while He was yet a little child He had the grace of God, that as in Him all things were wonderful, His childhood also might be wonderful, so as to be filled with the wisdom of God. It follows, And his parents went every year to Jerusalem, at the feast of the Passover.
Chrysostomus: In Hebraeorum solemnitatibus non solum tempus, sed etiam locum observare lex iusserat: et ideo nec domini parentes extra Hierosolymam celebrare Pascha volebant. CHRYS. At the feast of the Hebrews the law commanded men not, only to observe the time, but the place, and so the Lord’s parents wished to celebrate the feast of the Passover only at Jerusalem.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Quomodo autem ibant parentes eius per omnes annos pueritiae Christi in Ierusalem, si Archelai timore illuc prohibebantur accedere? Hoc mihi dissolvere non esset difficile, nec si aliquis Evangelistarum expressisset quamdiu regnaret Archelaus: fieri enim poterat ut per diem festum inter tam ingentem turbam latenter ascenderent mox reversuri; ubi tamen aliis diebus habitare metuerunt, ut nec solemnitate praetermissa essent irreligiosi, nec continua mansione conspicui. Cum vero etiam de regno Archelai omnes quam fuerit diuturnum tacuerint, iste quoque intellectus patet: quod Lucas dicit, per omnes annos eos ascendere solitos in Ierusalem, tunc accipimus factum, cum iam non timeretur Archelaus. AUG. But it may be asked, how did His parents go up all the years of Christ’s childhood to Jerusalem, if they were prevented from going there by fear of Archelaus? This question might be easily answered, even had some one of the Evangelists mentioned how long Archelaus reigned. For it were possible that on the feast day amid so great a crowd they might secretly come, and soon return again, at the same time that they feared to remain there on other days, so as neither to be wanting in religious duties by neglecting the feast, nor leave themselves open to detection by a constant abode there. But now since all have been silent as to the length of Archelaus’ reign, it is plain that when Luke says, They were accustomed to go up every year to Jerusalem, we are to understand that to have been when Archelaus was no longer feared.

Lectio 13
42 καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἐτῶν δώδεκα, ἀναβαινόντων αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἑορτῆς 43 καὶ τελειωσάντων τὰς ἡμέρας, ἐν τῷ ὑποστρέφειν αὐτοὺς ὑπέμεινεν Ἰησοῦς ὁ παῖς ἐν ἰερουσαλήμ, καὶ οὐκ ἔγνωσαν οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ. 44 νομίσαντες δὲ αὐτὸν εἶναι ἐν τῇ συνοδίᾳ ἦλθον ἡμέρας ὁδὸν καὶ ἀνεζήτουν αὐτὸν ἐν τοῖς συγγενεῦσιν καὶ τοῖς γνωστοῖς, 45 καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ὑπέστρεψαν εἰς ἰερουσαλὴμ ἀναζητοῦντες αὐτόν. 46 καὶ ἐγένετο μετὰ ἡμέρας τρεῖς εὗρον αὐτὸν ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ καθεζόμενον ἐν μέσῳ τῶν διδασκάλων καὶ ἀκούοντα αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπερωτῶντα αὐτούς: 47 ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες οἱ ἀκούοντες αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ τῇ συνέσει καὶ ταῖς ἀποκρίσεσιν αὐτοῦ. 48 καὶ ἰδόντες αὐτὸν ἐξεπλάγησαν, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ, τέκνον, τί ἐποίησας ἡμῖν οὕτως; ἰδοὺ ὁ πατήρ σου κἀγὼ ὀδυνώμενοι ἐζητοῦμέν σε. 49 καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς, τί ὅτι ἐζητεῖτέ με; οὐκ ᾔδειτε ὅτι ἐν τοῖς τοῦ πατρός μου δεῖ εἶναί με;
42. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. 43. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. 44. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. 45. And when they found him not, they turned back again to 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, both hearing them, and asking them questions. 47. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. 48. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said to him, Son, why have you thus dealt with us? behold, your father and I have sought your sorrowing. 49. And he said to them, How is it that you sought me? wist you not that I must be about my Father’s business? 50. And they understood not the saying which he spoke to them.

Cyrillus: Quia dixerat Evangelista quod puer crescebat et confortabatur, proprium sermonem verificat, inducens Iesum una cum sacra virgine in Ierusalem ascendentem: unde dicitur et cum factus esset Iesus annorum duodecim, ascendentibus illis in Hierosolymam, et cetera. CYRIL; The Evangelist having said before that the Child grew and waxed strong, verifies his own words when he relates, that Jesus with the holy Virgin went up to Jerusalem; as it is said, And when he was twelve years old, &c.
Graecus: Non enim indicium sapientiae transcendit aetatis mensuram; sed quo tempore penes nos discretionis ratio perfici consuevit, duodecimo scilicet anno, Christi sapientia demonstratur. GREEK EX. His indication of wisdom did not exceed the measure of His age, but at the time that with us the powers of discernment are generally perfected, the wisdom of Christ shows itself.
Ambrosius in Lucam: Vel a duodecimo anno dominicae sumitur disputationis exordium: hic enim praedicandae fidei evangelizantium numerus debebatur. AMBROSE; Or the twelfth year was the commencement of our Lord’s disputation with the doctors, for this was the number of the Evangelists necessary to preach the faith.
Basilius: Possumus et hoc dicere: quia sicut septenario numero, sic et duodenario, qui multiplicatis inter se invicem septenarii partibus constat, vel rerum vel temporum universitas ac perfectio designetur: atque ideo quo omnia loca vel tempora doceat occupari, recte a duodecimo numero iubar Christi sumit exordium. BEDE; We may also say, that as by the seventh number, so also by the twelfth, (which consists of the parts of seven multiplied alternately by one another,) the universality and perfection of either things or times is signified, and therefore rightly from the number twelve, the glory of Christ takes its beginning, being that by which all places and times are to be filled.
Beda: Quod autem dominus per omnes annos cum parentibus in Pascha Hierosolymam venit, humilitatis est humanae indicium: hominis namque est ad offerenda Deo sacrificia concurrere, et eum orationibus conciliare. Fecit ergo dominus, inter homines homo natus, quod faciendum hominibus per Angelos imperavit Deus: unde dicitur secundum consuetudinem diei festi. Sequamur igitur iter humanae conversationis eius, si deitatis gloriam delectamur intueri. BEDE; Now that the Lord came up every year to Jerusalem at the Passover, betokens His humility as a man, for it is, man’s duty to meet together to offer sacrifices to God, and conciliate Him with prayers. Accordingly the Lord as man, did among men what God by angels commended c men to do. Hence it is said, According to the custom of the feast day. Let us follow then the journey of His mortal life, if we delight to behold the glory of His divine nature.
Graecus: Celebrato autem festo, aliis remeantibus, Iesus latenter remansit; unde sequitur consummatisque diebus, cum redirent, remansit puer Iesus in Ierusalem; et non cognoverunt parentes eius. Dicit autem consummatis diebus, quia septem diebus durabat solemnitas. Ideo autem latenter remanet, ne parentes impedimento essent disputationi peragendae cum legisperitis: vel forsitan hoc evitans, ne videatur parentes contemnere, si mandantibus non pareret. Latenter ergo remanet, ne aut retrahatur, aut sit inobediens. GREEK EX. The feast having been celebrated, while the rest returned, Jesus secretly tarried behind. As it follows, And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and his parents knew not of it. It is said, When the days were accomplished, because the feast lasted seven days. But the reason of His tarrying behind in secret was, that His parents might not be a hindrance to His carrying on the discussion with the lawyers; or perhaps to avoid appearing to despise his parents by not obeying their commands. He remains therefore secretly, that he might neither be kept away nor be disobedient.
Origenes in Lucam: Non autem miremur parentes vocatos, quorum alter ob partum, alter ob obsequium, patris et matris meruerunt vocabula. ORIGEN; But we must not wonder that they are called His parents, seeing the one from her childbirth, the other from his knowledge of it, deserved the names of father and mother.
Beda: Sed quaeret aliquis quomodo Dei filius tanta parentum cura nutritus, potuerit obliviscendo relinqui. Cui respondendum: quia filiis Israel moris fuit ut temporibus festis vel Hierosolymam confluentes, vel ad propria redeuntes, seorsum viri, seorsum feminae incederent, infantesque vel pueri cum quolibet parente indifferenter ire potuerunt; ideoque Mariam vel Ioseph vicissim putasse puerum Iesum, quem secum non cernebant, cum altero parente reversum; unde sequitur existimantes autem illum esse in comitatu, venerunt iter diei, et requirebant eum inter cognatos et notos. BEDE; But some one will ask, how was it that the Son of God, brought up by His parents with such care, could be left behind from forgetfulness? To which it is answered, that the custom of the children of Israel while assembling at Jerusalem on the feast days, or returning to their homes, was for the women and men to go separately, and the infants or children to go with either parent indiscriminately. And so both Mary and Joseph each thought in turn that the Child Jesus, whom they saw not with them, was returning with the other parent. Hence it follows, But they, supposing him to have been in the company, &c.
Origenes: Sicut autem quando insidiabantur ei Iudaei, elapsus est de medio eorum, et non apparuit; sic et nunc puto remansisse puerum Iesum, et parentes eius ubi remanserit ignorasse: sequitur enim et non invenientes, reversi sunt in Ierusalem, requirentes eum. ORIGEN; But as when the Jews plotted against Him He escaped from the midst of them, and was not seen; so now it seems that the Child Jesus remained, and His parents knew not where He was. As it follows, And not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem seeking for him.
Glossa: Una quidem die reversi sunt a Ierusalem; secunda quaerunt inter cognatos et notos; et non invenientes, tertia die regressi sunt in Ierusalem, et ibi invenerunt; unde sequitur et factum est post triduum, invenerunt eum in templo. GLOSS. They were on their way home, one day’s journey from Jerusalem; on the second day they seek for Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance, and when they found Him not, they returned on the third day to Jerusalem, and there they found Him. As it follows, And it came to pass, after three days they found him.
Origenes: Non statim ut quaeritur invenitur: non enim inter cognatos et carnis propinquos invenitur Iesus: neque enim poterat humana cognatio Dei filium continere. Non invenitur inter notos, quia maior est mortali notitia. In multorum comitatu non potest inveniri; nec ubique invenerunt, sed in templo. Et tu ergo quaere Iesum in templo Dei, quaere in Ecclesia, ubi Christi sermonem atque sapientiam, idest filium Dei, reperies. ORIGEN; He is not found as soon as sought for, for Jesus was not among His kinsfolk and relations, among those who are joined to Him in the flesh, nor in the company of the multitude can He be found. Learn where those who seek Him find Him, not every where, but in the temple. And do you then seek Jesus in the temple of God. Seek Him in the Church, and seek Him among the masters who are in the temple. For if you wilt so seek Him, you shall find Him. They found Him not among His kinsfolk, for human relations could not comprehend the Son of God; not among His acquaintance, for He passes far beyond all human knowledge and understanding. Where then do they find Him? In the temple! If at any time you seek the Son of God, seek Him first in the temple, thither go up, and verily shall you find Christ, the Word, and the Wisdom, (i.e. the Son of God.)
Ambrosius: Post triduum reperitur in templo, ut esset indicio quia post triduum triumphalis passionis, in sede caelesti et honore divino fidei nostrae se ostenderet, resurgens qui mortuus credebatur. AMBROSE; After three days He is found in the temple, that it might be for a sign, that after three days of victorious suffering, He who was believed to be dead should rise again anti manifest Himself to our faith, seated in heaven with divine glory.
Glossa: Vel quia quaesitus adventus Christi a patriarchis ante legem non est inventus, quaesitus a prophetis et iustis sub lege non est inventus: quaesitus a gentilibus sub gratia invenitur. GLOSS. Or because the advent of Christ, which was looked for by the Patriarchs before the Law, was not found, nor again, that which was sought for by prophets and just men under the Law, but that alone is found which is sought for by Gentiles under grace.
Origenes: Quia vero parvulus erat, invenitur in medio praeceptorum, sanctificans et erudiens eos; unde dicitur sedentem in medio doctorum, audientem illos, et interrogantem; et hoc, pietatis officio, ut nos doceret quid pueris, quamvis sapientes et eruditi sint, conveniret, ut audiant potius magistros quam docere desiderent, et se vana ostentatione non iactent. Interrogabat autem non ut addisceret, sed ut interrogans erudiret: ex uno quippe doctrinae fonte manat et interrogare et respondere sapienter; unde sequitur stupebant autem omnes qui eum audiebant, super prudentia et responsis suis. ORIGEN; Because moreover He was the Son of God, He is found in the midst of the doctors, enlightening and instructing them. But because He was a little child, He is found among them not teaching but asking questions, as it is said, Sitting in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. And this He did as a duty of reverence, that He might set us an example of the proper behavior of children, though they be wise and learned, rather to hear their masters than teach them, and not to vaunt themselves with empty boasting. But He asked not that He might learn, but that asking He might instruct. For from the same source of learning is derived both the power of asking and answering wisely, as it follows, All who heard him were astonished at his wisdom.
Beda: Ad ostendendum enim quia homo erat, homines magistros humiliter audiebat; ad probandum vero quia Deus erat, eisdem loquentibus sublimiter respondebat. BEDE; To show that He was a man, He humbly listened to the masters; but to prove that He was God, He divinely answered those who spoke.
Graecus: Quaerit enim rationabiliter, audit prudenter, respondetque prudentius: quod stuporem faciebat; unde sequitur et videntes admirati sunt. GREEK EX. He asks questions with reason, He listens M with wisdom, and answers with more wisdom, so as to cause astonishment. As it follows, And they who saw it were astonished.
Chrysostomus super Ioannem: Nullum quippe miraculum egit dominus in pueritia; hoc tamen unum prodit Lucas, per quod mirabilis videbatur. CHRYS. The Lord truly did no miracle in His childhood, yet this one fact St. Luke mentions, which made men look with wonder upon Him.
Beda: Divina siquidem lingua sapientiam prodebat, sed infirmitatem aetas praetendebat humanam: unde Iudaei inter alta quae audiunt, et infima quae vident, dubia admiratione turbantur. Nos autem nequaquam miremur, scientes secundum Isaiae prophetiam quod sic parvulus natus est nobis quod permanet Deus fortis. BEDE; For from His tongue there went forth divine wisdom, while His age exhibited man’s helplessness, and hence the Jews, amid the high things they hear and the lowly things they see, are perplexed with doubts and astonishment. But we can in no wise wonder, knowing the words of the Prophet, that thus unto us a Is Child is born, that He abides the mighty God.
Graecus: Miranda vero Dei genitrix maternis affecta visceribus, quasi cum lamentis inquisitionem dolorosam ostendit, et omnia sicut mater et fiducialiter, et humiliter, et affectuose exprimit; unde sequitur et dixit mater eius ad illum: fili, quid fecisti nobis sic? Ecce pater tuus et ego dolentes quaerebamus te. GREEK EX. But the ever-wonderful mother of God, moved by a mother’s feelings, as it w were with weeping makes her mournful inquiry, in every thing like a mother, with confidence, humility, and affection. As it follows, And his mother said to him, Son, what have you done?
Origenes: Noverat virgo sacrata hunc non esse filium Ioseph; et tamen patrem vocat illius sponsum suum, propter Iudaeorum suspicionem, aestimantium ipsum vulgo fore conceptum. Dicetur autem forte simplicius, quod eum honoravit spiritus sanctus patris nomine, eo quod puerum Iesum educavit; artificiosius vero eo quod genealogiam Ioseph ex David produxit, ne superflua censeretur. Cur autem dolentes eum quaerebant? An ex eo quod perierit puer, an erraverit? Absit. Numquid etiam fieri poterat ut perditum formidarent infantem quem dominum esse cognoverant? Sed quomodo tu, si quando Scripturas legis, quaeris in eis sensum cum dolore, non quod Scripturas errasse arbitreris; sed veritatem quam intrinsecus habent, quaeris invenire; ita illi quaerebant Iesum, ne forte relinquens eos reversus esset ad caelos, cum illi placuisset iterum descensurus. Oportet ergo eum qui quaerit Iesum, non negligenter et dissolute transire, sicut multi quaerunt, et non inveniunt; sed cum labore et dolore. ORIGEN; The holy Virgin knew that He was not the Son of Joseph, and yet calls her husband His father according to the belief of the Jews, who thought that He was conceived in the common way. Now to speak generally we may say, that the Holy Spirit honored Joseph by the name of father, because he brought up the Child Jesus; but more technically, that it might not seem superfluous in St. Luke, bringing down the genealogy from David to Joseph. But why sought they Him sorrowing? Was it that he might have perished or been lost? It could not be. For what should cause them to dread the loss of Him whom they knew to be the Lord? But as whenever you read the Scriptures you search out their meaning with pains, not that you suppose them to have erred or to contain any thing incorrect, but that the truth which they have inherent in them you are anxious to find out; so they sought Jesus, lest perchance leaving them he should have returned to heaven, thither to descend when He would. He then who seeks Jesus must go about it not carelessly and idly, as many seek Him who never find Him, but with labor and sorrow.
Glossa: Vel metuebant ne, quod Herodes in infantia eius patrasse quaesierat, tunc iam in pueritia positum, inventa opportunitate, alii interficerent. GLOSS. Or they feared lest Herod who sought Him in His infancy, now that He was advanced to boyhood might find an opportunity of putting Him to death.
Graecus: Sed ipse dominus respondet ad omnia, et corrigens quodammodo dictum eius de eo qui putabatur pater, verum patrem manifestat, docens non per infima gradi, sed in altum extolli; unde sequitur et ait ad illos: quid est quod me quaerebatis? GREEK EX. But the Lord Himself sets every thing at rest, and correcting as it were her saying concerning him who was His reputed father, manifests His true Father, teaching us not to walk on the ground, but to raise ourselves on high, as it follows, And he says to them, What is it that you ask of me?
Beda: Non eos quod filium quaerant vituperat; sed quid ei potius cui ipse aeternus est filius, debeat, eos cogit oculos mentis tollere; unde sequitur nesciebatis quia in his quae patris mei sunt oportet me esse? BEDE; He blames them not that they seek Him as their son, but compels them to raise the eyes of their mind to what was rather due to Him whose eternal Son He was. Hence it follows, Knew you not? &c.
Ambrosius: Duae sunt in Christo generationes: una est paterna, altera materna; paterna divinior, materna vero quae in nostrum laborem usumque descendit. AMBROSE; There are two generations in Christ, one from His Father, the other from His mother; the Father’s more divine, the mother’s that which has come down for our use and advantage.
Cyrillus: Hoc igitur dicit, ostendens se mensuram humanam transcendere, et innuens quod sacra virgo effecta sit minister negotii cum peperit carnem. Ipse vero naturaliter et vere Deus erat, et filius patris excelsi. Hinc autem Valentini sequaces audientes quod templum erat Dei, pudeat dicere, quod creator et legis Deus et templi, non ipse pater est Christi. CYRIL; He says this then by way of showing that He surpasses all human standards, and hinting that the Holy Virgin was made the handmaid of the work in bringing His flesh unto the world, but that He Himself was by nature and in truth God, and the Son of the Father most high Now from this let the followers of Valentinus, healing that the temple was of God, be ashamed to say that the Creator, and the God of the law and of the temple, is not also the Father of Christ.
Epiphanius Adv. Haer. Attendat et Ebion, quod post annos duodecim et non post tricesimum annum Christus reperiretur stupendus in sermonibus gratiae. Quamobrem non est dicere, quod postquam venit ad eum spiritus in Baptismo, factus fuit Christus; sed ab ipsa pueritia et templum agnovit et patrem. EPIPHAN. Let Ebion know that at twelve years old, not thirty, Christ is found the astonishment of all men, wonderful and mighty in the words of grace. We can not here fore say, that after that the Spirit came to Him in Baptism He was made the Christ, that is, anointed with divinity, but from His very childhood He acknowledged both the temple and His Father.
Graecus: Haec est demonstratio prima sapientiae et virtutis pueri Iesu; quae namque puerilia eius vocant, diabolicae putamus esse considerationis: nisi quis ea sola velit acceptare nequaquam his quae tenemus oppugnantia, sed magis consona propheticis dictis: quia speciosus prae filiis hominum, et matri obediens, et moribus facetus, et visu non modicum venerandus et placidus, ad loquendum facundus, dulcis et providus, et multum strenuitate cognitus, tamquam qui repletus sapientia fuerat; et sicut in aliis sic conversationis humanae atque locutionis, quamvis supra hominem, terminus et ratio; mansuetudo enim sibi praecipuum elegit locum. Super haec autem omnia nihil ascendit super verticem eius, nec humana manus, excepta materna. Hinc autem possumus utilitatem consequi: dum enim Mariam increpat dominus quaerentem ipsum inter propinquos, omissionem vinculorum sanguinis apertissime suggerit; ostendens quod non contingit metam perfectionis attingere eum qui adhuc vagatur in his quae corpori conferunt; et quod homo deficit a perfectione per affectum cognatorum. Sequitur et ipsi non intellexerunt verbum quod locutus est ad illos. GREEK EX. This is the first demonstration of the and power of the Child Jesus. For as to what are called you acts of His childhood, we can not but suppose them to be the work not only of a childish but even of a devilish mind and perverse will, attempting to revile those things which are contained in the Gospel and the sacred prophecies. But should one desire to receive only such things as are generally believed, and are not contrary to our other declarations, but accord also with the words of prophecy, let it suffice that Jesus was distinguished in form above the sons of men; obedient to His mother, gentle in disposition; in appearance full of grace and dignity; eloquent in words, kind and thoughtful of the wants of others, known among all for a power and energy, as of one who was filled with all wisdom; and as in other things, so also in all human conversation, though above man, Himself the rule and measure. But that which most distinguished Him was His meekness, and that a razor had never come upon His head, nor any human hand except His mother’s. But from these words we may derive a lesson; for when the Lord reproves Mary seeking Him among His relations, He most aptly points to the giving up of all fleshly ties, showing that it is not for him to attain the goal of perfection who is still encompassed by and walks among the things of the body, and that men fall from perfection through love of their relations.
Beda: Quia scilicet de sua divinitate ad eos loquebatur. BEDE; It follows, And they understood him not, that is, the word which He spoke to them of His divinity.
Origenes in Lucam: Vel nesciebant utrum dicens in his quae patris mei sunt, significaret in templo, an aliquid altius, et quod magis aedificat: unusquisque enim nostrum, si bonus fuerit atque perfectus, possessio Dei patris est, et habet in medio sui Iesum. ORIG. Or they knew not whether when He said about my Father’s business, He referred to the temple, or something higher and more edifying; for every one of us who does good, is the seat of God the Father; but whoever is the seat of God the Father, has Christ in the midst of him.

Lectio 14
50 καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐ συνῆκαν τὸ ῥῆμα ὃ ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς. 51 καὶ κατέβη μετ' αὐτῶν καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς ναζαρέθ, καὶ ἦν ὑποτασσόμενος αὐτοῖς. καὶ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ διετήρει πάντα τὰ ῥήματα ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ αὐτῆς. 52 καὶ Ἰησοῦς προέκοπτεν [ἐν τῇ] σοφίᾳ καὶ ἡλικίᾳ καὶ χάριτι παρὰ θεῷ καὶ ἀνθρώποις.
51. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. 52. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

Graecus: Totam intermediam Christi vitam, quae est inter ostensionem aetatis et tempus Baptismatis, velut immunem alicuius famosi et publici miraculi et doctrinae, Evangelista sub uno verbo colligit dicens et descendit cum eis, et venit Nazareth. GREEK EX. All that time of the life of Christ which He passed between His manifestation in the temple and His baptism being devoid of any great public miracles or teaching, the Evangelist sums up in one word’ saying, And he went down with them.
Origenes in Lucam: Crebro Iesus descendit cum discipulis suis, nec semper versatur in monte: quia non valebant qui variis morbis laborabant, ascendere in montem; idcirco et nunc descendit ad illos qui deorsum erant. Sequitur et erat subditus illis. ORIGEN; Jesus frequently went down with His disciples, for He is not always dwelling on the mount, for they who were troubled with various diseases were not able to ascend the mount. For this reason now also He went down to them who were below. It follows: And he was subject to them, &c.
Graecus: Quandoque enim verbo prius leges instituens, ipse secundario opere comprobabat; sicut illud: bonus pastor animam suam ponit pro ovibus suis; ipse namque paulo post, nostram salutem exquirens, animam exposuit propriam: aliquando vero prius vivendi proponit exemplar, et postea promebat verbo tenus sanctionem, sicut hic, haec tria prae ceteris opere monstrans, diligere Deum, honorare parentes, Deum vero et ipsis praeferre parentibus. Cum enim reprehenderetur a parentibus, minoris curae cetera reputat quam quae sunt Dei. Denique ipsis quoque parentibus obedientiam praestat. GREEK EX. Sometimes by His word He first institutes laws, and He afterwards confirms them, by His work, as when He says, The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. For shortly after seeking our salvation He poured out His own life. But sometimes He first sets forth in Himself an example, and afterwards, as far as words can go, draws therefrom rules of life, as He does here, showing forth by His work these three things above the rest, the love of God, honor to parents, but the preferring God also to our parents. For when He was blamed by His parents, He counts all other things of less moment than those which belong to God; again, He gives His obedience also to His parents.
Beda: Quid enim magister virtutis nisi officium pietatis impleret? Quid inter nos aliud quam quod agi a nobis vellet, ageret? BEDE; For what is the teacher of virtue, unless he fulfill his duty to his parents? What else did He do among us, than what He wished should be done by us?
Origenes: Discamus ergo et nos filii parentibus nostris esse subiecti. Quod si patres non fuerint, subiciamur his qui patrum habent aetatem. Iesus filius Dei subicitur Ioseph et Mariae; ego vero subiciar episcopo, qui mihi constitutus est pater. Puto quod intelligebat Ioseph quia maior se erat Iesus, et trepidus moderabatur imperium. Videat ergo unusquisque quod saepe qui subiectus est, maior sit: quod si intellexerit, non elevabitur superbia qui est sublimior dignitate, sciens sibi meliorem esse subiectum. ORIGEN; Let us then also ourselves be subject to our parents. But if our fathers are not let us be subject to those who are our fathers. Jesus the Son of God is subject to Joseph and Mary. But I must be subject to the Bishop who has been constituted my father. It seems that Joseph knew that Jesus was greater than he, and there fore in awe moderated his authority. But let every one see, that oftentimes he who is subject is the greater. Which if they who are higher in dignity understand they will not be elated with pride, knowing that their superior is subject to them.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Amplius: quoniam impuberibus adhuc est imperfecta discretio, egetque per provectos ad statum provehi perfectiorem; ideo cum pertigisset duodecimum annum, paret parentibus, ut ostendat quod quicquid per promotionem perficitur, antequam ad finem perveniat, obedientiam tamquam perducentem ad bonum utiliter amplexatur. GREG. NYSS. Further, since the young have not yet perfect understanding, and have need to be led forward by those who have advanced to a more perfect state; therefore when He arrived at twelve years, He is obedient to His parents, to show that whatever is made perfect by moving forward, before that it arrives at the end profitably embraces obedience, (as leading to good.)
Basilius in Lib. Relig: Ab ipsa autem primaeva aetate parentibus obediens quemlibet laborem corporeum humiliter et reverenter sustinuit. Cum enim homines essent honesti et iusti, egeni tamen, et necessariorum penuriam patientes, teste praesepi partus venerandi ministro, manifestum est quod sudores corporeos continuo frequentabant, necessaria vitae sibi quaerentes. Iesus autem obediens illis, ut Scriptura testatur, etiam in sustinendo labores subiectionem plenariam sustinebat. BASIL; But from His very first years being obedient to His parents, He endured all bodily labors, humbly and reverently. For since His parents were honest and just, yet at the same time poor, and ill supplied with the necessaries of life, (as the stable which administered to the holy birth bears witness,) it is plain that they continually underwent bodily fatigue in providing for their daily wants. But Jesus being obedient to them, as the Scriptures testify, even in sustaining labors, submitted Himself to a complete subjection.
Ambrosius: Et miraris si patri defert qui subditur matri? Non utique infirmitatis, sed pietatis est ista subiectio. Attollat licet caput haereticus, ut alienis auxiliis asserat eum qui mittitur indigere; numquid et humano egebat auxilio, ut materno serviret imperio? Deferebat ancillae, deferebat simulato patri; et miraris si Deo detulit? An homini deferre pietatis est, deferre Deo infirmitatis? AMBROSE; And can you wonder if He who is subject to His mother, also submits to His Father? Surely that subjection is a mark not of weakness but of filial duty. Let then the heretic so raise his head as to assert that He who is sent has need of other help; yet why should He need human help, in obeying His mother’s authority? He was obedient to a handmaid, He was obedient to His pretended father, and do you wonder whether He obeyed God; Or is it a mark of duty to obey man, of weakness to obey God.
Beda: Virgo autem sive quae intellexit, sive quae nondum intelligere potuit, omnia suo pariter in corde quasi ruminanda et diligentius scrutanda recondebat; unde sequitur et mater eius conservabat omnia verba haec, conferens in corde suo. BEDE; The Virgin, whether she understood or whether she could not yet understand, equally laid up all things in her heart for reflection and diligent examination. Hence it follows, And, his mother laid up all these things, &c.
Graecus: Considera prudentissimam mulierem Mariam, verae sapientiae matrem, qualiter scholaris sit pueri: non enim ut puero, neque ut viro, sed ut Deo vacabat; ulterius et illius voces divinas et opera reputabat: idcirco nil ex dictis aut actis ab eo incassum illi cadebat; sed sicut ipsum verbum prius in visceribus, ita nunc eiusdem modos et dicta concipiebat, et in corde suo quodammodo fovebat; et hoc quidem iam secum in praesenti contemplabatur: hoc autem expectabat in futurum clarius revelandum: et hac quidem tamquam regula et lege per totam vitam utebatur: unde sequitur et Iesus proficiebat aetate et sapientia et gratia apud Deum et homines. Mark the wisest of mothers, Mary the mother of true wisdom, becomes the scholar or disciple of the Child. For she yielded to Him not as to a boy, nor as to a man, but as unto God. Further, she pondered upon both His divine words and works, so that nothing that was said or done by Him was lost upon her, but as the Word itself was before in her womb, so now she conceived the ways and words of the same, and in a manner nursed them in her heart. And while indeed she thought upon one thing at the time, another she wanted to be more clearly revealed to her; and this was her constant rule and law through her whole life. It follows, And Jesus increased in wisdom.
Theophylactus: Sed inquiunt: quomodo potest aequalis patri esse in substantia qui quasi imperfectus crescere dicitur? Non autem in eo quod est verbum, dicitur incrementum suscipere, sed in eo quod factus est homo. Si enim vere profecit postquam factum est caro, qui ante imperfectus extiterat; quid ergo gratias agimus ei velut incarnato pro nobis? Qualiter autem, si ipse est vera sapientia, in sapientia potest augeri? Vel qualiter qui ceteris largitur gratiam, ipse in gratia promovetur? Amplius: si nemo scandalizatur cum audit quod verbum seipsum humiliaverit, infirma quaedam de Deo verbo sentiens: sed potius miratur misericordiam eius: quomodo non est supervacaneum scandalizari audiendo quod profecit? Nam sicut pro nobis humiliatus est, sic pro nobis profecit, ut nos in eo proficiamus qui lapsi fuimus per peccatum: nam quicquid spectat ad nos, ipse vere pro nobis Christus suscepit, ut cuncta reformet in melius. CYRIL; But the Eunomian Heretics say, “How can He be equal to the Father in substance, who is said to increase, as if before imperfect.” But not because He is the Word, but because He is made man, He is said to receive increase. For if He really increased after that He was made flesh, as having before existed imperfect, why then do we give Him thanks as having thence become incarnate for us? But how if He is the true wisdom can He be increased, or how can He who gives grace to others be Himself advanced in grace. Again, if bearing that the Word humbled Himself, no one is offended (thinking slightingly of the true God,) but rather marvels at His compassion, how is it not absurd to be offended at hearing that He increases? For as He was humbled for us, so for us He increased, that we who have fallen through sin might increase in Him. For whatever concerns us, Christ Himself has truly undertaken for us, that He might restore us to a better state.
Cyrillus: Et attende quod non dixit proficere verbum, sed Iesum, ne simplex verbum proficere intelligas, sed verbum carnem factum. And mark what He says, not that the Word, but Jesus, increases, that you should not suppose that the pure Word increases, but the Word made flesh;
Theophylactus: Et sicut verbum in carne passum fatemur, quamvis sola caro fuit passa, quia caro verbi erat quae patiebatur; ita proficere dicitur ex eo quod humanitas proficiebat in ipso. and as we confess that the Word suffered in the flesh, although the flesh only suffered, because of the Word the flesh was which suffered, so He is said to increase, because the human nature of the Word increased in Him.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Dicitur autem secundum humanitatem proficere, non quod ipsa suscipiat augmentum quae ab initio fuit perfecta; sed ex eo quod paulatim manifestabatur. But He is said to increase in His human nature, not as if that nature which was perfect from the beginning received increase, but that by degrees it was manifested.
Theophylactus: Naturalis enim lex respuit hominem sensu maiore uti quam aetas corporis patiatur. Erat itaque verbum factum homo perfectum, cum sit virtus et sapientia patris; verum quia dandum erat aliquid nostrae naturae moribus, ne aliquod extraneum a videntibus reputetur; tamquam homo, paulatim crescente corpore, manifestabat seipsum, et quotidie sapientior ab audientibus et videntibus censebatur. For the law of nature brooks not that man should have higher faculties than the age of his body permits. The Word then (made man) was perfect, as being the power and wisdom of the Father, but because something was to be yielded to the habits of our nature, lest He should be counted strange by those who saw Him, He manifested Himself as man with a body, gradually advancing in growth, and was daily thought wiser by those who saw and heard Him.
Graecus: Proficiebat ergo secundum aetatem quidem, corpore in virilem statum promoto; sapientia autem per eos qui ab eo divina docebantur; gratia vero, qua cum gaudio promovemur, credentes in fine obtinere quae ab ipso promissa sunt; et hoc quidem apud Deum ex eo quod assumpta carne paternum opus peregit; apud homines vero per conversionem eorum a cultu idolorum ad summae Trinitatis notitiam. GREEK EX. He increased then in age, His body growing to the stature of man; but in wisdom through those who were taught divine truths by Him; in grace, that is, whereby we are advanced with joy, trusting at last to obtain the promises; and this indeed before God, because having put on the flesh, He performed His Father’s work, but before men by their conversion from the worship of idols to the knowledge of the Most High Trinity.
Theophylactus: Dicit enim apud Deum et homines: quia prius decet placere Deo, et postea hominibus. THEOPHYL. He says before God and men, because we must first please God, then man.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Differenter etiam proficit verbum in his qui ipsum suscipiunt: secundum enim mensuram illius apparet aut infans, aut adultus, aut perfectus. GREG NYSS. The word also increases in different degrees in those who receive it; and according to the measure of its increase a man appears either an infant, grown up, or a perfect man.

Lectio 1
1 ἐν ἔτει δὲ πεντεκαιδεκάτῳ τῆς ἡγεμονίας τιβερίου καίσαρος, ἡγεμονεύοντος ποντίου πιλάτου τῆς ἰουδαίας, καὶ τετρααρχοῦντος τῆς γαλιλαίας ἡρῴδου, φιλίππου δὲ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ τετρααρχοῦντος τῆς ἰτουραίας καὶ τραχωνίτιδος χώρας, καὶ λυσανίου τῆς ἀβιληνῆς τετρααρχοῦντος, 2 ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέως ἅννα καὶ καϊάφα, ἐγένετο ῥῆμα θεοῦ ἐπὶ ἰωάννην τὸν ζαχαρίου υἱὸν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ.
1. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 2. Annas and Caiaphas being the High Priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Gregorius in Evang: Redemptoris praecursor quo tempore verbum praedicationis accepit, memorato Romanae reipublicae principe et Iudaeae regibus designatur, cum dicitur anno autem quintodecimo imperii Tiberii Caesaris. Quia enim illum praedicare veniebat qui ex Iudaea quosdam, et multos ex gentibus redempturus erat; per regem gentium et principes Iudaeorum praedicationis eius tempora designantur. Quia autem gentilitas colligenda erat in Romana republica, unus praefuisse describitur, cum dicitur imperii Tiberii Caesaris. GREG. The time at which the forerunner of the Savior received the word of preaching, is marked by the names of the Roman sovereign and of the princes of Judea, as it follows: Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, &c. For because John came to preach Him who was to redeem some from among the Jews, and many among the Gentiles, therefore the time of his preaching is marked out by making mention of the king of the Gentiles and the rulers of the Jews. But because all nations were to be gathered together in one, one man is described as ruling over the Roman state, as it is said, The reign of Tiberius Caesar.
Graecus: Mortuo enim Augusto monarcha, a quo Romani principes nomen Augusti adepti sunt, Tiberius post illum ad iura monarchiae succedens, decimumquintum annum suscepti principatus agebat. GREEK EX. For the emperor Augustus being dead, from whom the Roman sovereigns obtained the name of “Augustus,” Tiberius being his successor in the monarchy, was now in the 15th year of his receiving the reins of government.
Origenes in Lucam: Et in prophetico quidem sermone solis Iudaeis praedicato, solum Iudaeorum regnum describitur: visio Isaiae in diebus Oziae, Ioathan et Achaz regum Iuda; at in Evangelio, quod erat praedicandum universo mundo, dominium describitur Tiberii Caesaris, qui totius orbis dominus videbatur. Verum si solum hi qui sunt de gentibus essent salvandi, satis erat solius Tiberii facere mentionem; sed quia oportebat et Iudaeos credere, ob hoc etiam Iudaeorum regna describuntur, seu tetrarchiae, cum subditur procurante Pontio Pilato Iudaeam, tetrarcha autem Galilaeae Herode: Philippo autem fratre eius tetrarcha Ituraeae et Trachonitidis regionis, et Lysania Abilinae tetrarcha. ORIGEN; In the word of prophecy, spoken to the Jews alone, the Jewish kingdom only is mentioned, as, The vision of Esaias, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. But in the Gospel which was to be proclaimed to the whole world, the empire of Tiberius Caesar is mentioned, who seemed the lord of the whole world. But if the Gentiles only were to be saved, it were sufficient to make mention only of Tiberius, but because the Jews also must believe, the Jewish kingdom therefore, or Tetrarchies, are also introduced, as it follows, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod tetrarch, &c.
Gregorius: Quia enim Iudaea erat pro culpa perfidiae dispergenda, in Iudaeae regno per partem et partem plurimi principabantur, secundum illud: omne regnum in seipsum divisum desolabitur. GREG. Because the Jews were to be scattered for their crime of treachery, the Jewish kingdom was shut up into parts under several governors According to that saying, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation.
Beda: Pilatus quidem duodecimo anno Tiberii Caesaris in Iudaeam missus, procurationem gentis suscepit; atque ibi per decem continuos annos usque ad ipsum pene finem Tiberii perduravit. Herodes autem et Philippus et Lysanias filii sunt Herodis illius sub quo dominus natus est, inter quos et ipse Herodes Archelaus frater eorum decem annis regnavit, qui a Iudaeis apud Augustum criminatus, apud Viennam exilio periit. Regnum autem Iudaeae quo minus validum fieret, idem Augustus per tetrarchias dividere curavit. BEDE; Pilate was sent in the twelfth year of Tiberius to take the government of the Jewish nation, and remained there for ten successive years, almost until the death of Tiberius. But Herod, and Philip, and Lysanias, were the sons of that Herod in whose reign our Lord was born. Between these and Herod himself Archelaus their brother reigned ten years. He was accused by the Jews before Augustus, and perished in exile at Vienne. But in order to reduce the Jewish kingdom to greater weakness, Augustus divided it into Tetrarchies.
Gregorius: Et quia Ioannes illum praedicavit qui simul rex et sacerdos existeret; Lucas Evangelista praedicationis eius tempora non solum per regnum, sed etiam per sacerdotium designavit; unde subditur sub principibus sacerdotum Anna et Caipha. GREG. Because John preached Him who was to be at the same time both King and Priest, Luke the Evangelist has marked the time of that preaching by the mention not only of Kings, but also of Priests. As it follows, Under the High Priests Annas and Caiaphas.
Beda: Ambo quidem incipiente praedicatione Ioannis, idest Annas et Caiphas, principes fuere sacerdotum; sed Annas illum annum, Caiphas vero eum quo crucem dominus ascendit, administrabat, tribus aliis in medio pontificatu perfunctis: verum hi maxime qui ad domini passionem pertinent, ab Evangelista commemorantur. Legalibus namque tunc praeceptis vi et ambitione cessantibus, nulli pontificatus honor vitae vel generis merito reddebatur; sed Romana potestate summa sacerdotii praestabatur. Iosephus enim refert, quod Valerius Graccus Anna a sacerdotio deturbato, Ismaelem pontificem designavit filium Baphi; sed etiam hunc non multo post abiiciens, Eleazarum Ananiae pontificis filium surrogavit: post annum vero et hunc arcet officio, et Simoni cuidam Caiphae filio pontificatus tradidit ministerium; quo non amplius ipse quam unius anni spatio perfunctus, Iosephum, cui et Caiphas nomen fuit, accepit successorem: itaque omne hoc tempus quo dominus noster docuisse describitur, intra quadriennii spatia coarctatur. BEDE; Both Annas and Caiaphas, when John began his preaching, were the High Priests, but Annas held the office that year, Caiaphas the same year in which our Lord suffered on the cross. Three others had held the office in the intervening time, but these two, as having particular reference to our Lord’s Passion, are mentioned by the Evangelist. For at that time of violence and intrigue, the commands of the Law being no longer in force, the honor of the High Priest’s office was never given to merit or high birth, but the whole affairs of the Priesthood were managed by the Roman power. For Josephus relates, that Valerius Gratus, when Annas was thrust out of the Priesthood, appointed Ismael High Priest, the son of Baphas; but not long after casting him off, he put in his place Eleazar the son of the High Priest Ananias. After the space of one year, he expelled him also from the office, and delivered the government of the High Priesthood to a certain Simon, son of Caiaphas, who holding it not longer than a year, had Joseph, whose name also was Caiaphas, for his successor; so that the whole time during which our Lord is related to have taught is included in the space of four years.
Ambrosius: Congregaturus autem Ecclesiam Dei filius, ante operatur in servulo; et ideo bene dicitur factum est verbum domini super Ioannem Zachariae filium: ut Ecclesia non ab homine coeperit, sed a verbo. Bene autem Lucas compendio usus est, ut Ioannem declararet prophetam, dicens factum est super eum verbum Dei, alia non addens: nullus enim eget iudicio sui qui verbo Dei abundat. Unum itaque dicens, omnia declaravit; at vero Matthaeus et Marcus et vestitu et cinctu et cibo prophetam declarare voluerunt. AMBROSE; The Son of God being about to gather together the Church, commences His work in His servant. And so it is well said, The word, of the Lord came to John, that the Church should begin not from man, but from the Word. But Luke, in order to declare that John was a prophet, rightly used these few words, The word of the Lord came to him. He adds nothing else, for they need not their own judgment who are filled with the Word of God. By saying this one thing, he has therefore declared all. But Matthew and Mark desired to show him to be a prophet, by his raiment, his girdle, and his food.
Chrysostomus: Verbum autem Dei hic mandatum esse dicitur: quia non a se venit Zachariae filius, sed Deo ipsum movente. CHRYS. The word of God here mentioned was a commandment, for the son of Zacharias came not of himself, but God moved him.
Theophylactus: Per totum autem tempus praeteritum usque ad sui ostensionem occultus fuit in deserto; et hoc est quod subditur in deserto: ut nulla suspicio innascatur hominibus, ut gratia affinitatis ad Christum, vel conversationis a teneris annis, talia de ipso testaretur: unde ipse testificans dicebat: ego nesciebam illum. THEOPHYL. Through the whole of the time until his showing himself he was hid in the wilderness, that no suspicion might arise in men’s minds, that from his relation to Christ, and from his intercourse with Him from a child, he would testify such things of Him; and hence he said, He knew him not.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Simul etiam qui in spiritu et virtute Eliae hanc vitam ingressus est, amotus a conversatione humana, invisibilium speculationi vacans, ne huiusmodi fallaciis quae per sensus ingeruntur assuetus, quamdam confusionem ac errorem incurreret erga viri boni discretionem. Et ideo ad tantum divinarum gratiarum elevatus est apicem, ut plusquam prophetis sibi gratia infunderetur: quia mundum et expers cuiuslibet naturalis passionis desiderium suum a principio usque ad finem divinis aspectibus obtulit. GREG NYSS. Who also entered this life at once in the spirit and power of Elias, removed from the society of men, in uninterrupted contemplation of invisible things, that he might not, by becoming accustomed to the false notions forced upon us by our senses, fall into mistakes and errors in the discernment of good men. And to such a height of divine grace was he raised, that more favor was bestowed upon him than the Prophets, for from the beginning even to the end, he ever presented his heart before God pure and free from every natural passion.
Ambrosius: Desertum etiam est ipsa Ecclesia: quia plures filii desertae, magis quam eius quae habet virum. Factum est ergo verbum domini, ut quae erat ante deserta fructum nobis terra generaret. AMBROSE; Again, the wilderness is the Church itself, for the barren has more children than she who has an husband. The word of the Lord came, that the earth which was before barren might bring forth fruit unto us.

Lectio 2
3 καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς πᾶσαν [τὴν] περίχωρον τοῦ ἰορδάνου κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν, 4 ὡς γέγραπται ἐν βίβλῳ λόγων ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου, φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ: ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν κυρίου, * εὐθείας ποιεῖτε τὰς τρίβους αὐτοῦ. 5 πᾶσα φάραγξ πληρωθήσεται * καὶ πᾶν ὄρος καὶ βουνὸς ταπεινωθήσεται, καὶ ἔσται τὰ σκολιὰ εἰς εὐθείαν * καὶ αἱ τραχεῖαι εἰς ὁδοὺς λείας: 6 καὶ ὄψεται πᾶσα σὰρξ * τὸ σωτήριον τοῦ θεοῦ.
3. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 4. As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6. And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Ambrosius: Factum verbum vox secuta est: verbum enim prius intus operatur, sequitur vocis officium; unde dicitur et venit in omnem regionem Iordanis. AMBROSE; The Word came, and the voice followed. For the Word first works inward, then follows the office of the voice, as it is said, And he went into all the country about Jordan.
Origenes in Lucam: Iordanis idem est quod descendens: descendit enim Dei fluvius aquae salubris. Quae autem loca decebat perambulare Baptistam, nisi Iordani circumadiacentia? Ut si quem poenitere contingeret, protinus occurreret fluenti humiditas ad recipiendum poenitentiae Baptismum; subditur enim praedicans Baptismum poenitentiae in remissionem peccatorum. ORIGEN; Jordan is the same as descending, for there descends from God a river of healing water. But what parts would John be traversing but the country lying about Jordan, that the penitent sinner might soon arrive at the flowing stream, humbling himself to receive the baptism of repentance. For it is added, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
Gregorius in Evang: Cunctis legentibus liquet quia Ioannes Baptismum poenitentiae non solum praedicavit, verum etiam quibusdam dedit; tamen Baptismum suum in remissionem peccatorum dare non potuit. GREG. It is plain to every reader that John not only preached the baptism of repentance, but to some also he gave it, yet his own baptism he could not give for the remission of sins.
Chrysostomus super Ioannem: Cum enim nondum oblata esset hostia, nec descendisset spiritus, qualiter erat fienda remissio? Quid est ergo quod Lucas dicit in remissionem peccatorum? Erant siquidem Iudaei ignari, nec culpas proprias perpendebant. Quoniam igitur haec erat causa malorum; ut peccata agnoscerent ad redemptorem quaerendum, venit Ioannes hortans illos poenitentiam agere, ut per poenitentiam effecti meliores atque contriti ad recipiendam veniam satagant. Apte ergo, cum dixisset quod venit praedicans Baptismum poenitentiae, addidit in remissionem peccatorum; quasi dicat: idcirco suadebat illis poenitere, ut subsequentem veniam facilius impetrarent, credentes in Christum, nam nisi poenitentia ducerentur, nequaquam exposcerent gratiam: unde Baptisma illud nullam aliam habet causam, nisi quod praeparatorium erat ad fidem Christi. CHRYS. For as the sacrifice had not yet been offered up, nor had the holy Spirit descended, how could remission of sins be given? What is it then that St. Luke means by the words, for the remission of sins, seeing the Jews were ignorant, and knew not the weight of their sins? Because this was the cause of their evils, in order that they might be convinced of their sins and seek a Redeemer, John came exhorting them to repentance, that being thereby made better and sorrowful for their sins, they might be ready to receive pardon. Rightly then after saying, that he came preaching the baptism of repentance, he adds, for the remission of sins. As if he should say, The reason by which he persuaded them to repent was that thereby they would the more easily obtain forgiveness [by believing in Christ. For, if they were not led by repentance, in vain could they ask for grace, other than as a preparation for faith in Christ.
Gregorius: Vel Ioannes dicitur praedicans Baptismum poenitentiae in remissionem peccatorum; quoniam Baptismum quod peccata solveret, quia dare non poterat, praedicabat: ut sicut incarnatum verbum patris praecurrebat verbo praedicationis, ita Baptismum poenitentiae, quo peccata solvuntur, praecurret suo Baptismate, quo peccata solvi non possunt. Gregory: Or John is said to preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, because the baptism which was to take away sin, as he could not give, he preached; just as the Incarnate Word of the Father preceded the word of preaching, so the baptism of repentance, which was able to take away sin, preceded John's baptism, which could not take away sin.
Ambrosius: Et ideo plerique sancto Ioanni typum legis imponunt, eo quod lex peccatum denuntiare potuit, donare non potuit. Ambrose: And therefore many say that St. John is a type of the Law, because the Law could denounce sin, but could not pardon it.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Et ut aliquatenus de Baptismatum differentia disseramus, baptizavit Moyses, sed in aqua, nube et mari; hoc autem figuraliter agebatur. Baptizavit quoque Ioannes non utique ritu Iudaeorum, non enim solum in aqua, sed etiam in remissionem peccatorum: non tamen omnino spiritualiter: neque enim addit, in spiritu. Baptizat Iesus, sed in spiritu: et hic est perfectio. Est quoque quartum Baptisma, quod fit per martyrium et sanguinem, quo etiam ipse Christus est baptizatus; quod ceteris est venerabilius nimis, eatenus, quatenus iteratis contagiis non foedatur. Est etiam quintum ex lacrymis, laboriosius tamen; iuxta quod quidam singulis noctibus suum rigat cubile et stratum in lacrymis. Sequitur sicut scriptum est in libro Isaiae prophetae: vox clamantis in deserto. Greory Nazianzen: To speak now of the difference of baptisms. Moses indeed baptized, but in the water, the cloud, and the sea, but this was done figuratively. John also baptized, not indeed according to the Jewish rite, (for he baptized not only with water,) but also for the remission of sins, yet not altogether spiritually, (for he adds not, in the Spirit.) Jesus baptizes but with the Spirit, and this is perfect baptism. There is also a fourth baptism, namely by martyrdom and blood, by which also Christ Himself was baptized, and which is so far more glorious than the others, as it is not sullied by repeated acts of defilement. There is also a fifth, the most painful, according to which David every night washed his bed and his couch with tears. It follows. As it is written in the book of Esaias the Prophet, The voice of one crying in the wilderness.
Ambrosius: Bene vox dicitur Ioannes verbi praenuntius: quia vox praecedit inferior, verbum sequitur quod praecellit. Ambrose: John the forerunner of the Word is rightly called the voice, because the voice being inferior precedes, the Word, which is more excellent, follows.
Gregorius in Evang: Qui etiam in deserto clamat, quia derelictae ac destitutae Iudaeae solatium redemptionis annuntiat. Quid autem clamaret, aperitur, cum dicitur parate viam domini, rectas facite semitas eius. Omnis enim qui fidem rectam et bona opera praedicat, quid aliud quam venienti domino ad corda audientium viam parat, ut rectas Deo semitas faciat, dum mundas in animo cogitationes per sermonem bonae praedicationis format? Gregory, on the Gospel: John cries in the in Ev. desert because he brings the glad tidings of redemption to deserted and forsaken Judaea, but what he cries is explained in the words, Prepare ye the itay of the Lord. For they who preach true faith and good works, what else do they than prepare the way for the Lord's coming into the hearts of the hearers, that they might make the paths of God straight, forming pure thoughts in the mind by the word of good preaching.
Origenes in Lucam: Vel in corde nostro via praeparanda est domino: magnum enim est cor hominis et spatiosum; si tamen fuerit mundum. Neque in corporis quantitate, sed in virtute sensuum, magnitudinem eius intellige, quae tantam scientiam capiat veritatis. Praepara ergo in tuo corde viam domino per conversationem bonam, et egregiis vel perfectis operibus dirige semitam vitae, ut in te sermo Dei absque offensa perambulet. Origen, on Luke: Or, a way must be prepared in our heart for the Lord, for the heart of man is large and spacious if it has become clean. For imagine not that in the size of the body, but in tlic virtue of the understanding, consists that greatness which must receive the knowledge of the truth. Prepare then in thy heart by good conversation a way for the Lord, and by perfect works pursue the path of life, that so the word of God may have free course in thee.
Basilius: Et quia semita est via quam praecedentes calcaverant, et quam priores homines corruperant, eam iterato dirigere iubet sermo illis qui a praecedentium zelo recedunt. Basil: And because a path is a way trodden down by those that have gone before, and which former men have worn away, the word bids those who depart from the zeal of their predecessors repeatedly pursue it.
Chrysostomus: Clamare autem parate viam domini, non regis erat, sed praecursoris officium: et ideo eum vocaverat vocem, quia verbi erat praecursor. Chrysostom: But to cry, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, was not the office of the king, but of the forerunner. And so they called John the voice, because he was the forerunner of the Word.
Cyrillus: Sed quasi quis responderet, et diceret: qualiter viam praeparabimus domino, vel qualiter eius semitas rectas faciemus, cum plura sint impedimenta honestam vitam volentibus ducere? Ad hoc propheticus sermo respondet. Sunt enim viae quaedam et semitae nequaquam ad eundum habiles; adeo ut alicubi ad tumulos et iuga tollantur, alicubi declives sint; et ad hoc removendum dicit omnis vallis implebitur, et omnis mons et collis humiliabitur. Quaedam viarum inaequaliter dispositae sunt; et dum nunc sursum erigunt, nunc vergunt deorsum, valde sunt ad eundum difficiles; et quantum ad hoc subdit et erunt prava in directa et aspera in vias planas. Hoc autem intelligitur actum esse per nostri salvatoris potentiam: quondam enim evangelicae conversationis et vitae iter erat ad eundum difficile, ex eo quod et mentes singulorum mundanae voluptates oppresserant; ut autem Deus factus homo peccatum damnavit in carne, explanata sunt omnia, et reddita sunt ad eundum facilia; et nec collis, nec vallis proficere volentibus obviat. Cyril: But suppose some one should answer, saying, How shall we prepare the way of the Lord, or how shall we make His paths straight? since so many are the hindrances to those who wish to lead an honest life. To this the word of prophecy replies. There are some ways and paths by no means easy to travel, being in some places hilly and rugged, in others steep and precipitous; to remove which it says, Every valley shall he filled, every mountain and hill shall he brought low. Some roads are most unequally constructed, and while in one part rising, in another sloping downwards, are very difficult to pass. And here he adds, And the crooked ways shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth. But this was in a spiritual manner brought to pass by the power of our Saviour. For formerly to pursue an Evangelical course of life was a difficult task, for men's minds were so immersed in worldly pleasures. But now that God being made Man, has condemned sin in the flesh, all things are made plain, and the way of going has become easy, and neither hill nor valley is an obstacle to those who wish to advance.
Origenes: Quando enim venit Iesus, et spiritum suum misit, omnis vallis repleta est operibus bonis et fructibus spiritus sancti; quos si habueris, non solum vallis esse desistis, sed etiam mons Dei esse incipies. Origen: For when Jesus had come and sent His Spirit, every valley was filled with good works, and the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which if thou hast, thou wilt not only cease to become a valley, but will begin also to be a mountain of God.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Vel quietam in virtutibus conversationem significat per convalles, secundum illud: valles abundabunt frumento. Gregory of Nyssa: Or by the valleys he means a quiet habitual practice of virtue, as in the Psalms, The valleys shall be filled with corn.
Chrysostomus: Elatos autem superbos nomine montis denuntiat, quos Christus humiliavit. Colles autem desperatos appellat, non solum ob superbiam mentis suae, sed propter desperationis sterilitatem: collis enim nullos fructus producit. Chrysostom: He denounces the haughty and anogant by the name of mountains, whom Christ has brought low. But by the hills He implies the wreckless, not only because of the pride of their hearts, but because of the barrenness of despair. For the hill produces no fruit.
Origenes in Lucam: Vel intelligas quoniam montes et colles, qui sunt adversariae potestates, per adventum Christi prostrati sunt. ORIGEN; Or you may understand the mountains and hills to be the hostile powers, which have been overthrown by the coming of Christ.
Basilius: Sicut autem colles respectu montium magnitudine differunt, in aliis sunt idem; sic et adversae potestates proposito quidem conformes sunt, immanitate tamen offensionum secernuntur. BASIL; But as the hills differ from mountains in respect of height, in other things are the same, so also the adverse powers agree indeed in purpose, but are distinguished from one another in the enormity of their offenses.
Gregorius: Vel vallis impleta crescit, mons autem et collis humiliatus decrescit: quia in fide Christi et gentilitas plenitudinem gratiae accepit, et Iudaea per errorem perfidiae hoc unde tumebat perdidit. Humiles enim donum accipiunt, quod a se corda superbientium repellunt. GREG. Or, the valley when filled increases, but the mountains and hills when brought low decrease, because the Gentiles by faith in Christ receive fullness of grace, but the Jews by their sin of treachery have lost that wherein they boasted. For the humble receive a gift because the hearts of the proud they keep afar off.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Vel per hoc declarat legis difficultatem in fidei facilitatem conversam; ac si dicat: non ulterius sudores et dolores imminent; sed gratia et remissio peccatorum facilem viam pariunt ad salutem. CHRYS. Or by these words he declares the difficulties of the law to be turned into the easiness of faith; as if he said, No more toils and labors await us, but grace and remission of sins make an easy way to salvation.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Vel iubet valles impleri, deiici vero colles et montes; volens ostendere quod nec ob defectum virtutis ordo sit concavus, nec discrepet ob excessum. GREG NYSS. Or, He orders the valleys to be filled, the mountains and hills to be cast down, to show that the rule of virtue neither fails from want of good, nor transgresses from excess.
Gregorius: Prava autem directa fiunt, cum malorum corda per iniustitiam detorta, ad iustitiae regulam diriguntur. Aspera autem in vias planas immutantur, cum immites atque iracundae mentes per infusionem supernae gratiae ad lenitatem mansuetudinis redeunt. GREG. But the crooked places are become straight, when the hearts of the wicked, perverted by a course of injustice, are directed to the rule of justice. But the rough ways are changed to smooth, when fierce and savage dispositions by the influence of Divine grace return to gentleness and meekness.
Chrysostomus: Deinde horum subicit causam, dicens et videbit omnis caro salutare Dei: ostendens quoniam usque ad fines mundi diffundetur Evangelii virtus atque cognitio, ex more ferino et obstinata voluntate ad mansuetudinem et lenitatem humanum genus convertens. Non autem solum Iudaei et proselyti, immo tota humana natura salutare Dei videbit. CHRYS. He then adds the cause of these things, saying, And all flesh shall see, &c. showing that the virtue and knowledge of the Gospel shall be extended even to the end of the world, turning mankind from savage manners and perverse wills to meekness and gentleness. Not only Jewish converts but all mankind shall see the salvation of God.
Chrysostomus: Idest, patris qui filium misit ut nostrum salvatorem. Caro autem praesens accipitur pro toto homine. CYRIL; That is, of the Father, who sent His Son as our Savior. But the flesh is here taken for the whole man.
Gregorius in Evang: Vel aliter. Omnis caro, idest omnis homo, salutare Dei, videlicet Christum, in hac vita videre non potuit. Propheta ergo oculum ad extremum iudicii diem tendit, quando hunc omnes et electi et reprobi pariter videbunt. GREG. Or else, All flesh, i.e. Every man can not see the salvation of God in Christ in this life. The Prophet therefore stretches his eye beyond to the last day of judgment, when all men both the elect and the reprobate shall equally see Him.

Lectio 3
7 ἔλεγεν οὖν τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ὄχλοις βαπτισθῆναι ὑπ' αὐτοῦ, γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν, τίς ὑπέδειξεν ὑμῖν φυγεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς μελλούσης ὀργῆς; 8 ποιήσατε οὖν καρποὺς ἀξίους τῆς μετανοίας: καὶ μὴ ἄρξησθε λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς, πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν ἀβραάμ, λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι δύναται ὁ θεὸς ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων ἐγεῖραι τέκνα τῷ ἀβραάμ. 9 ἤδη δὲ καὶ ἡ ἀξίνη πρὸς τὴν ῥίζαν τῶν δένδρων κεῖται: πᾶν οὖν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται.
7. Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8. Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say to you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9. And now also the ax is laid to the root of the trees: every tree therefore which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Chrysostomus: Manens aliquis in pristino statu, et mores suos et consuetudinem non relinquens, nequaquam rite ad Baptismum venit. Si quis ergo velit baptizari, egrediatur: unde signanter dicitur et dicebat ad turbas quae exibant, ut baptizarentur ab ipso. Egredientibus itaque ad lavacrum turbis, loquitur quae sequuntur; si enim iam egressi essent, nequaquam ad eos diceret genimina viperarum. ORIGEN; No one that remains in his old state, and forsakes not his old habits and practices, can rightly come to be baptized; whoever then wishes to be baptized, let him go forth. Hence are those words significantly spoken, And he said to the multitude that went forth to be baptized of him. To the multitudes then who are going forth to the laver of baptism, He speaks the following words, for if they had already gone forth, He would not have said, O generation of vipers.
Chrysostomus: Ille itaque cultor deserti videns omnes incolas Palaestinae circumstantes ipsum et admirantes, non flectebatur pro tanta reverentia, sed insurgens in ipsos arguebat eos. Sacra autem Scriptura, secundum stimulantes passiones, plerumque ferarum nomina imponit hominibus; interdum canes eos nominans causa procacitatis, equos ob luxum, asinos propter dementiam, et leones et pardos causa rapacitatis et petulantiae, aspides causa doli, serpentes et viperas causa veneni et calliditatis. Unde et nunc Ioannes Iudaeos audacter genimina viperarum vocat. CHRYS. The dweller in the wilderness, when he saw all the people of Palestine standing round him and wondering, bent not beneath the weight of such respect, but rose up against them and reproved them. The holy Scripture often gives the names of wild beasts to men, according to the passions which excite them, calling them sometimes dogs because of their impudence, horses on account of their lust, asses for their folly, lions and panthers for their ravening and wantonness, asps for their guile, serpents and vipers for their poison and cunning; and so in this place John calls the Jews a generation of vipers.
Basilius contra Eunom: Oportet autem scire, quod haec nomina natus et filius de animalibus dicuntur; genimen vero potest dici fetus antequam effingatur; fructus etiam palmarum genimina dicuntur; raro autem in animalibus accipiuntur, et semper in malo. BASIL; Now it may be observed, that the following words natus and filius are spoken of animals, but genimen may be said of the fetus before it is formed in the womb; the fruit of the palm trees is also called genimina, but that word is very seldom used with respect to animals, and when it is, always in a bad sense.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Ferunt autem viperam matrem coeundo necare, cuius semen excrescens perimit matrem; et sic prodit in lucem scisso parentis utero, in vindictam quodammodo parentis genitoris; itaque parricida est proles viperea. Tales erant Iudaei, qui patres spiritales eorum atque doctores occidebant. Quid autem si non invenit eos peccantes, sed incipientes converti? Non debebat eis conviciari, sed permulcere. Dicendum, quod non adhibebat mentem his quae fiebant exterius; mentis enim eorum arcana cognoverat domino revelante: nimis enim se iactabant in progenitoribus. Hanc ergo radicem scindens nominat illos genimina viperarum, non quidem vituperans patriarchas, aut eos viperas nominans. CHRYS. Now they say that the female viper kills the male in copulation, and the fetus as it increases in the womb kills the mother, and so comes forth into life, bursting open the womb in revenge as it were of its father’s death; the viper progeny therefore are parricides. Such also were the Jews, who killed their spiritual fathers and teachers. But what if he found them not sinning, but beginning to be converted? He ought not surely to rebuke them, but to comfort them. We answer, that he gave not heed to those things which are outward, for he knew the secrets of their hearts, the Lord revealing them to him; for they vaunted themselves too much in their forefathers. Cutting therefore at this root, he calls them a generation of vipers, not indeed that he blamed the Patriarchs, or called them vipers.
Gregorius in Evang: Sed quia per hoc quod bonis invident eosque persequuntur, patrum suorum carnalium vias sequentes, quasi venenati filii de veneficis parentibus nati sunt. Quia vero supradicta sententia intendit quod extremo Christus examine ab omni carne videbitur, recte subditur quis ostendit vobis fugere a ventura ira? Ventura ira est animadversio ultionis extremae. GREG. Because the Jews hated good men, and persecuted them, following the steps of their carnal parents, they are by birth the poisonous sons, as it were, of poisonous or sorcerous parents. But because the preceding verse declares that at the last judgment Christ shall be seen by all flesh, it is rightly added, Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? The wrath to come being the awarding of final punishment.
Ambrosius: Ostenditur autem his Dei miseratione infusa prudentia, ut gerant suorum poenitentiam delictorum, futuri terrorem iudicii provida devotione metuentes: aut fortasse, iuxta quod scriptum est: estote prudentes sicut serpentes, ostenduntur habere prudentiam naturalem, qui profutura videant et sponte deposcant, sed adhuc noxia non relinquant. AMBROSE; We see these men through the compassion of God, inspired with prudence to seek repentance of their crimes, dreading with wise devotion the terror of the judgment to come. Or perhaps, according to the precept, Be you wise as serpents, they are shown to have a natural prudence, who perceive what is coming, and earnestly desire help, though they still forsake not what is hurtful.
Gregorius: Quia vero tunc fugere ab ira peccatorum non valet qui nunc ad lamenta poenitentiae non recurrit, subditur facite ergo fructus dignos poenitentiae. GREG. But because he cannot then flee from the wrath of God, who now has not recourse to the sorrows of repentance, it is added, "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance."
Chrysostomus: Non enim satis est poenitentibus peccata dimittere, sed opus est eius fructus ferre, secundum illud: declina a malo, et fac bonum; sicut non sufficit ad sanationem sagittam evellere, sed oportet ulceri medicamentum apponere. Non autem dicit fructum, sed fructus, copiam designans. CHRYS. For it is not sufficient for the penitent to leave off his sins, he must also bring forth the fruits of repentance, as it is in the Psalms, depart from evil and do good, just as in order to heal, it will not do to pluck out the arrow only, but we must also apply a salve to the wound. But he says not fruit, but fruits, signifying abundance.
Gregorius: Nec solum fructus poenitentiae, sed dignos poenitentiae admonet esse faciendos. Quisquis enim illicita nulla commisit, huic conceditur ut licitis utatur; at si quis in culpam lapsus est, tanto a se licita debet abscindere, quanto meminit se perpetrasse illicita. Neque enim par fructus esse boni operis debet eius qui minus, et qui amplius deliquit: aut eius qui in nullis, et eius qui in quibusdam facinoribus cecidit. Per hoc ergo cuiuslibet conscientia convenitur, ut tanto maiora quaerat bonorum lucra per poenitentiam, quanto graviora sibi intulit damna per culpam. GREG. He warns them that they must bring forth not only the fruits of repentance, but fruits worthy of repentance. For he that has violated no law, to him it is permitted to use what is lawful, but if a man has fallen into sin, he ought so to cut himself off from what is lawful, as he remembers to have committed what is unlawful. For the fruit of good works ought not to be equal in the man who has sinned less, anti the man who has sinned more, nor in him who has fallen into no crimes, and him who has fallen into some. In this way it is adapted to the conscience of each man, that they should seek for so much the greater blessing on good works through repentance, as they have by guilt brought on themselves the heavier penalties.
Maximus: Poenitentiae fructus est impassibilitas animae, qua plenarie non fruimur, dum interdum passionibus instigamur: nondum enim fructus poenitentiae dignos peregimus. Poeniteamus ergo veraciter, ut a passionibus expediti, peccatorum veniam consequamur. MAXIMUS; The fruit of repentance is an equanimity of soul, which we do not fully obtain, as long as we are at times affected by our passions, for not as yet have we performed the fruits worthy of repentance. Let us then repent truly, that being delivered from our passions we may obtain the pardon of their sins.
Gregorius: Sed Iudaei de generis nobilitate gloriantes, idcirco se agnoscere peccatores nolebant, quia de Abrahae stirpe descenderant: quibus recte dicitur et ne coeperitis dicere: patrem habemus Abraham. GREG. But the Jews glorying in their noble birth were unwilling to acknowledge themselves sinners, because they were descended from the stock of Abraham. So then it is lightly said, And begin not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham for our father.
Chrysostomus: Non hoc indicans quod ab Abraham naturali origine non descenderent; sed quia nihil prodest ab Abraham descendisse, nisi secundum virtutem cognationem observent. Cognationis namque leges consuevit Scriptura vocare non eas quae secundum naturam consistunt, sed quae derivantur a virtute vel vitio; quibus namque se quisque conformem statuit, horum filius, vel frater vocatur. CHRYS. Not meaning thereby that they had not descended in their natural course from Abraham, but that it avails them nothing to have Abraham for their father, unless they observed the relationship in respect of virtue. For Scripture is accustomed to entitle laws of relationship, such as do not exist by nature, but are derived from virtue or vice. To whichever of these two a man conforms himself, he is called its son or brother.
Cyrillus: Quid enim confert carnalis generositas, nisi consimilibus studiis fulciatur? Vanum est igitur extolli de bonis praedecessoribus, et deficere ab eorum virtutibus. CYRIL; For what profits the nobleness we inherit through the flesh, unless it be supported by kindred feelings in us? It is folly then to boast of our worthy ancestors, and fall away from their virtues.
Basilius: Neque enim equum velocem esse facit patris erga cursum strenuitas; sed veluti ceterorum animalium probitas consideratur in singulis, sic quoque laus propria viri discernitur quam praesentium bonorum in se comprobat argumentum. Turpe namque est alienis ornari decoribus quem virtus propria non venustat. BASIL; For neither does the speed of its sire make the horse swift; but as the goodness of other animals is looked for in individuals, so also that is reckoned to be man’s legitimate praise which is decided by the test of his present worth. For it is a disgraceful thing for a man to be adorned with the honors of another, when he has no virtue of his own to commend him.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Sic igitur Iudaeorum promulgato exilio, consequenter ingerit convocationem gentilium, quos lapides appellat: unde sequitur dico enim vobis, quia potest Deus de lapidibus istis suscitare filios Abrahae. GREG. NYSS. So then having foretold the casting away of the Jews, He goes on to allude to the calling of the Gentiles, whom He calls stones. Hence it follows, For I say to you, &c.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Quasi dicat: ne putetis quod, si vos perieritis, filiis privetur patriarcha: potest enim Deus etiam ex lapidibus homines illi praebere, et ad illum perducere sanguinem: nam et ab ipso principio sic evenit: ei namque quod est ex lapidibus homines fieri, aequipollet exitus filii ab illo emortuo utero Sarae. CHRYS. As if He said, Think not that if you perish the Patriarch will be deprived of sons, for God even from stones can produce men unto him, and prolong the line of his descendants. For so has it been from the beginning, seeing that for men to be made from stones to Abraham is but equivalent to the coming forth of a son from the dead womb of Sarah.
Ambrosius: Sed licet Deus possit diversas convertere et mutare naturas, tamen mihi plus mysterium quam miraculum prodest. Quid enim aliud quam lapides habebantur qui lapidibus serviebant, similes utique his qui fecerant eos? Prophetatur igitur saxosis gentilium fides infundenda pectoribus, et futuros per fidem Abrahae filios oraculo pollicetur. Ut autem scias quia lapidibus comparati sunt homines, arboribus quoque homines comparavit, cum subdit iam enim securis posita est ad radicem arboris. Exempli autem ideo facta est mutatio, ut illo comparationis processu quidam intelligatur homini clementior iam profectus. AMBROSE; But although God can alter and change the most diverse natures, yet in my mind a mystery is of more avail than a miracle. For what else than stones were they who bowed down to stones, like indeed to them who made them. It is prophesied therefore that faith shall be poured into the stony hearts of the Gentiles, and through faith the oracles promise that Abraham shall have sons. But that you may know who are the men compared to stones, he has also compared men to trees, adding, For now the ax is laid to the root of the tree. This change of figure was made, that by means of comparison might be understood to have now commenced a more kindly growth of manhood.
Origenes in Lucam: Et quidem si iam ingrueret consummatio et temporum finis instaret, nulla mihi quaestio nasceretur: dicerem enim propterea hoc prophetatum esse, quia illo tempore complebitur. Cum autem tanta post saecula fluxerint ex quo spiritus sanctus hoc dixit, ego puto Israelitico populo prophetari, quod praecisio eius vicina sit. His enim qui egrediebantur ad eum ut baptizarentur, haec inter cetera loquebatur. ORIGEN; If the completion of all things had been then already begun, and the end of time close at hand, I should have no question but that the prophecy was given, because at that time it was to be fulfilled. But now that many ages have elapsed since the Spirit spoke this, I think it was prophesied to the people of Israel, because their cutting off was approaching. For to those that went out to him that they should be baptized, he gave this warning among others.
Cyrillus: Securim ergo in praesenti nominat mortiferam iram, quae divinitus irruit in Iudaeos propter exercitam impietatem in Christum. Non tamen haesisse radici securim praenuntiat, sed ad radicem, idest iuxta radicem positam: decisi namque fuerunt rami, nec radicitus extirpata est planta; reliquiae enim Israel salvae fient. CYRIL; By the ax then he declares the deadly wrath of God, which fell upon the Jews on account of the impieties they practiced against Christ; he does not pronounce the ax to be yet fixed to the root, but that it was laid (ad radicem) i.e. near the root. For though the branches were cut down, the tree itself was not yet entirely destroyed. For a remnant of Israel shall be saved.
Gregorius: Vel aliter. Arbor huius mundi est universum genus humanum: securis vero est redemptor noster, qui velut ex manubrio et ferro, tenetur ex humanitate, sed incidit ex divinitate: quae videlicet securis iam ad radicem arboris posita est, quia etsi per patientiam expectata, videtur tamen quid factura est. Et notandum, quod non iuxta ramos securim positam, sed ad radicem dicit: cum enim malorum filii tolluntur, quid aliud quam rami infructuosae arboris abscinduntur? Cum vero tota simul progenies cum parente tollitur, infructuosa arbor a radice abscissa est. Unusquisque autem perversus paratam citius Gehennae concremationem invenit, qui fructum boni operis contemnit; unde sequitur omnis ergo arbor quae non facit fructum bonum excidetur, et in ignem mittetur. GREG. Or we may take it in this way; The tree represents the whole human race in this world, but the ax is our redeemer, who by the handle and iron, as it were, is held indeed in the hand of man, but strikes by the power of God. Which ax indeed is now laid at the root of the tree; for although it waits patiently, yet it is plain what it is about to do. And we must observe that the said ax is to be laid not at the branches, but at the root. For when the children of the wicked are taken away, what is this but the cutting off of the branches of an unfruitful tree But when the whole family together with the parent is removed, the unfruitful tree is cut off from the very root. But every hardened sinner finds the fire of hell the quicker prepared for him, as he disdains to bring forth the fruits of good works. Hence it follows, Every one then.
Chrysostomus: Eleganter dictum est non faciens fructum, et adicitur bonum: officiosum enim hoc animal Deus creavit, et naturalis est sibi exercitiorum instantia, otium vero innaturale. Obest enim inertia etiam cunctis corporis membris, nulli autem ut animae: ea namque cum continuo sit naturaliter mobilis, otiari non patitur. Sicut autem otium malum est, ita et indecens exercitium. Ex eo autem quod praemisit poenitentiam, praedicat quod securis adiacet, non quidem incidens, sed terrorem incutiens. CHRYS. It is elegantly said, that bears not fruit, and it is added, good. For God created man an animal fond of employment, and constant activity is natural to him, but idleness is unnatural. For idleness is hurtful to every member of the body, but much more to the soul. For the soul being by nature in constant motion does not admit of being slothful. But as idleness is an evil, so also is an unworthy activity. But having before spoken of repentance, he now declares that the ax lies near, not indeed actually cutting, but only striking terror.
Ambrosius: Faciat ergo fructum qui potest gratiae, et qui debet poenitentiae. Adest dominus qui fructum requirat, fecundos vivificet, steriles reprehendat. AMBROSE; Let him then that is able bring forth fruit unto grace, him who ought, unto repentance. The Lord is at hand seeking for His fruit, who shall cherish the fruitful, but rebuke the barren.

Lectio 4
10 καὶ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ ὄχλοι λέγοντες, τί οὖν ποιήσωμεν; 11 ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς, ὁ ἔχων δύο χιτῶνας μεταδότω τῷ μὴ ἔχοντι, καὶ ὁ ἔχων βρώματα ὁμοίως ποιείτω. 12 ἦλθον δὲ καὶ τελῶναι βαπτισθῆναι καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτόν, διδάσκαλε, τί ποιήσωμεν; 13 ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς, μηδὲν πλέον παρὰ τὸ διατεταγμένον ὑμῖν πράσσετε. 14 ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ στρατευόμενοι λέγοντες, τί ποιήσωμεν καὶ ἡμεῖς; καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς, μηδένα διασείσητε μηδὲ συκοφαντήσητε, καὶ ἀρκεῖσθε τοῖς ὀψωνίοις ὑμῶν.
10. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11. He answered and said to them, He that has two coats, let him impart to him that has none; and he that has meat, let him do likewise. 12. Then came also Publicans to be baptized, and said to him, Master, what shall we do? 13. And he said to them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. 14. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said to them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

Gregorius in Evang: In praemissis verbis Baptistae Ioannis constat, quod audientium corda turbata sunt, quae consilium quaerebant, cum subinfertur et interrogabant eum turbae dicentes: quid ergo faciemus? GREG. In the preceding words of John, it is plain that the hearts of his hearers were troubled, and sought for advice from him. As it is added, And they asked him, saying, &c.
Origenes in Lucam: Tres ordines inducuntur sciscitantium Ioannem super salute sua: unus quem Scriptura appellat turbas; alius quem publicanos nominat; tertius qui militum appellatione censetur. ORIGEN; Three classes of men are introduced as inquiring of John concerning their salvation, one which the Scripture calls the multitude, another to which it gives the name of Publicans, and a third which is noticed by the appellation of soldiers.
Theophylactus: Et quidem publicanis et militibus a malo abstinere praecepit; turbis autem, quasi non malitiosis existentibus, bonum aliquod praecepit observari; unde sequitur respondens autem dicebat illis: qui habet duas tunicas, det non habenti. THEOPHYL. Now to the Publicans and soldiers he gives a commandment to abstain from evil, but the multitudes, as not living in an evil condition, he commands to perform some good work, as it follows, He that has two coats, let him give one.
Gregorius: Propter hoc quod tunica plus est necessaria usui nostro quam pallium, ad fructum dignum poenitentiae pertinet ut non solum exteriora quaecumque, sed ipsa nobis valde necessaria dividere cum proximis debeamus; scilicet vel tunicam qua vestimur, vel escam qua carnaliter vivimus; unde sequitur et qui habet escas, similiter faciat. GREG. Because a coat is more necessary for our use than a cloak, it belongs to the bringing forth of fruits worthy of repentance, that we should divide with our neighbors not only our superfluities but those which are absolutely necessary to us, as our coat, or the meat with which we support our bodies; and hence it follows, And he who has meat, let him do likewise.
Basilius: Hic autem docemur quod ex omni eo quod affluit supra proprii victus necessitatem, tenemur erogare illi qui non habet, propter Deum, qui quaecumque possidemus largitus est. BASIL; But we are hereby taught, that every thing we have over and above what is necessary to our daily support, we are bound to give to him who has nothing for God’s sake, who has given us liberally whatever we possess.
Gregorius: Quia enim in lege scriptum est: diliges proximum tuum sicut teipsum, minus proximum amare convincitur qui non cum eo in necessitate illius etiam ea quae sunt sibi necessaria partitur: idcirco de dividendis cum proximo duabus tunicis datur praeceptum; quoniam si una dividitur, nemo vestitur. Inter haec autem sciendum est quantum misericordiae opera valeant, cum ad fructus dignos poenitentiae ipsa prae ceteris praecipiuntur. GREG. For because it was written in the law, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, he is proved to love his neighbor less than himself, who does not share with him in his distress, those things which are even necessary to himself. Therefore that precept is given of dividing with one’s neighbor the two coats, since if one is divided no one is clothed. But we must remark in this, of how much value are works of mercy, since of the works worthy of repentance these are enjoined before all others.
Ambrosius: Alia enim officiorum praecepta propria sunt singulorum: misericordia communis est usus: ideo commune praeceptum est omnibus ut conferant non habenti. Misericordia est plenitudo virtutum. Misericordiae tamen ipsius pro possibilitate conditionis humanae mensura servatur, ut non sibi unusquisque totum eripiat, sed quod habet cum paupere partiatur. AMBROSE; For other commands of duty have reference only to individuals, mercy has a common application. It is therefore a common commandment to all, to contribute to him that has not. Mercy is the fullness of virtues, yet in mercy itself a proportion is observed to meet the capacities of man’s condition, in that each individual is not to deprive himself of all, but what he has to share it with the poor.
Origenes in Lucam: Profundiorem autem locus iste recipit intellectum. Quomodo enim non debemus duobus servire dominis, sic nec duas habere tunicas, ne sit unum indumentum veteris hominis et alterum novi: sed debemus nos exuere veterem hominem, et ei dare qui nudus est: alius enim habet unum, alius vero omnino non habet, contraria scilicet fortitudo; et quomodo scriptum est ut in profundum maris praecipitemus nostra delicta, sic proiici a nobis oportet vitia atque peccata, et iacere super eum qui eorum nobis causa extitit. ORIGEN; But this place admits of a deeper meaning, for as we ought not to serve two masters, so neither to have two coats, lest one should be the clothing of the old man, the other of the new, but we ought to cast off the old man, and give to him who is naked. For one man has one coat, another has none at all, the strength therefore of the two is exactly contrary, and as it has been written that we should cast all our crimes to the bottom of the sea, so ought we to throw from us our vices and errors, and lay them upon him who has been the cause of them.
Theophylactus: Quidam autem tunicas duas esse dixit spiritum Scripturae et litteram. Habentem vero duo haec monet Ioannes ut instruat ignorantem, et det ei ad minus litteram. THEOPHYL. But some one has observed that the two coats are the spirit and letter of Scripture, but John advises him that has these two to instruct the ignorant, and give him at least the letter.
Beda: Quantum autem Baptistae sermo virtutem habuerit, hinc probatur, cum et publicanos et milites ad consilium salutis suae coegerit inquirendum; unde sequitur venerunt autem publicani ut baptizarentur, et dixerunt: magister, quid BEDE; What great virtue there was in the discourse of the Baptist is manifested by this, that the Publicans, nay even the soldiers, he compelled to seek counsel of him concerning their salvation, as it follows, But the publicans came. faciemus?
Chrysostomus: Magna est virtutis fortitudo, dum felicitatis viam requirunt ab indigo locupletes. CHRYS. Great is the force of virtue that makes the rich seek the way of salvation from the poor, from him that has nothing.
Beda: Praecepit ergo eis ne ultra praescriptum exigant; unde sequitur et ille dixit ad eos: nihil amplius quam quod vobis constitutum est faciatis. Publicani vero appellantur hi qui vectigalia publica exigunt, sive qui conductores sunt vectigalium fisci, vel rerum publicarum; nec non et hi qui saeculi huius lucra per negotia sectantur, eodem vocabulo censentur; quos omnes pariter in suo quemque gradu ab agenda fraude coercet; ut dum primo se ab alienorum temperarent appetitu, tandem ad propria cum proximis communicanda pertingerent. Sequitur interrogabant autem eum et milites, dicentes: quid faciemus et nos? Iustissimo autem moderamine praemonet, ne ab eis calumniando praedam requirant, quibus militando prodesse debuerant; unde sequitur et ait illis: neminem concutiatis, scilicet per violentiam, neque calumniam faciatis, scilicet per fraudulentam malitiam; et contenti estote stipendiis vestris. BEDE; He commands them therefore that they exact no more than what was presented to them, as it follows, And he said to them, Do no more than what is appointed to you. But they are called publicans who collect the public taxes, or who are the farmers of the public revenue or public property? Those also who pursue the gain of this world by traffic are denoted by the same titles, all of whom, each in his own sphere, he equally forbids to practice deceit, that so by first keeping themselves from desiring other men’s goods, they might at length come to share their own with their neighbors. It follows, But the soldiers also asked him. In the justest manner he advises them not to seek gain by falsely accusing those whom they ought to benefit by their protection. Hence it follows, And he says to them, Strike no one, (i.e. violently,) nor accuse any falsely, (i.e. by unjustly using arms,) and be content with your wages.
Ambrosius: Docens idcirco stipendia militiae constituta, ne dum sumptus quaeritur, praedo grassetur. AMBROSE; Teaching thereby that wages were affixed to military duty, lest men seeking for gain should go about as robbers.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Stipendium enim appellat imperialem provisionem, et deputata per legem dignitatibus munera. GREG. NAZ. For by wages he refers to the imperial pay, and the rewards assigned to distinguished actions.
Augustinus contra Faustum: Sciebat enim eos cum militarent non esse homicidas, sed ministros legis; et non ultores iniuriarum suarum, sed salutis publicae defensores: alioquin responderet eis: arma abjicite, militiam istam deserite, neminem percutite, vulnerate, prosternite. Quid enim culpatur in bello? An quia moriuntur quandoque morituri, ut dominentur in pace victuri? Hoc reprehendere timidorum est, non religiosorum. Nocendi cupiditas, ulciscendi crudelitas, implacatus atque implacabilis animus, feritas rebellandi, libido dominandi, et si qua similia, haec sunt quae in bellis iure culpantur; quae plerumque ut etiam inde puniantur, adversus violentiam resistentium, sive Deo, sive aliquo legitimo imperio iubente, gerenda ipsa bella suscipiuntur a bonis, cum in eo rerum humanarum ordine inveniuntur ubi eos vel iubere tale aliquid, vel in talibus obedire iuste ipse ordo constringit. AUG. For he knew that soldiers, when they use their arms, are not homicides, but the ministers of the law; not the avengers of their own injuries, but the defenders of the public safety. Otherwise he might have answered, “Put away your arms, abandon warfare, strike no one, wound no one, destroy no one.” For what is it that is blamed in war? Is it that men die, who some time or other must die, that the conquerors might rule in peace? To blame this is the part of timid not religious men. The desire of injury, the cruelty of revenge, a savage and pitiless disposition, the fierceness of rebellion, the lust of power, and such like things are the evils which are justly blamed in wars, which generally for the sake of thereby bringing punishment upon the violence of those who resist, are undertaken and carried on by good men either by command of God or some lawful authority, when they find themselves in that order of things in which their very condition justly obliges them either to command such a thing themselves, or to obey when others command it.
Chrysostomus super Matth: Volebat autem Ioannes quando publicanis et militibus loquebatur, ad aliam maiorem philosophiam ipsos traducere; sed quoniam nondum erant ad illam idonei, minora reserat: ne si potiora proferret, nequaquam illis intenderent, et his etiam privarentur. CHRYS. But John’s desire when he spoke to the Publicans and soldiers, was to bring them over to a higher wisdom, for which as they were not fitted, he reveals to them commoner truths, lest if he put forward the higher they should pay no attention thereto, and be deprived of the others also.

Lectio 5
15 προσδοκῶντος δὲ τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ διαλογιζομένων πάντων ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις αὐτῶν περὶ τοῦ ἰωάννου, μήποτε αὐτὸς εἴη ὁ Χριστός, 16 ἀπεκρίνατο λέγων πᾶσιν ὁ ἰωάννης, ἐγὼ μὲν ὕδατι βαπτίζω ὑμᾶς: ἔρχεται δὲ ὁ ἰσχυρότερός μου, οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς λῦσαι τὸν ἱμάντα τῶν ὑποδημάτων αὐτοῦ: αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί: 17 οὗ τὸ πτύον ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ διακαθᾶραι τὴν ἅλωνα αὐτοῦ καὶ συναγαγεῖν τὸν σῖτον εἰς τὴν ἀποθήκην αὐτοῦ, τὸ δὲ ἄχυρον κατακαύσει πυρὶ ἀσβέστῳ.
15. And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; 16. John answered, saying to them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire. 17. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

Origenes in Lucam: Dignum erat ut plus Ioanni quam ceteris hominibus deferretur, qui aliter quam cuncti mortales vixerat: quam ob causam diligebant quidem eum iustissime, sed non servabant in caritate modum; unde dicitur existimante autem populo, et cogitantibus omnibus in cordibus suis de Ioanne, ne forte ipse esset Christus, et cetera. ORIGEN; It was meet that more deference should be paid to John than to other men, for he lived such as no other man. Wherefore indeed most rightly did they regard him with affection, only they kept not within due bounds; hence it is said, But while the people were expecting whether he were the Christ.
Ambrosius: Quid autem ineptius quam quod is qui in alio aestimatur, in seipso esse non creditur? Quem per mulierem venturum putabant, per virginem venisse non credunt: et utique divini adventus signum in virginis partu, non in mulieris constitutum est. AMBROSE; Now what could be more absurd than that he who was fancied to be in another should not be believed in his own person? He whom they thought to have come by a woman, is not believed to have come by a virgin; while in fact the sign of the Divine coming was placed in tile childbearing of a virgin, not of a woman
Origenes: Habet autem periculum dilectio, si modum transeat: debet enim qui aliquem diligit, naturam et causas considerare diligendi, et non plus diligere quam meretur: nam mensuram caritatis modumque si transcenderit, et qui diligit et qui diligitur in peccato erit. ORIGEN; But love is dangerous when it is uncontrolled. For he who loves any one ought to consider the nature and causes of loving, and not to love more than the object deserves. For if he pass the due measure and bounds of love, both he who loves, and he who is loved, will be in sin.
Graecus: Unde Ioannes non fuit gloriatus in habita opinione de ipso ab hominibus, nec aliquatenus visus est primatum appetere; sed infirmam humilitatem amplexus est; unde sequitur respondit Ioannes, dicens omnibus: ego quidem baptizo vos in aqua. GREEK EX. And hence, John gloried not in the estimation in which all held him, nor in any way seemed to desire the deference of others, but embraced the lowest humility. Hence it follows, John answered.
Beda: Quomodo autem respondit eis qui in secreto cordis quia Christus esset, cogitabant, nisi quia non solum cogitabant, sed etiam, sicut alius Evangelista declarat, missis ad eum sacerdotibus ac Levitis, an esset Christus inquirebant? BEDE; But how could he answer them who in secret thought that he was Christ, except it was that they not only thought, but also (as another Evangelist declares) sending Priests and Levites to him asked him whether he was the Christ or not?
Ambrosius: Vel videbat Ioannes cordis occulta. Sed consideremus cuius gratia: Dei enim munus est qui revelat, non virtus hominis qui divino magis adiuvatur beneficio, quam naturali cernit officio. Cito autem respondens probavit non esse se Christum, qui visibili operatur officio: nam cum ex duabus naturis, idest ex anima homo subsistat et corpore, visibile per visibilia, invisibile per invisibile mysterium consecratur: aqua enim corpus abluitur, spiritu animae delicta mundantur: licet etiam in ipso fonte sanctificatio divinitatis aspiret: et ideo aliud fuit Baptisma poenitentiae, aliud est gratiae: istud Baptisma ex utroque, illud ex uno: opus hominis est gerere poenitentiam delictorum, Dei munus est gratiam implere mysterii. Declinans ergo maiestatis invidiam, non verbo sed opere declaravit non esse se Christum; unde sequitur venit enim fortior me post me. In hoc quod dicit fortior me, comparationem non fecit: neque enim inter Dei filium et hominem ulla poterat esse comparatio; sed quia multi fortes, fortior nemo nisi Christus. Denique fecit comparationem, eo quod addiderit cuius non sum dignus solvere corrigiam calceamentorum eius. AMBROSE; Or: John saw into the secrets of the heart; but let us remember by whose grace, for it is of the gift of God to reveal things to man, not of the virtue of man, which is assisted by the Divine blessing, rather than capable of perceiving by any natural power of its own. But quickly answering them, he proved that he was not the Christ, for his works were by visible operations. For as man is compounded of two natures, i.e. soul and body, the visible mystery is made holy by the visible, the invisible by the invisible; for by water the body is washed, by the Spirit the soul is cleansed of its stains. It is permitted to us also in the very water to have the sanctifying influence of the Deity breathed upon us. And therefore there was one baptism of repentance, another of grace. The latter was by both water and Spirit, the former by one only; the work of man is to bring forth repentance for his sin, it is the gift of God to pour in the grace of His mystery. Devoid therefore of all envy of Christ’s greatness, he declared not by word but by work that he was not the Christ. Hence it follows, There comes after me one mightier than I. In those words, mightier than I, he makes no comparison, for there can be none between the Son of God and man, but because there are many mighty, no one is mightier but Christ. So far indeed was as he from making comparison, that he adds, Whose shoes latched I am not worthy to unloose.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Matthaeus quidem dicit: cuius non sum dignus calceamenta portare. Itaque si ad rem pertinet aliud intelligere in eo quod dictum est: calceamenta portare, et corrigiam calceamentorum solvere, ut unus Evangelistarum hoc, alii aliud dicerent, omnes verum narraverunt: si autem nihil intendit Ioannes, cum de calceamentis domini diceret, nisi excellentiam eius et humilitatem suam; quodlibet horum dixerit, sive de solvenda calceamentorum corrigia, sive de portandis calceamentis, eamdem tamen sententiam tenuit quisquis etiam verbis suis per calceamentorum memoriam, eamdem significationem humilitatis expressit. AUG. Matthew says, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear. If therefore it is worth while to understand any difference in these expressions, we can only suppose that John said one at one time, another at another, or both together, To bear his shoes, and to loose the latchet of his shoes, so that though one Evangelist may have related this, the others that, yet all have related the truth. But if John intended no more when he spoke of the shoes of our Lord but His excellence and his own humility, whether he said loosing the latchet of the shoes, or bearing them, they have still kept the same sense who by the mention of shoes have in their own words expressed the same signification of humility.
Ambrosius: Per hoc etiam quod dicit: cuius non sum dignus calceamenta portare, evangelicae praedicationis ostendit in apostolos gratiam esse collatam, qui sunt calceati in Evangelium. Videtur tamen ideo hoc dicere quod plerumque Ioannes personam accipit populi Iudaeorum. AMBROSE; By the words, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear, he shows that the grace of preaching the Gospel was conferred upon the Apostles, who were shod for the Gospel. He seems however to say it, because John frequently represented the Jewish people.
Gregorius in Evang: Sed et Ioannes se indignum esse ad solvendum corrigiam calceamenti eius denuntiat; ac si aperte dicat: ego redemptoris vestigia denudare non valeo, qui sponsi nomen mihi immeritus non usurpo. Mos enim apud veteres fuit ut si quis eam quae sibi competeret, accipere nollet uxorem, ille ei calceamentum solveret qui ad hanc sponsus iure propinquitatis veniret. Vel quia calceamenta ex mortuis animalibus fiunt, incarnatus dominus quasi calceatus apparuit, qui morticina nostrae corruptionis assumpsit. Corrigia ergo calceamenti est ligatura mysterii. Ioannes itaque solvere corrigiam calceamenti eius non valet: quia incarnationis mysterium nec ipse investigare sufficit qui hanc per prophetiae spiritum agnovit. GREG. But John denounces himself as unworthy to loose the latchet of Christ’s shoes: as if he openly said, I am not able to disclose the footsteps of my Redeemer, who do not presume unworthily to take unto myself the name of bridegroom, for it was an ancient custom that when a man refused to take to wife her whom he ought, whoever should come to her betrothed by right of kin, was to loose his shoe. Or because shoes are made from the skins of dead animals, our Lord being made flesh appeared as it were with shoes, as taking upon Himself the carcass of our corruption. The latchet of the shoe is the connection of the mystery. John therefore can not loose the latchet of the shoe, because neither is he able to fathom the mystery of the Incarnation, though he acknowledged it by the Spirit of prophecy.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Et quia dixerat quod suum Baptisma nil plus haberet quam aquam, consequenter ostendit excellentiam exhibiti per Christum Baptismatis, cum subdit ipse vos baptizabit in spiritu sancto et igni: per ipsam dicti metaphoram ostendens abundantiam gratiae: non enim ait: dabit vobis spiritum sanctum, sed baptizabit: ac rursus per id quod de igne subicit, ostendit virtutem gratiae; et sicut Christus aquam vocat spiritus gratiam, ostendens per vocabulum aquae, nitorem qui contingit ex ea, et consolationem immensam quae mentibus capacibus illius ingeritur; sic et Ioannes per ignis vocabulum exprimit fervorem et rectitudinem gratiae, necnon et peccatorum consumptionem. CHRYS. And having said that his own baptism was only with water, he next shows the excellence of that baptism which was brought by Christ, adding, He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and fire, signifying by the very metaphor which he uses the abundance of grace. For he says not, “ He shall give you the Holy Spirit,” but He shall baptize you. And again, by the addition of fire, he shows the power of grace. And as Christ calls the grace of the Spirit, water, meaning by water the purity resulting from it, and the abundant consolation which is brought to minds which are capable of receiving Him; so also John, by the word fire, expresses the fervor and uprightness of grace, as well as the consuming of sins.
Beda: Potest et spiritus sanctus nomine ignis significatus intelligi: quia incendit per amorem, et per sapientiam corda quae replet, illuminat: unde et apostoli Baptisma spiritus in ignis visione percipiunt. Sunt qui ita exponunt, quod in praesenti in spiritu, et in futuro baptizaremur in igne; ut videlicet, sicut in remissionem omnium peccatorum ex aqua et spiritu renascimur; ita et tunc de levibus quibusdam peccatis Purgatorii ignis ante ultimum iudicium Baptismate permundemur. BEDE; The Holy Spirit also may be understood by the word fire, for He kindles with love and enlightens with wisdom the hearts which He fills. Hence also the Apostles received the baptism of the Spirit in the appearance of fire. There are some who explain it, that now we are baptized with the Spirit, hereafter we shall be with fire, that as in truth we are now born again to the remission of our sins by water and the Spirit, so then we shall be cleansed from certain lighter sins by the baptism of purifying fire.
Origenes in Lucam: Et quomodo Ioannes iuxta Iordanem fluvium venientes ad Baptismum praestolabatur, et alios abigebat, dicens: generatio viperarum, eos vero qui confitebantur peccata, suscipiebat, sic stabit in igneo flumine dominus Iesus iuxta flammeam rhomphaeam; ut quicumque post exitum vitae huius ad Paradisum transire desiderat, et purgatione indiget, hoc eum amne baptizet, et ad Paradisum transmittat: eum vero qui non habet signum priorum Baptismatum, lavacro igneo non baptizet. ORIGEN; And as John was waiting by the river Jordan for those who came to his baptism, and some he drove away, saying, Generation of vipers, but those who confessed their sins he received, so shall the Lord Jesus stand in the fiery stream with the flaming sword, that whoever after the close of this life desires to pass over to Paradise and needs purification, He may baptize him with this laver, and pass him over to paradise, but whoso has not the seal of the former baptisms, him He shall not baptize with the laver of fire.
Basilius: Non autem propter hoc quod dicit baptizabit vos in spiritu sancto, integrum quis esse Baptisma fatebitur in quo nomen solius spiritus invocatum est: oportet enim semper illibatam manere assignatam traditionem in vivificante gratia: nam addere vel minuere quicquam excludit a vita perpetua: sicut enim credimus, sic et Baptisma suscipimus in nomine patris et filii et spiritus sancti. BASIL; But because he says, He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, let no one admit that baptism to be valid in which the name of His Spirit only has been invoked, for we must ever keep undiminished that tradition which has’ been sealed to us in quickening grace. To add or take away ought thereof excludes from eternal life.
Graecus: Per hoc ergo quod dicit baptizabit in spiritu sancto, ostendit abundantiam gratiae et beneficii copiam. Ne autem aliqui putent quod dona largiri et potestas et voluntas est creatori: punire vero inobedientes nullam sibi fore causam; ob hoc subdit cuius ventilabrum in manu eius: ostendens quod non solum munificus est dignis, sed etiam praevaricationum ultor. Ventilabrum autem promptitudinem iudicii exprimit: non enim cum induciis, sed in instanti et absque quolibet intervallo separat damnandos a collegio salvandorum. GREEK EX. By these words then, He shall baptize with the Holy Spirit, He signifies the abundance of His grace, the plenteousness of His mercy; but lest any should suppose that while to bestow abundantly is both in the power and will of the Creator, He will have no occasion to punish the disobedient, he adds, whose fan is in his hand, showing that He is not only the rewarder of the righteous, but the avenger of them that speak lies. But the fan expresses the promptitude of His judgment. For not with the process of passing sentence on trial, but in an instant and without any interval he separates those that are to be condemned from the company of those that are to be saved.
Cyrillus: Per hoc autem quod subdit et permundabit aream suam, designat Baptista Ecclesiam pertinere ad Christum, quasi ad dominum. CYRIL; By the following words, And he shall thoroughly purge his floor, the Baptist signifies that the Church belongs to Christ as her Lord.
Beda: Per aream enim praesens Ecclesia figuratur, in qua multi sunt vocati, pauci vero electi; cuius areae purgatio et nunc viritim geritur, cum quisque perversus vel ob manifesta peccata de Ecclesia, sacerdotali castigatione, eicitur, vel ob occulta post mortem divina districtione damnatur. Et universaliter in fine perficietur, quando mittet filius hominis Angelos suos, et colligent de regno eius omnia scandala. BEDE; For by the floor is represented the present Church, in which many are called but few are chosen. The purging of which floor is even now carried on individually, when every perverse offender is either cast out of the Church for his open sins, (by the hands of the Priesthood,) or for his secret sins is after death condemned by Divine judgment. And at the end of the world it will be accomplished universally, when the Son of Man shall send His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom every thing that has offended.
Ambrosius: Ventilabri ergo indicio, discriminandorum dominus declaratur ius habere meritorum, eo quod dum frumenta ventilantur in area, plena a vacuis velut quodam aurae spirantis examine separantur; unde sequitur et congregabit triticum in horreum suum; paleas autem comburet igne inextinguibili. Per hanc comparationem dominus ostendit quod iudicii die solida merita fructusque virtutis ab inanis iactantiae, exiliumque factorum infructuosa levitate discernat, perfectioris meriti viros locaturus in mansione caelesti. Ipse enim perfectior fructus est qui meruit eius esse conformis qui sicut granum tritici excidit, ut plurimos fructus afferret. AMBROSE; By the sign of a fan then the Lord is declared to possess the power of discerning merits, since when the corn is winnowed in the threshing floor, the full ears are separated from the empty by the trial of the wind blowing them. Hence it follows, And be shall gather the wheat into his barn. By this comparison, the Lord shows that on the day of judgment He will discern the solid merits and fruits of virtue from the unfruitful lightness of empty boasting and vain deeds, about to place the men of more perfect righteousness in His heavenly mansion. For that is indeed the more perfect fruit which was thought worthy to be like to Him who fell as a grain of wheat, that He might bring forth fruit in abundance.
Cyrillus: At paleae lentos et inanes signant, et quolibet vento peccati ventilatos et volubiles. CYRIL; But the chaff signifies the trifling and empty blown about and liable to be carried away by every blast of sin.
Basilius: Conferunt autem his qui digni sunt regno caelorum velut palea tritico; non tamen intuitu divinae caritatis et proximorum hoc faciunt, sive spiritualibus donis, sive corporalibus beneficiis. BASIL; But they are mixed up with those who are worthy of the kingdom of heaven, as the chaff with the wheat. This is not however from consideration of their love of God and their neighbor, nor from their spiritual gifts or temporal blessings.
Origenes in Lucam: Vel quia absque vento non possunt triticum et paleae separari; ideo habet ventilabrum in manu sua; quod alios paleas, alios triticum esse demonstrat. Cum enim esses palea levis, idest incredulus, ostendit te esse tentatio quod latebas. Cum autem fortiter tentamenta toleraveris, non te faciet fidelem tentatio atque patientem; sed virtutem, quae in te latebat, profert in medium. ORIGEN; Or, because without the wind the wheat and chaff cannot be separated, therefore He has the fan in His hand, which shows some to be chaff, some wheat; for when you were as the light chaff, (i.e. unbelieving,) temptation showed you to be what you knew not; but when you shall bravely endure temptation, the temptation will not make you faithful and enduring, but it will bring to light the virtue which was hid in you.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Expedit autem scire, quod nec bona quae per repromissiones reposita sunt honeste viventibus, talia sunt ut verbo valeant explicari: quia nec oculus vidit, nec auris audivit, nec in cor hominis ascenderunt: nec peccatorum poenae ad aliquid eorum quae in praesenti sensum afficiunt, proportionem habent: et quamvis aliquae illarum poenarum per nostra nominentur vocabula, differt tamen non modicum: cum enim audis ignem, aliud quiddam conicere doceris ex eo quod additur inextinguibili, quod in istum ignem non cadit. GREG NYSS. But it is well to know, that the treasure which according to the promises are laid up for those who live honestly, are such as the words of man cannot express, as eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive. And the punishments which await sinners bear no proportion to any of those things which now affect the senses. And although some of those punishments are called by our names, yet their difference is very great. For when you hear of fire, you are taught to understand something else from the expression which follows, that is not quenched, beyond what comes into the idea of other fire.
Gregorius Moralium: Miro modo expressus est ignis Gehennae: ignis namque noster corporeus per congesta ligna nutritur, nec valet nisi fotus subsistere; at contra Gehennae ignis, cum sit corporeus, et in se missos reprobos corporaliter exurat, lignis non nutritur, sed creatus semel inextinguibilis durat. GREG The fire of hell is here wonderfully expressed, for our earthly fire is kept up by heaping wood upon it, and cannot live unless supplied with fuel, but on the contrary the fire of hell, though a bodily fire, and burning bodily the wicked who are put into it, is not kept up by wood, but once made remains unquenchable.

Lectio 6
18 πολλὰ μὲν οὖν καὶ ἕτερα παρακαλῶν εὐηγγελίζετο τὸν λαόν: 19 ὁ δὲ ἡρῴδης ὁ τετραάρχης, ἐλεγχόμενος ὑπ' αὐτοῦ περὶ ἡρῳδιάδος τῆς γυναικὸς τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ καὶ περὶ πάντων ὧν ἐποίησεν πονηρῶν ὁ ἡρῴδης, 20 προσέθηκεν καὶ τοῦτο ἐπὶ πᾶσιν [καὶ] κατέκλεισεν τὸν ἰωάννην ἐν φυλακῇ.
18. And many other things in his exhortation preached he to the people. 19. But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, 20. Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

Origenes in Lucam: Annuntiaverat Ioannes Christum, Baptismum spiritus sancti praedicabat, et cetera quae Evangelii tradit historia: exceptis ergo his alia annuntiasse monstratur in eo quod dicitur multa quidem et alia exhortans evangelizabat populo. ORIGEN; John having announced the coming of Christ, was preaching the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the other things which the Gospel history has handed down to us. But besides these he is declared to have announced others in the following words, And many other things in his exhortation preached he to the people.
Theophylactus: Exhortatio enim eius erat bona doctrina; et ideo convenienter Evangelium dicitur. THEOPHYL. For his exhortation was the telling of good things, and therefore is fitly called the Gospel.
Origenes: Et quomodo in Evangelio secundum Ioannem de Christo refertur, quia multa et alia locutus est, sic et in praesenti loco intellige quod Lucas hic dixit, quoniam maiora quaedam a Ioanne annuntiabantur quam ut deberent litteris credi. Miramur autem Ioannem, quo inter natos mulierum maior nemo fuerit, quod in tantam opinionem meritis virtutis ascenderit ut a plerisque Christus putaretur; sed illud multo mirabilius, quod non timuit Herodem, non formidavit interitum; unde sequitur Herodes autem tetrarcha cum corriperetur ab illo, et cetera. ORIGEN; And as in the Gospel according to St. John it is related of Christ that He spoke many other things, so also in this place we must understand Luke to say the same of John the Baptist, since certain things are announced by John too great to be entrusted to writing. But we marvel at John, because among them that are born of women there was not a greater than he, for by his good deeds he had been exalted to so high a fame for virtue, that by many he was supposed to be Christ. But what is much more marvelous he feared not Herod, nor dreaded death, as it follows, But Herod the tetrarch being reproved by him.
Eusebius Eccles. Hist: Dicitur autem tetrarcha ad differentiam alterius Herodis, quo regnante natus est Christus: erat enim ille rex, hic autem tetrarcha. Erat autem illi coniux Aretae regis Arabum filia, quam, cum coniux esset fratris sui Philippi, more sacrilego duxit, quamvis prolem haberet a fratre: his enim solum licebat hoc agere quorum fratres sine prole vitam compleverant. Super hoc Herodem reprehenderat Baptista. Primo quidem diligenter eius audiebat sermones, cum sciret eos ponderosos, et consolatione plenos; sed Herodiadis concupiscentia cogebat eum aspernari verba Ioannis: unde et eum detrudit in carcerem; et hoc est quod dicitur adiecit et hoc super omnia, et inclusit Ioannem in carcere. EUSEBIUS. He is called the tetrarch, to distinguish him from the other Herod, in whose reign Christ was born, and who was king, but this Herod was tetrarch. Now his wife was the daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia, but he had sacrilegiously married his brother Philip’s wife, though she had offspring by his brother. For those only were allowed to do this whose brothers died without issue. For this the Baptist had censured Herod. First indeed he heard him attentively, for he knew that his words were weighty and full of consolation, but the desire of Herodius compelled him to despise the words of John, and he then thrust him into prison. And so it follows, And he added this a above all, that he shut up John in prison.
Beda: Non autem his diebus captus est Ioannes, sed, iuxta Evangelium Ioannis, post aliqua gesta signa a domino, et post eius Baptismum diffamatum. Sed a Luca propter exaggerandam malitiam Herodis praeoccupatum est: qui cum videret ad praedicationem Ioannis multos confluere, milites credere, publicanos poenitere, totum vulgus Baptisma suscipere, ipse e converso non solum Ioannem contemnit, sed vinculat et occidit. BEDE; But John was not imprisoned in those days. According to St. John’s Gospel it was not till after some miracles had been performed by our Lord, and after His baptism had been noised abroad but according to Luke he had been seized beforehand by the redoubled malice of Herod, who, when he saw so man flock to the preaching of John, and the soldiers believing, the publicans repenting, and whole multitudes receiving baptism on the contrary not only despised John, but having put him in prison, slew him.
Glossa: Ante etiam quam Lucas aliquid narret de actibus Iesu, dicit Ioannem ab Herode captum; ut ostendat se solummodo ea domini facta praecipue descripturum quae eo anno gesta sunt quo Ioannes captus est vel punitus. GLOSS. For before that Luke relates any of the acts of Jesus, he says that John was taken by Herod, to show that he alone was in an especial manner going to describe those of our Lord’s acts, which were performed since the year in which John was taken or put to death.

Lectio 7
21 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαὸν καὶ Ἰησοῦ βαπτισθέντος καὶ προσευχομένου ἀνεῳχθῆναι τὸν οὐρανὸν 22 καὶ καταβῆναι τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστερὰν ἐπ' αὐτόν, καὶ φωνὴν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ γενέσθαι, σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱός μου ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα.
21. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22. And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased.

Ambrosius: Pulchre in his quae a ceteris dicta sunt, Lucas compendium sumpsit. Et intelligendum magis quod a Ioanne dominus baptizatus est, quam expressum reliquit; unde dicitur factum est autem, cum baptizaretur omnis populus, et Iesu baptizato et orante, apertum est caelum. Baptizatus est autem dominus, non mundari volens, sed mundare aquas; ut ablutae per carnem Christi, qui peccatum non cognovit, Baptismatis ius haberent. AMBROSE; In a matter which has been related by others Luke has rightly given us only a summary, and has left more to be understood than expressed in the fact, that our Lord was baptized by John. As it is said, Now when all were baptized, it came to pass. Our Lord was baptized not that He might be cleansed by the waters but to cleanse them, that being purified by the flesh of Christ who knew no sin, they might possess the power of baptism.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Accedit etiam Christus ad Baptismum, forsan sanctificaturus Baptistam; quod autem nulli dubium est, ut totum veteranum Adam immergat aquae. GREG. NAZ. Christ comes also to baptism perhaps to sanctify baptism, but doubtless to bury the old Adam in water.
Ambrosius: Quae etiam sit dominici causa Baptismatis, dominus ipse declarat, dicens: sic decet implere omnem iustitiam. Quae est ergo iustitia, nisi quia quod alterum tibi facere velis, prior ipse incipias, et tuo alios horteris exemplo? Nemo igitur refugiat lavacrum gratiae, quando Christus lavacrum poenitentiae non refugit. AMBROSE; But the cause of our Lord’s baptism He Himself declares when He says, Thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness. But what is righteousness, except that what you would have another do to you, you should first begin yourself, and so by your example encourage others? Let none then avoid the laver of grace, since Christ avoided not the laver of repentance.
Chrysostomus: Fuerat autem Baptisma Iudaicum quod sordes carnis amovebat, non conscientiae crimina; nostrum autem Baptisma separat a peccatis, lavat animam, et spiritus copiam elargitur. Baptisma vero Ioannis Iudaico praestantius fuit: neque enim ad observantiam corporalium mundificationum inducebat, sed monebat a vitio in virtutem converti: nostro vero Baptismate minus, eo quod nec spiritum sanctum administrabat, nec remissionem quae per gratiam sit exhibebat; cum quasi finis quidam esset utrorumque Baptismatum. Sed neque Iudaico Baptismate, nec nostro baptizatus est Christus: quia nec indulgentia peccatorum egebat, nec illa caro expers erat spiritus sancti quae per spiritum sanctum ab ipso principio concepta est. Sed baptizatus est Ioannis Baptismate, ut ex ipsa natura Baptismatis scias quia neque causa peccati, neque propter indigentiam doni baptizatus est. Dicit autem baptizato et orante, ut perpendas quod, suscepto Baptismate, opportuna sit iugis oratio. CHRYS. Now there was a Jewish baptism which removed the pollutions of the flesh, not the guilt of the conscience; but our baptism parts us from sin, washes the soul, and gives us largely the outpouring of the Spirit. But John’s baptism was more excellent than the Jewish; for it did not bring men to the observance of bodily purifications, but taught them to turn from sin to virtue. But it was inferior to our baptism, in that it conveyed not the Holy Spirit, nor showed forth the remission which is by grace, for there was a certain end as it were of each baptism. But neither by the Jewish nor our own baptism was Christ baptized, for He needed not the pardon of sins, nor was that flesh destitute of the Holy Spirit which from the very beginning was conceived by the Holy Spirit; He was baptized by the baptism of John, that from the very nature of the baptism, you might know that He was not baptized because He needed the gift of the Spirit. But he says, fitting baptized and praying, that you might consider how fitting to one who has received baptism is constant prayer.
Beda: Quia etsi peccata sunt omnia in Baptismo laxata, non adhuc terrenae carnis est fragilitas solidata: nam quasi transito mari rubro gratulamur submersos Aegyptios; sed in deserto mundanae conversationis hostes concurrunt alii, qui duce Christi gratia nostro sudore vincantur, donec perveniamus ad patriam. BEDE; Because though all sins are forgiven in baptism, not as yet is the weakness of this fleshly substance made strong. For we rejoice at the overwhelming of the Egyptians having now crossed the Red sea, but in the wilderness of worldly living there meet us other foes, who, the grace of Christ directing us, may by our exertions be subdued until we come to our own country.
Chrysostomus: Dicit autem apertum est caelum, tamquam hactenus reclusum fuisset. Iam autem ovili superno et infimo in unum redacto, et uno existente ovium pastore, caelum patuit, et homo terricola aggregatus est Angelis. CHRYS. But he says, The heavens opened, as if till then they had been shut. But now the higher and the lower sheep-fold being brought into one, and there being one Shepherd of the sheep, the heavens opened, and man was incorporated a fellow citizen with the Angels.
Beda: Non enim ei caelum tunc apertum est cuius oculi interiora cernebant; sed virtus ibi Baptismatis ostenditur, de quo quisque cum egreditur, regni caelestis ei ianua aperitur, dumque caro innoxia frigentibus tangitur aquis, opposita quondam noxiis rhomphaea extinguitur ignea. BEDE; For not then were the heavens opened to Him whose eyes scanned the innermost parts of the heaven, but therein is shown the virtue of baptism, that when a man comes forth from it the gates of the heavenly kingdom are opened to him, and while his flesh is bathed unharmed in the cold waters, which formerly dreaded their hurtful touch, the flaming sword is extinguished.
Chrysostomus: Descendit etiam spiritus sanctus ad Christum tamquam ad generis nostri principium, ut in Christo sit primo, qui non sibi, sed nobis potius illum suscepit: unde sequitur et descendit spiritus sanctus corporali specie, sicut columba, in ipsum. Non existimet aliquis quod cum non habuit eum, suscepit ipsum: ipse namque illum desursum tamquam Deus mittebat; at idem ut homo recipiebat inferius. Igitur ex eo devolavit in eum, ex ipsius deitate ad eius humanitatem. CHRYS. The Holy Spirit descended also upon Christ as upon the Founder of our race, that He might be in Christ first of all who received Him not for Himself, but rather for us. Hence it follows: And the Holy Spirit descended. Let not any one imagine that He received Him because He had Him not. For He as God sent Him from above, and as man received Him below. Therefore from Him the Spirit fled down to Him, i.e. from His deity to His humanity.
Augustinus de Trin: Absurdissimum autem est, cum iam triginta annorum esset, accepisse spiritum sanctum: sed venit ad Baptismum sicut sine peccato, ita non sine spiritu sancto. Si enim de Ioanne scriptum est: spiritus sancto replebitur ab utero matris suae, quid de homine Christo credendum est, cuius carnis ipsa conceptio non carnalis, sed spiritualis fuit? Nunc ergo corpus suum, idest Ecclesiam, praefigurare dignatus est, in qua baptizati praecipue accipiunt spiritum sanctum. AUG. But it is most strange that He should receive the Spirit when he was thirty years old. But as without sin He came to baptism, so not without the Holy Spirit. For if it was written of John, He shall be filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb, what must we believe of the man Christ, the very conception of whose flesh was not carnal but spiritual. Therefore He condescended now to prefigure His body, i.e. the Church, in which the baptized especially receive the Holy Spirit.
Chrysostomus: Redolebat illud Baptisma aliquid vetustatis, et partim sapiebat novitatem: quod enim Baptisma susciperet a propheta, ostendebat aliquid vetustatis: quod autem spiritus descenderit, novum aliquid designabat. CHRYS. That baptism savored partly of antiquity, partly of novelty. For that he should receive baptism from a Prophet showed antiquity, but the Spirit’s descent denoted something new.
Ambrosius: Merito autem spiritus se in corpore demonstravit, quoniam divinitatis substantia non videtur. Advertamus mysterium quare sicut columba: simplicitatem enim lavacri requirit gratia: quoniam in typo veteri columba quondam ad illam arcam, quae sola fuit diluvii immunis, reversa est. AMBROSE; Now the Spirit rightly showed Himself in the form of a dove, for He is not seen in His divine substance. Let us consider the mystery why like a dove? Because the grace of baptism requires innocence, that we should be innocent as doves. The grace of baptism requires peace, which under the emblem of an olive branch the dove once brought to that ark which alone escaped the deluge.
Chrysostomus: Vel nunc ut mansuetudinem magistri declaret, in specie columbina apparet; in Pentecoste autem quemadmodum ignis, ut ostendat poenam. Cum enim oportebat delictis ignoscere, mansuetudo necessaria erat; sed ut adepti sumus gratiam, restat examinis et iudicii tempus. CHRYS. Or to show the meekness of the Lord, the Spirit now appears in the form of a dove, but at Pentecost like fire, to signify punishment. For when He was about to pardon offenses, gentleness was necessary; but having obtained grace, there remains for us the time of trial and judgment.
Cyprianus de Simpl. Praelat: Est autem columba simplex et laetum animal, non felle amarum, non moribus saevum, non ungulae laceratione violentum; hospitia humana deligere, unius domus nosse consortium; cum generant filios simul sedere; cum commeant, volatu invicem cohaerere; conversatione communi vitam suam degere; oris osculo concordiam pacis agnoscere; legem circa omnia unanimitatis implere. CYPRIAN; Now the dove is a harmless and pleasant creature, with no bitterness of gall, no fierceness of bite, no violence of rending talons; they love the abodes of men, consort within one home, when they have young nurturing them together, when they fly abroad, hanging side by side upon the wing, leading their life in mutual intercourse, giving with their bills a sign of their peaceful harmony, and fulfilling a law of unanimity in every way.
Chrysostomus: Et quidem Christus in ortu suo per plurima se manifestaverat oracula: verum quia noluerunt advertere, cum medio latuerit tempore, rursum se ab alio clariore patefecit principio. Non stella, sed desuper indicabat pater in undis Iordanis, et spiritus devolabat protrahens illam vocem super verticem eius qui baptizabatur; unde sequitur et vox de caelo facta est: tu es filius meus dilectus, in te complacui mihi. CHRYS. Christ indeed had already manifested Himself at His birth by many oracles, but because men would not consult them, He who had in the mean time remained secret, again more clearly revealed Himself in a second birth. For formerly a star in the heavens, now the Father at the waves of Jordan declared Him, and as the Spirit descended upon Him, pouring forth that voice over the head of Him who was baptized, as it follows, And a voice came from heaven, You are my beloved Son.
Ambrosius: Vidimus spiritum, sed in specie corporali; et patrem quem videre non possumus, audiamus: invisibilis enim est pater, sed et filius invisibilis secundum divinitatem: sed demonstrare se voluit in corpore: et quia pater corpus non gerebat, ideo probare voluit nobis in filio sese praesentem, dicens tu es filius meus. AMBROSE; We have seen the Spirit, but in a bodily shape, and the Father whom we cannot see we may hear. He is invisible because He is the Father, the Son also is invisible in His divinity, but He wished to manifest Himself in the body. And because the Father did not take the body, He wished therefore to prove to us that He was present in the Son, by saying, You are my Son.
Athanasius de Syn. Nyc: Sacra quidem Scriptura ex nomine filii duplicem intellectum ostendit; unum quidem, ut in Evangelio Ioannis dicitur: dedit eis potestatem ut fiant filii Dei; alterum autem intellectum, iuxta quem Isaac est filius Abrahae. Christus ergo non simpliciter dicitur Dei filius, sed cum articuli additione, ut comprehendamus quoniam ipse solus est qui revera et secundum naturam est filius; quamobrem et unigenitus dicitur: nam si secundum insaniam Arii dicitur filius, sicut qui hoc nomen per gratiam assequuntur; in nullo a nobis differre videbitur. Restat ergo, secundum alium intellectum, fatendum esse Christum filium Dei, secundum quem Isaac filius Abrahae esse cognoscitur: quod enim ab alio naturaliter gignitur, non autem ab extrinseco sumit exordium, filium natura recenset. Sed dicitur: numquid ut hominis est passibilis nativitas filii? Minime; sed Deus cum sit indivisibilis, impassibiliter pater est filii: unde verbum patris dicitur: quia nec ipsum verbum humanum passibiliter producitur; et cum simplex sit natura divina, unius solius filii pater est; et propter hoc additur dilectus. ATHAN. The holy Scriptures by the name of Son set forth two meanings; one similar to that spoken of in the Gospel, He gave to them power that they should become the sons of God; another according to which Isaac is the son of Abraham. Christ is not then simply called a Son of God, but the article is prefixed, that we should understand that He alone is really and by nature the Son; and hence He is said to be the Only begotten. For if according to the madness of Arius He is called Son, as they are called who obtain the name through grace, He will seem in no way to differ from us. It remains therefore that in another respect we must confess Christ to be the Son of God, even as Isaac is acknowledged to be the son of Abraham. For that which is naturally begotten of another, and takes not its origin from any thing besides nature, accounts a son. But it is said, Was then the birth of the Son with suffering as of a man? By no means. God since He cannot be divided is without suffering the Father of the Son. Hence He is called the Word of the Father, because neither is the word of man even produced with suffering and since God is by nature one, He is the Father of one only Son, and therefore it is added, Beloved.
Chrysostomus: Cum enim quis unum solum possidet filium, maxime diligit; si vero pater factus sit plurium, dispertitus affectus remittitur. For when a man has only one son, he loves him very much, but if he becomes father of many, his affection is divided by being distributed.
Athanasius Cum autem antea propheta protulerit Dei promissa dicentis: mittam Christum filium meum, nunc apud Iordanem, quasi consummato promisso, decenter subiungit in te complacui mihi. ATHAN. But as the prophet had before announced the promise of God, saying, I will send Christ my son, that promise being now as it were accomplished at Jordan, He rightly adds, In you I am well pleased.
Beda: Ac si dicat: in te placitum meum constitui, idest hoc per te gerere quod mihi placet. BEDE; As if He said, In You have I appointed My good pleasure, i.e. to carry on by You what seems good to Me.
Gregorius super Ezech: Vel aliter. Omnis qui poenitendo corrigit aliqua quae fecit, eo ipso quod poenitet, se sibi displicuisse indicat, quia emendat quod fecit. Et quia omnipotens pater humano modo de peccatoribus locutus est, dicens: poenitet me fecisse hominem, quasi sibimetipsi displicuit in peccatoribus quos creavit: in solo autem Christo sibi complacuit, quia in solo eo non invenit culpam, in qua se reprehendat quasi per poenitentiam. GREG. Or else, Every one who by repentance corrects any of his actions, by that very repentance shows that he has displeased himself, seeing he amends what he has done. And since the Omnipotent Father spoke of sinners after the manner of men, saying, It repents me that I have made man, He (so to speak) displeased Himself in the sinners whom He had created. But in Christ alone He pleased Himself, for in Him alone He found no fault that He should blame Himself, as it were, by repentance.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Quod autem Matthaeus dicit: hic est filius meus, Lucas autem tu es filius meus dilectus, ad eamdem sententiam explicandam valet: vox enim caelestis unum horum dixit; sed Matthaeus ostendere voluit ad id valere quod dictum est: hic est filius meus, ut illis qui potius audiebant, indicaretur quod ipse esset filius Dei: non enim Christo indicabatur, qui sciebat; sed audiebant qui aderant, propter quos etiam ipsa vox facta est. AUG. But the words of Matthew, This is my beloved Son, and those of Luke, You are my beloved, Son, convey the same meaning; for the heavenly voice spoke one of these. But Matthew wished to show that by the words, This is my beloved Son, it was meant rather to declare to the hearers, that He was the Son of God. For that was not revealed to Christ which He knew, but they heard it who were present, and for whom the voice came.

Lectio 8
23 καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Ἰησοῦς ἀρχόμενος ὡσεὶ ἐτῶν τριάκοντα, ὢν υἱός, ὡς ἐνομίζετο, ἰωσὴφ τοῦ ἠλὶ 24 τοῦ μαθθὰτ τοῦ λευὶ τοῦ μελχὶ τοῦ ἰανναὶ τοῦ ἰωσὴφ 25 τοῦ ματταθίου τοῦ ἀμὼς τοῦ ναοὺμ τοῦ ἑσλὶ τοῦ ναγγαὶ 26 τοῦ μάαθ τοῦ ματταθίου τοῦ σεμεῒν τοῦ ἰωσὴχ τοῦ ἰωδὰ 27 τοῦ ἰωανὰν τοῦ ῥησὰ τοῦ ζοροβαβὲλ τοῦ σαλαθιὴλ τοῦ νηρὶ 28 τοῦ μελχὶ τοῦ ἀδδὶ τοῦ κωσὰμ τοῦ ἐλμαδὰμ τοῦ ἢρ 29 τοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ ἐλιέζερ τοῦ ἰωρὶμ τοῦ μαθθὰτ τοῦ λευὶ 30 τοῦ συμεὼν τοῦ Ἰούδα τοῦ ἰωσὴφ τοῦ ἰωνὰμ τοῦ ἐλιακὶμ 31 τοῦ μελεὰ τοῦ μεννὰ τοῦ ματταθὰ τοῦ ναθὰμ τοῦ δαυὶδ 32 τοῦ ἰεσσαὶ τοῦ ἰωβὴδ τοῦ βόος τοῦ σαλὰ τοῦ ναασσὼν 33 τοῦ ἀμιναδὰβ τοῦ ἀδμὶν τοῦ ἀρνὶ τοῦ ἑσρὼμ τοῦ φάρες τοῦ Ἰούδα 34 τοῦ ἰακὼβ τοῦ ἰσαὰκ τοῦ ἀβραὰμ τοῦ θάρα τοῦ ναχὼρ 35 τοῦ σεροὺχ τοῦ ῥαγαὺ τοῦ φάλεκ τοῦ ἔβερ τοῦ σαλὰ 36 τοῦ καϊνὰμ τοῦ ἀρφαξὰδ τοῦ σὴμ τοῦ νῶε τοῦ λάμεχ 37 τοῦ μαθουσαλὰ τοῦ ἑνὼχ τοῦ ἰάρετ τοῦ μαλελεὴλ τοῦ καϊνὰμ 38 τοῦ ἐνὼς τοῦ σὴθ τοῦ ἀδὰμ τοῦ θεοῦ.
23. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, 24. Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph, 25. Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge, 26. Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda, 27. Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri, 28. Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er, 29. Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, 30. Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim, 31. Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, 32. Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, 33. Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda, 34. Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor, 35. Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, 36. Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noah, which was the son of Lamech, 37. Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, 38. Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Origenes in Lucam: Cum autem baptizatum dominum dixisset, generationem domini exponit, non a superioribus ad inferiora deducens, sed a Christo usque ad ipsum pervenit Deum; unde dicit et ipse Iesus erat incipiens quasi annorum triginta. Quando enim baptizatus est, et mysterium secundae generationis assumpsit, tunc dicitur incepisse, ut tu quoque priorem nativitatem destruas, et in secunda regeneratione nascaris. ORIGEN; Having related our Lord’s baptism, he next enters upon the generation of the Lord, not bringing it down from the higher to the lower, but beginning with Christ, he carries it up to God Himself. Hence he says, And Jesus Himself began. For when He was baptized, and had Himself undergone the mystery of the second birth, then He is said to have begun, that you also mightiest destroy this first birth and be born in the second.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Est ergo considerandum qui esset qui baptizatus est, et a quo, et quando. Mundus siquidem, et a Ioanne, et iam inceptis miraculis; ut ex hinc suscipiamus doctrinam nos praemundandi, et humilitatem amplexandi, quin et in perfectione et spiritualis et carnalis aetatis praedicandi: quorum primum dictum est Baptisma suscipientibus, et non praemunientibus se per habitum bonum; nam etsi relaxationem peccatorum faciat donum Baptismi, verendum tamen est ne ad eumdem vomitum revertamur. Secundum dictum est adversus insurgentes contra dispensatores mysterii: siquidem ipsi dignitate praecellunt. Tertium editum est illis qui de iuventa confidunt, et quodlibet tempus arbitrantur ad praelationem vel doctrinam spectare. Purgatur Iesus, et tu purgationem contemnis; a Ioanne, ac tu in tuum monitorem insurgis; tricenarius, tu autem docendo seniores, lanuginem praevenis. Sed adsunt Danielis et similium exempla in ore: nam quilibet noxius ad respondendum paratus est. Non est autem lex Ecclesiae quod raro contingit, eo quod nec unica hirundo ver statuit. GREG. NAZ. We must therefore consider who He was who was baptized, and by whom and when: seeing He was pure, baptized by John, and at a time when His miracles had begun, that we might thence derive the lesson of purifying ourselves beforehand, and of embracing humility, and of not beginning to preach until the maturity of our spiritual and natural life. The first of these was said for their sakes who are receiving baptism; for although the gift of baptism brings remission, yet we must fear lest we return again to our vomit. The second is pointed at those who exalt themselves against the stewards of the mysteries, whom they may excel in rank. The third was uttered for those who trust in their youth, and imagine that any age is fit for promotion and teaching. Jesus is cleansed, and cost you despise purification? By John, and cost you say ought against your teacher. At thirty years old, but cost you in teaching precede your elders? But the example of Daniel and the like are ready in your mouth, for every guilty person is ready with an answer. But that is not the law of the Church which seldom happens, as neither does a single swallow make the spring.
Chrysostomus: Vel idcirco usque ad illam aetatem quae cuncta peccata recipit, expectat, totam legem perficiens, ne quis dicat, quod ideo legem solvit, quod eam non poterat consummare. CHRYS. Or, He waited accomplishing the whole law until that age which takes in every sin, that none might say that He abrogated the law because He was not able to fulfill it.
Graecus: Ob hoc etiam tricenarius accedit ad Baptisma, ut ostendat quod spiritualis regeneratio viros parit perfectos secundum spiritualem aetatem. GREEK EX. For this reason also He came at thirty years to be baptized, to show that spiritual regeneration makes men perfect as far as regards their spiritual life.
Beda: Potest etiam tricenalis baptizati salvatoris aetas, nostri etiam Baptismatis intimare mysterium, propter fidem scilicet Trinitatis, et operationem Decalogi. BEDE; The thrice ten years also which our Savior had passed when He was baptized might intimate also the mystery of our baptism, because of the faith in the Trinity, and the obedience to the Decalogue.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Baptizandus est tamen infantulus, si necessitas urgeat: nam utilius est insensibiliter sanctificari, quam non signatos transmigrare. Sed dices: Christus tricenarius baptizatur, cum Deus esset; tu vero iubes accelerare Baptisma. Sed cum dixisti: Deus, id obiectum solvisti. Ipse non indigebat purgamine, nec aliquod imminebat ei periculum dum differret Baptisma; at tibi in parvum non redundat piaculum, si transmigres in corruptione natus, non autem incorruptionis veste indutus. At forsan times ne baptizatus Baptismatis munditiam custodias et propterea differs Baptismum. Sed melius est nonnunquam parumper inquinari, quam omnino gratia carere. GREG. NAZ. Still must a child be baptized if necessity demands it. For it is better to be insensibly sanctified, than to pass from this life unsealed. But you will say, Christ is baptized at thirty years old, and He was Clod, but you bid us to hasten our baptism. In that you said God, the objection was done away: He needed no cleansing, nor was any danger hanging over Him while He put off His baptism. But with you it extends to no slight calamity, if you pass from this life born in corruption, but not if you have put on the robe of incorruption. And truly it is a blessed thing to keep unsullied the clean robe of baptism, but it is better at times to be slightly stained, than to be altogether devoid of grace.
Cyrillus: Licet tamen Christus secundum carnem careat patre, suspicabantur aliqui eum patrem habere; unde sequitur ut putabatur filius Ioseph. CYRIL; Although in truth Christ had no father according to the flesh, yet some fancied he had a father. Hence it follows, As was supposed the son of Joseph.
Ambrosius in Lucam: Bene ut putabatur, qui vere non erat; sed ideo putabatur, quia eum Maria, quae Ioseph viro suo erat desponsata genuerat. Cur autem Ioseph magis quam Mariae generatio describitur, cum Maria de spiritu sancto genuerit Christum, et Ioseph a generatione domini videatur alienus, dubitare possemus, nisi consuetudo nos instrueret Scripturarum, quae semper viri originem quaerit: maxime cum in Ioseph origine etiam origo sit Mariae: nam cum vir iustus fuerit Ioseph, utique ex tribu sua et ex patria sua accepit uxorem: itaque et census tempore ascendit Ioseph de domo et de patria David, ut profiteretur cum Maria uxore sua. Quae ex eadem domo et ex eadem patria professionem defert, utique eiusdem tribus et eiusdem patriae se esse designat: unde generationem Ioseph explicans subdit qui fuit Heli. Illud autem advertamus, quod sanctus Matthaeus Iacob, qui fuit pater Ioseph, filium Nathan esse commemorat; Lucas vero Ioseph, cui desponsata fuit Maria, filium Heli esse descripsit. Quomodo unius duo patres, scilicet Heli et Iacob, esse potuerunt? AMBROSE; Rightly as was supposed, since in reality He was not, but was supposed to be so, because Mary who was espoused to Joseph was His mother. But we might doubt why the descent of Joseph is described rather than that of Mary, (seeing that Mary brought forth Christ of the Holy Spirit, while Joseph seemed to be out of the line of our Lord’s descent,) were we not informed of the custom of the Holy Scripture, which always seeks the origin of the husband, and especially in this case, since in Joseph’s descent we also find that of Mary. For Joseph being a just man took a wife really from his own tribe and country, and so at the time of the taxing Joseph went up from the family and country of David to be taxed with Mary his wife. She who gives in the returns from the same family and country, shows herself to be of that family and country. Hence He goes on in the descent of Joseph, and adds, Who was the son of Eli. But let us consider the fact, that St. Matthew makes Jacob, who was the father of Joseph, to be son of Nathan, but Luke says that Joseph (to whom Mary was espoused) was the son of Eli. How then could there be two fathers, (namely, Eli and Jacob,) to one man.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Dicunt autem quidam quod unica est successio a David usque ad Ioseph; licet diversis nominibus ab utroque Evangelista narratur. Sed hoc absurde fatentur: quoniam initium huius generationis duos fratres obtinuit, Nathan scilicet et Salomonem: unde generationes diversimode profluxerunt. GREG. NAZ. But some say that there is one succession from David to Joseph, which each Evangelist relates under different names. But this is absurd, since at the beginning of this genealogy, two brothers come in Nathan and Salomon, from whom the lines are carried in different ways.
Eusebius Eccl. Hist: Ipsorum ergo verborum sententiae intellectum attentius explicemus: si enim approbante Matthaeo Ioseph esse filium Iacob, Lucas similiter approbasset Ioseph esse filium Heli, esset aliqua controversia. Ceterum cum approbante Matthaeo, Lucas plurium opinionem declararet, non propriam, dicens ut putabatur, non arbitror aliquod relinqui dubium. Cum enim essent inter Iudaeos diversae opiniones de Christo, et omnes reducerent ipsum ad David propter promissiones ei factas; plurimi autem assererent Christum a David esse futurum per Salomonem et alios reges; quidam hanc opinionem vitabant, eo quod plurima de regibus dicuntur enormia; et quia de Iechonia Ieremias dixit, quod non oriretur semen ex eo collocandum in sede David: quorum opinionem commemorat Lucas, sentiens enarrare Matthaeum qualis esset veritas generationis: et haec est prima ratio. Est et alia profundior. Matthaeus enim cum inciperet scribere ante conceptionem Mariae, et carnalem nativitatem Iesu, opportune velut in historia praemittit carnalem progeniem: unde et generationem a superioribus derivat descendens: cum enim verbum Dei carnem acciperet, descendebat. Sed Lucas ad factam per lavacrum regenerationem prosilit, et ibi aliam generum successionem exponit, et ab imis ad prima sublevans, pariter et peccatorum, quos narravit Matthaeus, memoriam abdicat (eo quod quicumque in Deo renascitur, sit alienus a criminosis parentibus, Dei filius factus), et eorum qui secundum Deum vitam duxerunt honestam, meminit. Sic enim Abrahae dictum est: tu proficisceris ad patres tuos, non quidem carnales, sed in Deo patres, propter similitudinem honestatis. Igitur ei qui in Deo nascitur ascribit parentes, qui sunt secundum Deum per aequiparantiam morum. EUSEBIUS. Let us then more carefully explain the meaning of the words themselves. For if when Matthew affirmed Joseph to be the son of Jacob, Luke had in like manner affirmed that Joseph was the son of Eli, there would be some dispute. But seeing the case is that Matthew gives his opinion, Luke repeats the common opinion of many, not his own, saying, as was supposed, I do not think that there is any room for doubt. For since there were among the Jews different opinions of the genealogy of Christ, and yet all traced Him up to David because to him the promises were made, while many affirmed that Christ would come through Solomon and the other kings, some shunned this opinion because of the many crimes related of their kings, and because Jeremiah said of Jechonias that “a man should not rise of his seed to sit on the throne of David.” This last view Luke takes, though conscious that Matthew gives the real truth of the genealogy. This is the first reason. The next is a deeper one. For Matthew when he began to write of the things before the conception of Mary and the birth of Jesus in the flesh, very fitly as in a history commences with the ancestry in the flesh, and descending from thence deduces His generation from those who went before. For when the Word of God became flesh, He descended. But Luke hastens forward to the regeneration which takes place in baptism, and then gives another succession of families, and rising up from the lowest to the highest, keeps out of sight those sinners of whom Matthew makes mention, (because that he who is born again in God is separated from his guilty parents, being made the son of God,) and relates those who have led a virtuous life in the sight of God. For thus it was said to Abraham, You shall set out to your fathers, not fathers in the flesh, but in God, on account of their likeness in virtue. To him therefore who is born in God he ascribes parents who are according to God on account of this resemblance in character.
Augustinus de quaest. Nov. et Vet. Testam: Vel aliter. Matthaeus a David per Salomonem descendit ad Ioseph; Lucas vero ab Heli, qui tempore fuit salvatoris, ascendit per traducem Nathan filii David, et Heli et Ioseph iunxit tribum, ostendens unius generis esse utrumque; ac per hoc non solum Ioseph filium esse salvatorem, sed et Heli. Ipsa enim ratione qua Ioseph filius dicitur esse salvator, ipsa etiam est Heli filius, et caeterorum omnium qui de eadem tribu sunt. Hinc est quod dicit apostolus: quorum patres, et ex quibus Christus secundum carnem. AUG. Or in another way; Matthew descends from David through Salomon to Joseph: but Luke beginning from Eli, who was in the line of our Savior, ascends through the line of; Nathan the son of David, and joins the tribes of Eli and Joseph, showing that they are both of the same family, and thereby that the Savior was not only the Son of Joseph, but also of Eli. For by the same reason by which the Savior is called the son of Joseph, he is also the son of Eli, and of all the rest who are of the same tribe. Hence that which the Apostle says, Of whom are the fathers, and from whom. Christ came according to the flesh.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Vel tres causae concurrunt, quarum aliquam Evangelista secutus sit: aut enim unus Evangelista patrem eius a quo genitus est, nominavit, alter vero vel avum maternum, vel aliquem de cognatis maioribus posuit: aut unus erat Ioseph naturalis pater et alter eum adoptavit: aut more Iudaeorum, cum sine filiis unus decessisset, eius uxorem propinquus recipiens, filium quem genuit propinquo mortuo deputavit. AUG. Or there occur three reasons, by one of which the Evangelist was led. For either one Evangelist has mentioned the father by whom Joseph was, begotten, but the other his maternal grandfather, or some one of his ancestors. Or one of the fathers mentioned was the natural father of Joseph, the other his father who had adopted him. Or after the manner of the Jews, when a man has died without children, the next of kin taking his wife ascribes to his dead kinsman the son whom he has himself begotten.
Ambrosius: Traditur enim, Nathan, qui a Salomone genus duxit, Iacob generasse filium, et uxore superstite decessisse, quam postea Melchi accepit uxorem, ex qua generatus est Heli; rursus Heli, fratre Iacob sine liberis decedente, copulatus est fratris uxori, et generavit alium Ioseph, qui iuxta legem Iacobi filius dicitur: quoniam semen fratris defuncti iuxta legis veteris seriem suscitabat. AMBROSE; For it is related that Matthas, who was descended from Salomon, begat Jacob as his son, and died leaving his wife living, whom Melchi took unto him as wife, and from her Eli was born. Again, Eli, when his brother Jacob died without children, was joined to his brother’s wife, and begot a son Joseph, who according to law is called the son of Jacob, since Eli raised up seed to his deceased brother, according to the: order of the ancient law.
Beda: Vel aliter. Iacob fratris Heli sine liberis defuncti uxorem de mandato legis accipiens genuit Ioseph, natura quidem germinis filium suum, secundum vero legis praeceptum efficitur filius Heli. BEDE; Or else, Jacob, taking the wife of his brother Eli who had died without children according to the command of the law, begot Joseph, by natural parentage his own son, but by the ordinance of the law the son of Eli.
Augustinus de quaest. Nov. et Vet. Testam: Probabilius enim intelligimus Lucam adoptantis originem tenuisse, qui noluit Ioseph genitum dicere ab illo cuius filium esse narravit. Commodius enim filius dictus est eius a quo fuerat adoptatus, quam diceretur ab illo genitus cuius carne non erat natus. Matthaeus autem dicens: Abraham genuit Isaac, Isaac autem genuit Iacob, atque in hoc verbo, quod est genuit, perseverans donec in ultimo diceret: Iacob autem genuit Ioseph, satis expressit ad eum se patrem perduxisse originem generantium, a quo Ioseph non adoptatus, sed genitus erat. Quamquam si etiam genitum Lucas diceret Ioseph ab Heli, nec sic nos hoc verbum perturbare deberet: neque enim absurde quisque dicitur non carne, sed caritate genuisse quem sibi filium adoptavit. Merito autem Lucas adoptionis originem suscepit: quia per adoptionem efficiuntur filii Dei; per carnalem vero generationem filius Dei potius propter nos filius hominis factus est. AUG. It is most probable that Luke took the origin by adoption, as not being willing to say that Joseph, was begotten by him whose son he related him to be. For more easily is a man said to be his son by whom he was adopted, than to be begotten by him from whose flesh he was not born. But Matthew saying, “Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Jacob,” and continuing in the word “begat,” until at last he says, but “Jacob begat Joseph,” has sufficiently expressed that he has carried through the succession of the fathers, to that father by whom Joseph was not adopted, but begotten. Although even supposing that Luke should say that Joseph was begotten by Eli, neither ought that word to perplex us. For it is not absurd to say that a man has begotten not in the flesh but in love the Son whom he has adopted. But rightly has Luke taken the origin by adoption, for by adoption are we made the sons of God, by believing on the Son of God, but by His birth in the flesh, the Son of God has rather for our sakes become the Son of man.
Chrysostomus: Quia vero haec pars Evangelii consistit in serie nominum, nihil pretiosum exinde acquiri existimant. Ne igitur hoc patiamur, experiamur etiam hunc passum scrutari. Est enim ex nudis nominibus copiosum haurire thesaurum, quia plurimum rerum indicativa sunt nomina: nam et divinam clementiam, et oblatas a mulieribus gratiarum actiones sapiunt: cum enim filios impetrabant, nomen imponebant a dono. CHRYS But because this part of the Gospel consists of a series of names, men think there is nothing valuable to be derived therefrom. Lest then we should feel this, let us try to examine every step. For from the mere name we may extract an abundant treasure, for names are indicative of many things. For they savor of the Divine mercy and the offerings of thanks by women, who when they obtained sons gave a name significant of the gift.
Glossa: Interpretatur igitur Heli, Deus meus, vel scandens; qui fuit Mathat, idest donans peccata; qui fuit levi, idest additus. GLOSS. By interpretation then Eli means, “My God,” or “climbing”; Who was the son of Matthat, i.e. “forgiving sins.” Who was as the son of Levi, i.e. “being added.”
Ambrosius: Pulchre Lucas, quoniam filios Iacob non poterat plures comprehendere, ne extra generationes evagari superflua serie videretur, licet in aliis longe posterioribus patriarcharum tamen antiqua nomina non praetermittenda arbitratus est: Ioseph, Iudae, Simeonis et levi. Quatuor enim genera in his cognoscimus fuisse virtutum: in Iuda passionis dominicae per figuram mysterium prophetatum; in Ioseph praecessisse castitatis exemplum, in Simeone vindictam pudoris; in levi officium sacerdotis; unde sequitur qui fuit Melchi, idest rex meus; qui fuit Ianne, idest dextera; qui fuit Ioseph, idest accrescens (fuit autem alius iste Ioseph); qui fuit Mathathiae, idest donum Dei, vel aliquando; qui fuit Amos, idest onerans, vel oneravit; qui fuit Nahum, idest consolatio, vel consolans; qui fuit Hesli, idest, adiuva me; qui fuit Nagge, idest meridies, vel meridianum; qui fuit Mahath, idest desiderium; qui fuit Mathathiae, ut supra; qui fuit Semei, idest obediens; qui fuit Ioseph, idest augmentum; qui fuit Iuda, idest confitens; qui fuit Ioanna, idest dominus, vel gratia eius, vel dominus misericors; qui fuit Resa, idest misericors; qui fuit Zorobabel, idest princeps, vel magister Babylonis; qui fuit Salathiel, idest petitio mea Deus; qui fuit Neri, idest lucerna mea; qui fuit Melchi, idest regnum meum; qui fuit addi, idest robustus, vel violentus; qui fuit Cosan, idest dominans; qui fuit Helmadam, quod est Dei mensura; qui fuit Her, quod est vigilans, vel vigilia, vel pelliceus; qui fuit Iesu, quod est salvator; qui fuit Eliezer, idest Deus meus adiutor; qui fuit Iorim, idest dominus exultans, vel exaltans; qui fuit Mathat, ut supra; qui fuit levi, ut supra; qui fuit Simeon, id est audivi tristitiam, vel signum; qui fuit Iuda, ut supra; qui fuit Ioseph, ut supra; qui fuit Iona, idest columba, vel dolens; qui fuit Eliakim, quod est Dei resurrectio; qui fuit Melcha, idest rex eius; qui fuit Menna, quod est viscera mea; qui fuit Mathathiae, idest donum; qui fuit Nathan, idest dedit, vel dantis. AMBROSE; Luke rightly thought, seeing that he could not embrace more of the sons of Jacob, lest he should seem to be wandering from the line of descent in a superfluous course, that the ancient names of the Patriarchs though occurring in others far later, Joseph Judah, Simeon, and Levi, should not be omitted. For we recognize in these four kinds of virtue; in Judah, the mystery of our Lord’s Passion prophesied by figure; in Joseph, an example of chastity going before; in Simeon the punishment of injured modesty; in Levi, the priestly office. Hence it follows, Who was the son of Melchi, i.e. “my King.” Who was the son of Janna, i.e. “a right hand”. Who was the son of Joseph, i.e. “growing up,” but this was a different Joseph. Who was the son of Mattathias, i.e. “the gift of God,” or “sometimes.” Who was the son of Amos, i.e. “loading, or he loaded.” Who was the son of Naum i.e. “help me.” Who was the son of Matthat i.e. “desire.” Who was the son of Mattathias, as above. Who was the son of Simei, i.e. “obedient.” Who was the son of Joseph, i.e. “increase.” Who was the son of Judah, i.e. “confessing.” Joanna, “the Lord, his grace,” or “the gracious Lord.” Resa, “merciful.” Zorobabel, “chief or master of Babylon.” Salathiel, “God my petition.” Neri, “my lanthern.” Melchi, “my kingdom.” Addi, “strong or violent.” Cosam, “divining.” Her, “watching, or watch, or of skins.” Who was the son of Jesus i.e. “Savior.” Eliezer, i. e. “God my helper.” Joarim, i.e. “God exalting, or, is exalting.” Matthat, as above. Levi, as above. Simeon, i.e. “He has heard the sadness, or the sign.” Juda, as above. Joseph, as above. Jonah, a dove, or wailing. Eliachim, i.e. “the resurrection of God.” Melchi, i.e. “his king.” Menan, i.e. “my bowels.” Mattathias, i.e. “gift.” Nathan, i.e. “He gave, or, of giving.”
Ambrosius: Per Nathan autem expressam advertimus prophetiae dignitatem; ut quia unus omnis Christus Iesus, in singulis quoque maioribus genera virtutum diversa praecederent. Sequitur qui fuit David. AMBROSE; But by Nathan we perceive expressed the dignify of Prophecy, that as Christ Jesus alone fulfilled all things, in each of His ancestors different kinds of virtue might precede Him. It follows, Who was the son of David.
Origenes in Lucam: Dominus descendens in mundum, assumpsit peccatorum hominum personam, et nasci voluit de stirpe Salomonis, ut refert Matthaeus, cuius peccata scripta sunt, et ceterorum, ex quibus multi fecerunt malum in conspectu Dei. Quando vere ascendit, et secundo per Baptismum ortus esse describitur, ut refert Lucas, non per Salomonem, sed per Nathan nascitur, qui arguit patrem super Uriae morte, ortuque Salomonis. ORIGEN; The Lord descending into the world took upon Him the person of all sinners, and was willing to be born of the stock of Solomon, (as Matthew relates,) whose sins have been written down, and of the rest, many of whom did evil in the sight of God. But when He ascended, and is described as being born a second time in baptism, (as Luke relates,) He is not born through Salomon, but Nathan, who reproves the father for the death of Uriah, and the birth of Solomon.
Augustinus in Lib. Retract: Dicendum autem, quod huiusmodi nominis propheta arguit David, ne putetur idem fuisse homo, cum alter fuerit. AUG. But it must be confessed that a prophet of this same name reproves David, that he might be thought to be the same man, whereas he was different.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Sed a David ultra, secundum utrumque Evangelistam, est generis processus indivisibilis; unde sequitur qui fuit Iesse. GREG. NAZ. From David upwards according to each Evangelist there is an unbroken line of descent; as it follows, Who was the son of Jesse.
Glossa: Interpretatur David manu fortis, Iesse incensum. Sequitur qui fuit Obed, quod est servitus; qui fuit Booz, quod est fortis; qui fuit Salomon, quod est sensibilis, vel pacificus; qui fuit Naasson, quod est augurium, vel serpentinus; qui fuit Aminadab, idest populus voluntarius; qui fuit aram, quod est erectus, vel excelsus; qui fuit Esron idest sagitta; qui fuit Phares, quod est divisio; qui fuit Iudae, idest confitens; qui fuit Iacob, quod est supplantator; qui fuit Isaac, quod est risus, vel gaudium; qui fuit Abraham, quod est pater multarum gentium, vel videns populum. GLOSS. David is interpreted, “with a mighty arm, strong in fight.” Obith, i.e. “slavery.” Booz, i.e. “strong.” Salmon, i.e. “capable of feeling, or peacemaking.” Naasson, i.e. “augury, or belonging to serpents.” Aminadal, “the people being willing.” Aram, i.e. “upright, or lofty.” Esro1n, i.e. “an arrow.” Phares, i.e. “division.” Judah, i.e. “confessing.” Who was the son of Jacob, i.e. “supplanted.” Isaac, i.e. “laughing or joy.” Abraham, i.e. “the father of many nations, or the people.”
Chrysostomus: Matthaeus quidem tamquam qui Iudaeis scribebat, nihil statuit ulterius scribere nisi quod ab Abraham et David Christus processerat: hoc enim maxime placabat Iudaeos. Lucas vero, sicut qui omnibus communiter loquebatur, ulterius protendit sermonem, attingens usque ad Adam; unde sequitur qui fuit Thare. CHRYS. Matthew, who wrote as for the Jews, had no further object than to show that Christ proceeded from Abraham and David, for this was most grateful to the Jews. Luke however, as speaking to all men in common, carried his account beyond as far even as Adam. Hence it follows, Who was the son of Thara.
Glossa: Quod interpretatur exploratio, sive nequitia; qui fuit Nachor, quod est requievit lux; qui fuit Sarug, quod est corrigia, vel comprehendens lorum, vel perfectio; qui fuit Ragau, quod est aegrotus, vel pascens; qui fuit Phaleg, quod est dividens, vel divisum; qui fuit Heber, quod est transitus; qui fuit sale, quod est tollens; qui fuit Cainan, quod est lamentatio, vel possessio eorum. GLOSS. Which is interpreted, “finding out,” or “wickedness.” Nachor, i.e. “the light rested.” Sarug, i.e. “correction,” or “holding the reins,” or “perfection.” Ragan, i.e. “sick,” or “feeding.” Phares, i.e. “dividing,” or “divided.” Heber, i.e. “passing over.” Sala, i.e. “taking away.” Canuan, i.e. “lamentation,” or “their possession.”
Beda: Nomen et generatio Cainan, iuxta Hebraicam veritatem neque in Genesi, neque in verbis dierum invenitur, sed Arphaxad Selaa vel sale filium nullo interposito genuisse perhibetur. Scito ergo Lucam hanc generationem de Septuaginta interpretum editione sumpsisse, ubi scriptum est quod Arphaxad centum triginta quinque annorum genuerit Cainan, et ipse Cainan cum triginta quinque fuerit annorum, genuerit sale. Sequitur qui fuit Arphaxad. BEDE; The name and generation of Cainan, according to the Hebrew reading, is found neither in Genesis, nor in the Chronicles, but Arphaxad is states to have begot Sala his son, without any one intervening. Know then that Luke borrowed this generation from the Septuagint, where it is written, that Arphaxad at a hundred and thirty-five years old begot Cainan, but he at a hundred and thirty years begot Sala. It follows, Who was the son of Arphaxad.
Glossa: Quod est sanans depopulationem; qui fuit Sem quod est nomen, vel nominatus; qui fuit Noe, quod est requies. GLOSS. i.e. “healing the laying waste.” Sem, i.e. “a name,” or being “named.” Who was the son of Noah, i.e. “rest.”
Ambrosius: Noe quidem iusti inter dominicas generationes commemoratio non debuit praetermitti: ut quia aedificator Ecclesiae nascebatur, eum sui generis auctorem praemisisse videatur qui eam in typo ante fundaverat. Qui fuit Lamech. AMBROSE; The mention of just Noah ought not to be omitted among our Lord’s generations, that as our Lord was born the builder of His Church, He might seem to have sent Noah beforehand, the author of His race, who had before founded the Church under the type of an ark. Who was the son of Lambech.
Glossa: Quod est humiliatum vel percutiendum, percussum vel humilem; qui fuit Mathusalem, quod est mortis emissio, vel mortuus est, et interrogavit. GLOSS. i.e. “humility, or striking, or struck, or humble.” Who was the son of Mathusalem, i.e. “the sending forth of death,” or “he died,” also “he asked.”
Ambrosius: Huius ultra diluvium numerantur anni; ut quoniam solus est Christus unus, cuius vita nullam sentit aetatem, in maioribus quoque suis non sensisse diluvia videretur. Qui fuit Enoch: et hic pietatis dominicae et divinitatis manifestum indicium est, eo quod nec mortem senserit dominus, et ad caelum remeaverit, cuius generis auctor raptus ad caelum est. Unde manifestum est Christum potuisse non mori, sed voluisse, ut nobis mors illa prodesset: et ille quidem raptus ne malitia mutaret cor eius; dominus autem, quem malitia saeculi mutare non poterat, eo unde venerat, naturae suae maiestate remeavit. AMBROSE; His years are numbered beyond the deluge that since Christ is the only one whose life experiences no age, in His ancestors also He might seem to have felt not the deluge. Who was the son of Enoch. And here is a manifest declaration of our Lord’s piety and divinity, since our Lord neither experienced death, and returned to heaven, the founder of whose race was taken up into heaven. Whence it is plain that Christ could not die, but was willing that His death should profit us. And Enoch indeed was taken, that his heart might not change by wickedness, but the Lord, whom the wickedness of the world could not change, returned to that place whence He had come by the greatness of His own nature.
Beda: Pulchre autem a baptizato Dei filio usque ad Deum patrem ascendens, septuagesimo gradu Enoch ponit, qui dilata morte translatus est in Paradisum; ut significet eos qui in gratiam adoptionis filiorum ex aqua et spiritu sancto regenerantur, interim post corporis absolutionem, aeternam suscipiendos in requiem: septuagenarius enim, propter septimam sabbati, illorum requiem significat qui iuvante Dei gratia Decalogum legis impleverunt. BEDE; But rightly rising up from the baptized Son of God to God the Father, he places Enoch in the seventy seventh step, who, having put off death, was translated unto Paradise, that he might signify that those, who by the grace of adoption of sons are born again of water and the Holy Spirit, are in the mean time (after the dissolution of the body) to be received into eternal rest, for the number seventy, because of the seventh of the sabbath, signifies the rest of those who, the grace of God assisting them, have fulfilled the decalogue of the law.
Glossa: Interpretatur autem Enoch dedicatio; qui fuit Iared, quod est defendens, sive continens; qui fuit Malaleel, quod est laudatus Dei, vel laudans Deum; qui fuit Cainan, ut supra; qui fuit Enos, idest homo desperans, vel violentus; qui fuit Seth, quod est positio sive posuit. GLOSS; Enoch is interpreted “dedication.” Jared, i.e. descending or “holding together.” Malaleleel, i.e. “the praised of God,” or “praising God.” Cainan, as above. Enos, i.e. “man,” or “despairing,” or “violent.” Seth, i.e. “placing,” “settling,” “he has placed.”
Ambrosius: Seth posterior filius Adae non siletur; ut cum duae sint populi generationes, significaretur in typo, in posteriore potius quam in priore generatione Christum numerandum. Sequitur qui fuit Adam. Seth, the last son of Adam, is not omitted, that as there were two generations of people, it might be signified under a figure that Christ was to be reckoned rather in the last than the first.
Glossa: Quod est homo, vel terrenus, vel indigens. Qui fuit Dei. It follows, Who was the son of Adam. GLOSS. Which is “man,” or “of the earth,” or “needy.” Who was the son of God.
Ambrosius: Quid pulchrius potuit convenire quam ut sancta generatio a Dei filio inciperet, et usque ad Dei filium duceretur; creatusque praecederet in figura, ut natus in veritate sequeretur; ad imaginem factus praeiret, propter quem Dei imago descenderet? Putavit etiam Lucas ad Deum Christi originem referendam, quod verus Christi generator Deus sit, vel secundum generationem veram pater, vel secundum lavacrum et regenerationem mystici auctor numeris. Et ideo non a principio generationem eius coepit describere, sed posteaquam Baptisma eius explicuit; ut secundum naturam et secundum gratiam Dei filium demonstraret. Quod autem evidentius divinae generationis indicium, quam quod de generatione dicturus patrem praemisit loquentem tu es filius meus dilectus? AMBROSE; What could better agree than that the holy generation should commence from the Son of God, and be carried up even to the Son of God; and that he who was created should precede in a figure, in order that he who was born might follow in substance, so that he who was made after the image of God might go before, for whose sake the image of God was to descend. For Luke thought that the origin of Christ should be referred to God, because God is the true progenitor of Christ, or the Father according to the true birth, or the Author of the mystical gift according to baptism and regeneration, and therefore he did not from the first begin to describe His generation, but not till after he had unfolded His baptism, that both by nature and by grace he might declare Him to be the Son of God. But what more evident sign of His divine generation than that when about to speak of it St. Luke introduces first the Father, saying, You are my beloved Son?
Augustinus. De Cons. Evang: Satis etiam per hoc demonstravit, non se ideo dixisse Ioseph filium Heli, quod de illo genitus: sed quod ab illo potius fuerit adoptatus; cum etiam ipsum Adam filium dixit, cum sit factus a Deo; sed per gratiam, quam postea peccando amisit, tamquam filius in Paradiso constitutus sit. AUG. He sufficiently declared by this that he called not Joseph the son of Eli because he was begotten by him, but rather because he was adopted by him, for he has called also Adam himself son, since though made by God, yet by grace (which he forfeited by sin) he was placed as a son in paradise.
Theophylactus: Ideo etiam generationem finit in Deum, ut addiscamus quod qui in medio sunt patres, Christus ad Deum eriget, et filios Dei faciet; et ut etiam crederetur Christi generatio sine semine fuisse; quasi dicat: si non credis quod secundus Adam factus sit sine semine, devenias ad primum Adam: invenies enim absque semine factum a Deo. THEOPHYL. For this reason he closes the generations in God, that we may learn that those fathers who intervene, Christ will raise up to God, and make them sons of God, and that it might be believed also that the birth of Christ was without seed; as if he said, If you believes” not that the second Adam was made without seed, you must come to the first Adam, and you will find that he was made by God without seed.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Et Matthaeus quidem significare voluit dominum descendentem ad nostram mortalitatem; ideo generationes ab Abraham usque ad Christi nativitatem descendendo commemoravit ab initio Evangelii sui. Lucas autem non ab initio, sed a Baptismo Christi generationes narrat, nec descendendo, sed ascendendo, tamquam sacerdotem in expiandis peccatis magis assignans; cui Ioannes testimonium perhibuit dicens: ecce qui tollit peccata mundi. Ascendendo autem pervenit ad Deum, cui mundati et expiati reconciliamur. AUG. Matthew indeed wished to set forth God descending to our mortality; accordingly at the beginning of the Gospel he recounted the generations from Abraham to the birth of Christ in a descending scale. But Luke, not at the beginning, but after the baptism of Christ, relates the generation not descending but ascending, as if marking out rather the high priest in the expiation of sins, of whom John bore testimony, saying, Behold, who takes away the sins of the world. But by ascending he comes to God, to whom we are reconciled, being cleansed and expiated.
Ambrosius: Nec sic Evangelistae discrepare videantur, qui veterem ordinem sunt secuti. Nec mireris, si ab Abraham plures secundum Lucam successiones usque ad Christum sunt, pauciores secundum Matthaeum, cum per alias personas generationem fatearis esse decursam. Potest enim fieri ut alii longaevam transegerint vitam, alterius vero generationis viri immatura aetate decesserint: cum videamus quam plures senes cum suis nepotibus vivere, alios vero viros statim filiis obire susceptis. AMBROSE; Nor do the Evangelists seem so to differ who have followed the old order, nor can you wonder if from Abraham down to Christ there are more successions according to Luke, fewer according to Matthew, since you must admit the line to have been traced through different persons. But it might be that some men have passed a very long life, but the men of the next generation have died at an early age, since we see how many old men live to see their grandchildren, while others depart as soon as they have sons born to them.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Convenientissime autem Lucas baptizato domino generationes per septuaginta septem personas sursum versus numerat; nam et ascensus ad Deum, cui per peccatorum abolitionem reconciliamur, expressus est; et per Baptismum fit homini omnium remissio peccatorum, quae illo numero significantur: nam undecies septem, septuaginta et septem sunt: in denario autem perfectio beatitudinis est; unde manifestum est quod transgressio denarii designat peccatum per superbiam plus aliquid habere cupientis. Hoc autem septies propterea ducitur, ut motu hominis facta significetur illa transgressio: ternario enim numero incorporea pars hominis significatur; quaternario vero corpus; motus autem in numeris non exprimitur, cum dicimus: unum, duo, tria; sed cum dicimus: semel, bis, ter. Unde per septies undecim significatur motu hominis facta transgressio. AUG. But most fitly with regard to our baptized Lord does Luke reckon the generations through seventy-seven persons. For both the ascent to God is expressed, to whom we are reconciled by the abolition of sins, and by baptism is brought to man the remission of all his sins, which are signified by that number. For eleven times seven are seventy-seven. But by the tenth number is meant perfect happiness. Hence it is plain that the going beyond the tenth marks the sin of one through pride coveting to have more. But this is said to be seven times to signify that the transgression was caused by the moving of man. For by the third number the immortal part of man is represented, but by the fourth the body. But motion is not expressed in numbers, as when we say, one, two, three; but when we say, once, twice, thrice. And so by seven times eleven, is signified a transgression wrought by man’s action.

Lectio 1
1 Ἰησοῦς δὲ πλήρης πνεύματος ἁγίου ὑπέστρεψεν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἰορδάνου, καὶ ἤγετο ἐν τῷ πνεύματι ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ 2 ἡμέρας τεσσεράκοντα πειραζόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου. καὶ οὐκ ἔφαγεν οὐδὲν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις, καὶ συντελεσθεισῶν αὐτῶν ἐπείνασεν. 3 εἶπεν δὲ αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος, εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰπὲ τῷ λίθῳ τούτῳ ἵνα γένηται ἄρτος. 4 καὶ ἀπεκρίθη πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς, γέγραπται ὅτι οὐκ ἐπ' ἄρτῳ μόνῳ ζήσεται ὁ ἄνθρωπος.
1. And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2. Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. 3. And the devil said to him, If you be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. 4. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Theophylactus: Post Baptismum Christus tentatur, innuens nobis quod postquam erimus baptizati, tentationes imminent nobis; unde dicitur Iesus autem plenus spiritu sancto regressus est a Iordane. THEOPHYL. Christ is tempted after His baptism, showing us that after we are baptized, temptations await us. Hence it is said, But Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit it, &c.
Cyrillus: Dudum dixit Deus: non permanebit spiritus meus in hominibus istis, eo quod sunt caro; ubi vero regeneratione per aquam et spiritum ditati sumus, facti sumus divinae naturae participes per spiritus sancti participationem. Primogenitus autem in multis fratribus, primus recepit spiritum, qui et spiritus dator est, ut etiam ad nos per ipsum perveniat gratia spiritus sancti. CYRIL. God said in times past, My Spirit shall not always abide in men, for that they are flesh. But now that we have been enriched with the gift of regeneration by water and the Spirit, we are become partakers of the Divine nature by participation of the Holy Spirit. But the first-born among many brethren first received the Spirit, who Himself also is the giver of the Spirit, that we through Him might also receive the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Origenes in Lucam: Quando igitur legis Iesum plenum spiritu sancto, et in actibus scribitur de apostolis, quod repleti fuerint spiritu sancto, vide ne aequales putes esse apostolos salvatori: quomodo enim si volueris dicere, haec vasa plena sunt vino vel oleo, non statim dices, quod aequali mensura sunt plena; sic et Iesus et Paulus pleni erant spiritu sancto; sed vas Pauli multo minus erat quam Iesu, et tamen erat secundum mensuram suam utrumque repletum. Accepto itaque Baptismo, salvator plenus spiritu sancto, qui super eum in specie columbae de caelis venerat, ducebatur a spiritu: quia quotquot spiritu Dei ducuntur, hi filii Dei sunt; iste autem supra omnes proprie filius Dei est. ORIGEN; When therefore you read that Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, and it is written in the Acts concerning the Apostles, that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, you must not suppose that the Apostles were equal to the Savior. For as if you should say, These vessels are full of wine or oil, you would not thereby affirm them to be equally full, so Jesus and Paul were full of the Holy Spirit, but Paul’s vessel was far less than that of Jesus, and yet each was filled according to its own measure. Having then received baptism, the Savior, being full of the Holy Spirit, which came upon Him from heaven in the form of a dove, was led by the Spirit, because, as many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God, but He was above all, especially the Son of God.
Beda: Ne cui autem veniret in dubium a quo spiritu ductum sive expulsum, alii Evangelistae dicerent in desertum, consulte Lucas demum intulit et agebatur in desertum a spiritu quadraginta diebus: ne quid contra eum valuisse spiritus putaretur immundus, qui plenus spiritu sancto quaecumque volebat, agebat. BEDE; That there might be no doubt by what Spirit He was led, while the other Evangelists say, into the wilderness, Luke has purposely added, And he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days. That no unclean spirit should be thought to have prevailed against Him, who being full of the Holy Spirit did whatever He wished.
Graecus: Si vero nos arbitrio proprio nostram vitam disponimus, quomodo ipse trahebatur invitus? Quod ergo dicitur agebatur spiritu, huiusmodi habet intellectum: sponte spiritualem duxit conversationem, ut locum exhiberet tentanti. GREEK EX. But if we order our lives according to our own will, how was He led about unwillingly? Those words then, He was led by the Spirit, have some meaning of this kind: He led of His own accord that kind of life, that He might present an opportunity to the tempter.
Basilius: Non enim verbo provocans inimicum, sed opere incitans quaerit desertum: delectatur enim Diabolus in deserto, non patitur esse in urbibus, contristat ipsum concordia civium. BASIL; For not by word provoking the enemy, but by His actions rousing him, He seeks the wilderness. For the devil delights in the wilderness, he is not wont to go into the cities, the harmony of the citizens troubles him.
Ambrosius: Agebatur igitur consilio in desertum, ut Diabolum provocaret: nam nisi ille certasset, non mihi iste vicisset: mysterio, ut illum Adam de exilio liberaret qui de Paradiso in desertum eiectus est; exemplo, ut ostenderet nobis Diabolum ad meliora tendentibus invidere, et tunc magis esse cavendum ne mysterii gratiam deserat mentis infirmitas; unde sequitur et tentabatur a Diabolo. AMBROSE; He was led therefore into the wilderness, to the intent that He might provoke the devil, for if the one had not contended, the other it seems had not conquered. In a mystery, it was to deliver that Adam from exile who was cast out of Paradise into the wilderness. By way of example, it was to show us that the devil envies us, whenever we strive after better things; and that then we must use caution, lest the weakness of our minds should lose us the grace of the mystery. Hence it follows: And he was tempted of the devil.
Cyrillus: Ecce factus est in athletis iubens agones Deus in his, qui coronat sanctorum vertices. CYRIL; Behold, He is among the wrestlers, who as God awards the prizes. He is among the crowned, who crowns the heads of the saints.
Gregorius Moral: Hostis tamen noster mentem mediatoris Dei et hominum tentatione quassare non valuit: sic enim dignatus est tentationes exterius suscipere, ut tamen eius mens interius divinitati inhaerens inconcussa permaneret. GREG. Our enemy was however unable to shake the purpose of the Mediator between God and men. For He condescended to be tempted outwardly, yet so that His soul inwardly, resting in its divinity, remained unshaken.
Origenes in Lucam: Tentatur autem Iesus a Diabolo quadraginta diebus; et quae fuerint tentamenta nescimus; quae ideo forsitan praetermissa sunt, quia maiora erant quam ut litteris traderentur. ORIGEN; But Jesus is tempted by the devil forty days, and what the temptations were we know not. They were perhaps omitted, as being greater than could be committed to writing.
Basilius: Vel dominus per quadragenam intentatus mansit; noverat enim Diabolus quod ieiunabat et non famescebat; et ideo non audebat accedere; unde sequitur et nihil manducavit in diebus illis: ieiunavit siquidem, ostendens quod illi qui se vult ad pugnas tentationum accingere, sobrietas est necessaria. BASIL; Or, the Lord remained for forty days untempted, for the devil knew that He fasted, yet hungered not, and dared not therefore approach Him. Hence it follows: And he eat nothing in those days. He fasted indeed, to show that He who would gird Himself for struggles against temptation must be temperate and sober.
Ambrosius in Lucam: Tria igitur sunt quae ad usum proficiunt salutis humanae: sacramentum, desertum et ieiunium. Nemo nisi qui legitime certaverit, coronatur; nemo autem ad certamen virtutis admittitur, nisi prius ab omnibus ablutus maculis delictorum, gratiae caelestis munere consecretur. AMBROSE; There are three things which united together conduce to the salvation of man; The Sacrament, The Wilderness, Fasting. No one who has not rightly contended receives a crown, but no one is admitted to the contest of virtue, except first being washed from the stains of all his sins, he is consecrated with the gift of heavenly grace.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Quadraginta siquidem diebus ieiunavit nihil manducans: erat enim Deus: nos autem ieiunium possibilitati proportionamus, licet zelus aliquibus progredi suadeat ultra posse. GREG. NAZ. He fasted in truth forty days, eating nothing. (For He was God.) But we regulate our fasting according to our strength, although the zeal of some persuades them to fast beyond what they are able.
Basilius: Sed tamen non sic utendum est carne ut per egestatem alimenti naturalis vigor eius solvatur; neque ut ad ultimum torporem intellectus urgeatur per dissolutionis excessum. Unde dominus noster semel hoc peregit, sed per totum consequens tempus ordine debito gubernavit corpus; et similiter Moyses et Elias. BASIL; But we must not however so use the flesh, that through want of food our strength should waste away, nor that by excess of mortification our understandings wax dull and heavy. Our Lord therefore once performed this work, but during this whole succeeding time He governed His body with due order, and so in like manner did Moses and Elias.
Chrysostomus: Valde autem prudenter factum est quod in ieiunando eorum non excessit numerum; ne scilicet putaretur apparenter venisse, non autem recepisse veram carnem, aut praeter humanam esse naturam. CHRYS. But very wisely, He exceeded not their number of days, lest indeed He should be thought to have come in appearance only, and not to have really received the flesh, or lest the flesh should seem to be something beyond human nature.
Ambrosius: Quadraginta autem dierum mysticum numerum recognoscis: tot enim diebus aquas abyssi effusas esse meministi, et tot ieiunio dierum sanctificato refusam caeli serenioris ostendit clementiam, tot ieiunio dierum Moyses perceptionem legis emeruit, tot annos in eremo constituti patres panem Angelorum consecuti sunt. AMBROSE; But mark the mystical number of days. For you remember that for forty days the waters of the deep were poured forth, and by sanctifying a fast of that number of days, He brings before us the returning mercies of a calmer sky. By a fast of so many days also, Moses earned for himself the understanding of the law. Our fathers being for so many days settled in the wilderness, obtained the food of Angels.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Numerus autem iste laboriosi huius temporis sacramentum est, quo sub disciplina regis Christi adversus Diabolum dimicamus. Hic enim numerus temporalem vitam significat: tempora enim annorum quadripartitis vicibus currunt: quadraginta autem quater habent decem: porro ipsa decem ab uno usque ad quatuor progrediente numero consummantur; quod declarat quod quadraginta dierum ieiunium, hoc est humiliationem animae, consecravit et lex et prophetae per Moysen, et Eliam, et Evangelium per ipsius domini ieiunium. AUG. Now that number is a sacrament of our time and labor, in which under Christ’s discipline we contend against the devil, for it signifies our temporal life. For the periods of years run in courses of four, but forty contains four tens. Again, those ten are completed by the number one successively advancing on to four more. This plainly shows that the fast of forty days, i.e. the humiliation of the soul, the Law and the Prophets have consecrated by Moses and Elias, the Gospel by the fast of our Lord Himself.
Basilius: Verum quia non esurire supra hominem est, assumpsit dominus passionem famis, indicans eam non esse peccatum, et concessit cum voluit naturae humanae quae sua sunt pati et agere; unde sequitur et consummatis illis esuriit, non coactus ad necessitatem quae praeest naturae, sed quasi provocans Diabolum ad duellum: sentiens enim Diabolus, quia ubi fames, ibi imbecillitas, aggreditur ad tentandum; et quasi tentationum excogitator, famem Christo patienti suadebat lapidibus appetitum sedare; unde sequitur dixit autem illi Diabolus: si filius Dei es, dic lapidi huic ut panis fiat. BASIL; But because not to suffer hunger is above the nature of man, our Lord took upon Himself the feeling of hunger, and submitted Himself as it pleased Him to human nature, both to do and to suffer those things which were His own. Hence it follows: And those days being ended, he was as a hungered. Not forced to that necessity which overpowers nature, but as if provoking the devil to the conflict. For the devil, knowing that wherever hunger is there is weakness, sets about to tempt Him, and as the deviser or inventor of temptations, Christ permitting him tries to persuade Him to satisfy His appetite with the stones. As it follows; But the devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, command these stones that they be made bread.
Ambrosius: Tria praecipue docemur tela esse Diaboli, quibus ad convulnerandam mentem hominis consuevit armari: gulae unum, aliud iactantiae, tertium ambitionis. Inde ergo coepit unde iam vicit, scilicet Adam. Discamus igitur cavere gulam, cavere luxuriam, quia telum est Diaboli. Sed quid sibi vult talis sermo: si filius Dei es, nisi quia cognoverat Dei filius esse venturum, sed venisse per hanc infirmitatem corporis non putabat? Aliud est explorantis, aliud tentantis: ideo profitetur se credere, et homini conatur illudere. AMBROSE; There are three especial weapons which we are taught the devil is wont to arm himself with, that he may wound the soul of man. One is of the appetite, another of boasting, the third ambition. He began with that wherewith he had already conquered, namely, Adam. Let us then beware of the appetite, let us beware of luxury, for it is a weapon of the devil. But what mean his words, If you are the Son of God, unless he had known that the Son would come, but supposed Him not to have come from the weakness of His body. He first endeavors to find Him out, then to tempt Him. He professes to trust Him as God, then tries to deceive Him as man.
Origenes in Lucam: Rogato autem patre a filio panem, nec dante lapidem pro pane, iste quasi adversarius et fallax, pro pane dabat lapidem. ORIGEN; When a father is asked by his son for bread, he does not give him a stone for bread, but the devil like a crafty and deceitful foe gives stones for bread.
Basilius: Suadebat quidem lapidibus appetitum sedare; hoc est, permutare desiderium ab alimento naturali ad existentia praeter naturam. BASIL; He tried to persuades Christ to satisfy His appetite with stones, i.e. to shift his desire from the natural food to that which was beyond nature or unnatural.
Origenes: Puto etiam quod usque hodie lapidem Diabolus ostendit, ut hortetur singulos ad loquendum: dic ut lapis iste panis fiat. Si videris haereticos dogmatum suorum mendacium pro pane comedere, scito lapidem eorum esse sermonem, quem monstrat eis Diabolus. ORIGEN; I suppose also that even now at this very time the devil shows a stone to men that he may tempt them to speak, saying to them, Command this stone to be made bread. If you see the heretics devouring their lying doctrines as if they were bread, know that their teaching is a stone which the devil shows them.
Basilius: Dissipator autem tentationum Christus non repellit a natura famem; unde sequitur et respondit ad illum Iesus: scriptum est, quia non in solo pane vivit homo, sed in omni verbo Dei. BASIL; But Christ while He vanquishes temptation, banishes not hunger from our nature, as though that were the cause of evils, (which is rather the preservative of life, but confining nature within its proper bounds, shows of what kind its nourishment is, as follows; And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone.
Theophylactus: Quasi dicat: non solis panibus humana natura sustentatur; immo sufficit verbum Dei ad nutriendum universam naturam humanam. Taliter pastus est Israeliticus populus, colligens annis quadraginta manna, et gaudens volatilium praeda. Divino consilio Elias convivas habuit corvos; Eliseus herbis agrestibus socios nutrivit. THEOPHYL. As if He said, Not by bread alone is human nature sustained, but the word of God is sufficient to support the whole nature of man. Such was the food of the Israelites when they gathered manna during the space of forty, years, and when they delighted in the taking of quails. By the Divine counsel Elias had the crows to entertain him; Elisha feel his companions on the herbs of the field.
Cyrillus: Vel aliter. Terrenis cibis terrenum nostrum alitur corpus; anima vero rationalis divino verbo vigoratur ad bonam habitudinem spiritus: non enim naturam incorpoream corpus alit. CYRIL; Or, our earthly body is nourished by earthly food, but the reasonable soul is strengthened by the Divine Word, to the right ordering of the spirit.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Unde non alitur virtus pane,

nec per carnes bene se habet anima et pinguescit: aliis epulis vita sublimis educatur et crescit: nutrimentum boni castitas, panis sapientia, pulmentum iustitia, potus impassibilis status, delectatio bene sapere.

GREG. NAZ. For the body nourishes not our immaterial nature.

GREG NYSS. Virtue then is not sustained by bread, nor by flesh does the soul keep itself in health and vigor, but by other banquets than these is the heavenly life fostered, and increased. The nourishment of tile good man is chastity, his bread, wisdom, his herbs, justice, his drink, freedom from passion, his delight, to be rightly wise.

Ambrosius: Vides igitur quo genere utatur armorum, quo hominem a spiritualis nequitiae incursione defendat adversum incitamenta gulae: non enim quasi Deus utitur potestate: quid enim mihi proderat? Sed quasi homo commune sibi accepit auxilium, ut divino pabulo lectionis intentus famem corporis negligat, alimentum verbi acquirat: non enim potest qui verbum sequitur, panem desiderare terrenum: humanis enim divina praestare non dubium est. Simul cum dicit non in solo pane vivit homo, ostendit hominem esse tentatum, hoc est susceptionem nostram, non suam divinitatem. AMBROSE; You see then what kind of arms He uses to defend man against the assaults of spiritual wickedness, and the allurements of the appetite. He does not exert His power as God, (for how had that profited me,) but as man He summons to Himself a common aid, that while intent upon the food of divine reading He may neglect the hunger of the body, and gain the nourishment of the word. For he who seeks after the word cannot feel the want of earthly bread for divine things doubtless make up for the loss of human. At the same time by saying, Man lives not by bread alone, He shows that man was tempted, that is, our flesh which He assumed, not His own divinity.

Lectio 2
5 καὶ ἀναγαγὼν αὐτὸν ἔδειξεν αὐτῷ πάσας τὰς βασιλείας τῆς οἰκουμένης ἐν στιγμῇ χρόνου: 6 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ διάβολος, σοὶ δώσω τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην ἅπασαν καὶ τὴν δόξαν αὐτῶν, ὅτι ἐμοὶ παραδέδοται καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν θέλω δίδωμι αὐτήν: 7 σὺ οὖν ἐὰν προσκυνήσῃς ἐνώπιον ἐμοῦ, ἔσται σοῦ πᾶσα. 8 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν αὐτῷ, γέγραπται, κύριον τὸν θεόν σου προσκυνήσεις καὶ αὐτῷ μόνῳ λατρεύσεις.
5. And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6. And the devil said to him, All this power will I give you, and the glory of them: for that is delivered to me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7. If you therefore will worship me, all shall be yours. 8. And Jesus answered and said to him, Get you behind me, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.

Theophylactus: Primo inimicus Christum de gula tentaverat, sicut et Adam; deinde de cupiditate sive avaritia, in hoc quod ostendit ei omnia regna mundi; unde sequitur et duxit illum Diabolus in montem excelsum, et ostendit ei omnia regna orbis terrae in momento temporis. THEOPHYL. The enemy had first assailed Christ by the temptation of the appetite, as also he did Adam. He next tempts Him with the desire of gain or covetousness, showing Him all the kingdoms of the world. Hence it follows, And the devil taking him up.
Gregorius in Evang: Quid mirum si se permisit ab illo in montem duci qui se pertulit etiam a membris ipsius crucifigi? GREG. What marvel that He permitted Himself to be led by the devil into the mountains, who even in endured to be crucified in His own body?
Theophylactus: Sed qualiter ostendit ei omnia regna orbis terrae? Quidam dicunt, quod mente haec ei ostendit; ego autem dico, quod sensibiliter et in phantasia apparere fecit. THEOPHYL. But how did the devil show Him all the kingdoms of the world? Some say that he presented them to Him in imagination, but I hold that he brought them before Him in visible form and appearance.
Titus: Vel descripsit orbem verbo et velut quamdam domum intentioni eius manifestavit, ut existimabat. TITUS BOST. Or, the devil described the world in language, and as he thought brought it vividly before our Lord’s mind as though it were a certain house.
Ambrosius: Bene autem in momento temporis saecularia et terrena monstrantur: non enim tam conspectus celeritas indicatur, quam caducae fragilitas potestatis exprimitur. In momento enim cuncta illa praetereunt; et saepe honor saeculi abiit antequam venerit. Sequitur et ait illi: tibi dabo potestatem hanc universam et gloriam illorum, quia mihi tradita sunt, et cui volo do illa. AMBROSE;; Truly in a moment of time, the kingdoms of this world are described. For here it is not so much the rapid glance of sight which is signified as is declared the frailty of mortal power. For in a moment all this passes by, and oftentimes the glory of this world has vanished before it has arrived. It follows, And he said to him, I will give you all this power.
Titus: In utroque mentiebatur: neque enim habebat, nec conferre poterat quo carebat: nullus enim obtinet potestatem, sed ad pugnam est adversarius derelictus. TITUS BOST; He lied in two respects. For he neither had to give nor could he give that which he had not; he gains possession of nothing, but is an enemy reduced to fight.
Ambrosius: Alibi enim legitur quia omnis potestas a Deo est; itaque a Deo est potestatum ordinatio, a malo ambitio potestatis; nec est potestas mala, sed is qui male utitur potestate. Quid ergo? Bonum est uti potestate, studere honori? Bonum, si deseratur, non eripiatur. Distingue tamen hoc ipsum bonum; alius enim bonus in saeculo; alius perfectae virtutis usus. Bonum est enim Deum quaerere et cognoscendae divinitatis studium nullis occupationibus impediri. Quod si is qui Deum quaerit, propter fragilitatem carnis et mentis angustias saepe tentatur; quanto magis qui saeculum quaerit, obnoxius est. Docemur ergo ambitionem despicere, eo quod diabolicae subicit potestati. AMBROSE; For it is elsewhere said, that all power is from God. Therefore from God’s hands comes the disposal of power, the lust of power is from the evil one; power is not itself evil, but he who evilly uses it. What then; is it good to exercise power, to desire honor? Good if it is bestowed upon us, not if it is seized. We must distinguish however in this good itself. There is one good use of the world, another of perfect virtue. It is good to seek God; it is a good thing that the desire of becoming acquainted with God should be hindered by no worldly business. But if he who seeks God, is from the weakness of the flesh, and the narrowness of his mind, often tempted, how much more is he exposed who seeks the world? We are taught then to despise ambition, because it is subject to the power of the devil.
Titus: Habet autem forensis gratia domesticum periculum, et ut dominetur aliis prius servit; curvatur ad obsequium ut honore donetur; et dum vult esse sublimior, simulata humilitate fit vilior; unde subdit tu ergo si adoraveris coram me, erunt tibi omnia subdita. But honor abroad is followed by danger at home, and in order to rule others a man is first their servant, and prostrates himself in obedience that he may be rewarded with honors, and the higher he aspires the lower he bends with feigned humility; whence he adds, If you will fall down and worship me.
Cyrillus: Quomodo tu, cuius sors est inextinguibilis flamma, qualiter omnium domino quae sua sunt spondes? Putasti cultorem habere, cuius metu tremunt universa? CYRIL; And do you, whose lot is the unquenchable fire, promise to the Lord of all that which is His own? Did you think to have Him for your worshiper, from dread of whom the whole creation trembles?
Origenes in Lucam: Vel aliter totum. Duo reges certatim regnare festinant: peccati rex peccatoribus Diabolus, et iustitiae rex iustis Christus: sciensque Diabolus ad hoc venisse Christum ut regnum eius tolleret, ostendit ei omnia regna mundi: non quidem regnum Persarum et Indorum, sed regnum suum, quomodo regnaret in mundo, quomodo scilicet alii regnentur a fornicatione, alii ab avaritia: et ostendit ei in puncto temporis, hoc est in praesenti temporum cursu, qui ad comparationem aeternitatis puncti obtinet instar: neque enim necessarium habebat salvator ut ei diutius huius saeculi negotia monstrarentur; sed statim ut aciem luminum suorum ad contemplandum vertit, et peccata regnantia, et eos qui regnarentur a vitiis conspexit. Dicit ergo ad eum: venisti ut adversus me de imperio dimices. Adora me, et accipe regnum quod teneo. Verum dominus vult quidem regnare, sed iustitia, ut absque peccato regnet; et vult gentes sibi esse subiectas, ut serviant veritati; nec sic vult regnare ceteris ut ipse regnetur a Diabolo; unde sequitur et respondens Iesus dixit illi: scriptum est: dominum Deum tuum adorabis, et illi soli servies. ORIGEN; Or, to view the whole in another light. Two kings are earnestly contending for a kingdom; The king of sin who reigns over sinners, that is, the devil; The king of righteousness who rules the righteous, that is, Christ. The devil, knowing that Christ had come to take away his kingdom, shows Him all the kingdoms of the world; not the kingdoms of the Persians and of the Medes, but his own kingdom whereby he reigned in the world, whereby some are under the dominion of fornication, others of covetousness. And he shows Him them in a moment of time, that is, in the present course of time, which is but a moment in comparison of eternity. For the Savior needed not to be shown for any longer time the affairs of this world, but as soon as He turned His eyes to look, He beheld sins reigning, and men made slaves to vice. The devil therefore says to Him, Came You to contend with me for dominion? Worship me, and behold I give You the kingdom I hold. Now the Lord would indeed reign, but being Righteousness itself, would reign without sin; and would have all nations subject to Him, that they might obey the truth, but would not so reign over others as that He Himself should be subject to the devil. Hence it follows, And Jesus answering said to him, It is written, You shall worship the Lord your God.
Beda: Dicens Diabolus salvatori si procidens adoraveris me, e contrario audit, quod ipse magis adorare eum debeat quasi dominum et Deum suum. BEDE, The devil saying to our Savior, If you will fall down and worship me, receives answer that he himself ought rather to worship Christ as his Lord and God.
Cyrillus: Qualiter autem, si, secundum haereticos, filius est creatura, adoratur? Quod crimen inferretur adversus eos qui servierunt creaturae et non creatori, si filium secundum eos creaturam existentem colimus tamquam Deum? CYRIL; But how comes;it that the Son (if as the heretics say a created being) is worshipped? What charge can be brought against those who served the creature and not the Creator, if the Son (according to them a created being) we are to worship as God?
Origenes: Vel aliter. Hos, inquit, omnes propterea mihi volo esse subiectos, ut dominum Deum adorent et ipsi soli serviant; tu autem a me vis incipere peccatum, quod ego dissoluturus huc veni. ORIGEN; Or else, All these, he says, I would have subject to me, that they might worship the Lord God, and serve Him alone. But do you wish sin to begin from Me, which I came hither to destroy?
Cyrillus: Hoc autem mandatum eius tetigit intima; ante adventum enim eius ipse ubique colebatur: lex autem divina eiciens ipsum a dominio usurpato, adorare statuit solum eum qui naturaliter Deus est. CYRIL; This command touched him to the quick; for before Christ’s coming he was every where worshipped. But the law of God casting him down from his usurped dominion, establishes the worship of Him alone who is really God.
Beda: Quaeret autem aliquis quomodo conveniat quod hic praecipitur, soli domino serviendum, apostoli verbo, qui dicit: per caritatem servite invicem. Sed in Graeco dulia intelligitur servitus communis, hoc est sive Deo, sive homini exhibita; latria autem vocatur servitus divinitatis cultui debita. Iubemur ergo per caritatem servire invicem, quod est Graece duleuin; iubemur uni Deo servire, quod est Graece latreuin: unde hic dicitur et illi soli servies; quod est Graece latreuis. BEDE; But some one may ask how this injunction agrees with the word of the Apostle, which says, Beloved, serve one another. In the Greek, signifies a common service, (i.e. given either to God or man,) according to which we are bid to serve one another; but is the service due to the worship of the Deity, with which we are bid to serve God alone.

Lectio 3
9 ἤγαγεν δὲ αὐτὸν εἰς ἰερουσαλὴμ καὶ ἔστησεν ἐπὶ τὸ πτερύγιον τοῦ ἱεροῦ, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ, βάλε σεαυτὸν ἐντεῦθεν κάτω: 10 γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ ἐντελεῖται περὶ σοῦ τοῦ διαφυλάξαι σε, 11 καὶ ὅτι ἐπὶ χειρῶν ἀροῦσίν σε μήποτε προσκόψῃς πρὸς λίθον τὸν πόδα σου. 12 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι εἴρηται, οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις κύριον τὸν θεόν σου. 13 καὶ συντελέσας πάντα πειρασμὸν ὁ διάβολος ἀπέστη ἀπ' αὐτοῦ ἄχρι καιροῦ.
9. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down from hence: 10. For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you: 11. And in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone. 12. And Jesus answering said to him, It is said, You shall not tempt the Lord thy God. 13. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Ambrosius: Sequitur iactantiae telum, quo in proclive delinquitur: quia dum homines gloriam virtutis suae iactare desiderant, de loco meritorum et statione decidunt: unde dicitur et duxit illum in Ierusalem, et statuit eum supra pinnaculum templi. AMBROSE; The next weapon he uses is that of boasting, which always causes the offender to fall down; for they who love to boast of the glory of their virtue descend from the stand and vantage ground of their good deeds. Hence it is said, And he led him to Jerusalem.
Origenes in Lucam: Sequebatur plane, quasi athleta ad tentationem sponte proficiscens, et quodammodo loquebatur: duc quo vis, et invenies me in omnibus fortiorem. ORIGEN; He followed evidently as a wrestler, gladly setting out to meet the temptation, and saying, as it were, Lead me where you will, and you will find me the stronger in every thing.
Ambrosius: Ita est autem iactantia ut dum se putat unusquisque ad altiora conscendere, sublimium usurpatione factorum ad inferiora trahatur; unde sequitur et dixit illi: si filius Dei es, mitte te hinc deorsum. AMBROSE; It is the fate of boasting, that while a man thinks he is climbing higher, he is by his pretension to lofty deeds brought low. Hence it follows, And he said, to him, you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
Athanasius Non autem contra divinitatem certamen Diabolus iniit, neque enim audebat; et ideo dicebat si filius Dei es: sed cum homine certamen iniit, quem quondam seducere potuit. ATHAN. The devil entered not into a contest with God, (for he durst not, and therefore said, you are the Son of God,) but he contended with man whom once he had power to deceive.
Ambrosius: Vere autem diabolica vox est quae mentem hominis de gradu altiori meritorum praecipitare contendit. Simul infirmitatem suam Diabolus malitiamque designat: quia nemini potest nocere nisi ipse deorsum se miserit: nam qui relictis caelestibus terrena eligit, voluntarium quoddam praecipitium vitae labentis incurrit. Simul quoniam telum suum Diabolus vidit obtusum, qui omnes proprie subiecerat potestati, plus coepit quam hominem iudicare. Transfigurat autem se Satanas velut Angelum lucis, et de Scripturis saepe divinis laqueum fidelibus parat; unde sequitur scriptum est enim: quoniam Angelis suis mandavit de te, ut conservent te, et quia in manibus tollent te, ne forte offendas ad lapidem pedem tuum. AMBROSE; That is truly the devil’s language, which seeks to cast down the soul of man from the high ground of its good deeds, while he shows at the same time both his weakness and malice, for he can injure no one that does not first cast himself down. For he who forsaking heavenly things pursues earthly, rushes as it were willfully down the self-sought precipice of a falling life. As soon then as the devil perceived his dart blunted, he who had subdued all men to his own power, began to think he had to deal with more than man. But Satan transforms himself into an angel of light, and often from the Holy Scriptures weaves his mesh for the faithful: hence it follows, It is written, He shall give, &c.
Origenes: Unde tibi, Diabole, hoc scire, quod ista scripta sunt? Numquid legisti prophetas vel divina eloquia? Legisti quidem non ut ipse ex lectione eorum melior fieres, sed ut de simplici littera eos qui amici sunt litterae interficias. Scis quia si de aliis eius voluminibus loqui volueris, non decipies. ORIGEN; Whence know you, Satan, that those things are written? Have you read the Prophets, or the oracles of God? You have read them indeed, but not that yourself might be the better for the reading, but that from the mere letter you might slay them who are friends to the letter. You know that if you were to speak from His other books, you would not deceive.
Ambrosius: Ergo non te capiat haereticus, quia potest de Scripturis aliqua exempla proferre: utitur et Diabolus testimoniis Scripturarum, non ut doceat, sed ut fallat. AMBROSE; Let not the heretic entrap you by bringing examples from the Scriptures. The devil makes use of the testimony of the Scriptures not to teach but to deceive.
Origenes: Vide autem quomodo et in ipsis testimoniis versipellis est; vult enim minuere gloriam salvatoris, quasi Angelorum indigeat auxilio: offensurus pedem, nisi eorum manibus sublevetur. Hoc enim testimonium non de Christo, sed de sanctis generaliter scriptum est: neque enim indiget Angelorum auxilio qui maior est Angelis, quin potius disce, Diabole, quod nisi Deus adiuvaret Angelos, offenderent pedem suum; et tu propterea offendisti, quia credere in Iesum Christum Dei filium noluisti. Quare autem siles quod sequitur: super aspidem et basiliscum ambulabis, nisi quia tu es basiliscus, tu draco, tu leo? ORIGEN; But mark how wily he is even in this testimony. For he would fain throw a slur upon the glory of the Savior, as though He needed the assistance of angels, and would stumble were He not supported by their hands. But this was said not of Christ, but of the saints generally; He needs not the aid of angels, Who is greater than angels. But let this teach you, Satan, that the angels would stumble did not God sustain them; and you stumble because you refuse to believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God. But why are you silent as to what follows, You shall walk upon the asp and the basilisk, except that you are the basilisk, you are the dragon and the lion?
Ambrosius: Sed dominus rursus ne ea quae de se fuerant prophetata, ad arbitrium Diaboli putaret esse facienda, sed divinitatis propriae auctoritate servata, versutiae eius occurrit; ut quia Scripturarum exemplum praetenderat, Scripturarum vinceretur exemplis; unde sequitur et respondens Iesus ait illi: dictum est quia non tentabis dominum Deum tuum. AMBROSE; But the Lord, to prevent the thought that those things which had been prophesied of Him were fulfilled according to the devil’s will, and not by the authority of His own divine power, again so foils his cunning, that he who had alleged the testimony of Scripture, should by Scripture himself be overthrown. Hence it follows, And Jesus answering said, It is said, You shall not tempt the Lord thy God.
Chrysostomus: Diabolicum enim est seipsum inicere ad pericula, et tentare si eripiat Deus. CHRYS For it is of the devil to cast one’s self into dangers, and try whether God will rescue us.
Cyrillus: Non enim tentantibus largitur Deus auxilia, sed credentibus in eum: unde Christus tentantibus eum non ostendebat miracula, quibus dicebat: generatio prava signum quaerit, et non dabitur ei. CYRIL; God gives not help to those who tempt Him, but to those who believe on Him. Christ therefore did not show ills miracles to them that tempted Him, but said to them, An evil generation seeks a sign, and no sign shall be given to them.
Chrysostomus: Aspice autem quomodo non turbatus est dominus; immo de Scripturis humillime cum iniquo disceptat, ut conformeris Christo pro posse. Novit Diabolus arma Christi, quibus succubuit: ex mansuetudine eum cepit, ex humilitate devicit. Tu quoque, cum videris hominem effectum Diabolum, et tibi obviantem, eo modo devincas, doceas animam tuam formare os condecens ori Christi: sicut enim cum Romanus forsan residet iudex, non exaudiet responsum ignorantis eo modo loqui quo ipse, sic et Christus nisi suo modo loquaris, non exaudiet te, nec vacabit tibi. CHRYS. But mark how the Lord, instead of being troubled, condescends to dispute from the Scriptures with the wicked one, that you, as far as you are able, might become like Christ. The devil knew the arms of Christ, beneath which he sunk. Christ took him captive by meekness, He overcame him by humility. Do you also, when you see a man who has become a devil coming to meet you, subdue him in like manner. Teach your soul to conform its words to those of Christ. For as a Roman judge, who on the bench refuses to hear the reply of one who knows not how to speak as he does; so also Christ, except you speak after His manner, will neither hear you nor protect you.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Legitime autem pugnanti agonum reperitur terminus; vel quod adversarius sua sponte cedat vincenti, vel trino casu deponitur secundum pugnatoriae artis decretum; unde sequitur et consummata omni tentatione Diabolus recessit usque ad tempus ab illo. GREG NYSS. In lawful contests the battle is terminated either when the adversary surrenders of his own accord to the conqueror, or is defeated in three falls, according to the rules of the art of fighting. Hence it follows, And all the temptation being completed, &c.
Ambrosius: Non dixisset Scriptura omnem tentationem consummatam, nisi in tribus praemissis esset omnium materia delictorum: quia causae tentationum, causae cupiditatum sunt: scilicet carnis oblectatio, spes gloriae, aviditas potentiae. AMBROSE; He would not have said that all the temptation was ended, had there not been in the three temptations which have been described the materials for every crime; for the causes of temptations are the causes of desire, namely, the delight of the flesh, the pomp of vain-glory, greediness of power.
Athanasius Accesserat quidem ad eum hostis ut ad hominem; non inveniens autem in ipso antiqui sui seminis signa, discessit. ATHAN. The enemy came to Him as, man, but not finding in Him the marks of his ancient seed, he departed.
Ambrosius: Vides ergo ipsum Diabolum in stadio non esse pertinacem, cedere verae solere virtuti; et si invidere non desinat, tamen instare formidat, quia frequentius refugit triumphari. Audito itaque Dei nomine, recessit, inquit, usque ad tempus; postea enim non tentaturus, sed aperte pugnaturus venit. AMBROSE; You see then that the devil is not obstinate on the field, is wont to give way to true virtue; and if he ceases not to hate, he yet dreads to advance, for so he escapes a more frequent defeat. As soon then as he heard the name of God, he retired (it is said) for a season, for afterwards he comes not to tempt, but to fight openly.
Theophylactus: Vel quia de voluptate tentaverat in deserto, recessit ab eo usque ad tempus crucis, in quo eum erat de tristitia tentaturus. THEOPHYL. Or, having tempted Him in the desert with pleasure, he retires from Him until the crucifixion, when he was about to tempt Him with sorrow.
Maximus: Vel Diabolus in deserto Christo suggesserat praeferre mundi materiam divino amori; quem dominus retrocedere iussit, quod erat indicium divini amoris: unde postea satagebat praevaricatorem eum facere dilectionis ad proximos; et ideo docente eo semitas vitae provocabat ad illius insidias Pharisaeos et Scribas, ut ad eorum odium perverteretur. Sed dominus dilectionis intuitu, quem habebat in eos, monebat, arguebat, beneficia conferre non cessabat. MAXIM US; Or the devil had prompted Christ in the desert to prefer the things of the world to the love of God. The Lord commanded him to leave Him, (which itself was a mark of Divine love.) It was afterwards then enough to make Christ appear the false advocate of love to His neighbors, and therefore while He was teaching the paths of life, the devil stirred up the Gentiles and Pharisees to lay traps for Him that He might be brought to hate them. But the Lord, from the feeling of love which He had towards them, exhorted, reproved, ceased not to bestow mercy upon them.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Totum autem hoc similiter Matthaeus narrat, sed non eodem ordine: unde incertum est quid prius factum sit: utrum regna terrae prius demonstrata sint ei et postea in pinnam templi levatus sit; an hoc prius et illud postea: nihil tamen ad rem, dum omnia facta esse manifestum sit. AUG. The whole of this narrative Matthew relates in a similar manner, but not in the same order. It is uncertain therefore which took place first, whether the kingdoms of the earth were first shown to Him, and He was afterwards taken up to the pinnacle of the temple; or whether this came first, and the other afterwards. It matters little however which, as long as it is clear that they all took place.
Maximus: Ob hoc autem Evangelistarum hanc iste, illam vero ille praemittit, quia inanis gloria et avaritia ad invicem sese gignunt. MAXIM US; But the reason why one Evangelist places this event first, and another that, is because vain-glory and covetousness give birth in turn to one another.
Origenes in Lucam: Ioannes autem, quia a Deo exordium fecerat, dicens: in principio erat verbum, tentationem domini non descripsit, quia Deus tentari non potest, de quo ei erat sermo: quia vero in Matthaei Evangelio et in Luca generatio hominis scribitur et in Marco: homo autem est qui tentatur; ideo Matthaeus, Lucas et Marcus tentationem domini descripserunt. ORIGEN; But John, who had commenced his Gospel from God, saying, In the beginning was the Word, did not describe the temptation of the Lord, because God can not be tempted, of whom he wrote. But because in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke the human generations are given, and in Mark it is man who is tempted, therefore Matthew, Luke, and Mark have described the temptation of the Lord.

Lectio 4
14 καὶ ὑπέστρεψεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ πνεύματος εἰς τὴν γαλιλαίαν. καὶ φήμη ἐξῆλθεν καθ' ὅλης τῆς περιχώρου περὶ αὐτοῦ. 15 καὶ αὐτὸς ἐδίδασκεν ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν, δοξαζόμενος ὑπὸ πάντων. 16 καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς ναζαρά, οὗ ἦν τεθραμμένος, καὶ εἰσῆλθεν κατὰ τὸ εἰωθὸς αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν σαββάτων εἰς τὴν συναγωγήν, καὶ ἀνέστη ἀναγνῶναι. 17 καὶ ἐπεδόθη αὐτῷ βιβλίον τοῦ προφήτου ἠσαΐου, καὶ ἀναπτύξας τὸ βιβλίον εὗρεν τὸν τόπον οὗ ἦν γεγραμμένον, 18 πνεῦμα κυρίου ἐπ' ἐμέ, οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέν με εὐαγγελίσασθαι πτωχοῖς, ἀπέσταλκέν με κηρύξαι αἰχμαλώτοις ἄφεσιν καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀνάβλεψιν, ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει, 19 κηρύξαι ἐνιαυτὸν κυρίου δεκτόν. 20 καὶ πτύξας τὸ βιβλίον ἀποδοὺς τῷ ὑπηρέτῃ ἐκάθισεν: καὶ πάντων οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ ἦσαν ἀτενίζοντες αὐτῷ. 21 ἤρξατο δὲ λέγειν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὅτι σήμερον πεπλήρωται ἡ γραφὴ αὕτη ἐν τοῖς ὠσὶν ὑμῶν.
14. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 15. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. 16. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17. And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor: he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21. And he began to say to them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.

Origenes in Lucam: Quia dominus tentatorem vicerat, virtus ei addita est; quantum scilicet ad manifestationem; unde dicitur et egressus est Iesus in virtute spiritus in Galilaeam. ORIGEN; The Lord having overcome the tempter, power was added to Him, i.e. as far as regards the manifestation of it. Hence it is said, And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit.
Beda: Virtutem spiritus signa miraculorum dicit. BEDE; By the power of the Spirit he means showing forth of miracles.
Cyrillus: Agebat autem miracula, non ab extrinseco, et quasi acquisitam habens spiritus sancti gratiam, sicut alii sancti; sed potius, cum esset naturaliter Dei filius et consors omnium quae sunt patris, tamquam propria virtute et operatione, utitur ea quae est spiritus sancti. Decebat autem ex tunc eum notum fieri, et humanationis fulgere mysterium apud eos qui erant de sanguine Israel; ideo sequitur et fama exiit per universam regionem de illo. CYRIL; Now He performed miracles not from any external power, and from having as it were the acquired grace of the Holy Spirit, as other saints, but rather as being by nature the Son of God, and partaking of all things which are the Father’s, He exercises as by His own power and operation that grace which is of the Holy Spirit. But it was right that from that time He should become known, and that the mystery of His humanity should shine forth among those who were of the seed of Israel. It therefore follows, And his fame went out.
Beda: Et quia sapientia pertinet ad doctrinam, virtus vero refertur ad opera, utraque hic coniunguntur; unde sequitur et ipse docebat in synagogis eorum. Synagoga Graece, Latine dicitur congregatio; quo nomine non solum turbarum conventum, sed et domum in qua ad audiendum verbum Dei conveniebant, Iudaei appellare solebant; sicut nos Ecclesias et loca et choros fidelium vocamus. Verum differt inter synagogam quae congregatio, et Ecclesiam quae convocatio interpretatur: quia scilicet et pecora et quaeque res congregari in unum possunt; convocari non possunt nisi ratione utentia: ideo novae gratiae populum quasi maiore dignitate praeditum, rectius Ecclesiam quam synagogam nominare apostolicis doctoribus visum est. Merito autem et magnificatus a praesentibus asseveratur praecedentibus factorum dictorumve indiciis, cum sequitur et magnificabatur ab omnibus. BEDE; And because wisdom belongs to teaching, but power to works, both are joined here, as it follows, And he taught in the synagogue. Synagogue, which is a Greek word, is rendered in Latin congregatio. By this name then the Jews were accustomed to call not only the gathering together of people, but also the house where they met together to hear the word of God; as we call by the name of Church, both the place and the company of the faithful. But there is this difference between the synagogue which is called congregation, and the Church which is interpreted convocation, that flocks and cattle, and any thing else can be gathered together in one, but only rational beings can be called together. Accordingly the Apostolical doctors thought right to call a people which was distinguished by the superior dignity of a new grace rather by the name of Church, than Synagogue. But rightly also was the fact of His being magnified by those present proved, by actual evidence of word and deed, as it follows, And he was magnified by all.
Origenes in Lucam: Cave autem ne beatos tantum illos iudices, et te arbitreris privatum esse Christi doctrina: quia nunc etiam in toto orbe docet per organa sua, et nunc magis glorificatur ab omnibus quam illo tempore quo tantum in una provincia cognoscebatur. ORIGEN; But you must not think that they only were happy, and that you are deprived of Christ’s teaching. For now also throughout the world He teaches through His instruments, and is now more glorified by all men, than at that time when those only in one province were gathered together.
Cyrillus: Largitur autem sui notitiam illis inter quos educatus est secundum carnem; unde sequitur et venit Nazareth, ubi erat nutritus. CYRIL; He communicates the knowledge of Himself to those among whom He was brought up according to the flesh. As it follows, And he came to Nazareth.
Theophylactus: Ut et nos doceat prius proprios beneficare et docere, deinde et ad reliquos amicitiam spargere. THEOPHYL. That He might teach us to benefit and instruct first our brethren, then to extend our kindness to the rest of our friends.
Beda: Confluebant autem die sabbati in synagogis, ut feriatis mundi negotiis ad meditanda legis monita quieto corde residerent; unde sequitur et intravit secundum consuetudinem suam die sabbati in synagogam. BEDE; They flocked together on the Sabbath day in the synagogues, that, resting from all worldly occupations, they might set themselves down with a quiet mind to meditate on the precepts of the Law. Hence it follows, And he entered as was his custom on the Sabbath day into the synagogue.
Ambrosius: Ita autem dominus ad omnia se curvavit obsequia, ut ne lectoris quidem aspernaretur officium; unde sequitur et surrexit legere, et traditus est illi liber Isaiae. Accepit quidem librum, ut ostenderet seipsum esse qui locutus est in prophetis, et removeret sacrilegia perfidorum, qui alium Deum dicunt veteris testamenti, alium novi; vel qui initium Christi dicunt esse de virgine; quomodo enim coepit ex virgine qui ante virginem loquebatur? AMBROSE; The Lord in every thing so humbled Himself to obedience, that He did not despise even the office of a reader, as it follows, And he rose up to read, and there was delivered to him the book, &c. He received the book indeed, that He might show Himself to be the same who spoke in the Prophets, and that He might stop the blasphemies of the wicked, who say that there is one God of the Old Testament, another of the New; or who say that Christ had His beginning from a virgin. For how did He begin from a virgin, who spoke before that virgin was?
Origenes: Non autem fortuito revolvit librum, et caput de se vaticinans reperit lectionis; sed hoc providentiae Dei fuit; unde sequitur et ut revolvit librum, invenit locum ubi scriptum erat: spiritus domini super me; Christus enim est qui ita commemoratur. ORIGEN; He opens not the book by chance, and finds a chapter containing a prophecy of Himself, but by the providence of God. Hence it follows, And when he had opened the book, he found the place, &c.
Athanasius Explicans enim nobis causam factae in mundo revelationis, id est suae humanationis, hoc dicit: sicut enim filius, cum sit spiritus dator, non recusat fateri tamquam homo, quod in spiritu Dei eicit Daemonia; ita non recusat dicere spiritus domini super me, pro eo quod factus est homo. ATHAN. He says this to explain to us the cause of the revelation made Or to the world, and of His taking upon Him the human nature. For as the Son, though He is the giver of. the Spirit, does not refuse to confess as man that by the Spirit He casts out devils, so, inasmuch as He was made man, He does not refuse to say, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.
Cyrillus: Similiter autem fatemur eum unctum fuisse inquantum carnem suscepit; unde sequitur propter quod unxit me: non enim ungitur divina natura, sed quod nobis cognatum existit: sic etiam et quod dicit se missum, imputandum est humanitati; nam sequitur evangelizare pauperibus misit me. CYRIL; In like manner we confess Him to have been anointed, inasmuch as He took upon Him our flesh, as it follows, Because he has anointed me. For the Divine nature is not anointed, but that which is cognate to us. So also when He says that He was sent, we must suppose Him speaking of His human nature. For it follows, He has sent me to preach the gospel to the poor.
Ambrosius: Vides Trinitatem coaeternam atque perfectam: ipsum loquitur Scriptura Iesum Deum hominemque in utero perfectum; loquitur et patrem et spiritum sanctum, qui cooperator ostenditur quando corporali specie sicut columba descendit in Christum. AMBROSE; You see the Trinity coeternal and perfect. The Scripture speaks of Jesus as perfect God and perfect man. It speaks of the Father, and the Holy Spirit, who was shown to be a cooperator, when in a bodily form as a dove He descended upon Christ.
Origenes in Lucam: Pauperes autem nationes dicit: isti enim erant pauperes nihil omnino possidentes, non Deum, non legem, non prophetas, non iustitiam, non reliquas virtutes. ORIGEN; By the poor He means the Gentile nations, for they were poor, possessing nothing at all, having neither God, nor Law, nor Prophets, nor justice, and the other virtues.
Ambrosius: Vel universaliter ungitur oleo spirituali et virtute caelesti, ut paupertatem conditionis humanae, thesauro resurrectionis rigaret aeterno. AMBROSE; Or, He is anointed all over with spiritual oil, and heavenly virtue, that He might enrich the poverty of man’s condition with the everlasting treasure of His resurrection.
Beda: Mittitur etiam evangelizare pauperibus, dicens: beati pauperes, quia vestrum est regnum caelorum. BEDE; He is sent also to preach the Gospel to the poor, saying, Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.
Cyrillus: Forsitan enim pauperibus spiritu in his ostendit exhibitum liberale donum inter omnia dona quae per Christum obtinentur. Sequitur sanare contritos corde. Vocat contritos corde debiles, fragilem mentem habentes, et resistere nequeuntes insultibus passionum; quibus remedium sanitatis promittit. CYRIL; For perhaps to the poor in spirit He declares in these words, that among all the gifts which are obtained through Christ, upon them was bestowed a free gift. It follows, To heal the broken hearted. He calls those broken hearted, who are weak, of an infirm mind, and unable to resist the assaults of the passions, and to them He promises a healing remedy.
Basilius: Vel contritos corde venit sanare, idest remedium dare habentibus cor contritum a Satana per peccatum: eo quod prae ceteris peccatum cor humanum prosternit. BASIL; Or, He came to heal the broken hearted, i.e. to afford a remedy to those that have their heart broken by Satan through sin, because beyond all other things sin lays prostrate the human hears.
Beda: Vel quia scriptum est: cor contritum et humiliatum Deus non spernit, ideo missum se dicit ad sanandum contritos corde, secundum illud: qui sanat contritos corde. Sequitur et praedicare captivis remissionem. BEDE; Or, because it is written, A broken and a contrite heart God will not despise. He says therefore, that He is sent to heal the broken hearted, as it is written, Who heals the broken hearted. It follows, And to preach deliverance to the captives.
Chrysostomus: Captivationis vocabulum multiplex est. Est enim captivatio bona, sicut Paulus dicit: captivantes omnem intellectum ad obedientiam Christi. Est et prava et sensibilis; quae est a corporalibus hostibus. Sed deterior est intelligibilis, de qua hic dicit: fungitur enim peccatum pessima tyrannide, praecipiens mala, et obedientes confundens. Ab hoc intelligibili carcere nos Christus eripuit. CHRYS. The word captivity has many meanings. There is a good captivity, which St. Paul speaks of when he says, Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. There is a bad captivity also, of which it is said, Leading captive silly women laden with sins. There is a captivity present to the senses, that is by our bodily enemies. But the worst captivity is that of the mind, of which he here speaks. For sin exercises the worst of all tyrannies, commanding to do evil, and destroying them that obey it. From this prison of the soul Christ lets us free.
Theophylactus: Possunt autem et haec de mortuis intelligi, qui captivi existentes, soluti sunt ab Inferni dominio per Christi resurrectionem. Sequitur et visum caecis. THEOPHYL. But these things may be understood also of the dead, who being taken captive have been loosed from the dominion of hell by the resurrection of Christ. It follows, And recovering of sight to the blind.
Cyrillus: Profluentes enim a Diabolo tenebras in corda humana, Christus quasi sol iustitiae removit, faciens homines filios non noctis et tenebrarum, sed lucis et diei: qui enim aliquando errabant, perceperunt iustorum semitas. Sequitur dimittere confractos in remissionem. CYRIL; For the darkness which the Devil has spread over the human heart, Christ the Sun of Righteousness has removed making men, as the Apostle says, children not of night and darkness, but of light and the day. For they who one time wandered have discovered the path of the righteous. It follows, To set at liberty them that are bruised.
Origenes in Lucam: Quid enim ita fractum, atque collisum fuerat ut homo, qui a Iesu dimissus est et sanatus? ORIGEN; For what had been so shattered and dashed about as man, who was set at liberty by Jesus and healed?
Beda: Vel dimittere confractos in remissionem, idest eos, qui legis pondere importabili fuerant depressi relevare. BEDE; Or, to set at liberty them that are bruised; i.e. to relieve those who had been heavy laden with the intolerable burden of the Law.
Origenes: Ista autem omnia praedicta sunt, ut post visionem ex caecitate, post libertatem ex vinculis, post sanitatem a diversis vulneribus veniamus ad annum domini acceptum; unde sequitur praedicare annum domini acceptum. Aiunt autem quidam iuxta simplicem intelligentiam, anno uno Evangelium salvatorem in Iudaea praedicasse; et hoc est quod dicitur praedicare annum domini acceptum. Vel annus domini acceptus est totum tempus Ecclesiae, quo dum versatur in corpore, peregrinatur a domino. ORIGEN; But all these things were mentioned first, in order that after the recovery of sight from blindness, after deliverance from captivity, after being healed of divers wounds, we might come to the acceptable year of the Lord. As it follows, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Some say that, according to the simple meaning of the word, the Savior preached the Gospel throughout Judea in one year, and that this is what is meant by preaching the acceptable year of the Lord. Or, the acceptable year of the Lord is the whole time of the Church, during which while present in the body, it is absent from the Lord.
Beda: Neque enim solus ille annus quo dominus praedicabat fuit acceptabilis, sed etiam iste quo praedicat apostolus dicens: ecce nunc tempus acceptabile. Post annum sane domini acceptabilem, subdit et diem retributionis, scilicet extremae, quando reddet unicuique secundum opus suum. BEDE; For not only was that year acceptable in which our Lord preached, but that also in which the Apostle preaches, saying, Behold, now is the accepted time. After the acceptable year of the Lord, he adds, And the day of retribution; that is, the final retribution, when the Lord shall give to every one according to his work.
Ambrosius: Vel diem hunc annum domini acceptum dicit perpetuis diffusum temporibus, qui redire in orbem laboris nesciat, continuationem fructus hominibus et quietis indulgeat. Sequitur et cum plicuisset librum, reddidit ministro, et sedit. AMBROSE; Or, by the acceptable year of the Lord, he means this day extended through endless ages, which knows of no return to a world of labor, and grants to men everlasting reward and rest. It follows, And he closed the book, and he gave it again.
Beda: Librum audientibus illis qui aderant legit; sed lectum ministro reddidit: quia dum esset in mundo, palam locutus est, docens in synagogis et templo; sed ad caelestia reversurus, his qui ab initio viderant, et ministri sermonis fuerant, evangelizandi officium tradidit. Stans legit, quia nobis Scripturas quae de ipso erant aperuit, quando in carne dignatus est operari; sed reddito libro residet, quia se supernae quietis solio restituit: stare enim operantis est, sedere autem quiescentis vel iudicantis. Sic et praedicator verbi surgat et legat, idest operetur, et praedicet; et resideat, idest praemia quietis expectet. Revolutum autem librum legit, quia Ecclesiam misso spiritu omnem veritatem docuit; plicatum ministro reddidit, quia non omnia omnibus dicenda, sed pro captu audientium committit doctori dispensandum verbum. Sequitur et omnium in synagoga oculi erant intendentes in eum. BEDE; He read the book to those who were present to hear Him, but having read it, He returned it to the minister; for while He was in the world He spoke openly, teaching in the synagogues and in the temple; but about to return to heaven, He committed the office of preaching the Gospel to those who from the beginning were eye-witnesses and ministers of the word. He read standing, because while explaining those Scriptures which were written of Him, He condescended to work in the flesh; but having returned the book, He sits down, because He restored Himself to the throne of heavenly rest. For standing is the part of the workman, but sitting of one who is resting or judging. So also let the preacher of the word rise up and read and work and preach, and sit down, i.e. wait for the reward of rest. But He opens the book and reads, because sending the Spirit, He taught His Church all truth; having shut the book, He returned it to the minister, because all things were not to be said to all, but He committed the word to the teacher to be dispensed according to the capacity of the hearers. It follows, And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him.
Origenes in Lucam: Et nunc etiam si volumus, oculi nostri possunt intendere in salvatorem: cum enim principalem cordis tui direxeris aciem ad sapientiam et veritatem Deique unigenitum contemplandum, oculi tui intuentur Iesum. ORIGEN; And now also if we will, our eyes can look upon the Savior. For when you direct your whole heart to wisdom, truth, and the contemplation of the only-begotten Son of God, your eyes behold Jesus.
Cyrillus: Tunc autem omnium oculos convertebat ad se, quodammodo stupentium qualiter litteras novit quas non didicit. Sed quoniam mos erat Iudaeis promulgatas de Christo prophetias dicere consummari vel in quibusdam eorum praepositis, vel in aliquibus sanctis prophetis, dominus hoc praedicavit; unde sequitur coepit autem dicere ad illos: quia hodie impleta est haec Scriptura in auribus vestris. CYRIL; But then He turned the eyes of all men upon Him, wondering how He knew the writing which He had never learnt. But since it was the custom of the Jews to say that the prophecies spoken of Christ are completed either in certain of their chiefs, i.e. their kings, or in some of their holy prophets, the Lord made this announcement; as it follows, But he began to say to them that this Scripture is fulfilled.
Beda: Quia scilicet, sicut illa Scriptura praedixerat, et magna faciebat, et maiora dominus evangelizabat. BEDE; Because, in fact, as that Scripture had foretold, the Lord was both doing great things, and preaching greater.

Lectio 5
22 καὶ πάντες ἐμαρτύρουν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐθαύμαζον ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ἐκ τοῦ στόματος αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔλεγον, οὐχὶ υἱός ἐστιν ἰωσὴφ οὗτος; 23 καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς, πάντως ἐρεῖτέ μοι τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην: ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν: ὅσα ἠκούσαμεν γενόμενα εἰς τὴν καφαρναοὺμ ποίησον καὶ ὧδε ἐν τῇ πατρίδι σου. 24 εἶπεν δέ, ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὐδεὶς προφήτης δεκτός ἐστιν ἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ. 25 ἐπ' ἀληθείας δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, πολλαὶ χῆραι ἦσαν ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἠλίου ἐν τῷ Ἰσραήλ, ὅτε ἐκλείσθη ὁ οὐρανὸς ἐπὶ ἔτη τρία καὶ μῆνας ἕξ, ὡς ἐγένετο λιμὸς μέγας ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν,
22. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son? 23. And he said to them, You will surely say to me this proverb, Physician, heal yourself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in your country. 24. And he said, Verily I say to you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26. But to none of them was Elias sent, save to Sarepta, a city of Sidon, to a woman that was a widow. 27. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Cum venisset in Nazareth dominus, a miraculis abstinet, ne provocaret eos ad maiorem livorem. Praetendit autem eis doctrinam non minus admirandam miraculis: erat enim quaedam divina gratia ineffabilis in dictis salvatoris concurrens, animas permulcens auditorum; unde dicitur et omnes testimonium illi dabant et mirabantur in verbis gratiae quae procedebant de ore ipsius. CHRYS. When our Lord came to Nazareth, He refrains from miracles, lest He should provoke the people to greater malice. But He sets before them His teaching no less wonderful than His miracles. For there was a certain ineffable grace in our Savior’s words which softened the hearts of the hearers. Hence it is said, And they all bare him witness.
Beda: Testimonium illi dabant, attestando illum vere esse ut dixerat, de quo propheta cecinerat. BEDE; They bare Him witness that it was truly He, as He had said, of whom the prophet had spoken.
Chrysostomus: Sed stulti admirantes sermonis virtutem, parvipendunt ipsum ab eo qui putabatur pater; unde sequitur et dicebant: nonne hic est filius Ioseph? CHRYS. But foolish men though wondering at the power of His words little esteemed Him because of His reputed father. Hence it follows, And they said, Is not this the son of Joseph?
Cyrillus: Sed quid impedit ut venerabilis et admirabilis sit, si filius esset, ut putabatur, Ioseph? Nonne vides divina miracula? Satanam iam prostratum, nonnullos ab his aegritudinibus liberatos? CYRIL; But what prevents Him from filling men with awe, though He were the Son as was supposed of Joseph? Do you not see the divine miracles, Satan already prostrate, men released from their sickness?
Chrysostomus: Post multum enim tempus et signorum ostensionem profectus est ad eos, nec eum sustinuerunt, sed iterum se succendebant invidia; unde sequitur et ait illis: utique dicetis mihi hanc similitudinem: medice, cura te ipsum. Quanta audivimus facta in Capharnaum, fac et hic in patria tua. CHRYS. For though after a long time and when He had begun to show forth His miracles, He came to them; they did not receive Him, but again were inflamed with envy. Hence it follows, And he said to them, You will surely say to me this proverb, Physician, heal yourself.
Cyrillus: Commune quidem proverbium erat apud Hebraeos ad improperium excogitatum: clamabant enim aliqui contra medicos infirmos: medice, sana te ipsum. CYRIL; It was a common proverb among the Hebrews, invented as a reproach, for men used to cry out against infirm physicians, Physician, heal yourself.
Glossa: Quasi dicerent: quia in Capharnaum plures te curasse audivimus, cura etiam teipsum; idest, fac similiter in tua civitate, ubi conceptus es et nutritus. GLOSS. It was as, if they said, We have heard that you performed many cures in Capernaum; cure also thyself, i.e. Do likewise in your own city, where you were nourished and brought up.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Cum autem iam magna ab illo facta fuisse commemorat, quae se nondum narrasse scit; quid evidentius quam hoc eum scienter praeoccupasse narrandum? Neque enim tantum ab eius Baptismo progressus est, ut oblitus putetur nondum se aliquid commemorasse de his quae in Capharnaum gesta fuerant. AUG. But since St. Luke mentions that great things had been already done by Him, which he knows he had not yet related, what is more evident than that he knowingly anticipated the relation of them. For he had not proceeded so far beyond our Lord’s baptism as that he should be supposed to have forgotten that he had not y et related any of those things v, which were done in Capernaum.
Ambrosius: Non otiose autem salvator se excusat quod nulla in patria sua miracula virtutis operatus sit, ne fortassis aliquis viliorem patriae nobis esse debere putaret affectum; nam sequitur ait autem: amen dico vobis, quia nemo propheta acceptus est in patria sua. AMBROSE; But the Savior purposely excuses Himself for not working miracles in His own country, that no one might suppose that love of country is a thing to be lightly esteemed by us. For it follows, But he says, Verily I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country.
Cyrillus: Quasi dicat: vultis multa prodigia inter vos a me fieri, penes quos sum nutritus; sed non latet me quaedam communis, quae multis accidit, passio: contemnuntur enim quodammodo semper etiam optima quaeque quando non raro contingunt alicui, sed suppetunt ad velle; et sic etiam contingit in hominibus: familiaris enim, quia semper praesto est, debita reverentia privatur a notis eius. CYRIL; As if He says, You wish me to work many miracles among you, in whose country I have been brought up, but I am aware of a very common failing in the minds of many. To a certain extent it always happens, that even the very best things are despised when they fall to a man’s lot, not scantily, but ever at his will. So it happens also with respect to men. For a friend who is ever at hand, does not meet with the respect due to him.
Beda: Prophetam autem dici in Scripturis Christum et Moyses testis est, qui dicit: prophetam vobis suscitabit Deus de fratribus vestris. BEDE; Now that Christ is called a Prophet in the Scriptures, Moses bears witness, saying, God shall raise up a Prophet to you from among your brethren.
Ambrosius: Hoc autem exemplo declaratur quod frustra opem misericordiae caelestis expectes, si alienae fructibus virtutis invideas: aspernator enim Deus invidorum est, et ab his qui divina beneficia in aliis persequuntur, miracula suae pietatis avertit. Dominicae quippe carnis actus divinitatis exemplum est, et invisibilia eius nobis per ea quae sunt visibilia demonstrantur. Videte igitur quid mali invidia afferat: indigna propter invidiam patria iudicatur in qua civis operetur, quae digna fuit in qua Dei filius nasceretur. AMBROSE; But this is given for an example, that in vain can you expect the aid of Divine mercy, if you grudge to others the fruits of their virtue. The Lord despises the envious, and withdraws the miracles of His power from them that are jealous of His divine blessings in others. For our Lord’s Incarnation is an evidence of His divinity, and His invisible things are proved to us by those which are visible. See then what evils envy produces. For envy a country is deemed unworthy of the works of its citizen, which was worthy of the conception of the Son of God.
Origenes in Lucam: Quantum ad Lucae historiam pertinet, nondum in Capharnaum fecisse aliquod signum describitur: nam antequam veniret in Capharnaum, in Nazareth dixisse legitur quaecumque audivimus facta in Capharnaum. Unde puto in praesenti sermone aliquid latitare mysterii, et Nazareth in typo Iudaeorum, Capharnaum in typo praecessisse gentium. Erit enim tempus quando dicturus est populus Israel: quae ostendis universo orbi, ostende et nobis; praedica sermonem tuum populo tuo Israel, ut saltem cum subintraverit plenitudo gentium, tunc omnis Israel salvus fiat. Quamobrem videtur mihi convenienter respondisse salvator nemo propheta acceptus est in patria sua, plus iuxta sacramentum quam iuxta litteram, licet et Ieremias in Anathoth patria sua non fuerit acceptus, et reliqui prophetae; sed magis videtur mihi intelligi ut dicamus patriam omnium prophetarum fuisse populum circumcisionis. Et nationes quidem susceperunt vaticinium Iesu Christi, magis habentes Moysen et prophetas de Christo praedicantes, quam illi qui ex his non susceperunt Iesum. ORIGEN; As far as Luke’s narrative is concerned, our Lord is not yet said to have worked any miracle in Capernaum. For before He came to Capernaum, He is said to have lived at Nazareth. I cannot but think therefore that in these words, “whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum,” there lies a mystery concealed, and that Nazareth is a type of the Jews, Capernaum of the Gentiles. For the time will come when the people of Israel shall say, “The things which you have shown to the whole world, show also to us.” Preach your word to the people of Israel, that then at least, when the fullness of the Gentiles has entered, all Israel may be saved. Our Savior seems to me to have well answered, No prophet is accepted in his own country, but rather according to the type than the letter; though neither was Jeremiah accepted in Anathoth his country, nor the rest of the Prophets. But it seems rather to be meant that we should say, that the people of the circumcision were the countrymen of all the Prophets. And the Gentiles indeed accepted the prophecy of Jesus Christ, esteeming Moses and the Prophets who preached of Christ, far higher than they who would not from these receive Jesus.
Ambrosius: Bene autem apto comparationis exemplo arrogantia civium retunditur invidorum, dominicumque factum Scripturis docetur veteribus convenire; nam sequitur et in veritate dico vobis: multae viduae erant in diebus Eliae: non quia Eliae dies fuerunt, sed in quibus Elias operatus est. AMBROSE; By a very apt comparison the arrogance of envious citizens is put to shame, and our Lord’s conduct shown to agree with the ancient Scriptures. For it follows, But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias: not that the days were his, but that he performed his works in them.
Chrysostomus: Ipse quidem terrestris Angelus, caelestis homo, qui nec tectum, nec mensam, nec amictum habebat, ut multi, clavem caelorum gerit in lingua; et hoc est quod sequitur quando clausum est caelum annis tribus et mensibus sex. Postquam autem caelum seravit, terramque reddit sterilem, regnabat fames, et consumpta sunt corpora; unde sequitur cum facta esset fames in terra. CHRYS. He himself, an earthly angel, a heavenly man, who had neither house, nor food, nor clothing like others, carries the keys of the heavens on his tongue. And this is what follows, When the heaven was shut. But as soon as he had closed the heavens and made the earth barren, hunger reigned and bodies wasted away, as it follows, when there was as famine through the land.
Basilius: Ut enim aspexit ex saturitate non modicum generari opprobrium, per famem illis ieiunium attulit, quo culpam eorum, quae in immensum crescebat, cohibuit. Corvi autem facti sunt iusto cibi ministri, qui consueverunt aliorum pabula usurpare. BASIL; For when he beheld the great disgrace that arose from universal plenty, he brought a famine that the people might fast, by which he checked their sin which was exceeding great. But crows were made the ministers of food to the righteous, which are wont to steal the food of others.
Chrysostomus: Sed quoniam exsiccatus est fluvius, ex quo pocula iusto dabantur, vade, inquit Deus, in Sareptam Sidoniae; illic mandabo mulieri viduae ut pascat te; unde et hic sequitur et ad nullam earum missus est Elias, nisi in Sareptam Sidoniae ad mulierem viduam: quod ex quadam Dei dispensatione factum est: fecit enim Deus eum per longum iter pergere usque in Sidonem, ut visa mundi peste poscat a domino pluvias. Multi autem tunc temporis opulenti erant; sed nullus tale aliquid fecit ut vidua; reverentia enim mulieris ad prophetam, non praediorum, sed voluntatis fiebant divitiae. CHRYS. But when the stream was dried up by which the cup of the righteous man was filled, God said, Go to Sarepta, a city of Sidon; there I will command a widow woman to feed you. As it follows, But to none of them was Elias sent, save to Sarepta, a city of Sidon, to a woman that was a widow. And this was brought to pass by a particular appointment of God. For God made him go a long journey, as far as Sidon, in order that having seen the famine of the country he should ask for rain from the Lord. But there were many rich men at that time, but none of them did any thing like the widow. For in the respect shown by the woman toward the prophet, consisted her riches not of lands, but of good will.
Ambrosius: Mystice autem dicit in diebus Eliae: quia dies faciebat illis qui in eius operibus lucem videbant gratiae spiritualis; et ideo aperiebatur caelum videntibus divina mysteria, claudebatur quando fames erat, quia nulla erat cognoscendae divinitatis ubertas. In vidua autem illa ad quam Elias directus est, typus Ecclesiae praemissus est. AMBROSE; But he says in a mystery, “In the days of Elias,” because Elias brought the day to them who saw in his works the light of spiritual grace, and so the heaven was opened to them that beheld the divine mystery, but was shut when there was famine, because there was no fruitfulness in acknowledging God. But in that widow to whom Elias was sent was prefigured a type of the Church.
Origenes in Lucam: Occupante enim fame populum Israel, scilicet audiendi sermonem Dei, venit propheta ad viduam, de qua dicitur: multi filii desertae magis quam eius quae habet virum; et cum venisset, panem illius et alimenta multiplicat. ORIGEN; For when a famine came upon the people of Israel, i.e. of hearing the word of God, a prophet came to a widow, of whom it is said, For the I desolate has many more children than she which has an husband; and when he had come, he multiplies her bread and her nourishment.
Beda: Sidonia autem venatio inutilis, Sarepta incendium vel angustia panis interpretatur: quibus omnibus gentilitas exprimitur, quae inutili venationi dedita, idest lucris et negotiis saeculi serviens, incendium carnalium cupiditatum panisque spiritualis angustias patiebatur; donec Elias, idest propheticus sermo, cessante Scripturarum intelligentia, pro perfidia Iudaeorum venit ad Ecclesiam, ut receptus pasceret et reficeret corda credentium. BEDE; Sidonia signifies a vain pursuit, Sarepta fire, or scarcity of bread. By all which things the Gentiles are signified, who, given up to vain pursuits, (following gain and worldly business,) were suffering from the flames of fleshly lusts, and the want of spiritual bread, until Elias, (i.e. the word of prophecy,) now that the interpretation of the Scriptures had ceased because of the faithlessness of the Jews, came to the Church, that being received into the hearts of believers he might feed and refresh them.
Basilius: Quaelibet etiam anima viduata et privata virtute et divina notitia, postquam divinum verbum recipit, propria delicta cognoscens, docetur nutrire verbum virtutum panibus, et irrigare fonte vitae doctrinam veritatis. BASIL; Every widowed soul, bereft of virtue and divine knowledge, as soon as she receives the divine word, knowing her own failings, learns to nourish it with the bread of virtue, and to water the teaching of virtue from the fountain of life.
Origenes in Lucam: Sed et aliud ad eumdem sensum pertinens loquitur, cum subdit et multi leprosi erant in Israel sub Eliseo propheta; et nemo eorum mundatus est, nisi Naaman Syrus; qui utique non erat ex Israel. ORIGEN; He cites also another similar example, adding, And there were many lepers in Israel at the time of Eliseus the Prophet, and none of them were cleansed but Naaman the Syrian, who indeed was not of Israel.
Ambrosius: Mystice autem populus Ecclesiam contingit, ut sequatur populus ille ex alienigenis congregatus, ante leprosus, prius quam mystico baptizaretur in flumine; idest, post sacramenta Baptismatis, maculis corporis et mentis ablutis, immaculata virgo coepit esse sine ruga. AMBROSE; Now in a mystery the people pollute the Church, that another people might succeed, gathered together from foreigners, leprous indeed at first before it is baptized in the mystical stream, but which after the sacrament of baptism, washed from the stains of body and soul, begins to be a virgin without spot or wrinkle.
Beda: Naaman enim, qui decorus interpretatur, populum significat nationum, qui septies lavari iubetur; quia illud Baptisma salvat quod septiformis spiritus regenerat. Caro eius post lavacrum sicut pueri apparet; quia mater gratia omnes in unam parit infantiam: vel quia Christo conformatur, de quo dicitur: puer natus est nobis. BEDE; For Naaman, which means beautiful, represents the Gentile people, who is ordered to be washed seven times, because that baptism saves which the seven-fold Spirit renews. His flesh after washing began to appear as a child’s, because grace like a mother begets all to one childhood, or because he is conformed to Christ, of whom it is said, to us a Child is born.

Lectio 6
26 καὶ πρὸς οὐδεμίαν αὐτῶν ἐπέμφθη ἠλίας εἰ μὴ εἰς σάρεπτα τῆς σιδωνίας πρὸς γυναῖκα χήραν. 27 καὶ πολλοὶ λεπροὶ ἦσαν ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ ἐπὶ ἐλισαίου τοῦ προφήτου, καὶ οὐδεὶς αὐτῶν ἐκαθαρίσθη εἰ μὴ ναιμὰν ὁ σύρος. 28 καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν πάντες θυμοῦ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ ἀκούοντες ταῦτα, 29 καὶ ἀναστάντες ἐξέβαλον αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἤγαγον αὐτὸν ἕως ὀφρύος τοῦ ὄρους ἐφ' οὗ ἡ πόλις ᾠκοδόμητο αὐτῶν, ὥστε κατακρημνίσαι αὐτόν: 30 αὐτὸς δὲ διελθὼν διὰ μέσου αὐτῶν ἐπορεύετο.
28. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29. And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 30. But he passing through the midst of them went his way.

Graecus: Quia pravam eorum intentionem redarguerat, ideo indignantur; et hoc est quod dicitur et repleti sunt omnes in synagoga ira: pro eo etiam quod dixerat hodie completa est haec prophetia, arbitrati sunt quod seipsum compararet prophetis; et ideo indignantur, et fugant eum extra civitatem; unde sequitur et surrexerunt, et eiecerunt illum extra civitatem. CYRIL; He convicted them of their evil intentions, and therefore they are enraged, and hence what follows, And all they in the synagogue when they heard these things were filled with wrath. Because He had said, This day is this prophecy fulfilled, they thought that He compared Himself to the prophets, and are therefore enraged, and expel Him out of their city, as it follows, And they rose up, and cast him out.
Ambrosius: Nec mirum, si perdiderunt salutem qui eiecerunt de suis finibus salvatorem. Dominus autem, qui docuerat apostolos exemplo sui omnibus omnia fieri, nec volentes repudiat, nec invitos alligat, nec eicientibus reluctatur, nec rogantibus deest. Non mediocriter autem invidia proditur, quae caritatis oblita in acerba odia causas amoris inflectit. Cum enim ipse dominus per populos beneficia diffunderet, illi iniurias irrigabant; unde sequitur et duxerunt illum usque ad supercilium montis, super quem civitas illorum erat aedificata, ut praecipitarent eum. AMBROSE; It can not be wondered at that they lost their salvation who cast the Savior out of their city. But the Lord who taught His Apostles by the example of Himself to be all things to all men, neither repels the willing, nor chooses the unwilling; neither struggles against those who cast Him out, nor refuses to hear those who supplicate Him. But that conduct was the result of no slight enmity, which, forgetful of the feelings of fellow citizens, converts the causes of love into the bitterest hatred. For when the Lord Himself was extending His blessings among the people, they began to inflict injuries upon Him, as it follows, And they led him to the brow of the hill, that they might cast him down.
Beda: Peiores sunt Iudaei discipuli Diaboli Diabolo magistro; ille enim ait: mitte te deorsum: isti facto mittere conantur; sed illorum mente mutata subito, vel obstupefacta, descendit, quia adhuc illis poenitentiae locum reservat; unde sequitur ipse autem transiens per medium illorum ibat. BEDE; Worse are the Jewish disciples than their master the Devil. For he says, Cast yourself down; they actually attempt to cast Him down. But Jesus having suddenly changed His mind, or seized with astonishment, went away, since He still reserves for them a place of repentance. Hence it follows, He passing through the midst of them went his way.
Chrysostomus: In quo et quae sunt humanitatis et quae sunt divinitatis ostendit: stare enim in medio insidiantium et non apprehendi, divinitatis eminentiam ostendebat; discedere vero, dispensationis approbat mysterium. CHRYS. Herein He shows both His human nature and His divine. To stand in the midst of those who were plotting against Him, and not be seized, betokened the loftiness of His divinity; but His departure declared the mystery of the dispensation, i.e. His incarnation.
Ambrosius: Simul intellige non ex necessitate fuisse, sed voluntariam corporis passionem: etenim quando vult capitur, quando vult elabitur. Nam quemadmodum a paucis teneri potuit, qui a populo non tenetur? Sed voluit sacrilegium esse multorum, ut a paucis quidem affligeretur, sed pro toto orbe moreretur. Quin etiam malebat Iudaeos adhuc sanare quam perdere; ut inefficaci furoris exitu desinerent velle quod implere non possent. AMBROSE; At the same time we must understand that this bodily endurance was not necessary, but voluntary. When He wills, He is taken, when He wills, He escapes. For how could He be held by a few who was not held by a whole people? But He would have the impiety to be the deed of the many, in order that by a few indeed He might be afflicted, but might die for the whole world. Moreover, He had still rather heal the Jews than destroy them, that by the fruitless issue of their rage they might be dissuaded from wishing what they could not accomplish.
Beda: Nondum etiam venerat hora passionis, quae in parasceve Paschae futura extiterat; necdum locum passionis adierat, qui non in Nazareth, sed Hierosolymis hostiarum sanguine figurabatur; nec hoc genus mortis elegerat, qui crucifigendum se a saeculo praeconabatur. BEDE; The hour of His Passion had not yet come, which was to be on the preparation of the Passover, nor had He yet come to the place of His Passion, which not at Nazareth, but at Jerusalem, was prefigured by the blood of the victims; nor had He chosen this kind of death, of whom it was prophesied that He should be crucified by the world.

Lectio 7
31 καὶ κατῆλθεν εἰς καφαρναοὺμ πόλιν τῆς γαλιλαίας. καὶ ἦν διδάσκων αὐτοὺς ἐν τοῖς σάββασιν: 32 καὶ ἐξεπλήσσοντο ἐπὶ τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ ἦν ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ. 33 καὶ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ ἦν ἄνθρωπος ἔχων πνεῦμα δαιμονίου ἀκαθάρτου, καὶ ἀνέκραξεν φωνῇ μεγάλῃ, 34 ἔα, τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί, Ἰησοῦ ναζαρηνέ; ἦλθες ἀπολέσαι ἡμᾶς; οἶδά σε τίς εἶ, ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ. 35 καὶ ἐπετίμησεν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς λέγων, φιμώθητι καὶ ἔξελθε ἀπ' αὐτοῦ. καὶ ῥίψαν αὐτὸν τὸ δαιμόνιον εἰς τὸ μέσον ἐξῆλθεν ἀπ' αὐτοῦ μηδὲν βλάψαν αὐτόν. 36 καὶ ἐγένετο θάμβος ἐπὶ πάντας, καὶ συνελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους λέγοντες, τίς ὁ λόγος οὗτος, ὅτι ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ καὶ δυνάμει ἐπιτάσσει τοῖς ἀκαθάρτοις πνεύμασιν, καὶ ἐξέρχονται; 37 καὶ ἐξεπορεύετο ἦχος περὶ αὐτοῦ εἰς πάντα τόπον τῆς περιχώρου.
31. And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. 32. And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. 33. And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34. Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with you, you Jesus of Nazareth? are you come to destroy us? I know you who you are; the Holy One of God. 35. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold your peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not. 36. And they were all amazed, and spoke among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.

Ambrosius: Non indignatione commotus dominus, nec scelere offensus, Iudaeam deseruit; quin etiam immemor iniuriae, memor clementiae, nunc docendo, nunc sanando, infidae plebis corda demulcet; unde dicitur et descendit in Capharnaum civitatem Galilaeae, ibique docebat illos sabbatis. AMBROSE; Neither indignation at their treatment, nor displeasure at their wickedness, caused our Lord to abandon Judea, but unmindful of His injuries, and remembering mercy, at one time by teaching, at another by healing, He softens the hearts of this unbelieving people, as it is said, And he went down to Capernaum.
Cyrillus: Quamvis enim sciret quod inobedientes essent et duri cordis, tamen visitat illos, sicut bonus medicus illos qui ultima laborant aegritudine tentat sanare. Docebat autem in synagogis confidenter, secundum illud: nequaquam occulte locutus sum, nec in obscuro loco terrae. In sabbato quoque disputabat cum eis, quia vacabant. Mirati sunt ergo de doctrinae virtute et potestatis magnitudine; unde sequitur et stupebant in doctrina eius, quia in potestate erat sermo ipsius; idest non blandus, sed imperiosus ad salutem. Iudaei autem putabant esse Christum sicut aliquem sanctorum aut prophetarum. Ut autem maiorem de eo opinionem accipiant, transcendit mensuram propheticam; non enim dicebat: haec dicit dominus, ut prophetae consueverant dicere; sed sicut dominus legis, quae sunt supra legem proferebat, transferens litteram ad veritatem, et figuras ad spiritualem intelligentiam. CYRIL; For although He knew that they were disobedient and hard of heart, He nevertheless visits them, as a good Physician tries to heal those who are suffering from a mortal disease. But He taught them boldly in the synagogues, as Esaias said, I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth. On the sabbath day also He disputed with them, because they were at leisure. They wondered therefore at the mightiness of His teaching, His virtue, and His power, as it follows, And they were astonished at his doctrine, for his word was with power. That is, not soothing, but urging and exciting them to seek salvation. Now the Jews supposed Christ to be one of the saints or prophets. But in order that they might esteem Him higher, He passes beyond the prophetic limits. For he said not, “Thus said the Lord,” but being the Master of the Law, He uttered things which were above the Law, changing the letter to the truth, and the figures to the spiritual meaning.
Beda: Sermo etiam doctoris in potestate fit, cum ea quae docet operatur: qui enim facto destruit quod praedicat, contemnitur. BEDE; The word of the teacher is with power, when he performs that which he teaches. But he who by his actions belies what he preaches is despised.
Cyrillus: Opportune autem dogmatibus plerumque ardua miscet opera: quos enim non disponit ratio ad cognoscendum, hos instigat signorum ostensio: unde sequitur et in synagoga erat homo habens Daemonium immundum. CYRIL; But He generally intermingles with His teaching the performance of mighty works. For those whose reason does not incline to knowledge, are roused by the manifestation of miracles. Hence it follows, And there was in the synagogue a man which had a devil.
Ambrosius: Sabbato medicinae divinae opera coepta significat, ut inde nova creatura coeperit unde vetus creatura ante desivit; ne sub lege esse Dei filium, sed supra legem, in ipso principio designaret. Bene etiam sabbato coepit, ut ipsum se ostenderet creatorem, quia opera operibus interserit, et prosequitur opus quod ipse ante iam coeperat; ut si domum faber renovare disponat, non a fundamentis, sed a culminibus incipit solvere vetustatem, ita ut ibi prius manum admoveat ubi ante desierat. Deinde a minoribus incipit, ut ad maiora perveniat. Liberare a Daemone etiam homines, sed in verbo Dei, possunt; resurrectionem mortui imperare, divinae solius est potestatis. AMBROSE; The work of divine healing commenced on the sabbath, signifying thereby that he began anew where the old creation ceased, in order that He might declare at the very beginning that the Son of God was not under the Law, but above the Law. Rightly also He began on the sabbath, that He might show Himself the Creator, who interweaves His works one within another, and follows up that which He had before begun; just as a builder determining to reconstruct a house, begins to pull down the old one, not from the foundation, but from the top, so as to apply his hand first to that part, where he had before left off.: Holy men may through the word of God deliver from evil spirits, but to bid the dead rise again, is the work of Divine power alone.
Cyrillus: Calumniabantur autem Iudaei gloriam Christi, dicentes: hic non eicit Daemones nisi in Beelzebub principe Daemoniorum; ad quod removendum cum repraesentarentur Daemones invictae potestati eius, nec tolerarent congressum deitatis, saevam vocem emittebant; unde et hic sequitur exclamavit voce magna dicens: sine: quid nobis et tibi, Iesu Nazarene? Venisti perdere nos? CYRIL; But the Jews spoke falsely of the glory of Christ, saying, He casts out devils by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. To remove this charge, when the devils came beneath His invincible power, and endured not the Divine Presence, they sent forth a savage cry, as it follows: And he cried with a loud voice, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with you, &c.
Beda: Quasi dicat: paululum a me vexando quiesce, cui nulla est societas cum nostra fraude. BEDE; As if he said, Abstain a while from troubling me, you who have no fellowship with our designs.
Ambrosius: Nec quemquam movere debet quod Iesu Nazareni nomen in hoc libro Diabolus dixisse primus inducitur: nec enim ab eo Christus nomen accepit, quod de caelo Angelus ad virginem detulit. Est huius impudentiae Diabolus, ut inter homines aliquid primus usurpet, et ad homines quasi novum deferat, quo terrorem suae potestatis incutiat; unde sequitur scio enim te, quia sis sanctus Dei. AMBROSE; It ought not to shock any one that the devil is mentioned in this book as the first to have spoken the name of Jesus of Nazareth. For Christ received not from him that name which an Angel brought down from heaven to the Virgin. The devil is of such effrontery, that he is the first to use a thing among men and bring it as something new to them, that he may strike people with terror at his power. Hence it follows: For I know you who you are, the Holy One of God.
Athanasius Non dicebat eum sanctum Dei, quasi aliis sanctis similis, sed quasi eo singulariter sancto existente cum articuli adiectione: ipse est enim naturaliter sanctus, cuius participatione omnes alii sancti vocantur: neque tamen hoc dicebat quasi eum veraciter nosset, sed se cognoscere fingebat. ATHAN. He spoke of Him not as a Holy One of God, as if He were like to the other saints, but as being in a remarkable manner the Holy One, with the addition of the article. For He is by nature holy by partaking of whom all others are called holy. Nor again did He speak this as if He knew it, but He pretended to know it.
Cyrillus: Putaverunt enim Daemones quod per huiusmodi laudem facerent ipsum inanis gloriae amatorem, ut abstineret ab eorum contrarietate, utpote pro gratia gratiam recompensans. CYRIL; For the devils thought by praises of this sort to make Him a lover of vainglory, that He might be induced to abstain from opposing or destroying them by way of grateful return.
Chrysostomus: Voluit etiam Daemon perturbare ordinem rerum, et apostolorum rapere dignitatem, et suggerere multis ut ei obediant. CHRYS. The devil wished also to disturb the order of things, and to deprive the Apostles of their dignity, and to incline the many to obey Him.
Athanasius Quamvis igitur vera fateretur, compescebat tamen eius sermonem, ne simul cum veritate etiam suam iniquitatem promulget; ut nos etiam assuefaciat ne curemus de talibus, etsi vera loqui videantur. Nefas est enim ut cum adsit nobis Scriptura divina, instruamur a Diabolo; unde sequitur et increpavit illum, dicens: obmutesce, et exi ab illo. ATHAN. Although he confessed the truth he controlled his tongue, lest with the truth he should also publish his own disgrace, which should teach us not to care for such, although they speak the truth, for we who know the divine Scripture, must not be taught by the devil, as it follows: And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be silent, &c.
Beda: Divina autem permissione liberandus a Daemone homo proicitur in medium, ut virtus patefacta salvatoris plures ad viam salutis invitet; unde sequitur et cum proiecisset illum Daemonium in medium, exiit ab illo, nihilque illi nocuit. Videtur autem repugnare quod hic dicitur Marco qui ait: et discerpens eum spiritus immundus, et exclamans voce magna, exivit ab eo, nisi intelligamus hoc dixisse Marcum: discerpens eum, quod Lucas dicit et cum proiecisset illum in medium; ut quod secutus ait nihilque illi nocuit, intelligatur quia iactatio illa membrorum atque vexatio non eum debilitavit, sicut solent exire Daemonia etiam quibusdam membris amputatis aut evulsis. Unde merito pro tam integra restitutione sanitatis mirantur; nam sequitur et factus est pavor in omnibus, et colloquebantur ad invicem, dicentes: quod est hoc verbum quod in potestate et virtute imperat immundis spiritibus, et exeunt? BEDE; But by the permission of God, the man who was to be delivered from the devil is thrown into the midst, that the power of the Savior being manifested might bring over many to the way of salvation. As it follows: And when he had thrown him in the midst. But this seems to be opposed to Mark, who says, And the unclean spirit tearing him, and crying with a loud voice, went out of him, unless we understand that Mark meant by tearing him the same as Luke by these words, And when he had thrown him in the midst, so that what follows, and hurt him not, might be understood to mean, that that twisting of limbs, and sore troubling, did not weaken him, as is often the case when devils depart from a man, leaving him with limbs cut and torn off. Well then do they wonder at such complete restoration of health. For it follows: And fear came upon all.
Theophylactus: Quasi dicant: quale est praeceptum hoc quod praecepit exi ab eo, et exit? THEOPHYL. As if they said, What is this word by which he commands, Go out, and he went out?
Beda: Expellere quidem Daemonia et homines sancti, sed in verbo Dei, possunt; ipsum autem Dei verbum propria potestate virtutes operatur. BEDE; Holy men were able by the word of God to cast out devils, but the Word Himself does mighty works by His own power.
Ambrosius: Mystice autem qui in synagoga spiritum habebat immundum, populus est Iudaeorum, qui innodatus Diaboli laqueis, simulatam corporis munditiam interioris mentis sordibus inquinabat: et bene spiritum immundum habebat, quia spiritum sanctum amiserat: introierat enim Diabolus, unde Christus exierat. AMBROSE; In a mystery, the man in the synagogue with the unclean spirit is the Jewish people, which being fast bound in the wiles of the devil, defiled its vaunted cleanliness of body by the pollution of the heart. And truly it had an unclean spirit, because it had lost the Holy Spirit. For the devil entered whence Christ had gone out.
Theophylactus: Sciendum est etiam, quod multi nunc Daemonia habent, scilicet qui Daemoniorum desideria implent, ut furiosi habent Daemonium irae, et sic de ceteris. Sed dominus in synagogam venit, cum mens hominis fuerit congregata, et tunc dicit Daemoni inhabitanti obmutesce; et statim eiciens eum in medium, egreditur ab eo; non enim decet hominem semper iracundum esse, bestiale namque hoc est; nec semper absque ira, insensibile namque hoc est: sed medium iter ambulare oportet, et iram contra mala habere; et sic proicitur homo cum immundus spiritus ab eo egreditur. THEOPHYL. We must know also that many now have devils, namely, such as fulfill the desires of devils, as the furious have the demon of anger; and so of the rest. But the Lord came into the synagogue when the thoughts of the man were collected, and then says to the demon that dwelt there, Hold your peace, and immediately throwing him into the middle he departs out of him. For it becomes not a man always to be angry, (that is, like the brutes,) nor always to be without anger, (for that is want of feeling,) but he must take the middle path, and have anger against what is evil; and so the man is thrown into the midst when the unclean spirit departs from him.

Lectio 8
38 ἀναστὰς δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς συναγωγῆς εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν σίμωνος. πενθερὰ δὲ τοῦ σίμωνος ἦν συνεχομένη πυρετῷ μεγάλῳ, καὶ ἠρώτησαν αὐτὸν περὶ αὐτῆς. 39 καὶ ἐπιστὰς ἐπάνω αὐτῆς ἐπετίμησεν τῷ πυρετῷ, καὶ ἀφῆκεν αὐτήν: παραχρῆμα δὲ ἀναστᾶσα διηκόνει αὐτοῖς.
38. And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever: and they besought him for her. 39. And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever: and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered to them.

Ambrosius: Postquam Lucas virum a spiritu nequitiae liberatum ante praemisit, substituit feminae sanitatem. Utrumque enim sexum dominus curaturus advenerat; et prior sanari debuit qui prior creatus est; unde dicitur surgens autem de synagoga introivit in domum Simonis. AMBROSE; Luke having first introduced a man delivered from an evil spirit, goes on to relate the healing of a woman. For our Lord had come to heal each sex, and he ought first to be healed who was first created. Hence it is said, And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Manebat enim apud discipulos honorans ipsos, et ob hoc animosiores reddens. CHRYS. For He honored His disciples by dwelling among them, and so making them the more zealous.
Cyrillus: Aspice autem quomodo manet penes virum inopem Christus, qui spontanea voluntate paupertatem pro nobis passus est, ut discamus cum pauperibus conversari, nec spernere depressos et pauperes. Sequitur socrus autem Simonis tenebatur magnis febribus: et rogaverunt illum pro ea. CYRIL; Now, see how Christ abides in the house of a poor man, suffering poverty of His own will for our sakes, that we might learn to visit the poor, and despise not the destitute and needy. It follows: And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever: and they besought him for her.
Hieronymus super Matthaeum: Modo salvator rogatus, modo ultro curat aegrotos; ostendens se contra peccatorum quoque passiones et precibus semper annuere fidelium; et ea quae ipsi minime in se intelligunt, vel intelligenda dare, vel non intellecta dimittere: secundum illud: delicta quis intelligit? Ab occultis meis munda me, domine. BEDE; At one time at the request of others, at another of his own accord, our Savior cures the sick, showing that He is far aloof from the passions of sinners, and ever grants the prayer of the faithful, and what they in themselves little understand He either makes intelligible, or forgives their not understanding it. As, Who understands his errors? Lord, cleanse me from my secret faults.
Chrysostomus: Quod autem Matthaeus hic reticuit, non differt: illud enim est brevitatis, hoc autem exquisitae interpretationis. Sequitur et stans super illam, imperavit febri; et dimisit illam. CHRYS. Because Matthew is silent on the point of asking Him, he does not differ from Luke, or it matters not, for one Gospel had brevity in view, the other accurate research. It follows: And he stood over her, &c.
Basilius: In quo Lucas figuravit sermonem tamquam de praecepto animali sensibili facto, sic dicens febri imperatum, et quod febris non omisit imperantis operationem; unde sequitur et continuo surgens ministrabat illis. ORIGEN; Here Luke speaks figuratively, as of a command given to a sensible being, saying, that the fever was commanded, and neglected not the work of Him who commanded it. Hence it follows: And she arose, and ministered to them.
Chrysostomus: Quia enim morbus curabilis erat, per modum medendi potestatem suam declaravit, faciens quod minime ars medicinae facere potuisset: post febris enim sedationem, multo tempore patientes egent ut pristinae restituantur sanitati; tunc autem simul omnia facta sunt. CHRYS. For since the disease was curable, He shows His power by the manner of the cure, doing what ere could never do. For after the allaying of the fever, the patient needs much time ere he be restored to his former health, but at this time all took place at once.
Ambrosius: Si autem altiori consilio ista perpendamus, animi debemus intelligere et corporis sanitatem: ut prius animus, qui serpentis laborabat insidiis, absolutus sit. Denique non prius Eva esuriit, quam serpentis eam versutia tentavit; et ideo adversus ipsum auctorem peccati prius debuit medicina salutis operari. Fortassis etiam in typo mulieris illius, variis criminum febribus caro nostra languescebat; nec minorem febrem amoris esse dixerim quam caloris. AMBROSE; But if we weigh these things with deeper thoughts, we shall consider the health of the mind as well as the body; that the mind which was assailed by the wiles of the devil may be released first. Eve was not a hungered before the serpent beguiled her, and therefore against the author of evil himself ought the medicine of salvation first to operate. Perhaps also in that woman as in a type our flesh languished under the various fevers of crimes, nor should I say that the fever of love was less than that of bodily heat.
Beda: Si enim virum a Daemonio liberatum moraliter animum ab immunda cogitatione purgatum significare dixerimus; consequenter femina febribus tenta, sed ad imperium domini curata, carnem ostendit a concupiscentiae suae fervore per continentiae praecepta frenatam. BEDE; For if we say that a man released from the devil represents morally the mind cleansed from unclean thoughts, consequently a woman vexed by fever, but cured at our Lord’s command, represents the flesh controlled by the rules of continence in the fury of its own lust.
Cyrillus: Et nos ergo suscipiamus Iesum: cum enim visitaverit nos, et portamus eum in mente et corde, tunc enormium voluptatum aestum extinguet, et incolumes faciet, ut ministremus ei, hoc est, ei beneplacita peragamus. CYRIL; Let us therefore receive Jesus. For when He has visited us, we carry Him in our heart and mind; He will then extinguish the flames of our unlicensed pleasures, and will make us whole, so that we minister to Him, that is, do things well-pleasing to Him.

Lectio 9
40 δύνοντος δὲ τοῦ ἡλίου ἅπαντες ὅσοι εἶχον ἀσθενοῦντας νόσοις ποικίλαις ἤγαγον αὐτοὺς πρὸς αὐτόν: ὁ δὲ ἑνὶ ἑκάστῳ αὐτῶν τὰς χεῖρας ἐπιτιθεὶς ἐθεράπευεν αὐτούς. 41 ἐξήρχετο δὲ καὶ δαιμόνια ἀπὸ πολλῶν, κρ[αυγ]άζοντα καὶ λέγοντα ὅτι σὺ εἶ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ. καὶ ἐπιτιμῶν οὐκ εἴα αὐτὰ λαλεῖν, ὅτι ᾔδεισαν τὸν Χριστὸν αὐτὸν εἶναι.
40. Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41. And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, You are Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.
Theophylactus: Considerandum est turbae desiderium: nam cum sol occidisset, adducunt ad eum infirmos, non a tempore impediti; unde dicitur cum autem sol occidisset, omnes qui habebant infirmos variis languoribus, ducebant illos ad eum. THEOPHYL. We must observe the zeal of the multitude, who after the sun had set bring their sick to Him, not deterred by the lateness of the day; as it is said, Now when the sun was setting, they brought their sick.
Origenes: Ideo quidem circa solis occasum, idest elapsa die, illos educebant, quia verecundabantur, vel timebant Pharisaeos; vel quia de die intenti erant circa alia; vel quia putabant non licere sanare in sabbato. Ipse autem sanabat eos; unde sequitur at ille singulis manus imponens, curabat omnes. ORIGEN; It was ordered about sun-set, that is, when the day was gone, that they should bring them out, either because during the day they were employed about other things, or because they thought that it was not lawful to heal on the sabbath. But He healed them, as it follows, But he laid his hands upon every one of them.
Cyrillus: Quamvis autem ut Deus potuisset omnes verbo pellere morbos, tamen tangit eos, ostendens propriam carnem efficacem ad praestanda remedia, nam caro Dei erat. Sicut enim ignis appositus vasi aeneo imprimit ei propriae caliditatis effectum; sic omnipotens Dei verbum, cum univit sibi veraciter assumptum templum ex virgine animatum et intellectivum, particeps suae potestatis, eius effectum inseruit. Tangat et nos, immo potius nos illum tangamus, quatenus et nos ab animarum infirmitatibus liberet, nec non a Daemonum impugnatione et superbia; sequitur enim exibant autem Daemonia a multis clamantia et dicentia: quia tu es filius Dei. CYRIL; But although as God He was able to drive away diseases by His word, He nevertheless touches them, showing that His flesh was powerful to apply remedies, since it was the flesh of God; for as fire, when applied to a brazen vessel, imprints on it the effect of its own heat, so the omnipotent Word of God, when He united to Himself in real assumption a living virgin temple, endued with understanding, implanted in it a participation of His own power. May He also touch us, nay rather may we touch Him, that He may deliver us from the infirmities of our souls as well as the assaults of the evil spirit and pride! For it follows, And devils also came out.
Beda: Daemonia filium Dei confitentur, et, sicut postea dicitur, sciebant ipsum esse Christum: quia cum ieiunio fatigatum eum Diabolus videret, verum hominem intellexit; sed quia tentando non praevaluit, utrum filius Dei esset dubitabat; nunc autem per signorum potentiam vel intellexit vel potius suspicatus est esse filium Dei. Non igitur ideo Iudaeis eum crucifigere persuasit, quia Christum sive Dei filium non esse putavit; sed quia se morte illius non praevidit esse damnandum. De hoc enim mysterio a saeculis abscondito dicit apostolus quod nemo principum huius saeculi cognovit: si enim cognovissent, nunquam dominum gloriae crucifixissent. BEDE; The devils confess the Son of God, and as it is afterwards said, they knew him to be Christ; for when the devil saw Him distressed by fasting, he perceived Him to be truly man, but when he prevailed not in his trial he doubted whether or not He were the Son of God, but now by the power of Christ’s miracles he either perceived or suspected Him to be the Son of God. He did not then persuade the Jews to crucify Him because he thought Him not to be Christ or the Son of God, but because he did not foresee that by this death he himself would be condemned. Of this mystery hidden from the world the Apostle says, that none of the princes of this world knew, for if they had known they would never have crucified the Lord of Glory.
Chrysostomus in Marcum: In hoc autem quod sequitur et increpans non sinebat ea loqui, percipe Christi humilitatem: non sinebat ut Daemones immundi eum manifestarent; non enim oportebat eos subripere officii apostolici gloriam, nec decebat Christi mysterium lingua foeda publicari. CHRYS. But in what follows, And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak, mark the humility of Christ, who would not let the unclean spirits make Him manifest. For it was not fit that they should usurp the glory of the Apostolical office, nor did it become the mysteries of Christ to be made public by impure tongues.
Theophylactus: Quia non est speciosa laus in ore peccatoris; vel quia nolebat invidiam accendere Iudaeorum ex hoc quod ab omnibus laudaretur. THEOPHYL. Because, “praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner.” Or, because He did not wish to inflame the envy of the Jews by being praised of all.
Beda: Ipsi autem apostoli praecipiuntur reticere de illo, ne divina maiestate praedicata, passionis dispensatio differretur. BEDE; But the Apostles themselves are commanded to be silent concerning Him, lest by proclaiming His divine Majesty, the dispensation of His Passion should be delayed.

Lectio 10
42 γενομένης δὲ ἡμέρας ἐξελθὼν ἐπορεύθη εἰς ἔρημον τόπον: καὶ οἱ ὄχλοι ἐπεζήτουν αὐτόν, καὶ ἦλθον ἕως αὐτοῦ, καὶ κατεῖχον αὐτὸν τοῦ μὴ πορεύεσθαι ἀπ' αὐτῶν. 43 ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὅτι καὶ ταῖς ἑτέραις πόλεσιν εὐαγγελίσασθαί με δεῖ τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ, ὅτι ἐπὶ τοῦτο ἀπεστάλην. 44 καὶ ἦν κηρύσσων εἰς τὰς συναγωγὰς τῆς ἰουδαίας.
42. And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came to him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. 43. And he said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. 44. And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

Chrysostomus: Postquam satis utilitatis populis per miracula est collatum, oportebat eum abesse: maiora namque putantur miracula post absentiam operantis, dum ipsa magis exclamant, et vice vocis fruuntur; unde dicitur facta autem die, egressus ibat in desertum locum. CHRYS. When he had bestowed sufficient favor upon the people by miracles, it was necessary for Him to depart. For miracles are always thought greater when the worker is gone, since they themselves are then the more heeded, and have in their turn a voice; as it is said, But when it was as day, he departed, and went.
Graecus: Abiit etiam in desertum, ut Marcus dixit, et orabat: non quod ipse oratione indigeret, sed ut nobis bonae operationis fieret forma. GREEK EX. He went also into the desert, as Mark says, and prayed; not that he needed prayer, but as an example to us of good works.
Chrysostomus: Pharisaei quidem, ipsis prodigiis praedicantibus, potentia Christi scandalizabantur; populi vero eloquia audientes, acquiescebant et sequebantur; unde sequitur et turbae requirebant eum, et venerunt usque ad ipsum; et detinebant illum, ne discederet ab eis; non quidem aliqui primatum aut Scribarum, sed quoscumque malitiae fucus non denigraverat, et illaesam habebant conscientiam. CHRYS. The Pharisees indeed, seeing how that the miracles themselves published His fame, were offended at His power. But the people hearing His words, assented and followed; as it is said, And the multitudes sought him, not indeed any of the chief priests, or scribes, but all those who had not been blackened with the dark stain of malice, and preserved their consciences unhurt.
Graecus: Quod autem Marcus dicit apostolos pervenisse ad eum dicentes quod omnes quaerunt te, Lucas vero dicat populus pervenisse, non discrepant ab invicem. Applicuerant enim ad ipsum populi, apostolorum sequentes vestigia; dominus autem gaudebat detentus, sed mandabat ut eum dimitterent, ut etiam alii participes forent eius doctrinae, quasi tempore suae praesentiae non multum duraturo; unde sequitur quibus ait: quia et aliis civitatibus oportet me evangelizare regnum Dei, quia ideo missus sum. Marcus dicit: ad hoc veni, ostendens divinitatis eius celsitudinem, et voluntariam exinanitionem; Lucas vero dicit ad hoc missus sum, idest incarnationem ostendens, necnon beneplacitum patris missionem appellans; et ille quidem simpliciter dicit: ut praedicem, iste vero regnum Dei adiungit, quod est ipse Christus. GREEK EX. Now when Mark says that the Apostles came to him, saying, All seek you, but Luke, that the people came, there is no difference between them, for the people came to Him following in the footsteps of the Apostles. But the Lord rejoiced in being held back, yet bid them let Him go, that others also might partake of His teaching, as the time of His presence would not last long; as it follows, And he said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also, &c. Mark says, to this I came, showing the loftiness of His divine nature, and His voluntary emptying Himself of it. But Luke says, to this am I sent, showing His incarnation, and calling also the decree of the Father, a sending Him forth; and one simply says, To preach, the other added, the kingdom of God, which is Christ Himself.
Chrysostomus: Simul etiam considera, quod poterat in eodem loco manendo, omnes attrahere ad se; non tamen hoc fecit, praebens nobis exemplum ut perambulemus et requiramus pereuntes, sicut pastor ovem perditam, et medicus accedit ad infirmum: una enim anima recuperata, poterit aliquis mille delicta abolere; unde et hic sequitur et erat praedicans in synagogis Galilaeae. Frequentabat quidem synagogas, docens illos quod non esset seductor: nam si iugiter inhabitata coleret, diffamarent eum velut latitantem. CHRYS. Observe also, that He might, by abiding in the same place, have drawn all men over to Himself. He did not however do so, giving us an example to go about and seek those who are perishing, as the shepherd his lost sheep, and as the physician the sick. For by recovering one soul, we may be able to blot out a thousand sins. Hence also it follows, And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee. He frequently indeed went to the synagogues, to show them that He was no deceiver. For if He were constantly to dwell in the desolate places, they would spread abroad that He was concealing Himself.
Beda: Si autem occasu solis mystice mors domini exprimitur, die redeunte resurrectio illius indicatur; cuius manifestata luce, a credentium turbis requiritur, et in gentium deserto inventus, ne abeat detinetur; maxime cum hoc contigerit prima sabbati, quo resurrectio celebrata est. BEDE; But if the sun-setting mystically expresses the death of our Lord, the returning day denotes His resurrection, (the light of which being made manifest, He is sought for by the multitudes of believers, and being found in the desert of the Gentiles He is held back by them, lest He should depart;) especially as this took place on the first day of the week, on which day the Resurrection was celebrated.

Lectio 1
1 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ τὸν ὄχλον ἐπικεῖσθαι αὐτῷ καὶ ἀκούειν τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν ἑστὼς παρὰ τὴν λίμνην γεννησαρέτ, 2 καὶ εἶδεν δύο πλοῖα ἑστῶτα παρὰ τὴν λίμνην: οἱ δὲ ἁλιεῖς ἀπ' αὐτῶν ἀποβάντες ἔπλυνον τὰ δίκτυα. 3 ἐμβὰς δὲ εἰς ἓν τῶν πλοίων, ὃ ἦν σίμωνος, ἠρώτησεν αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τῆς γῆς ἐπαναγαγεῖν ὀλίγον, καθίσας δὲ ἐκ τοῦ πλοίου ἐδίδασκεν τοὺς ὄχλους.
1. And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2. And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

Ambrosius in Lucam: Ubi dominus impertivit multis varia genera sanitatum, nec tempore, nec loco coepit a studio sanandi turba cohiberi: vespera incubuit, sequebantur: stagnum occurrit, et turbae urgebant: unde dicitur factum est autem cum turbae irruerent in eum. AMBROSE; When the Lord had performed many and various kinds of cures, the multitude began to heed neither time nor place in their desire to be healed. The evening came, they followed; a lake is before them, they still press on; as it is said, And it came to pass, as the people pressed upon him.
Chrysostomus: Erant enim ei connexi, diligentes eum et mirantes, et tenere cupientes. Quis enim discessisset, dum huiusmodi miracula faciebat? Quis noluisset solam prospicere faciem, et os talia loquens? Neque enim in agendo miracula solum admirabilis erat; sed visus eius abundabat plurima gratia; unde et loquentem eum audiunt in silentio, seriem locutionis non irrumpentes; dicitur enim ut audirent verbum Dei, et ipse stabat secus stagnum Genezareth. CHRYS. For they clung to Him with love and admiration, and longed to keep Him with them. For who would depart while He performed such miracles? who would not be content to see only His face, and the mouth that uttered such things? Nor as performing miracles only was He an object of admiration, but His whole appearance was overflowing with grace. Therefore when He speaks, they listen to Him in silence, interrupting not the chain of His discourse; for it is said, that they might hear the word of God, &c. It follows, And he stood near the lake of Gennesaret.
Beda: Stagnum Genezareth idem dicunt esse quod mare Galilaeae, vel mare Tiberiadis; sed mare Galilaeae ab adiacente provincia dicitur; mare autem Tiberiadis a proxima civitate. Porro Genezareth a laci ipsius natura, quae crispantibus aquis de seipso sibi excitare auram perhibetur, Graeco vocabulo quasi generans sibi auram dicitur: neque enim in stagni morem sternitur aqua, sed frequentibus auris spirantibus agitatur, haustu dulcis, et ad potandum habilis. Sed Hebraeae linguae consuetudine omnis aquarum congregatio, sive dulcis, sive salsa, mare nuncupatur. BEDE; The lake of Gennesaret is said to be the same as the sea of Galilee or the sea of Tiberias; but it is called the sea of Galilee from the adjacent province, the sea of Tiberias from a neighboring city. Gennesaret, however, is the name given it from the nature of the lake itself, (which is thought from its crossing waves to raise a breeze upon itself,) being the Greek expression for “making a breeze to itself.” For the water is not steady like that of a lake, but constantly agitated by the breezes blowing over it. It is sweet to the taste, and wholesome to drink. In the Hebrew tongue, any extent of water, whether it be sweet or salt, is called a sea.
Theophylactus: Fugit autem dominus gloriam quanto magis ipsa eum sequebatur; et ideo a turbis se separans ascendit in navem. Et vidit duas naves stantes secus stagnum: piscatores autem descenderant, et lavabant retia. THEOPHYL. But the Lord seeks to avoid glory the more it followed Him, and therefore separating Himself from the multitude, He entered into a ship, as it is said, And he saw two ships standing near the lake: but the Fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
Chrysostomus: Quod signum erat vocationis. Secundum vero Matthaeum invenit eos reficientes retia; tantus enim erat paupertatis excessus, ut laniata repararent, nova nequeuntes habere. Volens autem diligenter congregare spectaculum, ut nemo remaneret post tergum, sed omnes facie ad faciem cernerent, ascendit in navim; unde dicitur ascendens autem in unam navim, quae erat Simonis, rogavit eum a terra reducere pusillum. CHRYS. This was a sign of leisure, but according to Matthew He finds them mending their nets. For so great was their poverty, that they patched up their old nets, not being able to buy new ones. But our Lord was very desirous to collect the multitudes, that none might remain behind, but they might all behold Him face to face; He therefore enters into a ship, as it is said, And he entered into a ship, which was Simon’s, and prayed him.
Theophylactus: Vide autem Christi mansuetudinem, quomodo rogat Petrum; et Petri obedientiam, quomodo in omnibus fuit obediens. THEOPHYL. Behold the gentleness of Christ; He asks Peter; and the willingness of Peter, who was obedient in all things.
Chrysostomus: Postquam vero multa peregerat miracula, iterum doctrinam proponit, et existens in mari piscatur existentes in terra; unde sequitur et sedens docebat turbas de navicula. CHRYS. After having performed many miracles, He again commences His teaching, and being on the sea, He fishes for those who were on the shore. Hence it follows, And he sat down and taught the people out of the ship.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Cunctis condescendens, ut a profundis extrahat piscem, hominem scilicet natantem in mobilibus rebus, et amaris huius vitae procellis. GREG NAZ. Condescending to all, in order that He might draw forth a fish from the deep, i.e. man swimming in Or the ever changing scenes and bitter storms of this life.
Beda: Mystice autem duae naves circumcisionem et praeputium figurant; quas videt dominus, quia in utroque populo novit qui sunt eius, et ad futurae vitae tranquillitatem quasi ad littus videndo, hoc est misericorditer visitando, provehit. Piscatores sunt Ecclesiae doctores, qui nos per rete fidei comprehendunt, et quasi littori, sic terrae viventium advehunt. Sed haec retia modo laxantur in capturam, modo lota plicantur: quia non omne tempus est habile doctrinae; sed nunc exercenda est lingua doctoris, et nunc suimet cura gerenda. Navis Simonis est Ecclesia primitiva, de qua Paulus dicit: qui operatus est Petro in apostolatum circumcisionis; bene una dicta, quia multitudinis credentium erat cor unum et anima una. BEDE; Now mystically, the two ships represent circumcision and uncircumcision. The Lord sees these, because in each people He knows who are His, and by seeing, i.e. by a merciful visitation, He brings them nearer the tranquillity of the life to come. The fishermen are the doctors of the Church, because by the net of faith they catch us, and bring us as it were ashore to the land of the living. But these nets are at one time spread out for catching fish, at another washed and folded up. For every time is not fitted for teaching, but at one time the teacher must speak with the tongue, and at another time we must discipline ourselves. The ship of Simon is the primitive Church, of which St. Paul says, He that wrought effectually in Peter to the Apostleship of circumcision. The ship is well called one, for in the multitude of believers there was one heart and one soul.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: De qua docebat turbas, quia de auctoritate Ecclesiae docet gentes. Quod autem dominus ascendens in navim rogat eum a terra reducere pusillum, significat temperate utendum verbo ad turbas, ut nec terrena eis praecipiantur, nec a terrenis in profunda sacramentorum recedatur. Vel prius in proximis regionibus gentibus praedicandum, ut quod postea dicit duc in altum, ad remotiores gentes postea praedicandum praecipiat. AUG. From which ship He taught the multitude, for by the authority of the Church He teaches the Gentiles. But the Lord entering the ship, and asking Peter to put off a little from the land, signifies that we must be moderate in our words to the multitude, that they may be neither taught earthly things, nor from earthly things rush into the depths of the sacraments. Or, the Gospel must first be preached to the neighboring countries of the Gentiles, that (as He afterwards says, Launch out into the deep) He might command it to be preached afterwards to the more distant nations.

Lectio 2
4 ὡς δὲ ἐπαύσατο λαλῶν, εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν σίμωνα, ἐπανάγαγε εἰς τὸ βάθος καὶ χαλάσατε τὰ δίκτυα ὑμῶν εἰς ἄγραν. 5 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς σίμων εἶπεν, ἐπιστάτα, δι' ὅλης νυκτὸς κοπιάσαντες οὐδὲν ἐλάβομεν, ἐπὶ δὲ τῷ ῥήματί σου χαλάσω τὰ δίκτυα. 6 καὶ τοῦτο ποιήσαντες συνέκλεισαν πλῆθος ἰχθύων πολύ, διερρήσσετο δὲ τὰ δίκτυα αὐτῶν. 7 καὶ κατένευσαν τοῖς μετόχοις ἐν τῷ ἑτέρῳ πλοίῳ τοῦ ἐλθόντας συλλαβέσθαι αὐτοῖς: καὶ ἦλθον, καὶ ἔπλησαν ἀμφότερα τὰ πλοῖα ὥστε βυθίζεσθαι αὐτά.
4. Now when he had left speaking, he said to Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5. And Simon answering said to him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at your word I will let down the net. 6. And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net broke. 7. And they beckoned to their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

Cyrillus: Postquam sufficienter populum docuerat, regreditur iterum ad magnificentias proprias, et per piscatoria ministeria piscatur discipulos; unde sequitur ut autem cessavit loqui, dixit ad Simonem: duc in altum, et laxate retia vestra in capturam. CYRIL; Having sufficiently taught the people, He returns again to His mighty works, and by the employment of fishing fishes for His disciples. Hence it follows, When he had left off speaking, he said to Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
Chrysostomus: Condescendens enim hominibus, sicut magos per sidus vocavit, sic et piscatores per piscatoriam artem. CHRYS. For in His condescension to men, He called the wise men by a star, the fishermen by their art of fishing.
Theophylactus: Petrus autem non distulit; unde sequitur et respondens Simon dixit illi: praeceptor, per totam noctem laborantes nihil cepimus. Non autem addidit: non te audiam, nec secundis laboribus me exponam; sed magis subdit in verbo autem tuo laxabo rete: quia vero turbam de navicula dominus instruxerat, non sine mercede naviculae dominum dereliquit, dupliciter beneficians ipsum: quia primo dedit ei multitudinem piscium, et deinde discipulum ipsum fecit. Et cum hoc fecisset, concluserunt piscium multitudinem copiosam. Tot autem pisces cepit ut non posset eos foras educere, sed a sociis auxilium peteret; unde sequitur rumpebatur autem rete eorum: et annuerunt sociis qui erant in alia navi, ut venirent et adiuvarent eos. Per nutum ipsos vocant: quia ex stupore propter capturam piscium loqui non poterant. Et sequitur de eorum auxilio, cum dicitur et venerunt, et impleverunt ambas naviculas, ita ut pene mergerentur. THEOPHYL. Peter did not refuse to comply, as it follows, And Simon answering said to him, Master, we have toiled all night and have taken nothing. He did not go on to say, “I will not hearken to you, nor expose myself to additional labor,” but rather adds, Nevertheless, at your word I will let down the net. But our Lord, since he had taught the people out of the ship, left not the master of the ship without reward, but conferred on him a double kindness, giving him first a multitude of fishes, and next making him His disciple: as it follows, And when they had done this, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes. They took so many fishes that they could not pull them out, but sought the assistance of their companions; as it follows, But their net broke, and they beckoned to their partners who were in the other ship to come, &c. Peter summons them by a sign, being unable to speak from astonishment at the draught of fishes. We next hear of their assistance, And they came and filled both the ships.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Ioannes quidem videtur simile miraculum dicere; sed illud longe aliud est, quod factum est post resurrectionem domini ad mare Tiberiadis: ibi enim non solum ipsum tempus valde diversum est, sed etiam res ipsa plurimum distat: nam retia illic in dexteram partem missa, centum quinquaginta tres pisces ceperunt, magnos quidem; sed pertinuit ad Evangelistam dicere, quod cum tam magni essent, retia non sunt disrupta; respicientem scilicet ad hoc factum quod Lucas commemorat, ubi prae multitudine piscium retia rumpebantur. AUG. John seems indeed to speak of a similar miracle, but this is very different from the one he mentions. That took place after our Lord’s resurrection at the lake of Tiberias, and not only the time, but the miracle itself is very different. For in the latter the nets being let down on the right side took one hundred and fifty-three fishes, and these of large size, which it was necessary for the Evangelist to mention, because though so large the nets were not broken, and this would seem to have reference to the event which Luke relates, when from the multitude of the fishes the nets were broken.
Ambrosius: Mystice autem navis Petri, secundum Matthaeum fluctuat, secundum Lucam repletur piscibus, ut et principia Ecclesiae fluctuantis, et posteriora exuberantis agnoscas. Non turbatur ista quae Petrum habet; turbatur illa quae Iudam habet: in utraque Petrus; sed qui suis meritis firmus est, turbatur alienis. Caveamus igitur proditorem, ne per unum plurimi fluctuemus. Illic turbatio ubi modica fides; hic securitas ubi perfecta dilectio. Denique etsi aliis imperatur ut laxent retia sua, soli tamen Petro dicitur duc in altum, hoc est in profundum disputationum. Quod est tam altum quam scire Dei filium? Quae sunt autem apostolorum quae laxari iubentur retia, nisi verborum complexiones, et quasi quidam orationis sinus, et disputationum recessus, qui eos quos ceperint non amittant? Et bene apostolica instrumenta piscandi retia sunt, quae non captos perimunt, sed reservant, et fluctuantes de infimis ad superna transducunt. Dicit autem praeceptor, per totam noctem laborantes nihil cepimus: quia non hoc humanae facundiae opus, sed supernae vocationis est munus. Qui autem nihil ante ceperant, magnam in verbo domini concludunt piscium multitudinem. AMBROSE; Now in a mystery, the ship of Peter, according to Matthew, is beaten about by the waves, according to Luke, is filled with fishes, in order that you might understand the Church at first wavering, at last abounding. The ship is not shaken which holds Peter; that is which holds Judas. In each was Peter; but he who trusts in his own merits is disquieted by another’s. Let us beware then of a traitor, lest through one we should many of us be tossed about. Trouble is found there where faith is weak, safety here where love is perfect. Lastly, though to others it is commanded, Let down your nets, to Peter alone it is said, Launch out into the deep, i.e. into deep researches. What is so deep, as the knowledge of the Son of God! But what are the nets of the Apostles which are ordered to be let down, but the interweaving of words and certain folds, as it were, of speech, and intricacies of argument, which never let those escape whom they have once caught. And rightly are nets the Apostolical instruments for fishing, which kill not the fish that are caught, but keep them safe, and bring up those that are tossing about in the waves from the depths below to the regions above. But he says, Master, we have toiled the whole night and have caught nothing; for this is not the work of human eloquence but the gift of divine calling. But they who had before caught nothing, at the word of the Lord enclosed a great multitude of fishes.
Cyrillus: Hoc autem fuit figura futuri: non enim incassum laborabunt evangelicae doctrinae rete tendentes; sed greges gentium aggregabunt. CYRIL; Now this was a figure of the future. For they will not labor in vain who let down the net of evangelical doctrine, but will gather together the shoals of the Gentiles.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Quod autem retia rumpebantur piscium copia, et naviculae impletae sunt, ita ut pene mergerentur, significat hominum carnalium multitudinem tantam futuram in Ecclesia, ut etiam disruptione pacis per haereses et schismata scinderetur. AUG. Now the circumstance of the nets breaking, and the ships being filled with the multitude of fishes that they began to sink, signifies that there will be in the Church so great a multitude of carnal men, that unity will be broken up, and it will be split into heresies and schisms.
Beda: Rumpitur autem rete, sed non labitur piscis, quia suos dominus inter persequentium scandala servat. BEDE; The net is broken, but the fish escape not, for the Lord preserves His own amid the violence of persecutors.
Ambrosius: Alia autem navis est Iudaea, ex qua Ioannes et Iacobus eliguntur. Hi igitur de synagoga ad navim Petri, hoc est ad Ecclesiam, convenerunt, ut implerent ambas naviculas: omnes enim in nomine Iesu genuflectunt, sive Iudaeus sive Graecus. AMBROSE; But the other ship is Judea, out of which James and John are chosen. These then came from the synagogue to the ship of Peter in the Church, that they might fill both ships. For at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, whether Jew or Greek.
Beda: Vel alia navis est Ecclesia gentium, quae et ipsa, una navicula non sufficiente, piscibus impletur electis: quia novit dominus qui sunt eius. Et apud ipsum certus est suorum numerus electorum; dumque tot in Iudaea credituros non invenit quot ad fidem vitamque praedestinatos novit aeternam, quasi alterius navis receptacula piscibus quaerens suis, corda quoque gentium fidei gratia replet. Et bene rupto reti socia navis advocatur, quando Iudas proditor, Simon magus, Ananias et Saphira, et multi discipulorum abierunt retro: ac deinde Barnabas et Paulus ad gentium sunt apostolatum segregati. BEDE; Or the other ship is the Church of the Gentiles, which itself also (one ship being not sufficient) is filled with chosen fishes. For the Lord knows who are His, and with Him the number of His elect is sure. And when He finds not in Judea so many believers as He knows are destined to eternal life, He seeks as it were another ship to receive His fishes, and fills the hearts of the Gentiles also with the grace of faith. And well when the net brake did they call to their assistance the ship of their companions, since the traitor Judas, Simon Magus, Ananias and Sapphira, and many of the disciples, went back. And then Barnabas and Paul were separated for the Apostleship of the Gentiles.
Ambrosius: Possumus tamen et aliam Ecclesiam intelligere navim alterius: ab una enim plures Ecclesiae derivantur. AMBROSE; We may understand also by the other ship another Church, since from one Church several are derived.
Cyrillus: Innuit autem sociis ut auxiliarentur eis: multi enim sequuntur apostolorum labores; et prius illi qui Evangeliorum ediderunt Scripturas, post quos alii praesides et populorum pastores, et in deitatis doctrina periti. CYRIL; But Peter beckons to his companions to help them. For many follow the labors of the Apostles, and first those who brought out the writings of the Gospels, next to whom are the other heads and shepherds of the Gospel, and those skilled in the teaching of the truth.
Beda: Harum autem impletio navium in fines saeculi crescit; sed quod impletae merguntur, hoc est in submersione premuntur (non enim sunt submersae, sed periclitatae), apostolus exponit dicens: in novissimis diebus erunt tempora periculosa, et erunt homines seipsos amantes, etc.: nam mergi naves, est homines in saeculo, ex quo electi per fidem fuerant, morum pravitate relabi. BEDE; But the filling of these ships goes on until the end of the world. But the fact that the ships, when filled, begin to sink, i.e. become weighed low down in the water; (for they are not sunk, but are in great danger,) the Apostle explains when he says, In the last days perilous times shall come; men shall be lovers of their own selves, &c. For the sinking of the ships is when men, by vicious habits, fall back into that world from which they have been elected by faith.

Lectio 3
8 ἰδὼν δὲ σίμων πέτρος προσέπεσεν τοῖς γόνασιν Ἰησοῦ λέγων, ἔξελθε ἀπ' ἐμοῦ, ὅτι ἀνὴρ ἁμαρτωλός εἰμι, κύριε: 9 θάμβος γὰρ περιέσχεν αὐτὸν καὶ πάντας τοὺς σὺν αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τῇ ἄγρᾳ τῶν ἰχθύων ὧν συνέλαβον, 10 ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἰάκωβον καὶ ἰωάννην υἱοὺς ζεβεδαίου, οἳ ἦσαν κοινωνοὶ τῷ σίμωνι. καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς τὸν σίμωνα ὁ Ἰησοῦς, μὴ φοβοῦ: ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν ἀνθρώπους ἔσῃ ζωγρῶν. 11 καὶ καταγαγόντες τὰ πλοῖα ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ἀφέντες πάντα ἠκολούθησαν αὐτῷ.
8. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10. And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, Fear not; from henceforth you shall catch men. 11. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Ambrosius: Admirabatur Petrus dona divina; et quo plus metuerat, praesumebat minus; unde dicitur quod cum videret Simon Petrus, procidit ad genua Iesu, dicens: exi a me, domine, quia homo peccator sum. BEDE; Peter was astonished at the divine gift, and the more he feared, the less did he now presume; as it is said, When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
Cyrillus: Reducens enim ad conscientiam patrata delicta, tremit et trepidat, et velut immundus mundum non credit se posse suscipere: acceperat enim a lege, distinguendum esse inter maculatum et sanctum. CYRIL; For calling back to his consciousness the crimes he had committed, he is alarmed and trembles, and as being unclean, he believes it impossible he can receive Him who is clean, for he had learnt from the law to distinguish between what is defiled and holy.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Cum enim mandasset demergere retia, tanta copia piscium capta est, quantum ipse maris dominus et terrae voluerat. Vox enim verbi semper est vox virtutis, cuius praecepto in origine mundi lux et ceterae creaturae prodibant. In his admiratur Petrus; unde sequitur stupor enim circumdederat eum, et omnes qui cum illo erant, in captura piscium quam ceperant; similiter autem Iacobum et Ioannem filios Zebedaei, qui erant socii Simonis. GREG. NYSS. When Christ commanded to let down the nets, the multitude of the fishes taken was just as great as the Lord of the sea and land willed. For the voice of the Word is the voice of power, at whose bidding at the beginning of the world light and the other creatures came forth. At these things Peter wonders, for he was astonished, and all that were with him, &c.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Andream non nominat, qui tamen intelligitur in ea navi fuisse, secundum Matthaei et Marci narrationem. Et ait ad Simonem Iesus: noli timere. AUG. He does not mention Andrew by name, who however is thought to have been in that ship, according to the accounts of Matthew and Mark. It follows, And Jesus said to Simon, Fear not.
Ambrosius: Dic et tu exi a me, domine, quia peccator sum, ut respondeat Deus noli timere. Indulgenti domino peccatum fatere. Vides quam bonus dominus, qui tantum tribuit hominibus ut vivificandi habeant potestatem; unde sequitur ex hoc iam homines eris capiens. AMBROSE; Say you also, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord, that God may answer, Fear not. Confess your sin, and the Lord will pardon you. See how good the Lord is, who gives so much to men, that they have the power of making alive. As it follows, From henceforth you shall catch men.
Beda: Hoc ad ipsum Petrum specialiter pertinet: exponit enim ei dominus quid haec captura piscium significet; quod scilicet ipse sicut nunc per retia pisces, sic aliquando per verba sit capturus homines: totusque facti huius ordo quid in Ecclesia, cuius ipse typum tenet, quotidie geratur, ostendit. BEDE; This especially belongs to Peter himself, for the Lord explains to him what this taking of fish means; that in fact as now he takes fishes by the net, so hereafter he will catch men by words. And the whole order of this event shows what is daily going on in the Church, of which Peter is the type.
Chrysostomus: Considera autem eorum fidem et obedientiam; habentes enim opus prae manibus appetibilis piscationis, cum audissent mandantem, non distulerunt, sed relictis omnibus sequebantur. Talem enim obedientiam requirit a nobis Christus, ut eam non praetermittamus, etiam si aliquid valde necessarium urgeat; unde et sequitur et subductis ad terram navibus, relictis omnibus, secuti sunt eum. CHRYS. But mark their faith and obedience. For though they were eagerly engaged in the employment of fishing, yet when they heard the command of Jesus, they delayed not, but forsook all and followed Him. Such is the obedience which Christ demands of us; we must not forego it, even though some great necessity urges us. Hence it follows, And having brought their ships to land.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Matthaeus et Marcus breviter hoc perstringunt quemadmodum gestum sit, quod Lucas hic apertius explicavit. Hoc tamen videtur distare quod tantum Petro a domino dictum commemorat ex hoc iam homines eris capiens, quod illi ambobus fratribus dictum esse narraverunt. Sed potuit utique prius hoc Petro dici, cum de capta ingenti multitudine piscium miraretur, quod Lucas insinuavit; ambobus postea, quod illi duo commemoraverunt. Vel intelligendum est hoc primo fuisse factum quod Lucas commemorat; nec tunc eos a domino vocatos, sed tantum fuisse praedictum Petro quod homines esset capturus: non autem quod numquam pisces esset capturus: unde datur locus intelligere eos ad capturam piscium remeasse, ut postea fieret quod Matthaeus et Marcus narrant: tunc enim non subductis ad terram navibus, tamquam cura redeundi, sed ita eum secuti sunt, tamquam vocantem aut iubentem. Sed si, secundum Ioannem, iuxta Iordanem secuti sunt eum Petrus et Andreas; quomodo ab aliis Evangelistis dicitur quod eos in Galilaea piscantes invenit et ad discipulatum vocavit, nisi quia intelligendum est, non sic eos vidisse dominum iuxta Iordanem ut ei inseparabiliter cohaererent, sed tantum cognovisse quis esset, eumque miratos ad propria remeasse? AUG. Matthew and Mark here briefly state the matter, and how it was done. Luke explains it more at large. There seems however to be this difference, that he makes our Lord to have said to Peter only, From henceforth you shall catch men, whereas they related it as having been spoken to both the others. But surely it might have been said at first to Peter, when he marveled at the immense draught of fishes, as Luke suggests, and afterwards to both, as the other two have related it. Or we must understand the event to have taken place as Luke relates, and that the others were not then called by the Lord, but only it was foretold to Peter that he should catch men, not that he should no more be employed in fishing; and hence there is room for supposing that they returned to their fishing, so that afterwards that might happen which Matthew and Mark speak of. For then the ships were not brought to land, as if with the intention of returning, but they followed Him as calling or commanding them to come. But if according to John, Peter and Andrew followed Him close by Jordan, how do the other Evangelists say that He found them fishing in Galilee, and called them to the discipleship? Except we understand that they did not see the Lord near Jordan so as to join Him inseparably, but knew only who He was, and marveling at Him returned to their own.
Ambrosius: Mystice autem quos Petrus in verbo capit, negat suam praedam, negat suum munus. Exi, inquit, a me, domine. Noli timere et tu quae tua sunt domino deferre, quia quae sua sunt nobis ille concessit. AMBROSE; But mystically, those whom Peter takes by his word, he claims not as his own booty or his own gift. Depart, he says, from me, O Lord. Fear not then also to ascribe what is your own to the Lord, for what was His He has given to us.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Vel aliter. Ex persona Ecclesiae carnalibus hominibus plenae Petrus dicit exi a me, quia homo peccator sum; tamquam Ecclesia turbis carnalium impleta, et eorum moribus pene submersa, regnum spiritualium, in quibus maxime persona Christi eminet, a se quodammodo repellat. Non enim hoc voce linguae dicunt homines bonis ministris Dei, ut eos a se repellant; sed voce morum et actuum suadent a se recedi, ne per bonos regantur, et eo vehementius quo deferunt eis honorem; ut honorificentiam eorum significaverit Petrus cadens ad pedes domini, mores autem in eo quod dixit exi a me. AUG. Or, Peter speaks in the character of A the Church full of carnal men, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man. As if the Church, crowded with carnal men, and almost sunk by their vices, throws off from it, as it were, the rule in spiritual things, wherein the character of Christ chiefly shines forth. For not with the tongue do men tell the good servants of God that they should depart from them, but with the utterance of their deeds and actions they persuade them to go away, that they may not be governed by the good. And yet all the more anxiously do they hasten to pay honors to them, just as Peter testified his respect by falling at the feet of our Lord, but his conduct in saying, Depart from me.
Beda: Confortat autem dominus timorem carnalium, ne quis vel de suae conscientia culpae tremens, vel de aliorum innocentia stupens sanctitatis iter formidet aggredi. BEDE; But the Lord allays the fears of carnal men, that no one trembling at the consciousness of his guilt, or astonished at the innocence of others, might be afraid to undertake the journey of holiness.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Dominus autem dum non recessit ab eis, significat, in bonis et spiritualibus viris non esse oportere hanc voluntatem ut peccatis turbarum commoti, quo quasi securius tranquilliusque vivant, munus ecclesiasticum deserant. Quod autem subductis ad terram navibus, relictis omnibus secuti sunt eum, potest significare finem temporis quo ab huius mundi salo, qui Christo inhaeserunt penitus recessuri sunt. AUG. But the Lord did not depart from them, showing thereby that good and spiritual men, when they ere troubled by the wickedness of the many, ought not to wish to abandon their ecclesiastical duties, that they might live as it were a more secure and tranquil life. But the bringing their ships to land, and forsaking all to follow Jesus, may represent the end of time, when those who have clung to Christ shall altogether depart from the storms of this world.

Lectio 4
12 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐν μιᾷ τῶν πόλεων καὶ ἰδοὺ ἀνὴρ πλήρης λέπρας: ἰδὼν δὲ τὸν Ἰησοῦν πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον ἐδεήθη αὐτοῦ λέγων, κύριε, ἐὰν θέλῃς δύνασαί με καθαρίσαι. 13 καὶ ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα ἥψατο αὐτοῦ λέγων, θέλω, καθαρίσθητι: καὶ εὐθέως ἡ λέπρα ἀπῆλθεν ἀπ' αὐτοῦ. 14 καὶ αὐτὸς παρήγγειλεν αὐτῷ μηδενὶ εἰπεῖν, ἀλλὰ ἀπελθὼν δεῖξον σεαυτὸν τῷ ἱερεῖ, καὶ προσένεγκε περὶ τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ σου καθὼς προσέταξεν μωϋσῆς, εἰς μαρτύριον αὐτοῖς. 15 διήρχετο δὲ μᾶλλον ὁ λόγος περὶ αὐτοῦ, καὶ συνήρχοντο ὄχλοι πολλοὶ ἀκούειν καὶ θεραπεύεσθαι ἀπὸ τῶν ἀσθενειῶν αὐτῶν: 16 αὐτὸς δὲ ἦν ὑποχωρῶν ἐν ταῖς ἐρήμοις καὶ προσευχόμενος.
12. And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. 13. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be you clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. 14. And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and show yourself to the Priest, and offer for your cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony to them. 15. But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. 16. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

Ambrosius in Lucam: Quarto signo, ex quo in Capharnaum dominus venit leprosus sanatur. Si autem quarto die solem illuminavit, et clariorem ceteris fecit, hoc clarius opus aestimare debemus, de quo dicitur et factum est cum esset in una civitate, et ecce vir plenus lepra. Bene ubi leprosus mundatur, certus non exprimitur locus, ut ostendatur non unum populum specialis alicuius civitatis, sed omnes populos fuisse sanatos. AMBROSE; The fourth miracle after Jesus came to Capernaum was the healing of a leprous man. But since He illumined the fourth day with the sun, and made it more glorious than the rest, we ought to think this work more glorious than those that went before; of which it is said, And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy. Rightly no definite place is mentioned where the leprous man was healed, to signify that not one people of any particular city, but all nations were healed.
Athanasius Adoravit autem leprosus dominum Deum existentem in corpore; et neque propter carnem putavit esse creaturam verbum Dei; nec pro eo quod verbum erat, vilipendit carnem quam vestiebat; immo ut in templo creato adorabat omnium creatorem, in faciem procidens; sequitur enim et videns Iesum et procidens in faciem, rogavit eum. ATHAN. Now the leper worshipped the Lord God in His bodily form, and thought not the Word of God to be a creature because of His flesh, nor because He was the Word did he think lightly of the flesh which He put on; nay rather in a created temple he adored the Creator of all things, falling down on his face, as it follows, And when he saw Jesus he fell on his face, and besought him.
Ambrosius: Quod in faciem procidit, humilitatis est et pudoris, ut unusquisque de vitae suae maculis erubescat: sed confessionem verecundia non repressit: ostendit vulnus, remedium postulavit, dicens domine, si vis, potes me mundare. De voluntate domini non quasi pietatis incredulus dubitavit; sed quasi iniquitatis suae conscius non praesumpsit: religionis autem et fidei plena confessio est quae in voluntate domini posuit potestatem. AMBROSE; In falling upon his face he marked his humility and modesty, for every one should blush at the stains of his life, but his reverence kept not back his confession, he shows his wound, and asks for a remedy, saying, If you will, you can make me clean. Of the will of the Lord he doubted, not from distrust of His mercy, but checked by the consciousness of his own unworthiness. But the confession is one full of devotion and faith, placing all power in the will of the Lord.
Cyrillus: Noverat enim lepram experimentis medicorum non cedere; sed vidit divina maiestate pelli Daemones, et ceteros ab aliis valetudinibus curari, quae coniecit divina dextera fieri. CYRIL; For he knew that leprosy yields not to the skill of physicians, but he saw the devils cast out by the Divine authority, and multitudes cured of divers diseases, all which he conceived was the work of the Divine arm.
Titus: Addiscamus etiam ex verbis leprosi corporalium infirmitatum medelam non quaerere, sed divino beneplacito totum committere, qui novit opportuna, et omnia iudicio disposuit. TITUS BOST. Let us learn from the words of the leper not to go about seeking the cure of our bodily infirmities, but to commit the whole to the will of God, Who knows what is best for us, and disposes all things as He will.
Ambrosius: Eo autem sanat genere quo fuerat obsecratus; unde sequitur et extendens Iesus manum, tetigit illum. Lex tangi leprosos prohibet; sed qui dominus legis est, non obsequitur legi, sed legem facit. Non ergo tetigit, quia sine tactu mundare non poterat, sed ut probaret quia subiectus non erat legi, nec contagium timebat ut homines, sed quia contaminari non poterat qui alios liberabat; simul e contrario ut lepra tactu domini fugaretur, quae solebat contaminare tangentem. AMBROSE; He heals in the same manner in which He had been entreated to heal, as it follows, And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, &c. The law forbids to touch the leprous man, but He who is the Lord of the law submits not to the law, but makes the law; He did not touch because without touching He was unable to make him clean, but to show that he was neither subject to the law, nor feared the contagion as man; for He could not be contaminated Who delivered others from the pollution. On the other hand, He touched also, that the leprosy might be expelled by the touch of the Lord, which was wont to contaminate him that touched.
Theophylactus: Ipsius enim sacra caro est purgativa, et vitam tribuens, sicut existens verbi Dei caro. THEOPHYL. For His sacred flesh has a healing, and life-giving power, as being indeed the flesh of the Word of God.
Ambrosius: In hoc autem quod subdit volo, mundare, habes voluntatem, habes et pietatis effectum. AMBROSE; In the words which follow, I will, be you clean, you have the will, you have also the result of His mercy.
Cyrillus: A maiestate autem processit imperiosum mandatum. Qualiter igitur in servis computatur unigenitus filius, qui volendo tantummodo cuncta potest? Legitur de Deo patre, quod omnia quaecumque voluit fecit. Qui vero sui patris potestate fungitur, quomodo diversificabitur in natura ab eo? Solent etiam quaecumque sunt eiusdem virtutis, eiusdem esse substantiae. Mirare tamen in his Christum divine et corporaliter operantem: divinum enim est ita velle ut praesto fiant omnia, humanum autem extendere dexteram. Unus itaque Christus ex utrisque perficitur, eo quod verbum caro factum est. CYRIL; From majesty alone proceeds the royal command, how then is the Only-begotten counted among the servants, who by His mere will can do all things? We read of God the Father, that He has done all things whatsoever He pleased. But He who exercises the power of His Father, how can He differ from Him in nature? Besides, whatsoever things are of the same power, are wont to be of the same substance. Again; let us then admire in these things Christ working both divinely and bodily. For it is of God so to will that all things are done accordingly, but of man to stretch forth the hand. From two natures therefore is perfected one Christ, for that the Word was made flesh.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Et quia cum utraque hominis particula, anima scilicet et corpore, unita est deitas, per utraque patebant supernae naturae indicia. Corpus enim reconditum in se lumen declarabat, cum palpando praestabat remedia, sed anima praepotenti voluntate divinam ostendebat virtutem: velut enim sensus tactus proprius corporis est, sic et animae voluntarius motus: vult anima, tangit corpus. GREG. NYSS. And because the Deity is united with each portion of man, i.e. both soul and body, in each are evident the signs of a heavenly nature. For the body declared the Deity hidden in it, when he by touching it afforded a remedy, but the soul, by the mighty power of its will, marked the Divine strength. For as the sense of touch is the property of the body, so the motion of the will of the soul. The soul wills, the body touches.
Ambrosius: Dicit ergo volo, propter Photinum; imperat propter Arium; tangit propter Manichaeum. Nihil autem medium est inter opus Dei atque praeceptum, ut intelligas medentis affectum, virtutem operis; unde sequitur et confestim lepra discessit ab illo. Sed ne lepra transire possit in medicum, unusquisque dominicae humilitatis exemplo iactantiam vitet; nam sequitur et praecepit illi ut nemini diceret: ut scilicet doceret non vulganda nostra beneficia, sed premenda, ut non solum a mercede abstineamus pecuniae, sed etiam gratiae. Aut fortasse illa silentii causa est imperati, quod meliores putabat, qui fide magis spontanea quam speratis beneficiis credidissent. AMBROSE; He says then, I will, for Photinus, He commands, for Arius, He touches, for Manichaeus. But there is nothing intervening between God’s work and His command, that we may see in the inclination of the healer the power of the work. Hence it follows, And immediately the leprosy departed from him. But lest leprosy should become rife among us, let each avoid boasting after the example of our Lord’s humility. For it follows, And he commanded him that he should tell it to no one, that in truth he might teach us that our good deeds are not to be made public, but to be rather concealed, that we should abstain not only from gaining money, but even favor. Or perhaps the cause of His commanding silence was that He thought those to be preferred, who had rather believed of their own accord than from the hope of benefit.
Cyrillus: Leproso etiam silente sufficiebat ipsa negotii vox ad narrandum omnibus agnoscentibus per eum potestatem curantis. CYRIL; Though the leper was silent, the voice of the transaction itself was sufficient to publish it to all who acknowledged through him the power of the Curer.
Chrysostomus in Matth: Et quia ut plurimum homines, dum aegrotant, Dei sunt memores, ut autem convalescunt hebetantur, mandat ut Deum prae oculis habeat, dans gloriam Deo; unde sequitur sed vade, ostende te sacerdoti: ut scilicet mundatus leprosus committeret se sacerdotis aspectui; ac sic per illius censuram numeraretur inter suos. CHRYS. And since frequently men, when they are sick, remember God, but when they recover, wax dull, He bids him to always keep God before his eyes, giving glory to God. Hence it follows, But go and show yourself to the Priest, in order that the leprous man being cleansed might submit himself to the inspection of the Priest, and so by his sanction be counted as healed.
Ambrosius: Et ut etiam intelligeret sacerdos non legis ordine, sed gratia Dei supra legem esse curatum; et dum mandatur sacrificium secundum praeceptum Moysi, ostendit dominus quia legem non solveret, sed impleret; unde sequitur et offer pro emundatione tua sicut praecepit Moyses. AMBROSE; And that the Priest also should know that not by the order of the law but by the grace of God above the law, he was cured. And since a sacrifice is commanded by the regulation of Moses, the Lord shows that He does not abrogate the law, but fulfill it. As it follows, And offer for your cleansing according as Moses commanded.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Videtur hic approbare sacrificium quod per Moysen praeceptum est, cum id non recipiat Ecclesia: quod ideo iussisse intelligi potest, quia nondum coeperat esse sacrificium sanctum sanctorum, quod corpus eius est: non enim oportebat auferri significativa sacrificia priusquam illud quod significabatur confirmatum esset contestatione apostolorum praedicantium, et fide credentium populorum. AUG. He seems here to approve of the sacrifice which had been commanded through Moses though the Church does not require it. It may therefore be understood to have been commanded, because not as yet had commenced that most holy sacrifice which is His body. For it was not fitting that typical sacrifices should be taken away before that which was typified should be confirmed by the witness of the Apostles’ preaching, and the faith of believers.
Ambrosius: Vel quia lex spiritualis est, videtur sacrificium mandasse spirituale; unde dixit sicut praecepit Moyses; denique addidit in testimonium illis. AMBROSE; Or because the law is spiritual He seems to have commanded a spiritual sacrifice. Hence he said, As Moses commanded. Lastly, he adds, for a testimony to them.
Titus: Haeretici perperam hoc accipiunt, dicentes in opprobrium legis esse dictum. Qualiter autem iuberet offerre pro emundatione secundum praeceptum Moysi? The heretics understand this erroneously, saying, that it was meant as a reproach to the law. But how would he order an offering for cleansing, according to Moses’ commandments, if he meant this against the law?
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Dicit ergo in testimonium illis, quia ex hoc facto ostenditur Christum incomparabili excellentia Moysi praeferri; quia enim Moyses insufficiens erat a sorore leprae pellere morbum, orabat dominum ut eam liberaret; sed salvator in potestate divina protulit volo, mundare. CYRIL; He says then, for a testimony to them, because this deed makes manifest that Christ in His incomparable excellence is far above Moses. For when Moses could not rid his sister of the leprosy, he prayed the Lord to deliver her. But the Savior, in His divine power, declared, I will, be you clean.
Cyrillus: Vel in testimonium illis, hoc est ad reprehensionem eorum, et ad probationem quod legem revereor. Cum enim te curaverim, mitto te ad sacerdotum experientiam, ut attesteris mihi quod non sum praevaricatus in legem. Et quamvis dominus impendens remedia, moneret nemini dicere, instruens nos evitare superbiam; fama tamen eius volabat, undique installans auditui cunctorum miraculum; unde sequitur perambulabat magis sermo de illo. CHRYS. Or, for a testimony against them, i.e. as a reproof of them, and a testimony that I respect the law. For now too that I have cured you, I send you for the examination of the priests, that you should bear me witness that I have not played false to the law. And although the Lord in giving out remedies advised telling them to no one, instructing us to avoid pride; yet His fame flew about every where, instilling the miracle into the ears of every one, as it follows, But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him.
Beda: Unius autem perfecta salvatio multas ad dominum cogit turbas: unde sequitur et conveniebant turbae multae, ut audirent et curarentur ab infirmitatibus suis. Ut enim leprosus exterius se sanatum doceret, perceptum beneficium, ut Marcus ait, etiam iussus non tacet. BEDE; Now the perfect healing of one brings many multitudes to the Lord, as it follows, And great multitudes came together that they should be healed. For the leprous man that he might show both his outward and inward cure, even though forbid ceases not, as Mark says, to tell of the benefit he had received.
Gregorius Moralium: Redemptor autem noster per diem miracula in urbibus exibet, et ad orationis studium in nocte pernoctat: unde sequitur ipse autem secedebat in desertum, et orabat: ut perfectis videlicet praedicatoribus innuat quatenus nec activam amore speculationis funditus deserant, nec contemplationis gaudia operationis nimietate contemnant; sed quieti contemplantes sorbeant quod occupati erga proximos loquentes profundant. GREG. Our Redeemer performs His miracles by day, and passes the night in prayer, as it follows, And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed, hinting, as it were, to perfect preachers, that as neither they should entirely desert the active life from love of contemplation, so neither should they despise the joys of contemplation from an excess of activity, but in silent thought imbibe that which they might afterwards give back in words to their neighbors.
Beda: Quod autem secedit orare, non ei naturae tribuas quae dicit volo, mundare, sed ei quae extendens manum tetigit leprosum: non quod iuxta Nestorium gemina sit filii persona; sed eiusdem personae, sicut naturae, sic et operationes sunt duae. BEDE; Now that He retired to pray, you would not ascribe to that nature which says, I will, be you clean, but to that which putting forth the hand touched the leprous man, not that according to Nestorius there is a double person of the Son, but of the same person, as there are two natures, so are there two operations.
Gregorius Nazianzenus: Et opera quidem in populo, orationes autem in deserto peragebat ut plurimum; sanciens quod liceat parumper quiescere, ut mente sincera cum Deo colloquamur. Neque enim ipse indigebat remotione, quia non erat in eo quod remitteretur, cum Deus esset: sed ut pateat nobis et operationis hora et altioris solertiae. GREG NAZ. And His works He indeed performed among the people, but He prayed for the most part in the wilderness, sanctioning the liberty of resting a while from labor to hold converse with God with a pure heart. For He needed no change or retirement, since there was nothing which could be relaxed in Him, nor any place in which He might confine Himself, for He was God, but it was that we might clearly know that there is a time for action, a time for each higher occupation.
Beda: Typice autem leprosus humanum genus languidum peccatis designat, plenum lepra: quia omnes peccaverunt, et egent gratia Dei, ut scilicet extenta manu, idest verbo Dei humanam contingente naturam, a prisci erroris varietate mundentur, et offerant Deo pro emundatione corpora sua hostiam vivam. BEDE; How typically the leprous man represents the whole race of man, languishing with sins full of leprosy, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; that so by the hand put forth, i.e. the word of God partaking of human nature, they might be cleansed from the vanity of their old errors, and offer for cleansing their bodies as a living sacrifice.
Ambrosius: Si autem leprae medicina verbum est, contemptus verbi lepra mentis est. AMBROSE; But if the word is the healing of leprosy, the contempt of the word is the leprosy of the mind.
Theophylactus: Vide autem, quod postquam mundatus est aliquis, tunc dignus est offerre hoc munus, scilicet corpus et sanguinem domini, quod est divinae unitum naturae. THEOPHYL. But mark, that after a man has been cleansed he is then worthy to offer this gift, namely, the body and blood of the Lord, which is united to the Divine nature.

Lectio 5
17 καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν διδάσκων, καὶ ἦσαν καθήμενοι φαρισαῖοι καὶ νομοδιδάσκαλοι οἳ ἦσαν ἐληλυθότες ἐκ πάσης κώμης τῆς γαλιλαίας καὶ ἰουδαίας καὶ ἰερουσαλήμ: καὶ δύναμις κυρίου ἦν εἰς τὸ ἰᾶσθαι αὐτόν. 18 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνδρες φέροντες ἐπὶ κλίνης ἄνθρωπον ὃς ἦν παραλελυμένος, καὶ ἐζήτουν αὐτὸν εἰσενεγκεῖν καὶ θεῖναι [αὐτὸν] ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ. 19 καὶ μὴ εὑρόντες ποίας εἰσενέγκωσιν αὐτὸν διὰ τὸν ὄχλον ἀναβάντες ἐπὶ τὸ δῶμα διὰ τῶν κεράμων καθῆκαν αὐτὸν σὺν τῷ κλινιδίῳ εἰς τὸ μέσον ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ Ἰησοῦ. 20 καὶ ἰδὼν τὴν πίστιν αὐτῶν εἶπεν, ἄνθρωπε, ἀφέωνταί σοι αἱ ἁμαρτίαι σου. 21 καὶ ἤρξαντο διαλογίζεσθαι οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ φαρισαῖοι λέγοντες, τίς ἐστιν οὗτος ὃς λαλεῖ βλασφημίας; τίς δύναται ἁμαρτίας ἀφεῖναι εἰ μὴ μόνος ὁ θεός; 22 ἐπιγνοὺς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς αὐτῶν ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς, τί διαλογίζεσθε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν; 23 τί ἐστιν εὐκοπώτερον, εἰπεῖν, ἀφέωνταί σοι αἱ ἁμαρτίαι σου, ἢ εἰπεῖν, ἔγειρε καὶ περιπάτει; 24 ἵνα δὲ εἰδῆτε ὅτι ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐξουσίαν ἔχει ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἀφιέναι ἁμαρτίας — εἶπεν τῷ παραλελυμένῳ, σοὶ λέγω, ἔγειρε καὶ ἄρας τὸ κλινίδιόν σου πορεύου εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου. 25 καὶ παραχρῆμα ἀναστὰς ἐνώπιον αὐτῶν, ἄρας ἐφ' ὃ κατέκειτο, ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ δοξάζων τὸν θεόν. 26 καὶ ἔκστασις ἔλαβεν ἅπαντας καὶ ἐδόξαζον τὸν θεόν, καὶ ἐπλήσθησαν φόβου λέγοντες ὅτι εἴδομεν παράδοξα σήμερον.
17. And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 18. And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus. 20. And when he saw their faith, he said to him, Man, your sins are forgiven you. 21. And the Scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 22. But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said to them, What reason you in your hearts? 23. Whether is easier, to say, Your sins be forgiven you; or to say, Rise up and walk? 24. But that you may know that the Son of man has power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said to the sick of the palsy,) I say to you, Arise, and take up your couch, and go to your house. 25. And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26. And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

Cyrillus: Scribae et Pharisaei, qui facti fuerant prodigiorum Christi visores, audiebant ipsum quoque docentem; unde dicitur et factum est in una dierum, et Iesus sedebat docens; et erant Pharisaei sedentes, et legis doctores, qui venerant ex omni castello Galilaeae, et Iudaeae, et Ierusalem; et virtus domini erat ad sanandum eos. Non quasi mutuo acciperet potestatem alterius, sed quasi Deus et dominus propria operabatur virtute. Fiunt autem homines saepe donorum spiritualium digni; sed plerumque deficiunt ea ratione quam novit donorum largitor; quod in Christo non accidit: affluebat enim in praestandis remediis virtus divina. Quia vero necessarium erat, ubi tanta Scribarum et Pharisaeorum turba convenerat, aliquid fieri ex his quae virtuti attestarentur ipsius coram eis qui eum parvipendebant, factum est quoddam miraculum in paralytico: in quo quia defecisse videbatur medicinalis ars, portabatur a proximis ad supernum et caelestem medicum; unde sequitur et ecce viri portantes in lecto hominem qui erat paralyticus; et quaerebant eum inferre, et ponere ante eum. CYRIL; The Scribes and Pharisees who had become spectators of Christ’s miracles, heard Him also teaching. Hence it is said, And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees sitting by, &c. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. Not as though He borrowed the power of another, but as God and the Lord He healed by His own inherent power. Now men often become worthy of spiritual gifts, but generally depart from the rule which the giver of the gifts knew. It was not so with Christ, for the divine power went on abounding in giving remedies. But because it was necessary where so great a number of Scribes and Pharisees had come together, that something should be done to attest His power before those men who slighted Him, He performed the miracle on the man with the palsy, who since medical art seemed to fail, was carried by his kinsfolk to a higher and heavenly Physician. As it follows, And behold men brought him.
Chrysostomus: Mirandi vero sunt qui paralyticum adduxerunt, qualiter cum nequissent intrare per ostium, novum aliquid et alienum attentaverunt; unde sequitur et non invenientes qua parte eum inferrent prae turba, ascenderunt supra tectum. Detegentes autem tectum deponunt grabatum, et ponunt in medio paralyticum; unde sequitur et per tegulas submiserunt illum cum lecto in medium ante Iesum. Dicet aliquis demissum fuisse locum a quo per tegulas deposuerunt paralytici lectum. CHRYS. But they are to be admired who brought in the paralytic, since on finding that they could not enter in at the door, they attempted a new and untried way. As it follows, And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in, they went upon the housetop, &c. But unroofing the house they let down the couch, and place the paralytic in the midst, as it follows, And they let him down through the tilings. Some one may say, that the place was let down, from which they lowered the couch of the palsied man through the tilings.
Beda: Hominem autem dominus a paralysi curaturus, primo peccatorum vincula dissolvit, ut ostenderet eum ob nexus culparum artuum dissolutione damnari, nec nisi his relaxatis membrorum posse recuperatione sanari; unde sequitur quorum fidem ut vidit, dixit: homo, remittuntur tibi peccata tua. BEDE; The Lord about to cure the man of his palsy, first loosens the chains of his sins, that He may show him, that on account of the bonds of his sins, he is punished with the loosening of his joints, and that unless the former are set free, he cannot be healed to the recovery of his limbs. Hence it follows, And when he saw their faith, &c.
Ambrosius: Magnus dominus, qui aliorum merito ignoscit aliis; et dum alios probat, aliis relaxat errata. Cur apud te, homo, collega non valeat, cum apud Deum servus et interveniendi meritum et ius habeat impetrandi? Si gravium peccatorum diffidis veniam, adhibe precatores, adhibe Ecclesiam quae pro te precetur, cuius contemplatione, quod tibi dominus negare posset, ignoscat. AMBROSE; Mighty is the Lord who pardons one man for the good deed of another, and while he approves of the one, forgives the other his sins. Why, O man, with you does not your fellowman prevail, when with God a servant has both the liberty to intercede in your behalf, and the power of obtaining what he asks? If you despair of the pardon of heavy sins, bring the prayers of others, bring the Church to pray for you, and at sight of this the Lord may pardon what man denies to you.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Occurrebat autem et in hoc ipsius patientis fides: non enim sustinuisset se inferius submitti, nisi credidisset. CHRYS. But there was combined in this the faith also of the sufferer himself. For he would not have submitted to be let down, had he not believed.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Quod autem dicit homo, dimittuntur tibi peccata, ad hoc insinuandum valet quia homini dimittebantur peccata, qui hoc ipso quod homo erat, non posset dicere: non peccavi: simul etiam ut ille qui homini dimittebat, intelligeretur Deus. AUG. But our Lord’s saying, Man, your sins are forgiven, conveys the meaning that the man had his sins forgiven him, because in that he was man, he could not say, “I have not sinned,” but at the same time also, that He who forgave sins might be known to be God.
Chrysostomus: Nos autem si corporaliter patimur, satagimus nocivum abicere; cum vero male sit animae, differimus; atque ideo nec a corporis nocivis curamur. Abscindamus igitur fontem malorum, et cessabunt aegritudinum fluxus. Metu autem multitudinis suam intentionem aperire Pharisaei non audebant, sed solum in cordibus suis meditabantur; unde sequitur et coeperunt cogitare Scribae et Pharisaei, dicentes: quis est hic qui loquitur blasphemias? CHRYS. Now if we suffer bodily, we are enough concerned to get rid of the hurtful thing; but when there has harm happened to the soul, we delay, and so are neither cured of our bodily ailments. Let us then remove the fountain of evil, and the waters of sickness will cease to flow. But from fear of the multitude, the Pharisees durst not openly expose their designs, but only meditated them in their hearts. Hence it follows, And they began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaks blasphemies?
Chrysostomus: In quo mortis praecipitant sententiam. Erat enim mandatum in lege, quod quicumque blasphemaret in Deum, morte puniretur. CYRIL; By this they hasten the sentence of death, for it was commanded in the law, that whoever blasphemed God should be punished with death.
Ambrosius: Itaque ab ipsis ex operibus suis Dei filius accipit testimonium; nam et validius est ad fidem quod confitentur inviti, et perniciosius ad culpam quod negant qui suis assertionibus relinquuntur; unde sequitur quis potest peccata dimittere, nisi solus Deus? Magna infidae plebis amentia, ut cum confessa fuerit solius Dei esse donare peccata, non credat Deo peccata donanti. AMBROSE; From His very works therefore the Son of God receives testimony. For it is both more powerful evidence when men confess unwillingly, and a more fatal error when they who deny are left to the consequence of their own assertions. Hence it follows, Who can forgive sins, but God only? Great is the madness of an unbelieving people, who though they have confessed that it is of God alone to forgive sins, believe not God when He forgives sins.
Beda: Verum enim dicunt: quia nemo peccata dimittere nisi Deus potest, qui per eos quoque dimittit quibus dimittendi tribuit potestatem. Et ideo Christus vere Deus esse probatur, quia dimittere peccata quasi Deus potest. BEDE; For they say true, that no one can forgive sins but God, who yet forgives through those to whom He gives the power of forgiving. And therefore Christ is proved to be truly God, for He is able to forgive sins as God.
Ambrosius: Dominus autem salvos volens facere peccatores, ex occultorum cognitione Deum se esse demonstrat; unde sequitur ut autem cognovit Iesus cogitationes eorum, respondens dixit ad illos: quid cogitatis in cordibus vestris? AMBROSE; The Lord wishing to save sinners shows Himself to be God, by His knowledge of the secret thoughts; as it follows, But that you may know.
Cyrillus: Quasi dicat: o Pharisaei, quia dicitis quis potest peccata dimittere, nisi solus Deus? Respondeo vobis: quis potest secreta cordis scrutari, nisi solus Deus? Qui per prophetas dicit: ego dominus scrutans corda et probans renes. CYRIL; As if to say, O Pharisees’ since you say, Who can forgive sins, but God alone? I answer you, Who can search the secrets of the heart, but God alone, Who says by His prophet, I am the Lord. that searchs the hearts, and tries the reins.
Chrysostomus: Si ergo increduli estis erga primum, scilicet remissionem peccati, ecce aliud adicio, dum intima vestra patefacio: quin etiam aliud dum paralytici corpus consolido; unde subdit quid est facilius, dicere: dimittuntur tibi peccata, an dicere: surge et ambula? Palam quidem est quia consolidare corpus facilius est: quanto namque nobilior est anima corpore, tanto est excellentior absolutio criminum: verum, quia illud non creditis eo quod lateat, adiciam quod minus est; apertius tamen, quatenus quod est magis occultum per hoc demonstretur. Et quidem cum allocutus est infirmantem, non dixit: dimitto tibi peccata, propriam exprimens potestatem; sed remittuntur tibi peccata. Cogentibus autem illis, evidentius propriam declarat potestatem, dicens ut autem sciatis quia filius hominis potestatem habet in terris dimittendi peccata. CHRYS. If then you disbelieve the first, (i. e. the forgiveness of sins,) behold, I add another, seeing that I lay open your inmost thoughts. Again, another that I make whole the body of the palsied man. Hence He adds, Whether is it easier? It is very plain that it is easier to restore the body to health. For as the soul is far nobler than the body, so is the forgiveness of sins more excellent than the healing of the body. But since you believe not the former, because it is hid; I will add that which is inferior, yet more open, in order that thereby that which is secret may be made manifest. And indeed in addressing the sick man, He said not, I forgive you your sins, expressing His own power, but, Your sins are forgiven you. But they compelled Him to declare more plainly His own power to them, when He said, But that you may know.
Theophylactus: Vide quod in terra dimittit peccata: dum enim sumus in terra, peccata nostra delere possumus, postquam vero a terra tollimur, non valebimus confiteri: clauditur enim ianua. THEOPHYL. Observe that on earth He forgives sins. For while we are on earth we can blot out our sins. But after that we are taken away from the earth, we shall not be able to confess, for the gate is shut.
Chrysostomus: Demonstrat autem peccatorum veniam per corporis sanationem; unde sequitur ait paralytico: tibi dico: surge. Ipsam vero corporis sanationem demonstrat per lecti portationem, ut sic non reputetur phantasia quod factum est; unde sequitur tolle grabatum tuum, et vade in domum tuam; quasi dicat: ego volebam per tuam passionem curare illos qui sani videntur, infirmantur autem in anima; sed quia nolunt, vade tuam correcturus familiam. CHRYS. He show the pardon of sins by the healing of the body. Hence it follows, He says to the sick of the palsy, I say to you, Rise. But He manifests the healing of the body by the carrying of the bed, that so that which took place might be accounted no shadow. Hence it follows, Take up your bed. As if He said, “I was willing through your suffering to cure those who think that they are in health, while their souls are sick, but since they are unwilling, go and correct your household.”
Ambrosius: Nec mora ulla sanitatis intervenit; unum dictorum remediorumque momentum est; unde sequitur et confestim consurgens coram illis, tulit lectum in quo iacebat, et abiit in domum suam, magnificans Deum. AMBROSE; Nor is there any delay, health is present; there is but one moment both of words, and healing. Hence it follows, And immediately he rose [before them, took the bed on which he laid, and went home, praising God.]
Cyrillus: Quo facto patuit quod filius hominis potest in terra relaxare peccata; quod pro se et pro nobis dixerat. Ipse namque ut Deus factus homo tamquam dominus legis peccata dimittit. Sortiti sumus etiam nos ab eo tam mirabilem gratiam: dictum est enim discipulis: quorum remiseritis peccata, remittuntur eis. Quomodo autem non magis ipse peccata dimittit, qui ceteris potestatem faciendi hoc tradidit? From this fact it is evident, that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins; He said this both for Himself and us. For He as God made man, as the Lord of the law, forgives sins, we also have been chosen to receive from Him the same marvelous grace. For it was said to the disciples, Whose sins your remit, they are remitted to them. But how does He not Himself forgive sins, Who has given to others the power of doing so?
Chrysostomus: Reges autem terreni et principes homicidas absolventes, a poena praesenti liberant, a criminibus autem expiare non possunt. But the kings and princes of the earth when they acquit homicides, release them from their present punishment, but cannot expiate their crimes.
Ambrosius: Spectant autem surgentem increduli, mirantur abeuntem; unde sequitur et stupor apprehendit omnes, et magnificabant Deum. AMBROSE; They behold him rising up, still disbelieving, and marvel at his departing; as it follows, And they were all amazed.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Paulatim serpunt Iudaei magnificantes Deum, non tamen putant eum Deum esse; obstabat enim eis caro: nec tamen erat modicum aestimare eum praecipuum esse mortalium et a Deo processisse. CHRYS. The Jews creep on by degrees, glorifying God, yet thinking Him not God, for His flesh stood in their way. But still it was no slight thing to consider Him the chief of mortal men, and to have proceeded from God.
Ambrosius: Divini autem operis miracula malunt timere quam credere; unde sequitur et repleti sunt timore, dicentes: quia vidimus mirabilia hodie. Si autem credidissent, non timuissent utique, sed dilexissent: perfecta enim dilectio foras timorem excludit. Non otiosa autem huius paralytici nec angusta medicina est, quoniam orasse praemittitur, non propter suffragium, sed propter exemplum. AMBROSE; But they had rather fear the miracles of divine working, than believe them. As it follows, And they were filled with fear. But if they had believed they had not surely feared, but loved; for perfect love casts out fear But this was no careless or trifling cure of the paralytic, since our Lord is said to have prayed first, not for the petition’s sake, but for an example.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: De paralytico enim potest intelligi animam dissolutam membris, hoc est operationibus, Christum quaerere, idest voluntatem verbi Dei; impediri autem a turbis, scilicet cogitationum, nisi tecta, idest operta Scripturarum, aperiat, et per hoc ad notitiam Christi perveniat, hoc est, ad eius humilitatem fidei pietate descendat. AUG. With respect to the sick of the palsy, we may understand that the soul relaxed in its limbs i.e. its operations, seeks Christ, i.e. the meaning of God’s word, but is hindered by the crowds, that is to say, unless it discovers the secrets of the thoughts, i.e. the dark parts of the Scriptures, and thereby arrives at the knowledge of Christ
Beda: Et bene domus Iesu tegulis contecta describitur, quia sub contemptibili litterarum velamine spiritualis gratiae virtus invenitur. BEDE; And the house where Jesus was is well described as covered with tiles, since beneath the beggarly covering of letters is found the spiritual power of grace.
Ambrosius: Unusquisque autem aeger petendae praedicatores salutis debet adhibere, per quos nostrae vitae compago resoluta, actuumque nostrorum clauda vestigia, verbi caelestis remedio reformentur. Sint igitur aliqui monitores mentis, qui animum hominis, quamvis exterioris corporis debilitate torpentem, ad superiora erigant, quorum rursus adminiculis et attollere et humiliare se facilis ante Iesum locetur, dominico videri dignus aspectu: humilitatem enim respicit dominus. AMBROSE; Now let every sick person have those that will pray for his salvation, by whom the loosened joints of our life and halting steps may be renewed by the remedy of the heavenly word. Let there be then certain monitors of the soul, to raise the mind of man, though grown dull through the weakness of the external body, to higher things, by the aid of which being able again easily to raise and humble itself, it may be placed before Jesus worthy to be presented in the Lord’s sight. For the Lord beholds the humble.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Hi ergo a quibus deponitur, bonos doctores Ecclesiae possunt significare; quod autem cum lecto deponitur, significat ab homine in ista carne adhuc constituto Christum debere cognosci. AUG. The men then by whom he is let down may signify the doctors of the Church. But that he is let down with the couch, signifies that Christ ought to be known by man, while yet abiding in his flesh.
Ambrosius: Dominus autem plenam spem resurrectionis ostendens, peccata donat animorum, et debilitatem carnis excludit: hoc est enim totum hominem esse curatum. Quamvis igitur magnum sit hominibus peccata dimittere, tamen multo divinius est resurrectionem donare corporibus, quandoquidem Deus resurrectio est. Lectus autem qui tolli iubetur, nihil est aliud quam corpus humanum. AMBROSE; But the Lord, pointing out the full hope of resurrection, pardons the sins of the soul, sets aside the weakness of the flesh. For this is the curing of the whole man. Although then it is a great thing to forgive the sins of men, it is yet much more divine to give resurrection to the bodies, since indeed God is the resurrection. But the bed which is ordered to be taken up is nothing else but the human body.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Ut non iam in carnalibus gaudiis tamquam in lecto requiescat infirmitas animae, sed magis ipsa contineat affectiones carnales, et tendat ad domum suam, idest requiem secretorum cordis sui. AUG. That the infirm soul may no more rest in carnal joys, as in a bed, but rather itself restrain the carnal affections, and tend toward its own home, i.e. the resting-place of the secrets of its heart.
Ambrosius: Vel domum repetere suam, hoc est ad Paradisum redire: ea enim est vera domus quae hominem prima suscepit, non iure amissa, sed fraude. Merito ergo restituitur, quoniam venerat qui nexum fraudis aboleret, iusque reformaret. AMBROSE; Or it may reseek its own home, i.e. return to Paradise, for that is its true home, which first received man, and was lost not fairly, but by treachery. Rightly then is the soul restored thither, since He has come Who will undo the treacherous knot, and reestablish righteousness.

Lectio 6
27 καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἐξῆλθεν καὶ ἐθεάσατο τελώνην ὀνόματι λευὶν καθήμενον ἐπὶ τὸ τελώνιον, καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ, ἀκολούθει μοι. 28 καὶ καταλιπὼν πάντα ἀναστὰς ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ. 29 καὶ ἐποίησεν δοχὴν μεγάλην λευὶς αὐτῷ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ: καὶ ἦν ὄχλος πολὺς τελωνῶν καὶ ἄλλων οἳ ἦσαν μετ' αὐτῶν κατακείμενοι. 30 καὶ ἐγόγγυζον οἱ φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς αὐτῶν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ λέγοντες, διὰ τί μετὰ τῶν τελωνῶν καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν ἐσθίετε καὶ πίνετε; 31 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς, οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν οἱ ὑγιαίνοντες ἰατροῦ ἀλλὰ οἱ κακῶς ἔχοντες: 32 οὐκ ἐλήλυθα καλέσαι δικαίους ἀλλὰ ἁμαρτωλοὺς εἰς μετάνοιαν.
27. And after these things he went forth, and saw a Publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said to him, Follow me. 28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of Publicans and of others that sat down with them. 30. But their Scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do you eat and drink with Publicans and sinners? 31. And Jesus answering said to them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. 32. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Post paralyticum sanatum, de conversione publicani subiungit, dicens et post haec exiit et vidit publicanum nomine levi, sedentem ad telonium. Ipse est Matthaeus, qui et levi. AUG. After the healing of the sick of the palsy, St. Luke goes on to mention the conversion of a publican, saying, And after these things, he went forth, and saw a publican of the name of Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom. This is Matthew, also called Levi.
Beda: Sed Lucas et Marcus propter honorem Evangelistae, nomen tacent vulgatum; Matthaeus autem in sermonis principio accusator sui factus, Matthaeum se et publicanum nominat, ne quis a salute desperet pro immanitate peccatorum, cum ipse de publicano in apostolum sit mutatus. BEDE; Now Luke and Mark, for the honor of the Evangelist, are silent as to his common name, but Matthew is the first to accuse himself, and gives the name of Matthew and publican, that no one might despair of salvation because of the enormity of his sins, when he himself was changed from a publican to an Apostle.
Cyrillus: Publicanus enim fuerat levi, vir avarus, effrenis erga superflua, alieni amator, (hoc enim est publicanorum officium); sed ab ipsis officinis malitiae detrahitur, Christo eum vocante; unde sequitur et ait illi: sequere me. CYRIL; For Levi had been a publican, a rapacious man, of unbridled desires after vain things, a lover of other men’s goods, for this is the character of the publican, but snatched from the very worship of malice by Christ’s call. Hence it follows, And he said to him, Follow me.
Ambrosius: Sequi iubet, non corporis gressu, sed mentis affectu. Itaque ille verbo vocatus, propria dereliquit qui rapiebat aliena; unde sequitur et relictis omnibus, surgens secutus est eum. He bids him follow Him, not with bodily step, but with the soul’s affections. Matthew therefore, being called by the Word, left his own, who was wont to seize the things of others, as it follows, And having left all, he rose, and followed him.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Ubi et vocantis virtutem et vocati obedientiam considera. Neque enim obstitit, neque vacillavit; sed protinus paruit, nec in propriam domum ire voluit ut suis hoc intimaret, sicut nec piscatores. CHRYS. Here mark both the power of the caller, and the obedience of him that was called. For he neither resisted nor wavered, but forthwith obeyed; and like the fishermen, he did not even wish to go into his own house that he might tell it to his friends.
Basilius: Nec solum fenora telonii postposuit, sed etiam contempsit pericula quae sibi ac suis accidere poterant, dum calculos telonii dimitteret imperfectos. BASIL; He not only gave up the profits of the customs, but also despised the dangers which might occur to himself and his family from leaving the accounts of the receipts uncompleted.
Theophylactus: Et sic ab accipiente censum a transeuntibus, Christus censum accepit: non quidem eius accipiens pecuniam, sed totaliter eum transferens ad suum consortium. THEOPHYL. And so from him that received toll from the passers by, Christ received toll, not money, but entire devotion to His company.
Chrysostomus: Vocatum autem levi dominus honoravit, dum cum eo confestim epulatus est: hoc enim maiorem praestabat fiduciam; unde sequitur et fecit ei convivium magnum levi in domo sua. Nec solum cum eo discumbit, immo cum pluribus; unde sequitur et erat turba multa publicanorum et aliorum qui cum illis erant discumbentes. Convenerant enim publicani ad eum sicut ad collegam, et hominem eiusdem officii, sed et ipse glorians de praesentia Christi, convocavit omnes. Christus etiam quodlibet genus remedii exhibebat, et non solum disputando et praestando sanitatis remedia, vel etiam redarguendo aemulos, sed etiam comedendo, nonnullos errantium corrigebat; inde nos instruens quod quodlibet opus et tempus potest nobis utilitatem afferre. Sed nec publicanorum participationem vitavit propter utilitatem sequentem, more medici, qui nisi tangeret saniem, non liberaret a morbo. CHRYS. But the Lord honored Levi, whom He had called, by immediately going to his feast. For this testified the greater confidence in him. Hence it follows, And Levi made him a great feast in his own house. Nor did He sit down to meat with him alone, but with many, as it follows, And there was a great company of Publicans and others that sat down with them. For the publicans came to Levi as to their colleague, and a man in the same line with themselves, and he too glorying in the presence of Christ, called them all together. For Christ displayed every sort of remedy, and not only by discoursing and displaying cures, or even by rebuking the envious, but also by eating with them, He corrected the faults of some, thereby giving us a lesson, that every time and occasion brings with it its own profit. But He shunned not the company of Publicans, for the sake of the advantage that might ensue, like a physician, who unless he touch the afflicted part cannot cure the disease.
Ambrosius: Cum peccatoribus enim manducando, etiam cum gentibus non prohibet nos inire convivium. AMBROSE; For by His eating with sinners, He prevents not us also from going to a banquet with the Gentiles.
Chrysostomus: Sed tamen dominus inculpatus est inde a Pharisaeis invidentibus et volentibus a Christo discipulos separare; unde sequitur et murmurabant Pharisaei et Scribae dicentes ad discipulos eius: quare cum publicanis et peccatoribus manducatis et bibitis? CHRYS. But nevertheless the Lord was blamed by the Pharisees, who were envious, and wished to separate Christ and His disciples, as it follows, And the Pharisees murmured, saying, Why do you eat with Publicans, &c.
Ambrosius: Serpentina vox est: hanc primam vocem serpens emisit dicens Evae: quid dixit Deus: nolite manducare, et cetera? Ergo patris sui venena diffundunt. AMBROSE; This was the voice of the Devil. This was the first word the Serpent uttered to Eve, Yea has God said, You shall not eat. So they diffuse the poison of their father.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Videtur autem Lucas hoc aliquanto differentius ab aliis Evangelistis commemorasse: non enim dicit tantum domino obiectum esse quod cum publicanis et Pharisaeis manducaret et biberet, sed discipulis; quod de ipso ac de ipsis acciperetur. Propterea enim Matthaeus et Marcus de Christo discipulis obiectum narrant: quia quod discipuli cum publicanis et peccatoribus manducabant, magistro magis obiciebatur, quem sectando imitabantur. Una ergo sententia est, tanto melius insinuata quanto quibusdam verbis, manente veritate variata. AUG. Now St. Luke seems to have related this somewhat different from the other Evangelists. For he does not say that to our Lord alone it was objected that He eat and drank with publicans and sinners, but to the disciples also, that the charge might be understood both of Him and them. But the reason that Matthew and Mark related the objection as made concerning Christ to His disciples, was, that seeing the disciples ate with publicans and sinners, it was the rather objected to their Master as Him whom they followed and imitated; the meaning therefore is the same, vet so much the better conveyed, as while still keeping to the truth, it differs in certain words.
Chrysostomus: Ipse autem dominus in contrarium eorum sermonem convertit, ostendens non esse culpam cum peccatoribus conversari, sed etiam consonum misericordiae propriae; unde sequitur et respondens Iesus dixit ad illos: non egent medico qui sani sunt, sed qui male habent; in quo commonet eos communis infirmitatis, et de numero languentium eos esse ostendit; se vero medicum esse latenter subiungit non enim veni vocare iustos, sed peccatores. CHRYS. But our Lord c refutes all their charges, showing, that so far from its being a fault to mix with sinners, it is but a part of His merciful design, as it follows, And Jesus answering said to them, They that are whole need not a physician; in which He reminds them of their common infirmities, and shows them that they are of the number of the sick, but adds, He is the Physician. It follows, I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Quasi dicat: adeo peccatores non abominor, quod eorum tantum gratia veni, non ut maneant peccatores, sed ut convertantur, et boni fiant. As if He should say, So far am I from hating sinners, that for their sakes only I came, not that they should remain sinners, but be converted and become righteous.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Unde addit in poenitentiam, quod ad explanandam sententiam valet, ne quisquam peccatores ob hoc ipsum quod peccatores sunt, diligi arbitretur a Christo; cum et illa similitudo de aegrotis bene intimet quid velit Deus vocando peccatores, tamquam medicus aegrotos, ut ab iniquitate tamquam ab aegritudine salvi fiant. AUG. Hence He adds, to repentance, which serves well to explain the passage, that no one should suppose that sinners, because they are sinners, are loved by Christ, since that similitude of the sick plainly suggests what our Lord meant by calling sinners, as a Physician, the sick, in order that from iniquity as from sickness they should be saved.
Ambrosius: Sed quomodo dum iustitias dilexit, neque vidit David iustum derelictum, si iustus derelinquitur, peccator asciscitur? Nisi intelligas quod eos iustos dicit qui ex lege praesumant, et Evangelii gratiam non requirant. Nemo autem iustificatur ex lege, sed redimitur ex gratia. Non vocat ergo eos qui se iustos dicunt: usurpatores enim iustitiae non vocantur ad gratiam: nam si gratia est ex poenitentia, utique qui fastidit poenitentiam, abdicat gratiam. AMBROSE; But how does God love righteousness, and David has never seen the righteous man forsaken, if the righteous are excluded, the sinner called; unless you understand that at He meant by the righteous those who boast of the law, and seek not the grace of the Gospel. Now no one is justified by the law, but redeemed by grace. He therefore calls not those who call themselves righteous, for the claimers to righteousness are not called to grace. For if grace is from repentance, surely he who despises repentance renounces grace.
Beda: Peccatores autem vocat eos qui sua mala attendentes, nec per legem iustificari se posse putantes, Christi gratiae se poenitendo subiciunt. AMBROSE; But He calls those sinners, who considering their guilt, and feeling that they cannot be justified by the law, submit themselves by repentance to the grace of Christ.
Chrysostomus: Ironice autem dicit illos iustos, sicut quando dicitur: ecce Adam factus est quasi unus nostrum. Quod autem nullus erat iustus super terram, ostendit Paulus dicens: omnes peccaverunt et egent gratia Dei. CHRYS. Now He speaks of the righteous ironically, as when He says, Behold Adam is become as one of us. But that there was none righteous upon the earth St. Paul shows, saying, All have sinned, and need the grace of God.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Vel dicit non egere sanos et iustos medico, scilicet Angelos; sed male habentes et peccatores, idest nos: quia morbum peccati incurrimus, qui in caelis non est. GREG NYSS. Or, He means that the sound and righteous need no physician, i.e. the angels, but the corrupt and sinners, i. e. ourselves do; since we catch the disease of sin, which is not in heaven.
Beda: Per Matthaei autem electionem fides gentium exprimitur, qui prius mundanis inhiabant, sed nunc Christi corpus sedula devotione conficiunt. BEDE; Now by the election of Matthew is signified the faith of the Gentiles, who formerly gasped after worldly pleasures, but now refresh the body of Christ with zealous devotion.
Theophylactus: Vel publicanus est qui principi mundi servit, et debitum carni reddit; cui gulosus reddit escas, adulter voluptatem, et alius aliud. Cum autem viderit eum dominus sedentem in telonio, idest non moventem se ad maiorem nequitiam; tunc a malo erigetur et sequetur Iesum, et suscipiet in domo animae dominum. THEOPHYL. Or the publican is he who serves the prince of this world, and is debtor to the flesh, to which the glutton gives his food, the adulterer his pleasure, and another something else. But when the Lord saw him sitting at the receipt of custom, and not stirring himself to greater wickedness, He calls him that he might be snatched from the evil, and follow Jesus, and receive the Lord into the house of his soul.
Ambrosius: Qui autem domicilio Christum recipit interno, maximis delectationibus exuberantium pascitur voluptatum. Itaque libenter dominus ingreditur, et in eius recumbit affectu. Sed rursus accendit invidia perfidorum, et futurae poenae species praefiguratur: epulantibus enim fidelibus in regno caelorum, perfidia ieiuna torquebitur. AMBROSE; But he who receives Christ into his inner chamber, is fed with the greatest delights of overflowing pleasures. The Lord therefore willingly enters, and reposes in his affection; but again the envy of the treacherous is kindled, and the form of their future punishment is prefigured; for while all the faithful are feasting in the kingdom of heaven, the faithless will be cast out hungry.
Beda: Vel per hoc designatur Iudaeorum invidia, quae de gentium salute torquetur. Or, by this is denoted the envy of the Jews, who are afflicted at the salvation of the Gentiles.
Ambrosius: Simul etiam ostenditur quantum sit inter aemulos legis et gratiae: quod illi qui legem sequuntur, mentis famem patientur aeternam; qui vero verbum in interioribus animae receperunt, alimenti caelestis et fontis ubertate recreati, esurire et sitire non possunt. Et ideo, qui animo ieiunabant, murmurabant. AMBROSE; At the same time also is shown the difference between those who are zealous for the law and those who are for grace, that they who follow the law shall suffer eternal hunger of soul, while they who have received the word into the inmost soul, refreshed with abundance of heavenly meat and drink, can neither hunger nor thirst. And so they who fasted in soul murmured.

Lectio 7
33 οἱ δὲ εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτόν, οἱ μαθηταὶ ἰωάννου νηστεύουσιν πυκνὰ καὶ δεήσεις ποιοῦνται, ὁμοίως καὶ οἱ τῶν φαρισαίων, οἱ δὲ σοὶ ἐσθίουσιν καὶ πίνουσιν. 34 ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς, μὴ δύνασθε τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ νυμφῶνος ἐν ᾧ ὁ νυμφίος μετ' αὐτῶν ἐστιν ποιῆσαι νηστεῦσαι; 35 ἐλεύσονται δὲ ἡμέραι, καὶ ὅταν ἀπαρθῇ ἀπ' αὐτῶν ὁ νυμφίος τότε νηστεύσουσιν ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις. 36 ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ παραβολὴν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὅτι οὐδεὶς ἐπίβλημα ἀπὸ ἱματίου καινοῦ σχίσας ἐπιβάλλει ἐπὶ ἱμάτιον παλαιόν: εἰ δὲ μή γε, καὶ τὸ καινὸν σχίσει καὶ τῷ παλαιῷ οὐ συμφωνήσει τὸ ἐπίβλημα τὸ ἀπὸ τοῦ καινοῦ. 37 καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς: εἰ δὲ μή γε, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος ὁ νέος τοὺς ἀσκούς, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκχυθήσεται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπολοῦνται: 38 ἀλλὰ οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινοὺς βλητέον. 39 [καὶ] οὐδεὶς πιὼν παλαιὸν θέλει νέον: λέγει γάρ, ὁ παλαιὸς χρηστός ἐστιν.
33. And they said to him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but you eat and drink? 34. And he said to them, Can you make the children of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. 36. And he spoke also a parable to them; No man puts a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new makes a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agrees not with the old. 37. And no man puts new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. 38. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. 39. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desires new: for he said, The old is better.

Cyrillus: Postquam primum verbum acceperunt a Christo, ab aliis ad alia se transferunt, volentes ostendere sacros discipulos, et ipsum cum eis Iesum minime curasse de lege: unde dicitur at illi dixerunt ad eum: quare discipuli Ioannis ieiunant frequenter et observationes faciunt, similiter et Pharisaei; tui autem edunt et bibunt? Quasi dicant: comeditis cum publicanis et peccatoribus, cum iubeat lex immundo non communicare; sed in excusationem praevaricationis vobis accedit misericordia. Cur ergo non ieiunatis, ut mos est secundum legem volentibus vivere? Sed sancti quidem idcirco ieiunant ut corpus affligentes, quietent passiones ipsius; sed Christus non egebat ieiunio ad perfectionem virtutis, cum tamquam Deus absolutus esset a quolibet vinculo passionis; sed nec eius comitiva ieiunio egebat, sed particeps gratiae eius sine ieiunio decorata virtuose conversabatur. Quod si Christus quadraginta diebus ieiunaverat, non hoc fuit ut in se passionem mortificaret, sed ut normam abstinentiae ostendat carnalibus. CYRIL: As soon as they have received the first answer from Christ, they proceed from one thing to another, with the intent to show that the holy disciples, and Jesus Himself with them, cared very little for the law. Hence it follows, Why do the disciples of John fast, but you eat? As if they said, You eat with publicans and sinners, whereas the law forbids to have any fellowship with the unclean, but compassion comes in as an excuse for your transgression; why then do you not fast, as they are wont to do who ho wish to live according to the law? But holy men indeed fast, that by the mortification of their body they may quell its passions. Christ needed not fasting for the perfecting of virtue, since as God He was free from every yoke of passion. Nor again did His companions need fasting, but being made partakers of His grace without fasting they were ere strengthened in all holy and godly living. For when Christ fasted for forty days, it was not to mortify His passions, but to manifest to carnal men the rule of abstinence.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Evidenter autem Lucas alios de aliis hoc dixisse narravit; unde ergo Matthaeus dixit: tunc accesserunt ad eum discipuli Ioannis dicentes: quare nos et Pharisaei ieiunamus? Nisi quia et ipsi aderant, et omnes certatim ut quisque poterat hoc obiecerunt. AUG. Now Luke evidently relates that this was spoken not by men of themselves, but by others concerning them. How then does Matthew say, Then came to him the disciple of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast; unless that they themselves also came, and were all eager, as far as they were able, to put the question to Him?
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Est autem duplex ieiunium: unum in tribulatione ad propitiandum Deum in peccatis; aliud in gaudio, cum tanto minus delectant carnalia, quanto spiritualium maior sarcina est. Interrogatus ergo dominus cur discipuli eius non ieiunarent, de utroque ieiunio respondit: et primo de ieiunio tribulationis: sequitur enim quibus ipse ait: numquid potestis filios sponsi, dum cum illis est sponsus, facere ieiunare? AUG. Now there are two fasts, one is in tribulation, to propitiate God for our sins; another in joy, when as carnal things delight us less, we feed the more on things spiritual. The Lord therefore being asked why His disciples did not fast, answered as to each fast. And first of the fast of tribulation; for it follows, And he said to them, Can you make the children of the bridegroom fast when the bridegroom is with them?
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Quasi dicat: praesens tempus laetitiae est et alacritatis; non igitur immiscenda sunt tristia. CHRYS. As if He should say, The present time is one of joy and gladness, sorrow must not then be mixed up with it.
Cyrillus: Salvatoris enim nostri in hoc saeculo demonstratio nihil aliud fuit quam quaedam festivitas, intelligibiliter quasi quamdam sponsam copulans illi nostram naturam, ut quondam sterilis fecunda fieret. Igitur filii sponsi esse noscuntur quicumque vocati sunt ab eo per novam et evangelicam disciplinam; non autem Scribae cum Pharisaeis, qui solam legis umbram considerant. CYRIL; For the showing forth of our Savior in this world was nothing else but a great festival, spiritually uniting our nature to Him as His bride, that she who was formerly barren might become fruitful. The children of the Bridegroom then are found to be those who have been called by Him through a new and evangelical discipline, but not the Scribes and Pharisees, who observe only the shadow of the law.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Per hoc autem quod solus Lucas dicit non potestis filios sponsi facere ieiunare, intelligitur eos ipsos qui loquebantur, fuisse facturos ut lugentes ieiunarent filii sponsi, quando ipsi essent sponsum occisuri. AUG. Now this which Luke alone mentions, You cannot make the children of the bridegroom fast, is understood to refer to those very men who said that they would make the children of the Bridegroom mourn and fast, since they were about to kill the Bridegroom.
Cyrillus: Ubi vero concesserat filiis sponsi quod non decebat eos laborare, tamquam qui spiritualem solemnitatem habebant, ne inter nos annullaretur ieiunium, dispensative subiungit dicens venient autem dies cum ablatus fuerit ab eis sponsus; tunc ieiunabunt in illis diebus. CYRIL; Having granted to the children of the Bridegroom that it was not fitting that they should be troubled, as they were keeping a spiritual feast, but that fasting should be abolished among them, He adds as a direction, But the days shall come when the Bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Quasi dicat: tunc desolabuntur, et in moerore et luctu erunt, donec eis per spiritum sanctum gaudia consolatoria tribuantur. AUG. As if He said, Then shall they be desolate, and in sorrow and lamentation, until the joy of consolation shall be restored to them by the Holy Spirit.
Ambrosius: Vel aliter. Non hoc ieiunium relegatur quo conficitur caro, et corporis luxuria castigatur; hoc ieiunium nos commendat Deo. Sed non possumus ieiunare qui Christum habemus, et Christi carnem epulamur et sanguinem. AMBROSE; Or, That fast is not given up whereby the flesh is mortified, and the desires of the body chastened. (For this fast commends us to God.) But we cannot fast who have Christ, and banquet on the flesh and blood of Christ.
Basilius: Filii etiam sponsi ieiunare nequeunt, hoc est animae nutrimentum non sumere, sed vivere in omni verbo quod de ore Dei procedit. BASIL; The children of the Bridegroom also cannot fast, i.e. refuse nourishment to the soul, but live on every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God.
Ambrosius: Sed qui sunt illi dies quibus nobis Christus auferetur, cum ipse dixerit: vobiscum ero usque ad consummationem mundi? Sed nemo tibi Christum potest auferre, nisi te illi ipse auferas. AMBROSE; But when are those days, in which Christ shall be taken away from us, since He has said, I will be with you always, even to the end of the world? But no one can take Christ away from you, unless you take yourself away from Him.
Beda: Quamdiu enim sponsus nobiscum est, in laetitia sumus, nec ieiunare possumus nec lugere; cum autem per peccata ille recedit, tunc indicendum est ieiunium, et requirendus luctus. BEDE; For as long as the Bridegroom is with us we both rejoice, and can neither fast nor mourn. But when He has gone away through our sins, then a fast must be declared and mourning be enjoined.
Ambrosius: Denique de animi dictum est ieiunio, ut sequentia declarant; sequitur enim dicebat autem similitudinem ad illos, quod nemo commissuram, idest particulam ablatam, a vestimento novo immittit in vestimentum vetus. Appellavit ieiunium vestimentum vetus, quod exuendum apostolus aestimavit, dicens: spoliate vos veterem hominem cum actibus suis. In eadem igitur forma series convenit praeceptorum, ne actus veteris et novi hominis misceamus. AMBROSE; Lastly, it is spoken of the fast of the soul, as the context shows, for it follows, But be said, No man puts a piece of a new garment upon an old. He calls fasting an old garment, which the Apostle thought should be taken off, saying, Put off the old man with his deeds. In the same manner we have a series of precepts not to mix up the actions of the old and new man.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Vel aliter. Dono spiritus sancti percepto, genus etiam ieiunii quod fit per laetitiam iam renovati in vitam spiritualem convenientissime celebrant; quod antequam accipiant, dicit eos esse tamquam vetera vestimenta, quibus inconvenienter pannus novus assuitur, idest aliqua particula doctrinae quae ad novae vitae temperantiam pertinet: quia si hoc fiat, et ipsa doctrina quodammodo scinditur, quae docet generale ieiunium non a concupiscentia ciborum tantum, sed ab omni laetitia temporalium delectationum: cuius particulam quae ad cibos pertinet dicit non oportere hominibus adhuc veteri consuetudini deditis impartiri: quia et illic quasi concisio videtur fieri, et ipsi vetustati non convenit. Dicit etiam eos esse similes veteribus utribus; unde sequitur et nemo mittit vinum novum in utres veteres. AUG. Or else, The gift of the Holy Spirit being received, there is a kind of fast, which is of joy, which they who are already renewed to a spiritual life most seasonably celebrate. Before they receive this gift, He says they are as old garments, to which a new piece of cloth is most unsuitably sewed on, i.e. any part of the doctrine which relates to the soberness of the new life; for if this takes place, the very doctrine itself also is in a measure divided, for it teaches a general fast not from pleasant food only, but from all delight in temporal pleasures, the part of which that appertains to food He said ought not to be given to men still devoted to their old habits, for therein seems to be a rent, and it agrees not with the old. He says also, that they are like to old skins, as it follows, And no one puts wine into old skins.
Ambrosius: Fragilitas humanae conditionis aperitur, cum corpora nostra exuviis defunctorum animalium comparantur. AMBROSE; The weakness of man’s condition is exposed when our bodies are compared to the skins of dead animals.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Veteribus autem utribus comparantur apostoli, qui vino novo quasi spiritualibus praeceptis facilius disrumpuntur quam contineant; unde sequitur alioquin rumpit vinum novum utres, et ipsum effunditur et utres pereunt. Erunt autem novi utres, cum post ascensionem accepto desiderio consolationis eius, orando et sperando innovabuntur; unde sequitur sed novum vinum in utres novos mittendum est, et utraque conservantur. AUG. But the Apostles are compared to old skins, who are more easily burst with new wine, i.e. with spiritual precepts, than contain them. Hence it follows, Else the new wine will burst the skins, and the wine will be spilled. But they were new skins at that time, when after the ascension of the Lord they received the Holy Spirit, when from desire of His consolation they were renewed by prayer and hope. Hence it follows, But the new wine must be put into new bottles, and both are preserved.
Beda: Vino siquidem intus reficimur, veste autem foris tegimur. Vestis ergo sunt bona opera quae foris agimus, quibus coram hominibus lucemus; vinum fervor fidei, spei et caritatis. Aliter. Veteres utres sunt Scribae et Pharisaei; novus pannus et novum vinum praecepta Evangelii. BEDE; Inasmuch as wine refreshes us within, but garments cover us without, the garments are the good works which we do abroad, by which we shine before men; wine, the fervor of faith, hope, and charity. Or, The old skins are the Scribes and Pharisees, the new piece and the new wine the precepts of the Gospel.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Vinum enim de novo elicitum, propter fervorem naturalis humidi, fumosum est despumans naturali agitatione a se materialem immunditiam. Tale vinum, novum testamentum est, quod antiqui utres qui, propter incredulitatem inveterati sunt, non capiunt; immo scinduntur excellentia doctrinae, necnon et gratiam spiritus incassum fluere faciunt, quia in malevolam animam non introibit sapientia. GREG NYSS. For wine newly drawn forth, evaporates on account of the natural heat in the liquor, throwing off from itself the scum by natural action. Such wine is the new covenant, which the old skins because of their unbelief contain not, and are therefore burst by the excellence of the doctrine, and cause the grace of the Spirit to flow in vain; because into an evil soul wisdom will not enter.
Beda: Sed cuicumque animae nondum innovatae, sed in vetustate malitiae perseveranti, novorum mysteriorum sacramenta non debent committi. Qui etiam praeceptis evangelicis praecepta legis miscere volunt, ut Galatae, vinum novum in utres veteres mittunt. Sequitur et nemo bibens vetus, statim vult novum; dicit enim: vetus melius est: quia Iudaeis vitae veteris saliva imbutis, novae gratiae praecepta sordebant: quia maiorum traditionibus commaculati dulcedinem spiritualium verborum percipere non valebant. BEDE; But to every soul which is not yet renewed, but goes on still in the old way of wickedness, the sacraments of new mysteries ought not to be given. They also who wish to mix the precepts of the Law with the Gospel, as the Galatians did, put new wine into old bottles. It follows, No man also having drank old wine straightway desires new, for he said, the old is better. For the Jews, imbued with the taste of their old life, despised the precepts of the new grace, and being defiled with the traditions of their ancestors, were not able to perceive the sweetness of spiritual words.

Lectio 1
1 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν σαββάτῳ διαπορεύεσθαι αὐτὸν διὰ σπορίμων, καὶ ἔτιλλον οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἤσθιον τοὺς στάχυας ψώχοντες ταῖς χερσίν. 2 τινὲς δὲ τῶν φαρισαίων εἶπαν, τί ποιεῖτε ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν; 3 καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς πρὸς αὐτοὺς εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς, οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἀνέγνωτε ὃ ἐποίησεν δαυὶδ ὅτε ἐπείνασεν αὐτὸς καὶ οἱ μετ' αὐτοῦ [ὄντες]; 4 [ὡς] εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τοὺς ἄρτους τῆς προθέσεως λαβὼν ἔφαγεν καὶ ἔδωκεν τοῖς μετ' αὐτοῦ, οὓς οὐκ ἔξεστιν φαγεῖν εἰ μὴ μόνους τοὺς ἱερεῖς; 5 καὶ ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς, κύριός ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.
1. And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. 2. And certain of the Pharisees said to them, Why do you that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? 3. And Jesus answering them said, Have you not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him; 4. How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the show-bread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the Priests alone? 5. And he said to them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Ambrosius in Lucam: Non solum comprehensione verborum, sed etiam ipso usu specieque gestorum incipit hominem dominus veteris observatione legis exuere; unde dicitur factum est autem in sabbato secundo primo, cum transiret per sata, vellebant discipuli eius spicas et manducabant, confricantes eas manibus suis. AMBROSE; Not only in the form of expression but in His very practice and mode of action, did the Lord begin to absolve man from the observance of the old law. Hence it is said, And it came to pass that he went through the corn fields, &c.
Beda: Non habentes enim discipuli spatium manducandi propter importunitatem turbarum, esuriebant ut homines; sed vellentes spicas inediam consolabantur: quod est indicium austerioris vitae, non praeparatas escas, sed simplices quaerere cibos. BEDE; For His disciples having no opportunity for eating because the multitudes thronged so, were naturally hungry, but by plucking the ears of corn they relieved their hunger, which is a mark of a strict habit of life, not seeking for prepared meats, but mere simple food.
Theophylactus: Dicit autem in sabbato secundo primo: quia Iudaei omnem festivitatem sabbatum nuncupabant: requies enim dicitur sabbatum: multoties ergo contingebat in parasceve festivitas, et vocabant parascevem sabbatum propter festum; deinde principale sabbatum secundum primum dicebant, quasi secundum existens a praecedentis diei festivitate. THEOPHYL. Now He says, on the second sabbath after the first, because the Jews called every feast a sabbath. For sabbath means rest. Frequently therefore was there feasting at the preparation, and they called the preparation a sabbath because of the feast, and hence they gave to the principal sabbath the name of the second-first, as being the second in consequence of the festival of the day preceding.
Cyrillus: Duplex enim erat festum; et principalis festi et alterius solemnitatis sabbati. CHRYS. For there was a double feast; one on the principal sabbath, another on the next solemn day succeeding, which was also called a sabbath.
Isidorus: Vel dicit secundo primo quia secundum erat Pascha, primum autem azymorum; cum immolarent enim Pascha in sero, sequenti die festum azymorum celebrabant. Quod autem ita sit, patet ex hoc quod apostoli vellebant spicas, et manducabant: in illo namque tempore spicae flectuntur a fructu. ISIDORE PELEUS; He says, On the second-first, because it was the second day of the Passover, but the first of unleavened bread. Having killed the passover, on the very next day they kept the feast of unleavened bread. And it is plain that this was so from the fact, that the Apostles plucked ears of corn and ate them, for at that time the ears are weighed down by the fruit.
Epiphanius contra Haer: Die igitur sabbati visi sunt transeuntes per segetes, et spicas edebant, ostendentes quoniam dissolutum est vinculum sabbati, ubi magnum advenit sabbatum, hoc est Christus, qui fecit nos quiescere ab opere delictorum nostrorum. EPIPHAN. On the sabbath day then they were seen passing through the corn fields, and eating the corn, showing that the bonds of the sabbath were loosened, when the great Sabbath was come in Christ, Who made us to rest from the working of our iniquities.
Cyrillus: Pharisaei autem et Scribae ignari sacrarum Scripturarum, in unum conspiraverant, ad reprehendendum Christi discipulos; unde sequitur quidam autem Pharisaeorum dicebant illis: quid facitis quod non licet in sabbatis? Dic mihi tu: cum in sabbato tibi mensa proponitur, nonne frangis panem? Quid igitur alios reprehendis? CYRIL; But the Pharisees and Scribes not knowing the Holy Scriptures agreed together to find fault with Christ’s disciples, as it follows, And certain of the Pharisees said to them, Why do you, &c. Tell me now, when a table is set before you on the sabbath day; do you not break bread? Why then do you blame others?
Beda: Alii vero dicunt, ipsi domino haec fuisse obiecta; sed a diversis et ipsi domino et discipulis potuerunt obici; et cuicumque obiectum, ad ipsum maxime respicit. BEDE; But some say that these things were objected to our Lord Himself; they might indeed have been objected by different persons, both to our Lord Himself and His disciples, but to whomsoever the objection is made, it chiefly refers to Him.
Ambrosius: Dominus autem defensores legis arguit nescire quae legis sunt, exemplum inducens David; unde sequitur et respondens Iesus ad eos, dixit: nec hoc legistis quod fecit David, cum esurisset ipse et qui cum eo erant? AMBROSE; But the Lord proves the defenders of the law to be ignorant of what belongs to the law, bringing the example of David; as it follows, And Jesus answering said to them, Have you not read so much as this, &c.
Cyrillus: Quasi dicat: cum expresse dicat lex Moysi: iudicate iustum iudicium, nec considerabitis personam in iudicio; qualiter increpatis discipulos, qui usque in hodiernum diem extollitis David ut sanctum et prophetam, cum Moysi praeceptum non servaverit? CYRIL; As if He said, Whereas the law of Moses expressly says, Give a righteous judgment and you shall not respect persons in judgment, how now do you blame My disciples, who even to this day extol David as a saint and prophet, though he kept not the commandment of Moses?
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Et attende, quod quandocumque domino sit sermo pro servis, idest discipulis, servos ducit in medium, scilicet David et sacerdotes; quando vero pro se, introducit patrem, sicut ibi: pater meus usque modo operatur, et ego operor. CHRYS. And mark, that whenever the Lord speaks for His servants, (i.e. His disciples,) He brings forward servants, as for example David and the Priests; but when for Himself; He introduces His Father; as in that place, My Father works hitherto, and I work.
Theophylactus: Aliter autem eos reprimit cum subditur et dicebat illis, quia dominus est filius hominis etiam sabbati; quasi dicat: ego sum dominus sabbati tamquam dispositor, et sicut legislator potestatem habeo solvere sabbatum: filius enim hominis vocatus est Christus, qui Dei existens filius, miraculose dignatus est filius hominis propter homines fieri et vocari. THEOPHYL. But he reproves them in another way, as it is added, And he said to them, that the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. As if he said, I am the Lord of the sabbath, as being He who ordained it, and as the Legislator I have power to loose the sabbath; for Christ was called the Son of man, who being the Son of God yet condescended in a miraculous manner to be made and called for man’s sake the Son of man.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Marcus autem de communi natura hoc ipsum protulisse fatetur: dicebat enim: propter homines sabbatum factum est, non homo propter sabbatum. Expedit igitur potius sabbatum homini subici, quam hunc colla subicere sabbato. CHRYS. But Mark declares that He uttered this of our common nature, for He said, The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. It is therefore more fitting that the sabbath should be subject to man, than that man should bow his neck to the sabbath.
Ambrosius: Non mediocre autem mysterium hoc est. Ager enim est hic mundus; agri seges in satione humani generis fecunditas numerosa sanctorum; spicae agri fructus Ecclesiae, quos operibus discutientes suis apostoli pascebantur, nostro se alentes profectu, et tamquam folliculis corporum, mentium fructus ad fidei lucem praeclaris operum suorum miraculis eruebant. AMBROSE; But herein is a great mystery. For the field is the whole world, the corn is the abundant harvest of the saints in the seed of the human race, the ears of corn are the fruits of the Church, which the Apostles shaking off by their works fed upon, nourishing themselves with our increase, and by their mighty miracles, as it were out of the bodily husks, plucking forth the fruits of the mind to the light of faith.
Beda: Spicas enim confricant: quia in illis quos in corpus Christi volunt traicere, mortificant veterem hominem cum actibus suis, a terrena intentione extrahendo. BEDE; For they bruise the ears in their hands, because when they wish to bring others over into the body of Christ, they mortify their old man with its acts drawing them away from worldly thoughts.
Ambrosius: Sed hoc putabant Iudaei sabbato non licere; Christus autem novae gratiae munere designabat otium legis opus gratiae: mire tamen secundo primum, non primo secundum sabbatum dixit: quia sabbatum illud ex lege solutum est quod erat primum; et hoc primum factum est quod secundo constitutum est. Sabbatum igitur dicitur secundum iuxta numerum, primum iuxta operationis gratiam: melius est enim sabbatum quo impunitas datur, quam quo poena praescribitur. Aut hoc forte primum est in praedestinatione consilii, et secundum in sanctione decreti. Deinde quod David cum sociis fugit, hic praefiguratus in lege Christus est, qui cum apostolis principem mundi lateret. Quomodo autem ille observator legis atque defensor panes et ipse manducavit, et dedit his qui secum erant, quos non licebat manducare nisi sacerdotibus; nisi ut per illam demonstraret figuram, sacerdotalem cibum ad usum transire populorum; sive quod omnes vitam sacerdotalem debemus imitari; sive quod omnes filii Ecclesiae sacerdotes sunt? Ungimur enim in sacerdotium sanctum, offerentes nosmetipsos Deo hostias spirituales. Si autem sabbatum propter homines factum est; utilitas autem hominum postulabat esurientem hominem, qui diu fuerit terrae fructibus abdicatus, veteris famis vitare ieiunia: non utique lex solvitur, sed impletur. AMBROSE; Now the Jews thought this unlawful on the Sabbath, but Christ by the gift of new grace represented hereby the rest of the law, the work of grace. Wonderfully has He called it the second-first sabbath, not the first-second, because that was loosed from the law which was first, and this is made first which was ordained second. It is therefore called the second sabbath according to number, the first according to the grace of the wolf. For that sabbath is better where there is no penalty, than that where there is a penalty prescribed. Or this perhaps was first in the foreknowledge of wisdom, and second in the sanction of the ordinance. Now in David escaping with his companions, there was a foreshadowing of Christ in the law, who with His Apostles escaped the prince of the world. But how was it that the Observer and Defender of the law Himself both eat the bread, and gave it to those that were with Him, which no one was allowed to eat but the priests, except that He might show by that figure that the priests’ bread was to come over to the use of the people, or that we ought to imitate the priests’ life, or that all the children of the Church are priests, for we are anointed into a holy priesthood, offering ourselves a spiritual sacrifice to God. But if the sabbath was made for men, and the benefit of men required that a man when hungry (having been long without the fruits of the earth) should forsake the abstinence of the old fast, the law is surely not broken but fulfilled.

Lectio 2
6 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ἑτέρῳ σαββάτῳ εἰσελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν καὶ διδάσκειν: καὶ ἦν ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖ καὶ ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ ἡ δεξιὰ ἦν ξηρά: 7 παρετηροῦντο δὲ αὐτὸν οἱ γραμματεῖς καὶ οἱ φαρισαῖοι εἰ ἐν τῷ σαββάτῳ θεραπεύει, ἵνα εὕρωσιν κατηγορεῖν αὐτοῦ. 8 αὐτὸς δὲ ᾔδει τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς αὐτῶν, εἶπεν δὲ τῷ ἀνδρὶ τῷ ξηρὰν ἔχοντι τὴν χεῖρα, ἔγειρε καὶ στῆθι εἰς τὸ μέσον: καὶ ἀναστὰς ἔστη. 9 εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς πρὸς αὐτούς, ἐπερωτῶ ὑμᾶς, εἰ ἔξεστιν τῷ σαββάτῳ ἀγαθοποιῆσαι ἢ κακοποιῆσαι, ψυχὴν σῶσαι ἢ ἀπολέσαι; 10 καὶ περιβλεψάμενος πάντας αὐτοὺς εἶπεν αὐτῷ, ἔκτεινον τὴν χεῖρά σου. ὁ δὲ ἐποίησεν, καὶ ἀπεκατεστάθη ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ. 11 αὐτοὶ δὲ ἐπλήσθησαν ἀνοίας, καὶ διελάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους τί ἂν ποιήσαιεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ.
6. And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. 7. And the Scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. 8. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. 9. Then said Jesus to them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? 10. And looking round about upon them all, he said to the man, Stretch forth your hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. 11. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

Ambrosius: Hic ad alia progreditur dominus; nam qui totum hominem salvum facere disposuerat, per singula membra curabat; unde dicitur factum est autem in alio sabbato ut intraret in synagogam, et doceret. AMBROSE; The Lord now proceeds to another work. For He who had determined to make the whole man safe, was able to cure each member. Hence it is said, And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught.
Beda: Sabbatis maxime curat et docet, non solum propter insinuandum spirituale sabbatum, sed etiam propter celebriorem populi conventum. BEDE; He chiefly heals and teaches on the sabbaths, not only to convey the meaning of a spiritual sabbath, but because of the more numerous assembly of the people.
Cyrillus: Docebat autem revera transcendentia intellectum, et quae salutis futurae per eum reserabant audientibus semitam; deinde, praecedente doctrina, subito divinam ostendebat virtutem; unde sequitur et erat ibi homo, et manus eius dextera arida. CYRIL; But He taught things far beyond their comprehension, and opened to his hearers the way to future salvation by Him; and then after having first taught them, He suddenly showed His divine power, as it follows, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
Beda: Quia vero destructionem sabbati quam in discipulis arguebant, probabili magister excusaverat exemplo, nunc ipsum observando magistrum calumniari volunt; unde sequitur observabant autem Scribae et Pharisaei si in sabbato curaret; ut scilicet si non curet, crudelitatis vel imbecillitatis; si curet, transgressionis vitio arguant; unde sequitur ut invenirent unde accusarent eum. BEDE; But since the Master had excused by an undeniable example the breach of the sabbath, with which they charged His disciples, their object is now by watching to bring a false accusation against the Master Himself. As it follows, And the Scribes and Pharisees watched him, if he would heal on the sabbath, that if He did not, they might accuse Him of cruelty or impotence; if He did, of violation of the sabbath. Hence it follows, that they might find an accusation against him.
Cyrillus: Hic enim est mos adversarii: pascit in se doloris morbum aliorum praeconiis. Sed dominus novit omnia, et corda rimatur; unde sequitur ipse autem sciebat cogitationes eorum et ait homini qui habebat manum aridam: surge et sta in medio. Et surgens stetit; ut forsan incitaret ad pietatem crudelem Pharisaeum, et ipsa passio flammas mitigaret livoris. CYRIL; For this is the way of the envious man, he feeds in himself his pang of grief with the praises of others. But the Lord knew all things, and searches the hearts; as it follows, But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand. And he arose, and stood forth, that perchance he might stir up the cruel Pharisees to pity, and allay the flames of their passion.
Beda: Praeveniens autem dominus calumniam quam sibi praeparabant, arguit eos qui praecepta legis male interpretando etiam a bonis operibus sabbato aestimabant feriandum, cum lex a servili opere, idest a malis, abstinere praecipiat in sabbato; unde sequitur ait autem ad illos Iesus: interrogo vos, si licet sabbato bene facere an male? BEDE; But the Lord anticipating the false charge which they were preparing against Him, reproves those who by wrongly interpreting the law thought that they must rest on the sabbath-day even from good works; whereas the law commands us to abstain from servile works, i.e. from evil, on the sabbath. Hence it follows, Then said Jesus to them, I ask you, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath, &c.
Cyrillus: Nimis est idonea quaestio: nam si licet in sabbato bene facere, nec aliquid obstat ut laborantes a Deo misericordiam consequantur, desinas colligere adversus Christum calumniam: si autem non licet in sabbato benefacere, et lex prohibet animarum salutem, factus es legis accusator. Ipsam quoque sabbati sanctionem si velimus discutere, ad opus pietatis introductum fuisse reperiemus. Iussit enim in sabbato feriari: ut quiescat puer tuus et ancilla tua, bos tuus et quodlibet pecus tuum. Qui vero bovis miseretur et ceterorum pecorum, quomodo non miserebitur hominis gravi morbo perplexi? CYRIL; This is a very useful question, for if it is lawful to do good on the sabbath, and there is no reason why those who work should not obtain mercy from God, cease to gather up accusation against Christ. But if it be not lawful to do good on the sabbath, and the law prohibits the safety of life, you are become the accuser of the law. For if we examine the very institution of the sabbath, we shall find it was introduced for an object of mercy, for God commanded to keep holy the sabbath, that may rest your man servant and your maid servant, and all your cattle. But he who has mercy on his ox, and the rest of his cattle, how much rather will he not have mercy on man troubled with a severe disease?
Ambrosius: Lex autem in praesentibus formam praefiguravit futurorum; in quibus utique malorum feriae sunt, non bonorum: nam licet saecularia opera conquiescant, non otiosus tamen boni operis actus est, in Dei laudes requiescere. AMBROSE; But the law by things present prefigured the form of things future, among which surely the days of rest to come are to be not from good works but from evil. For although secular works may be given up, yet it is no idle act of a good work to rest in the praise of God.
Augustinus de quaest. Evang: Cum autem dominus corpus curaverit, sic interrogavit: animam salvam facere, an perdere? Vel quia illa miracula propter fidem faciebat, ubi salus est animae; vel quia ipsa sanatio manus dexterae salutem animae significabat, quae a bonis operibus cessans, aridam quodammodo dexteram habere videbatur; vel animam pro homine posuit, sicut dici solet: tot animae ibi fuerunt. AUG. But though our Lord was healing the body, He asked this question, “is it lawful to save the soul or to lose it?” either because He performed His miracles on account of faith in which is the salvation of the soul; or, because the cure of the right hand signified the salvation of the soul, which ceasing to do good works, seemed in some measure to have a withered right hand, i.e. He placed the soul for the man, as men are wont to say, “So many souls were there.”
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: Sed potest movere quomodo Matthaeus dixerit quod ipsi interrogaverunt dominum, si licet curare sabbato; cum Lucas hic illos potius a domino interrogatos esse perhibeat. Itaque intelligendum est, quod illi prius interrogaverunt dominum, si licet sabbato curare. Deinde intelligens cogitationes eorum, aditum accusandi quaerentium, constituit in medio eum quem fuerat sanaturus, et interrogavit quae Marcus et Lucas eum interrogasse commemorant. Sequitur et circumspectis omnibus. AUG. But it may be questioned how Matthew came to say, that they asked the Lord, whether it was lawful to heal on the sabbath, when Luke in this place states that they rather were asked of the Lord. We must therefore believe that they first asked the Lord, and that then He understanding by their thoughts that they sought an opportunity to accuse Him, placed the man in the midst whom He was going to heal, and asked the question which Mark and Luke relate Him to have asked. It follows, And looking round about upon them all.
Titus: Quasi collectis omnium oculis, quin etiam incitata mente eorum ad considerationem negotii, dixit homini: extende manum tuam: ego tibi mando qui creavi hominem. Audit autem qui laesam habebat manum, et sanus fit; unde sequitur et extendit, et restituta est sanitati manus eius. Quos autem oportebat in miraculo stupere, augent malitiam; unde sequitur ipsi autem repleti sunt insipientia, et colloquebantur ad invicem, quidnam facerent de Iesu. TITUS BOST. When the eyes of all were, as it were riveted together, and their minds also fixed upon the consideration of the matter, he said to the man, Stretch forth your hand; I command you, Who created man. But he who had the withered hand hears, and is made whole hole, as it follows, And be stretched it, and it was restored. But they who should have been astonished at the miracle, increased in malice; as it follows, But they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they should do to Jesus.
Origenes: Et, ut narrat Matthaeus, exeunt et consiliantur, ut occidant eum. CHRYS. And as Matthew relates, they go out to take counsel, that they should kill him.
Cyrillus: Cernis, o Pharisaee, operantem divina, ac superna maiestate liberantem languentes, et mortem portas ex livore. CYRIL; You perceive, O Pharisee, a divine Worker, and Him Who delivers the sick by His heavenly power, and out of envy you breath forth death.
Beda: Homo autem iste humanum genus significat infecunditate boni operis arefactum pro manu in primo parente ad pomum extensa, quam sanavit innocens manus in cruce extensa. Et bene manus in synagoga erat arida; quia ubi maius donum scientiae, ibi transgressor maiori subiacet culpae. BEDE; The man represents the human race, withered by the unfruitfulness of good works, because of the hand in our first parent stretched forth to take the apple, which was healed by the innocent hand stretched forth on the cross. And rightly was the withered hand in the synagogue, because where there is the greater gift of knowledge, there the transgressor lies under the greater blame.
Ambrosius: Audisti igitur verba dicentis extende manum tuam. Communis ista generalisque medicina est: et tu qui putas manum habere te sanam, cave ne avaritia vel sacrilegio contrahatur. Extende saepius eam, ut proximum iuves, ut viduae praesidium feras, eripias iniuriae quem vides iniuste contumeliae subiacere; extende ad pauperem, qui te obsecrat; extende ad dominum pro peccatis tuis: sic manus extenditur, sic manus sanatur. AMBROSE; You have heard then the words of Him who says, Stretch forth your hand. That is a frequent and common cure, and you that think your hand is whole, beware lest it be contracted by avarice or sacrilege. Stretch it forth oftener to help your neighbor, to protect the widow, to save from injury him whom you see the victim of unjust attack; stretch it forth to the poor man who beseeches you; stretch it forth to the Lord, to ask pardon of your sins; as the hand is stretched forth so is it healed.

Lectio 3
12 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ταύταις ἐξελθεῖν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι, καὶ ἦν διανυκτερεύων ἐν τῇ προσευχῇ τοῦ θεοῦ. 13 καὶ ὅτε ἐγένετο ἡμέρα, προσεφώνησεν τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐκλεξάμενος ἀπ' αὐτῶν δώδεκα, οὓς καὶ ἀποστόλους ὠνόμασεν, 14 σίμωνα, ὃν καὶ ὠνόμασεν πέτρον, καὶ ἀνδρέαν τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἰάκωβον καὶ ἰωάννην καὶ φίλιππον καὶ βαρθολομαῖον 15 καὶ μαθθαῖον καὶ θωμᾶν καὶ ἰάκωβον ἁλφαίου καὶ σίμωνα τὸν καλούμενον ζηλωτὴν 16 καὶ Ἰούδαν Ἰακώβου καὶ Ἰούδαν ἰσκαριώθ, ὃς ἐγένετο προδότης.
12. And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13. And when it was day, he called to him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 14. Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 15. Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 16. And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

Glossa: Insurgentibus adversarii contra Christi miracula et doctrinam, apostolos elegit quasi defensores veritatis et testes: quorum electioni orationem praemittit; unde dicitur factum est autem in illis diebus, exiit in montem orare. GLOSS. When adversaries rose up against the miracles and teaching of Christ, He chose Apostles as defenders and witnesses of the truth, and prefaces their election with prayer; as it is said, And it came to pass, &c.
Ambrosius: Noli insidiatrices aperire aures, ut putes filium Dei quasi infirmum rogare, ut impetret quod implere non possit: potestatis enim auctor, obedientiae magister, ad praecepta virtutis suo nos informat exemplo. AMBROSE; Let not your ears be open to deceit, that you should think that the Son of God prays from want of strength, that He may obtain what He could not perform; for being Himself the Author of power, the Master of obedience, He leads us by His own example to the precepts of virtue.
Cyrillus: Scrutemur igitur in his quae Christus egit, qualiter nos doceat orationibus divinis insistere, semotim scilicet et secreto, nemine vidente, amota quoque mundana sollicitudine, ut sursum ad divinae speculationis intuitum erigatur intentio: quod designatur in hoc quod semotim orabat Iesus in montem. CYRIL; Let us examine then in the actions which Jesus did, how He teaches us to be instant in prayer to God, going apart by ourselves, and in secret, no one seeing us; putting aside also our worldly cares, that the mind may be raised up to the height of divine contemplation and this we have marked in the fact, act, that Jesus went into a mountain apart to pray.
Ambrosius: Ubique etiam solus obsecrat: Dei enim consilium humana vota non capiunt; nec quisquam interiorum potest esse particeps Christi. Non autem omnis qui orat, ascendit in montem, sed qui orat a terrenis ad superiora progrediens; sed non ille qui de saeculi divitiis aut de honore sollicitus est. Omnes sublimes in montem ascendunt: quare in Evangelio invenies solos in montem cum domino ascendisse discipulos. Species autem tibi, Christiane, datur; forma praescribitur quam debeas aemulari, cum sequitur et erat pernoctans in oratione Dei. Quid enim te pro salute tua facere oportet, quando pro te Christus in oratione pernoctat? AMBROSE; Every where also He prays alone, for human wishes comprehend not the wisdom of God; and no one can be a partaker of the secrets of Christ. But not every one who prays ascends a mountain, he only who prays advancing from earthly things to higher, who is not anxious for the riches or honors of the world. All whose minds are raised above the world ascend the mountain. In the Gospel therefore you will find, that the disciples alone ascend the mountain with the Lord. But you, O Christian, have now the character given, the form prescribed which you should imitate; as it follows, And he continued all night in prayer to God. For what ought you to do for your salvation, when Christ continues all night in prayer for you?
Chrysostomus: Exurge igitur et tu tempore noctis. Purior est enim tunc temporis anima; ipsae tenebrae, silentium nimium possunt sufficienter ad compunctionem perducere. Ceterum si ipsum quoque caelum inspicias punctatum stellis, quasi infinitis luminibus; si consideres quod qui per diem saltant iniurianturque, hi tunc nihil, a mortuis discrepant; detestaberis quemlibet ausum humanum. Haec omnia sufficiunt ad animam erigendam: tunc non vexat inanis gloria, non acedia, non concitatio occupat; non sic ignis ferri sequestrat rubiginem, velut nocturna oratio aeruginem peccatorum. Quem de die solis aestus perussit, nocte refrigeratur. Quemlibet rorem superant nocturnae lacrymae; et contra concupiscentiam valent, et quemlibet timorem. Si vero praedicto rore non foveatur, homo arescit sub die. Quapropter licet non multum ores, semel ora vigilando, et sufficit: ostende quod non solum ad corpus nox pertinet, sed etiam ad animam. CHRYS. Rise then you also at night time. The soul is then purer, the very darkness and great silence are in themselves enough to lead us to sorrow for our sins. But if you look upon the heaven itself studded with stars as with unnumbered eyes, if you think that they who wanton and do unjustly in day time are then nothing different from the dead, you will loathe all human undertakings. All these things serve to raise the mind. Vain-glory then disquiets not, no tumult of passion has the mastery; fire does not so destroy the rust of iron as nightly prayer the blight of sin. He whom the heat of the sun has fevered by day is refreshed by tile dew; nightly tears are better than any dew, and are proof against desire and fear. But if a man is not cherished by the dew we speak of, he withers in the day. Wherefore although you pray not much at night, pray once with watching, and it is enough; show that the night belongs not only to the body, but to the soul.
Ambrosius: Quid autem te facere convenit cum vis aliquod officium pietatis adoriri, quando Christus missurus apostolos prius oravit? Sequitur enim et cum dies factus esset, vocavit discipulos suos, et elegit duodecim ex ipsis, quos et apostolos nominavit; quos scilicet ad propagandum auxilium salutis humanae per terrarum orbem satores fidei destinavit. Simul adverte caeleste consilium: non sapientes aliquos, non divites, non nobiles, sed piscatores et publicanos, quos dirigeret, elegit; ne divitiis aut potentiae nobilitatisque auctoritate traxisse aliquos ad suam gratiam videretur; ut veritatis ratio, non disputationis gratia praevaleret. AMBROSE; But what does it become you to do when you would commence any work of piety, when Christ, about to send out His disciples, first prayed? for it follows, And when it was day, he called his disciples, &c. whom truly He destined to be the means of spreading the salvation of man through the world. Turn your eyes also to the heavenly council. Not the wise men, not the rich, not the noble, but He chose to send out fishermen and publicans, that they might not seem to turn men to their grace by riches or by the influence of power and rank, and that the force of truth, not the graces of oratory, might prevail.
Cyrillus: Attende autem maximam Evangelistae sedulitatem; non solum dicit electos fuisse sacros apostolos, immo nominatim eos enumerat, ne quisquam audeat alios inscribere apostolorum catalogo. Simonem quem cognominavit Petrum, et Andream fratrem eius. CYRIL; But mark the great carefulness of the. Evangelist. He not only says that the holy Apostles were chosen, but he enumerates them by name, that no one should dare to insert any others in the catalogue; Simon, whom he also called Peter, and Andrew his brother.
Beda: Non modo primum eum cognominavit, sed longe prius; cum ab Andrea adducto dicitur: tu vocaberis Cephas, quod interpretatur Petrus. Sed volens Lucas nomina apostolorum enumerare, cum necesse haberet Petrum dicere, breviter voluit innuere quod non hoc antea cognominaretur, sed ita dominus cognominaverit. BEDE; He not only surnamed Peter first, but long before this, when he was brought by Andrew, it is said, You shall be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone. But Luke, wishing to mention the names of the disciples, since it was necessary to call him Peter, wished shortly to imply that this was not his name before, but the Lord had given it to him.
Eusebius: Secunda autem combinatio est Iacobi et Ioannis; unde sequitur Iacobum et Ioannem; ambos scilicet filios Zebedaei, qui etiam piscatores fuerunt. Post hos autem dicit Philippum et Bartholomaeum. Philippum dicit Ioannes fuisse de Bethsaida, concivem Andreae et Petri; ipse quoque Bartholomaeus, vir simplex et expers scientiae mundanae et amaritudinis. Matthaeus vero ex his qui prius census exigebant vocatus est, de quo subdit Matthaeum et Thomam. EUSEBIUS. The two next are James and John, as it follows, James and John, both indeed sons of Zebedee, who were also fishermen. After them he mentions Philip and Bartholomew. John says Philip was of Bethsaida, of the city of Andrew and Peter. Bartholomew was a simple man, devoid of all worldly knowledge and guile. But Matthew was called from those who used to collect taxes; concerning whom he adds Matthew and Thomas.
Beda: Matthaeus compari suo Thomae in ordine, humilitatis causa se supponit, cum a ceteris Evangelistis praelatus sit. Sequitur Iacobum Alphaei et Simonem, qui vocatur Zelotes. BEDE; Matthew places himself after his fellow-disciple Thomas, from humility, whereas by the other Evangelists he is put before him. It follows, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who is called Zelotes.
Glossa: Quia scilicet fuit de Cana Galilaeae, qui interpretatur zelus, quod additur ad differentiam Simonis Petri. Sequitur Iudam Iacobi, et Iudam Iscariotem qui fuit proditor. GLOSS. Because in truth he was of Cana in Galilee, which is interpreted zeal; and this is added to distinguish him from Simon Peter. It follows, Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang: In nomine Iudae Iacobi Lucas videtur discrepare a Matthaeo, qui eum Thaddaeum appellat. Sed quis unquam prohibuit duobus vel tribus nominibus unum hominem vocari? Eligitur autem Iudas proditor, non per imprudentiam, sed per providentiam: susceperat quidem hominis fragilitatem, et ideo nec has partes recusavit infirmitatis humanae: voluit ab apostolo suo tradi, ut tu a socio proditus moderate feras, tuum errasse iudicium, periisse beneficium. AUG. With respect to the name of Judas the brother of James, Luke seems to differ from Matthew, who calls him Thaddaeus. But what prevented a man from being called by two or three names? Judas the traitor is chosen, not unwittingly but knowingly, for Christ had indeed taken to Himself the weakness of man, and therefore refused not even this share of human infirmity. He was willing to be betrayed by His own Apostle, that you when betrayed by your friend may bear calmly your mistaken judgment, your kindness thrown away.
Beda: Mystice autem mons in quo apostolos elegit, altitudinem designat iustitiae, qua instituendi erant, et eam praedicaturi: sic et lex in monte data fuit. BEDE; But in a mystical sense the mountain on which our Lord chose His disciples represents the loftiness of justice in which they were to be instructed, and which they were to preach to others; so also the law was given on a mountain.
Cyrillus: Quod si libet interpretationem apostolicorum nominum scire, scito quia Petrus dicitur dissolvens vel agnoscens; Andreas decora potentia vel respondens; Iacobus autem supplantator doloris; Ioannes domini gratia; Matthaeus donatus; Philippus os magnum vel orificium lampadis; Bartholomaeus filius aquas suspendentis; Thomas abyssus, vel geminus; Iacobus Alphaei supplantator gressus vitae; Iudas confessio, et Simon obedientia. CYRIL; But if we may learn the interpretation of the Apostles’ names, know that Peter means, “loosening or knowing;” Andrew “glorious power,” or “answering;” James, “apostle of grief;” John, “the grace of the Lord;” Matthew, “given;” Philip, “large mouth,” or the “orifice of a torch;” Bartholomew, “the son of him who lets down water;” Thomas, “deep or twill;” James the son of Alphaeus, “supplanter of the step of life;” Judas, “confession;” Simon, “obedience.”

Lectio 4
17 καὶ καταβὰς μετ' αὐτῶν ἔστη ἐπὶ τόπου πεδινοῦ, καὶ ὄχλος πολὺς μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ, καὶ πλῆθος πολὺ τοῦ λαοῦ ἀπὸ πάσης τῆς ἰουδαίας καὶ ἰερουσαλὴμ καὶ τῆς παραλίου τύρου καὶ σιδῶνος, 18 οἳ ἦλθον ἀκοῦσαι αὐτοῦ καὶ ἰαθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν νόσων αὐτῶν: καὶ οἱ ἐνοχλούμενοι ἀπὸ πνευμάτων ἀκαθάρτων ἐθεραπεύοντο. 19 καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἐζήτουν ἅπτεσθαι αὐτοῦ, ὅτι δύναμις παρ' αὐτοῦ ἐξήρχετο καὶ ἰᾶτο πάντας.
17. And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judea, and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases, 18. And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. 19. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.

Cyrillus: Celebrata ordinatione apostolorum, pluribus congregatis et de regione Iudaeorum, nec non a maritima Tyri et Sidonis, qui erant idololatrae, constituit eos totius orbis doctores, utpote qui evocarent Iudaeos a legis servitute cultores autem Daemonum ab errore gentili ad veritatis cognitionem; unde dicitur et descendens de monte cum illis, stetit in loco campestri, et turba discipulorum eius, et multitudo copiosa plebis ab omni Iudaea et Ierusalem et maritima. CYRIL; When the ordination of the Apostles was accomplished, and great numbers were collected together from the country of Judea, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, (who were idolaters,) he gave the Apostles their commission to be the teachers of the whole world, that they might recall the Jews from the bondage of the law, but the worshipers of devils from their Gentile errors to the knowledge of the truth. Hence it is said, And be came down with them, and stood in the plain, and a great multitude from Judea, and the sea coast, &c.
Beda: Non a proximo mari Galilaeae maritima dicit, quia hoc non miraculi loco poneretur; sed a mari magno cognominatur, in quo etiam Tyrus et Sidon comprehendi poterant; de quibus sequitur et Tyri et Sidonis; quae quia civitates gentium sunt, consulto nominatim ponuntur, ut quanta sit fama virtusque salvatoris intimetur, quae exteras etiam ad sanitatem doctrinamque capessendam civitates accersierat; unde sequitur qui venerant ut audirent eum. BEDE; By the sea coast he does not refer to the neighboring sea of Galilee, because this would not be accounted wonderful, but it is so called from the great sea, and therein also Tyre and Sidon may be comprehended, of which it follows, Both of Tyre and Sidon. And these states being Gentile, are purposely named here, to indicate how great was the fame and power of the Savior which had brought even the citizens of the coast to receive His healing and teaching. Hence it follows, Which came to hear him.
Theophylactus: Hoc est ad animarum medelam; et sanarentur a languoribus suis, hoc est ad medelam eorum corporum. THEOPHYL. That is, for the cure of their souls; and that they might be healed of their diseases, that is, for the cure of their bodies.
Cyrillus: Postquam autem sacros publicavit apostolos, plurima et ardua fecit miracula: ut qui convenerant Iudaei et gentiles, scirent eos decoratos esse a Christo dignitate apostolatus; et quod ipse non erat sicut unus aliorum hominum, magis autem Deus, ut verbum incarnatum; unde sequitur et omnis turba quaerebat eum tangere, quia virtus de illo exibat et sanabat omnes. Neque enim alienam virtutem accipiebat Christus: sed cum naturaliter esset Deus, propriam virtutem super infirmos emittens sanabat omnes. CYRIL; But after that the High Priest had made publicly known His choice of Apostles, He did many and great miracles, that the Jews and Gentiles who had assembled might know that these were ere invested by Christ with the dignity of the Apostleship, and that He Himself was not as another man, but rather was God, as being the Incarnate Word. Hence it follows, And, the whole multitude sought to touch him, for there went virtue out of him. For Christ did not receive virtue from others, but since He was as by nature God oaf, sending out His own virtue upon the sick, He healed them all.
Ambrosius: Adverte autem omnia diligenter, quomodo et cum apostolis ascendat, ac descendat ad turbas; quomodo eum turba non sequitur ad excelsa; denique ubi descendit, invenit infirmos: in excelsis enim infirmi esse non possunt. AMBROSE; But observe all things carefully, how He both ascends with His Apostles and descends to the multitude; for how could the multitude see Christ but in a lowly place. It follows him not to the lofty places, it ascends not the heights. Lastly, when He descends, He finds the sick, for in the high places there can be no sick.
Beda: Raro hoc quoque uspiam vel turbas dominum ad altiora sequi, vel quempiam debilem invenies in monte curari; sed extincta febre libidinum, accensaque scientiae luce, pedetentim quemquam ad culmen subire virtutum. Turba autem quae dominum tangere potuit, spiritus illius virtute sanatur ut supra leprosus domino tangente mundatur. Tactus ergo salvatoris opus est salutis, quem tangere est fideliter in eum credere a quo tangi est eius munere sanari. BEDE; You will scarcely find any where that the multitudes follow our Lord to the higher places, or that a sick person is healed on a mountain; but having quenched the fever of lust and lit the torch of knowledge each man approaches by degrees to the height of the virtues. But the multitudes which were able to touch the Lord are healed by the virtue of that touch, as formerly the leper is cleansed when our Lord touched him. The touch of the Savior then is the work of salvation, whom to touch is to believe on Him, to be touched is to be healed by His precious gifts.

Lectio 5
20 καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἔλεγεν, μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί, ὅτι ὑμετέρα ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ. 21 μακάριοι οἱ πεινῶντες νῦν, ὅτι χορτασθήσεσθε. μακάριοι οἱ κλαίοντες νῦν, ὅτι γελάσετε. 22 μακάριοί ἐστε ὅταν μισήσωσιν ὑμᾶς οἱ ἄνθρωποι, καὶ ὅταν ἀφορίσωσιν ὑμᾶς καὶ ὀνειδίσωσιν καὶ ἐκβάλωσιν τὸ ὄνομα ὑμῶν ὡς πονηρὸν ἕνεκα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου: 23 χάρητε ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ καὶ σκιρτήσατε, ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολὺς ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ: κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς προφήταις οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν.
20. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be you poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. 21. Blessed are you that hunger now: for you shall be filled. Blessed are you that weep now: for you shall laugh. 22. Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. 23. Rejoice you in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers to the prophets.

Cyrillus: Post apostolorum ordinationem, ad evangelicae vitae novitatem salvator suos discipulos rectificavit. CYRIL; After the ordination of the Apostles, the Savior directed His disciples to the newness of the evangelical life.
Ambrosius: Divinitatis autem prompturus oracula, incipit esse sublimior; etsi in humili stabat, tamen oculos elevavit; unde dicitur et ipse elevatis oculis. Quid est levare oculos nisi interius lumen aperire? AMBROSE; But being about to utter His divine oracles, He begins to rise higher; although He stood in a low place, yet as it is said, He lifted up his eyes. What is lifting up the eyes, but to disclose a more hidden light?
Beda: Et quamvis generaliter omnibus loquatur, specialius tamen oculos in discipulos levat; sequitur enim in discipulos suos: ut his qui verbum intenta cordis aure percipiunt, latius saporis intimi lumen aperiat. BEDE; And although He speaks in a general way to all, yet more especially He lifts up His eyes on His disciples; for it follows, on his disciples, that to those who receive the word listening attentively with the heart, He might reveal more fully the light of its deep meaning.
Ambrosius: Quatuor autem tantum beatitudines Lucas posuit, octo vero Matthaeus; sed in istis octo illae sunt quatuor, et in istis quatuor illae octo. Hic enim quatuor velut virtutes amplexus est cardinales; ille in illis octo mysticum ordinem reseravit: sicut enim spei nostrae octava perfectio est, ita octava summa virtutum est. Primam autem beatitudinem paupertatis uterque Evangelista posuit: ordine enim prima est, et parens quaedam virtutum: quia qui contempserit saecularia, ipse merebitur sempiterna: nec potest quisquam meritum regni caelestis adipisci qui a mundi cupiditate pressus emergendi non habet facultatem; unde sequitur dicebat: beati pauperes. AMBROSE; Now Luke mentions only four blessings, but Matthew eight; but in those eight are contained these four, and in these four those eight. For the one has embraced as it were the four cardinal virtues, the other has revealed in those eight the mystical number. For as the eighth is the accomplishment of our hope, so is the eighth also the completion of the virtues. But each Evangelist has placed the blessings of poverty first, for it is the first in order, and the purest, as it were, of the virtues; for he who has despised the world shall reap an eternal reward. Now can any one obtain the reward of the heavenly kingdom who, overcome by the desires of the world, has no power of escape from them? Hence it follows, He said, Blessed are the poor.
Chrysostomus: In Evangelio quidem quod est secundum Matthaeum, beatos fieri dixit pauperes spiritu, ut intelligamus esse pauperem spiritu, habentem intellectum modestum, et quodammodo remissum: unde dicit salvator: discite a me, quia mitis sum et humilis corde. Hic autem beatos asserit pauperes, non addito spiritu, pauperes appellans divitias contemnentes: decebat enim ut cum praenuntiaturi essent salutiferi Evangelii dogma, mentem non gererent cupidam, sed promptum affectum haberent erga maiora. CYRIL; In the Gospel according to St. Matthew it is said, Blessed are the poor in spirit, that we should understand the poor in spirit to be one of a modest and somewhat depressed mind. Hence our Savior says, Learn from me, for I am meek and lowly of heart. But Luke says, Blessed are the poor, without the addition of spirit, calling those poor who despise riches. For it became those who were to preach the doctrines of the saving Gospel to have no covetousness, but their affections set upon higher things.
Basilius: Non autem omnis quem paupertas premit, beatus est, sed qui Christi praeceptum mundanis praetulerit opibus. Plures enim pauperes sunt in substantia, avarissimi tamen secundum affectum; quos non salvat paupertas, sed affectus damnat. Nihil enim involuntarium beatificabile est, eo quod omnis virtus libero designatur arbitrio. Beatus ergo pauper, quasi Christi discipulus, qui pro nobis paupertatem sustinuit: nam ipse dominus quodlibet opus implevit quod ad beatitudinem ducit, se praebens exemplar discentibus. BASIL; But not every one oppressed with poverty is blessed, but he who has preferred the commandment of Christ to worldly riches. For many are poor in their possessions, yet most covetous in their disposition; these poverty does not save, but their affections condemn. For nothing involuntary deserves a blessing, because all virtue is characterized by the freedom of the will. Blessed then is the poor man as being the disciple of Christ, Who endured poverty for us. For the Lord Himself has fulfilled every work which leads to happiness, leaving Himself an example for us to follow.
Eusebius: Sed cum caeleste regnum in multis gradibus bonorum consideretur, primus gradus scandentium est eorum qui divino intuitu colunt paupertatem; tales autem fecit eos qui primo facti sunt eius discipuli: ob hoc in eorum persona dicit quia vestrum est regnum Dei; quasi demonstrative hoc proferens ad praesentes, ad quos etiam oculos elevavit. EUSEBIUS. But when the celestial kingdom is considered in the many gradations of its blessings, the first step in the scale belongs to those who by divine instinct embrace poverty. Such did He make those who first became His disciples; therefore He says in their person, For yours is the kingdom of heaven, as pointedly addressing Himself to those present, upon whom also He lifted up His eyes.
Chrysostomus: Postquam igitur mandavit paupertatem colere, ea quae consequuntur inopiam coronat honoribus. Contingit autem paupertatem colentes, necessariorum incurrere defectum, et vix acquirere victum; idcirco non sinit discipulos pusillanimes super hoc fieri, dicens beati qui nunc esuritis. CYRIL; After having commanded them to embrace poverty, He then crowns with honor those things which follow from poverty. It is the lot of those who embrace poverty to be in want of the necessaries of life, and scarcely to be able to get food. He does not then permit His disciples to be fainthearted on this account, but says, Blessed are you who hunger now.
Beda: Idest, beati qui castigatis corpus vestrum et servituti subicitis, qui in fame et siti verbo operam datis: quia caelestium tunc gaudiorum habebitis ubertate perfrui. BEDE; That is, blessed are you who chasten your body and subject it to bondage, who in hunger and thirst give heed to the word, for then shall you receive the fullness of heavenly joys.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Altius autem, sicut secundum sensibilem escam diversificatur participantium appetitus ad comestibilium species, sic et in cibo animae, ab his quidem opinabile, ab his autem appetitur quod naturaliter est bonum: unde hic secundum Matthaeum beatificantur qui iustitiam loco cibi et potus reputant; non, inquam, particularem, sed universalem virtutem, quam qui esurit beatificandum dicit. GREG NAZ. But in a deeper sense, as they who partake of bodily food vary their appetites according to the nature of the things to be eaten; so also in the food of the soul, by some indeed that is desired which depends upon the opinion of men, by others, that which is essentially and of its own nature good. Hence, according to Matthew, men are blessed who account righteousness in the place of food and drink; by righteousness I mean not a particular but an universal virtue, which he who hungers after is said to be blessed.
Beda: Apertissime nos instruens nunquam nos satis iustos aestimare debere, sed quotidianum iustitiae semper amare profectum; ad cuius perfectam saturitatem non in hoc saeculo, sed in futuro possumus pervenire, ut Psalmista ostendit dicens: satiabor cum manifestabitur gloria tua; unde sequitur quia saturabimini. BEDE; Plainly instructing us, that we ought never to account ourselves sufficiently righteous, but always desire a daily increase in righteousness, to the perfect fullness of which the Psalmist shows us that we can not arrive in this world, but in the world to come. I shall be satisfied when your glory shall be made manifest. Hence it follows, For you shall be filled.
Gregorius Nyssenus: Avidis enim iustitiae, desideratorum copiam spondet. Nihil enim eorum quae secundum voluptatem in vita quaeruntur satiat inquirentes; solum autem virtutis studium subsequitur praemium quod indeficiens gaudium inserit animae. GREG NYSS. For to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness He promises abundance of the things they desire. For none of the pleasures which are sought in this life can satisfy those who pursue them. But the pursuit of virtue alone is followed by that reward, which implants a joy in the soul that never fails.
Cyrillus: Consequitur autem inopiam non solum defectus rerum ad delectationes facientium, sed etiam depressus vultus propter moestitiam; unde sequitur beati qui nunc fletis. Beatificat flentes, non eos qui simpliciter ab oculis lacrymas emittunt: commune enim est hoc tam fidelibus quam infidelibus, si quid tristium accidat. Magis autem illos beatos asserit qui levem vitam et implicitam carnalibus voluptatibus deditam vitant, refutantes delicias, et pene lacrymantes propter odium mundanorum. CYRIL; But poverty is followed not only by a want of those things which bring delight, but also by a dejected look, because of sorrow. Hence it follows, Blessed are you that weep. He blesses those who weep, not those who merely drop tears from their eyes, (for this is common to the believing and unbelieving, when sorrow befalls them,) but rather He calls those blessed, who shun a careless life, mixed up with sin, and devoted to carnal pleasures, and refuse enjoyments almost weeping from their hatred of all worldly things.
Chrysostomus: Magnum quid vero secundum Deum tristitia est, et impetrat poenitentiam in salutem; unde Paulus, cum non haberet suos defectus flere, pro alienis lugebat. Talis luctus est alacritatis materia: unde sequitur quia ridebitis. Etenim si nihil prosumus his pro quibus flemus, tamen proficimus nobismetipsis: nam qui sic aliena deflet, multo magis non praeteribit inflebiliter sua delicta; magis autem nec facile labetur in scelus. Non dissolvamur in hac brevi vita, ne suspiremus in infinita: non quaeramus delicias, a quibus manat luctus et dolor nimius; sed tristemur tristitia, quae germinat veniam. Est etiam dominum saepius reperire lugentem, ridentem nequaquam. CHRYS. But godly sorrow is a great thing, and it works repentance to salvation. Hence St. Paul when he had no failings of his own to weep for, mourned for those of others. Such grief is the source of gladness, as it follows, For you shall laugh. For if we do no good to those for whom we weep, we do good to ourselves. For he who thus weeps for the sins of others, will not let his own go unwept for; but the rather he will not easily fall into sin. Let us not be ever relaxing ourselves in this short life, lest we sigh in that which is eternal. Let us not seek delights from which flow lamentation, and much sorrow, but let us be saddened with sorrow which brings forth pardon. We often find the Lord sorrowing, never laughing.
Basilius: Promittit autem flentibus risum, non quidem emissum per mandibulas sonum, sed meram et impermixtam cuilibet tristitiae alacritatem. BASIL; But He promises laughing to those who weep; not indeed the noise of laughter from the mouth, but a gladness pure and unmixed with aught of sorrow.
Beda: Qui ergo propter divitias hereditatis Christi, propter panem vitae aeternae, propter spem caelestium gaudiorum, fletus, esuriem, paupertatemque pati desiderat, beatus est; multo autem beatior qui has virtutes inter adversa servare non trepidat; unde sequitur beati eritis cum vos oderint homines: licet enim homines odiant corde nefando dilectum cor Christo laedere nequeunt. Sequitur et cum separaverint vos. Separent, et a synagoga expellant: Christus invenit et confirmat. Sequitur et exprobraverint. Exprobrent nomen crucifixi: ipse commortuos sibi conresuscitat, et consedere facit in caelestibus. Sequitur et eiecerint nomen vestrum tamquam malum: ubi nomen Christianorum significat, quod a gentilibus Iudaeisque saepissime quantum ad ipsos memoriae abrasum, et ab hominibus est abiectum, nulla existente causa odii, nisi propter filium hominis; qui scilicet credentes nomen Christi, suum cognomen facere voluerunt. Docet ergo eos ab hominibus insectandos, sed ultra homines esse beandos; unde sequitur gaudete in illa die, et exultate: ecce enim merces vestra multa est in caelo. BEDE; He then who on account of the riches of the inheritance of Christ, for the bread of eternal life, for the hope of heavenly joys, desires to suffer weeping, hunger, and poverty, is blessed. But much more blessed is he who does not shrink to maintain these virtues in adversity. Hence it follows, Blessed are you when men shall hate you. For although men hate, with their wicked hearts they can not injure the heart that is beloved by Christ, It follows, And when they shall separate you. Let them separate and expel you from the synagogue. Christ finds you out, and strengthens you. It follows; And shall reproach you. Let them reproach the name of the Crucified, He Himself raises together with Him those that have died with Him, and makes them sit in heavenly places. It follows, And cast out your name as evil. Here he means the name of Christian, which by Jews and Gentiles as far as they were able was frequently erased from the memory, and cast out by men, when there was as no cause for hatred, but the Son of man; for in truth they who believed on the name of Christ, wished to be called after His name. Therefore He teaches that they are to be persecuted by men, but are to be blessed beyond men. As it follows, Rejoice you in that day, and weep for joy, for behold your reward is great in heaven.
Chrysostomus: Multum et paucum mensuratur dignitate proferentis. Quaeramus igitur: quis multam promisit mercedem? Si quidem propheta vel apostolus, velut homo paucum esse multum existimavit; nunc autem dominus, qui possidet perennes thesauros, et opes quae quemlibet intellectum transcendunt, multam pollicitus est mercedem. CHRYS. Great and little are measured by the dignity of the speaker. Let us inquire then who promised the great reward. If indeed a prophet or an apostle, little had been in his estimation great; but now it is the Lord in whose hands are eternal treasures and riches surpassing man’s conception, who has promised great reward.
Basilius: Rursus, magnum aliquando absolutam habet intentionem; sicut magnum est caelum, et magna est terra; aliquando vero ad aliquid habet relationem: ut magnus equus et bos in comparatione similium. Sic arbitror multam fore mercedem repositam patientibus opprobria propter Christum, non tamquam comparatam ad ea quae penes nos sunt, sed in se multam existentem, et tamquam a Deo donatam. BASIL; Again, great has sometimes a positive signification, as the heaven is great, and the earth is great; but sometimes it has relation to something else, as a great ox or great horse, on comparing two things of like nature. I think then that great reward will be laid up for those who suffer reproach for Christ’s sake, not as in comparison with those things in our power, but as being in itself great because given by God.
Damascenus: Illa etiam quae mensurari vel numerari possunt, determinate ingeruntur; quod autem ex quadam excellentia omnem transcendit mensuram et numerum, indeterminate dicitur magnum et multum: puta quando dicimus multam esse Dei misericordiam. DAMASCENE. Those things which may be measured or numbered are used definitely, but that which from a certain excellence surpasses all measure and number we call great and much indefinitely; as when we say that great is the long suffering of God.
Eusebius: Deinde muniens discipulos ad pugnam adversariorum, quam passuri erant per totum orbem praedicantes, subdit secundum haec enim faciebant prophetis patres eorum. EUSEBIUS. He then fortifies His disciples against the attacks of their adversaries, which they were about to suffer as they preached through the whole world; adding, For in like manner did their fathers to the prophets.
Ambrosius: Quia prophetas Iudaei usque ad mortem corporis persecuti sunt. AMBROSE; For the Jews persecuted the prophets even to death.
Beda: Quia vera dicentes solent persecutionem pati; nec tamen ideo prophetae antiqui timore persecutionis a veritatis praedicatione defecerunt. BEDE; They who speak the truth commonly suffer persecution, yet the ancient prophets did not therefore from fear of persecution turn away from preaching the truth.
Ambrosius: In hoc ergo quod dicit beati pauperes, habes temperantiam, quae a peccato abstinet, saeculum calcat, illecebrosa non quaerit. Beati qui esuritis: habes iustitiam: qui enim esurienti compatitur, compatiendo largitur, largiendo fit iustus, quia iustitia eius manet in aeternum. Beati qui nunc fletis; habes prudentiam, cuius est flere quotidiana, et ea quae aeterna sunt quaerere. Beati eritis cum vos oderint homines: habes fortitudinem; sed eam quae non odium meretur ex crimine, sed persecutionem patiatur ex fide. Sic enim ad passionis pervenitur coronam, si gratiam hominum negligas, divinam sequaris. Ergo temperantia cordis habet munditiam, iustitia misericordiam, pacem prudentia, mansuetudinem fortitudo. Connexae sibi sunt et concatenatae virtutes, ut qui unam habet, plures habere videatur: et sanctis una competit virtus; sed eius quae fuerit uberior, uberius est praemium. Quanta hospitalitas in Abraham, quanta humilitas? Sed quia fide praestitit, fidei prae ceteris meruit principatum. Ergo unicuique plura praemia, quia plurima incentiva virtutum; sed quod in aliquo merito copiosius, hoc etiam in praemio redundantius. AMBROSE; In that He says, Blessed are the poor, you have temperance; which abstains from sin, tramples upon the world, seeks not vain delights. In Blessed are they that hunger you have righteousness; for he who hungers suffers together with the hungry, and by suffering together with him gives to him, by giving becomes righteous, and his righteousness abides for ever. In Blessed are they that weep now, you have prudence; which is to weep for the things of time, and to seek those which are eternal. In Blessed are you when men hate you, you have fortitude; not that which deserves hatred for crime, but which suffers persecution for faith. For so you wilt attain to the crown of suffering if you slightest the favor of men, and seek that which is from God. Temperance therefore brings with it a pure heart; righteousness, mercy; prudence, peace; fortitude, meekness. The virtues are so joined and linked to one another, that he who has one seems to have many; and the Saints have each one especial virtue, but the more abundant virtue has the richer reward. What hospitality in Abraham, what hat humility, but because he excelled in faith, he gained the preeminence above all others. To every one there are many rewards because many incentives to virtue, but that which is most abundant in a good action, has the most exceeding reward.

Lectio 6
24 πλὴν οὐαὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς πλουσίοις, ὅτι ἀπέχετε τὴν παράκλησιν ὑμῶν. 25 οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, οἱ ἐμπεπλησμένοι νῦν, ὅτι πεινάσετε. οὐαί, οἱ γελῶντες νῦν, ὅτι πενθήσετε καὶ κλαύσετε. 26 οὐαὶ ὅταν ὑμᾶς καλῶς εἴπωσιν πάντες οἱ ἄνθρωποι, κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ γὰρ ἐποίουν τοῖς ψευδοπροφήταις οἱ πατέρες αὐτῶν.
24. But woe to you that are rich! for you have received your consolation. 25. Woe to you that are full! for you shall hunger. Woe to you that laugh now! for you shall mourn and weep. 26. Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

Cyrillus: Praedicto, quod paupertas propter Deum causa sit cuiuslibet boni, et quod esurire et flere non vacabit mercede sanctorum, transfert sermonem ad apposita, et innuit ipsa damnationis et supplicii fore materiam; unde dicitur verumtamen vae vobis divitibus, qui habetis consolationem vestram. CYRIL; Having said before that poverty for God’s sake is the cause of every good thing, and that hunger and weeping will not be without the reward of the saints, he goes on to denounce the opposite to these as the source of condemnation and punishment. But woe to you rich, for you have your consolation.
Cyrillus: Haec enim dictio vae semper in Scripturis dicitur his qui non possunt evadere a futuro supplicio. CHRYS. For this expression, woe, is always said in the Scriptures to those who cannot escape from future punishment.
Ambrosius: Licet autem in pecuniariis copiis multa sint lenocinia delictorum, pleraque tamen sunt incentiva virtutum; quamquam virtus subsidia non requirat, et commendatior sit collatio pauperis, quam divitis liberalitas; tamen non eos qui habent divitias, sed eos qui uti his nesciant, sententiae caelestis auctoritate condemnat. Nam ut ille pauper laudabilior est qui prompto largitur affectu, ita criminosior dives est qui de eo referre gratiam Deo debuit quod accepit, nec censum ad communem usum datum sine usu abscondere. Non census igitur, sed affectus in crimine est. Et quamquam nulla poena gravior sit quam successorum profutura compendiis anxio timore servare, tamen quoniam avaritiae desideria congerendi quadam voluptate pascuntur, qui consolationem vitae praesentis habuerunt, remunerationem perpetuam perdiderunt. Possumus tamen hic divitem intelligere populum Iudaeorum, vel haereticos, vel certe Pharisaeos, qui ubertate verborum, et quodam ambitiosae facundiae patrimonio delectati, simplicitatem verae fidei supergressi, thesauros inutiles condiderunt. Sequitur vae vobis qui saturati estis, quia esurietis. AMBROSE; But although in the abundance of wealth many are the allurements to crime, yet many also are the incitements to virtue. Although virtue requires no support, and the offering of the poor man is more commendable than the liberality of the rich, still it is not those who possess riches, but those who know not how to use them, that are condemned by the authority of the heavenly sentence. For as that poor man is more praiseworthy who gives without grudging, so is the rich man more guilty, who ought to return thanks for what he has received, and not to hide without using it the sum which was given him for the common good. It is not therefore the money, but the heart of the possessor which is in fault. And though there be no heavier punishment than to be preserving with anxious fear what is to serve for the advantage of successors, yet since the covetous desires are fed by a certain pleasure of amassing, they who have had their consolation in the present life, have lost an eternal reward. We may here however understand by the rich man the Jewish people, or the heretics, or at least the Pharisees, who, rejoicing in an abundance of words, and a kind of hereditary pride of eloquence, have overstepped the simplicity of true faith, and gained to themselves useless treasures.
Beda: Dives ille purpuratus saturabatur, epulans quotidie splendide; sed dirum vae sustinebat esuriens, quando de Lazari, quem despexerat, digito guttam aquae quaerebat. BEDE; Woe to you that are full, for you shall be hungry. That rich man clothed in purple was full, feasting sumptuously every day, but endured in hunger that dreadful “woe,” when from the finger of Lazarus, whom he had despised, he begged a drop of water.
Basilius: Quod autem necessaria sit abstinentiae ratio, palam est ex eo quod apostolus eam inter fructus spiritus enumeravit. Subiectio enim corporis per nihil aliud sic obtinetur, sicut per abstinentiam; qua sicut quodam freno decet compescere iuventutis fervorem. Est igitur abstinentia interemptio criminis, amotio passionum, vitae spiritualis initium, obtundens in se illecebrarum aculeum. Ne autem coincidentia fiat cum inimicis Dei, decet accipi quodlibet cum exigit tempus, ad ostendendum quod mundis omnia munda; procedendo quidem ad necessaria vitae, abstinendo autem omnino ab his quae faciunt ad voluptatem. Attamen nec eamdem horam sibi cunctos sancire possibile, nec modum, nec mensuram. Sit autem communis intentio non expectare repletionem; replere namque ventrem, ipsum quoque corpus inutile facit erga proprias operationes, somnolentum, et ad nocumenta dispositum. BASIL; Now it is plain that the rule of abstinence is necessary, because the Apostle mentions it among the fruits of the Spirit. For the subjection of the body is by nothing so obtained as by abstinence, whereby, as it were a bridle, it becomes us to keep in check the fervor of youth. Abstinence then is the putting to death of sin, the extirpation of passions, the beginning of the spiritual life, blunting in itself the sting of temptations. But lest there should be any agreement with the enemies of God, we must accept every thing as the occasion requires, to show, that to the pure all things are pure, by coming indeed to the necessaries of life, but abstaining altogether from those which conduce to pleasure. But since it is not possible that all should keep the same hours, or the same manner, or the same proportion, still let there be one purpose, never to wait to be filled, for fullness of stomach makes the body itself also unfit for its proper functions, sleepy, and inclined to what is hurtful.
Beda: Aliter. Si beati sunt illi qui iustitiae semper esuriunt opera, infelices e contra aestimandi sunt qui sibi in desideriis placentes, nullam veri boni famem patiuntur. Sequitur vae vobis qui ridetis nunc, quia lugebitis et flebitis. BEDE; In another way. If those are happy who always hunger after the works of righteousness, they on the other hand are counted to be unhappy, who, pleasing themselves in their own desires, suffer no hunger after the true good. It follows, Woe to you who laugh, &c.
Basilius: Cum dominus ridentes nunc arguat, palam est quod numquam erit fideli tempus risus; et praecipue in tanta multitudine eorum qui in peccato moriuntur, pro quibus oportet lugere. Superfluus autem risus est immoderantiae signum, et effrenis animae motus; sed usque ad vultus iucunditatem exprimere passionem animae non dedecet. BASIL; Whereas the Lord reproves those who laugh now, it is plain that there will never be a house of laughter to the faithful, especially since there is so great a multitude of those who die in sin for whom we must mourn. Excessive laughter is a sign of want of moderation, and the motion of an unrestrained spirit; but ever to express the feelings of our heart with a pleasantness of countenance is not unseemly.
Chrysostomus: Dic autem mihi cur concuteris et defluis qui debes assistere terribili iudicio, et ponere rationem de omnibus hic operatis? CHRYS. But tell me, why are you distracting and wasting yourself away with pleasures, who must stand before the awful judgment, and give account of all things done here?
Beda: Quia vero ipsa peccati nutrix adulatio, sicut oleum flammis, sic in culpa ardentibus solita est ministrare fomentum, subdit vae cum benedixerint vobis omnes homines. BEDE; But because flattery being the very nurse of sin, like oil to the flames, is wont to minister fuel to those who are on fire with sin, he adds, Woe to you when all men shall speak well of you.
Chrysostomus: Non autem contrarium est quod hic dicitur ei quod alibi dominus dicit: luceat lux vestra coram hominibus, ut scilicet manifestemus bene agere ad gloriam Dei, non ad propriam. Perniciosum enim quid est inanis gloria: et inde sumit ortum iniquitas atque desperatio, et mater malorum avaritia. Quod si viam quaeris divertendi ab hoc, dirigas aspectum semper ad Deum, et esto contentus ea quae apud eum est gloria: nam si in qualibet facultate doctiores eligere oportet in arbitros, quomodo virtutis experimentum pluribus credis, non autem illi qui prae omnibus eam novit, et dare et coronare potest? A quo si gloriam cupis, vita laudem humanam: de nullo enim alio magis consuevimus admirari quam de respuente gloriam. Quod si nos, multo magis dominus omnium. Deinde illud consideres, quod hominum gloria celeriter deficit, quia per cursum temporis oblivioni traditur. Sequitur secundum haec enim faciebant pseudoprophetis patres eorum. CHRYS. What is said here is not opposed to what our Lord says elsewhere, Let your light shine before men; that is, that we should be eager to do good for the glory of God, not our own. For vain-glory is a baneful thing, and from hence springs iniquity, and despair, and avarice, the mother of evil. But if you seek to turn away from this, ever raise your eyes to God, and be content with that glory which is from Him. For if in all things we must choose the more learned for judges, how do you trust to the many the decision of virtue, and not rather to Him, who before all others know it, and can give and reward it, whose glory therefore if you desire, avoid the praise of men. For no one more excites our admiration than he who rejects glory. And if we do this, much more does the God of all. Be mindful then, that the glory of men quickly fails, seeing in the course of time it is past into oblivion. It follows, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Beda: Pseudoprophetae significantur, eo quod ad captandum vulgi favorem futura praeloqui conentur. Itaque dominus in monte beatitudines solummodo proborum, in campo vero etiam vae describit reproborum: quia rudes adhuc auditores necesse est terroribus ad bona compelli, perfectos autem satis est praemiis invitari. BEDE; By the false prophets are meant those, who to gain the favor of the multitude attempt to predict future events. The Lord on the mountain pronounces only the blessings of the good, but on the plain he describes also the “woe” of the wicked, because the yet uninstructed hearers must first be brought by terrors to good works, but the perfect need but be invited by rewards.
Ambrosius: Et attende quod Matthaeus, praemiis ad virtutem et fidem populos provocavit; hic autem etiam a criminibus atque peccatis futurorum suppliciorum denuntiatione deterruit. AMBROSE; And mark, that Matthew by rewards called the people to virtue and faith, but Luke also frightened them from their sins and iniquities by the denunciation of future punishment.

Lectio 7
27 ἀλλὰ ὑμῖν λέγω τοῖς ἀκούουσιν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν, καλῶς ποιεῖτε τοῖς μισοῦσιν ὑμᾶς, 28 εὐλογεῖτε τοὺς καταρωμένους ὑμᾶς, προσεύχεσθε περὶ τῶν ἐπηρεαζόντων ὑμᾶς. 29 τῷ τύπτοντί σε ἐπὶ τὴν σιαγόνα πάρεχε καὶ τὴν ἄλλην, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἴροντός σου τὸ ἱμάτιον καὶ τὸν χιτῶνα μὴ κωλύσῃς. 30 παντὶ αἰτοῦντί σε δίδου, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἴροντος τὰ σὰ μὴ ἀπαίτει. 31 καὶ καθὼς θέλετε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς ὁμοίως.
27. But I say to you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29. And to him that smites you on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that takes away your cloak forbid not to take your coat also. 30. Give to every man that asks of you; and of him that takes away your goods ask them not again. 31. And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise.

Beda: Quia dixerat supra quid ab inimicis pati possent, nunc qualiter cum eisdem inimicis agere debeant ostendit, dicens sed vobis dico qui auditis. BEDE; Having spoken above of what they might suffer from their enemies, He now points out how they ought to conduct themselves towards their enemies’ saying, But I say to you who hear.
Ambrosius: Non otiose plurimorum factorum caelestium enumeratione progressus ad hunc locum serius venit, ut populus divinis miraculis roboratus ultra legis tramitem virtutum vestigiis progredi edoceretur. Denique inter tria maxima, spem, fidem et caritatem, maior est caritas, quae ordinatur cum dicitur diligite inimicos vestros. AMBROSE; Having proceeded in the enumeration of many heavenly actions, He not unwisely comes to this place last, that He might teach the people confirmed by the divine miracles to march onward in the footsteps of virtue beyond the path of the law. Lastly, among the three greatest, (hope, faith, and charity,) the greatest is charity, which is commanded in these words, Love your enemies.
Basilius: Inimici quidem proprium est obesse et insidiari. Omnis igitur qui qualitercumque nocet alicui, dicitur inimicus. BASIL; It is indeed the part of an enemy to injure and be treacherous. Every one then who does harm in any way to any one is called his enemy.
Cyrillus: Conveniens autem erat huiusmodi conversatio doctoribus sanctis, qui praedicaturi erant ubique terrarum salutarem sermonem; quos si contingeret velle recipere de persequentibus vindictam, omisissent eos ad cognitionem veritatis vocare. CYRIL; But this way of life was well adapted to the holy teachers who were about to preach throughout the earth the word of salvation, and if it had been their will to take vengeance upon their persecutors, had failed to call them to the knowledge of salvation.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Non autem dicit: ne odio habeas; sed: diligas; neque simpliciter mandavit diligere, sed etiam benefacere; unde sequitur benefacite his qui oderunt vos. CHRYS. But He says not, Do not hate, but love; nor did He merely command to love, but also to do good, as it follows, Do good to them which hate you.
Basilius: Verum quia homo ex corpore consistit et anima, secundum animam quidem benefaciemus, huiusmodi arguentes et commonentes eos, et omnino ad conversionem manuducentes; secundum corpus autem benefacientes eis in necessariis victui. Sequitur benedicite maledicentibus vobis.

Qui enim percutiunt proprias animas, digni sunt lacrymis et fletibus, non maledictionibus. Nihil enim detestabilius est anima maledica, nec immundius lingua quae maledictiones effert. Homo es; aspidum venena non evomas, nec vertaris in belluam. Est tibi datum os, non ut mordeas, sed ut aliorum vulnera sanes. Inimicos autem mandavit nobis annumerare gradui amicorum, non quorumcumque, sed praecipuorum, pro quibus orare solemus; unde sequitur orate pro persequentibus vos. Plerique autem e contra procumbentes, et fronte super terram percutientes, et manus expandentes, non pro suis criminibus orant Deum, sed adversus inimicos; quod nihil aliud est quam seipsum transfodere. Cum eum qui prohibuit contra inimicos orare, precaris ut te maledicentem inimicis exaudiat, quomodo possibile est audiri, quando provocas exauditurum, verberando inimicum coram rege, etsi non manibus, verbis tamen? Quid facis, homo? Stas ut veniam impetres peccatorum, et imples os amaritudine. Mitigationum est tempus, orationis et gemitus, non furoris.

BASIL; But because man consists of body and soul, to the soul indeed we shall do this good, by reproving and admonishing such men, and leading them by the hand to conversion; but to the body, by profiting them in the necessaries of life. It follows, Bless them that curse you.

CHRYS For they who pierce their own souls deserve tears and weeping, not curses. For nothing is more hateful than a cursing heart, or more foul than a tongue which utters curses. O man, spit not forth the poison of asps, nor be turned into a beast. Your mouth was given you not to bite with, but to heal the wounds of others. But he commands us to count our enemies in the ram: of our friends, not only in a general way, but as our particular friends for whom we are accustomed to pray; as it follows, Pray for them which persecute you. But many on the contrary falling down, and striking their faces upon the ground, and stretching forth their hands, pray God not for their sins, but against their enemies, which is nothing else but piercing their own selves. When you pray to Him that He would hear you cursing your enemies, who has forbidden you to pray against your enemies, how is it possible for you to be heard, since you art calling Him to hear you by striking an enemy in the king’s presence, not with the hand indeed, but with your words. What are you doing, O man? you stand to obtain pardon of your sins, and you fill your mouth with bitterness. It is a time of forgiveness, prayer, and mourning, not of rage.

Beda: Sed merito movetur quaestio, quomodo in prophetis inveniuntur multae imprecationes adversus inimicos. Ubi videndum est, quia prophetae per imprecationem quid esset futurum cecinerunt, non optantis voto, sed spiritu praevidentis. BEDE; But the question is fairly raised, how it is that in the prophets are to be found many curses against their enemies. Upon which we must observe, that the prophets in the imprecations they uttered foretold the future, and that not with the feelings of one who wishes, but in the spirit of one who foresees.
Cyrillus: Vetus autem lex mandabat non offendere alios; vel si prius fuerimus laesi, non ultra proportiones laedentium iras protendere; sed perfectio legis in Christo est, et in suis mandatis; unde sequitur et qui te percutit in maxillam, praebe ei et alteram. CYRIL; Now the old law commanded us not to injure one another; or if we are first injured, not to extend our wrath beyond the measure of the injurer, but the fulfilling of the law is in Christ and in His commands. Hence it follows, And to him that smite you on the one cheek, offer also the other.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Nam et medici cum calce feriuntur ab insanis, tunc maxime miserentur eis, et accingunt se ad eorum remedia. Tu quoque similem habeas coniecturam erga persequentes: ipsi namque sunt qui praecipue infirmantur; nec prius desistamus quam totam amaritudinem evomuerint; tunc uberes gratias agent tibi, et ipse Deus te coronabit, eo quod fratrem tuum in pessima aegritudine liberasti. CHRYS. For physicians also, when they are attacked by madmen, have then most compassion on them, and exert themselves to restore them. Have you also a like consideration towards your persecutors; for it is they who are under the greatest infirmity. And let us not cease until they have exhausted all their bitterness, they will then overpower you with thanks, and God Himself will give you a crown, because you have delivered your brother from the worst disease.
Basilius: Fere autem cuncti contra hoc mandatum procedimus; et praesertim potentes vel principes, non solum si passi fuerint contumelias, sed et si praestita eis non sit reverentia, adversarios reputantes quicumque eos minus reveriti sunt quam se reputaverunt dignos. Est autem magna infamia principis esse promptum ad vindictam: nam et qualiter alium docebit nil mali pro malo rependere, qui nocenti retribuere satagit? BASIL; But we almost all of us offend against this command, and especially in the powerful and rulers, not only if they have suffered insult, but if respect is not paid them, accounting all those their enemies who treat them with less consideration than they think they deserve. But it is a great dishonor in a prince to be ready to take revenge. For how shall he teach another, to return to no man evil for evil, if he is eager to retaliate on him who ho injures him.
Cyrillus: Vult autem dominus insuper esse contemptorem rerum; unde sequitur et ab eo qui aufert tibi vestimentum, etiam tunicam noli prohibere: haec est enim virtus animae quae omnino aversa est a passione cupiditatis divitiarum. Decet enim eum qui pius est et oblivisci malorum, ut et ea quibus caros amicos iuvamus, persequentibus conferamus. CYRIL; But the Lord would moreover have us to be despisers of property. As it follows, And him that takes away your cloak, forbid not to take your coat also. For this is the soul’s virtue, which is altogether alien from feeling the pleasure of wealth. For it becomes him who is merciful even to forget his misfortunes, that we may confer the same benefits upon our persecutors, whereby we assist our dear friends.
Chrysostomus in Matthaeum: Non autem dixit: fer humiliter iniuriantis impetum; sed: procedas per sapientiam, et ulterius te disponas ad patiendum quae ille cupiat facere, superans insolentiam eius ubertate prudentiae, ut habito pudore in excellenti patientia tua discedat. Sed dicet aliquis: quomodo potest hoc fieri? Cum videris Deum factum hominem, tot passum pro te, adhuc quaeris et dubitas quomodo possibile sit nequitiis ignoscere conservorum? Quis tale passus est quale dominus tuus dum ligaretur, flagellaretur, sputa perferens, mortem patiens? Unde sequitur omni autem petenti te tribue. CHRYS Now He said not, Bear humbly the rule of your persecutor, but, Go on wisely, and prepare yourself to suffer what he desires you to do; overcoming his insolence by your great prudence, that he may depart with shame at your excellent endurance. But some one will say, How can this be? When you have seen God made man, and suffering so many things for you, do you still ask and doubt how it is possible to pardon the iniquities of your fellow servants? Who has suffered what your God has, when He was bound, scourged, enduring to be spat upon, suffering death? Here it follows, But to every one who seeks, give.
Augustinus de Serm. Dom: Non dicit: omnia petenti; sed ut id des quod iuste et honeste potes, idest quod nec tibi, nec alteri noceat, quantum sciri aut credi ab homine potest; et cui iuste negaveris quod petit, indicanda est iustitia; et aliquando melius aliquid tribues, cum petentem iniusta correxeris. AUG. He says not, To him that seeks give all things, but give what you justly and honestly can, that is, what as far as man can know or believe, neither hurts you, nor another: and if you have justly refused any one, the justice must be declared to him, (so as not to send him away empty,) sometimes you will confer even a greater boon when you have corrected him who seeks what he ought not.
Chrysostomus: In hoc tamen peccamus non modicum, non solum non dando petentibus, sed et eos increpando. Cur, inquis, non laborat? Cur otiosus alitur? Dic mihi: et tu laborando possides? Sed et si laboras, ad hoc laboras ut vituperes alium? Propter unicum panem et tunicam appellas cupidum. Nihil tribuis? Nec convicieris. Cur nec tu misereris, et volentibus dissuades? Si cunctis indifferenter erogaverimus, semper miserebimur. Quia enim Abraham cunctos recipiebat, recepit et Angelos. Nam etsi homicida sit et praedo, nonne tibi dignus videtur panis habendi? Non igitur simus severi aliorum censores, ne nos quoque exquisite iudicemur. Sequitur et qui aufert quae tua sunt, ne repetas. CHRYS. Herein however we do not lightly err, when not only we give not to those who ho seek, but also blame them? Why (you say) does he not work, why is the idle man fed? Tell me, cost you then possess by labor? but still if you work, do you work for this, that you should blame another? For a single loaf and coat cost you call a man covetous? You give nothing, make then no reproaches. Why do you neither take pity yourself, and dissuades those who would? If we spend upon all indifferently, we shall always have compassion: for because Abraham entertains all, he also entertains angels. For if a man is a homicide and a robber, does he not, think you, deserve to have bread? Let us not then be severe censors of others, lest we too be strictly judged. It follows, And of him that takes away your goods ask them not again.
Chrysostomus: A Deo percipimus omnia; quod autem dicimus meum et tuum, nuda tantum sunt verba: si namque domum tuam asseris, emisisti verbum carens subsistentia rei: nam et aer et solum et caementum creatoris sunt, tu etiam ipse qui domum construxisti: sed et si tuus sit usus dubitatur, non solum propter mortem, sed etiam propter rerum eventus. Anima tua non possidetur a te, et quo pacto tuae reputabuntur opes? Vult autem Deus tua fore quae tibi pro fratribus credita sunt; fient autem tua, si pro aliis dispensaveris; si vero tibi affluenter expenderis, quae sunt tua iam facta sunt aliena. Sed propter nefandam opum cupidinem homines in curiis conrixantur; contra quod Christus ait et qui aufert quae tua sunt, ne repetas. CHRYS. Every thing we have we receive from God. But when we speak of “mine and shine,” they are only bare words. For if you assert a house to be yours, you have uttered an expression which wants the substance of reality. For both the air, the soil, and the moisture, are the Creator’s. You again are he who has built the house; but although the use is shine, it is doubtful, not only because of death, but also on account of the issues of things. Your soul is not your own possession, and will be reckoned to you in like manner as all your goods. God wishes those things to be yours which are entrusted to you for your brethren, and they will be shine if you have dispensed them for others. But if you have spent richly upon yourself what things are yours, they are now become another’s. But through a wicked desire of wealth men strive together in a state contrary to Christ’s words, And of him that takes away your goods, ask them not again.
Augustinus de Serm. Dom: Quod de veste, domo, fundo, iumento, et generaliter omni pecunia dicit. Non autem Christianum oportet sic possidere servum quomodo equum aut argentum. Servus si honestius a te regeretur quam ab illo qui eum tibi cupit auferre; nescio utrum quisquam dicere audeat eum debere contemni. AUG. He says this of garments, houses, farms, beasts of burdens, and generally of all property. But a Christian ought not to possess a slave as he does a horse or money. If a slave is more honorably governed by you than by him who desires to take him from you, I know not whether any one would dare to say, that he ought to be despised, as a garment.
Chrysostomus: Est autem nobis insita lex naturalis, per quam dignoscimus quid sit virtus et vitium; unde sequitur et prout vultis ut faciant vobis homines, et vos facite illis similiter. Non ait: quaecumque non vultis ut faciant, nec vos faciatis: cum enim duae sint viae quae ducunt ad virtutem, scilicet abstinentia mali, et operatio boni, hanc ponit, per istam et illam significans. Et si quidem dixisset: ut sitis homines, diligite bestias, esset mandatum difficile; si vero homines diligere iussit, ad quod naturalis monitio est, quam difficultatem res continet, quam leones et lupi servant, in quibus naturalis cognatio amicitiam cogit? Ostenditur igitur quod Christus nihil statuit nostram transcendens naturam; sed quod dudum inseruit conscientiae nostrae, docet; ut propria voluntas pro lege sit tibi; ut si vis bene tibi, bene facias alii; si vis ut alius tui misereatur, proximi miserearis. CHRYS. Now we have a natural law implanted in us, by which we distinguish between what is virtue, and what is vice. Hence it follows, And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them. He does not say, Whatever you would not that men should do to you, do not you. For since there are two ways which lead to virtue, namely abstaining from evil, and doing good, he names one, signifying by it the other also. And if indeed He had said, That you may be men, love the beasts, the command would be a difficult one. But if they are commanded to love men, which is a natural admonition, wherein lies the difficulty, since even the wolves and lions observe it, whom a natural relation compels to love one another. It is manifest then that Christ has ordained nothing surpassing our nature, but what He had long before implanted in our conscience, so that your own will is the law to you. And if you will have good done to you, you must do good to others; if you will that another should show mercy to you, you must show mercy to your neighbor.

Lectio 8
32 καὶ εἰ ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν; καὶ γὰρ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας αὐτοὺς ἀγαπῶσιν. 33 καὶ [γὰρ] ἐὰν ἀγαθοποιῆτε τοὺς ἀγαθοποιοῦντας ὑμᾶς, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστίν; καὶ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ τὸ αὐτὸ ποιοῦσιν. 34 καὶ ἐὰν δανίσητε παρ' ὧν ἐλπίζετε λαβεῖν, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις [ἐστίν]; καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς δανίζουσιν ἵνα ἀπολάβωσιν τὰ ἴσα. 35 πλὴν ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν καὶ ἀγαθοποιεῖτε καὶ δανίζετε μηδὲν ἀπελπίζοντες: καὶ ἔσται ὁ μισθὸς ὑμῶν πολύς, καὶ ἔσεσθε υἱοὶ ὑψίστου, ὅτι αὐτὸς χρηστός ἐστιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀχαρίστους καὶ πονηρούς. 36 γίνεσθε οἰκτίρμονες καθὼς [καὶ] ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν οἰκτίρμων ἐστίν.
32. For if you love them which love you, what thank have you? for sinners also love those that love them. 33. And if you do good to them which do good to you, what thank have you? for sinners also do even the same. 34. And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thank have you? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35. But love you your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. 36. Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Chrysostomus: Dixerat dominus diligendos esse inimicos. Ne autem putares hyperbolice esse dictum, aestimans solum ad terrorem eis dici, adicit rationem, dicens et si diligitis eos qui vos diligunt, quae vobis est gratia? Plures quidem causae sunt quae dilectiones constituunt; dilectio vero spiritualis universas praecellit; nihil enim terrenum eam parit; non utilitas, non beneficium, non natura, non tempus, sed de caelo descendit. Quid autem miraris si non indiget beneficio ut consistat, quando nec ex casu malorum pervertitur? Pater quidem passus iniurias, rumpit foedus amoris; coniux post iurgia virum relinquit; filius si longaevum videat patrem, gravatur: at Paulus ibat ad lapidantes, benefacturus eis; Moyses lapidatur a Iudaeis, et orat pro eis. Veneremur itaque spirituales amicitias, quia sunt insolubiles. Unde arguens volentes pigrescere, subdit, nam et peccatores diligentes se diligunt; quasi dicat: quia volo vos his amplius aliquid possidere, non moneo solum amicos diligere, sed etiam inimicos. Benefacientibus etiam benefacere commune est omnibus. Ostendit autem se parum plus petere quam sit moris peccatorum, qui benefaciunt amicis; unde sequitur et si benefacitis his qui vobis benefaciunt, quae vobis est gratia? Siquidem et peccatores hoc faciunt. CHRYS. The Lord had said that we must love our enemies, but that you might not think this an exaggerated expression, regarding it solely as spoken to alarm them, he adds the reason, saying, For if you love them which love you, what thank have you? There are indeed several causes which produce love; but spiritual love exceeds them all. For nothing earthly engenders it, neither gain, nor kindness, nor nature, nor time, but it descends from heaven. But why wonder that it needs not kindness to excite it, when it is not even overcome of malice? A father indeed suffering wrong bursts the bands of love. A wife after a quarrel leaves her husband A son, if he sees his father come to a great age, is troubled. But Paul went to those who stoned him to do them good. Moses is stoned by the Jews, and prays for them. Let us then reverence spiritual love, for it is indissoluble. Reproving therefore those who were inclined to wax cold, he adds, For sinners even love those which love them. As if he said, Because I wish you to possess more than these, I do not advise you only to love your friends, but also your enemies. It is common to all to do good to those who do good to them. But he shows that he seeks something more than is the custom of sinners, who do good to their friends. Hence it follows, And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thank have you?
Beda: Non solum autem dilectionem vel beneficium peccatorum, quasi infructuosa redarguit, sed etiam mutuum; unde sequitur et si mutuum dederitis his a quibus speratis recipere, quae gratia est vobis? Nam et peccatores peccatoribus fenerantur, idest mutuantur, ut recipiant aequalia. BEDE; But he not only condemns as unprofitable the love and kindness of sinners, but also the lending. As it follows, And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thank have you? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
Ambrosius: In tres autem partes philosophia sibi videtur divisisse iustitiam: unam in Deum, quae pietas vocatur; alteram in parentes vel reliquum genus humanum; tertiam in mortuos, ut his exequiarum iura solvantur. At dominus, legis oraculum ac prophetiae fastigium supergressus, in eos quoque qui laeserunt, pietatis correxit officium, cum subdit verumtamen diligite inimicos vestros. AMBROSE; Now philosophy seems to divide justice into three parts; one towards God, which is called piety; another towards our parents, or the rest of mankind; a third to the dead, that the proper rites may be performed. But the Lord Jesus passing beyond the oracle of the law, and the heights of prophecy, extended the duties of piety to t