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Step into the fall with these September deals

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The seasons are changing; it is a time that is fitting for us to reflect upon God’s unchanging nature and love. As everything around us shifts, we need to continue to explore the bottomless depths of God’s revelation. Check out what we have to offer you this month to help facilitate your reflection on the Divine Mystery. See all the deals.

Fathers of the Church: Latin Fathers of the Nicene Era (25 vols.)Fathers of the Church: Latin Fathers of the Nicene Era (25 vols.)

The Latin Fathers of the Nicene Era collection provides a thorough look at the Western Roman Empire during the fourth and fifth centuries, centered around the core Christian writings of the Nicene era.
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Come and See: Catholic Bible Study Collection (11 vols.)Come and See: Catholic Bible Study Collection (11 vols.)

This series presents the rich heritage of the Catholic faith in clear and simple language.
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Studies on Christ and His Kingdom Collection (5 vols.)Studies on Christ and His Kingdom Collection (5 vols.)

Exploring the biblical text chapter-by-chapter throughout each of the Gospels and Acts, these volumes bring academic teaching and thought together for a comprehensive, accessible study of Christ and his mission.
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“Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven”

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

This coming Sunday is the Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. To help you prepare to enter more deeply into Matthew 18:15-20 at worship, here is an excerpt from The Navarre Bible commentary series.


18:15–17. Here our Lord calls on us to work with him for the sanctification of others by means of fraternal correction, which is one of the ways we can do so. He speaks as sternly about the sin of omission as he did about that of scandal (cf. Chrysostom, Hom. on St Matthew, 61).

There is an obligation on us to correct others. Our Lord identifies three stages in correction: 1) alone; 2) in the presence of one or two witnesses; and 3) before the Church. The first stage refers to causing scandal and to secret or private sins; here correction should be given privately, just to the person himself, to avoid unnecessarily publicizing a private matter and also to avoid hurting the person and to make it easier for him to mend his ways. If this correction does not have the desired effect, and the matter is a serious one, resort should be had to the second stage—looking for one or two friends, in case they have more influence on him. The last stage is formal judicial correction by reference to the Church authorities. If a sinner does not accept this correction, he should be excommunicated that is, separated from communion with the Church and sacraments.

18:18. This verse needs to be understood in connexion with the authority previously promised to Peter (cf. Mt 16:13–19): it is the hierarchy of the Church that exercises this power given by Christ to Peter, to the apostles and their lawful successors—the Pope and the bishops.[1]


Why do you think the power to bind and to loose given to the Church by Jesus immediately follows his lesson about fraternal correction?
How might this connect to John 20:23 or Matthew 6:14?

To dig deeper in your own devotional time, contemplate these verses in the Verbum Bible Study software. Or, if you don’t yet own it, request The Navarre Bible: Saint Matthew’s Gospelavailable this month at a special discount.

[1] Saint Matthew’s Gospel. (2005). (pp. 129–130). Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers.

Verbum Now Benefits for September

New in Verbum Now

For the month of September, Verbum Now members enjoy free access to these studies on the Synoptic Gospels:

A Critical and Exegetical Commentary:

1. The Gospel According to St. Matthew

2. The Gospel According to St. Mark

3. The Gospel According to St. Luke

For over one hundred years, the International Critical Commentary series has held a special place among works on the Bible. It has sought to bring together all the relevant aids to exegesis—linguistic and textual no less than archaeological, historical, literary and theological—with a level of comprehension and quality of scholarship unmatched by any other series.

No attempt has been made to secure a uniform theological or critical approach to the biblical text: contributors have been invited for their scholarly distinction, not for their adherence to any one school of thought.

The depth of analysis found in the International Critical Commentary (ICC) Series has yet to be surpassed in any commentary collection. One of the best features of this series is the extensive amount of background information given in each volume’s introduction, where all of the analysis is provided before the actual commentary begins. Each volume packs more information into the introduction than you will often find in the body of most commentaries! Also consider that with the electronic versions of each volume, you will never need to leaf through the hundreds of pages in each volume searching for the passage you are studying.


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“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”

You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God

This coming Sunday is the Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time. To help you prepare for worship, consider these timeless insights from St. Jerome on the classic passage in defense of the primacy and papal office of St. Peter.

16:15–16. “But you, who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Wise reader, notice from what follows and from the context of the words that the apostles are by no means called men, but gods. For though he had said: “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” he has added: “But you, who do you say that I am?” For the former, since they are thinking human things, are men, but you who are gods, who do you consider me to be? Representing all the apostles, Peter professes: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He calls him a living God in comparison with those gods that are thought to be gods but are dead. This refers to Saturn, Jove, Ceres, Liberus, Hercules, and the rest of the portents of the idols.

16:17. Jesus answered and said to him: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” For the apostle’s testimony concerning himself, Jesus repays in turn. Peter had said: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” A true confession received its reward: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona.” Why? Because flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but the Father has revealed it. What flesh and blood was not able to reveal, the grace of the Holy Spirit has revealed. Therefore, because of his confession, a name is allotted to him that has been revealed by the Holy Spirit, whose son he is to be called. For indeed, in our language Bar-Jona sounds like “son of the dove.”15 Others take it more simply, that Simon, that is, Peter, is the son of John in accordance with the question found in another passage: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He answered: “Lord, you know.”17 They think there has been a corruption through the fault of the copyists, so that in place of Bar-Johanna, that is, “son of John,” it was written Bar-Jona, with one syllable having been deleted. Now Johanna is translated “grace of the Lord.” Both names can be interpreted mystically. Thus “dove” signifies the Holy Spirit, and “grace of God” signifies a spiritual gift. Moreover, compare his words: “For flesh and blood has not revealed it to you,” with the apostolic narrative in which it says: “I did not immediately take counsel with flesh and blood.”19 In that passage [Paul] is signifying the Jews by the term “flesh and blood.” Thus here too, by another interpretation, it is shown that Christ was revealed to him as the Son of God, not through the teaching of the Pharisees, but by the grace of God.

16:18. “And I say to you.” What do his words mean: “And I say to you”? [They mean this:] Since you have said to me: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” “I also say to you,” not with empty words that have no effect, but “I say to you” because with me to have spoken is to have done.

16:18. “For you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” He himself gave light to the apostles that they might be called the light of the world, and the other designations that were allotted from the Lord. In the same way, to Simon,21 who believed in Christ the rock [petra], was granted the name of Peter [Petrus]. And in accordance with the metaphor of rock [petra], it is rightly said to him: “I will build my Church” upon you.

16:19. “And I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed also in heaven.” The bishops and priests do not understand this passage. They assume for themselves some of the superciliousness of the Pharisees when they either condemn the innocent or think that they can loose the guilty. Yet in the sight of God it is not the verdict of the priests but the life of the accused that is examined.26 We read in Leviticus about lepers that they are commanded to show themselves to the priests and, if they have leprosy, then they are established as unclean by the priest. This does not mean that the priests make them leprous and unclean, but that they have knowledge of the leprous and the non-leprous, and they can discern who is clean and who is unclean. Therefore, just as in that passage it is the priest who “makes” the leper unclean, so also here the priest or bishop binds or looses, not those who are innocent or guilty, but because of his own office. When he hears the various kinds of sins, he knows who should be bound, and who should be loosed.[1]

Do you know which passage in Isaiah is connected with the handing of the keys in Matthew 16:19? To dig deeper in your own devotional time, contemplate these verses in the Verbum Bible Study software. Or, if you don’t yet own it, request Jerome’s commentary—available this month at a special discount.

[1] Jerome. (2008). Commentary on Matthew. (T. P. Halton, Ed., T. P. Scheck, Trans.) (Vol. 117, pp. 190–192). Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press.

Shipping Soon: Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture Update III (2 vols.)

Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture Update III (2 vols.)

Very soon the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture Update III (2 vols.) will begin shipping and be sold at full price. Take advantage of the 40% pre-order discount before time is out! This new update adds Hebrews and James, First, Second, and Third John to the overall collection.

The Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture aims to serve the ministry of the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church. Since Vatican Council II, there has been an increasing hunger among Catholics to study Scripture in depth and in a way that reveals its relationship to liturgy, evangelization, catechesis, theology, and personal and communal life. This series responds to that desire by providing accessible yet substantive commentary on each book of the New Testament, drawn from the best of contemporary biblical scholarship as well as the rich treasury of the Church’s tradition. These volumes seek to offer scholarship illumined by faith, in the conviction that the ultimate aim of biblical interpretation is to discover what God has revealed and is still speaking through the sacred text. Central to our approach are the principles taught by Vatican II: first, the use of historical and literary methods to discern what the biblical authors intended to express; second, prayerful theological reflection to understand the sacred text “in accord with the same Spirit by whom it was written”—that is, in light of the content and unity of the whole Scripture, the living tradition of the Church, and the analogy of faith (Dei Verbum 12).

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Check out these August deals

Check out August's deals!

The word August comes from the Latin augustus, which means consecrated or venerable. Certainly St. Augustine lived up to the meaning of his name. In honor of his legacy, we have a great discount on a St. Augustine collection this month. We also have many other resources to offer that are sure to satisfy your study needs. Don’t hesitate. See all the deals.

 Sacra Pagina New Testament Commentary Series (18 vols.)Sacra Pagina New Testament Commentary Series (18 vols.)

Embrace the “very soul of sacred theology” with this astounding Scripture study series. If you took advantage of last month’s free book, you can get an even deeper discount with dynamic pricing.
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T&T Clark Studies in Biblical Theology and Theological Interpretation (4 vols.)T&T Clark Studies in Biblical Theology and Theological Interpretation (4 vols.)

Whether you are just getting your feet wet with Bible study or you are a seasoned Scripture scholar, these resources will guide you along the next step of your studies.
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 Fathers of the Church: St. Augustine (30 vols.)Fathers of the Church: St. Augustine (30 vols.)

This collection features many never-before-translated editions of Augustine’s Latin writings as well as his beloved and most important works.
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Have pity on me, Lord, son of David

Jesus and the Canaanite Woman

This coming Sunday is the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. To help you prepare for worship, consider these timeless insights from St. Jerome on Sunday’s Gospel reading.

15:21. And having gone out from there, Jesus withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. He leaves his false accusers, the scribes and Pharisees, and goes to the district of Tyre and Sidon in order to cure the residents of Tyre and Sidon. But a Canaanite woman leaves her native land and cries out to procure healing for her daughter. Observe that this Canaanite daughter is healed in the fifteenth place.

15:22. “Have pity on me, Lord, son of David, my daughter is badly vexed by a demon.” She knew to call him “son of David” because she had already come forth from her land and had left the error of the Tyrians and Sidonians by a change of place and of faith. “My daughter is badly vexed by a demon.” I believe that the daughter of the Church refers to the souls of believers, which were badly vexed by a demon. They did not know the Creator and were worshiping stone.

15:23. He answered her not a word. [His silence was] due not to some sort of pharisaical arrogance or superciliousness of the scribes, but that he might not seem to be opposed to his own statement by which he had commanded: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles and do not enter into the cities of the Samaritans.” For he was unwilling to give an occasion to his false accusers, and he was reserving the perfected salvation of the Gentiles for the time of his Passion and Resurrection.

15:23. And his disciples came and were asking him, saying: “Dismiss her, because she is calling out after us.” Even at that time the disciples did not know the mysteries of the Lord. They were either moved by compassion to make this request for the Canaanite woman (whom another evangelist calls a Syrophoenician), or they were longing to be free from her importunity, since she was calling out repeatedly, not as if for a kind physician, but for a harsh one.

15:24. “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” He is not saying that he was not also sent to the Gentiles, but that he was sent first to Israel. In that way the transference to the Gentiles would be just, since Israel did not receive the Gospel. He has expressly said: “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Thus, on the basis of this passage, we can also understand the one wandering sheep of another parable.

15:25. But she came and worshiped him, saying. In the person of the Canaanite woman, we should admire the faith, patience, and humility of the Church: faith, by which she believed that her daughter could be healed; patience, by which she perseveres in prayer, after having been so often scorned; humility, by which she compares herself not with dogs but with puppies. Now, pagans are called dogs on account of their idolatry. They have surrendered themselves to the eating of blood, and by the bodies of the dead are carried off into madness. Note that this Canaanite woman with persistence first calls him son of David, then Lord, and finally she worships him as God.

15:27. But she said: “Yes, Lord, for even the puppies eat from the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters.” I know, she says, that I do not deserve the sons’ bread. I am incapable of taking whole food or of sitting at the table with the Father. But I am content with what is left over for the puppies, so that by the humility of crumbs I might come to the greatness of the whole loaf. Oh, what a marvelous transformation of things! Israel was once a son, and we were the dogs. The arrangement of the titles is changed due to the difference in faith. Of Israel it is later said: “Many dogs have surrounded me”; and: “Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the mutilation.” But with the Syrophoenician woman and with the woman who flowed with blood, we have heard: “Great is your faith; let it be done to you according to your faith”; and: “Daughter, your faith has saved you.”

How might this scene with the Canaanite woman help us understand the relationship of Christianity with other religions? To dig deeper in your own devotional time, contemplate these verses in the Verbum Bible Study software. Or, if you don’t yet own it, request Jerome’s commentary—available this month at a special discount.

Jerome. (2008). Commentary on Matthew. (T. P. Halton, Ed., T. P. Scheck, Trans.) (Vol. 117, pp. 182–183). Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press.

Lord, save me!

Lord, save me.

This coming Sunday is the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We now continue our reflection of timeless insights from St. Jerome on Sunday’s Gospel reading.

14:30. But when he saw the strong wind, he was afraid, and, beginning to sink, he shouted out, saying: “Lord, save me!” The faith of his heart was burning, but human weakness dragged him into the depths. Therefore, he is abandoned for a little while in temptation, that his faith might increase and he might understand that he has been saved not by the easiness of a request but by the Lord’s power.
14:31. And Jesus at once stretched forth his hand and took hold of him and said to him: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Because the apostle Peter had grown a little afraid, Jesus said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Now we have spoken above about Peter’s faith and ardor of mind. It was he who had courageously asked the Savior, saying, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”273 If this is so, what will Jesus say to us, who do not even have the smallest particle of this little faith?
14:33. Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying: “Truly you are the Son of God.” At a single sign when the tranquility of the sea is restored, which normally happens after occasional heavy storms, the sailors and passengers confess that he is truly the Son of God; and yet in the Church Arius proclaims him to be a creature!

Peter made that leap of faith onto the water, but each step of the way was met with trepidation, and he began to sink. “Lord, save me,” he cried. We’ve all cried out like that before, desperately in need of God’s help, but God is always there, steadying us like an anchor. To dig deeper in your own devotional time, contemplate these verses in the Verbum Bible Study software. Or, if you don’t yet own it, request Jerome’s commentary—available this month at a special discount.

Jerome. (2008). Commentary on Matthew. (T. P. Halton, Ed., T. P. Scheck, Trans.) (Vol. 117, p. 176). Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press.

So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water

He said,

This coming Sunday is the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. To help you prepare for worship, consider these timeless insights from St. Jerome on Sunday’s Gospel reading.

14:22. And he compelled his disciples to get into the boat and to go ahead of him across the sea, until he dismissed the crowds. He ordered the disciples to cross the sea and he compelled them to get into the boat. By these words it is shown that they withdrew from the Lord unwillingly, since for love for their teacher they do not want to be separated from him even for a moment of time.
14:23. And when he had dismissed the crowd, he went up on a mountain alone to pray. If the disciples Peter, James, and John, who had seen the glory of the transfigured one, had been with him, perhaps they would have gone up on the mountain with him, but the crowd cannot follow to the heights. He can only teach them near the sea on the shore and feed them in the desert. Now it says that he went up alone to pray. You should refer this not to him who, from five loaves, satisfied five thousand men, not counting the women and children, but to him who, when he heard about the death of John, withdrew to a lonely place. It is not that we separate the person of the Lord, but that his works have been divided between his deity and his humanity.261
14:24. But the boat was being buffeted by the waves in the midst of the sea. It was right that the apostles departed from the Lord against their will and reluctantly. They did not want to suffer a shipwreck in his absence. Finally, while the Lord was delaying at the top of the mountain, at once a contrary wind arises and disturbs the sea. The apostles are in danger, and a shipwreck continues to be imminent, until Jesus comes.
14:25. But at the fourth watch of the night, he came to them, walking upon the sea. Guard duties and military watches are divided into intervals of three hours. So then, when he says that the Lord came to them at the fourth watch of the night, he is showing that they were in danger through the whole night. Then, at the end of the night and at the consummation of the world, he will bring help to them.
14:26. And when they saw him walking upon the sea, they were alarmed and said: “It is a ghost!” If, in accordance with Marcion and Manicheus, our Lord was not born of a virgin, but appeared as an imaginary representation, how is it that the apostles are now afraid that they are seeing a ghost?
14:26. And they cried out for fear. A confused outcry and uncertain voice is a sign of great fear.
14:27. And immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: “Have courage; I am.” In the first place, this brings a remedy for what was the cause [of their fear]. He commands those who are afraid, saying: “Have courage,” do not fear. In the words that follow: “I am,” he is not adding who he is. For they could either have understood him from his voice, which was familiar to them and which was speaking through the misty darkness of the night; or they could have recalled that he was the one who they knew had spoken to Moses: “You are to tell this to the sons of Israel: He who is has sent me to you.”
14:28. But Peter responded and said: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” In all passages Peter is found to be a man of an intensely burning faith. When the disciples are asked who men were saying Jesus is, Peter confesses him to be the Son of God. When the Savior wills to go to his Passion, Peter is unwilling that he whom a little earlier he had confessed to be the Son of God should die.266 I grant that Peter was in error on this matter, but the error was not in the affection he had. Peter goes up on the mountain with the Savior, as first among the first. And in the Passion, Peter alone follows.268 With bitter tears he immediately washed away the sin of denial into which he had fallen due to sudden fear. After the Passion, when they were fishing at Lake Genesareth, while the Lord was standing on the shore, the others were taking their time in sailing back. But Peter brooks no delay. He wraps himself with his garment and at once plunges headfirst into the waves.270 Therefore, with the same ardor of faith that he always has, now too, while the others are silent, he believes that by the will of his Master, he can do what Jesus was able to do by nature. “Command me to come to you on the water.” You give the command, and on the spot the water will grow solid, the body will become light, which in its own right is heavy.
14:29. And getting out of the boat, Peter walked on the water. Let those who think that the body of the Lord was not a true body because it went softly like air over the soft water answer how it was that Peter walked. Surely they are not going to deny that Peter was a true man.

This infamous scene of Jesus walking on the water has a way of encouraging us and confounding us in our faith. To dig deeper in your own devotional time, contemplate these verses in the Verbum Bible Study software. Or, if you don’t yet own it, request Jerome’s commentary—available this month at a special discount.

Jerome. (2008). Commentary on Matthew. (T. P. Halton, Ed., T. P. Scheck, Trans.) (Vol. 117, pp. 173–176). Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press.

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