Authors/Thomas Aquinas/Summa Theologiae/Part III/Q37

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Q36 Q38



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IIIª q. 37 pr. Deinde considerandum est de circumcisione Christi. Et quia circumcisio est quaedam professio legis observandae, secundum illud Galat. V, testificor omni homini circumcidenti se, quoniam debitor est universae legis faciendae, simul cum hoc quaerendum est de aliis legalibus circa puerum Christum observatis. Unde quaeruntur quatuor. Primo, de eius circumcisione. Secundo, de nominis impositione. Tertio, de eius oblatione. Quarto, de matris purgatione. Question 37. Christ's circumcision, and of the other legal observances accomplished in regard to the child Christ 1. His circumcision 2. The imposition of His name 3. His presentation 4. His Mother's purification
IIIª q. 37 a. 1 arg. 1 Ad primum sic proceditur. Videtur quod Christus non debuerit circumcidi. Veniente enim veritate, cessat figura. Sed circumcisio fuit Abrahae praecepta in signum foederis quod erat de semine nascituro, ut patet Gen. XVII. Hoc autem foedus fuit in Christi nativitate completum. Ergo circumcisio statim cessare debuit. Objection 1. It would seem that Christ should not have been circumcised. For on the advent of the reality, the figure ceases. But circumcision was prescribed to Abraham as a sign of the covenant concerning his posterity, as may be seen from Genesis 17. Now this covenant was fulfilled in Christ's birth. Therefore circumcision should have ceased at once.
IIIª q. 37 a. 1 arg. 2 Praeterea, omnis Christi actio nostra est instructio, unde dicitur Ioan. XIII, exemplum dedi vobis, ut, quemadmodum ego feci vobis, ita et vos faciatis. Sed nos non debemus circumcidi, secundum illud Galat. V, si circumcidimini, Christus vobis nihil proderit. Ergo videtur quod nec Christus debuit circumcidi. Objection 2. Further, "every action of Christ is a lesson to us" [Innoc. III, Serm. xxii de Temp.; wherefore it is written (John 3:15): "I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also." But we ought not to be circumcised; according to Galatians 5:2: "If you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing." Therefore it seems that neither should Christ have been circumcised.
IIIª q. 37 a. 1 arg. 3 Praeterea, circumcisio est ordinata in remedium originalis peccati. Sed Christus non contraxit originale peccatum, ut ex supra dictis patet. Ergo Christus non debuit circumcidi. Objection 3. Further, circumcision was prescribed as a remedy of original sin. But Christ did not contract original sin, as stated above (14, 3; 15, 1). Therefore Christ should not have been circumcised.
IIIª q. 37 a. 1 s. c. Sed contra est quod dicitur Luc. II, postquam consummati sunt dies octo, ut circumcideretur puer. On the contrary, It is written (Luke 2:21): "After eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised."
IIIª q. 37 a. 1 co. Respondeo dicendum quod pluribus de causis Christus debuit circumcidi. Primo quidem, ut ostendat veritatem carnis humanae, contra Manichaeum, qui dixit eum habuisse corpus phantasticum; et contra Apollinarium, qui dixit corpus Christi esse divinitati consubstantiale; et contra Valentinum, qui dixit Christum corpus de caelo attulisse. Secundo, ut approbaret circumcisionem, quam olim Deus instituerat. Tertio, ut comprobaret se esse de genere Abrahae, qui circumcisionis mandatum acceperat in signum fidei quam de ipso habuerat. Quarto, ut Iudaeis excusationem tolleret ne eum reciperent, si esset incircumcisus. Quinto, ut obedientiae virtutem nobis suo commendaret exemplo. Unde et octava die circumcisus est, sicut erat in lege praeceptum. Sexto, ut qui in similitudinem carnis peccati advenerat, remedium quo caro peccati consueverat mundari, non respueret. Septimo, ut, legis onus in se sustinens, alios a legis onere liberaret, secundum illud Galat. IV, misit Deus filium suum factum sub lege, ut eos qui sub lege erant redimeret. I answer that, For several reasons Christ ought to have been circumcised. First, in order to prove the reality of His human nature, in contradiction to the Manicheans, who said that He had an imaginary body: and in contradiction to Apollinarius, who said that Christ's body was consubstantial with His Godhead; and in contradiction to Valentine, who said that Christ brought His body from heaven. Secondly, in order to show His approval of circumcision, which God had instituted of old. Thirdly, in order to prove that He was descended from Abraham, who had received the commandment of circumcision as a sign of his faith in Him. Fourthly, in order to take away from the Jews an excuse for not receiving Him, if He were uncircumcised. Fifthly, "in order by His example to exhort us to be obedient" [Bede, Hom. x in Evang.]. Wherefore He was circumcised on the eighth day according to the prescription of the Law (Leviticus 12:3). Sixthly, "that He who had come in the likeness of sinful flesh might not reject the remedy whereby sinful flesh was wont to be healed." Seventhly, that by taking on Himself the burden of the Law, He might set others free therefrom, according to Galatians 4:4-5: "God sent His Son . . . made under the Law, that He might redeem them who were under the Law."
IIIª q. 37 a. 1 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod circumcisio, per remotionem carnalis pelliculae in membro generationis facta, significabat spoliationem vetustae generationis. A qua quidem vetustate liberamur per passionem Christi. Et ideo veritas huius figurae non fuit plene impleta in Christi nativitate, sed in eius passione, ante quam circumcisio suam virtutem et statum habebat. Et ideo decuit Christum, ante suam passionem, tanquam filium Abrahae, circumcidi. Reply to Objection 1. Circumcision by the removal of the piece of skin in the member of generation, signified "the passing away of the old generation" [Athanasius, De Sabb. et Circumcis.]: from the decrepitude of which we are freed by Christ's Passion. Consequently this figure was not completely fulfilled in Christ's birth, but in His Passion, until which time the circumcision retained its virtue and status. Therefore it behooved Christ to be circumcised as a son of Abraham before His Passion.
IIIª q. 37 a. 1 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod Christus circumcisionem suscepit eo tempore quo erat sub praecepto. Et ideo sua actio in hoc est nobis imitanda, ut observemus ea quae sunt nostro tempore in praecepto. Quia unicuique negotio est tempus et opportunitas, ut dicitur Eccle. VIII. Et praeterea, ut Origenes dicit, sicut mortui sumus cum illo moriente, et consurreximus Christo resurgenti, ita circumcisi sumus spirituali circumcisione per Christum. Et ideo carnali circumcisione non indigemus. Et hoc est quod apostolus dicit, Coloss. II, in quo, scilicet Christo, circumcisi estis circumcisione non manu facta in exspoliatione corporis carnis, sed in circumcisione domini nostri Iesu Christi. Reply to Objection 2. Christ submitted to circumcision while it was yet of obligation. And thus His action in this should be imitated by us, in fulfilling those things which are of obligation in our own time. Because "there is a time and opportunity for every business" (Ecclesiastes 8:6). Moreover, according to Origen (Hom. xiv in Luc.), "as we died when He died, and rose again when Christ rose from the dead, so were we circumcised spiritually through Christ: wherefore we need no carnal circumcision." And this is what the Apostle says (Colossians 2:11): "In whom," [i.e. Christ] "you are circumcised with circumcision not made by hand in despoiling of the body of the flesh, but in the circumcision of" our Lord Jesus "Christ."
IIIª q. 37 a. 1 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut Christus propria voluntate mortem nostram suscepit, quae est effectus peccati, nullum in se habens peccatum, ut nos a morte liberaret, et spiritualiter nos faceret mori peccato; ita etiam circumcisionem, quae est remedium originalis peccati, suscepit absque hoc quod haberet originale peccatum, ut nos a legis iugo liberaret, et ut in nobis spiritualem circumcisionem efficeret; ut scilicet, suscipiendo figuram, impleret veritatem. Reply to Objection 3. As Christ voluntarily took upon Himself our death, which is the effect of sin, whereas He had no sin Himself, in order to deliver us from death, and to make us to die spiritually unto sin, so also He took upon Himself circumcision, which was a remedy against original sin, whereas He contracted no original sin, in order to deliver us from the yoke of the Law, and to accomplish a spiritual circumcision in us--in order, that is to say, that, by taking upon Himself the shadow, He might accomplish the reality.
IIIª q. 37 a. 2 arg. 1 Ad secundum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter fuerit Christo nomen impositum. Veritas enim evangelica debet praenuntiationi propheticae respondere. Sed prophetae aliud nomen de Christo praenuntiaverunt, dicitur enim Isaiae VII, ecce, virgo concipiet et pariet filium, et vocabitur nomen eius Emmanuel; et VIII, voca nomen eius, accelera, spolia detrahe, festina praedari; et IX, vocabitur nomen eius, admirabilis, consiliarius, Deus, fortis, pater futuri saeculi, princeps pacis; et Zach. VI dicitur, ecce vir, oriens nomen eius. Ergo inconvenienter vocatum est nomen eius Iesus. Objection 1. It would seem that an unsuitable name was given to Christ. For the Gospel reality should correspond to the prophetic foretelling. But the prophets foretold another name for Christ: for it is written (Isaiah 7:14): "Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel"; and (Isaiah 8:3): "Call His name, Hasten to take away the spoils; Make haste to take away the prey"; and (Isaiah 9:6): "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace"; and (Zechariah 6:12): "Behold a Man, the Orient is His name." Thus it was unsuitable that His name should be called Jesus.
IIIª q. 37 a. 2 arg. 2 Praeterea, Isaiae LXII dicitur, vocabitur tibi nomen novum, quod os domini nominavit. Sed hoc nomen Iesus non est nomen novum, sed pluribus fuit in veteri testamento impositum, ut patet etiam ex ipsa genealogia Christi, Luc. III. Ergo videtur quod inconvenienter vocatum est nomen eius Iesus. Objection 2. Further, it is written (Isaiah 62:2): "Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord hath named [Vulgate: 'shall name']." But the name Jesus is not a new name, but was given to several in the Old Testament: as may be seen in the genealogy of Christ (Luke 3:29), "Therefore it seems that it was unfitting for His name to be called Jesus."
IIIª q. 37 a. 2 arg. 3 Praeterea, hoc nomen Iesus salutem significat, ut patet per id quod dicitur Matth. I, pariet filium, et vocabis nomen eius Iesum, ipse enim salvum faciet populum suum a peccatis eorum. Sed salus per Christum non est facta solum in circumcisione, sed etiam in praeputio, ut patet per apostolum, Rom. IV. Inconvenienter ergo hoc nomen fuit Christo impositum in sua circumcisione. Objection 3. Further, the name Jesus signifies "salvation"; as is clear from Matthew 1:21: "She shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus. For He shall save His people from their sins." But salvation through Christ was accomplished not only in the circumcision, but also in uncircumcision, as is declared by the Apostle (Romans 4:11-12). Therefore this name was not suitably given to Christ at His circumcision.
IIIª q. 37 a. 2 s. c. Sed contra est auctoritas Scripturae, in qua dicitur, Luc. II, quod, postquam consummati sunt dies octo, ut circumcideretur puer, vocatum est nomen eius Iesus. On the contrary is the authority of Scripture, in which it is written (Luke 2:21): "After eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, His name was called Jesus."
IIIª q. 37 a. 2 co. Respondeo dicendum quod nomina debent proprietatibus rerum respondere. Et hoc patet in nominibus generum et specierum, prout dicitur IV Metaphys., ratio enim quam significat nomen, est definitio, quae designat propriam rei naturam. Nomina autem singularium hominum semper imponuntur ab aliqua proprietate eius cui nomen imponitur. Vel a tempore, sicut imponuntur nomina aliquorum sanctorum his qui in eorum festis nascuntur. Vel a cognatione, sicut cum filio imponitur nomen patris, vel alicuius de cognatione eius; sicut propinqui Ioannis Baptistae volebant eum vocare nomine patris sui Zachariam, non autem Ioannem, quia nullus erat in cognatione eius qui vocaretur hoc nomine, ut dicitur Luc. I. Vel etiam ab eventu, sicut Ioseph vocavit primogenitum suum Manassen, dicens, oblivisci me fecit Deus omnium laborum meorum, Gen. XLI. Vel etiam ex aliqua qualitate eius cui nomen imponitur, sicut Gen. XXV dicitur quod, quia qui primo egressus est de utero matris, rufus erat, et totus in morem pellis hispidus, vocatum est nomen eius Esau, quod interpretatur rubeus. Nomina autem quae imponuntur divinitus aliquibus, semper significant aliquod gratuitum donum eis divinitus datum, sicut Gen. XVII dictum est Abrahae, appellaberis Abraham, quia patrem multarum gentium constitui te; et Matth. XVI dictum est Petro, tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam. Quia igitur homini Christo hoc munus gratiae collatum erat ut per ipsum omnes salvarentur, ideo convenienter vocatum est nomen eius Iesus, idest salvator, Angelo hoc nomen praenuntiante non solum matri, sed etiam Ioseph, quia erat futurus eius nutritius. I answer that, A name should answer to the nature of a thing. This is clear in the names of genera and species, as stated Metaph. iv: "Since a name is but an expression of the definition" which designates a thing's proper nature. Now, the names of individual men are always taken from some property of the men to whom they are given. Either in regard to time; thus men are named after the Saints on whose feasts they are born: or in respect of some blood relation; thus a son is named after his father or some other relation; and thus the kinsfolk of John the Baptist wished to call him "by his father's name Zachary," not by the name John, because "there" was "none of" his "kindred that" was "called by this name," as related Luke 1:59-61. Or, again, from some occurrence; thus Joseph "called the name of" the "first-born Manasses, saying: God hath made me to forget all my labors" (Genesis 41:51). Or, again, from some quality of the person who receives the name; thus it is written (Genesis 25:25) that "he that came forth first was red and hairy like a skin; and his name was called Esau," which is interpreted "red." But names given to men by God always signify some gratuitous gift bestowed on them by Him; thus it was said to Abraham (Genesis 17:5): "Thou shalt be called Abraham; because I have made thee a father of many nations": and it was said to Peter (Matthew 16:18): "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church." Since, therefore, this prerogative of grace was bestowed on the Man Christ that through Him all men might be saved, therefore He was becomingly named Jesus, i.e. Saviour: the angel having foretold this name not only to His Mother, but also to Joseph, who was to be his foster-father.
IIIª q. 37 a. 2 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod in omnibus illis nominibus quodammodo significatur hoc nomen Iesus, quod est significativum salutis. Nam in hoc quod dicitur Emmanuel, quod interpretatur, nobiscum Deus, designatur causa salutis, quae est unio divinae et humanae naturae in persona filii Dei, per quam factum est ut Deus esset nobiscum. Per hoc autem quod dicitur, voca nomen eius, accelera, spolia detrahe, etc., designatur a quo nos salvaverit, quia a Diabolo, cuius spolia abstulit, secundum illud Coloss. II, exspolians principatus et potestates, traduxit confidenter. In hoc autem quod dicitur, vocabitur nomen eius admirabilis, etc., designatur via et terminus nostrae salutis, inquantum scilicet admirabili divinitatis consilio et virtute, ad haereditatem futuri saeculi perducimur, in quo erit pax perfecta filiorum Dei, sub ipso principe Deo. Quod vero dicitur, ecce vir, oriens nomen eius, ad idem refertur ad quod primum, scilicet ad incarnationis mysterium, secundum quod exortum est in tenebris lumen rectis corde. Reply to Objection 1. All these names in some way mean the same as Jesus, which means "salvation." For the name "Emmanuel, which being interpreted is 'God with us,'" designates the cause of salvation, which is the union of the Divine and human natures in the Person of the Son of God, the result of which union was that "God is with us." When it was said, "Call his name, Hasten to take away," etc., these words indicate from what He saved us, viz. from the devil, whose spoils He took away, according to Colossians 2:15: "Despoiling the principalities and powers, He hath exposed them confidently." When it was said, "His name shall be called Wonderful," etc., the way and term of our salvation are pointed out: inasmuch as "by the wonderful counsel and might of the Godhead we are brought to the inheritance of the life to come," in which the children of God will enjoy "perfect peace" under "God their Prince." When it was said, "Behold a Man, the Orient is His name," reference is made to the same, as in the first, viz. to the mystery of the Incarnation, by reason of which "to the righteous a light is risen up in darkness" (Psalm 111:4).
IIIª q. 37 a. 2 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod his qui fuerunt ante Christum potuit convenire hoc nomen Iesus secundum aliquam aliam rationem, puta quia aliquam particularem et temporalem salutem attulerunt. Sed secundum rationem spiritualis et universalis salutis, hoc nomen est proprium Christo. Et secundum hoc dicitur esse novum. Reply to Objection 2. The name Jesus could be suitable for some other reason to those who lived before Christ--for instance, because they were saviours in a particular and temporal sense. But in the sense of spiritual and universal salvation, this name is proper to Christ, and thus it is called a "new" name.
IIIª q. 37 a. 2 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod, sicut Gen. XVII legitur, simul Abraham suscepit impositionem nominis a Deo, et circumcisionis mandatum. Et ideo apud Iudaeos consuetum erat ut ipso die circumcisionis nomina pueris imponerentur, quasi ante circumcisionem perfectum esse non habuerint, sicut etiam nunc pueris in Baptismo nomina imponuntur. Unde super illud Proverb. IV, ego filius fui patris mei, tenellus et unigenitus coram matre mea, dicit Glossa, quare Salomon se unigenitum coram matre vocat, quem fratrem uterinum praecessisse Scriptura testatur, nisi quia ille mox natus sine nomine, quasi nunquam esset, de vita decessit? Et ideo Christus, simul cum fuit circumcisus, nominis impositionem accepit. Reply to Objection 3. As is related Genesis 17, Abraham received from God and at the same time both his name and the commandment of circumcision. For this reason it was customary among the Jews to name children on the very day of circumcision, as though before being circumcised they had not as yet perfect existence: just as now also children receive their names in Baptism. Wherefore on Proverbs 4:3, "I was my father's son, tender, and as an only son in the sight of my mother," the gloss says: "Why does Solomon call himself an only son in the sight of his mother, when Scripture testifies that he had an elder brother of the same mother, unless it be that the latter died unnamed soon after birth?" Therefore it was that Christ received His name at the time of His circumcision.
IIIª q. 37 a. 3 arg. 1 Ad tertium sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter fuerit Christus in templo oblatus. Dicitur enim Exod. XIII, sanctifica mihi omne primogenitum quod aperit vulvam in filiis Israel. Sed Christus exivit de clauso virginis utero, et ita matris vulvam non aperuit. Ergo Christus ex hac lege non debuit in templo offerri. Objection 1. It would seem that Christ was unbecomingly presented in the Temple. For it is written (Exodus 13:2): "Sanctify unto Me every first-born that openeth the womb among the children of Israel." But Christ came forth from the closed womb of the Virgin; and thus He did not open His Mother's womb. Therefore Christ was not bound by this law to be presented in the Temple.
IIIª q. 37 a. 3 arg. 2 Praeterea, illud quod est semper praesens alicui, non potest ei praesentari. Sed Christi humanitas semper fuit Deo maxime praesens, utpote ei semper coniuncta in unitate personae. Ergo non oportuit quod coram domino sisteretur. Objection 2. Further, that which is always in one's presence cannot be presented to one. But Christ's humanity was always in God's presence in the highest degree, as being always united to Him in unity of person. Therefore there was no need for Him to be presented to the Lord.
IIIª q. 37 a. 3 arg. 3 Praeterea, Christus est hostia principalis, ad quam omnes hostiae veteris legis referuntur sicut figura ad veritatem. Sed hostiae non debet esse alia hostia. Ergo non fuit conveniens ut pro Christo alia hostia offerretur. Objection 3. Further, Christ is the principal victim, to whom all the victims of the old Law are referred, as the figure to the reality. But a victim should not be offered up for a victim. Therefore it was not fitting that another victim should be offered up for Christ.
IIIª q. 37 a. 3 arg. 4 Praeterea, inter legales hostias praecipue fuit agnus, qui erat iuge sacrificium, ut habetur Num. XXVIII. Unde etiam Christus dicitur agnus, Ioan. I, ecce agnus Dei. Magis ergo fuit conveniens quod pro Christo offerretur agnus quam par turturum vel duo pulli columbarum. Objection 4. Further, among the legal victims the principal was the lamb, which was a "continual sacrifice" [Vulgate: 'holocaust', as is stated Numbers 28:6: for which reason Christ is also called "the Lamb--Behold the Lamb of God" (John 1:29). It was therefore more fitting that a lamb should be offered for Christ than "a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons."
IIIª q. 37 a. 3 s. c. Sed in contrarium est auctoritas Scripturae, quae hoc factum esse testatur, Luc. II. On the contrary is the authority of Scripture which relates this as having taken place (Luke 2:22).
IIIª q. 37 a. 3 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut dictum est, Christus voluit sub lege fieri, ut eos qui sub lege erant redimeret, et ut iustificatio legis in suis membris spiritualiter impleretur. De prole autem nata duplex praeceptum in lege traditur. Unum quidem generale quantum ad omnes, ut scilicet, completis diebus purificationis matris, offerretur sacrificium pro filio sive pro filia, ut habetur Levit. XII. Et hoc quidem sacrificium erat et ad expiationem peccati, in quo proles erat concepta et nata, et etiam ad consecrationem quandam ipsius, quia tunc primo praesentabatur in templo. Et ideo aliquid offerebatur in holocaustum, et aliquid pro peccato. Aliud autem praeceptum erat speciale in lege de primogenitis tam in hominibus quam in iumentis, sibi enim dominus deputaverat omne primogenitum in Israel, pro eo quod, ad liberationem populi Israel, percusserat primogenita Aegypti ab homine usque ad pecus, primogenitis filiorum Israel reservatis. Et hoc mandatum ponitur Exod. XIII. In quo etiam praefigurabatur Christus, qui est primogenitus in multis fratribus, ut dicitur Rom. VIII. Quia igitur Christus, ex muliere natus, erat primogenitus; et voluit fieri sub lege, haec duo Evangelista Lucas circa eum fuisse observata ostendit. Primo quidem, id quod pertinet ad primogenitos, cum dicit, tulerunt illum in Ierusalem, ut sisterent eum domino, sicut scriptum est in lege domini, quia omne masculinum adaperiens vulvam sanctum domino vocabitur. Secundo, id quod pertinet communiter ad omnes, cum dicit, et ut darent hostiam, secundum quod dictum erat in lege domini, par turturum aut duos pullos columbarum. I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), Christ wished to be "made under the Law, that He might redeem them who were under the Law" (Galatians 4:4-5), and that the "justification of the Law might be" spiritually "fulfilled" in His members. Now, the Law contained a twofold precept touching the children born. one was a general precept which affected all--namely, that "when the days of the mother's purification were expired," a sacrifice was to be offered either "for a son or for a daughter," as laid down Leviticus 12:6. And this sacrifice was for the expiation of the sin in which the child was conceived and born; and also for a certain consecration of the child, because it was then presented in the Temple for the first time. Wherefore one offering was made as a holocaust and another for sin. The other was a special precept in the law concerning the first-born of "both man and beast": for the Lord claimed for Himself all the first-born in Israel, because, in order to deliver Israelites, He "slew every first-born in the land of Egypt, both men and cattle" (Exodus 12:12-29), the first-born of Israel being saved; which law is set down Exodus 13. Here also was Christ foreshadowed, who is "the First-born amongst many brethren" (Romans 8:29). Therefore, since Christ was born of a woman and was her first-born, and since He wished to be "made under the Law," the Evangelist Luke shows that both these precepts were fulfilled in His regard. First, as to that which concerns the first-born, when he says (Luke 2:22-23): "They carried Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord: as it is written in the law of the Lord, 'Every male opening the womb shall be called holy to the Lord.'" Secondly, as to the general precept which concerned all, when he says (Luke 2:24): "And to offer a sacrifice according as it is written in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons."
IIIª q. 37 a. 3 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, sicut Gregorius Nyssenus dicit, illud legis praeceptum in solo incarnato Deo singulariter et ab aliis differenter impleri videtur. Ipse namque solus, ineffabiliter conceptus ac incomprehensibiliter editus, virginalem uterum aperuit, non antea connubio reseratum, servans et post partum inviolabiliter signaculum castitatis. Unde quod dicit, aperiens vulvam, designat quod nihil antea inde intraverat vel exiverat. Et per hoc etiam specialiter dicitur masculinus, quia nihil de femineitate culpae portavit. Singulariter etiam sanctus, qui terrenae contagia corruptelae, immaculati partus novitate, non sensit. Reply to Objection 1. As Gregory of Nyssa says (De Occursu Dom.): "It seems that this precept of the Law was fulfilled in God incarnate alone in a special manner exclusively proper to Him. For He alone, whose conception was ineffable, and whose birth was incomprehensible, opened the virginal womb which had been closed to sexual union, in such a way that after birth the seal of chastity remained inviolate." Consequently the words "opening the womb" imply that nothing hitherto had entered or gone forth therefrom. Again, for a special reason is it written "'a male,' because He contracted nothing of the woman's sin": and in a singular way "is He called 'holy,' because He felt no contagion of earthly corruption, whose birth was wondrously immaculate" (Ambrose, on Luke 2:23).
IIIª q. 37 a. 3 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod, sicut filius Dei non propter seipsum factus est homo et circumcisus in carne, sed ut nos per gratiam faceret deos, et ut spiritualiter circumcidamur; sic propter nos sistitur domino, ut discamus Deo praesentare nosipsos. Et hoc post circumcisionem eius factum est, ut ostendat neminem nisi circumcisum vitiis, dignum esse divinis conspectibus. Reply to Objection 2. As the Son of God "became man, and was circumcised in the flesh, not for His own sake, but that He might make us to be God's through grace, and that we might be circumcised in the spirit; so, again, for our sake He was presented to the Lord, that we may learn to offer ourselves to God" [Athanasius, on Luke 2:23]. And this was done after His circumcision, in order to show that "no one who is not circumcised from vice is worthy of Divine regard" [Bede, on Luke 2:23].
IIIª q. 37 a. 3 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod propter hoc ipsum voluit hostias legales pro se offerri, qui erat vera hostia, ut figura veritati coniungeretur, et per veritatem figura approbaretur, contra illos qui Deum legis negant a Christo fuisse in Evangelio praedicatum. Non enim putandum est, ut Origenes dicit, quod filium suum bonus Deus sub lege inimici fecerit, quam ipse non dederat. Reply to Objection 3. For this very reason He wished the legal victims to be offered for Him who was the true Victim, in order that the figure might be united to and confirmed by the reality, against those who denied that in the Gospel Christ preached the God of the Law. "For we must not think," says Origen (Hom. xiv in Luc.) "that the good God subjected His Son to the enemy's law, which He Himself had not given."
IIIª q. 37 a. 3 ad 4 Ad quartum dicendum quod Levit. XII praecipitur ut qui possent, agnum pro filio aut filia, simul et turturem sive columbam offerrent, qui vero non sufficerent ad offerendum agnum, duos turtures aut duos columbae pullos offerrent. Dominus ergo, qui, cum dives esset, propter nos egenus factus est, ut illius inopia divites essemus, ut dicitur II Cor. VIII, pro se pauperum hostiam voluit offerri, sicut et in ipsa nativitate pannis involvitur et reclinatur in praesepio. Nihilominus tamen huiusmodi aves figurae congruunt. Turtur enim, quia est avis loquax, praedicationem et confessionem fidei significat; quia vero est animal castum, significat castitatem; quia vero est animal solitarium, significat contemplationem. Columba vero est animal mansuetum et simplex, mansuetudinem et simplicitatem significans. Est autem animal gregale, unde significat vitam activam. Et ideo huiusmodi hostia significabat perfectionem Christi et membrorum eius. Utrumque autem animal, propter consuetudinem gemendi, praesentes sanctorum luctus designat, sed turtur, quae est solitaria, significat orationum lacrimas; columba vero, quae est gregalis, significat publicas orationes Ecclesiae. Utrumque tamen animal duplicatum offertur, ut sanctitas sit non solum in anima, sed etiam in corpore. Reply to Objection 4. The law of Leviticus 12:6,[8] "commanded those who could, to offer, for a son or a daughter, a lamb and also a turtle dove or a pigeon: but those who were unable to offer a lamb were commanded to offer two turtle doves or two young pigeons" [Bede, Hom. xv in Purif.]. "And so the Lord, who, 'being rich, became poor for our [Vulgate: 'your'] sakes, that through His poverty we [you] might be rich," as is written 2 Corinthians 8:9, "wished the poor man's victim to be offered for Him" just as in His birth He was "wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger" [Bede on Luke 1]. Nevertheless, these birds have a figurative sense. For the turtle dove, being a loquacious bird, represents the preaching and confession of faith; and because it is a chaste animal, it signifies chastity; and being a solitary animal, it signifies contemplation. The pigeon is a gentle and simple animal, and therefore signifies gentleness and simplicity. It is also a gregarious animal; wherefore it signifies the active life. Consequently this sacrifice signified the perfection of Christ and His members. Again, "both these animals, by the plaintiveness of their song, represented the mourning of the saints in this life: but the turtle dove, being solitary, signifies the tears of prayer; whereas the pigeon, being gregarious, signifies the public prayers of the Church" [Bede, Hom. xv in Purif.]. Lastly, two of each of these animals are offered, to show that holiness should be not only in the soul, but also in the body.
IIIª q. 37 a. 4 arg. 1 Ad quartum sic proceditur. Videtur quod inconvenienter mater Dei purganda ad templum accesserit. Purgatio enim non videtur esse nisi ab immunditia. Sed in beata virgine nulla fuit immunditia, ut ex supra dictis patet. Ergo non debuit ut purganda ad templum accedere. Objection 1. It would seem that it was unfitting for the Mother of God to go to the Temple to be purified. For purification presupposes uncleanness. But there was no uncleanness in the Blessed Virgin, as stated above (Q27,28). Therefore she should not have gone to the Temple to be purified.
IIIª q. 37 a. 4 arg. 2 Praeterea, Levit. XII dicitur, mulier quae, suscepto semine, peperit masculum, immunda erit septem diebus, et ideo ei praecipitur quod non ingrediatur sanctuarium, donec impleantur dies purgationis eius. Sed beata virgo peperit masculum sine virili semine. Non ergo debuit venire ad templum purganda. Objection 2. Further, it is written (Leviticus 12:2-4): "If a woman, having received seed, shall bear a man-child, she shall be unclean seven days"; and consequently she is forbidden "to enter into the sanctuary until the days of her purification be fulfilled." But the Blessed Virgin brought forth a male child without receiving the seed of man. Therefore she had no need to come to the Temple to be purified.
IIIª q. 37 a. 4 arg. 3 Praeterea, purgatio ab immunditia non fit nisi per gratiam. Sed sacramenta veteris legis gratiam non conferebant, sed ipsa potius secum gratiae auctorem habebat. Non ergo conveniens fuit ut beata virgo ad templum purganda veniret. Objection 3. Further, purification from uncleanness is accomplished by grace alone. But the sacraments of the Old Law did not confer grace; rather, indeed, did she have the very Author of grace with her. Therefore it was not fitting that the Blessed Virgin should come to the Temple to be purified.
IIIª q. 37 a. 4 s. c. Sed contra est auctoritas Scripturae, qua dicitur, Luc. II, quod impleti sunt dies purgationis Mariae secundum legem Moysi. On the contrary is the authority of Scripture, where it is stated (Luke 2:22) that "the days of" Mary's "purification were accomplished according to the law of Moses."
IIIª q. 37 a. 4 co. Respondeo dicendum quod, sicut plenitudo gratiae a Christo derivatur in matrem, ita decuit ut mater humilitati filii conformaretur, humilibus enim Deus dat gratiam, ut dicitur Iac. IV. Et ideo, sicut Christus, licet legi non esset obnoxius, voluit tamen circumcisionem et alia legis onera subire, ad demonstrandum humilitatis et obedientiae exemplum, et ut approbaret legem, et ut calumniae occasionem Iudaeis tolleret; propter easdem rationes voluit et matrem suam implere legis observantias, quibus tamen non erat obnoxia. I answer that, As the fulness of grace flowed from Christ on to His Mother, so it was becoming that the mother should be like her Son in humility: for "God giveth grace to the humble," as is written James 4:6. And therefore, just as Christ, though not subject to the Law, wished, nevertheless, to submit to circumcision and the other burdens of the Law, in order to give an example of humility and obedience; and in order to show His approval of the Law; and, again, in order to take away from the Jews an excuse for calumniating Him: for the same reasons He wished His Mother also to fulfil the prescriptions of the Law, to which, nevertheless, she was not subject.
IIIª q. 37 a. 4 ad 1 Ad primum ergo dicendum quod, licet beata virgo nullam haberet immunditiam, voluit tamen purgationis observantiam implere, non propter indigentiam, sed propter legis praeceptum. Et ideo signanter Evangelista dicit quod completi sunt dies purgationis eius secundum legem, ipsa enim secundum se purgatione non indigebat. Reply to Objection 1. Although the Blessed Virgin had no uncleanness, yet she wished to fulfil the observance of purification, not because she needed it, but on account of the precept of the Law. Thus the Evangelist says pointedly that the days of her purification "according to the Law" were accomplished; for she needed no purification in herself.
IIIª q. 37 a. 4 ad 2 Ad secundum dicendum quod signanter Moyses videtur fuisse locutus, ad excipiendam ab immunditia matrem Dei, quae non peperit suscepto semine. Et ideo patet quod non obligatur ad impletionem illius praecepti, sed voluntarie purgationis observantiam implevit, ut dictum est. Reply to Objection 2. Moses seems to have chosen his words in order to exclude uncleanness from the Mother of God, who was with child "without receiving seed." It is therefore clear that she was not bound to fulfil that precept, but fulfilled the observance of purification of her own accord, as stated above.
IIIª q. 37 a. 4 ad 3 Ad tertium dicendum quod legalia sacramenta non purgabant ab immunditia culpae, quod fit per gratiam, sed hanc purgationem praefigurabant, purgabant enim purgatione quadam carnali ab immunditia irregularitatis cuiusdam; sicut in secunda parte dictum est. Neutram tamen immunditiam beata virgo contraxerat. Et ideo non indigebat purgari. Reply to Objection 3. The sacraments of the Law did not cleanse from the uncleanness of sin which is accomplished by grace, but they foreshadowed this purification: for they cleansed by a kind of carnal purification, from the uncleanness of a certain irregularity, as stated in I-II, 102, 5; I-II, 103, 2. But the Blessed Virgin contracted neither uncleanness, and consequently did not need to be purified.

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