Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

To: All

From: Numbers 11:25-29

The Appointment of the Seventy Elders

[25] Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some
of the spirit that was upon him and put it upon the seventy elders; and when the
spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did so no more.

[26] Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named
Medad, and the spirit rested upon them; they were among those registered, but
they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. [27] And a
young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”
[28] And Joshua the son of Nun, the minister of Moses, one of his chosen men,
said, “My lord Moses, forbid them.” [29] But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous
for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would
put his spirit upon them!”


11:24:30. God himself is the source of the spirit and he can give it to whomever
he chooses, irrespective of human qualifications. Moses, for his part, has abso-
lutely the right attitude: he has no desire to monopolize the spirit or to be its only
channel; he seeks only the people’s welfare and is delighted to see signs of the
spirit in other people; indeed, he would like all the Israelites to have it.

Commenting on this passage, St Cyril of Jerusalem teaches: “there is a hint here
of what happened at Pentecost among us” (”Catechesis Ad Illuminandos”, 16,
26). God did indeed promise the spirit to all the people (cf. Joel 3:1-2) and the day
came when that promise was fulfilled through Jesus Christ who, after his ascen-
sion into heaven, sent the Holy Spirit to the Church (cf. Acts 1:13). Therefore, the
Church, “the holy people of God shares also in Christ’s prophet office: it spreads
abroad a living witness to him especially by a life of faith and love [...]. It is not on-
ly through the sacraments and the ministrations of the Church that the Holy Spirit
makes holy the people, leads them and enriches them with his virtues. Allotting
his gifts according as he wills (cf. Cor 12:11), he also distributes special graces
among the faithful of every rank. By these gifts he makes them fit and ready to
undertake various tasks and offices for the renewal and building up of the Church”
(Vatican 11, “Lumen Gentium”, 12).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

3 posted on 09/29/2012 9:32:48 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies ]

To: All

From: James 5:1-6

A Warning for the Rich

[1] Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon
you. [2] Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. [3] Your
gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will
eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasures for the last days. [4] Behold,
the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud,
cry out and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
[5] You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your
hearts in a day of slaughter. [6] You have condemned, you have killed the
righteous man; he does not resist you.


1-6. With exceptional severity and energy the sacred writer again (cf. 2:5-7) criti-
cizes the sins of the well-to-do. In tones reminiscent of the Prophets (cf., e.g., Is
3:13-26; Amos 6:1ff; Mic 2:1ff), he reproves their pride, vanity and greed (vv. 2-3)
and their pleasure-seeking (v. 5), warning them that the judgment of God is near
at hand (vv. 3, 5). The opening exhortation—”weep and howl”—is a very forceful
call to repentance.

The Church has constantly taught that we have a duty to do away with unjust in-
equalities among men, which are frequently denounced in Scripture. The Second
Vatican Council made an urgent call for a more just, fraternal society, a call for
solidarity: “To fulfill the requirements of justice and equity, every effort must be
made to put an end as soon as possible to the immense economic inequalities
which exist in the world and increase from day to day, linked with individual and
social discrimination, provided, of course, that the rights of individuals and the
character of each people are not disturbed” (”Gaudium Et Spes”, 66).

People who are well-to-do should use their resources in the service of others.
In this connection, the Church teaches that “they have a moral obligation not to
keep capital unproductive and in making investments to think first of the common
good. [...] The right to private property is inconceivable without responsibilities to
the common good. It is subordinated to the higher principle which states that
goods are meant for all” (SCDF, “Libertatis Conscientia”, 87).

2-3. Greed, an inordinate desire for material things, is one of the seven deadly
sins. An avaricious person offends against justice and charity and becomes in-
sensitive to the needs of his neighbor, so keen is he on his self-aggrandizement.
“If you are inclined to avarice,” say St Francis de Sales, “think of its folly: it
makes us slaves to that which was intended to serve us. Remember how we
must leave everything when we die; perhaps those who get our wealth then will
only squander it, and even to their ruin” (”Introduction to the Devout Life”, 4, 10).

Our Lord also speaks about the moth and the rust which consume earthly trea-
sures, and tells us that the true treasure is good works and upright actions,
which will earn us an everlasting reward from God in heaven (cf. Mt 6:19-21).

“You have laid up treasure for the last days”: a reference to the Day of Judgment,
as in v. 5: “you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter” (cf. e.g., Is 34:6;
Jer 12:3; 25:34). It can also be translated as “you have laid up treasure in the last
days”, which would be a reference to the present time, which (ever since the co-
ming of the Messiah) is seen as in fact the last days, the beginning of the escha-
tological era. The two renderings are compatible because they both have refe-
rence to the Judgment.

4. Cheating workers of their earnings was already condemned in the Old Testa-
ment (cf., e.g., Lev 19:13; Deut 24:14-15; Mal 3:5). It is one of the sins which
“cries out to heaven” for immediate, exemplary punishment; the same applies
to murder (cf. Gen 4:10), sodomy (Gen 18:20-21) and oppression of widows
and orphans (Ex 22:22-24).

The Church has often reminded the faithful about the duty to pay fair wages: “re-
muneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified
livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural and spiritual
level to correspond to the role and the productivity of each, the relevant economic
factors in his employment, and the common good” (Vatican II, “Gaudium Et
Spes”, 67).

“The Lord of hosts”: a common Old Testament description of God, manifesting
his omnipotence, as Creator and Lord of the whole universe; it is used to acclaim
God in the Sanctus of the Mass: “Lord God of power and might” (”Dominus Deus

5. This description of the lifestyle of these rich people (vv. 2, 3, 5) recalls the pa-
rable of the rich man and Lazarus (cf. Lk 16: 19ff). Those who live in this way do
well to listen to the Master’s warning: “Take heed to yourselves lest your hearts
be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and
that day come upon you suddenly like a snare” (Lk 21:34).

Against the hedonism condemned by the sacred writer, Christians should be
conscious of the duty to promote a just society: “Christians engaged actively in
modern economic and social progress and in the struggle for justice and charity
must be convinced that they have much to contribute to the prosperity of man-
kind and to world peace. Let them, as individuals and as group members, give a
shining example to others. Endowed with the skill and experience so absolutely
necessary for them, let them preserve a proper sense of values in their earthly
activity in loyalty to Christ and his Gospel, in order that their lives, individual as
well as social, may be inspired by the spirit of the Beatitudes, and in particular
by the spirit of poverty.

“Anyone who in obedience to Christ seeks first the kingdom of God will derive
from it a stronger and purer love for helping all his brethren and for accompli-
shing the task of justice under the inspiration of charity” (”Gaudium Et Spes”,

6. “The righteous man”: according to St Bede (cf. “Super Iac. Expositio, ad
loc.”), this refers to our Lord, who is just “par excellence” and is described as
such in other passages of Scripture (cf., e.g., Acts 3:14; 7:52). This interpreta-
tion is quite appropriate, given the fact that in the needy we should see Jesus
Christ himself (cf. Mt 25:31-45); they often suffer at the hands of those who re-
fuse to recognize even their most elementary rights: “The bread of the needy is
the life of the poor, whoever deprives them of it is a man of blood. To take away
a neighbor’s living is to murder him; to deprive an employee of his wages is to
shed blood” (Sir 34:21-22).

“Every man has the right to possess a sufficient amount of the earth’s goods for
himself and his family. This has been the opinion of the Fathers and Doctors of
the Church, who taught that men are bound to come to the aid of the poor and
to do so not merely out of their superfluous goods [...] Faced with a world today
where so many people are suffering from want, the Council asks individuals and
governments to remember the saying of the Fathers: ‘Feed the man dying of hun-
ger, because if you do not feed him you are killing him!’ and it urges them accor-
ding to their ability to share and dispose of their goods to help others, above all
by giving them aid which will enable them to help and develop them selves’
(”Gaudium Et Spes”, 69).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 09/29/2012 9:33:38 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson