21. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22. Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
JEROME; The Lord had said above, See that you despise not one of these little ones, and had added, If your brother sin against you, &c. making also a promise, If two of you, &c. by which the Apostle Peter was led to ask, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? And to his question he adds an opinion, Until seven times?
CHRYS; Peter thought that he had made a large allowance; but what answers Christ the Lover of men? it follows, Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times, but, Until seventy times seven.
AUG; I am bold to say, that if he shall sin seventy-eight times, you should forgive him; yea, and if a hundred; and how often so if ever he sin against you, forgive him. For if Christ found a thousand sins, yet forgave them all, do not you withdraw your forgiveness. For the Apostle says, Forgiving one another, if any man have quarrel against any, even as God in Christ forgave you.
CHRYS; When He says, Until seventy times seven, He does not limit a definite number within which forgiveness must be kept; but He signifies thereby something endless and ever enduring.
AUG; Yet not without reason did the Lord say, Seventy times seven; for the Law is set forth in ten precepts; and the Law is signified by the number ten, sin by eleven, because it is passing the denary line. Seven is used to be put for a whole, because time goes round in seven days. Take eleven seven times, and you have seventy. He would therefore have all trespasses forgiven, for this is what He signifies by the number seventy-seven.
ORIGEN; Or, because the number six seems to denote toil and labor, and the number seven repose, He says that forgiveness should be given to all brethren who live in this world, and sin in the things of this world. But if any commit transgressions beyond these things, he shall then have no further forgiveness.
JEROME; Or understand it of four hundred and ninety times, that He bids us forgive our brother so oft.
RABAN; It is one thing to give pardon to a brother when he seeks it, that he may live with us in social charity, as Joseph to his brethren; and another to a hostile foe, that we may wish him good, and if we can do him good, as David mourning for Saul.
23. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought to him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.
27. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that you owe.
29. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.
30. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told to their lord all that was done.
32. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said to him, O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me:
33. Should not you also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you?
34. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him.
35. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also to you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
CHRYS; That none should think that the Lord had enjoined something great and burdensome in saying that we must forgive till seventy times seven, He adds a parable.
JEROME; For it is customary with the Syrians, especially they of Palestine, to add a parable to what they speak, that what their hearers might not retain simply, and in itself, the instance and similitude may be the means of retaining.
ORIGEN; The Son of God, as He is wisdom, righteousness, and truth, so is He a kingdom; not indeed any of those which are beneath, but all those which are above, reigning over those in whose senses reigns justice and the other virtues; these are made of heaven because they bear the image of the heavenly. This kingdom of heaven then, i.e. the Son of God, when He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, was then like to a king, in uniting man to himself.
REMIG; Or, by the kingdom of heaven is reasonably understood the holy Church, in which the Lord works what He speaks of in this parable. By the man is sometimes represented the Father, as in that, The kingdom of heaven is like to a king who made a marriage for his son; and sometimes the Son; but here we may take it for both, the Father and the Son, who are one God. God is called a King, inasmuch as He created and governs all things.
ORIGEN; The servants, in these parables, are only they who are employed in dispensing the word, and to whom this business is committed.
REMIG; Or, by the servants of this King are signified all mankind whom He has created for His own praise, and to whom He gave the law of nature; He takes account with them, when He would look into each man's manners, life, and deeds, that He may render to each according to that He has done; as it follows, And when He had begun to reckon, one was brought to Him which owed Him ten thousand talents.
ORIGEN; The King takes account of our whole life then, when we must all be presented before the judgment-seat of Christ We mean not this so as that any should think that the business itself must needs require a long time. For God, when He will scrutinize the minds of all, will by some indescribable power cause every thing that every man has done to pass speedily before the mind of each. He says, And when he began to take account, because the beginning of the judgment is that it begin from the house of God. At His beginning to take account there is brought to Him one who owes Him many talents; one, that is, who had wrought great evils; one on whom much had been enjoined' and had yet et brought no gain; who perhaps had destroyed as many men as he owed talents; one who was therefore become a debtor of many talents, because he had followed the woman sitting upon a talent of lead, whose name is Iniquity.
JEROME; I know that some interpret the man who he owed the ten thousand talents to be the devil, and by his wife and children who were to be sold when he persevered in his wickedness, understand foolishness, and hurtful thoughts. For as wisdom is called the wife of the righteous man, so the wife of the unrighteous and the sinner is called foolishness. But how the Lord remits to the devil ten thousand talents, and how he would not remit ten denarii to us his fellow-servants, of this is there its no ecclesiastical interpretation, nor is it to be admitted by thoughtful men.
AUG; Therefore let us say, that because the Law is set forth in ten precepts, the ten thousand talents which he owed denote all sins which can be done under the Law.
REMIG; Man who sinned of his own will and choice, has no power to rise again by his own endeavor, and has not wherewith to pay, because he finds nothing in himself by which he may loose himself from his sins; whence it follows, And when he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The fool's wife is folly, and the pleasure or lust of the flesh.
AUG; This signifies that the transgressor of the decalogue deserves punishment for his rusts and evil deeds; and that is his price; for the price for which they sell is the punishment of him that is damned.
CHRYS; This command issued not of cruelty, but of unspeakable tenderness. For he seeks by these terrors to bring him to plead that he be not sold, which fell out, as he shows when he adds, The servant therefore fell down and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.
REMIG; That he says, falling down, shows how the sinner humbled himself, and offered amends. Have patience with me, expresses the sinner's prayer, begging respite, and space to correct his error. Abundant is the bounty of God, and His clemency to sinners converted, seeing He is ever ready to forgive sins by baptism or penitence, as it follows, But the lord of that servant had mercy upon him, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
CHRYS; See the exuberance of heavenly love! The servant asked only a brief respite, but he gives him more than he had asked, a full remittance and canceling of the w hole debt. He was minded to have forgiven him from the very first, but he would not have it to be of his own mere motion, but also of the other's suit, that he might not depart without a gift. But he did not remit the debt till he had taken account, because he would have him know how great debts he set him free of, that by this he should at the least be made more merciful to his fellow servants. And indeed as far as what has gone he was worthy to be accepted; for he made confession, and promised that he would pay the debt, and fell down and begged, and confessed the greatness of his debt. But his after deeds were unworthy of the former, for it follows, But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants which owed him a hundred denarii.
AUG; That He says he owed him a hundred denarii is taken from the same number, ten, the number of the Law. For a hundred times a hundred are ten thousand, and ten times ten are a hundred; and those ten thousand talents and these hundred denarii are still keeping to the number of the Law; in both of them you find sins. Both are debtors, both are suitors for remission; so every man is himself a debtor to God, and has his brother his debtor.
CHRYS; But there is as great difference between sins committed against men, and sins committed against God, as between ten thousand talents and a hundred denarii; yes rather there is still greater difference. This appears from the difference of the persons, and from the fewness of the offenders. For when we are seen of man we withhold and are loath to sin, but we cease not daily though God see us, but act and speak all things fearlessly. Not by this only are our sins against God shown to be more heinous, but also by reason of the benefits which we have received from Him; He gave us being, and has done all things in our behalf, has breathed into us a rational soul, has sent His Son, has opened heaven to us, and made us His sons. If then we should every day die for Him, could we make Him any worthy return? By no means; it should rather redound again to our advantage. But, on the contrary, w e offend against His laws.
REMIG; So by him who owed ten thousand talents are represented those that commit the greater crimes; by the debtor of a hundred denarii those who commit the lesser.
JEROME; That this may be made plainer, let us speak it in instances. If any one of you shall have committed an adultery, a homicide, or a sacrilege, these greater sins of ten thousand talents shall be remitted when you beg for it, if you also shall remit lesser offenses to those that trespass against you.
AUG; But this unworthy, unjust servants would not render that which had been rendered to him, for it follows, And he laid hands on him, and held him by the throat, saying, Pay me that you owe.
REMIG; That is, he pressed him hardly, that he might exact vengeance from him.
ORIGEN; He therefore, as I suppose, took him by the throat, because he had come forth from the king; for he would not have so handled his fellow servant, if he had not gone forth from the king.
CHRYS; By saying, as he went out, He shows that it was not after long time, but immediately; while the favor he had received still sounded in his ears, he abused to wickedness the liberty his lord had accorded him. What the other did is added; And his fellow-servant fell down, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.
ORIGEN; Observe the exactness of Scripture; the servant who owed many talents fell down, and worshipped the king; he who owed the hundred denarii falling down, did not worship, but besought his fellow servant, saying, Have patience. But the ungrateful servant did not even respect the very words which had saved himself, for it follows, but he would not.
AUG; That is, he nourished such thoughts towards him that he sought his punishment. But he went his way.
REMIG; That is, his wrath was the rather inflamed, to exact vengeance of him; And he cast him into prison, until he should pay the debt; that is, he seized his brother, and exacted vengeance of him.
CHRYS; Observe the Lord's tenderness, and the servant's cruelty; the one for ten thousand talents, the other for ten denarii; the one a suitor to his fellow, the other to his lord; the one obtained entire remission,, the other sought only respite, but he got it not They who owed nothing, grieved with him; his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very sorry.
AUG; By the fellow-servants is understood the Church, which binds one and looses another.
REMIG; Or perhaps they represent the Angels, or the preachers of the holy Church, or any of the faithful, who when they see a brother whose sins are forgiven refusing to forgive his fellow-servant, they are sorrowful over his perdition. And they came, and told their lord what was as done. They came not in body, but in spirit. To tell their Lord, is to show the woe and sorrow of the heart in their carriage. It follows, Then his lord called him. He called him by the sentence of death, and bade him pass out of this world, and said to him, you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me.
CHRYS; When he owed him ten thousand talents, he did not call him wicked, nor did he at all chide him, but had mercy on him; but now when he had been ungenerous to his fellow-servant, then he says to him, you wicked servant; and this is what is said, Ought you not to have had mercy upon your fellow-servant.
REMIG; And it is to be known, that we read no answer made by that servant to his lord; by which it is shown us, that in the day of judgment, and altogether after this life, all excusing of ourselves shall be cut off.
CHRYS; Because kindness had not mended him, it remains that he be corrected by punishment; whence it follows, And the lord of that servant was as angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay the whole debt. He said not merely, Delivered him, but was angry, this he had not said before; when his Lord commanded that he should be sold; for that was not in wrath, but in love, for his correction; now this is a sentence of penalty and punishment.
REMIG; For God is said then to be wroth, when he takes vengeance on sinners. Torturers are intended for the demons, who are always ready to take up lost souls, and torture them in the pangs of eternal punishment. Will any who is once sunk into everlasting condemnation ever come to find season of repentance, and a way to escape? Never; that until is put for infinity; and the meaning is, He shall be ever paying, and shall never quit the debt, but shall be ever under punishment.
CHRYS; By this is shown that his punishment shall be increasing and eternal, and that he shall never pay. And however irrevocable are the graces and callings of God, yet wickedness has that force, that it seems to break even this law.
AUG; For God says, Forgive, and you shall be forgiven; I have first forgiven, forgive you then after Me; for if you forgive not, I will call you back, and will require again all that I had remitted to you. For Christ neither deceives nor is deceived; and He adds here, This will my heavenly Father do to you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. It is better that you should cry out with your mouth, and forgive in your heart, than that you should speak smoothly, and be unrelenting in your heart. For the Lord adds, From your hearts, to the end that though, out of affection you put him to discipline, yet gentleness should not depart out of your heart. What is more beneficial than the knife of the surgeon? He is rough with the sore that the man may be healed; should he be tender with the sore, the man were lost.
JEROME; Also this, from your hearts, is added to take away all feigned reconciliations. Therefore the Lord's command to Peter under this similitude of the king and his servant who owed him ten thousand talents, and was forgiven by his lord upon his entreaty, is, that he also should forgive his fellow-servants their lesser trespasses.
ORIGEN; He seeks to instruct us, that we should be ready to show clemency to those who have done us harm, especially if they offer amends, and plead to have forgiveness.
RABAN; Allegorically; The servant here who owed the ten thousand talents, is the Jewish people bound to the Ten Commandments in the Law. These the Lord oft forgave their trespasses, when being in difficulties they besought His mercy; but when they were set free, they exacted the utmost with great severity from all their debtors; and of the gentile people which they hated, they required circumcision and the ceremonies of the Law; yes, the Prophets and Apostles they barbarously put to death. For all this the Lord gave them over into the hands of the Romans as to evil spirits, who should punish them with eternal tortures.
Catena Aurea Matthew 18
1. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan;
CHRYS; The Lord had before left Judea because of their jealousy, but now He keeps Himself more to it, because His passion was near at hand. Yet does He not go up to Judea itself, but into the borders of Judea; whence it is said, And it came to pass when Jesus had ended all these sayings, he departed from Galilee.
RABAN; Here then He begins to relate what He did, taught, or suffered in Judea. At first beyond Jordan eastward, afterwards on this side Jordan when He came to Jericho, Bethphage, and Jerusalem; whence it follows, And He came into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan.
PSEUDO-CHRYS; As the righteous Lord of all, who loves these servants so as not to despise those.
RABAN; It should be known, that the whole territory of the Israelites was called Judea, to distinguish it from other nations. But its southern portion, inhabited by the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, was called Judea proper, to distinguish it from other districts in the same province as Samaria, Galilee, Decapolis, and the rest. It follows, And great multitudes followed him.
Catena Aurea Matthew 19
Daily Readings for: August 11, 2011
(Readings on USCCB website)
Collect: God of mercy, you inspired Saint Clare with the love of poverty. By the help of her prayers may we follow Christ in poverty of spirit and come to the joyful vision of your glory in the kingdom of heaven. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Memorial of St. Clare, virgin Old Calendar: Saints Tiburtius and Susanna; St. Philomena, virgin & martry (Hist)
St. Clare of Assisi was the first woman to practice the life of entire poverty as taught by St. Francis. Placed by him at the head of a few companions in the small convent of San Damiano, she governed her community for forty-two years thus founding at the gates of Assisi the Order of Poor Clares. Their Rule included austerities hitherto unknown in monasteries of women. They went barefoot, slept on the ground, kept perpetual abstinence and made poverty the basis of their lives. St. Clare died on August 11, 1253, and was canonized two years after her death.
According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of Sts. Tiburtius and Susanna. St. Tiburtius is a Roman martyr of unknown date who is buried on the Via Laviacana in the cemetery known nowadays as the catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus. St. Susanna, a Roman virgin, was also martyred at an unknown date. There are two churches in Rome which bear her name.
Historically today is the feast of St. Philomena, a young virgin and martyr of the fourth century.
The Breviary says of her: "Following the example of St. Francis, she distributed all her possessions among the poor. She fled from the noise of the world and betook herself to a country chapel, where St. Francis himself sheared off her hair and clothed her with a penitential garb (on March 18, 1212, at the age of eighteen). Then she resided at the Church of St. Damian, where the Lord provided for her a goodly number of companions. So she established a community of nuns and acted as their superior at the wish of St Francis. For forty-two years she directed the nunnery with zeal and prudence, her own life serving as a constant sermon for her sisters to emulate. Of Pope Innocent IV she requested the privilege that she and her community live in absolute poverty. She was a most perfect follower of St. Francis of Assisi.
"When the Saracens were besieging Assisi and were preparing to attack the convent, St. Clare asked to be assisted as far as the entrance, for she was ill. In her hand she carried a vessel containing the blessed Eucharist as she prayed: O Lord, do not deliver over to beasts the souls that praise You! (Ps. 73). Protect Your servants, for You have redeemed them by Your precious Blood. And in the midst of that prayer a voice was heard, saying: Always will I protect you ! The Saracens took to flight."
Heroic in suffering (she was sick for twenty-seven years), she was canonized only two years after her death. Thomas of Celano coined the saying: Clara nomine, vita clarior, clarissima moribus.
Clare was the first flower in the garden of the Poor Man of Assisi. Poor in earthly goods, but rich in her utter poverty, she was a replica of Jesus, poor in the crib and on the Cross. At her time the Church generally and many Church men were enmeshed in financial matters and political maneuvering. Through the renewal of the ideal of poverty, St. Francis effected a "reform of Christian life in head and members."
In our twentieth century there still remain large areas with millions suffering under extreme poverty. Poverty in itself is no virtue; but it should be made into a virtue. Let us recall a few of the examples and texts from holy Scripture which show how precious poverty is and what deep reverence we should have toward it. Christ was poor. His entrance into the world and His departure from it took place in circumstances of greatest need. He had no house wherein to be born, no crib; no house wherein to die, no deathbed. Poverty stood watch at birth and remained to see His death. "The foxes have dens and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head" (Matt. 3:20).
At least we can be moderate and frugal, and thereby find the way to the spirit of Christian poverty. St. Clare, help us.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Patron: Embroiderers; eye disease; eyes; gilders; goldsmiths; gold workers; good weather; laundry workers; needle workers; Santa Clara Indian Pueblo; telegraphs; telephones; television; television writers.
Symbols: Chalice and host; tall cross; Monstrance; lily; ciborium.
Often Portrayed as: Woman with a monstrance in her hand; Nun holding a vessel containing the holy Eucharist.
Things to Do:
From A Treasure Chest of Traditions For Catholic Families by Monica McConkey:
While St. Clare is the patroness of sore eyes, she has also become the patroness of television. She miraculously saw and heard Mass, even when she was too sick to attend!
Make a resolution to prevent sore eyes caused by too much television! Pick shows selectively. Some families create a token system, rationing viewing by requiring viewers to "PAY-PER-VIEW". Buttons, poker chips or other sets of small game pieces can be used as tokens (handed out weekly), or a TIME SHEET can be used to log in or out TV programs to keep track.
Help children to choose programs carefully. Help children to recognize how programs which may be cute or funny, do not necessarily reflect family values. Keep the dialogue going and talk about the differences!
Used with permission. Write to ArmaDei@aol.com or see Arma Dei for more information about this great book. Treasure Chest is filled with unique ideas for activities, crafts and recipes to help families celebrate the various Seasons and Feast Days of the year.
Sts. Tiburtius and Susanna
A sense of reverential awe and deep respect fills us whenever we meet the martyrs of the ancient Church. Yet it is often very difficult to give a strictly historical account of their lives. Nevertheless, even though we do not know all the biographical details, they are for us representatives of that "army of light," the martyrs, witnesses to Christ. And we want to be inspired by their example. Today the Martyrology tells this: "At Rome, between the two laurel trees, the death of the holy martyr Tiburtius. During the persecution of Diocletian the magistrate Fabian forced him to tread barefoot upon burning coals. As it only served to make him profess the faith more boldly, he was ordered to be led outside the city until the third milestone and there beheaded. . . . At Rome, the holy virgin Susanna. She came from an illustrious family, and was the niece of the saintly Pope Cams. At the time of Diocletian she won the palm of martyrdom by being beheaded."
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Symbols: Susanna Crown at her feet; sword.
On May 25, 1802, excavators in the ancient Catacomb of St. Priscilla in Rome came upon a well-preserved shelf tomb sealed with terra-cotta slabs in the manner usually reserved for nobility or great martyrs. The tomb was marked with three tiles, inscribed with the following confusing words: LUMENA / PAXTE / CUMFI. However, if one places the first tile last and separates the words properly, the very intelligible sentence emerges: "Pax tecum, Filumena", which is, "Peace be with you, Philomena" Also inscribed on the tiles were symbols: a lily, arrows, an anchor and a lance, which would appear to indicate virginity and martyrdom. Inside the coffin there were discovered the remains of a girl of about twelve or thirteen years of age, along with a vial or ampulla of her dried blood.
Transferred to the Treasury of the Rare Collection of Christian Antiquity in the Vatican, the remains were soon forgotten by the public, especially since no record existed of a virgin martyr named Philomena. But in 1805, a Neapolitan priest, Don Francesco di Lucia, traveling to Rome with his newly appointed bishop, requested and, after a brief delay, received the relics of this martyr "Philomena" to enshrine in his village church at Mugnano, near Naples.
Immediately upon the official donation of St. Philomenas sacred remains, signal favors began to be granted through her intercession and unusual events to occur. The favors, graces and even miracles started to increase, even before her enshrinement at Mugnano, and they steadily grew in number thereafter-such that this virgin martyr soon earned the title, "Philomena, Powerful with God." In 1837, only 35 years after her exhumation, Pope Gregory XVI elevated this "Wonder-Worker of the Nineteenth Century" to sainthood. In an act unprecedented in the history of Catholicism, she became the only person recognized by the Church as a Saint solely on the basis of her powerful intercession, since nothing historical was known of her except her name and the evidence of her martyrdom.
But truly, as her devotees have discovered, no case, of whatever matter is too trivial or too unimportant to concern her. Among her most devoted clients was St. John Vianney (the Cure D'Ars) whose childlike devotion to this virgin Saint played an intimate part in his daily life. Other Saints who were always devoted to her, prayed to her and sang her praises were : St. Peter Julian Eymard, St.Peter Chanel, St. Anthony Mary Claret, St. Madelaine Sophie Barat, St. Euphrasia Pelletier, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, St. John Nepomucene Neumann, Blessed Anna Maria Taigi and Ven. Pauline Jaricot.
A number of Popes have also shown remarkable devotion to Philomena as well: Pope Leo XII (1823-1829) expressed the great admiration for this unknown child-saint and gladly gave his permission for the erection of altars and churches in her honor. Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846), who authorized her public veneration showed his esteem and devotion to the Saint by giving her the title of "Patroness of the Living Rosary." A Mass and proper Office in her honor were approved by him in 1834 or 1835. This is extraordinary privilege granted to comparatively few Saints. Pope Pius IX (1846-1878) proclaimed her "Patroness of the Children of Mary." Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) made two pilgrimages to her shrine before his election to the papacy. After he had become the Vicar of Christ, he gave a valuable cross to the sanctuary He approved the Confraternity of St. Philomena and later raised it to an Arch-confraternity (which is still headquartered at her shrine at Mugnano, Italy). Pope St. Pius X (1903-1914) spoke warmly of her and manifested his devotion to her in various ways. Costly gifts were given by him to her shrine.
Excerpted from TAN Books and Publishers, Inc.
Patron: against barrenness, against bodily ills, against infertility, against mental illness, against sickness, against sterility, babies, children, Children of Mary, desperate causes, forgotten causes, impossible causes, infants, lost causes, Living Rosary, newborns, orphans, poor people, priests, prisoners, sick people, students, test takers, toddlers, young people, youth
Symbols: anchor (an image of one was inscribed on her tomb); arrows; crown; lily
Things to Do: