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Fourth Sunday of Great Lent

Ver. 20. Let those blush who pretend to affirm, that all men come into this world clear of original sin, and perfectly innocent like Adam when first created. For why should this child be tormented by a cruel devil, if he had not been under the guilt of original sin, as it is clear, beyond dispute, that he could not be guilty of any actual transgression? (Ven. Bede)

Ver. 22. The answer of our Lord is adapted to the petition of the child's father. He had said: If thou canst do any thing, have mercy on us: and Christ answered: If thou canst believe, &c. Thus when the leper said: If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean, he answered: I will, be thou made clean. (Ven Bede) --- [1]All things are possible to him that believeth. The sense is not, as if he that believeth could do all things; but that any thing might be done by the divine power and goodness, in favour of him that had a firm and lively faith. (Witham)

Ver. 23. If the man believed, as he said, why does he add, help my unbelief? It may be answered: because faith is manifold; their is a faith of beginners, and a faith of the perfect. The incipient faith this man already possessed, and he besought our Saviour to help him to the higher degrees of this virtue. No one becomes great and perfect all at once, but must first set off with small beginnings, and thus gradually ascend to the height of perfection. Thus the man, who, by the inspiration of grace has received imperfect faith, may be said at the same time to believe, and still to be incredulous. (Ven. Bede) --- Here we are taught that our faith is weak, and has need of support and increase from God's assistance. When tears accompany our faith, they obtain for us the grant of our petitions. (St. Jerome)

Ver. 26. Him whom the devil had made like to the dead, the goodness of Christ, by his charitable touch, restored to life. Thus proving at once both his divinity and humanity; the former by his wonderful cure of healing, and the latter by performing this cure by a touch of the hand. (Ven. Bede) --- The devil could not inflict a real death on the child, on account of the dissent of the Author of life. (St. Chrysostom)

Ver. 27. This person, whom the apostles had forbidden to work miracles in the name of Christ, believed indeed in Christ, but did not follow him, on account of the great poverty of the apostles: he was not perfect, nor had he left all things to follow Christ. The apostles therefore concluded, that such a one was not worthy to work miracles in the name of their divine Master. But for this indiscretion, Christ rebukes them, saying , do not, &c. (Tirinus)

Ver. 31. They could not comprehend what he said; and this not so much through the dulness and stupidity of their understandings, as through their personal affection to him; and because knowing him to be God, they could not conceive how a God could die. (Nicholas of Lyra)

 

 


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