21 And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name Jesus. For he shall save his people from their sins.
Gloss: That Joseph should not suppose that he was no longer needed in this wedlock, seeing the conception had taken place without his intervention, the Angel declares to him, that though there had been no need of him in the conception, yet there was need of his guardianship; for the Virgin should bear a Son, and then he would be necessary both to the Mother and her Son; to the Mother to screen her from disgrace, to the Son to bring Him up and to circumcise Him. The circumcision is meant when he says, “And thou shalt call His name Jesus;” for it was usual to give the name in circumcision.
Rabanus: “Thou shalt call His name,” he says, and not, “shalt give Him a name,” for His name had been given from all eternity.
Chrysostom: This further shews that this birth should be wonderful, because it is God that sends down His name from above by His Angel; and that not any name, but one which is a treasure of infinite good.
Jerome: Jesus is a Hebrew word, meaning Saviour. He points to the etymology of the name, saying, “For He shall save His people from this sins.”
Remigius: He shews the same man to be the Saviour of the whole world, and the Author of our salvation. He saves indeed not the unbelieving, but His people; that is, He saves those that believe on Him, not so much from visible as from invisible enemies; that is, from their sins, not by fighting with arms, but by remitting their sins.
Chrysologus: Who is He that Mary bare? “He shall save His people;” not any other man’s people; from what? “from their sins.” That it is God that forgives sins.
Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. I (London: Rivington, 1842).