From: Isaiah 49:1-6
Second Song of the Servant of the Lord
 Listen to me, O coastlands,
and hearken, you peoples from afar.
The Lord called me from the womb,
from the body of my mother he named my name.
 He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me away.
 And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
 But I said, “I have laboured in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my right is with the Lord,
and my recompense with my God.”
 And now the Lord says,
who formed me from the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—
 he says:
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the preserved of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
49:1-55:13. Chapter 49 marks the start of the second section of the second
part of Isaiah. The first section (40:1-48:22) dealt with the release of the Jews
from exile in Babylon on the orders of the Lord, the ruler of the world and of all
nations. This second section sings of the restoration of Zion and the renewal
of the people.
Almost all the oracles here presuppose that Babylon has fallen and the exiles
have returned home (although neither event is explicitly referred to). Nor is there
mention of the universal scope of salvation: the focus is mainly on future hopes
and on Jerusalem.
Most of the oracles in this section were probably proclaimed, between the years
515 and 500 BC. If that was the case, then they were addressed to a disillusioned
people: the enthusiasm that came with the return from exile and the efforts made
to rebuild Jerusalem failed to produce the desired results: there are still class dif-
ferences, greed is plain to see, and huge sectors of society are experiencing po-
verty. The kind of Jerusalem that the exiles dreamed of had not come about: it
bore no relationship to what they were experiencing; nor did it fit the image of Je-
rusalem found in many texts of the Priestly tradition (cf. “Introduction to the Pen-
tateuch”, in “The Navarre Bible: Pentateuch” (p. 20). These oracles are designed
to dispel, discouragement and to raise people’s hopes by telling them about the
liberator that God is going to send, the servant of the Lord, and by proclaiming
that the holy city (now given the sacred name of Zion) will very soon be restored.
In fact, the section can be divided into alternating poems on the servant and on
Zion: 49:1-13, the “servant” (second oracle); 49:14-50:3, “Zion”; 50:4-11, the “ser-
vant”, (third oracle and exhortation); 51:17-52:12, Zion; 52:13-53:12, the “servant”
(fourth oracle); 54:1-17, “Zion” (Jerusalem). Verses 1-13 of chapter 55 are an ex-
hortation to commit oneself to the new Covenant.
49:1-6. In the first Song of the Servant of the Lord (42:1-9) we meet the “servant”
for the first time and we are told of his mission to liberate the exiles. In this se-
cond song, the servant himself speaks. He addresses the “coastlands”, “peo-
ples from afar”, and he is conscious of having been chosen by God from his mo-
ther’s womb to carry out God’s plans of salvation even in those distant parts (cf.
vv. 1-3). Here we are told about two aspects of his mission, which we will hear
more about in the oracles that follow. First, he is to play a leading role in the re-
covery of the tribes and the repatriation of the exiles (v. 5); second, he will ex-
tend salvation to the ends of the earth (cf. v. 6).
This poem contains things that the servant has to say about himself (vv. 1-4),
and things that God says about the servant (vv. 5-6). The servant is well aware
that he was called by God, even from his mother’s womb, (like Jeremiah; cf. Jer
1:5) and has been charged with preaching to the pagan peoples (”the coast-
lands”) or at least to his compatriots in the diaspora (cf. v. 1; cf. Jer 1:1-10; 25:
13-38); he has been endowed with qualities that enable him to speak out, with
words that find their mark like arrows, even if that creates divisions (v. 2; cf. Jer 1:
10); and also, despite the divine protection given him, he feels depressed and dis-
appointed, as happened to Jeremiah (vv. 3-4; cf. Jer 1:7; 8:18-20). Everything that
the servant does is grounded on what the Lord has told him: “You are my servant,
Israel” (v. 3). Some commentators are of the view that “Israel” here is a later inter-
pretation, put in to support the collectivist interpretation of the servant that soon
became widespread; but there is little evidence to support that: the word “Israel”
is missing only in one manuscript, and not an important one at that. The mention
of Israel does not argue against the servant’s being an individual rather than a col-
lectivity, for in poetry a person can be addressed by his own name or by his fami-
ly name. In fact, both in biblical Israel and nowadays we often find people using
their place of birth as a surname.
In vv. 5-6 the Lord spells out the servant’s mission: it is to renew the people in
such a way that even non-Israelites can see the light and attain salvation. Altho-
ugh the universal mission of the servant is not clearly defined here, for his work
is meant to be confined to the tribes of Jacob, still the achievement of this objec-
tive (the re-assembling of Israel) will be a kind of light to help the pagan nations
see and acknowledge God. The expression “light to the nations” (v. 6) already
occurred in the earlier poem (42:6); there it could be taken in a social sense — to
bring about the liberation of the exiles and captives; here, the religious meaning
is clear: salvation will spread to all the nations.
To sum up, the servant of the Lord (be he an individual or a collectivity, or more
likely both) has been chosen by God, who loves him most specially; he has all
the main qualities of a prophet; and he must influence his compatriots so as to
enlighten those from outside, and bring them salvation.
The messianic interpretation of the servant figure, based on this second song,
was widespread among the Jews of Alexandria who made the Septuagint Greek
translation; it was also held by members of the Qumran community and by some
authors of the period between the Old and New Testaments (the author of the
“Book of Enoch”, for example). All these interpreted the servant as standing for
the entire people of Israel. Christians, from the beginning, applied the songs of
the servant to Jesus, and saw them as finding fulfillment in his life. Thus, although
the image of the “sharp sword” (v. 2) refers to the effectiveness of the word of God,
in Hebrews 4:12-13 we find it used with reference to Revelation as a whole which
is fully and perfectly manifested in Jesus Christ (cf. also Rev 1:16 and 2:12). We
find the expression, “light to the nations” or “light to the peoples” being applied by
Simeon to Jesus (Lk 2:32). Indeed, in the Acts of the Apostles it is applied to
those who, in line with Jesus’ teaching and as cooperators in his work of salvation,
are setting out to preach to the Gentiles, as the words Paul and Barnabas speak
in the synagogue of Psidian Antioch testify: “It was necessary that the word of
God should be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it from you, and judge your-
selves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord
has commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you to be a light for the Gentiles, that you
may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 13:46-47). Hence
the Church sees her mission as spreading the truth about Jesus, the light that en-
lightens everyone: “The light of God’s face shines in all its beauty on the counte-
nance of Jesus Christ, ‘the image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15), the ‘reflection of
God’s glory’ (Heb 1:3), ‘full of grace and truth’ (Jn 1:14). Christ is ‘the way, and the
truth, and the life’ (Jn 14:6). [...] Jesus Christ, the ‘light of the nations’, shines: up-
on the face of his Church, which he sends forth to the whole world to proclaim the
Gospel to every creature (cf. Mk 16:15). Hence the Church, as the people of God
among the nations, while attentive to the new challenges of history and to man-
kind’s efforts to discover the meaning of life, offers to everyone the answer which
comes from the truth about Jesus Christ and his Gospel” (Bl. John Paul II, “Veri-
tatis Splendor”, 2).
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.
From: John 13:21-33, 36-38
The Treachery of Judas Foretold
 When Jesus had thus spoken, He was troubled in spirit, and testified, “Tru-
ly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”  The disciples looked at
one another, uncertain of whom He spoke.  One of His disciples, whom Je-
sus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus;  so Simon Peter beckoned
to Him and said, “Tell us who it is of whom He speaks.”  So lying thus, close
to the breast of Jesus, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”  Jesus answered,
“It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it.” So when He had
dipped the morsel, He gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.  Then after
the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to
do, do quickly.”  Now no one at the table knew why He said this to him. 
Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him,
“Buy what you need for the feast”; or, that he should give something to the poor.
 So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night.
 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and
in Him God is glorified;  if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in
Himself, and glorify Him at once.  Little children, yet a little while I am with
you. You will seek Me, and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I
am going you cannot come.’
 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered,
“Where I am going you cannot follow Me now; but you shall follow afterward.”
 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why cannot I follow You now? I will lay down my
life for You.”  Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly,
truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied Me three times.”
21. Christ’s sadness is proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Judas was one
of those whom Jesus chose to be an Apostle: he had been on intimate terms with
Him for three years, he had followed Him everywhere, had seen His miracles, had
heard His divine teaching, and experienced the tenderness of His affection. And
despite all that, when the moment of truth comes, Judas not only abandons the
Master but betrays Him and sells Him. Betrayal by an intimate friend is some-
thing much more painful and cruel than betrayal by a stranger, for it involves a
lack of loyalty. The spiritual life of the Christian is also true friendship with Jesus;
this means it is based on loyalty and uprightness, and on being true to one’s
Judas had already decided to hand Jesus over and had made arrangements with
the chief priests (cf. Matthew 26:14; Mark 14:10-11; Luke 22:3-6). Temptation
had been burrowing its way into Judas’ heart for some time back, as we saw at
the anointing at Bethany when he protested Mary’s loving gesture; St. John com-
mented in that connection that he did it not out of love for the poor but because
he was a thief (cf. John 12:6).
23. In that period, on important occasions the customary thing was to eat recli-
ning on a kind of divan called a “triclinium”. The diner rested on his left elbow and
ate with his right hand. This meant it was easy to lean on the person on one’s left
and talk to him without people hearing. In this verse we can see the intimacy and
trust which obtained between the Master and the beloved disciple (cf. John 19:27;
20-2; 21:23), a model of Jesus’ love for all His true disciples and of theirs for their
26-27. The morsel which Jesus offers him is a sign of friendship and, therefore, an
invitation to him to give up his evil plotting. But Judas rejects the chance he is of-
fered. “What he received is good”, St. Augustine comments, “but he received it to
his own perdition, because he, being evil, received in an evil manner what is good”
(”In Ioann. Evang.”, 61, 6). Satan entering into him means that from that moment
Judas gave in completely to the devil’s temptation.
29. “These details have been recorded that we may not bear ill will against those
who wrong us, but may reproach them and weep over them. Indeed, not those
who are wronged, but those who do wrong deserve our tears. For the covetous
man and the slanderer, and the man guilty of any other wrongdoing injure them-
selves most of all.[...] Christ repaid the man who was going to betray Him with
just the opposite. For example, He washed his feet, reproved him without bitter-
ness, censured him in private, ministered to him, allowed him to share in His ta-
ble and His kiss. Yet, though Judas did not become better because of these
things, Jesus Himself persevered in His course of action” (St. John Chrysostom,
“Hom. on St. John”, 71, 4).
30. The indication that “it was night” is not just a reference to the time of day but
to darkness as an image of sin, an image of the power of darkness whose hour
was beginning at that very moment (cf. Luke 22:53). The contrast between light
and darkness, the opposition of good and evil, is frequently met with in the Bible,
especially in the Fourth Gospel: even in the prologue we are told that Christ is
the true Light which the darkness has not overcome (cf. John 1:5).
31-32. This glorification refers above all to the glory which Christ will receive once
He is raised up on the cross (John 3:14; 12:32). St. John stresses that Christ’s
death is the beginning of His victory: His very crucifixion can be considered the
first step in His ascension to His Father. At the same time it is glorification of
the Father, because Christ, by voluntarily accepting death out of love, as a su-
preme act of obedience to the Will of God, performs the greatest sacrifice man
can offer for the glorification of God. The Father will respond to this glorification
which Christ offers Him by glorifying Christ as Son of Man, that is, in His holy
human nature, through His resurrection and ascension to God’s right hand. Thus
the glory which the Son gives the Father is at the same time glory for the Son.
Christ’s disciple will also find His highest motivation by identifying himself with
Christ’s obedience. St. Paul teaches this very clearly when he says: “Far be it
from me to glory except in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14).
33. From this verse onwards the evangelist recounts what is usually called the
discourse of the Last Supper; in it we can distinguish three parts. In the first,
our Lord begins by proclaiming the New Commandment (verses 33-35) and pre-
dicts Peter’s denials (verses 36-38); He tells them that His death means His
going to His Father (Chapter 14), with Whom He is one because He is God (ver-
ses 1-14); and He announces that after His resurrection He will send them the
Holy Spirit, who will guide them by teaching them and reminding them of every-
thing He told them (verses 15-31).
The second part of the discourse is contained in Chapters 15 and 16. Jesus pro-
mises to those who believe in Him a new life of union with Him, as intimate as
that of a vine and its branches (15:1-18). To attain this union one must keep His
New Commandment (verses 9-18). He forewarns them about the contradictions
they will suffer, and He encourages them by promising the Holy Spirit who will
protect them and console them (verses 18-27). The action of the Paraclete or
Consoler will lead them to fulfill the mission Jesus has entrusted to them (16:1
-15). The fruit of the presence of the Holy Spirit will be fullness of joy (verses 16-
The third part (Chapter 7) gives Jesus’ priestly prayer, in which He asks the
Father to glorify Him through the cross (verses 1-5). He prays also for His disci-
ples (verses 6-19) and for all those who through them will believe in Him, so that,
staying in the world without being of the world, the love of God should be in them
and they should bear witness to Christ being the envoy of the Father (verses 20-
36-38. Once again Peter in his simplicity and sincerity tells his Master that he is
ready to follow Him even to the point of dying for Him. But he is not yet ready for
that. Our Lord, St. Augustine comments, “establishes here a delay; He does not
destroy the hope, indeed He confirms it by saying, ‘You shall follow afterwards!
Why are you in haste, Peter? As yet the rock has not made you strong inwardly:
do not be brought down by your presumption. Now you cannot follow Me, but do
not despair: later you will’” (”In Ioann. Evang.”, 66, 1). Peter had certainly meant
what he said, but his resolution was not very solid. Later on he would develop a
fortitude based on humility; then, not considering himself worthy to die in the
way his Master did, he will die on a cross, head downwards, rooting in the soil of
Rome that solid stone which endures in those who succeed him and forming the
basis on which the Church, which is indefectible, is built. Peter’s denials, which
are signs of his weakness, were amply compensated for by his profound repen-
tance. “Let everyone draw from this example of contrition, and if he has fallen let
him not despair, but always remember that he can become worthy of forgiveness”
(St. Bede, “In Ioann. Evang. Expositio, in loc”.).
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.
March Devotion: Saint Joseph
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to the solemnity of Saint Joseph on March 19, this month is devoted to this great saint, the foster father of Christ. "It greatly behooves Christians, while honoring the Virgin Mother of God, constantly to invoke with deep piety and confidence her most chaste spouse, Saint Joseph. We have a well grounded conviction that such is the special desire of the Blessed Virgin herself." --Pope Leo XIII
FOR OUR WORK
Glorious Saint Joseph, pattern of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labor, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill-spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, 0 Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.
FOR THE INTERCESSION OF SAINT JOSEPH
O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
St. Joseph was an ordinary manual laborer although descended from the royal house of David. In the designs of Providence he was destined to become the spouse of the Mother of God. His high privilege is expressed in a single phrase, "Foster-father of Jesus." About him Sacred Scripture has little more to say than that he was a just man-an expression which indicates how faithfully he fulfilled his high trust of protecting and guarding God's greatest treasures upon earth, Jesus and Mary.
The darkest hours of his life may well have been those when he first learned of Mary's pregnancy; but precisely in this time of trial Joseph showed himself great. His suffering, which likewise formed a part of the work of the redemption, was not without great providential import: Joseph was to be, for all times, the trustworthy witness of the Messiah's virgin birth. After this, he modestly retires into the background of holy Scripture.
Of St. Joseph's death the Bible tells us nothing. There are indications, however, that he died before the beginning of Christ's public life. His was the most beautiful death that one could have, in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Humbly and unknown, he passed his years at Nazareth, silent and almost forgotten he remained in the background through centuries of Church history. Only in more recent times has he been accorded greater honor. Liturgical veneration of St. Joseph began in the fifteenth century, fostered by Sts. Brigid of Sweden and Bernadine of Siena. St. Teresa, too, did much to further his cult.
At present there are two major feasts in his honor. On March 19 our veneration is directed to him personally and to his part in the work of redemption, while on May 1 we honor him as the patron of workmen throughout the world and as our guide in the difficult matter of establishing equitable norms regarding obligations and rights in the social order.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.
St. Joseph is invoked as patron for many causes. He is the patron of the Universal Church. He is the patron of the dying because Jesus and Mary were at his death-bed. He is also the patron of fathers, of carpenters, and of social justice. Many religious orders and communities are placed under his patronage.
Patron: Against doubt; against hesitation; Americas; Austria; Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; California; Belgium; Bohemia; bursars; cabinetmakers; Canada; Carinthia; carpenters; China; Church; confectioners; craftsmen; Croatian people (in 1687 by decree of the Croatian parliament) dying people; emigrants; engineers; expectant mothers; families; fathers; Florence, Italy; happy death; holy death; house hunters; immigrants; interior souls; Korea; laborers; Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky; Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire; Mexico; Diocese of Nashville, Tennessee; New France; New World; Oblates of Saint Joseph; people in doubt; people who fight Communism; Peru; pioneers; pregnant women; protection of the Church; Diocese of San Jose, California; diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; social justice; Styria, Austria; travelers; Turin Italy; Tyrol Austria; unborn children Universal Church; Vatican II; Viet Nam; Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia; wheelwrights; workers; working people.
Symbols: Bible; branch; capenter's square; carpenter's tools; chalice; cross; hand tools; infant Jesus; ladder; lamb; lily; monstrance; old man holding a lily and a carpenter's tool such as a square; old man holding the infant Jesus; plane; rod.
Pope Pius X composed this prayer to St. Joseph, patron of working people, that expresses concisely the Christian attitude toward labor. It summarizes also for us the lessons of the Holy Family's work at Nazareth.
Glorious St. Joseph, model of all who devote their lives to labor, obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, setting devotion to duty in preference to my own whims; to work with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop by my labor the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents wasted, of good omitted, and of vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God.
All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of you, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death, Amen.
Litany of Saint Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Joseph, pray for us.
Illustrious Son of David, pray for us.
Light of the Patriarchs, pray for us.
Spouse of the Mother of God, pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin, pray for us.
Foster-Father of the Son of God, pray for us.
Faithful Protector of Christ, pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family, pray for us.
Joseph most just, pray for us.
Joseph most chaste, pray for us.
Joseph most prudent, pray for us.
Joseph most courageous, pray for us.
Joseph most obedient, pray for us.
Joseph most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of patience, pray for us.
Lover of poverty, pray for us.
Model of working men, pray for us.
Ornament of the domestic life, pray for us.
Guardian of virgins, pray for us.
Pillar of the family, pray for us.
Consoler of the miserable, pray for us.
Hope of the sick, pray for us.
Patron of the dying, pray for us.
Terror of demons, pray for us.
Protector of the Holy Church, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
V. He hath made him master of His house.
R. And ruler of all His possessions.
Let us pray.
O God, who in Thy ineffable providence didst vouchsafe to choose blessed Joseph to be the Spouse of Thy most holy Mother: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may have him for our intercessor in Heaven, whom on earth we venerate as out most holy Protector. Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Was St. Joseph a tzadik?
St. Joseph: Patron saint of three Popes [Catholic Caucus]
St. Joseph and the Staircase
St. Joseph, Foster Father, Novena [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
Patron of a Happy Death A Special Role for St. Joseph [Catholic/Orhtodox Caucus]
Lists Every Catholic Should be Familiar With: The 7 Sorrows and 7 Joys of St. Joseph
Catholic Group Blasts Pelosi For Invoking St. Joseph on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
THE SEVEN SORROWS AND SEVEN JOYS OF ST. JOSEPH
Joseph, Mary and Jesus: A Model Family
Season of Announcement - Revelation to Joseph
In hard times, don't forget about the humble carpenter Joseph
Saint Joseph: Complete submission to the will of God (Pope Benedict XVI) (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph as Head of the Holy Family (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
St. Joseph, Patron of a Peaceful Death [Catholic Caucus]
Octave: St. Joseph, A 'Mans Man', Calling Men to Jesus
St. Teresa de Avila's Devotion to St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
Catholic Men's National Day of Prayer, MARCH 15, 2008, The Solemnity of St. Joseph (Catholic Caucus)
The Role and Responsibility of Fatherhood - St. Joseph as Model
St. Joseph - Foster Father of Jesus
Some divine intervention in real estate-[Bury St. Joseph Statues in Ground]
Many Turn To Higher Power For Home Sales
St. Joseph the Worker, Memorial, May 1
Catholic Devotions: St. Joseph the Worker
Nothing Will Be Denied Him (St. Joseph)
The Heart of a Father [St. Joseph]
St. Joseph's DAY
Quemadmodum Deus - Decree Under Blessed Pius IX, Making St. Joseph Patron of the Church
Father & Child (Preaching on St. Joseph)
March 19 - Feast of St. Joseph - Husband of Mary - Intercessor of civil leaders
St. Joseph's Spirit of Silence
St. Joseph's Humility (By St. Francis de Sales)
St. Joseph [Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary], Solemnity, March 19
St Josephs Paternal Love
The Heart of St. Joseph
MORE THAN PATRON OF HOMES, IT'S TIME FOR ST. JOSEPH TO GAIN HIGHEST OF RECOGNITION [Fatherhood]
The Importance of Devotion to St. Joseph
St. Francis de Sales on St. Joseph (Some Excerpts for St. Joseph's Day 2004)
St. Joseph: REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS (Guardian Of The Redeemer)
(Saint) Joseph the Patriarch: A Reflection on the Solemnity of St. Joseph
How I Rediscovered a "Neglected" Saint: Work of Art Inspires Young Man to Rediscover St. Joseph
Novena to Saint Joseph
O Saint Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires.
O Saint Joseph, assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
O Saint Joseph, I never weary contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath, Amen.
O Saint Joseph, hear my prayers and obtain my petitions. O Saint Joseph, pray for me. (mention your intention)
St. Joseph Novena
O good father Joseph! I beg you, by all your sufferings, sorrows and joys, to obtain for me what I ask.
(Here name your petition).
Obtain for all those who have asked my prayers, everything that is useful to them in the plan of God. Be near to me in my last moments, that I may eternally sing the praises of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Amen.
(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be)
21. When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say to you, that one of you shall betray me.
22. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spoke.
23. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
24. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spoke.
25. He then lying on Jesus' breast said to him, Lord, who is it ?
26. Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus to him, That you do, do quickly.
28. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spoke this to him.
29. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said to him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
30. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
CHRYS. Our Lord after His twofold promise of assistance to the Apostles in their future labors, remembers that the traitor is cut off from both, and is troubled at the thought: When Jesus had thus said, He was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say to you, that one of you shall betray Me.
AUG. This did not come into His mind then for the first time; but He was now about to make the traitor known, and single him out from the rest, and therefore was troubled in spirit. The traitor too was now just about to go forth to execute his purpose. He was troubled at the thought of His Passion being so near at hand, at the dangers to which His faithful followers would be brought at the hand of the traitor, which were even now impending over Him. Our Lord deigned to be troubled also, to show that false brethren cannot be cut off; even in the most urgent necessity, without the troubling of the Church. He was troubled not in flesh, but in spirit; for on occasion of scandals of this kind, the spirit is troubled, not perversely, but in love, lest in separating the tares, some of the wheat too be plucked up with them. But whether He was troubled by pity for perishing Judas, or, by the near approach of His own death, He was troubled not through weakness of mind, but power: He was not troubled because anything compelled Him, but He troubled Himself, as was said above. And in that He was troubled, He consoles the weak members of His body, i.e. His Church, that they may not think themselves reprobate, should they be troubled at the approach of death.
ORIGEN. His being troubled in spirit, was the human part, suffering under the excess of the spiritual. For if every Saint lives, acts, and suffers in the spirit, how much more is this true of Jesus, the Rewarder of Saints.
AUG. Away then with the reasonings of the Stoics, who deny that perturbation of mind can come upon a wise man; who, as they take vanity for truth, so make their healthy state of mind insensibility. It is good that the mind of the Christian may be perturbed, not by misery, but by pity. One of you, He said, i.e. one in respect of number, not of merit, in appearance not in virtue.
CHRYS. As He did not mention Him by name, all began to fear: Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom He spoke; not conscious of any evil in themselves, and entrusting to Christ's words, more than to their own thoughts.
AUG. They had a devoted love for their Master but yet so that human weakness made them doubt of one another.
ORIGEN. They remembered too, that, as men, before they were matured, their minds were liable to change, so as to form wishes the very opposite to what they might have had before.
CHRYS. While all were trembling, and not excepting even Peter, their head, John, as the beloved disciple, lay upon Jesus' breast. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
AUG. This is John, whose Gospel this is, as he afterwards declares. It is the custom of the sacred writers, when they come to any thing relating to themselves, to speak of themselves, as if they were speaking of another. For if the thing itself is related correctly, what does truth lose by the omission of boasting on the writer's part?
CHRYS. If you want to know the cause of this familiarity, it is love: Whom Jesus loved. Others were loved, but he was loved more than any.
ORIGEN. I think this has a peculiar meaning, viz. that John was admitted to a knowledge of the more secret mysteries of the Word.
CHRYS. Whom Jesus loved. This John says to show his own innocence, and also why it was that Peter beckoned to him, inasmuch as he was not Peter's superior: Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spoke. Peter had been just reproved, and therefore, checking the customary vehemence of his love, he did not speak himself now, but made John speak for him. He always appears in Scripture as zealous, and an intimate friend of John's.
AUG. Observe too his mode of speaking, which was not by word, but by beckoning; Beckoned and spoke, i.e. spoke by beckoning. If even thoughts speak, as when it is said, They spoke among themselves, much more may beckonings, which are a kind of outward expression of our thoughts.
ORIGEN. Or, at first he beckoned, and then not content with beckoning, spoke: Who is it of whom he speaks?
He then lying on Jesus' breast, said to Him, Lord, who is it?
AUG. On Jesus' breast; the same as in Jesus' bosom. Or, he lay first in Jesus' bosom, and then ascended higher, and lay upon His breast; as if, had he remained lying in His bosom, and not ascended to lie on His breast, our Lord would not have told him what Peter wanted to know. By his lying at last on Jesus' breast, is expressed that greater and more abundant grace, which made him Jesus' special disciple.
BEDE. That he lay in the bosom, and upon the breast, was not only an evidence of present love, but also a sign of the future, viz. of those new and mysterious doctrines which be was afterwards commissioned to reveal to the world.
AUG. For by bosom what else is signified but secret? Here is the hollow of the breast, the secret' chamber of wisdom.
CHRYS. But not even then did our Lord expose the traitor by name; Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop when I have dipped it. Such a mode of declaring him, should itself have turned him from his purpose. Even if a partaking of the same table did not shame him, a partaking of the same bread might have. And when He had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
AUG. Not as some careless readers think, that then Judas received singly Christ's body. For our Lord had already distributed the sacraments of His body and blood to all of them, while Judas was as there, as Luke relates; and after this He dipped the sop, as John relates, and gave it to the traitor; the dipping of the bread perhaps signifying the deep dye of his sin; for some dipping cannot be wasted out again; i.e. when things are dipped, in order to receive a permanent dye.
If however this dipping meant anything good, he was as ungrateful for it, and deserved the damnation which followed him; And after the sop, Satan entered into him.
ORIGEN. Observe, that at first Satan did not enter into Judas, but only put it into his heart to betray his Master. But after the bread, he entered into him. Wherefore let us beware, that Satan thrust not any of his flaming darts into our heart; for if he do, he then watches till he gets an entrance there himself.
CHRYS. So long as he was one of the twelve, the devil did not dare to force an entrance into him; but when he was pointed out, and expelled, then he easily leaped into him.
AUG. Or entered into him, that he might have more full possession of him: for he was in him, when he agreed with the Jews to betray, our Lord for a sum of money, according to Luke: Then entered Satan into Judas Iscariot, and he went away, and communed with the chief priests (Luke 22:3-4). In this state he came to the supper. But after the sop the devil entered, not to tempt him, as though he were independent, but to possess him as his own.
ORIGEN. It was proper that by the ceremony of the bread, that good should be taken from him, which he thought he had: whereof being deprived, he was laid open to admit Satan's entrance.
AUG. But some will say, was his being given up to the devil the effect of his receiving the sop from Christ? To whom we answer, that they may learn here the danger of receiving amiss what is in itself good. If he is reproved who does not discern, i.e. who does not distinguish, the Lord's body from other food, how is he condemned who, feigning himself a friend, comes an enemy to the Lord's table?
Then said Jesus to him, That which you do, do quickly.
ORIGEN. This may have been said either to Judas, or to Satan, either to provoke the enemy to the combat, or the traitor to do his part in bringing on that dispensation, which was to save the world; which He wished not to be delayed any longer, but to be as soon as possible matured.
AUG. He did not however enjoin the act, but foretold it, not from g desire for the destruction of the perfidious, but to hasten on the salvation of the faithful.
CHRYS. That which you do, do quickly, is not a command, or a recommendation, but a reproof, meant to show too that He was not going to offer any hindrance to His betrayal.
Now no man at the table knew for what intent He spoke this to him. It is not easy to see, when the disciples had asked, Who is he, and He had replied, He it is to whom I shall give a sop, how it was that they did not understand Him; unless it was that He spoke too low to be heard; and that John lay upon His breast, when he asked the question, for that very reason, i.e. that the traitor might not be made known.
For had Christ made him known, perhaps Peter would have killed him. So it was then, that none at the table knew what our Lord meant. But why not John? Because he could not conceive how a disciple could fall into such wickedness: he was far from such wickedness himself, and therefore did not suspect it of others. What they thought He meant we are told in what follows: For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said to him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast, or, that he should give something to the poor.
AUG. Our Lord then had bags, in which; He kept the oblations of the faithful, to supply the wants of His own followers, or the poor. Here is the first institution of ecclesiastical property. Our Lord shows that His commandment not to think of the morrow, does not mean that the Saints should never save money; but that they should not neglect the service of God for it, or let the fear of want tempt them to injustice.
CHRYS. None of the disciples contributed this money, but it is hinted that it was certain women, who, it is said, ministered to Him of their means. But how was it that He Who forbade scrip, and staff, and money, carried bags for the relief of the poor? It was to show you, that even the very poor, those who are crucified to this world, ought to attend to this duty. He did many things in order to instruct us in our duty.
ORIGEN. Our Lord then said to Judas, That which you do, do quickly, and the traitor this once obeyed his Master. For having received the sop, he started immediately on his work: He then having received the sop, went immediately out. And indeed he did go out, not only from the house in which he was, but from Jesus altogether. It would seem that Satan, after he had entered into Judas, could not bear to be in the same place with Jesus: for there is no agreement between Jesus and Satan. Nor is it idle inquiring why after he had received the sop, it is not added, that he ate it. Why did not Judas eat the bread, after he received it? Perhaps because, as soon as he had received it, the devil, who had put it into his heart to betray Christ, fearful that the bread, if eaten, might drive out what he had put in, entered into him, so that he went out immediately, before he ate it. And it may be serviceable to remark, that as he who eats our Lord's bread and drinks His cup unworthily, eats and drinks to his own damnation; so the bread which Jesus gave him was eaten by the rest to their salvation, but by Judas to his damnation, inasmuch as after it the devil entered into him.
CHRYS. It follows: And it was night, to show the impetuosity of Judas, in persisting in spite of the unseasonableness of the hour.
ORIGEN. The time of night corresponded with the night which overspread the soul of Judas.
GREG. By the time of the day is signified the end of the action. Judas went out in the night to accomplish his perfidy, for which he was never to be pardoned.
31. Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.
ORIGEN. After the glory of His miracles, and His transfiguration, the next glorifying of the Son of man began, when Judas went out with Satan, who had entered into him; Therefore when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. For it is not the eternal only-begotten Word, but the glory of the Man born of the seed of David, which is here meant.
Christ at His death, in which He glorified God, having spoiled principalities and powers, made a show of them, openly triumphing over them (Col 2:15). And again, Made peace by the blood of His cross, to reconcile all things to Himself, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven (Col 1:20). Thus the Son of man was glorified, and God glorified in Him; for Christ cannot be glorified, except the Father be glorified with Him. But whoever is glorified, is glorified by someone.
By whom then is the Son of man glorified? He tells you; If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify if Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him.
CHRYS. i.e. by Himself, not by any other. And shall straightway glorify Him, i.e. not at any distant time, but immediately, while He is yet on the very cross shall His glory appear. For the sun was darkened, rocks were rent, and many bodies of those that slept arose. In this way He restores the drooping spirits of His disciples, and persuades them, instead of sorrowing, to rejoice.
AUG. Or thus: The unclean went out: the clean remained with their cleanser. Thus will it be when the tares are separated from the wheat; The righteous shall shine forth as the sale in the kingdom of their Father (Matt 13:43). Our Lord, foreseeing this, said, when Judas went out, as if the tares were now separated, and He left alone with the wheat, the holy Apostles.
Now is the Son of man glorified; as if to say, Behold what will take place at My glorifying, at which none of the wicked shall be present, none of the righteous shall perish. He does not say, Now is the glorifying of the Son of man signified; but, Now is the Son of man glorified; as it is not that rock signified Christ, or but, That Rock was Christ (1 Cor 10:4).
Scripture often speaks of the things signifying, as if they were the things signified. But the glorifying of the Son of man, is the glorifying of God in Him; as He adds, And God is glorified in Him, which He proceeds to explain; If God is glorified in Him - for He came not to do His own will, but the will of Him that sent Him - God shall also glorify Him in Himself, so that the human nature which was assumed by the eternal Word, shall also be endowed with eternity.
And shall straightway glorify Him. He predicts His own resurrection, which was to follow immediately, not at the end of the world, like ours. Thus it is; Now is the Son of man glorified; the now referring not to His approaching Passion, hut the resurrection which was immediately to follow it: as if that which was so very soon to be, had already taken place.
HILARY. That God is glorified in Him, refers to the glory of the body, which glory is the glory of God, in that the body borrows its glory from its association with the Divine nature because God is glorified in Him, therefore He will; glorify Him in Himself, in that He who reigns in the glory arising from the glory of God, He forthwith passes over into God's glory, leaving the dispensation of His manhood wholly to abide in God.
Nor is He silent as to the time And shall straightway glorify Him. This referring to the glory of His resurrection which was immediately to follow His passion, which He mentions as present, because Judas had now gone out to betray Him; whereas that God would glorify Him in Himself, He reserves for the future. The glory of God was strewn in Him by the miracle of the resurrection; but He will abide in the glory of God when He has left the dispensation of subjection.
The sense of these first words, Now is the Son of man glorified, is not doubtful: it is the glory of the flesh which is meant, not that of the Word But what means the next, And God is glorified in Him? The Son of man is not another Person from the Son of God for, the Word was made flesh (John 1:14). How is God glorified in this Son of man, who is the Son of God?
The next clause helps us; If God is glorified in Him, God also will glorify Him in Himself. A man is not glorified in himself, nor, on the other hand, does God who is glorified in man, because He receives glory, cease to be God. So the words, God is glorified in Him, either mean that Christ is glorified in the flesh, or that God is glorified in Christ. If God means Christ, it is Christ who is glorified in the flesh; if the Father, then it is the Sacrament of unity, the Father glorified in the Son. Again, God glorifies in Himself God glorified in the Son of man.
This overthrows the impious doctrine that Christ is not very God, in verity of nature. For how can that which God glorifies in Himself be out of Himself? He whom the Father glorifies must be confessed to be in His glory, and He who is glorified in the glory of the Father, must be understood to be in the same case with the Father.
ORIGEN. Or thus: The word glory is here used in a different sense from that which some Pagans attach to it, who defined glory to be the collected praises of the many. It is evident that glory in such a sense is a different thing from that mentioned in Exodus, where it is said, that the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Exod 40:34), and that the face of Moses was glorified. The glory here mentioned is something visible, a certain divine appearance in the temple, and on Moses' face; but in a higher and more spiritual sense we are glorified, when with the eye of the understanding we penetrate into the things of God.
For the mind when it ascends above material things, and spiritually sees God, is defied: and of this spiritual glory, the visible glory on the face of Moses is a figure: for his mind it was that was defied by converse with God. But there is no comparison between the excellent glory of Christ, and the knowledge of Moses, whereby the face of his soul was glorified: for the whole of the Father's glory shines upon the Son, who is the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person (Heb 1:3). Yea, and from the light of this whole glory there go forth particular glories, throughout the whole rational creation; though none can take in the whole of the divine glory, except the Son.
But so far as the Son was known to the world, so far only was He glorified. And as yet He was not fully known. But afterward the Father spread the knowledge of Him over the whole world, and then was the Son of man glorified in those who knew Him. And of this glory He has made all who know Him partakers: as said the Apostle: We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18), i.e. from His glory receive glory.
When He was approaching then that dispensation, by which He was to become known to the world, and to be glorified in the glory of those who glorified Him, He says, Now is the Son of man glorified (Matt 11:27). And because no man knows the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him, and the Son by the dispensation was about to reveal the Father; for this reason He said, And God is glorified in Him. Or compare this with the text below: He that has seen Me, has seen the Father. The Father who begat the Word is seen in the Word, who is God, and the image of the invisible God. But the words may be taken in a larger sense. For as through some the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles, so through the saints whose good deeds are seen and acknowledged by the world, the name of the Father in heaven is magnified.
But in whom was He so glorified as in Jesus, Who did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth? Such being the Son, He is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. And if God is glorified in Him, the Father returns Him more than He gave. For the glory of the Son of man, when the Father glorifies Him, far exceeds the Father's glory, when He is glorified in the Son: it being fit that the greater should return the greater glory. And as this, viz. the glorifying of the Son of man, was just about to be accomplished, our Lord adds, And will straightway glorify Him.
33. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. you shall seek me: and as I said to the Jews, Whither I go, you cannot come; so now I say to you.
AUG. After He had said, And shall straightway glorify Him, that they might not think that God was going to glorify Him in such a way, as that He would no longer have any converse with them on earth, He says, Little children, yet a little while I am with you: as if He said, I shall indeed straightway be glorified by My resurrection, but I shall not straightway ascend to heaven. For we read in the Acts of the Apostles, that He was with them forty days after His resurrection. These forty days are what He means by, A little while I am with you.
ORIGEN. Little children, He says; for their souls were yet in infancy. But these little children, after His death, were made brethren; as before they were little children, they were servants.
AUG. It may be understood too thus: I am as yet in this frail flesh, even as you are, until I die and rise again. He was with them after His resurrection, by bodily presence, not by participation of human frailty. These are the words which I spoke to you, while I was yet with you (Luke 24:44). He says to His disciples after His resurrection; meaning, while I was in mortal flesh, as you are. He was in the same flesh then with them, but not subject to the same mortality. But there is another Divine Presence unknown to mortal senses, of which He said, Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world (Matt 28:20).
This is not the presence meant by, A little while I am with you; for it is not a little while to the end of the world: or even if it is a little while, because that in the eye of God, a thousand years are as one day, yet what follows shows that it is not what our Lord is here alluding to; for He adds, Whither I go you cannot follow Me now. At the end of the world they were to follow Him, whither He went; as He said below; Father, I will that they be with Me, where I am
ORIGEN. But may there not be a deeper meaning in the words, yet a little while &c. After a little while He was not with them. In what sense not with them? Not because He was not with them according to the flesh, in that He was taken from them, was brought before Pilate, was crucified, descended into hell: but because they all forsook Him, fulfilling His prophecy: All you shall be offended because of Me this night. He was not with them, because He only dwells with those who are worthy of Him. But though they thus wandered from Jesus for a little while, it was only for a little while; they soon sought Him again. Peter wept bitterly after his denial of Jesus, and by his tears sought Him: and therefore it follows, you shall seek Me, and as I said to the Jews, whither I go, you cannot follow Me now. To seek Jesus, is to seek the Word, wisdom, righteousness, truth, all which is Christ. To His disciples therefore who wish to follow Him, not in a bodily sense, as the ignorant think, but in the way He ordains, Whosoever does not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple. Our Lord said, Whither I go you cannot follow Me now. For though they wished to follow the Word, and to confess Him, they were not yet strong enough to do so; The Spirit was not yet given to them, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.
AUG. Or He means that they were not yet fit to follow Him to death for righteousness' sake. For how could they, when they were not ripe for martyrdom? Or how could they follow our Lord to immortality, they who v ere to die, and not to rise again till the end of the world? Or how could tines follow Him to the bosom of the Father, when none could partake of that felicity, but they whose love was perfected? When He told the Jews this, He did not add now. But the disciples, though they could not follow Him then, would be able to do so afterwards, and therefore He adds, So now I say to you.
ORIGEN. As if He said, I say it to you, but with the addition of now, The Jews, who He foresaw would die in their sins, would never be able to follow Him; but the disciples were unable only for a little time.
CHRYS. And therefore He said, little children; for He did not mean to speak to them, as He had to the Jews. you cannot follow Me now, He says, in order to rouse the love of His disciples. For the departure of loved friends kindles all our affection, and especially if they are going to a place where we cannot follow them. He purposely too speaks of His death, as a kind of translation, a happy removal to a place, where here mortal bodies do not enter
36. Simon Peter said to him, Lord, where do you go? Jesus answered him, Where I go you can not follow me now; but you shall follow me afterwards.
37. Peter said to him, Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for your sake.
38. Jesus answered him, Will you lay down your life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say to you, The cock shall not crow, till you have denied me thrice.
CHRYS. Great is love, and stronger than fire; nothing can stop its course. Peter the most ardent of all, as soon as he hears our Lord say, Where I go you cannot follow Me now, asks, Lord, where do you go?
AUG. The disciple asks this, as if he were ready to follow. But our Lord saw his heart; Jesus answered him, Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; He checks his forwardness, but does not destroy his hope; nay, confirms it; But you shall follow Me afterwards. Why do you hasten, Peter? The Rock has not yet established you with His Spirit. Be not lifted up with presumptions, you cannot follow now; but be not cast down with despair, you shall follow Me afterwards.
CHRYS. Peter, on receiving this answer, does not check his desire, but hastily conceives favorable hopes from it, and having got rid of the fear of betraying our Lord, feels secure, and becomes himself the interrogator, while the rest are silent: Peter said to Him, Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for your sake.
What say you, Peter? He has said, you can not, and you say, you can: wherefore you shall know by experience, that your love is nothing, unless you are enabled from above: Jesus answered him,
Will you lay down your life for my sake?
BEDE. Which sentence may be read in two ways: either as affirming, you shall lay down your life for My sake, but now through fear of the death of the body, you shall incur spiritual death: or as mocking; as if He said,
AUG. Will you do that for Me, which I have not done yet for you? Can you go before, who can not come after? Why presume you so? Hear what you are: Verily, verily, I say to you, The cock shall not crow, till you have denied Me thrice, you who promises Me your death, shall thrice deny your life. Peter knew his great desire, his strength he knew not: he boasted of his will, while he was yet weak; but the Physician saw his weakness.
Some who perversely favor Peter, excuse him, and say that he did not deny Christ, because when asked by the servant maid, he said he did not know Him, as the other Evangelist witness more expressly. As if to deny the man Christ, was not to deny Christ; yea, that in Christ, which He was made for our sakes, that that which He made us might not perish. By what is He the Head of the Church, but by His humanity? And how then is he in the body of Christ, who denies the man Christ? But why do I argue so long? Our Lord does not say, The cock shall not crow till you deny man, or the Son of man, but till you deny Me.
What is Me, but that which He was? So then whatever Peter denied, he denied Christ: it is impious to doubt it. Christ said so, and Christ said true: beyond a doubt, Peter denied Christ. Let us not, to defend Peter, accuse Christ. The frailty of Peter himself, acknowledged its sin, when he witnessed by his tears the evil he had done in denying Christ. Nor do we say this, because we have pleasure in blaming the first of the Apostles; but that we may take warning from him, not to be confident of our own strength.
BEDE. Nevertheless, should any one fall, let the example of Peter save him from despair, and teach him that he can without delay obtain pardon from God.
CHRYS. It is manifest that our Lord permitted Peter's fall. He might have recalled him to begin with, but as he persisted in his vehemence, though He did not drive him to a denial, He let him go without assistance, that He might learn his own weakness, and not fall into such sin again, when the superintendence of the world had come to him, but that remembering what had happened to him, he might know himself.
AUG. That took place in the soul of Peter, which he offered in the body; though differently from what he meant. For before the death and resurrection of our Lord, he both died by his denial, and lived again by his tears.
AUG. This speech, The cock shall not crow, occurs in all the Evangelists, but not at the same time in all. Matthew and Mark: introduce it after they have left the house, in which they were eating; Luke and John before. We may suppose either that the two former are recurring to what had passed, or the two latter anticipating what is coming. Or the great difference not only of the words, but of the subjects which precede the speech, and which excite Peter to the presumption of offering to die, for or with our Lord, may lead us to conclude that he made this offer three times, and that our Lord three times replied, Before the cock crows, you shall deny Me thrice.
Catena Aurea John 13