12:1-12: This passage is read on days commemorating a holy martyr
12:5: WHOM YOU SHOULD FEAR: is referring to God (Proverbs 9:10): The body always dies eventually one way or another: St. Ambrose even states that the death of the body is not in itself a punishment, but instead is marking the end of earthly punishments!!! The soul is eternal and will continue on for eternity, that's because God is the judge of the soul, and our efforts in this world are to please Him alone!!!
12:10: TO SAY A WORD AGAINST THE SON OF MAN: is to reject Yeshua (Jesus) as the Messiah!!! Jesus was seen as a mere man to many people before their conversion: (1 Corinthians 1:23)- Teaches us:- but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a [a]stumbling block and to the [b]Greeks foolishness, and makes this sin more easily FORGIVEN: The Holy Spirit- is without bodily form and invisibly works divine goodness: According to St. John Chrysostom and other earlier saints- the blasphemy AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT would be forgivable if a person were to repent of it: Yeshua (Jesus) never calls the sin itself "Unforgivable" - He is making this declaration knowing that those who blaspheme the Spirit are calling pure divine goodness- evil, and are beyond repentance by their own choice!!!
AGAINST GREED AND ANXIETY
12:13-15: IT WAS A CUSTOM FOR RESPECTED RABBIS: to arbitrate personal disputes: A dispute over AN INHERITANCE is detrimental to salvation: The greed is pure idolatry (Col 3:5) and unfitting for anyone who knows God: The question is incompatible with what the Lord had just finished saying!!!
12:20: WHOSE WILL THOSE THINGS BE WHICH YOU HAVE PROVIDED??? is key to understanding the saving up of material goods: St. John Ch- writes that only barns we need we already have: "the stomachs of the poor..." St. Basil the Great- taught that the bread in our cupboard belongs to the hungry man; the coat hanging unused belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in our closet belong to one who has no shoes; and the money we hoard belongs to the poor: St. Ambrose teaches- "The things which we cannot take with us are not ours: only virtue will be our companion when we die..." Even when Joseph stored up grain in Egypt (Genesis 41), it was for the benefit of the entire Nation: These teachings apply to parishes as well as each person!!!
12:22-31: Same as my Matthew 6:25-33-Notes:
12:32: DO NOT FEAR: is recurring theme: LITTLE FLOCK refers to all believers: They are little for two ways (1): they are insignificant in the eyes of the world, and (2) they are small in number when compared to earthly and heavenly creation:
AGAINST LAZINESS AND FORGETFULNESS
12:35-36: A CALL TO BE VIGILANT: echoing the imagery of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13): YOUR WAIST BE GIRDED: be ready for virtuous action; LAMPS BURNING: have spiritual discernment:
12:37-48: See my Matthew 24:45-51- Notes: The mark of true discipleship is vigilance in performing the work and exemplifying the virtue of the MASTER!!!
12:38: SECOND AND THIRD WATCH: is between 9:00pm and 3:00am- interpreted as hours of heightened temptation: The SERVANTS ARE MOST BLESSED who remain faithful during the night:
12:40: IT IS NOT THE PLACE: of anyone to try and predict the time of the return of THE SON OF MAN, but instead we are to remain faithful and to be READY AT EVERY HOUR!!!
12:41: THE PREVIOUS PARABLE: (vv. 35-40) IS TO ALL PEOPLE: the other parables (vv. 42-48) is to the apostles and their successors, the rulers (v. 42) and teachers of the Church:
12:47-48: THE JUDGEMENT OF THE TEACHERS: of the Church will be strict (James 3:1): THE MANY STRIPES given to those who are willfully and knowingly disobedient symbolize condemnation: THE FEW STRIPES are for those disobedient out of ignorance and indicate chastisement or correction:
12:32-40: This passage is read on days commemorating a priest martyr
AGAINST LACK OF DISCERNMENT
12:49: FIRE: references the proclamation of the gospel and also the gift of the Holy Spirit: This fire both enlivens the faithful and judges the faithless; it also purifies virtue and destroys sin (see Luke 3:16; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15):
12:50: BAPTISM: is referring to Christ's Passion (see- my notes on Matthew 20:20-23)
12:51: THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF PEACE: False peace, to which Christ refers to here ignoring the issues of truth: Genuine peace is reconciliation to God through Faith in Christ and surrender to truth, and genuine peace has DIVISION as a byproduct because not everyone wants truth: In the fallen world, divisions are necessary for truth to be manifest- (1 Corinthians 11:18-19)
12:53: THIS FULFILLS THE PROPHECY OF MICAH 7:6: with an addition to it's literal meaning which the Church has experienced since the time of Christ, the older generation being divided from the younger generation also symbolizes (1) the rejection of the new covenant by the followers of the old covenant, and (2) the spiritual struggle between our old, sinful state and our renewal in Christ (see- also Ephesians 4:20-24):
12:56: THIS TIME: the revelation of the Kingdom of God in the First Coming of Jesus Christ:
12:58: JUST AS A GUILTY PERSON: would attempt to reconcile with his opponent before facing an earthly JUDGE, even more so should one be reconciled to God in Christ before facing His dread judgement!!!
-Help those who are truly in need and do not be selfish or even greedy...Yes times are tough but that doesn't mean being a decent human being is something we should forget how to be
...Lastly do not fear what you can't control, but focus on what you can control and always remember the Lord is always watching so when when time arrives are you going to be helpful and confident or will you be greedy and afraid!!!
JPCE SPIRITUAL TALK
NEVER HOLD BACK
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD