Alleluia of Feast of the Ascension

Psalm 67:18-19

Alleluia. V. The Lord is in Sinai, in the holy place; ascending on high He has led captivity captive. Alleluia.


Verse 18. The chariot of God, descending to give his law on Mount Sinai; as also of Jesus Christ, his Son, ascending into heaven, to send from thence the Holy Ghost, to publish his new law, is attended with ten thousands, that is with an innumerable multitude of joyful angels. Ch. — Lit. “with forty thousand.” Bert. — Innumerable hosts of Cherubim, (H.) seem to be the chariot of the most high. Dan. vii. W. — But here the Israelites, who came to conquer Chanaan, are meant. Deut. xxxiii. 2. Zac. xiv. 5. Hab. iii. 6. C. — The promulgation of the old and new law is contrasted. God is the author of the beauty of his Church. M.

Verse 19. Led captivity captive. Carrying away with thee to heaven those who before had been the captives of Satan; and receiving from God the Father gifts to be distributed to men; even to those who were before unbelievers. Ch. — Yea, even these were the spoils which Christ presented to his Father. H. — S. Paul quotes this text rather in a different manner, ascending on high, he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men; as the Heb. lakach means, “to give and to receive.” Abenezra, Chal. Syr. &c. give it the former sense, with the apostle; S. Justin, (dial.) S. Hilary, and the ancient psalters of Rome and Chartres. S. Aug. approves both readings. C. — So Samson said, “take this woman for a wife for me.” Judg. xiv. 3. The true God is here undoubtedly meant, and as S. Paul explains it of Christ, the Socinians, who admit the authority of the epistle to the Ephesians, ought to confess his divinity. Bert. — Those. Prot. “gifts for men, (Marg. “in the man,") yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” Yet the construction of the Heb. and Vulg. would insinuate as well, that these faithless people were now become true subjects, and were the gifts here presented to the Almighty. Christ came to save sinners. He gratuitously sought after them, and filled them with graces, that they might become a suitable present for God. H. — He received gifts to be distributed among his servants, and merited grace for the conversion of innumerable souls. At his ascension, he was accompanied by angels, and by the patriarchs, who had been retained in captivity. W. — The rebellious nations were forced to pay tribute, (Judg. iii. 15. C.) or to submit to Josue, David, &c. H. — God in the flesh, or in his holy mountain, the Christian Church. M.


140: Exorcisms before baptism

The Catalog or the Authoritative Statements of the Past

Bishops of the Holy See Concerning the Grace of God

That also, which the holy Church uniformly does in the whole world with regard to those to be baptized, we do not observe with indifferent respect. Since whether children or youths come to the sacrament of regeneration, they do not approach the fountain of life, before the unclean spirit is driven away from them by the exorcisms and the breathings upon them of the priests; so that then it is truly manifest how the prince of this world is sent forth [John 12:31], and how the strong[man] is first bound [Matt. 12:29], and thereafter his vessels are plundered [Mark 3:27], having been transferred to the possession of the victor, who leads captivity captive [Eph. 4:8] and gives gifts to man [Ps. 67:19].

189: Grace

ST. FELIX III 526-530
Confirmed by Boniface II (against the Semipelagians)

Can. 16. “Let no one glory in that which he seems to possess, as if he did not receive (it), or think that he has received (it) for this reason, because the sign appeared from without, either that it might be read, or sounded that it might be heard. For thus says the Apostle: If justice (is) through the law, then Christ died for nothing [Gal. 2:21]: ascending on high he led captivity captive, he gave gifts to men[ Eph. 4:8; cf.Ps. 67:19]. Whoever has, has from Him, but whoever denies that he has from Him, either does not truly possess, or that, which he possesses, is taken away from him [Matt. 25:29]” [St. Prosper].

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