Thursday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time [II]

Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time [II]
I Kings 18:41-46  +  Matthew 5:20-26
June 9, 2016

“…you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:20]

Saint Augustine of Hippo states that:  “This expression, the kingdom of heaven, so often used by our Lord, I know not whether any one would find [it] in the books of the Old Testament.  It belongs properly to the New Testament revelation, kept for His mouth whom the Old Testament figured as a King that should come to reign over His servants.  This end, to which its precepts were to be referred, was hidden in the Old Testament, though even that had its saints who looked forward to the revelation that should be made.”

“For almost all the precepts which the Lord gave, saying, ‘But I say unto you,’ are found in those ancient books.  But because they knew not of any murder, besides the destruction of the body, the Lord shews them that every evil thought to the hurt of a brother is to be held for a kind of murder.”

“[T]here is this same distinction between the first case here put by the Saviour and the second:  in the first case there is one thing, the passion; in the second two, anger and speech following thereupon, ‘He who saith to his brother, Raca, is in danger of the council.’ Some … think that ‘Raca’ means ragged, from the Greek ραχος, a rag.  But more probably it is not a word of any meaning, but a mere sound expressing the passion of the mind, which grammarians call an interjection”.

“In the third case are three things; anger, the voice expressive of anger, and a word of reproach, ‘Thou fool.’  Thus here are three different degrees of sin; in the first when one is angry, but keeps the passion in his heart without giving any sign of it.  If again he suffers any sound expressive of the passion to escape him, it is more than had he silently suppressed the rising anger; and if he speaks a word which conveys a direct reproach, it is a yet greater sin.”

The above quotations are taken from St. Thomas Aquinas’ compilation Catena Aurea.