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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT



COLOSSIANS 3



CHAPTER III.



Ver. 1. Here begins the second or the moral part of this epistle. — If you be risen, &c. The remaining part of this epistle has no great difficulties, but excellent instructions, as that to the Ephesians. Wi.



Ver. 5. Your members, . . . fornication, uncleanness, &c. He considers man's body as made up of sins and sinful inclinations. Wi. — It is not to bring back Judaism we practise abstinences and fasts, nor with the same motive as the Jews, but to accomplish the precepts of mortifying the irregular desires of the flesh among which gluttony must find a place. In a mortified body sensuality is more easily subdued. A.



Ver. 6. The children of unbelief are either those who perished in Noe's flood, for S. Peter in his epistle give them this title, or they are the inhabitants of Chanaan, whom Josue exterminated; for these also are called children of unbelief, in the epistle to the Hebrews, and their crimes were the same as those mentioned here. Calmet.



Ver. 8. Blasphemy.[1] It may here signify either the sin of blasphemy against God, or speaking ill of our neighbour by detraction, calumnies, affronts, &c. See S. Chrys. Wi. — Now that you live in God, with Jesus Christ, quit not only the above shameful crimes, but also these sins, which, although they excite less horror, will separate you no less from the Author of all sanctity.



Ver. 10. According to the image of him who created him. We are created to the image of God, inasmuch as our souls are spiritual and immortal, but here we are put in mind to imitate God by sanctity and justice, as God is holy and the fountain of justice. Wi. — The image or resemblance of our Creator was effaced by sin, but is retraced by Jesus Christ, who forms in us this new man. V.



Ver. 11. Where, or in which state, when we put on the new man by sanctity and grace, God makes no distinction betwixt Jew and Gentile, &c. Wi. — In the Church of Christ God makes no exception of persons; all are called to the marriage feast, whether Jews (formerly the most favoured people of God) or Greeks, (who were reckoned the most polite, or learned) or Barbarians, or Scythians: (who are esteemed the most cruel and ferocious of men) still these are called; Christ died for all. Calmet. — In S. Paul's epistles, by the Greeks are usually designated the Gentiles. V.



Ver. 14. Above all these things have charity, the love of God, and of your neighbour, which is the bond of perfection, the end of all virtues, which unites the hearts of all to God. Wi.



Ver. 15. The peace of Christ rejoice:[2] reign, conquer, bear away the prize. Wi.



Ver. 16. Employ yourselves in studying and reading the Scriptures; meditate on what our Saviour has done and suffered for you. It is a calumny of our enemies, that we forbid the reading of the Testament. But the Church, fearing lest the faithful should read to their own destruction what was ordained for their salvation, wisely ordains that they should have recourse to their pastors, and receive from them those versions which she approves as most conformable to the Latin Vulgate, which has received the sanction of the holy Catholic Church, and at the same time forbids them those which might corrupt their faith. In this she acts the part of a good and provident mother, conducting her children to the rich and salutary pastures of peace and plenty, and carefully guarding then from others where tempting but noxious weeds luxuriantly grow up, watered with the baneful streams of polluted and poisoned sources.

If pure be the steams from the fountain,

As purely the river will flow;

If noxious the stream from the mountain,

It poisons the valley below.



Ver. 17. Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let all be done for his honour and glory. See 1 Cor. x. 31. Wi.

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[1] V. 8. Blasphemiam. S. Chrys. p. 133. blasqhmiaV, taV loidoriai.

[2] V. 15. Exultet, brabeuetw, palmam referat.



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