Don't say we weren't warned
First Sunday of Advent
Comprehensive Catholic Commentary
Fr. George Leo Haydock
Editor's Note: This special feature, provided by John Gregory with the Haydock Commentary found at the bottom of each page of the Douay-Rheims Bible, With the type so small in most bibles, we publish it here in larger type in conjunction with the Epistle and Gospel for the Sunday Mass provided by John Gregory with the cogent comprehensive Catholic Commentary penned by Father George Leo Haydock on the Douay-Rheims version of the New Testament. The First Sunday of Advent, the very first day of the new Liturgical Year begins the one-year cycle anew picking up with the apocalyptic warning Christ echoed in the Last Sunday of Pentecost's Gospel and Epistle. With the world, especially America ignoring the Scriptures of "not rioting and drunknenness," "not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy" should we follow the PC police and policies or Christ? That is a no-brainer to those who take their Faith seriously. Unless we "put on Christ" in all we do, we had better be prepared to put on an asbestos suit for we're going to need it when "the powers of Heaven shall be moved" and many will realize it's too late. For those who have clothed themselves in the armor of Faith and grace, there will be nothing to fear for "the kingdom of God is at hand."
Epistle: Romans 13: 11-14
11 And that knowing the season; that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed.
Commentary on Verse 11 Now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. Some will have the sense to be, that our salvation is now nearer, when the gospel is preached, and Christ offers us His graces, than when we believed the Messias was to come. Others expound it, that the more of our life is spent, we come nearer to the judgment of God, and to the salvation promised in Heaven. (Wi.)
12 The night is passed, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.
Commentary on Verse 12The night is passed. That is, the night of sin and infidelity, in which you lived, before you began to serve Christ. (Wi.) – Saint Paul is here addressing himself to Gentile converts. Before your conversion, you were in the darkness of infidelity: this time is past; now is the day, when the gospel has dissipated the darkness of idolatry, ignorance, and sin. Let us lay aside the works of darkness, by flying from sin, which hates the light, and seeks always to conceal itself; and let us put on the armor of light, that shield of faith, the breast-plate of justice, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit. (Calmet)
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy:
Commentary on Verse 13Let us walk honestly as in the day. As men are accustomed to do in the light, without being afraid that their works come to light. – Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering, not in beds and impurities, not in immodest disorders. (Wi.) – The night of the present life full of darkness, of ignorance, and of sin, is already far advanced; and the day of eternity approaches: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness. (V.)
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences.
Commentary on Verse 14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ. To put on, is a metaphor used in the Scripture; as when it is said, put on the new man, & c. And make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscenses. That is, do not take care, nor pamper and indulge your appetite in eating and drinking, so as to increase your disorderly inclinations, but keep them in due subjection. (Wi.) – The apostle does not forbid all care of the body, since he himself says in the epistle to the Ephesians 5, “No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.” But he forbids that care of the flesh, by which the desires and concupiscences of the flesh are strengthened and encouraged. This those are guilty of, who are always indulging in delights and voluptuousness. (Estius) – Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, that is, enter His sentiments, imitate His virtues, and indulge not the flesh in its inordinate desires.
Gospel: St. Luke 21: 25-33
25 At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves;
26 Men withering away for fear, and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world. For the powers of Heaven shall be moved;
Commentary on Verse 26 The powers of Heaven, & c. Some explain this of the angels, who shall be terrified and tremble at the sight of so many calamities. Others understand it of the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon, stars, & c. which shall in some sort, likewise, be confused in the general dissolution. The prophets often make use of such expressions, when speaking of the fall of monarchies, or the ruin of nations. The heavens shall be astonished and moved, & c. (Ezechiel 32: 7; Joel 3: 15) (Calmet)
27 And then they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with great power and majesty.
Commentary on Verse 27 The Jews shall not see Him corporally, but at the last judgment. Then, says the Scripture, (Zacharias 12: 10) They shall see Him Whom they pierced with nails. But in the ruin of Jerusalem, all who will compare His predictions with the event, can evidently see that this was the day of His coming, so plainly marked in His words. Every body could see that this was evidently the hand of God that punished them. (Calmet)
28 But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is at hand.
29 And He spoke to them in a similtude. See the fig tree, and all the trees:
30 When they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh;
31 So you also, when you shall see these things come to pass, know that the kingdom of God is at hand.
32 Amen, I say to you, this generation shall not pass away, till all things be fulfilled.
33 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2001.htm#article3
Article 3. Whether human acts are specified by their end?
Objection 1. It would seem that human acts are not specified by their end. For the end is an extrinsic cause. But everything is specified by an intrinsic principle. Therefore human acts are not specified by their end.
Objection 2. Further, that which gives a thing its species should exist before it. But the end comes into existence afterwards. Therefore a human act does not derive its species from the end.
Objection 3. Further, one thing cannot be in more than one species. But one and the same act may happen to be ordained to various ends. Therefore the end does not give the species to human acts.
On the contrary, Augustine says (De Mor. Eccl. et Manich. ii, 13): "According as their end is worthy of blame or praise so are our deeds worthy of blame or praise."
I answer that Each thing receives its species in respect of an act and not in respect of potentiality; wherefore things composed of matter and form are established in their respective species by their own forms. And this is also to be observed in proper movements. For since movements are, in a way, divided into action and passion, each of these receives its species from an act; action indeed from the act which is the principle of acting, and passion from the act which is the terminus of the movement. Wherefore heating, as an action, is nothing else than a certain movement proceeding from heat, while heating as a passion is nothing else than a movement towards heat: and it is the definition that shows the specific nature. And either way, human acts, whether they be considered as actions, or as passions, receive their species from the end. For human acts can be considered in both ways, since man moves himself, and is moved by himself. Now it has been stated above (Article 1) that acts are called human, inasmuch as they proceed from a deliberate will. Now the object of the will is the good and the end. And hence it is clear that the principle of human acts, in so far as they are human, is the end. In like manner it is their terminus: for the human act terminates at that which the will intends as the end; thus in natural agents the form of the thing generated is conformed to the form of the generator. And since, as Ambrose says (Prolog. super Luc.) "morality is said properly of man," moral acts properly speaking receive their species from the end, for moral acts are the same as human acts.
Reply to Objection 1. The end is not altogether extrinsic to the act, because it is related to the act as principle or terminus; and thus it just this that is essential to an act, viz. to proceed from something, considered as action, and to proceed towards something, considered as passion.
Reply to Objection 2. The end, in so far as it pre-exists in the intention, pertains to the will, as stated above (01, ad 1). And it is thus that it gives the species to the human or moral act.
Reply to Objection 3. One and the same act, in so far as it proceeds once from the agent, is ordained to but one proximate end, from which it has its species: but it can be ordained to several remote ends, of which one is the end of the other. It is possible, however, that an act which is one in respect of its natural species, be ordained to several ends of the will: thus this act "to kill a man," which is but one act in respect of its natural species, can be ordained, as to an end, to the safeguarding of justice, and to the satisfying of anger: the result being that there would be several acts in different species of morality: since in one way there will be an act of virtue, in another, an act of vice. For a movement does not receive its species from that which is its terminus accidentally, but only from that which is its "per se" terminus. Now moral ends are accidental to a natural thing, and conversely the relation to a natural end is accidental to morality. Consequently there is no reason why acts which are the same considered in their natural species, should not be diverse, considered in their moral species, and conversely.