Sunday, August 08, 2010

11th Sunday after Pentecost: Gospel, Catena Aurea, and Homily


Continuation of the Gospel According to St Mark (7, 31-37).

At that time, Jesus going out of the coasts of Tyre, came by Sidon to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring to Him one deaf and dumb, and they besought Him that He would lay His hand upon him. And taking him from the multitude apart, He put His fingers into his ears, and spitting, He touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, He groaned and said to him: Ephphetha, which is, 'Be thou opened': and immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right. And He charged them that they should tell no man: but the more He charged them so much the more a great deal did they publish it; and so much the more did they wonder, saying: He hath done all things well; He hath made both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secúndum Marcum (7, 31-37).

In illo témpore: Exiens Jesus de fínibus Tyri, venit per Sidónem ad mare Galilææ, inter médios fines Decapóleos. Et addúcunt ei surdum et mutum, et deprecabúntur eum, ut impónat illi manum. Et apprehéndens eum de turba seórsum, misit dígitos suos in aurículas ejus: et éxspuens, tétigit linguam ejus: et suspíciens in cælum, ingémuit, et ait illi: Ephphetha, quod est adaperíre. Et statim apértæ sunt aures ejus, et solútum est vinculum linguæ ejus, et loquebátur recte. Et præcépit illis ne cui dícerent. Quanto autem eis præcipiébat, tanto magis plus prædicábant: et eo ámplius admirabántur, dicéntes: Bene ómnia fecit: et surdos fecit audíre et mutos loqui.

Θεραπεία κωφαλάλου

31 Καὶ πάλιν ἐξελθὼν ἐκ τῶν ὁρίων Τύρου καὶ Σιδῶνος ἦλθε πρὸς τὴν θάλασσαν τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν ὁρίων Δεκαπόλεως. 32 καὶ φέρουσιν αὐτῷ κωφὸν μογιλάλον καὶ παρακαλοῦσιν αὐτὸν ἵνα ἐπιθῇ αὐτῷ τὴν χεῖρα.  33 καὶ ἀπολαβόμενος αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τοῦ ὄχλου κατ᾿ ἰδίαν ἔβαλε τοὺς δακτύλους αὐτοῦ εἰς τὰ ὦτα αὐτοῦ, καὶ πτύσας ἥψατο τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ, 34 καὶ ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν ἐστέναξε καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ· ἐφφαθά, ὅ ἐστι διανοίχθητι. 35 καὶ εὐθέως διηνοίχθησαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἀκοαὶ καὶ ἐλύθη ὁ δεσμὸς τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐλάλει ὀρθῶς.  36 καὶ διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς ἵνα μηδενὶ εἴπωσιν· ὅσον δὲ αὐτὸς αὐτοῖς διεστέλλετο, μᾶλλον περισσότερον ἐκήρυσσον.  37 καὶ ὑπερπερισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο λέγοντες· καλῶς πάντα πεποίηκε· καὶ τοὺς κωφοὺς ποιεῖ ἀκούειν καὶ τοὺς ἀλάλους λαλεῖν.

From St. Thomas Aquinas' Catena Aurea (on Mc 7, 31-37):

Theophylact: The Lord did not wish to stay in the parts of the Gentiles, lest He should give the Jews occasion to say, that they esteemed Him a transgressor of the law, because He held communion with the Gentiles, and therefore He immediately returns.

Wherefore it is said, And again departing from the coasts of Tyre, He came through Sidon, to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the borders of Decapolis.

Bede, in Marc., 2, 31: Decapolis is a region of ten cities, across the Jordan, to the east, over against Galilee [ed. note: It appears, however, from Reland, Pales. v.1, p198, that a portion of Decapolis, including its metropolis, Scythopolis, was on this side Jordan, and therefore this text of St. Mark may be taken literally.] When therefore it is said that the Lord came to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the borders of Decapolis, it does not mean that He entered the confines of Decapolis themselves; for He is not said to have crossed the sea, but rather to have come to the borders of the sea, and to have reached quite up to the place, which was opposite to the midst of the coasts of Decapolis, which were situated at a distance across the sea.

It goes on, And they bring Him one that was deaf and dumb, and they besought Him to lay hands upon him.

Theophylact: Which is rightly placed after the deliverance of one possessed with a devil, for such an instance of suffering came from the devil.

There follows, And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers into his ears.

Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: He takes the deaf and dumb man who was brought to Him apart from the crowd, that He might not do His divine miracles openly; teaching us to cast away vain glory and swelling of heart, for no one can work miracles as he can, who loves humility and is lowly in his conduct. But He puts His fingers into his ears, when He might have cured him with a word, to shew that His body, being united to Deity, was consecrated by Divine virtue, with all that He did. For since on account of the transgression of Adam, human nature had incurred much suffering and hurt in its members and senses, Christ coming into the world shewed the perfection of human nature in Himself, and on this account opened ears, with His fingers, and gave the power of speech by His spittle.

Wherefore it goes on, And spit, and touched his tongue.

Theophylact: That He might shew that all the members of His sacred body are divine and holy, even the spittle which loosed the string of the tongue. For the spittle is only the superflous moisture of the body, but in the Lord, all things are divine.

It goes on, And looking up to heaven, He groaned, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

Bede: He looked up to heaven, that He might teach us that thence is to be procured speech for the dumb, hearing for the deaf, health for all who are sick. And He sighed, not that it was necessary for Him to be any thing from His Father with groaning, for He, together with the Father, gives all things to them who ask, but that He might give us an example of sighing, when for our own errors and those of our neighbours, we invoke the guardianship of the Divine mercy.

Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: He at the same time also groaned, as taking our cause upon Himself and pitying human nature, seeing the misery into which it had fallen.

Bede: But that which He says, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened, belong properly to the ears, for the ears are to be opened for hearing, but the tongue to be loosed from the bonds of its impediment, that is may be able to speak.

Wherefore it goes on, And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

Where each nature of one and the same Christ is manifestly distinct, looking up indeed into Heaven as man, praying unto God, He groaned, but presently with one word, as being strong in the Divine Majesty, He healed.

It goes on, And He charged them that they should tell no man.

Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: By which He has taught us not to boast in our powers, but in the cross and humiliation. He also bade them conceal the miracle, lest He should excite the Jews by envy to kill Him before the time.

Pseudo-Jerome: A city, however, placed on a hill cannot be hid, and lowliness always comes before glory.

Wherefore it goes on, but the more He charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it.

Theophylact: By this we are taught, when we confer benefits on any, by no means to seek for applause and praise; but when we have received benefits, to proclaim and praise our benefactors, even though they be unwilling.

Augustine: If however He, as one Who knew the present and the future wills of men, knew that they would proclaim Him the more in proportion as He forbade them, why did He give them this command? If it were not that He wished to prove to men who are idle, how much more joyfully, with how much greater obedience, they whom He commands to proclaim Him should preach, when they who were forbidden could not hold their peace.

Gloss.: From the preaching however of those who were healed by Christ, the wonder of the multitude, and their praise of the benefits of Christ, increased.

Wherefore it goes on, And they were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well; he maketh the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Pseudo-Jerome: Mystically, Tyre is interpreted, narrowness, and signifies Judaea, to which the Lord said, For the bed is grown too narrow, [Isa 28:20] and from which He turns Himself to the Gentiles. Sidon means, hunting, for our race is like an untamed beast, and sea, which means a wavering inconstancy. Again, the Saviour comes to save the Gentiles in the midst of the coasts of Decapolis, which may be interpreted, as the commands of the Decalogue.

Further, the human race throughout its many members is reckoned as one man, eaten up by varying pestilence, in the first created man; it is blinded, that is, its eye is evil; it becomes deaf, when it listens to, and dumb when it speaks, evil. And they prayed Him to lay His hand upon him, because many just men, and patriarchs, wished and longed for the time when the Lord should come in the flesh.

Bede: Or he is deaf and dumb, who neither has ears to hear the words of God, nor opens his mouth to speak them, and such must be presented to the Lord for healing, by men who have already learned to hear and speak the divine oracles.

Pseudo-Jerome: Further, he who obtains healing is always drawn aside from turbulent thoughts, disorderly actions, and incoherent speeches. And the fingers which are put into the ears are the words and the gifts of the Holy Ghost, of whom it is said, This is the finger of God. [Ex 8:19; Luke 11:20]

The spittle is heavenly wisdom, which loosens the sealed lips of the human race, so that it can say, I believe in God, the Father Almighty, and the rest of the Creed. And looking up to heaven, he groaned, that is, He taught us to groan, and to raise up the treasures of our hearts to the heavens; because by the groaning of hearty compunction, the silly joy of the flesh is purged away. But the ears are opened to hymns, and songs, and psalms; and He looses the tongue, that it may pour forth the good word, which neither threats nor stripes can restrain.

From Matins of the 11th Sunday after Pentecost
Online Source:

Absolutio: A vínculis peccatórum nostrórum absólvat nos omnípotens et miséricors Dóminus.
R.  Amen.
Absolution:  May the Lord Almighty and merciful break the bonds of our sins and set us free.
R.  Amen.
V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 7: Evangélica léctio sit nobis salus et protéctio.
R.  Amen.
Benediction 7:  May the Gospel's holy lection be our safeguard and protection.
R.  Amen.
Lesson vii
Léctio sancti Evangélii secúndum MarcumThe Lesson is taken from the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Chap. 7, 31-37
In illo témpore : Exiens Jesus de fínibus Tyri venit per Sidónem ad mare Galilææ inter médios fines Decapóleos.  Et réliqua.
At that time : Jesus, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, came unto the Sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.  And so on, and that which followeth.
Homilía sancti Gregórii PapæA Homily by St. Gregory the Pope
Homilia 10 liber 1 in Ezech., ante medium
Quid est quod creátor ómnium Deus, cum surdum et mutum sanáre voluísset, in aures illíus suos dígitos misit, et éxspuens linguam ejus tétigit?  Quid per dígitos Redemptóris, nisi dona Sancti Spíritus designántur?  Unde cum in álio loco ejecísset dæmónium, dixit : Si in dígito Dei ejício dæmónia, profécto pervénit in vos regnum Dei.  Qua de re per Evangelístam álium dixísse descríbitur : Si ego in Spíritu Dei ejício dæmones, ígitur pervénit in vos regnum Dei.  Ex quo utróque loco collígitur, quia dígitus Spíritus vocátur.  Dígitos ergo in aurículas míttere, est per dona Spíritus Sancti mentem surdi ad obediéndum aperíre.
What signifieth it that God, the Maker of all, in this healing of the man, did put his fingers into the ears of the afflicted one, and did spit, and touch his tongue with the spittle?  What is figured by the fingers of the Redeemer, but the gifts of the Holy Ghost?  Hence it is written by the Evangelist St. Luke that once, after he had cast out an evil spirit, he said : If I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you : which words are thus given by the Evangelist Matthew thus : If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.  By setting these two passages together we see that the Spirit is called the Finger of God.  For our Lord, then, to put his fingers into the deaf man's ears was by the gift of the Holy Spirit to enlighten his dark mind unto obedience.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.
Before the First Sunday of August
R.  Peccávi super númerum arénæ maris, et multiplicáta sunt peccáta mea : et non sum dignus vidére altitúdinem cæli præ multitúdine iniquitátis meæ : quóniam irritávi iram tuam, * Et malum coram te feci.V.  Quóniam iniquitátem meam ego cognósco : et delíctum meum contra me est semper, quia tibi soli peccávi.
R.  Et malum coram te feci.
R.  I have sinned above the number of the sands of the sea ; yea, I am not worthy to look up toward heaven because of the  multitude of mine iniquities ; against thee only have I sinned ;  *   And done this evil in thy sight.V.  I acknowledge my faults, and my sin is ever before me ; against thee only have I sinned.
R.  And done this evil in thy sight.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 8: Divínum auxílium máneat semper nobíscum.
R.  Amen.
Benediction 8: May help divine be with us all, for ever abiding.
R.  Amen.
Lesson viii
Quid est vero, quod éxspuens linguam ejus tétigit?  Salíva nobis est ex ore Redemptóris, accépta sapiéntia in elóquio divíno.  Salíva quippe ex cápite défluit in ore.  Ea ergo sapiéntia, quæ ipse est, dum lingua nostra tángitur, mox ad prædicatiónis verba formátur.  Qui suspíciens in cælum, ingémuit : non quod ipse necessárium gémitum habéret, qui dabat quod postulábat ; sed nos ad eum gémere, qui cælo præsidet, dócuit : ut et aures nostræ per donum Spíritus Sancti aperíri, et lingua per salívam oris, id est, per sciéntiam divínæ locutiónis, solvi débeat ad verba prædicatiónis.
What signifieth it also that he spat and touched his tongue?  We receive somewhat out of the Redeemer's mouth upon our tongues when we receive wisdom to speak God's truth.  Spittle is a secretion of the head which floweth into the mouth.  And so it is that Wisdom, which is himself, the great Head of his Church, as soon as it hath touched our tongue, doth straightway take the form of preaching.  And looking up to heaven, he sighed : not that he had any need to sigh unto his Father, for this same gave him whatsoever he asked : but he was fain to teach us to look up and sigh toward him whose throne is in heaven, thus confessing our need that our ears should be opened by the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our tongue loosed by the gift from our Saviour's mouth, (that, is, by knowledge of his divine word,) before we can use it to preach to others.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.
R.  Duo Séraphim clamábant alter ad álterum : *Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dóminus Deus Sábaoth :* Plena est omnis terra glória ejus.V.  Tres sunt qui testimónium dant in cælo : Pater, Verbum, et Spíritus Sanctus : et hi tres unum sunt.
R.  Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus Dóminus Deus Sábaoth.V.  Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R.  Plena est omnis terra glória ejus.
R.  The two Seraphim did cry the One to the Other: * Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of Hosts : *The whole earth is full of his glory.V.  For there are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost : and these Three are One.
R.  Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of Hosts.V.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R.  The whole earth is full of his glory.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 9: Ad societátem cívium supernórum perdúcat nos Rex Angelórum.
R.  Amen.
Benediction 9: May the King of Angels give us fellowship with all the citizens of heaven.
R.  Amen.
Lesson ix
Cui mox, Ephphetha, id est, Adaperíre dícitur : et statim apértæ sunt aures ejus, et solútum est vínculum linguæ ejus.  Qua in re notándum est, quia propter clausas aures dictum est, Adaperíre.  Sed cui aures cordis ad obediéndum apértæ fúerint, ex subsequénti procul dúbio étiam linguæ ejus vínculum sólvitur ; ut bona quæ ipse fécerit, étiam faciénda áliis loquátur.  Ubi bene ádditur : Et loquebátur recte.  Ille enim recte lóquitur, qui prius obediéndo fécerit quæ loquéndo ádmonet esse faciénda.
And he said unto him : Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.  And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed.  Herein we must remark that the command : Be opened : was addressed to the deaf ears, but that the dumb tongue also was immediately loosed.  Just so, when the ears of a man's heart have been opened to learn the obedience of faith, the string of his tongue also is thereupon loosed, that he may exhort others to do the good things which himself doeth.  It is well added : And he spake plain.  He only doth well preach obedience to others who hath himself first learnt to obey.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.

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