Look not upon me, because I am dark, because the sun has darkened me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard have I not kept.
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Aquinas Study Bible
the sun: the pressure of tribulations, or Christ. (Haimo of Auxerre) For when the Lord comes he darkens the person whom he has touched closely by grace; for the closer we draw to Him the more we know ourselves to be sinners. (St. Gregory the Great)
I have not kept: In this text, the Bride makes a distinction and says that she deserted her own vineyard, not the one of the Lord. (Apponius)
Liest. Hebrew, "makest thy flock to rest. "(Protestants) (Haydock)
Mid-day. She represents herself and her beloved as guarding flocks, which were usually driven into some shady place during the heat of the day, when the shepherds took their innocent recreations.
Wander. (Septuagint; Protestants) But marginal note has, "as one that is veiled "which was the mark of a common woman, Genesis xxxviii. 14. The Gentile Church is eager to be guided by the one true Shepherd, and adheres to him with the greatest fervour, (Calmet) during the heat of persecution. (Cassiodorus)
We ought to imitate the solicitude of the spouse, and hide ourselves under the shadow of the cross when we are tempted, Isaias xxv. 4. (Calmet)
The church says of its weak members, “They have put me as a guard in the vineyards; my own vineyard I have not guarded.” Our vineyards are our deeds, and we cultivate them by our daily labor. We are put as guards in the vineyards, but we do not cultivate our own. When we are involved with external affairs, we neglect to watch over our own activities. - "Forty Gospel Homilies 19 (17)"
“Do not look at me,” it says, “because the sun has not regarded me.” The prophet Ezekiel proved that the sun is Christ when he said, “upon you who fear the Lord, the sun of righteousness will rise,” who is Christ. For, as I have often said, before the advent of the Son of God, the church of the Gentiles was dark because it had not yet believed in him. But when it was illuminated by Christ the true sun, it was made extremely lovely and decorous, such that the Holy Spirit would say to it through David: “the king desired your beauty.” - "Explanation of the Song of Songs 1.25"