Digne Evangelio conversamini
Behave worthily of the Gospel
1:25 Et hoc confidens scio quia manebo, et permanebo omnibus vobis ad profectum vestrum, et gaudium fidei: [n. 37]
1:25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all, for your progress and joy of faith: [n. 37]
1:26 ut gratulatio vestra abundet in Christo Jesu in me, per meum adventum iterum ad vos.
1:26 That your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus for me, by my coming to you again.
1:27 Tantum digne Evangelio Christi conversamini: ut sive cum venero, et videro vos, sive absens audiam de vobis, quia statis in uno spiritu unanimes, collaborantes fidei Evangelii: [n. 39]
1:27 Only let your behavior be worthy of the Gospel of Christ: that, whether I come and see you, or, being absent, may hear of you, you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind laboring together for the faith of the Gospel. [n. 39]
1:28 et in nullo terreamini ab adversariis: quae illis est causa perditionis, vobis autem salutis, et hoc a Deo:
1:28 And in nothing be terrified by the adversaries: which to them is a cause of perdition, but to you of salvation, and this from God.
1:29 quia vobis donatum est pro Christo, non solum ut in eum credatis, sed ut etiam pro illo patiamini:
1:29 For unto you it is given for Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him:
1:30 idem certamen habentes, quale et vidistis in me, et nunc audistis de me.
1:30 Having the same conflict as that which you have seen in me and now have heard of me.
37. Posita dubitatione et rationibus hinc inde, hic solvit dubitationem. Et
37. Having stated the doubt and the reason for both sides, he then resolves it.
primo, quasi eligens unam partem, praenuntiat post futurum adventum suum ad eos quantum ad se;
First, as though choosing one side, he foretells what will be the result of his plan to visit them;
secundo ostendit quid requiratur ex parte eorum, ibi tantum digne, et cetera.
second, he shows what is required on their part, at only let your behavior.
38. Item prima in tres, quia primo praemittit futurum adventum; secundo ostendit fructum; tertio illum fructum exponit.
38. In regard to the first he does three things: first, he mentions his coming visit; second, he shows its fruit; third, he explains this fruit.
Dicit ergo: postquam supra dictum est quod permanere in carne necessarium est propter vos, et hoc quod mea vita est fructuosa vobis, scio, ideo scilicet quia permanebo, sed hoc quasi confidens de Deo. Prov. c. XXVIII, 1: iustus quasi leo confidens, et cetera. Manebo et permanebo, id est vivam et diu vivam.
He says, therefore: after saying that to remain in the flesh is necessary for you, because my life is fruitful for you, I know therefore that I shall abide, but having this confidence in God: the righteous are bold as a lion (Prov 28:1). I shall abide and continue, i.e., I shall live and continue to live.
Sed contra, statim occisus est a Nerone.
But on the other hand he was soon killed by Nero.
Respondeo. Dicendum est quod epistola est facta vel scripta primo anno incarcerationis, quod fuit primo anno Neronis. Unde postea vixit septem annis.
I answer that this letter was written in the first year of his imprisonment, which was also the first year of Nero’s reign. Hence he lived for seven years after this.
Omnibus vobis, id est, ad utilitatem omnium vestrum. I Cor. X, 33: non quaerens quod mihi utile est, sed quod multis, ut salvi fiant. Et hoc ad profectum vestrum, id est, ut per meam exhortationem proficiatis in fide et gaudeatis de mea vita quam audistis, sed magis gauderetis si essem praesens. Rom. I, 11: desidero autem videre vos, et cetera.
With you all, i.e., for the benefit of all of you: I do not seek my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved (1 Cor 10:33). And this, for your progress, i.e., that through my exhortation you may progress in the faith and rejoice in my life, which you have heard about; but you would rejoice more, if I were present: I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you (Rom 1:11).
Deinde exponit quod dixerat, dicens ut gratulatio vestra, etc., id est si detur ut iterum veniam ad vos, est ut gaudium abundans sim vobis. Eph. III, 20: ei autem qui potens est omnia facere superabundanter quam petimus, aut intelligimus, et cetera. Et hoc in Christo Iesu, quia hoc ipsum quod gaudebant de eo, erat propter Christum. Philem. I, 20: fruar te in Domino, et cetera.
Then he explains what he had said, saying, that your rejoicing may abound, i.e., if it is granted me to come to you again, it will be in order that joy may abound in you: now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the Church (Eph 3:20). And this in Christ Jesus, because the fact that they rejoiced in him was for the sake of Christ: I want some benefit from you in the Lord (Phlm 1:20).
39. Deinde cum dicit tantum digne, etc., ostendit quid requiratur ex parte eorum. Et circa hoc tria facit, quia primo facit hoc; secundo manifestat utilitatem inde consequentem; tertio explicat.
39. Then when be says, only let your behavior be worthy, he shows what is required on their part. And concerning this, he does three things, because first he shows what is required; second, he shows the advantage that follows from it; third, he explains.
40. Dicit ergo quod tantum ex parte eorum requiritur quod in Evangelio Christi digne conversentur, scilicet secundum quod doctrinae tali congruit. I Thess. II, 12: testificati sumus, ut ambularetis digne Deo, qui vocavit vos in suum regnum et gloriam, et cetera. Col. I, 10: ambuletis digne Deo, et cetera. Ut sive cum venero ad vos et videro vos, sive absens, audiam de vobis bona. Et hoc gaudium est mihi. III Io. 4: maiorem horum non habeo gratiam, quam ut audiam filios meos in veritate ambulare, et cetera.
40. He says that the only thing required of them is that they live worthy of the Gospel of Christ, in a manner that conforms to that Gospel. We exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory (1 Thess 2:12); to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him (Col 1:10). That, whether I come and see you, or, being absent, may hear of you, good. And this is my joy: I have no greater grace than this, to hear that my children walk in the truth (3 John 1:4).
41. Et nunc in speciali expetit ab eis, primo unitatem, secundo constantiam, ibi et in nullo, et cetera.
41. Now he specifically desires from them, first, unity and, second, constancy, at and in nothing be terrified.
Est autem sanctis necessaria unitas triplex, scilicet amoris; unde dicit audiam de vobis, quod scilicet statis in uno spiritu, quod est per amorem. Eph. IV, 3: solliciti servare unitatem Spiritus in vinculo pacis. Et I Cor. VI, v. 17: qui autem adhaeret Domino, unus spiritus est.
There are three kinds of unity required of the saints: first, the unity of love; hence he says, that I may hear of you, namely, that you stand fast in one spirit, through love: eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph 4:3); he who is united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him (1 Cor 6:17).
Item concordiae; unde dicit unanimes, id est unam voluntatem, et animum habentes. Act. IV, 32: multitudinis credentium erat cor unum, et anima una. Ps. LXVII, 7: qui inhabitare facit unius moris in domo, et cetera.
Second, the unity of concord; hence he says, with one mind, i.e., have one will and one soul: now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul (Acts 4:32); God makes men of one way to dwell in one house (Ps 68:6).
Item, cooperationis. Unde dicit collaborantes, etc., ut scilicet unus adiuvet alium. Ad hoc facit quod dicitur I Reg. XXV, 1: congregatus est Israel universus, et planxerunt eum, scilicet Samuelem. Prov. XVIII, 19: frater qui iuvatur a fratre quasi civitas firma.
Third, the unity of cooperation; hence he says, laboring together for the faith of the Gospel, i.e., one helping the other. This is brought about by what is said: all Israel assembled and mourned for him, namely, Samuel (1 Sam 25:1); a brother who is helped by a brother is like a strong city (Prov 18:19).
42. Secundo expetit constantiam, ibi et in nullo, et cetera. Et primo inducit ad fortitudinem; secundo ponit rationem.
42. Second, he expects constancy: and in nothing be terrified. And first he sets forth fortitude; second, he considers reason.
Dicit ergo et in nullo, etc.; quia nihil possunt, nisi quantum Deus permittit. Lc. XXI, v. 18: capillus de capite vestro non peribit. Ps. I, 3: folium eius non defluet, et cetera. Is. LI, v. 12: quis tu ut timeas ab homine mortali, et a filio hominis, qui quasi foenum ita arescet?
Therefore he says, and in nothing be terrified by the adversaries, because they can do only as much as God allows: but not a hair of your head will perish (Luke 21:18); its leaf does not wither (Ps 1:3); who are you that you are afraid of man who dies, of the son of man who is made like grass? (Isa 51:12).
43. Ratio autem est triplex. Prima sumitur a fructu tribulationis; secunda ex dono duplici Dei; tertia ab actore.
43. There are three reasons for this. The first is taken from the fruit of tribulation; the second from the twofold gift of God; the third from the agent.
Dicit ergo non terreamini, quia est vobis fructus, id est ipsa persecutio quae in illis, scilicet persequentibus, est causa perditionis, sed vobis est causa salutis. Matth. XVI, 25: qui voluerit animam suam salvam facere, perdet eam, et cetera. Io. XII, 25: qui amat animam suam perdet eam. Os. XIII, 9: perditio tua ex te, Israel, tantummodo ex me auxilium tuum, et cetera. Et hoc a Deo, a quo pro munere donatum est vobis, quod sustineatis tribulationes patienter.
He says, therefore: in nothing be terrified, because there is fruit for you in that persecution which to them, i.e., to the persecutors, is a cause of perdition, but to you of salvation: whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it (Matt 16:25); he who loves his life loses it (John 12:25); I will destroy you, O Israel; who can help you? (Hos 13:9). And this from God, from whom unto you it is given to endure tribulation patiently.
Secunda ratio, ut in eum credatis. Eph. II, v. 8: gratia enim estis salvati per fidem, quod est magnum et primum donum. Et etiam ut pro illo patiamini, quod est maius donum, ut scilicet curam Christi agatis, quasi athletae eius. Act. V, 41: ibant apostoli gaudentes a conspectu Concilii, et cetera. Si ergo utile est et honorificum, ideo agatis fortiter.
The second reason is that you should believe in him: for by grace you have been saved through faith (Eph 2:8), which is the great and first gift. But also to suffer for him, which is a greater gift, namely, that you should act for Christ as his athlete: then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name (Acts 5:41). This is useful and honorable; hence you should act bravely.
Tertia ratio sumitur ex exemplo, quia ita tractat eosdem, sicut nos qui sumus primitiae fidelium. Et ideo dicit idem certamen habentes, quale et vidistis in me, scilicet apud vos, quando nudus fui verberatus Philippis, propter pythonissam liberatam, Act. XVI, v. 16 s.: et nunc audistis de me, qui sum in vinculis.
The third reason is taken from his example, because he deals with them as people who are the first fruits of the faith. Hence he says, having the same conflict as that which you have seen in me, namely, when among you I was naked and beaten by the Philippians because I freed the girl with the spirit of divination (Acts 16:16ff.); and now have heard of me, who am in prison.
Hymn to Christ
Unity of Christians
2:1 Si qua ergo consolatio in Christo, si quod solatium caritatis, si qua societas Spiritus, si qua viscera miserationis: [n. 44]
2:1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of charity, if any society of the Spirit, if any bowels of compassion: [n. 44]
2:2 implete gaudium meum ut idem sapiatis, eamdem caritatem habentes, unanimes, idipsum sentientes, [n. 46]
2:2 Fulfill my joy, that you be of one mind, having the same charity, being of one accord, agreeing in sentiment. [n. 46]
2:3 nihil per contentionem, neque per inanem gloriam: sed in humilitate superiores sibi invicem arbitrantes, [n. 48]
2:3 Let nothing be done through contention: neither by vainglory. But in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves: [n. 48]