103. Dicit ergo Christi autem. Hoc dupliciter legitur. Secundum Chrysostomum enim est quasi quidam prologus dicendorum; sed secundum Remigium est quidam epilogus dictorum. Primo modo legitur sic: ita dictum est de genealogia Christi, quomodo Abraham genuit Isaac etc. per carnalem admixtionem, sed Christi generatio sic erat, supple: sicut dicetur in sequentibus. Secundo modo legitur sic, ut sit epilogus praecedentium: ita Abraham etc. usque ad Christum. Christi autem generatio sic erat; supple: ut ab Abraham per David et alios protenderetur ad Christum.
103. So he says, but the generation of Christ was thus. This is read in two ways. For according to Chrysostom it is as it were a certain prologue to what will be said; but according to Remigius it is a certain epilogue to what was said before. In the first way, it is read thus: this was recounted about the genealogy of Christ, how Abraham begot Isaac through bodily mingling, but the generation of Christ was thus, supply: as will be said in what follows. In the second way, it is read so as to be an epilogue to what comes before: Abraham, and in this way until Christ. Now the generation of Christ was thus, supply: so as to extend from Abraham through David to Christ.
104. Consequenter describit generationis modum;
104. Next, he describes the manner of the generation;
et primo describit personam generantem, cum dicit cum esset desponsata;
and first he describes the person generating, when he says, when as his mother Mary was espoused;
secundo ipsam Christi generationem, cum dicit antequam convenirent inventa est in utero habens;
second, he describes the very generation of Christ, when he says, before they came together, she was found with child;
tertio generationis actorem, de Spiritu Sancto.
third, he describes the author of the generation, of the Holy Spirit.
Personam generantem describit a tribus.
He describes the person generating by three things.
Primo a conditione, cum dicit desponsata . . . Ioseph;
First, by condition, when he says, espoused to Joseph;
secundo a dignitate mater eius;
second, by dignity, his mother;
tertio a proprio nomine Maria.
third, by proper name, Mary.
105. Dicit ergo cum esset desponsata mater eius Maria Ioseph.
105. He says then, when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph.
Sed hic statim oritur quaestio. Cum Christus voluerit nasci de virgine, quare voluit matrem suam desponsari?
But here a question arises at once. Since Christ wished to be born of a virgin, why did he wish his mother to be espoused?
Ratio, secundum Hieronymum, triplex assignatur. Prima est ut credibilius esset testimonium virginitatis eius. Si enim non fuisset desponsata, et diceret se esse virginem, cum esset impraegnata, non videretur ob aliud dicere, nisi ut celaret crimen adulterii. Sed cum desponsata erat, non habebat necesse mentiri. Et ideo magis esset credendum ei; Ps. XCII, 5: testimonia tua credibilia facta sunt nimis. Alia ratio est ut haberet praesidium viri, sive cum fugeret in Aegyptum, sive cum inde rediret. Tertia fuit, ut partus eius diabolo celaretur, ne scilicet si ipse sciret, impediret passionem eius, et fructum nostrae redemptionis; I Cor. II, 8: si enim cognovissent, numquam Dominum gloriae crucifixissent; exponitur de daemone, idest non crucifigi permisisset.
According to Jerome, three reasons are given. The first is so that the testimony of her virginity might be believable. For if she had not been espoused, and had said that she was a virgin while she was pregnant, she would seem to say this for no other reason than to hide the crime of adultery. But since she had been espoused, she had no need to lie. And therefore it would be more worthy of belief from her; your testimonies are become exceedingly credible (Ps 92:5). Another reason is so that she would have the protection of a man, both when she fled into Egypt and when she returned from there. The third was so that his birth would be hidden from the devil, lest he should impede Christ’s passion and the fruit of our redemption if he knew; for if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Cor 2:8); this is interpreted as concerning the demon, i.e., he would not have permitted Christ to be crucified.
106. Sed contra. Diabolus numquid non cognoscit an ista est virgo? Virginitas enim eius erat in carne non corrupta. Ergo diabolus potuit scire eam esse virginem.
106. On the contrary, did not the devil know whether she was a virgin? For her virginity in her body was not corrupted. So the devil could know that she was a virgin.
Sed dicendum, secundum Ambrosium, qui etiam istam rationem assignat, quod diaboli possunt aliqua subtilitate naturae, quae tamen non possunt nisi divina permissione. Unde diabolus eius virginitatem cognosceret, nisi a diligenti consideratione divinitus fuisset prohibitus.
But one should say, according to Ambrose, who also gives this reason, that some things are possible to the devil by the subtility of his nature which nevertheless are only possible by divine permission. Hence the devil would have known her virginity, if he had not been divinely restrained from diligent examination.
Secundum Ambrosium assignatur triplex ratio. Prima est propter honorem matris Domini conservandum: maluit Dominus de ortu suo homines dubitare, quam de pudicitia matris. Et ideo voluit eam desponsari, ut tolleretur suspicio adulterii: ipse enim venerat legem adimplere, non solvere; Matth. V, 17: non veni solvere, sed adimplere; Ex. XX, 12 dicitur, honora patrem tuum et matrem tuam. Alia ratio est, ut virginibus notatis de adulterio auferretur excusatio: si enim mater Domini non fuisset desponsata, et tamen gravida, possent similiter se per eam excusare; Ps. CXL, 4: non declines cor meum in verba malitiae, ad excusandas excusationes in peccatis. Tertia ratio, quia Christus Ecclesiam sibi desponsavit, quae virgo est; II Cor. II, 2: despondi enim vos. Et ideo de virgine desponsata nasci voluit in signum quod Ecclesiam sibi desponsavit.
According to Ambrose, three reasons are given. The first is for the sake of the honor of the Lord’s mother, which had to be preserved; the Lord preferred that men have doubts about his own origin rather than about the chastity of his mother. And so he wished her to be espoused, so that the suspicion of adultery would be taken away, for he came to fulfill the law, not to destroy it; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill (Matt 5:17); honor your father and your mother (Exod 20:12). Another reason is so that, once her virginity was recorded, an excuse would be taken away from the adulterer; for if the mother of the Lord had not been espoused, and yet was pregnant, they could in a similar manner excuse themselves through her. Incline not my heart to evil words; to make excuses in sins (Ps 140:4). The third reason is because Christ espoused to himself the Church, which is a virgin; for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ (2 Cor 11:2). And so he wished to be born of an espoused virgin as a sign that he espoused the Church to himself.
107. Cum ergo esset desponsata. Sed cui? Ioseph.
107. When his mother, Mary, was espoused. To whom? To Joseph.
Secundum Chrysostomum, Ioseph fuit faber lignarius; et signat Christum, qui per lignum crucis omnia restauravit, caelestia et cetera.
According to Chrysostom, Joseph was a craftsman, a carpenter; and he signifies Christ, who through the wood of the cross restored all things, heavenly.
108. Mater eius, idest Dei. Hic ostenditur eius dignitas: nulli enim creaturae hoc concessum est, nec homini, nec angelo, ut esset pater, aut mater Dei; sed hoc fuit privilegium gratiae singularis, ut non solum hominis, sed Dei mater fieret; et ideo in Apoc. c. XII, 1 dicitur: mulier amicta sole, quasi tota repleta divinitate. Quod negavit Nestorius; et hoc quia divinitas non fuit accepta a Virgine. Contra quem Ignatius martyr pulchro exemplo utitur ad ostendendum quod fuit mater Dei. Constat, inquit, quod in generatione hominum communium mulier dicitur mater: et tamen mulier non dat animam rationalem, quae a Deo est, sed ministrat substantiam ad corporis formationem. Sic igitur mulier dicitur mater totius hominis, quia id quod sumptum est de ea, unitur animae rationali. Similiter cum humanitas Christi sumpta sit de Beata Virgine, propter unionem ad divinitatem dicitur Beata Virgo non solum mater hominis, sed etiam Dei; quamvis ab ipsa non sumatur divinitas; sicut nec in aliis anima rationalis sumitur a matre.
108. His mother, i.e., God’s mother. Here her dignity is shown, for it is not permitted to any creature, neither man nor angel, that he should be the father or the mother of God, but this was a privilege of singular grace, that she should become the mother not only of a man, but of God; and so it is said, a woman clothed with the sun (Rev 12:1), as though entirely filled with divinity. Nestorius denied this, because the divinity was not taken from the Virgin. Against which Ignatius Martyr used a beautiful example to show that she was the mother of God. It is agreed, he said, that in the generation of common men the woman is called the mother; and yet the mother does not give the rational soul, which is from God, but rather supplies the substance for the formation of the body. So in this way the woman is called the mother of the whole man because that which is taken from her is united to the rational soul. Similarly, since the humanity of Christ was taken from the Blessed Virgin, the Blessed Virgin is called the mother not only of a man, but also of God, on account of the union with the divinity, although the divinity is not taken from her, just as the rational soul is not taken from the mother in others.
109. Maria, proprium nomen. Interpretatur ‘maris stella,’ vel ‘illuminatrix,’ et suo sermone Domina: unde in Apoc. XII, 1 describitur luna sub pedibus eius.
109. Mary, her proper name. It is interpreted as ‘star of the sea’, or ‘illuminatrix’, and by her own language ‘Lady’, whence in Rev 12:1 a moon is described as under her feet.
110. Antequam convenirent et cetera.
110. Before they came together.
Hic obiicit Elvidius: si antequam convenirent, ergo aliquando convenerunt. Unde iste negavit virginitatem matris Christi: non ante partum, nec in partu, sed post partum dicit quod fuit cognita a viro.
Here Helvidius objected: if this was before they came together, then at sometime they came together. Hence he denied the virginity of Christ’s mother; not before the birth, nor during the birth, but after the birth he says that she was known by a man.
Et respondet Hieronymus, quod sine dubio hoc quod dicitur antequam, semper importat ordinem ad futurum. Sed hoc potest esse dupliciter: vel secundum rationem, vel secundum intellectus acceptionem. Si enim dicatur: antequam comederem in portu Romae, navigavi ad Africam, non est intelligendum quod postquam navigaverim ad Africam comederim; sed quia proposueram comedere, et praeventus navigatione non comedi. Ita est hic. Non est ita intelligendum quod postea realiter convenirent, sicut dicit impius ille; sed quia ex hoc ipso quod sibi desponsata erat secundum communem opinionem, licebat eis aliquando convenire, quamvis numquam convenerint.
And Jerome responds that, without a doubt, this before which is said here always brings in an order to the future. But this can be in either of two ways: either according to ratio, or according to the intellect’s reception. For if it be said, before I was eating in the port of Rome, I sailed to Africa, it should not be understood that after I sailed to Africa I ate; but that I had proposed to eat, and being prevented by the sailing I did not eat. And so it is here. It should not be understood in this way, that afterward they really came together, as that impious man says; but that by the very fact that she was espoused to him according to common opinion, it was lawful for them to come together, although they never did come together.
Remigius aliter exponit, ut intelligatur de solemni celebratione nuptiarum: ante enim erat et fiebat per aliquos dies desponsatio, et interim sponsa non erat sub custodia viri; postea autem fiebat solemnis celebratio nuptiarum, et tunc traducebatur ad domum viri. De his nuptiis loquitur Evangelista hic. Et secundum hoc non habet locum obiectio Elvidii.
Remigius explains it in another way, so that it is understood of the solemn celebration of nuptials; for beforehand she was and remained for some days espoused, and meanwhile the spouse was not under the man’s care; but after the solemn celebration of the nuptials happened, then she was led to the man’s home. It is of these nuptials that the Evangelist speaks here. And according to this the objection of Helvidius has no place.
Inventa est in utero habens. Nota proprietatem verbi: proprie enim illud ‘inventum’ dicitur, de quo non sperabatur, nec putabatur; et Ioseph tantam habebat opinionem de pudicitia Mariae, quod praeter aestimationem eius fuit quod invenit eam gravidam.
She was found with child. Notice the character of the word: for that is properly called ‘found’ about which one neither hopes nor supposes; and Joseph had only an opinion about the chastity of Mary, because, contrary to his expectation, it happened that he found her pregnant.
111. In utero habens, supple ab ipso Ioseph, qui, sicut dicit Hieronymus, maritali licentia pene omnia secreta eius rimabatur. De Spiritu Sancto. Hic tangitur Actor conceptionis.
111. She was found with child, supply by Joseph himself, who, as Jerome says, with marital freedom was searching out almost all her secrets. Of the Holy Spirit. Here the Author of the conception is touched upon.
Hoc autem legendum est divisim ab illo praecedenti. Non enim legendum est, aut intelligendum quod Ioseph invenerit eam habentem in utero de Spiritu Sancto; sed solum quod invenit eam gravidam. Et ne oriretur auditoribus interim suspicio adulterii, addidit de Spiritu Sancto, idest de virtute Spiritus Sancti, non de substantia, ne filius Spiritus Sancti credatur; Luc. I, 35: Spiritus Sanctus superveniet in te, et virtus Altissimi obumbravit tibi.
Now, this should be read separately from that which comes before. For it should not be read or understood that Joseph found her with child of the Holy Spirit, but only that he found her pregnant. And lest there arise meanwhile in the hearers a suspicion of adultery, he added of the Holy Spirit, i.e., of the power of the Holy Spirit, not of the substance, nor should he be thought to be the son of the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you (Luke 1:35).
112. Quamvis autem secundum Augustinum indivisibilia sint opera Trinitatis, et ideo ipsam conceptionem non solum Spiritus Sanctus, sed etiam Pater et Filius operati sint; tamen per quamdam appropriationem Spiritui Sancto attribuitur. Et hoc tribus rationibus. Prima ratio est, quia Spiritus Sanctus amor est. Hoc autem fuit signum maximi amoris, quod Deus Filium suum incarnari voluerit; Io. III, 16: sic Deus dilexit mundum, ut Filium suum unigenitum daret. Secunda, quia Spiritui Sancto attribuitur gratia; I Cor. XII, 4: divisiones gratiarum sunt, idem autem Spiritus; et hoc fuit maxima gratia. Tertia ratio assignatur in gestis Nicaeni Concilii, et est, quod in nobis est duplex verbum: verbum cordis et verbum vocis. Verbum cordis est ipsa conceptio intellectus, quae occulta est hominibus, nisi quatenus per vocem exprimitur, sive per verbum vocis. Verbo autem cordis comparatur Verbum aeternum ante incarnationem, quando erat apud Patrem, et nobis absconditum; sed verbo vocis comparatur Verbum incarnatum quod iam nobis apparuit, et manifestum est. Verbum autem cordis non coniungitur voci nisi mediante spiritu; et ideo recte incarnatio Verbi, per quam nobis visibile apparuit, mediante Spiritu Sancto facta est.
112. Now, although according to St. Augustine the works of the Trinity are indivisible, and not only the Holy Spirit brought about the conception, but the Father and the Son as well, nevertheless it is attributed to the Holy Spirit by a certain appropriation. And this is for three reasons. The first reason is that the Holy Spirit is love: and this is a sign of the greatest love, that God willed that his own Son should be incarnated; for God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son (John 3:16). Second, because grace is attributed to the Holy Spirit; now there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit (1 Cor 12:4); and this was the greatest grace. The third reason is given in the acts of the Nicene Council, and is that there are two words in us: that of the heart, and that of the voice. The word of the heart is the very concept of the intellect, which is hidden to men, except insofar as it is expressed through the voice, or through the word of the voice. Now, the word of the heart is compared to the eternal Word before the incarnation, when he was with the Father and hidden to us; but the word of the voice is compared to the incarnate Word which then appeared to us and was manifest. But the word of the heart is not joined to the word of the voice except by the mediation of the spirit; and therefore the incarnation of the Word, through which he appeared visibly to us, is rightly done by the mediation of the Spirit.
113. Nota hic quatuor rationes quare Christus de virgine nasci voluit. Quarum prima fuit, quia peccatum originale contrahitur in prole ex commixtione viri et mulieris: unde si Christus natus fuisset de concubitu coniugali, peccatum originale contraxisset. Hoc autem esset inconveniens, cum ipse ad hoc venisset in mundum ut peccata nostra tolleret: unde peccati contagione infici non debuit.
113. Note here four reasons why Christ wished to be born of a virgin. The first of the four was that original sin is contracted in a child from the mingling of a man and a woman; hence if Christ had been born of the conjugal act, he would have contracted original sin. But this would be unfitting, since he had come into the world to take away our sins; hence he should not have been infected by the touch of sin.
Secunda, quia Christus praecipuus fuit doctor castitatis; infra XIX, 12: sunt eunuchi qui se castraverunt propter regnum caelorum.
Second, because Christ was a particular teacher of chastity; below: there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven (Matt 19:12).
Tertia propter puritatem et munditiam. In malevolam animam non introibit sapientia, Sap. I, 4. Unde decuit ut venter matris eius nulla corruptione pollueretur.
Third, on account of purity and modesty. For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins (Wis 1:4). Hence it was proper that the womb of his mother be polluted by no corruption.
Quarta propter proprietatem Verbi: quia sicut Verbum sine corruptione cordis emanat a corde, ita Christus de virgine nasci voluit et debuit sine corruptione.
Fourth, on account of the special character of the Word; because just as the Word comes forth from the heart without corruption of the heart, so Christ wished to be born of a virgin without corruption of the virgin.
114. Ioseph autem vir eius cum esset iustus. Postquam posuit generationis modum, hic confirmat ipsum per testimonium. Cum enim supra dixerit Evangelista, quod mater Iesu inventa est in utero habens, et quod hoc erat de Spiritu Sancto, posset aliquis credere quod Evangelista hoc apposuisset ob gratiam Magistri; ideo hic Evangelista confirmat generationis modum supradictum. Et
114. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man. Having set out the mode of the generation, here he confirms it by testimony. For since the Evangelist had said above that the mother of Jesus was found with child, and that this was of the Holy Spirit, someone could think that the Evangelist had set this to favor his Teacher; so the Evangelist confirms here the manner of generation mentioned before.
primo praenuntiatione prophetica, hoc autem factum est;
And first, by a prophetic foretelling, now all this was done (Matt 1:22);
secundo revelatione angelica, ibi exurgens autem Ioseph.
second, by the angelic revelation, at, and Joseph rising up from sleep (Matt 1:24).
In prima parte sunt tria.
In the first part, there are three things.
Primo introducitur persona, cui facta est revelatio;
First, the person to whom the revelation was made is introduced;