Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. As
this chapter is almost verbally like to the 5th, 7th, and 12th of St. Matthew, and the 3d of St. Mark, the reader is referred
to these for further explanation. --- On the second-first sabbath. An obscure passage, on which St. Jerome says to
Nepotianus, that he consulted his master, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, but in vain. St. Chrysostom, Hom. xl. in Matt., takes
it for a double feast, or a double rest: by which we may either understand a sabbath, and another feast concurring
on the same day; or a sabbath and a feast immediately succeeding to each other. Theophylactus says the same; and that then
the latter day, on which they were to rest, was called the second-first. Others say, that when the Jews kept their
solemn paschal feast for seven days, the last day was called the second-first, because it was kept with equal
solemnity as the first day had been. See Maldonatus. Later interpreters have found out other expositions, of which the most
plausible seems to be, that by the second-first sabbath may be understood the feast of Pentecost (which also
happened when corn was ripe in Palestine). To understand this we must take notice, that the Jews had three great and solemn
feasts: 1. That of the Pasch, or the great paschal feast, with the seven days of unleavened bread; the 2d.
was the great feast of Pentecost; and the 3d. was the feast, called of tabernacles. It is supposed then
that the paschal feast was called the first-first sabbath, that Pentecost was called the second-first
sabbath, and that of tabernacles the third-first, or great sabbath. (Witham)
Ver. 2. The
Scribes and Pharisees boasted much, as do many modern teachers, of their great knowledge of Scriptures, but our Saviour often
sheweth their profound ignorance. (Bristow)
Ver. 13. These
twelve Christ chose as individual companions and domestics. To these he committed the charge of founding and governing his
Church. He sent them as legates, or ambassadors, (for this is the import of the word apostle) to all the world. Hence
their power was more universal than that of bishops, which is confined to their own dioceses or districts. The jurisdiction
of the apostles was not limited to place. (Tirinus) --- This power which Jesus Christ delegated to his apostles, and which
was for the benefit and regulation of the universal Church in all future ages, the apostles, in their turn, delegated to their
successors in the ministry, with such regulations and limitations as have been judged in the Holy Ghost necessary for the
proper government of the spiritual kingdom of God upon earth. And it is the height of presumption to question any ordinations
that come to us with the authority of the Catholic Church: for, "whatever the Church says, is true; whatever she permits is
lawful; whatever she forbids, is evil; whatever she ordains, is holy; whatever she institutes, is good." (St. Augustine) ---
How futile then is the objection of Calvin, who pretends, that an apostle, being nothing but a legate, can make no laws, nor
prescribe or teach any thing not expressed in his mandatum! (Calvin, Institutes lib. iv. chap. 8)
Ver. 16. Judas,
surnamed Thaddeus in St. Matthew x. 3. and in St. Mark iii. 18. At the head of his epistle he styles himself Judas, brother
of James. (Bible de Vence)
Ver. 17. To
a more extended and even part of the mountain, as we learn from comparing this text with St. Matthew v. 1. as it was from
the mountain that Jesus Christ addressed to the people the following discourse. (Bible de Vence)
Ver. 20. St.
Matthew (v. 3. 10.) mentions eight beatitudes, St. Luke only four; but St. Luke only gives an abridgment in this place of
the discourse, which St. Matthew gives more at length. We are also to remark, that in these four the whole eight are comprised,
and that both evangelists place poverty in the first place, because it is the first in rank, and, as it were, the parent of
the other virtues; for he who hath forsaken earthly possessions, deserves heavenly ones. Neither can any man reasonably expect
eternal life, who is not willing to forsake all in affection, and in effect also, if called upon for the love of Jesus Christ.
(St. Ambrose) --- Not that every one under great poverty is happy, but that the man who prefers the poverty of Christ to the
riches of the world, ought certainly to be esteemed such. Many indeed are poor in worldly substance, but are avaricious in
affection; to such as these poverty is no advantage. Nothing that is against the will, merits reward; therefore all virtue
is known by the will. Blessed, therefore, are the poor, who bear poverty for the sake of Christ: he himself hath already trodden
the path before us, and taught us by his example that it leads to honour and enjoyment. (St. Cyril in St. Thomas Aquinas)
Ver. 24. Jesus
Christ having declared how meritorious poverty of spirit was to eternal life, proceeds to denounce heavy chastisements upon
the rich and proud. (St. Cyril in St. Thomas Aquinas) --- Although in great riches there are great inducements to sin, yet
there are not wanting even in that state great incitements to virtue; neither is this woe aimed against those who abound in
affluence; but against "those who abuse that affluence which Providence has bestowed upon them: Non enim census, sed affectus,
in crimine est." (St. Ambrose)
Ver. 25. As
before he promised blessings to those that hunger, that weep, that are outcasts for Christ's sake; so here, and in the next
verse, he denounces curses to such as are filled, that laugh, and are praised; i.e. to such, as so far seek their beatitude
in present enjoyment, as to become indifferent with regard to the good things of the next world. (Haydock)
Ver. 26. Woe
to you, when men shall bless you. The ministers of the gospel must not value themselves, when they are applauded by men;
for so did the fore-fathers of the Jews, formerly commend the false prophets, when they flattered the people, and spoke
things that were pleasing to them. (Witham)
Ver. 30. Jesus
Christ does not order us never to refuse a petition: but the meaning of his words is, that we are to give what is just and
reasonable, what will be neither injurious to yourself nor your family; for what is unjustly asked, may be justly denied.
(St. Augustine, lib. x. chap. 40. de serm. Dom. in Monte.) --- But in this, the sin we commit is often far from trivial; particularly,
when to the refusal of a just request, we add also reprehensions and complaints. For why, say we, does he not labour? why
has he reduced himself to penury, through his own indolence?---But, tell me, do you live upon the fruits of your own industry?
On the supposition that you do, is it not that you may have some plea to reprehend another for the morsel of bread he begs
at your hands? You give him no charitable relief, give him then no contumelious words: if you have no compassion for him yourself,
do not prevent others from shewing him commiseration. Abraham, in the number of guests he received, had the honour of receiving
under his roof even angels. Let us not, therefore, be strict and unfavourable judges in regard of our suffering and distressed
neighbours, lest perhaps we ourselves come to be more severely judged. (St. Chrysostom collected from hom. xxi. in ep. ad.
Rom. --- Hom. xi. in ep. ad. Heb. and hom. ii. de Lazaro.)
Ver. 35. Hoping
for nothing, but merely impelled by a desire of doing good. They who only give when sure of having a greater return, do
not give, but traffic with their generosity; in which there is no charity. (Haydock)
Ver. 37. What
can be imagined more kind, what more merciful, than this conduct of our Sovereign Lord, that the sentence of the judge should
be left in the hands of the person to be judged? (Jansenius, Comment. in sanct. Evang.)
Ver. 38. Here
all solicitude of diffidence, all delay of avarice, is cut off; for what truth promises to repay, humility may safe expend.
(St. Leo, Serm. vi.)
Ver. 48. That
man buildeth safely who hath both faith and good works; whereas the man that trusteth to his faith alone, to his reading or
knowledge of Scripture, and doth not work and live accordingly, buildeth on sand. (Bristow)
 Ver. 1. In Sabbato secundo-primo en sabbato deuteroproto.
See St. Chrysostom, Hom. xl. in Matt. in the Latin edition, in the Greek of Savil om lth p. 262, tom. ii. otan
e argia e, kai tou sabbatou tou kuriou, kai eteras eortes diadechomenes. See St. Hieron.[St. Jerome,] ad Nepotianum.
tom. iv, part 2, p. 262. Ed. Ben.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Christ excuses his disciples. He cures upon the sabbath-day:
chooses the twelve, and makes a sermon to them.
1 And *it came to pass on the second first sabbath, that as he went through
the corn-fields, his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.
2 And some of the Pharisees said to them: Why do you that which is not
lawful to do on the sabbath-days?
3 And Jesus answering them, said: Have you not read so much as this, what
David did, when himself was hungry, and they that were with him:
4 *How he went into the house of God, and took and eat the bread of proposition,
and gave to them that were with him, which it is not lawful to eat **but only for the priests?
5 And he said to them: The Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
6 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the
synagogue, and taught. *And there was a man, whose right hand was withered.
7 And the Scribes and Pharisees watched, to see if he would heal on the
sabbath: that they might find an accusation against him.
8 But he knew their thoughts: and said to the man who had the withered
hand: Arise, and stand forth in the midst. And rising he stood forth.
9 Then Jesus said to them: I ask you, if it be lawful on the sabbath-days
to do good, or to do evil: to save life, or to destroy?
10 And looking round about on them all, he said to the man: Stretch forth
thy hand. And he stretched it forth: and his hand was restored.
11 And they were filled with madness, and they talked one with another,
what they might do to Jesus.
12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain
to pray, and he passed the whole night in the prayer of God.
13 *And when it was day, he called his disciples and he chose twelve of
them, (whom also he named apostles:)
14 Simon, whom he surnamed Peter, and Andrew, his brother, James and John,
Philip and Bartholomew,
15 Matthew and Thomas, James, the son of Alpheus, and Simon, who
is called Zelotes:
16 And Jude, the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, who was the
17 And coming down with them, he stood in an open plain, and the company
of his disciples, and a very great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea-coast both of Tyre and Sidon,
18 Who had come to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases. And they
that were troubled with unclean spirits, were cured.
19 And all the multitude sought to touch him, for virtue went out from
him, and healed all.
20 *And he lifting up his eyes on his disciples, said: Blessed are ye poor:
for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 *Blessed are ye that hunger now: for you shall be filled. Blessed are
ye that weep now: for you shall laugh.
22 *Blessed shall you be when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate
you, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
23 Be glad in that day, and rejoice: for behold, your reward is great in
heaven. For according to these things did their fathers to the prophets.
24 *But wo to you that are rich: for you have your consolation.
25 *Wo to you that are filled: for you shall hunger. Wo to you that laugh
now: for you shall mourn and weep.
26 Wo to you when men shall bless you: for according to these things
did their fathers to the false prophets.
27 But I say to you that hear: *Love your enemies, do good to them that
28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them that calumniate you.
29 And to him that striketh thee on the one cheek, offer also the
other. And him that taketh away from thee thy cloak, hinder not to take thy coat also.
30 Give to every one that asketh thee, and of him that taketh away thy
goods, ask them not again.
31 And as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them, in
32 And if you love them that love you, what thanks have you? for sinners
also love those that love them.
33 And if you do good to them that do good to you; what thanks have you?
for sinners also do this.
34 *And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thanks are
to you? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much.
35 But love ye your enemies: do good, and lend, hoping for nothing thereby:
and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the sons of the Most High: for he is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil.
36 Be ye, therefore, merciful, as your father also is merciful.
37 *Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall
not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven.
38 Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure, and pressed down and
shaken together, and running over, shall they give into your bosom. *For with the same measure that you shall mete, it shall
be measured to you again.
39 And he spoke also to them a similitude: Can the blind lead the blind?
do they not both fall into the ditch?
40 *The disciple is not above his master: but every one shall be perfect,
if he be as his master.
41 *And why seest thou the mote in thy brother's eye, but the beam that
is in thy own eye, thou considerest not?
42 Or how canst thou say to thy brother: Brother, let me pull the mote
out of thy eye: when thou thyself seest not the beam in thy own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast first the beam out of thy own eye:
and then shalt thou see clearly to take out the mote from thy brother's eye.
43 *For there is no good tree that bringeth forth evil fruit: nor an evil
tree that bringeth forth good fruit.
44 For every tree is known by its fruit. For men do not gather figs from
thorns: nor from a bramble bush do they gather grapes.
45 A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that
which is good: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the
heart the mouth speaketh.
46 And why call you me *Lord, Lord: and do not the things which I say?
47 Every one that cometh to me, and heareth my words, and doth them: I
will shew you to whom he is like.
48 He is like to a man building a house, who digged deep, and laid the
foundation upon a rock. And when a flood came, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and it could not shake it: for
it was founded on a rock.
49 But he that heareth, and doth not: is like to a man building his house
upon the earth without a foundation: against which the stream beat vehemently, and immediately it fell: and the ruin of that
house was great.
1: about the year A.D. 31.; Matthew xii. 1.; Mark ii. 23.
4: 1 Kings xxi. 6. --- ** Exodus xxix. 32.; Leviticus xxiv. 9.
6: Matthew xii. 10.; Mark iii. 1.
13: Matthew x. 1.; Mark iii. 13.
20: Matthew v. 2.
21: Matthew v. 6.
22: Matthew v. 11.
24: Ecclesiasticus xxxi. 7.; Amos vi. 1.
25: Isaias lxv. 13.
27: Matthew v. 44.
34: Deuteronomy xv. 8.; Matthew v. 42.
37: Matthew vii. 1.
38: Matthew vii. 2.; Mark iv. 24.
40: Matthew x. 24.; John xiii. 16.
41: Matthew vii. 3.
43: Matthew vii. 18. and xii. 33.
46: Matthew vii. 21.; Romans ii. 13.; James i. 22.