Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 2. One
another's burdens. This is not contrary to what is added ver. 5, that every one shall bear his own burden, because
in the first place the sense is, that we must bear patiently with one another's faults and imperfections; in the second, that
every one must answer for himself at God's tribunal. (Witham) --- Every one has his failings and weaknesses, and stands in
need of indulgence from his brethren; he must, therefore, grant to them what he so much desires to receive from them. (Calmet)
Ver. 6. Communicate....in
all good things: by this communication, is understood an assisting of others in their wants. (Witham) --- Such
as are blessed with the goods of this world, should gladly communicate a share of their efforts to the preachers and teachers
of the true faith; and this not merely as a return for what they have received, but also that they may be made thereby partakers
of their merit. (St. Augustine, lib. 2. evang. quæst. q. 8.)
Ver. 7. This
is addressed to the avaricious, who, under various pretexts, excused themselves from contributing to the support of their
teachers. But they are here informed, that their excuses will not screen them from the anger of God. (Calmet)
Ver. 8. He
that soweth in his flesh, &c. The apostle represents the flesh and the spirit like two fields, on which men sow good
or bad seed, according to which they shall reap. (Witham)
Ver. 9. Works
of mercy are the seed of life everlasting, and the proper cause thereof, and not faith only.
Ver. 10. The
household of the faith: those who profess the same true faith. (Witham) --- We are more bound to assist Christians than
Jews; Catholics than heretics. (St. Jerome, q. 1. ad Hedibim.)
Ver. 11. What
a letter I have written....with my own hand. St. Jerome understands this of what he is now beginning to write, the rest
being written by the hand of another. Others understand the whole letter. (Witham) --- St. Chrysostom, Theophylactus, and
Theodoret, suppose that the apostle wrote the whole epistle with his own hand, and here excuses himself for writing so ill
the Grecian letters, which were so very different from those of his native language. But St. Jerome understands, that he wrote
only this latter part of the epistle, as a testimony that the whole came from him. (Calmet)
He tells them the false teachers would have them circumcised first, to avoid persecution from the Jewish party; and
secondly to glory in having made them their proselytes. (Witham)
Ver. 14. As
for my part, I will glory in nothing but in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, but in Christ crucified. (Witham)
Ver. 15. But
a new creature; but to be born anew, to receive the spiritual life of grace. (Witham)
Ver. 17. I
bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body, by the stripes and wounds I have received for preaching the gospel. (Witham)
--- Formerly it was not unusual to stamp certain characters on the bodies of soldiers, fugitives, and of domestics, purposely
to distinguish them.
There are three principal parts in this epistle. The first is the history
of the vocation of St. Paul, chap. i. and ii.; the second is on justification and the abrogation of the law; the third is
an exhortation to persevere in Christian liberty, to avoid its abuse, and to perform the various duties of a Christian.
Bible Text & Cross-references:
He exhorts to charity, humility, &c. He glories in nothing
but in the cross of Christ.
1 Brethren, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you who are spiritual,
instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another's burdens: and so ye shall fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if any man think himself to be something, whereas he is nothing,
he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every one prove his own work, and so he shall have glory in himself
only, and not in another.
5 *For every one shall bear his own burden.
6 And let him who is instructed in the word, communicate to him, who instructeth
him, in all good things.
7 Be not deceived, God is not mocked.
8 For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that
soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption: but he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life
9 *And in doing good, let us not fail: for in due time we shall reap, not
10 Therefore, whilst we have time, let us do good to all men, but especially
to those who are of the household of the faith.
11 See what a letter I have written to you with my own hand.
12 For whosoever desire to please in the flesh, they constrain you to be
circumcised, only that they may not suffer the persecution of the cross of Christ.
13 For neither they themselves, who are circumcised, keep the law: but
they will have you to be circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus
Christ: by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision,
but a new creature.
16 And whosoever shall follow this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy,
and upon the Israel of God.
17 From henceforth let no man be troublesome to me: for I bear the marks
of the Lord Jesus in my body.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
5: 1 Corinthians iii. 8.
9: 2 Thessalonians iii. 13.