HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A Commentary Upon The Gospel According To Saint Luke -St. Cyril

Upon “Thy kingdom come.”

THOSE who love riches, and whose mind is set on wealth and gain, gather by every means in their power the wished for object, and there is no labour they will not undertake. But their pursuit ends in no happy issue: “For what,” as the Saviour saith, “is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, but lose himself?” But those who love the Word of salvation, and unrol the divine Scripture as a treasure, and carefully search out the things therein concealed, find the lifegiving knowledge which leads them on to every virtuous pursuit, and makes them perfect in the knowledge of the doctrines of truth. Let us search therefore into the sense of the passage set before us. And our object is intelligently to see what the Saviour commanded. For we must, He said, when we pray say, “Thy kingdom come.” Nevertheless He reigns over all with God the Father: nor can any addition be made to His kingly glory, either as accruing to Him from without, or as given Him by another. Nor did it gather by the course of time, but, so to speak, sprang up with Him without a beginning. For He at all time was and is that which He was. Altogether therefore, and in every way it follows upon His being God by nature and verily, that He must be omnipotent, and that this glorious attribute is, so to speak, His without a beginning, and without end. For one also of the holy prophets said unto Him, “The Lord shall reign for ever and ever, and yet.” And the divine Psalmist too says, “Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.” And again; “God is our king before the worlds.” Since, therefore, God ever reigns, and is omnipotent, with what view do those who call God Father offer up to Him their supplications, and say, Thy kingdom come?

They seem, therefore, to desire to behold Christ the Saviour of all rising again upon the world. For He will come, He will come and descend as Judge, no longer in low estate like unto us, nor in the meanness of human nature; but in glory such as becometh God, and as He dwells in the unapproachable light, and with the angels as His guards. For so He somewhere Himself said, that “the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father, with His holy angels.” And I think, therefore, that I ought to add this too: that at the consummation of this world He will descend from heaven, but no longer to instruct those on earth, as He did of old, nor again to shew them the way of salvation;—the season for this has passed away;—but to judge the world. And the wise Paul also bears witness to what I say, declaring that “we all must be revealed before the judgment seat of Christ, that every man may be requited for those things that were by means of the body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good, or whether it be bad.”

Terrible, therefore, is that judgment seat; without respect of persons is the Judge; it is a time of pleading, or rather of trial, and of retribution. The fire is prepared for the wicked, and enduring punishment, and eternal torments:—and how can men pray to behold that time? Observe, I pray again, the Saviour’s skilfulness, and His admirable management in every particular. For He commanded them to ask in prayer that this dread time may come, to make them know that they must live, not carelessly, nor dissolutely, nor moreover as beguiled into laxity and the love of pleasure; but, on the contrary, as becometh saints, and according to God’s will: that so that time may prove the bestower upon them of crowns, and not of fire and condemnation. For for the wicked and impure, in that they lead base and lascivious lives, guilty of every vice, it were in no way fit for them in their prayers to say, Thy kingdom come. Rather let them know that in so saying they, as it were, charge God with blame, because the time of their punishment does not quickly arise and manifest itself. Of them one of the holy prophets said, “Woe unto those that desire the day of the Lord! What will the day of the Lord be unto you? For it is darkness, and not light; and that thick darkness in which is no brightness.”

The saints, therefore, ask that the time of the Saviour’s perfect reign may come, because they have laboured dutifully, and have a pure conscience, and look for the requital of what they have already wrought. For just as those who are expecting a festival and merriment about forthwith to come, and shortly to appear, thirst for its arrival, so also do they. For they trust that they shall stand glorious in the presence of the Judge, and hear Him say: “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the world.” They were wise and zealous stewards, when their Lord set them over His household, to give them their meat in its season. Well and wisely did they distribute to their fellow servants those things by the receiving of which they had themselves before been made rich; for they remembered Him Who said: “Freely ye have received, freely: give.” When they received of Him the talent, they did not bury it in the earth. They were not like that slothful, and indolent, and careless servant, who drew near, saying, “Lord, I knew Thee that Thou art a hard man; reaping where Thou sowedst not, and gathering whence thou scatteredst not: and I was afraid, and hid the talent. Behold! Thou hast Thine own.” They, on the contrary, traded: and so they brought it greatly multiplied, saying, “Lord, Thy pound hath made ten pounds,” and were admitted to yet further honours They possessed an active, and right hearty, and courageous disposition; they had put on the panoply of God; the breastplate of righteousness; the helmet of salvation; had taken the Spirit’s sword: It did not escape them that they had a war, not against blood and flesh, but against magistracies, against powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the heavenly regions. For many wove for themselves crowns of martyrdom, and by enduring conflicts, even unto life and blood, were made “a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men,” and were accounted worthy of all admiration. There were others who endured labours and persecutions, eagerly contending for His glory. “Cruel wolves sprang in upon Christ’s flocks, not sparing the flock,” as the divine Paul declares. “Deceitful workers;” “false apostles,” vomiting forth the gall of the malice of the devil, and “speaking perverse things,” such as lead ignorant souls to destruction, and “wound their weak conscience.” These, by flattering the powers of this world, brought persecutions and distresses upon the champions of the truth. But they made no great account of what they suffered, for they looked unto the hope which they had in Christ. For it was not unknown to them that “by suffering for Him they would reign with Him.” They knew that at the time of the resurrection, “He will change the body of their humiliation into the likeness of His glorious body.” They fully believed what He said about the consummation of the world, that when He shall appear to them again from heaven, “they shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Justly, therefore, in their prayers they say, “Thy kingdom come.” For they feel confident that they shall receive a recompense for their bravery, and attain to the consummation of the hope set before them.

May it be our lot also to be counted worthy of this great inheritance in Christ; by Whom and with Whom to God the Father be praise and dominion, with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever, Amen.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com