Sunday, August 17, 2008

Today's Gospel & a Word from Saint Bede

The traditional Gospel for today is from the middle of the 10th chapter of Saint Luke's Gospel. (One of these days I will write a blog explaining why I consciously avoid versification of the scriptures.) Saint Luke writes:
And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Based upon the first few words of this Gospel, Saint Bede, the Venerable, the great eighth century Benedictine and doctor of the Church, writes the following:
It is not the eyes of the scribes and Pharisees that are called blessed. They saw only the Lord's body. Really blessed are those who can recognize His mysteries. Of these latter it is said, Thou has revealed them to little ones. The eyes of the childlike are called blessed, for to them the Son saw fit to reveal both Himself and His Father. Abraham rejoiced that he would see the day of Christ. He did see it, and was made glad. Isaias too, Micheas and many other prophets beheld the glory of the Lord. For this reason they were called seers. Yet all of them glimpsed the Lord and greeted Him only from a distance. They saw Him 'through a mirror' and 'in an obscure manner.'

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