Homilies on Luke
Publication Year: 1996
Published by: The Catholic University of America Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
Origen is the most important theologian of the Church before Nicaea, and one of the most influential Christian writers of all time. Unlike Justin Martyr, Origen did not come to Christianity after a long search through the philosophical schools; he was born into a Christian family. Unlike Irenaeus of Lyons, ...
Homilies on Luke
Preface of Jerome the Rebyter
A few days ago you said you had read the commentaries of some writers on Matthew and Luke. One of them was weak in content and expression, the other childish in expression and dull in content.1 So you despised those trivial books and asked me to translate at least the thirty-nine homilies of our ...
Homily 1. Luke 1.1-4
IN THE PAST N THE PAST, many claimed to prophesy among the j ewish people. Some were false prophets; among these was Hananiah, son of Azzur.1 Others were true prophets. The people, like "well-trained money-changers,'" had the gift of the discernment of spirits. Through this gift they accepted ...
Homily 2. Luke 1.6
PEOPLE WHO WANT to offer an excuse for their sins claim that no one is without sin. They appeal to the testimony of the Book of Job, where Scripture says, "No one is clean from filth, not even if his life upon the earth has been only one day long. His months can be numbered."1 ...
Homily 3. Luke 1.11
OF THEMSELVES, beings that are corporeal and lack sensation do nothing to be seen by another. The observer's eye is simply directed toward them. Whenever the observer directs his gaze and his regard at them, he sees them, whether the objects will it or not. What can a man or any other ...
Homily 4. Luke 1.13-17
WHEN ZECHARIAH SAW the angel, he was terrified. If the human gaze beholds a strange form, the mind is agitated and the soul is unsettled. The angel understands that human nature reacts in this way, so he first settles Zechariah's agitation and says, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah."1 ...
Homily 5. Luke 1.22
WHEN THE PRIEST Zechariah offers incense in the temple, he is condemned to silence and cannot speak. Or better, he speaks only with gestures. He remains mute until the birth of his son John. What does this mean? Zechariah's silence is the silence of prophets in the people ...
Homily 6. Luke 1.24-32
WHEN ELIZABETH CONCEIVED, "she kept herself hidden for five months. She said, 'The Lord did this for me when he showed concern for me and took away the reason people reproach me."1 I ask why she avoided public notice after she realized that she was ...
Homily 7. Luke 1.39-45
BETTER MEN GO to weaker men to give them some advantage by their visits.1 Thus the Savior came to John to sanctifY John's baptism.2 And as soon as Mary heard the angel announce that she would conceive the Savior and that her relative Elizabeth had a child in her womb, "she rose ...
Homily 8. Luke 1.46-51
ELIZABETH PROPHESIES before John; before the birth of the Lord and Savior, Mary prophesies. Sin began from the woman and then spread to the man. In the same way, salvation had its first beginnings from women.1 Thus the rest of women can also ...
Homily 9. Luke 1.56-64
OUR EXPLANATION BOTH of what is said in Scripture and of the deeds recorded there should be worthy of the Holy Spirit and of faith in Christ, that faith to which we believers are called. Hence, we should now ask why Mary went to Elizabeth after she conceived and "remained with her ...
Homily 10. Luke 1.67-76
FILLED WITH THE Holy Spirit, Zechariah utters two general prophecies: the first about Christ, the second about John. This is clearly shown by his words. He speaks of the Savior as if he were already present and active in the world; then he speaks of John. ...
Homily 11. Luke 1.80-2.2
IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, something is said to "grow" in two senses. One sense is corporeal, that is, when the human will contributes nothing. The other sense is spiritual, that is, when human effort is the cause of the growth. The evangelist now speaks of this latter sense, that is, the spiritual ...
Homily 12. Luke 2.8-11
MY LORD JESUS1 has been born, and an angel has come down from heaven to announce his birth. Let us see whom the angel sought out to announce his coming. He did not go to Jerusalem. He did not seek out Scribes and Pharisees. He did not enter a synagogue of the Jews. ...
Homily 13. Luke 2.13-16
OUR LORD and Savior is born in Bethlehem. And a "great number of the heavenly army"1 praises God and says, "Glory to God on high, and peace on earth among men of good will."2 This "great number of the heavenly army" speaks thus because they had already failed to provide assistance to men. ...
Homily 14. Luke 2.21-24
WHEN CHRIST DIED, "he died to sin"1-not that he himself sinned; "for he did not commit sin, and treachery was not found in his mouth."2 He died so that, once he had died to sins, we who were dead might no longer live to sin and vices. Hence Scripture says, "If we have died with ...
Homily 15. Luke 2.25-29
WE MUST SEEK an explanation worthy of God's purpose as to why, as is written in the Gospel, "Simeon, a holy man and one pleasing to God, awaiting the consolation of Israel, received an answer from the Holy Spirit that he would not perish in death before he saw the Lord's ...
Homily 16. Luke 2.33-34
THE GOSPEL SAYS, "And his father and mother were astonished at these things that were being said about him.'" Let us gather into one those things that were said and written about Jesus at his birth. Then we shall be able to know the single points, each of which merits our astonishment. ...
Homily 17. Luke 2.33-38
IT IS LUKE who wrote, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. For this reason, what will be born is holy. He will be called the Son of God. '" He clearly handed down to us that Jesus was the son of a virgin, and ...
Homily 18. Luke 2.40-49
JESUS MY LORD has been born. His parents have gone up to Jerusalem to fulfill what was commanded in the law. They went to offer "a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons'" for him. Simeon held him in his arms, as was read earlier. He prophesied about him those things that the ...
Homily 19. Luke 2.40-46
SOME WHO APPEAR to believe the Sacred Scriptures deny the Savior's divinity for the sake-as they think-of the glory of Almighty God.1 Hence, it seems right to me that they should be instructed by the authority of those very Scriptures. They should learn that a divine being came ...
Homily 20. 2.49-51
MARY AND JOSEPH kept seeking Jesus "among the relatives"1 and did not find him. They looked "in the crowd"2 and could not find him. They looked "in the temple"3-and not only "in the temple," but amid the teachers- and they find him "in the midst of the ...
Homily 21. Luke 3.1-4
WHEN THE PROPHETIC word was sent only to the Jews, the names of Jewish kings were put in the headings of the prophecies. For example, "The vision that Isaiah, the son of Arnoz, saw, against Judea and against Jerusalem, during the reign of ...
Homily 22. Luke 3.5-8
LET US SEE what things are preached at Christ's coming. Among them, it is first written of John, "The voice of one crying in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight. "'1 What follows applies properly to the Lord and Savior. For, "every valley has been ...
Homily 23. Luke 3.9-12
AT THAT TIME John was already saying, "Behold, the ax has been laid to the root of the trees.'" And, if indeed the consummation were imminent and the end of the ages were at hand, I would have no questions. The Gospel says, "Behold, the ax has been laid to the root of the trees," ...
Homily 24. Luke 3.15-16
THE PEOPLE RECEIVED John, who was less than Christ. They reflected and thought, "Perhaps he is the Christ." But they did not receive him who had come, who was greater than John. Do you want to know the reason? Recognize this:John's baptism could be seen; the Baptism of ...
Homily 25. Luke 3.15
EVEN LOVE ENTAILS a risk, if it is excessive. If someone loves another, he should consider the nature and the causes of his loving, and not love that person more than he deserves. For, ifhe goes beyond the measure and the limit of charity, then both he who loves and he who is loved ...
Homily 26. Luke 3.16-17
GOD IS SPIRIT, and those who worship him should worship in spirit and in truth."1 Our God is also "a consuming fire."2 Therefore, God is called by two names: "spirit" and "fire." To the just he is spirit; to sinners he is fire. But the angels are also called "spirit" and "fire." Scripture says, ...
Homily 27. Luke 3.18-22
ONE WHO TEACHES the word of the Gospel proclaims not one thing, but many. Scripture indicates this when it says, "He was also proclaiming many other things [to the people] and encouraging [them]."1 Therefore,John also preached "other things" to the people, which have not been ...
Homily 28. Luke 3.23-38
OUR LORD and Savior was greater than Melchizedek, whose genealogy Scripture does not trace. Now, the Lord is described as being born according to the order of his ancestors. Although his divinity has no human origin, for your sake he willed to be born, since you have your origin ...
Homily 29. Luke 4.1-4
IF THE GOSPEL, you read, "But Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned."1 In the Acts of the Apostles, Scripture says of the apostles that they "were filled with the Holy Spirit."2 Beware of thinking that the apostles are on a par with the Savior. Realize that1esus, and the apostles, and any ...
Homily 30. Luke 4.5-8
BOTH THE SON of God and the Antichrist are eager to reign. But the Antichrist wants to kill those he has subjected to himself. Christ reigns to save. And, if we are faithful, Christ, who is Word, Wisdom, Justice, and Truth, reigns over each of us. But, if we are lovers of pleasure rather ...
Homily 31. Luke 4.9-12
SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES,1 and even on points that are thought to be simple you will find no small mysteries. We can search the beginning of the Gospel reading that we heard today and let what was hidden come forth into open view. ...
Homily 32. Luke 4.14-20
FIRST OF ALL, 'Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days.'" When he was being tempted by the devil, since he was still to struggle against him, the word "spirit" is put down twice without any qualification. But, when ...
Homily 33. Luke 4.23-27
INSOFAR AS LUKE'S narrative is concerned, Jesus has not yet stayed in Capernaum. Nor is he said to have performed any sign in that place, because he had not been there. Before he comes to Capernaum, it is recorded that he was in his native territory, that is, in Nazareth. ...
Homily 34. Luke 10.25-37
WHILE IN THE LAW there are many precepts, in the Gospel the Savior laid down only two. By a kind of short cut, they lead those who obey them to eternal life. In this regard, the teacher of the Law had questioned Jesus and said, "Master, what shall I do to possess eternallife?"1 ...
Homily 35. Luke 12.57-59
UNLESS WE WERE by nature suited to judge what is just, the Savior would never have said, "But why do you not judge for yourselves what is just?'" We should not digress too long on the examination of this sentence, since much more difficult verses follow in this chapter. ...
Homily 36. Luke 17.20-21, 33
JESUS SAYS, "Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it. And, whoever loses it will save it."1 The martyrs seek "to save their souls."2 They lose their lives to save their souls. But those who wish to save their souls without losing their lives lose "both their bodies and their souls in ...
Homily 37. Luke 19.29-40
FROM THE GOSPEL According to Luke, the account was read of how, when the Savior had come "to Bethphage and Bethany near Mount Olivet, he sent two of his disciples" to untie "the foal of an ass"1 that had been tied, "on which no man had ever sat."2 ...
Homily 38. Luke 19.41-45
WHEN OUR LORD and Savior approached Jerusalem, he saw the city, wept, and said, "If only you had known on thatdaywhat meant peace foryou! But now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will surround you with earthworks."1 These are mysteries ...
Homily 39. Luke 20.21-40
THERE IS A SECT of the Jews called the Sadducees. They deny "the resurrection of the dead"l and think that the soul dies with the body, so that after death there is no longer any consciousness. These Sadducees put a question to the Lord. They made up a story of a woman with seven ...
Fragments on Luke
This is what we can understand about the Lord's temptation: when he learned the Evil One's intention, he went into the desert and was willingly hungry.1 The Evil One thought that, if Christ were hungry, he could deceive him with food, as he had deceived Adam. And, again in accord with the Evil One's ...