God Is Not Mocked
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Comprehensive Catholic Commentary
Fr. George Leo Haydock
Editor's Note: We continue with this special feature provided by John Gregory with the Haydock Commentary found at the bottom of each page of the Douay-Rheims Bible. With the type so small in most bibles, we publish it here in larger type in conjunction with the Epistle and Gospel for the Sunday Mass, with the cogent comprehensive Catholic Commentary penned by Father George Leo Haydock. For the Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost we first see St. Paul's epistle to the Galatians in which he affirms that no one can fool God, man yes, but not God. He will not be mocked. This is exactly what is happening today and yet so many still want signs, the kind Our Lord works in St. Luke 7 in raising the dead son, healing the blind and deaf and still, the very multitudes who clamored for more, mocked God by being the same who abandoned Him at the hour of His Passion. Oh, man is a fickle lot and it does have consequences as to his actions.
Epistle: Galatians 5: 25, 26; 6: 1-10
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be made desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying on another.
1 Brethren, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you, who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another's burdens; and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ.
Commentary on Verse 2 One another's burdens. This is not contrary to what is added ver. 5, that every one shall bear his own burden, because in the first place the sense is, that we must bear patiently with one another's faults and imperfections; in the second, that every one must answer for himself at God's tribunal. (Witham) --- Every one has his failings and weaknesses, and stands in need of indulgence from his brethren; he must, therefore, grant to them what he so much desires to receive from them. (Calmet)
3 For if any man think himself to be some thing, whereas he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every one prove his own work, and so he shall have glory in himself only, and not in another.
5 For every one shall bear his own burden.
6 And let him that is instructed in the word, communicate to him that instructeth him, in all good things.
Commentary on Verse 6 Communicate....in all good things: by this communication, is understood an assisting of others in their wants. (Witham) --- Such as are blessed with the goods of this world, should gladly communicate a share of their efforts to the preachers and teachers of the true faith; and this not merely as a return for what they have received, but also that they may be made thereby partakers of their merit. (St. Augustine, lib. 2. evang. quæst. q. 8.)
7 Be not deceived, God is not mocked.
Commentary on Verse 7 This is addressed to the avaricious, who, under various pretexts, excused themselves from contributing to the support of their teachers. But they are here informed, that their excuses will not screen them from the anger of God. (Calmet)
8 For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting.
Commentary on Verse 8 He that soweth in his flesh, &c. The apostle represents the flesh and the spirit like two fields, on which men sow good or bad seed, according to which they shall reap. (Witham)
9 And in doing good, let us not fail. For in due time we shall reap, not failing.
Commentary on Verse 9Works of mercy are the seed of life everlasting, and the proper cause thereof, and not faith only.
10 Therefore, whilst we have time, let us work good to all men, but especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Commentary on Verse 10 The household of the faith: those who profess the same true faith. (Witham) --- We are more bound to assist Christians than Jews; Catholics than heretics. (St. Jerome, q. 1. ad Hedibim.)
Gospel: St. Luke 7: 11-16
11 At that time Jesus went into the city that is called Naim; and there went with Him His disciples, and a great multitude.
Commentary on Verse 11 Naim is a city of Galilee, about two miles from Mount Thabor. It was by divine dispensation, that so very great a multitude was present on this occasion, in order to witness this stupendous miracle. (Ven. Bede) --- The burying-places of the Jews were out of the precincts of the city, as well for the preservation of health as decency. Thus Joseph of Arimathea, had his sepulchre in the rock of Mount Calvary, which was out of the city. (Tirinus)
12 And when He came nigh to the gate of the city, behold a dead man was carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow: and a great multitude of the city was with her.
Commentary on Verse 12 The evangelist seems to relate this miracle, as if it had happened by mere accident; though, beyond a doubt, divine Providence disposed all things to increase the splendour of the miracle. Jesus Christ would not raise this young man to life before he was carried out to be buried, that he might meet him near the gates of the city, where the assembly of the people took place. Besides this, there were present both the multitude that followed Jesus, and the multitude that followed the corpse, to the end that all these might be eye-witnesses to the miracle, and many might praise God, as Ven. Bede remarks. It was very proper that Christ should work this miracle just as he was entering the city, that he might preach the gospel with better success, from the opinion they must form of him, after beholding so great a miracle, and so great a favour bestowed upon them. (Maldonatus) --- In a few words, the evangelist paints to life the affliction of this distressed widowed parent: a mother and a widow, without the least hopes of children, deprived of him who was her only support, the life of her habitation, the source of all her maternal tenderness and satisfaction, now in the prime of health, the only branch of her succession, and the staff of her old age. (St. Gregory of Nyssa, de hominis opificio.)
13 Whom when the Lord had seen, being moved with mercy towards her, He said to her: Weep not.
14 And He came near and touched the bier. And they that carried it, stood still. And He said: Young man, I say to thee, arise.
Commentary on Verse 14 Here Christ shews that he raised the dead by his own power, and at his own command: I say to thee, arise. This shews that it is the voice of God that speaks; for the dead can hear the voice of him alone, according to St. John. Amen, I say to you, the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they who hear shall live. (St. John v. 25.) (Maldonatus) --- Our Saviour is not like Elias, weeping for the son of the widow of Sarepta; nor Eliseus, who applied his own body to the body of the dead child; nor Peter, who prayed for Tabitha: but he it is that calls the things that are not, as those that are; who speaks to the dead as to the living. (Titus Bostrensis)
15 And he that was dead, sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother.
16 And there came a fear on them all: and they glorified God, saying: A great prophet is risen up among us: and, God hath visited His people.
Commentary on Verse 16 And there came a fear on them all; i.e. a certain reverential awe and trepidation seized them, and an uncommon degree of astonishment at the divinity which appeared to them. (Menochius) --- And they glorified God: (edoxazan) they gave praise and glory to God for thus visiting his people, by sending them the Saviour he had promised them. (Polus, synop. crit.)
17 And this rumor of Him went forth throughout all Judea, and throughout all the country round about.
18 And John's disciples told Him of all these things.
19 And John called to him two of his disciples, and sent them to Jesus, saying: Art Thou He that art to come; or look we for another?
20 And when the men were come unto Him, they said: John the Baptist hath sent us to Thee, saying: Art Thou He that art to come; or look we for another?
Commentary on Verse 20 The men; (oi andres) viz. the two disciples sent by John the Baptist, who delivered their master's message; but, before Jesus Christ undertook to reply to their question, he performed on the spot various kinds of miracles.
21 (And in that same hour, He cured many of their diseases, and hurts, and evil spirits: and to many that were blind He gave sight.)
22 And answering, He said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, to the poor the gospel is preached.
Commentary on Verse 22 Then addressing himself to these disciples of John the Baptist, he ordered them to go and relate to their master all they had seen and heard; and to tell him, that he declared all those to be happy, who, strong in faith, should not take occasion to doubt of his divine power, (the proofs of which they had so recently seen) from the weakness of his flesh, which he had taken upon himself for the love of man. --- Jesus Christ alludes to the known and full testimonies that had been given of him by the prophets. The Lord giveth food to the hungry, the Lord looseth them that are in fetters, the Lord enlighteneth the blind, he lifteth up them that are cast down, ... and he who does these things, shall reign for ever thy God, O Sion, from generation to generation. (Psalm cxlv.) (St. Ambrose) --- The words of the prophet Isaias are not less descriptive of the promised Messias: God Himself will come, and will save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. The lame man shall leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be free. (Isaias xxxv. 4, 5, 6.) (Theophylactus) http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2014.htm#article6Article 6. Whether the process of counsel is indefinite?Objection 1.
It would seem that the process of counsel is indefinite. For counsel is an inquiry about the particular things with which action is concerned. But singulars are infinite. Therefore the process of counsel is indefinite.Objection 2.
Further, the inquiry of counsel has to consider not only what is to be done, but how to avoid obstacles. But every human action can be hindered, and an obstacle can be removed by some human reason. Therefore the inquiry about removing obstacles can go on indefinitely.Objection 3.
Further, the inquiry of demonstrative science does not go on indefinitely, because one can come to principles that are self-evident, which are absolutely certain. But such like certainty is not to be had in contingent singulars, which are variable and uncertain. Therefore the inquiry of counsel goes on indefinitely.On the contrary,
"No one is moved to that which he cannot possibly reach" (De Coelo i, 7). But it is impossible to pass through the infinite. If therefore the inquiry of counsel is infinite, no one would begin to take counsel. Which is clearly untrue.I answer that,
The inquiry of counsel is actually finite on both sides, on that of its principle and on that of its term. For a twofold principle is available in the inquiry of counsel. One is proper to it, and belongs to the very genus of things pertaining to operation: this is the end which is not the matter of counsel, but is taken for granted as its principle, as stated above (Article 2). The other principle is taken from another genus, so to speak; thus in demonstrative sciences one science postulates certain things from another, without inquiring into them. Now these principles which are taken for granted in the inquiry of counsel are any facts received through the senses--for instance, that this is bread or iron: and also any general statements known either through speculative or through practical science; for instance, that adultery is forbidden by God, or that man cannot live without suitable nourishment. Of such things counsel makes no inquiry. But the term of inquiry is that which we are able to do at once. For just as the end is considered in the light of a principle, so the means are considered in the light of a conclusion. Wherefore that which presents itself as to be done first, holds the position of an ultimate conclusion whereat the inquiry comes to an end. Nothing however prevents counsel from being infinite potentially, for as much as an infinite number of things may present themselves to be inquired into by means of counsel.Reply to Objection 1.
Singulars are infinite; not actually, but only potentially.Reply to Objection 2.
Although human action can be hindered, the hindrance is not always at hand. Consequently it is not always necessary to take counsel about removing the obstacle.Reply to Objection 3.
In contingent singulars, something may be taken for certain, not simply, indeed, but for the time being, and as far as it concerns the work to be done. Thus that Socrates is sitting is not a necessary statement; but that he is sitting, as long as he continues to sit, is necessary; and this can be taken for a certain fact.