Archive for the ‘ Bible Commentary of The Day ’ Category

« This is my beloved Son (Mark 9:2-13.)»


Jesus led Peter, James and John up the mountain and showed them his divine glory even before the resurrection. So that, when he rose from the dead in the glory of his divine nature, they would recognize that he hadn’t received this glory as a reward for his suffering, as though he had need of it, but that it belonged to him before the ages began at his Father’s side and with the Father. This is what he himself said as his freely accepted Passion drew near: «Glory me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began» (Jn 17,5). It was this glory of his divinity, mysteriously enclosed within his humanity, that he showed his disciples on the mountain. And these… saw two suns: one shining in the sky as usual and another that shone in an unaccustomed way; one casting light on the world from high in the firmament and another radiant for them alone in the countenance turned towards them…

Then Moses and Elijah appeared… and thanked him that their words, as those of all the other prophets, had been fulfilled by his coming. They offered him worship for the salvation he would accomplish for the sake of the whole world and for the fulfilment of the mystery they had been entrusted to foretell. Thus both apostles and prophets were filled with joy on that mountain. The prophets rejoiced to see his humanity, which they had not been able to know beforehand; the apostles rejoiced to see the glory of his divinity, which they had not yet known about, and hear the Father’s voice bear witness to his Son. By it, and by the glory of his divinity shining from his body, they learned about his incarnation, which up to then had remained unknown to them.

“I have come to set the earth on fire”


Symbols of the Holy Spirit: Fire. While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, fire symbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirit’s actions. The prayer of the prophet Elijah, who “arose like fire” and whose “word burned like a torch” (Sir 48,1), brought down fire from heaven on the sacrifice on Mount Carmel. This event was a “figure” of the fire of the Holy Spirit, who transforms what he touches. John the Baptist, who goes “before [the Lord] in the spirit and power of Elijah,” proclaims Christ as the one who “will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”(Lk 1,17). Jesus will say of the Spirit: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” In the form of tongues “as of fire,” the Holy Spirit rests on the disciples on the morning of Pentecost and fills them with himself (Ac 2,3-4). The spiritual tradition has retained this symbolism of fire as one of the most expressive images of the Holy Spirit’s actions: “Do not quench the Spirit.” (1Th 5,19)…

Jesus does not reveal the Holy Spirit fully, until he himself has been glorified through his Death and Resurrection… Only when the hour has arrived for his glorification does Jesus promise the coming of the Holy Spirit, since his Death and Resurrection will fulfill the promise made to the fathers. The Spirit of truth, the other Paraclete, will be given by the Father in answer to Jesus’ prayer; he will be sent by the Father in Jesus’ name; and Jesus will send him from the Father’s side, since he comes from the Father…

At last Jesus’ hour arrives: he commends his spirit into the Father’s hands at the very moment when by his death he conquers death, so that, “raised from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Rm 6,4), he might immediately give the Holy Spirit by “breathing” on his disciples(Jn 20,22).

“Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation”



My friends, if we were to run through the various ages of the world, everywhere we would see the earth covered with the mercies of the Lord and people surrounded by his favors. No, my friends: it is not a question of the sinner coming back to God to beg for his forgiveness; God himself runs after the sinner and brings about his return… He is waiting for repentant sinners and he invites them by the interior stirring of his grace and the voice of his ministers.

Look at how he acted towards Nineveh, that great and wicked city. Before punishing its inhabitants, he ordered his prophet, Jonah, to go on his behalf and proclaim that, in forty days, he was going to punish them. Instead of going to Nineveh, Jonah fled by another way. He wanted to cross the sea but, far from leaving the Ninevites without warning before he punished them, God performed a miracle to preserve his prophet in the belly of a whale for three days and three nights, which, after three days, vomited him onto dry land. Then the Lord said to Jonah: «Go and tell the great city that in forty days more it will perish». He set no conditions at all. When he had gone, the prophet announced to Nineveh that in forty days it would perish.

At this news all of them, from peasant to king, fell to repentance and weeping. «Who knows,» said the king to them, «whether the Lord will not yet have pity on us?» The Lord, seeing them take refuge in repentance, seemed to take delight in forgiving them. Jonah, seeing that the time for their punishment had expired, withdrew outside the city to wait for fire from heavento fall on them. But when he saw that it wasn’t coming down, Jonah exclaimed: «Ah, Lord! Are you going to make me pass for afalse prophet? Rather, let me die. Oh, I well know you to be too generous! All you want to do is forgive!» – «Now, Jonah!» said the Lord to him: «do you want me to cause so many people to perish who have humbled themselves before me? Oh no! no! Jonah. I wouldn’t have the heart for it; to the contrary, I will love and preserve them.»

“How much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?”


To get food for his body a beggar thinks it no trouble to knock at the door and ask for it. And if he doesn’t get it, he goes on further and, with even more persistence, asks for bread, clothing or shoes to ease his body. So long as he hasn’t received anything he will not go away, even if he is driven off. Now we who try to receive the real, heavenly bread to strengthen our souls, who want to put on heaven’s light-filled clothing and who long to be shod with the immaterial shoes of the Spirit to solace our immortal soul: how much more ought we to knock at God’s spiritual door, unwearyingly and resolutely, with faith and love, waiting always and, with perfect constancy, ask to be counted worthy of eternal life?

Thus the Lord “told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary” (Lk 18,1) then added these words: how much more will our heavenly Father “secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night,” (v.7). And again, talking about the friend: “Even if he does not give to him for friendship’s sake, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence,” (Lk 11,8). And he adds further: “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you,” (v.9). And he continues: “If you who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?” (v.13). This is why the Lord exhorts us to ask at all times, unwearyingly and persistently, always seeking and knocking. For he has promised to give to those who ask, seek and knock, not to those who do not ask. It is in being prayed, implored, loved that he desires to give us eternal life.

“The one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”


«Come,» said Christ to his apostles, «and learn from me» – not, to be sure, how to cast out demons with heavenly power, nor how to cleanse lepers, nor how to enlighten the blind, nor how to raise the dead… But you, he says, «Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart» (Mt 11,28-29). For this can be learned and practiced by everyone in general, whereas the works of signs and mighty deeds are neither always necessary and appropriate for everyone, nor are they bestowed on everyone.

Humility, then, is the teacher of all the virtues; it is the most firm foundation of the heavenly edifice; it is the Savior’s own magnificent gift. For a person may perform without danger of pride all the miracles that Christ worked if he strains after the meek Lord not because of his exalted signs but because of his patience and humility. But a person who itches to command unclean spirits, to bestow the gift of health on the sick, or to show some wondrous sign to the people is far from Christ even though he invokes the name of Christ in his displays, because by reason of his proud mind he does not follow the Teacher of humility.

Even when he was returning to his Father he prepared what I might call his testament, and he left this to his disciples: «A new commandment I give you,» he said, «that you love one another; as I have loved you, you must also love one another.» And immediately he added: «By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another» (Jn 13,34-35). He did not say: If you also perform signs and mighty deeds, but: «If you have love for one another.» Certainly no one can observe this but the gentle and the humble.

Recognising the poor Christ


maryflozy 2 Do you want to show honor to Christ’s Body? Don’t despise it when it is naked. Don’t honor it with silks here in the church while outside you leave it shivering with cold and naked. For he who said: «This is my body» (Mt 26,26), ratifying it with his words, is the same who said: «You saw me hungry and gave me no food» and also: «What you did not do for one of these little ones, you did not do for me» (Mt 25,42.45). Here Christ’s body has no need of clothing but of souls that are pure; there it needs plenty of care… God has no need of golden vessels but of golden hearts.

I don’t say this to stop you making religious donations, but I hold that at the same time – and even beforehand – alms should be made… What profit is there in Christ’s table being covered with golden vessels while he himself is dying of hunger? Begin by feeding the hungry and, with what remains, decorate his altar. Are you going to fashion a golden chalice but not give «a cup of cold water»? (Mt 10,42)… Think, too, that it is a question of Christ as he goes about, a wanderer, a stranger, without shelter. Whereas you, who failed to welcome him, decorate the floor, the walls, the capitals of the pillars! You fix up lamps with silver chains but don’t care to notice how he is chained up in prison. I’m not saying this to hold you back from carrying out such deeds of generosity, but I beg you to accompany them – or rather, precede them – with these other charitable works… Therefore, when you decorate the church, don’t forget your brother in distress since he is a temple and more precious than anything.

Love of God